What is Soul Retrieval? (And How it Works)

What is a Soul Retrieval? (And How it Works)

Originally written in July 2014 - this post has been revised and updated from the original.


To talk about soul retrieval, we have to first talk about soul loss. And to talk about soul loss, we have to first understand that we are more than just our physical body.

Any individual on this earth that exists in the physical space - a person, an animal, or a plant, for example - we are basically spirits wearing physical bodies for the time being.

You already know, at least intellectually, that it is not your physical body that makes you you. It’s the essence of you. It’s your soul. It’s your spirit. Who you are, as an individual, is not defined by your dress size, the clarity of your skin, or the style of your hair.

For the purposes of this article, we'll be talking about the soul, and soul and spirit are often used interchangeably. In my practice, I understand the difference to be that the soul is the physically embodied part of the spirit that can return to spirit in the afterlife. Both makeup who you are, but the soul is the part that is with you, in the physical, right now.

Your soul is made up of two other, interweaving and interconnecting bodies - the energetic body, and the spiritual body. There’s no separation between the two; I like to think of them as layers of yourself. Your thoughts, your feelings, your perceptions, your viewpoints, your uniqueness, your soul history, your life history, all that makes up the essence of you is your soul. All the lessons you have learned and are learning in this lifetime and those past and present, and stored here. And each and every one of these lessons, these feelings, these emotions, these experiences have an energetic vibration. The sum of which comprises your energetic body.

Each microscopic part of you, physical or spiritual, has an energetic vibration, and all together, these tiny pieces make up your soul's energy.

Experiences, thoughts, emotions, feelings, lessons, viewpoints, perspectives make up both your spiritual body and your energetic body, combining to form your soul.

You following me?

Your soul is made up of energy. That energy makes up who you are.
I find it helps to categorize it. Though it's quite a bit more black and white than it actually is, for our human brain and experience, I break it down into 3 primary bodies:

Our physical body - Arms, legs, organs, eyes, ears, organs and skin.

Our energetic body - chakras, aura, and energetic vibrations carried by all experiences, thoughts, feelings, and physical bodily functions

Our spiritual body - Thoughts, feelings, emotions, life lessons, experiences, personality traits, and perspectives

All three of these are interwoven and act like layers of one unified body.

I repeat, there is no separation.
However, when someone dies, they leave their physical body and keep the other two. This is the soul, and that soul goes back to Spirit.

Shamanic healing focus on the energetic and spiritual body, the part of you that is transcendent and goes with you through this lifetime and other lifetimes.
So what does this have to do with soul loss?
Stay with me here.

Your soul, and thus, your energy, acts kind of like millions of tiny puzzle pieces all coming together to form who you are.

Everything about who you are, your experiences, perspectives, thoughts, emotions, feelings, both in your current life and previous lifetimes, all come together to form your unique soul and your unique energy.

We are a sum of energetic and spiritual parts - all coming together from this lifetime and others to make up who we are and how we see the world.

Each of these pieces, each of these experiences, each of these thoughts, feelings, and emotions, each of these events, each little bit and piece along the way are the pieces that comprise our soul.

These pieces are soul fragments.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “I think a little bit of my Soul died in X, Y, Z interaction.” Or “I think so and so took a little bit of my Soul with them.”?

Phrases like these have an actual energetic basis.

When you feel as though a piece of your soul is missing or you’ve left a piece of your soul behind, energetically, chances are, this has actually happened and shamanically it is known as soul loss.

Typically, in most cases, what happens is that you experience a trauma and for whatever reason, age, life circumstance, depth of trauma, you are unable to fully process it. That part of your soul, the age and point in your life you were in when you experienced it, can separate from your soul now and stay there. Still in the trauma. Just waiting for you to come back and process it.

It can be likened to dissociation, psychologically.

In a lot of people, it's a self-protective mechanism so that you can go on living your life and survive, and not spiral into trauma when you need to do other things to keep yourself alive (like, work a job, feed your family, etc.).

When can soul loss occur?

More often than you think! It does not have to be a big giant trauma you experience.

It can occur at any time and in any life, past or present, in which your soul, you, experienced a traumatic event or series of events of any kind.

Any event that is or was emotionally, physically or mentally difficult, heart wrenching, or traumatic is an event in which a soul fragment could of been lost or separated from you. In this life and in all past lives.

Areas in which soul fragment loss often occurs include (non-exclusively):
  • Poverty
  • Power loss (more on this later)
  • Sexual or physical assault
  • Pregnancy and child loss including miscarriage and abortion 
  • Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
  • Bullying, teasing and mistreatment
  • Romantic or platonic relationships that end poorly
  • Death or loss of a loved one
  • Growing up too fast
  • Shifts in life that happened quickly

This list just names a few possible reasons for soul loss, but not all.

These soul pieces, big and small, make up who you are, and during traumatic events, parts of you, certain aspects of yourself (such as your dignity, for example, your confidence, your feelings of security in your sexuality, your emotional wellbeing, your trust towards others, anything at all) can go MIA. It's not just emotional, either. Remember that parts of your soul also make up parts of your energy body and are connected to your physical body. 

If a part of your energy goes missing, this can cause problems in the physical, as well. 

A part of your soul can separate from the greater part of your soul right now, and this is what's called soul loss. 

One person can have tens or hundreds or even thousands of lost soul fragments, from various experiences, across their lifetime. 

Unless you're a spiritually ascended master, you almost definitely have some soul fragments that need to be retrieved. 

And that's what soul retrieval is, the shamanic practice of finding these lost soul fragments. 


You get it now, right?

Soul Retrieval

Alright, so a Soul Retrieval is the practice of finding those soul fragments, calling them back and reintegrating them with your soul energy now. 

Typically, this is done within a shamanic journey, which is a meditative state in which you, or a shamanic practitioner, journeys in time and space to where that soul fragment is, calls them back, and energetically and spiritually reconnects them and reintegrates them with you now.

How do you do it? 

It can be kinda complicated. If you have some meditation experience, you can try it yourself. If not, I recommend you work with a shamanic practitioner to help you. I also have a meditation in my Etsy shop that guides you through the process and lots of people have had success with it!

I don't want to say it's impossible to do on your own and that a novice should never do it alone because that's me taking your power away. 

If you feel confident, try it. But if not, asking for help is okay!

Here's the general process: 

1. Know in your heart that part of you is missing and that you're ready and willing to call this part of you back

2. Get into a meditative state, (diffusing frankincense helps, like, a lot!!) call in your angels and guides, ground and clear your energy, visualize a safe and protected journey space, and ask your guides to so you where this part of you is located

3. Ask them to lead you to that place, and follow them

4. Once there, notice your surroundings and take in information about your age, the event, and the details

5. Approach the part of yourself stuck there and tell them who you are, what year it is, and what is happening 

6. Ask them, convince them, to come back with you and address their concerns

7. Together, journey back. Cutting cords from the energy, calling back energy from it, and clearing it on a soul level. Clear the energy of the soul fragment before you bring them back to the present. (this is the tricky part!)

8. Ask your soul fragment what you can do that would make them feel welcome and at home (the welcoming ceremony). Agree to do that. 

9. Back in current time and space, with their energy clear, clear your own energy if you have not already. You may also wish to clear it again to clear anything you've picked up in the journey.

10. Integrate the soul fragment. Ask them to step back in and reconnect and reintegrate with your energy. Ask your guides to help with the reintegrate and blending of energy.

11.  REST and perform the welcoming ceremony that you agreed to do!


This a very rough guideline. Each and every soul retrieval is different, will behave differently, and will have different requirements.

But, that's pretty much it! Soul loss and soul retrieval in a nutshell. (Read more about signs of soul loss here.)

Trust your intuition and comfort level, and you can always lean on help if needed. My Etsy shop has a meditation that guides you through the process and we can also work together in a healing session.

When a soul retrieval is done, usually you feel really tired for the next few days. Healing can take days, to weeks, to months, and this is considered spiritual and energetic surgery. Many emotions can surface as you going through the healing process as well, but in the end, most feel more whole afterward, and that's the whole point!  



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