Aemen and I were speaking about Soul Loss tonight and I felt inspired to write some thoughts about it. If you're unfamiliar with the term, I'll try to break it down. Though I'm unsure of the origin, I know many pagan peoples have used it over the span of time through different words, stories, and representations. Soul Loss is an event where the soul leaves the person. This is totally different than Spirit. Spirit is the connection to the divine, whereas Soul is our unique "fingerprint" that is us and only us. You can never truly lose your Spirit, but your Soul can fly away.
Trauma is the major catalyst for Soul Loss. I'm finding more and more that my clients, family, friends and others I encounter are dealing with Soul Loss. It's quite common actually. The media gets into our heads, our parents hurt us when we're children, our hearts get broken when we're forming our egos and sexual identities as teenagers, we feel isolated around technology - the list goes on and on.
All of these unavoidable events, in the modern world, are traumas. In the old world, proper rituals, rites of passages, and sacred practices would be used to help iron out the pain, make sense of the loss, and honor the new phase of one's life as an initiation to a more exciting chapter. There was more sense of community in the old world as well. A tight net of love and support to make us feel safe, secure, and accepted.
Soul Loss has so many symptoms: depression, weight gain, addiction, psychological blocks, disease, lack of identity, etc. Quite often, to retrieve one's Soul, it is important to make yourself feel secure, loved, and acceptable. I find in my own experience, as well as in the experiences of countless others, that a character is created when we're very young to protect us and guard our Soul so that we don't lose it during trauma. This character or this defense mechanism throws our Soul into a mason jar, tightens the lid, and hides it from us so well that we cannot remember where we put it, what it looks like, or how to get it back. This kind of Soul Loss requires us to learn how to trust ourselves, love ourselves more deeply, and truly believe that we deserve the best.
We have to use shamanic practices, psychological practices, and dietary practices to slowly make our Souls feel safe in our bodies again. We need our bodies to physically feel fit and powerful through a healthy diet. We need our emotional pool to be clean and pure by expressing what is underneath through art, talk therapy, crying, or intellectualize the situations. We also need some kind of sacred practice that releases the old self, the old patterns, and the old blocks through means of shamanic therapy, crystal healing, meditation, or hypnosis.
Working on the level of mind, body, and Spirit can heal so many things and return us to our original, beautiful states where we are unscathed, have a healthy ego, and can genuinely believe in and love ourselves. Once we accomplish this, we begin to treat others with that same compassion and love. It is then that our communities begin healing and our World begins healing.
Remember, we are all trying to keep in touch with our Souls each and every day. Through every shallow advertisement, every time we feel abandoned, when we lose someone special, when we are in a poor state of health, when we feel lonely - whenever we feel scared. If we can remember this, then we can truly have more patience with one another and ourselves.
This is just one simply idea of Soul Loss and Soul Recovery. Perhaps this image of our Winter creek can fill your eyes with beauty, your heart with rest, and your mind with ease.