Contemporary Soul Retrieval. A Personal Perspective.


I lay down as my guide/teacher inducted me in to a deep state of awareness. She did not use the drum, she used her voice.

I travelled down the tree and further down the moss covered hallway to the door of my sanctuary where I felt safe and connected with my totem kin and my guides.

Soon I was flying back to where I had fragmented,  a part of my spirit/soul was lost since that particular trauma. Bear totem was right beside me and although I was somewhat nervous I felt contained via my teacher’s knowledge of what to do if I didn’t and reassured by the bear medicine that would protect me if I felt unsafe.

I found myself back in a place where trauma was clearly evident. I could feel my heart racing a little but also felt ready to deal with what arose. I found a fragment of my spirit hiding in a corner with my nightie pulled down hard over my inner childs knees. I asked her if she wanted to come home. She was a little hesitant so I asked Bear to go closer to her (I was into stuffed animals when little and Bears were paramount in my collection) as he did she quickly got up and Bear took her into his arms and held her close. I asked if she was ready to go home to a safe place with Bear. She quickly and willingly agreed. We all then travelled back to the sanctuary where she was fed, washed in a waterfall and nurtured by spirit kin that I trusted.

Soon came the challenging work of dealing with the person who caused the fragmentation. I was instructed to go to a safe and neutral place beyond the sanctuary with any totems or guides that I chose. As other guides and totems looked after my inner child, I called upon a primary guide, Bear and two black panthers who I was already familiar with to assist in dealing with the shadow worlds.


We travelled to a space where I saw a huge red leafed tree. I called upon the person in question and they appeared within a stone circle near me. I requested that they return anything that was taken from me, and indeed there were several qualities stolen which were returned.

I shared my feelings and stood my ground even though it was uncomfortable. I had always wanted to speak up and now I had the opportunity. It was emotionally challenging but liberating at the same time. I did not feel pushed in any way to resolve it if I felt it wasn’t time. My teacher was with me all the way encouraging, guiding and always checking on my sense of safety.

What I found interesting is that when I visualised the person as a child, the fear was greatly reduced. The power that they once had over me seemed to quickly diminish as my insight and awareness increased and they were easily guided back to their origins.

EAGLEspiritSoon after I travelled back to my sanctuary and there my fragmented inner child was waiting. I asked her if she was ready to come home to my heart and told her I would do all I could to make sure she is always safe and this sanctuary was now her home with all the love and kin that she would need. She was more than ready.

I visualized her becoming quite small and moving into my heart whilst I breathed very deeply to receive her.  Embracing her back into my being was so incredibly healing. We then worked on clearing any feelings in my body that had been stored from that time.

Later on when I came back to ordinary reality I felt a shift that I had never experienced before in any kind of healing work that I had done.  My soul was now IN my body.

I walked outside onto the  grounds and sat by the river. I cried for a long long time. It was a cry of total release and relief at my fragment coming home. I felt like I was in my body for the first time in this life. My body was finally a safe place to reside.

The emotions that one carries within the fragment has to be released so it will take a little time to clear depending on the individual, but it’s a release rather than stuck energy and that a good thing.

This was my initiation into Contemporary Shamanism. I have had traditional sessions with Shamans from different countries but nothing has compared to that session and the ones that came after in my training.


For many people going to a Shaman and allowing them to journey and find the fragment and bring it home is great, but for people like me, I need to be a conscious participant in my own healing.

I have learnt so much with this type of journeywork and its an absolute joy to journey with another as a shamanic guide and see their world, how they view their own inner stories and challenges.

The witness is alive in all aspects of this work and without the witness it can be like being on the ocean lost in a thick fog and hoping a ship will rescue you.

Soul Retrieval can also be used in clearing other lives, between life and birth…..and more.

I honour all the shamanic teachings and tools throughout the world but they must be used wisely. I am a huge advocate for finding the recipe that suits you. Each to their own medicine.

CathymclellandThis contemporary shamanic medicine that I have been taught has been my staple food for over 15 years and although I have tried other recipes of wellness and added a few extra spices to my path of service I have always found that I come back to this original recipe when dealing with major challenges.

Soul retrieval is a staple in shamanic work whether that be traditional or contemporary. If you are seeking training in shamanism. Find a teacher that you can communicate well with and make sure whatever type of recipe you choose that it resonates with your own inner pathway. Then you are not just parroting but you are creating your own recipe of spiritual wellbeing.

Soul Retrieval, Recapitulation and building on your relationship with your inner Sanctuary and totems is a great recipe for wellness. These are tools that can assist you through the challenges that life brings.

May you all travel safely both within and without.


In Heart.

For further information, International Skype consults, Shamanic Journey work, counselling, safe practices and books please go to

2 thoughts on “Contemporary Soul Retrieval. A Personal Perspective.

  1. I love your attitude about shamanism and how you advocate care in its use. I studied with Michael Harner, those classes that I wished to take. Then used it most often in the early days of the AIDS/HIV epidemic working with those who were unable to cross over.

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