A shaman during a shamanic soul retrieval.

Trauma impacts every facet of a person’s being. From the physical to the emotional, a single traumatic event can be the seed that grows into a lifetime of pain, disconnection, and fear.

There are multiple modern and traditional healing modalities that focus on resolving trauma, and shamanic soul retrieval is one of the most ancient and effective methods.

What is Soul Retrieval?

The term “shamanic soul retrieval” can be a little confusing, especially for someone who has grown up with an Abrahamic-based idea of the soul. It’s important to understand how trauma impacts the soul first.

In shamanism, a person’s vital, spiritual essence has a way of protecting itself from trauma. During a traumatic event, part of the soul may splinter off to avoid experiencing it.

This piece of the soul would ideally re-integrate once the trauma is over, but this doesn’t always happen. If it remains lost, that loss is part of what causes the long-term effects of trauma.

In a soul retrieval, the healer undertakes a shamanic journey to go get it back and reunite it with the rest of the patient’s vital essence. Once this reunion has taken place, healing can begin.

Many people report feeling better immediately after the soul retrieval. For other people, the retrieval is the catalyst that allows other therapies to work more effectively.

How Does Soul Retrieval Work?

Shamanic journeys are never completely safe. In shamanism, not all spirits are helpful — some are bored, and delight in tricking humans, while others are actively malicious and enjoy causing harm. Soul retrieval is no different.

Unfortunately for a lot of people, trauma is often caused by another person. This means that a portion of that person’s spirit may take a piece of their victim’s vital essence hostage.

It’s similar to the saying that “hurt people, hurt people” — the perpetrator lost part of their soul through trauma, and goes in search of other souls to try to feel whole again.

This means that the shaman must bargain or even trick the perpetrator’s spirit into releasing the piece of the victim’s soul.

Sometimes, pieces of a person’s vital essence are simply lost and wandering in the spirit worlds. In those cases, the shaman has to track them down to bring them back.

They may need to ask spirit guides to aid them in their search, or even disguise themselves in order to enter dangerous parts of non-ordinary reality.

Once the shaman has the lost piece of a person’s soul, they return to the physical world. This piece of the soul is then generally blown back into its host at the conclusion of the ritual.

At this point, the person can begin the work of re-integrating the soul back into their psyche.

See also: Check out the current top 100 Best-Selling Shamanism books in the USA here.

Soul Retrieval Benefits

Every person’s trauma is different, and so is their healing process. Likewise, people respond differently to soul retrieval.

Some benefits of soul retrieval include:

  • Better decision-making.
  • Responding to stress vs. reacting to it.
  • Feeling more connected and present.
  • Breaking old behavior patterns.
  • Removing phobias.
  • Removing limiting beliefs.
  • Better self-understanding.
  • Healing illness.
  • Better ability to maintain healthy lifestyle changes.
  • Feeling more balanced, centered, and in control.

Soul Retrieval After Effects

Just like the benefits of soul retrieval can vary, so can the after effects.

The most commonly reported after effects of soul retrieval are:

  • A feeling of peace.
  • Feeling more grounded and present in the physical body.
  • A sense of wholeness.
  • A feeling of joy.
  • Overwhelming emotion.
  • Heightened energy and liveliness.
  • A sense of clarity about life, habits, and relationships.

It should be emphasized that soul retrieval is just the beginning — while shamanism can help people continue to heal their trauma, it’s up to the individual to do the psychological work necessary for a successful re-integration.

Getting Started With Soul Retrieval

Soul retrieval — and shamanic journeying in general — isn’t something that’s easy for a beginner to do right off the bat. While it’s certainly possible (and, in some cases, preferable) for a person to retrieve lost parts of their own soul and heal their trauma, this skill should be taught by an experienced shaman.

Fortunately, there are many online resources for those interested in undergoing a soul retrieval. Interested parties can look for a shaman in their area, or join a class to learn how to perform the ritual themselves.

Metaphysical shops also often have business cards or contacts with shamans and other healers, and may be of some assistance.

During the soul retrieval itself, the shaman does the bulk of the work. The patient’s role comes afterwards, when its time to re-integrate parts of their vital essence back into their psyche. This can be done in a variety of ways, from conventional psychology, to shamanism, to other spiritual practices.

Many people who have experienced trauma are prescribed psychiatric medication to help them deal with it. While soul retrieval is effective, it isn’t a substitute. If you are currently taking medication, talk to your doctor before making any changes to your dosage.

If a shaman insists that you must be medication-free before undergoing a soul retrieval, find one who is willing to work with you where you are, without making changes to your medication first. Once you’re in a better place, you and your doctor can make any necessary adjustments.


Shamanism is a way of healing and balancing humans and their environment, including the difficult internal struggles brought on by trauma. Soul retrieval is the shaman’s tool for undoing some of the damage that trauma causes.


As an Amazon Associate, Terravara earns from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to readers.