In this earlier blog I gave a few case studies of people who have come to me after soul retrievals went wrong. You can read this blog here…
I have gotten feedback from this, some straight towards me via email (my preferred method) or through the grapevine (energetic or through email) via gossip. I always find it funny how passive-aggressive, generally back-biting, gossiping, and negative “white lighter” types can be, or the “core” shamanic types who get threatened by anything that is already not in their wheelhouse, so to speak. Although this is certainly another blog in and of itself, when we are not truthful with ourselves about our emotions and our core self… when we are pretending to be all about positivity and white light… we generally ignore and have our negativity “brew” inside of us. It is rare that the types of people who want to think only of positivity and react negatively to anything (meaning any thought or realization) that was not given to them by others and fits into their own preconceptions and limitations that they impose on the universe lead happy, meaningful lives. Because they do not live up to their own standards. And it is rare that they are effective or powerful practitioners.
But that is not my battle. People can gossip, spread hate under the guise of being a “lightworker” or “shaman” while putting on a face of positivity all they want. They can pretend to play in the spiritual realms all they want. It is rare for anyone to be able to critically think instead of spouting off new-age gobbledygook or outright dismissing someone because they view them to be “negative” or “angry”. Most of us lead lives that are on repeat– repeating the same loop of thoughts, behaviors, and understandings. And anything outside of that is threatening and the person will recoil or attack, depending on their personality to defend their zombie-like existence.
For the record, I have no issue with any of these people, nor am I angry at them. They simply are who they are and will continue to be that way. I love and appreciate anyone who can critically think and respond thoughtfully to anything that I write (even if they disagree with me… actually especially if they disagree with me. I love engaging in conversation with thoughtful, balanced people). Unfortunately, that is not what happens. Unfortunately, what happens is that I get a bunch of core shamans and new-agers throwing extremely negative thoughtforms at me, unable to recognize that someone who actually does spiritual work can recognize this sort of energy and track it in about three seconds flat. Unable to recognize the irony of the fact that they dislike me or my work because it is not really “light” and their activities and the core of their being is anything but the light mask they put on. I don’t do anything with this energy by the way, other than simply deflect it. It is not worth my time, and generally I can see that these types are mired in illusion and have enough difficulty in their lives, although it is of interest simply as a pattern of how these types operate and will do anything rather than look inside or actually think about anything in their lives.
But the world will always be filled with falsehood, illusions, greed, envy, and surface level understandings.The world is always filled with people who are zombies– simply repeating what is given to them without thought. It is where most people are at, and I have compassion for them. I really do. Most of them are really suffering and will lead rather meaningless lives, constantly on repeat without really going beyond the surface illusions and limitations they have created for themselves. My writing is not aimed for them– it is for the person who actually wants to think on a deeper level. But unfortunately, some of these people become spiritual workers (“shamans”, “shamanic practitioners”) and take on clients. And when something goes wrong, they blame the client.
It is enough of a pattern that I need to unfortunately speak about it. I wish that soul retrieval were safe, simple, and filled with the white light of love and light that people think it is. But something cannot be powerful and safe at the same time. Any method of powerful healing is going to have effects. Even if you treat soul retrieval as simply a psychological mechanism (which most shamanism actually is these days instead of actually being spiritual, because most people cannot see beyond the mental realms) there is inherent harm that can come up.
By far the most common side-effect of Soul Retrieval is that the practitioner simply doesn’t have any training in trauma and does not give appropriate aftercare.
They do not know what to do if their “client” freaks out and/or they don’t know enough about trauma to know how to work with it gently and directly through a titration method, rather than an “everybody out of the pool” method where they bring back anything and everything they can get their hands on. In many of these cases the “shaman” will not know what to do, and will tell the person to go see a therapist (which may be excellent advice, by the way). In other cases the “shaman” doesn’t know what they don’t know and will tell them that things are integrating, or even blame the client, deflecting the blame onto them. This is where we get into the unfortunate gobbledygook that is so pervasive of “shamans” giving advice like “just think about love, love conquers all” or “imagine a white light, that will help” to a person who is experiencing the physiological and emotional effects of having a piece back that they were not prepared for, and the “shaman” doesn’t know enough to help them.
I advise anyone working with clients who have trauma to get trauma training. Experiencing trauma has very real physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual effects, and if you do not know anything about them you should not be working with trauma.
Before we go on, I do realize that most spiritual workers make mistakes. It happens. The correct response to making a mistake, or having a client freak out or express concern (even if it is not your fault) is to help them (within reason, of course). Learn how to track your work, and most of all take personal responsibility for your work. Thinking of love or light doesn’t solve anything if your client can’t get out of bed because you brought back too much for them to process, or you brought back something that they do not have the proper tools to process. It is not the clients fault. It is the spiritual practitioners. And they can either close themselves off, telling themselves that it was their clients shadow, or that they weren’t positive enough or thinking about enough love and light… or they can actually learn. Learn how to work with trauma. Learn how to be a better spiritual practitioner. Or stop being a spiritual practitioner if you do not want to learn these things.
The emails I get the most of are from the other two case studies, though. I may be biased because of this, because chances are that there are many of you who have had issues after Soul Retrieval, contacted your spiritual worker, and they helped. These are not the emails I receive. I receive emails from the people who went to “shamans” who are playing in the spiritual realms with no conception of what they are doing, and when the proverbial shit hits the fan they blame the client to save themselves. I get emails from people who realize that what was brought back wasn’t theirs, and the “shaman” lacks the tracking skills and humility to realize that they did something wrong, telling the person that all they need to do is “integrate their shadow” and they will be fine.
So why is this? Why does this happen? Soul Retrieval is a powerful thing. We section off trauma and overwhelming circumstances for a reason. Basically, anything that we were not able to process or were overwhelmed by at a point in our lives (or our ancestors, past lives, etc) we section off so that we can go about our day-to-day functioning. This is what Soul Retrieval works with- the restoration of these fragmented astral pieces, those places that we have sectioned off memories and traumas.
But currently shamanic work is taught of as being “safe” and is taught as an off-shoot of pop-psychology and self-help mechanisms. People are not really taught anything about the spiritual realms, and when they are they are taught that it is all in their heads. This is so that “shamanism” can be mass marketed to people that have no capability of working or seeing into the spiritual realms. They think it is all psychology, because for them it is. They think it is all safe, because it is all self-created.
But even if we were to think of everything as being self-created, there are some scary parts of ourselves, parts that could be threatening, angry, violent, self-destructive, primal, and so forth. Even if everything is “inside” of us that doesn’t make it safe.
Safety is a marketing technique. It is how spiritual teachers can sleep at night teaching 150 students soul retrieval, possibly knowing that 149 of them have no shamanic abilities whatsoever.
I have said this before and I will say it again, it is really easy to get stuck in the illusions, marketing, and sort of surface level pop-psychology and self-help that is so perpetuated in this field. Spiritual work has disintegrated into simply “changing your story” or changing your thoughts as spiritual work. It has changed from actual spiritual work to mental work and creative visualization. It has changed from actual spiritual work to self-help work.
It has done so because you are never going to sell out workshops, never going to sell your books and go on the bestseller list, never going to be famous, and never going to have a COO or CEO for your shamanic organization if you cater to actual spiritual workers. It just won’t happen.
So myths and illusions are perpetuated. And one of these is that spiritual work is safe. And contrarily, at the same time, that if you notice anything “spiritual” you need to “fear and clear” (my new catch phrase) it through saging (oddly not really a clearing tool, actually a consecration herb) because the “spiritual” is not intended to be here, and if it is noticed, it must be cleared.
And what happens is that we have thousands of practitioners who are just babies in their spiritual practices learning tools that can do harm. Like Soul Retrieval. And because they have been taught and repeat the new-ageisms of everything being “light and love” or that they are entitled to do whatever they want whenever they want simply because they want to be a “shaman” we have thousands of individuals doing ineffective or even harmful spiritual work.
The good aspect of this is that most of these practitioners simply won’t accomplish anything. They don’t have the power or the ability. They will just take their clients money without providing anything other than a decent story for their client. Which may actually be healing.
But there are some practitioners who traverse the mental realms, or even the spiritual realms, that can do real harm. Spiritual work isn’t safe. Mental work isn’t safe. Most practitioners do not learn how to properly discern energies (like spirits), how to properly track, or how to properly work with spiritual energy. They do not know anything about the physiological basis of trauma or proper aftercare.
Most practitioners do not actually believe in what they are doing. They are doing it as a rote exercise they learned over a weekend workshop. They might not actually believe in anything spiritual, or that anything spiritual actually exists. They may believe that everything is an aspect of you, or that everything is simply a psychological mechanism. And if they do believe in the spiritual realms they may be working with energies that are pretending to be something they are not, or more likely are self-creating a bunch of congratulatory spiritual “allies” out of disassociated aspects of themselves that tell them how wonderful they are.
Most practitioners believe these things because they do not have any experience otherwise. They do not have the direct experience of anything spiritual, or anything outside of their own head. And they are unable to critically think, or think for themselves to the point of questioning if they should be discerning spirits, or if they are ready to take on clients, or when a client comes back to them telling them that they feel something is wrong taking a cold, hard look at themselves and taking personal responsibility for what they have done. They just repeat back the new-ageisms and slogans that the shamanic corporations have given them and go on with their day.
To end, it does look like I am castigating an entire group of practitioners. There are excellent spiritual practitioners out there. Ones who are effective, ones that know what they are doing. Spiritual workers with the humility to check their work, to make appropriate referrals if need be, that do divination to ensure that the work they are doing will be well-received by the client, and that have the actual spiritual abilities, power, and presence to do transformational and profound work. One Soul Retrieval with one of these practitioners can be life changing.
But in a world filled to the brim with self-help pop psychology life-coach type “shamans” they can be hard to find. It seems like for every 10,000 people who tell me they are doing spiritual or shamanic work, there are only 5 or 10 who know what they are doing, or are beyond surface level knowledge and understandings. And it can be even harder to find someone to “fix” or help you if you have gone to a practitioner and had something go wrong. There are a lot of wonderful spiritual workers out there, unfortunately many people have to go through many, many practitioners unable to help (who are unable to admit that they are unable to help typically), who just want to rip you off or have questionable ethics, or who do harmful work without realizing it.