Pagans have this really bad habit of latching on to a practice that they know fuck all about and then using and abusing it obsessively. Sometimes it’s just painful to watch the stupid play out and other times it is actually concerning.
Soul retrieval is in the latter category.
Soul retrieval is dangerous. It shouldn’t be done by the inexperienced and it shouldn’t be done alone. It should be done with ready access to a mental health carer of some form because the fall out can be pretty huge.
Soul’s don’t just randomly fragment. A piece of your soul isn’t going to randomly vanish. Soul’s fragment due to trauma. Big trauma or ongoing trauma, but not by attaching yourself to a person, place or thing in a fairly normal manner and then leaving it or having it taken away. That’s a different thing entirely and I’ll get to it in a minute. The point right now is that a fragmented soul involves trauma, and when you re-absorb that fragment you are suddenly going to be dealing with the effects of that trauma in ways that you’ve not had to deal with before…
Welcome to mental break down land. Which is why experienced practitioners, experienced psychologists and a whole lot of care is required. This is not shit you do at home, kids. It’s also not what the pagans I see talking about soul retrieval are actually talking about.
That? There is nothing there that even hints at the need for soul retrieval. It hints a lot at the general unease we all have when we realise how much we’ve changed and how it’s not in the direction we’d have liked. The author also talks about really ingraining that place and time into herself…
What she’s done is lain down lines to that place, and that time, that are holding her there in a manner that will drag her back there. She put out the line and sunk the hook in very deep without realising what she was doing. What she needs to do isn’t try and find some missing fragment of her soul, but rather remove those hooks and bring the lines of energy she’s sent out back into herself or at least enough of them that her relationship with that place and time is more natural and less inclined to hold her there.
This hooking oneself to something, somewhere or someone and needing to loosen the hooks and reabsorb the lines of connection is what most people are actually talking about when they’re babbling on about soul retrieval.
And on to something helpful and practical:
I’m not going to try to do a complicated how to here, but for me I see the lines as literal ropes of energy with a big fishing hook attached. To remove them I simply unhook the hook mentally and pull it all back inside of me. In some cases, like the end of a mutual relationship, you’ll find that you’re not only hooked to the person but the person has attached themselves to you. In these cases pull their hooks out of you and cast the lines back at them. It’ll be up to them to reabsorb them…
I found in the case of my last, unhealthy, relationship that my former partner managed to reattach himself a couple of times because of his obsessive behaviour. So keep an eye out for that. In general it’s worth keeping an eye on what you’ve attached yourself to, or allowed to be attached to you just because.
Self care, it’s good for you.