What is Soul Retrieval?

Updated: Jan 26, 2020

Today, in continuation of our 2020 Healing Series, we're going to be taking a look at the ancient art of soul retrieval, and recontextualizing it for modern times. First thing's first, let's start off with the basics.

What is soul retrieval?

Soul retrieval is the process of retrieving pieces of one's soul, or consciousness, that have been relegated to the subconscious realms. This relegation often happens as a defense mechanism in the face of traumatic events. When this happens, the conscious mind becomes split, or fragmented, which then prevents the soul from existing in its natural state of wholeness.

Why is soul retrieval important?

When our consciousness is split, fragments from the unconscious often wreak havoc in our conscious lives. This can manifest as self-sabotage, unexplained fears, inability to properly manifest, and an unidentifiable sense of malaise.

Fragmentation can happen to anyone, at any time in their life. For many people, it happens everyday. When we deny the truth of who we are, we fragment ourselves. When we change our behavior to fit in or please others, we fragment ourselves. When we turn away from our soul's authentic expression, we fragment and split, hiding the truth of who we are in a place where other's can't see it. Where others can't hurt it and, by extension, hurt us.

Little do we realize that in denying the truth of ourselves--in denying our soul's light to shine through--we are the ones who end up hurting ourselves far more than anyone else ever could.

Can I retrieve my soul?

Yes! Back in the day, we believed we needed to go through an intermediary in order to retrieve forgotten fragments. Shamans, trained to walk between the seen and unseen realms, would enter the subconscious in order to retrieve a soul. As extensions of the Universe, however, we all have (and have always had) a direct link to the spirit realms, and we are free to enter them as we please.

In fact, we travel through spirit realms everyday--or night, rather, when we dream.

In the dream state, once we have surrendered resistance to our spiritual essence, our souls are free to travel through different dimensions. When we dream that we are traveling, be it through bus, boat, or even the New York City Subway, that is our souls' way of communicating this dimensional shift.

So how can I retrieve fragments of my soul?

By "going back and getting it."

Image Credit: Adobe Spark

This is the Sankofa bird. The Sankofa bird is a symbol of remembrance from the Akan tribe of Ghana that reminds us "it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot (source)." While traditionally associated with remembering our history and holding onto our roots, the Sankofa principle has always stood out to me as a powerful reminder that "it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot--" in this case: your soul.

It is never too late to "go back and get it," and you will always have the power and the right to do so.

Okay, girl, but how??

There are infinite ways that one can retrieve the fragments of their soul, all with their own varying degrees of complexity. I believe the simplest way to retrieve a lost aspect of consciousness is by doing meditative work wherein you return to the moment where you fragmented your soul and insert your present self into the situation in order to help and to heal your past self in the moment or timeframe they are fragmented.

For example: I experienced fragmentation during my middle school experience. As one of a handful of black students in a majority white school, I found my glaring difference to be a source of great shame and pain. Things connected to blackness, like rap and urban streetwear, were demonized, and I did everything I could to separate myself from my blackness--to separate myself from me.

This is an example of fragmentation--of splitting my consciousness into a "black side" and a "non-black side," and then locking the "black side" away.

In order to retrieve those fragments, I can go back to that time, bringing the fullness of who I currently am with me. I can show up for my middle school self and show her there is nothing wrong with who she is; I can fortify her with the knowledge that things will get better, and that she should never be ashamed of who she is. I can show her who I am--all that she is, and all she will become. I can hold space for her as I hold her, and I can heal her pain and mine.

In essence, I can love my younger self in the moments where I didn't love her. In the moments where I abandoned her by turning my back on myself.

In this case, soul retrieval can be as simple as interacting with my younger self, and giving her the courage, love, and validation she lacked.

Want to learn more?

Join me for next week's post, a guided meditation, where we will journey back to a moment in our respective childhoods where we forgot ourselves, and where we will bring these aspects back into light...into life.

I hope to see you there.

All my love,




© 2023 Sister Shaman