Eloise (fake name, of course) contacted me because she felt something was really wrong spiritually. She had received a “soul retrieval” from a “shaman” six weeks prior, and since then her life had gone rapidly downhill.

She was initially interested in soul retrieval because of a bad breakup four years prior. She had the classic symptoms of someone who had never gotten over that point– still thinking about the relationship after many years, inability to get into a new relationship, and a feeling of a part of herself still being her younger (well four years younger, which matters a lot in your twenties) self.

After she received her “soul retrieval” she felt like something was wrong but reasoned that since it was a spiritual appointment that it wasn’t unusual to feel a bit off. However, over the next few days she realized that something was terribly wrong. Eloise had never been depressed or prone to any type of mental imbalance but she began to feel extremely suicidal. So much so that as a logical person she reached out to friends and family and told them that she was worried about the sudden feelings of wanting to harm herself.

She contacted her “shaman” and the “shaman” (yes, I am using a lot of quotes for a reason) told her that it must be a part of her “shadow” coming out and that it was something that needed to simply integrate, and told her to walk on grass and go out into nature to integrate her “shadow”.

A friend came over and they decided that she should get a psychiatric evaluation to ensure that she was safe. She was admitted to the hospital, spending two days in the psychiatric unit. She was put on medication, given talk therapy, and participated in groups with people that were significantly mentally ill.

After she got out she realized that she was not like the other people that she met in the hospital, and was given my name and email address to contact. I quickly realized that she had an energy attached to her that was not her– it was that of a suicidal young woman. We cleared the former human, but Eloise was left with the traumatic experiences she had endured due to the experience of being admitted to a psychiatric hospital (as well as that fact permanently being on her health records) and was extremely and understandably shaken by the whole ordeal.She also had to deal with the fact that she was now on a psychiatric medication that was somewhat difficult for her to get off of.

Brandy (yes, name changed again) contacted me because she had enough spiritual experience to realize that something was attached to her after a soul retrieval appointment. From just one “soul retrieval” from a “shamanic practitioner” she began experiencing really odd experiences around her home, and feeling physical sensations that she knew were not coming from her in origin.

She contacted me and in tracking the energy it was understood that a trickster energy had noticed that this “shamanic practitioner” did not really know what they were doing but was stirring up a bunch of spiritual energy performing “soul retrievals” and the like, and wanted to influence and entertain themselves through being a part of sessions. The practitioner of course had no idea that this was happening. When Brandy came in for the appointment the trickster quickly realized that it was getting bored and noted that Brandy actually had spiritual abilities and attached to her by appearing as a “soul piece” to the practitioner. It took us three appointments to get her rid of this energy over the course of three weeks. Meantime she had difficulty sleeping and strange physical and mental symptoms.

Michael went in for a soul retrieval because of significant childhood trauma. He was molested as a small child, and felt like his life went off track since that point. He had difficulty having intimate relationships and kept those around him at bay. He had a soul retrieval prior with a spiritual worker that helped him release trauma from a situation he had had as a teenager, and he was excited to continue the work. He had moved since the first soul retrieval, which was a few years prior, and so he looked up someone in his town who performed the service.

When he went in the new “shaman” said they brought back five pieces, all of difficult childhood traumas. Michael was excited to hear this, but when he went home he began to feel a well of rage come up in him. He began punching the walls in his apartment, fracturing a finger. He had the urge to flee or burn down his apartment, but at the same time he felt intense grief pour out of him to the extent that he could not move.

He spent the next three weeks in bed in a state of despair. He had memories of his childhood come up that he had not remembered, and could not cope with. He began drinking heavily and watching hours upon hours of television. Over the next three months he lost his job and his days were mainly him with a bottle and his television.

Six months later he began to have flashes of realization that what had happened was a direct result of the soul retrieval that he had from the “shaman”. Although he was still drinking and unemployed, he found me online and we set up a series of appointments to work through the issues that had been created by the “shaman” doing the retrieval.

He is now in AA and is learning meditation to gather the tools he needs to work through some of the trauma he has experienced.

In this case, the “shaman” was technically someone who was spiritually capable (a distinct difference from the first two examples). But because the spiritual worker had little experience with trauma, they were unable to help Michael because they brought back issues that he was not ready to deal with, which obviously had disastrous effects.

In Part One, we have gone over case studies of some of the people I have worked with who have suffered as a result of “shamans” performing “soul retrieval”.

In Part Two I will discuss how frequently and unfortunately I get contacted by people like this, how/why this happens, and how to tell if you have had a soul retrieval that needs to be corrected… or worked with by a more competent practitioner.

I will also discuss my thoughts on why core “shamanism” is presented as safe in terms of soul retrieval, why too many people are playing in realms that they do not understand and feel confident in doing so, why many “shamanic practitioners” grasp onto the idea that there is nothing outside the self (and everything else is lumped in with the “shadow”… which doesn’t mean what they think it does), and the harm that is created by many practitioners working with deep traumas and emotions without any sort of trauma or body-based training. I also will talk a bit about one of my specialties, which is corrective work– or essentially healing the effects of the work of other “shamans” and spiritual practitioners.