Soul Retrievel: Mending the Fragmented Self
This month’s Bargain Bin Book Review was of interest to me both as a shamanic practitioner and as a future therapist. The author has a Master’s in counseling psychology, the same degree I’m working toward, and I was curious to see where her psychological background would come into play in this integral part of shamanic practice.
Ingerman does a very thorough job of describing the soul retrieval process, though she cautions the reader that the book should not be one’s only source, and that in-person training is suggested. I’m not sure how much I agree with that, particularly given that the author and her cohorts with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies do, or have in the past, offer such workshops. However, do be aware that this is not beginner-level materal, and shamanic practitioners should have a good bit of journeying under their belt, as well as good relationships with spiritual allies before embarking on this work. This is a great resource to have, though, if you are ready to try soul retrieval, either on yourself or others.
It also includes a really nice selection of anecdotes, more than many books. This serves to illustrate more fully the process of soul retrieval as well as the effects it has. The many testimonies from her clients say quite a bit not only about her experience but also her effectiveness. It’s well-balanced between how-to and anecdotal information.
She does come from a core shamanic background, but I was pleased to see that she acknowledged that journeying isn’t necessarily a safe thing, nor did she conflate journeying with guided meditations. Her main concerns with dangers in journeying, including during soul retrieval, were with the integrity of the shaman’s soul, as well as parasitic spirits “hanging on” on the way back out of the journey. And there was some discussion of what to do when the soul of the client doesn’t want to come back, or is stuck.
While there are occasional things I personally disagree with, overall I think this is a great text. Once I’m ready to do soul retrieval in practice, this will be an invaluable guide.
Five pawprints out of five.