Tag Archives: soul

Soul Companions – Video


Karen Sawyer the author of;

Conversations with Contemporary Wisdom Keepers - A Collection of Worldwide Spirit Encounters (Paperback) - by Karen SawyerSoul Companions, Conversations with Contemporary Wisdom Keepers – A collection of Encounters with Spirit

Has posted a very nice video on YouTube, here it is;


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Soul Companions: Conversations with Contemporary Wisdom Keepers – A Collection of Worldwide Spirit Encounters (Paperback)


Conversations with Contemporary Wisdom Keepers - A Collection of Worldwide Spirit Encounters (Paperback) - by Karen SawyerSoul Companions: Conversations with Contemporary Wisdom Keepers – A Collection of Worldwide Spirit Encounters (Paperback) – by Karen Sawyer

As our world rapidly moves towards ever greater spiritual, environmental and political challenges there is an urgent need for us to listen to the voices of respected healers, seers, visionaries and shamans whose wisdom, insights and leadership will inspire and guide us to make our planet a healthier, more peaceful and equitable place to live. For over two years, the author met and entered into profound dialogue with such remarkable people.

This unique and important work brings together over 40 of the conversations that took place, revealing that there are many dimensions of existence overlapping and permeating the world as we know it. Every one of us has spirit helpers that can guide, heal and inspire us on our journey through life.

This outstanding and intimate collection includes conversations with renowned teachers Sandra Ingerman, The Barefoot Doctor, R.J Stewart, Robert Moss, Simon Buxton, Denise Linn, Leo Rutherford, Howard G Charing, William Bloom, Philip Carr-Gomm and Llyn Roberts.

Join Karen Sawyer as she also talks with Elena Avilla, the ‘Curandera’ or curer from Mexico – Uncle Angaangaq, an Eskimo-Kalaallit Elder from Greenland – Icelandic Druid Jörmundur Ingi – Sami shaman Ailo Gaup from Norway – Rabbi Gershon Winkler, Aboriginal Jewish shaman – Tiokasin Ghosthorse, a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota – Egyptian Sufi, Master Ali Rafea – Andras Corban Arthen, ‘Cunningman’ of the Glenshire witches in Scotland and many, many more.

This treasure trove of spiritual wisdom will inspire you in your own quest for spirit guide contact with practical ‘how to’ advice. Learn how to recognise the signs and talk with the spirit beings guiding your life.

John Matthews: author of `Walkers Between Worlds
Soul Companions is a stunning book. It assembles an amazing collection of interviews with some of the finest and most unusual people from the worlds of alternative thinking and teaching. For anyone interested in the future of human growth
and development this is an absolute `must read’.”

John Perkins: New York Times bestselling author of `Confessions of an Economic Hit Man‘ and `The Secret History of the American Empire‘.
Soul Companions is an amazing and enlightening anthology of profound experiences shared between some of the world’s most revered wisdom keepers and their spirit guides. Inspiring and empowering, it lights a path for all of us to follow.”

For a full list of contributors and more about this book visit the Soul Companions Website

Visit Eagle’s Wing website for details about Leo Rutherford and Howard G Charing

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Soul, Spirit, Shaman, Shamanism, Soul Retrieval – Part 1


Soul, Spirit, Shaman, Shamanism, Soul Retrieval - Part 1Soul another name for our life force, is the power which animates our being. In our lives we can lose or become dissociated from our soul due to difficult and traumatic circumstances. This article explores the traditional shamanic practice of restoring well-being, balance, and powerful healing. This body of practices is called Soul Retrieval.

This article explores the traditional shamanic practice of restoring well-being, balance, and powerful healing. This body of practices is called Soul Retrieval.

The recapitulation of life force is the body of work, which restores or recapitulates lost life force. Soul Retrieval is one of the most well-known and effective practices to this end.

To understand how recapitulation practices work, we need to look at the multidimensional nature of reality and move away from a linear sequential perspective. From this expanded perspective, ‘anything which has ever happened to anybody, anywhere; it is still happening somewhere’. If a traumatic event occurred for a person ten, twenty and so on years ago, for that person it is still happening, and I would venture to state that it is also in some way still influencing the person’s life.

Shamanism does not dwell on past events; there is only this vast awesome ever-moving great moment of now where there is no separate past, present, or future. It is possible for a practitioner to journey and move outside of linear time to go to the place where that energetic event is still occurring for that individual, find and bring back that person’s life force which is held in that energetic event, and when this has been carried out, then the therapeutic healing of the event and it’s consequences can truly begin.

The loss of life-force is known as soul-loss, and this can take place when we suffer a trauma, have an accident, experience strong emotional exchanges with a loved one, separation from a partner, death of a loved one, go through a pervasive period of difficult circumstances. When we undergo a severe trauma typically a part of our vital nature goes away, so that we can survive what ever is happening to us. It is a way for the body and consciousness to survive severe trauma. Problems develop when the soul part or fragment does not return. It may not want to come back, or may not be able to return due to the nature of the trauma

Joseph Campbell writes in his classic work The Masks of God ‘…sickness according to shamanic theory, can be caused either by the entrance of an alien element into the body, or by the departure of the soul from the body and its imprisonment in one of the spirit regions: above, below, or beyond the rim of the world. The Shaman’s clairvoyant vision must discover its lurking place. Then riding “on the sound of his drum”, he must sail away on the wings of trance to whatever spiritual realm may harbour the soul in question, and work swiftly his deed of rescue.’

Soul, Spirit, Shaman, Shamanism, Soul Retrieval - Part 1The concept of Soul-loss , and the ceremonial retrieval of souls is found in many cultures. For example in the Tibetan Bon Shamanistic tradition, One of the most important practices performed by Tibetan shamans of the Sichen path is Soul Retrieval – Lalu (literally redeeming, or buying back the soul), and chilu, (redeeming the life-energy). These practices are widespread in the Bon tradition and also in all Tibetan Buddhist schools.

Although the terminology is different, the concept of soul-loss is a phenomenon well known to psychology. Jung recounts in his memoirs a fantasy in which his soul flew away from him, that is, the libido withdrew into the unconscious and was carrying on a secret life there. The libido representing the life-force, and the unconscious typically representing ‘the land of the dead’ .

There are a number of symptoms of soul-loss, for example, when people feel that they are observing life as an outsider, rather than engaging and being fully involved. Other common symptoms are when people feel that they are being ‘spaced’ out a lot of the time, not really here. Other symptoms that indicate possible soul loss are life-themes such as a pervasive fear, inability to trust people. I have also found that a severe depression can also be a symptom of soul loss. Chronic illness may also be a symptom of soul loss. This directly relates to Power. In the shamanic worldview, power and maintaining health go hand in hand, if the body is power-full, there is no room for illness or disease, which are often regarded as an invasive force.

In my practice I have worked with many people who had done considerable work on the original trauma, but still were stuck in this. One of the differences between Soul Retrieval and some modern Western psychological systems is that Soul Retrieval focuses on the return and integration of the lost life-force, rather than focus on the original trauma itself. In my view Soul Retrieval and therapy work very well together, the best combination being first the recapitulation of the lost life-force, followed by a therapeutic approach to support the person through the process of working with released feelings and emotional energy which can be uncomfortable and even raw for the individual. This release and subsequent experiencing of the emotions is a fundamental part of the whole healing process, and I cannot stress this enough.

This healing process leads to what I call the union of the life force, when the person can then move forward in their life without being anchored to the past, and live a life of creativity and productivity.

Click to view Eagle’s Wing website www.shamanism.co.uk

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The Shaman’s Path – the Adventure of Self Discovery


There is a lot of discussion and opinion on what a shaman is. The word itself is rooted in the word šaman from the Tungus people in central Asia. Definitions vary greatly in modern society, this varies from people who enjoy trancing out to music at dances and ‘tribal’ gatherings calling themselves shamans to a very precise definition as per Mercia Eliade who in his book Shamanism – Archaic techniques of ecstasy specifically defines the term shaman as distinct from medicine man, sorcerer, healer, diviner, magician, herbalist and so on. Eliade’s specific differentiation is that the shaman who may be and practice all of the above is defined as, “the shaman specialises in a trance during which his soul is believed to leave his body and ascend to the sky or descend to the underworld”. This definition is sometimes employed in a strict sense, and appears to me to be limiting in scope. To me a shaman means more than that definition.

To quote Joan Halifax from her book Shamanic Voices; “The shaman, a mystical, priestly, and political figure emerging during the Upper Palaeolithic period and perhaps going back to Neanderthal times, can be described not only as a specialist in the human soul but also as a generalist whose sacred and social functions can cover an extraordinarily wide range of activities. Shamans are healers, seers, and visionaries who have mastered death. They are in communication with the world of gods and spirits. Their bodies can be left behind while they fly to unearthly realms. They are poets and singers. They dance and create works of art. They are not only spiritual leaders but also the judges and politicians, sacred and secular. They are familiar with cosmic as well as physical geography; they know the ways of plants and animals, and the elements. They are psychologists, entertainers, and food finders. Above all, however shamans are technicians of the sacred and masters of ecstasy.”

Leo Rutherford in his book The Shamanic Path Workbook, also sees a shaman from an inclusive and holistic perspective. He defines a shaman as “someone who has fully walked the path of transformation and chosen to become a healer, helper, seer, prophet, in service to the people”.

The most important and consistent point in all the above views is the emphasis on community, whether healing, divining, or prophesising, it is done in service to others. Shamanism is not shamanism if done in isolation.

Contemporary Shamanism

Shamanism has always been a way for living as humans in relationship to all things on our planet Earth. Some thousands of years ago at the dawn of human civilisation a quantum change happened to this way of being. It was not the introduction of religion but something far more powerful, the shift from a hunter gathering and ad-hoc horticultural society to agriculture. This change had enormous consequences. From being in relation to all things; we became the ‘managers’ of the living world. The ways of animal husbandry, crop rotation and irrigation of fields led to permanent settlements, the human tribes no longer had to follow the migration of the animals and foraging for plants, we could have it all in one place! The early civilisations started, from where the social and religious structures, systems, and worldviews (many of which we still experience today) came into existence.

The ancients knew and experienced that there is an energy normally invisible, which connects all that exists, and they lived with the knowledge of this energy and how to use it. This concept of the inter-relationship and understanding that man is a part of nature, not separate to it, a part of the connecting energy has been expressed in many ways and in many cultures but unfortunately not in ours.
The separation in Western society from the natural world with it’s accompanying myth of man having “dominion over all living things”, has led to spiritual disconnection from the universal energy field. At some level we are aware of this, and many are experiencing a heart-led desire to reconnect to the universal field of energy and consciousness which we are part of.

Many people are being drawn to spiritual paths such as shamanism as one of the ways to meet this deeply felt desire, to heal the pain of separation, and rejoice in the ecstatic beauty and possibilities of simply being alive on this rich and beautiful planet.

Shamanism contains time tested healing practices, ceremony and teachings to support people in this re-balancing of themselves. These practices are fundamentally healing, not only for the physical body but also for our inner sense of being and our soul. However the challenge is to build a bridge between the ancient wisdom and practices in such a way as to be useful , effective and meaningful to the modern Western individual.

One of the most significant separations between modern Western approaches and the shamanic approach is one of perspective i.e. between energy and physicality. From the shamanic perspective you could say that we (and everything else) are fields of energy, and the actuality that we experience as the physical world is but the description of our physical senses rather than being an absolute inherent fact. In some respects quantum physics is now pointing in the same direction as have the ancient shamans for forty thousand years.

In shamanic Healing we work with energy. Another word for this energy is life-force, soul, or the ‘vital nature’, and in shamanism there are many traditional ways of healing working with soul or life-force. It comes to fundamental questions and challenges to what is reality. This fundamental conception is so vast, that it seems that it can only be described in terms of metaphor.

“Nature shows us only the tail of the lion. But I do not doubt the lion belongs to it even though he cannot at once reveal himself because of his enormous size”.

Albert Einstein

<b>The Path of the Shaman</b>

The distillation of shamanism in the 21st century is the recognition that we and our god (whom we have made in our image) are not separate from creation, but discrete aware elements in a vast unending timeless ocean of consciousness and energy, and that we are all connected to each other, simply because we are each other.

All the traditional and indigenous shamans that I have encountered share one unifying characteristic , they will do whatever is required to help a person into health and well-being by catalysing in one way or another that persons inner belief system, to guide change in that persons reality so that they come to feel and ‘know’ that they will get well. This is just as important as the ‘real’ and tangible medicine work. They know that we are greater than we have been led to believe we are, and can influence and co-create our ‘reality’. Creative visualisation and other practices to influence the unfolding of our lives are not new-age, they are very much ‘old-age’ and belong to all of us. If we go back in our ancestral lineage, you would find that we all came from shamanic cultures, it is our birthright.

One of the beautiful aspects of shamanism is that it is a true spiritual democracy; there are no priests, no hierarchy. We all have the same rights of access to the universal field of love , life-force and consciousness because that’s where we are at. We have just forgotten it.

Howard G. Charing, is an accomplished international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organises specialist retreats to the Amazon Rainforest He is the author of the best selling book, Plant Spirit Shamanism (Destiny Books USA), and has published numerous articles about plant medicines.

click to visit Eagle´s Wing website

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Soul Retrieval – Healing and Shamanism


Soul Retrieval – Shamanism and Healing.

Soul Retrieval - Healing and Shamanism

The recapitulation of life force is the body of work, which restores or recapitulates lost life force. Soul Retrieval is one of the most well-known and effective practices to this end.

To understand how recapitulation practices work, we need to look at the multidimensional nature of reality and move away from a linear sequential perspective. From this expanded perspective, ‘anything which has ever happened to anybody, anywhere; it is still happening somewhere’. If a traumatic event occurred for a person ten, twenty and so on years ago, for that person it is still happening, and I would venture to state that it is also in some way still influencing the person’s life.

Shamanism does not dwell on past events; there is only this vast awesome ever-moving great moment of now where there is no separate past, present, or future. It is possible for a practitioner to journey and move outside of linear time to go to the place where that energetic event is still occurring for that individual, find and bring back that person’s life force which is held in that energetic event, and when this has been carried out, then the therapeutic healing of the event and it’s consequences can truly begin.

The loss of life-force is known as soul-loss, and this can take place when we suffer a trauma, have an accident, experience strong emotional exchanges with a loved one, separation from a partner, death of a loved one, go through a pervasive period of difficult circumstances. When we undergo a severe trauma typically a part of our vital nature goes away, so that we can survive what ever is happening to us. It is a way for the body and consciousness to survive severe trauma. Problems develop when the soul part or fragment does not return. It may not want to come back, or may not be able to return due to the nature of the trauma

Joseph Campbell writes in his classic work The Masks of God ‘…sickness according to shamanic theory, can be caused either by the entrance of an alien element into the body, or by the departure of the soul from the body and its imprisonment in one of the spirit regions: above, below, or beyond the rim of the world. The Shaman’s clairvoyant vision must discover its lurking place. Then riding “on the sound of his drum”, he must sail away on the wings of trance to whatever spiritual realm may harbour the soul in question, and work swiftly his deed of rescue.’

The concept of Soul-loss , and the ceremonial retrieval of souls is found in many cultures. For example in the Tibetan Bon Shamanistic tradition, One of the most important practices performed by Tibetan shamans of the Sichen path is Soul Retrieval – Lalu (literally redeeming, or buying back the soul), and chilu, (redeeming the life-energy). These practices are widespread in the Bon tradition and also in all Tibetan Buddhist schools.

Although the terminology is different, the concept of soul-loss is a phenomenon well known to psychology. Jung recounts in his memoirs a fantasy in which his soul flew away from him, that is, the libido withdrew into the unconscious and was carrying on a secret life there. The libido representing the life-force, and the unconscious typically representing ‘the land of the dead’ .

There are a number of symptoms of soul-loss, for example, when people feel that they are observing life as an outsider, rather than engaging and being fully involved. Other common symptoms are when people feel that they are being ‘spaced’ out a lot of the time, not really here. Other symptoms that indicate possible soul loss are life-themes such as a pervasive fear, inability to trust people. I have also found that a severe depression can also be a symptom of soul loss. Chronic illness may also be a symptom of soul loss. This directly relates to Power. In the shamanic worldview, power and maintaining health go hand in hand, if the body is power-full, there is no room for illness or disease, which are often regarded as an invasive force.

In my practice I have worked with many people who had done considerable work on the original trauma, but still were stuck in this. One of the differences between Soul Retrieval and some modern Western psychological systems is that Soul Retrieval focuses on the return and integration of the lost life-force, rather than focus on the original trauma itself. In my view Soul Retrieval and therapy work very well together, the best combination being first the recapitulation of the lost life-force, followed by a therapeutic approach to support the person through the process of working with released feelings and emotional energy which can be uncomfortable and even raw for the individual. This release and subsequent experiencing of the emotions is a fundamental part of the whole healing process, and I cannot stress this enough.

This healing process leads to what I call the union of the life force, when the person can then move forward in their life without being anchored to the past, and live a life of creativity and productivity.

<b>Life After Soul Retrieval</b>

When the soul-fragments are returned, the memories and emotions associated with the departure of the soul fragment may also return. Although this may not always be a comfortable experience, it is a sign that healing is taking place. The experiencing of the emotions and feelings although they may have not been felt prior to the Soul Retrieval , the effects are still working, but at a deeply unconscious level i.e. a place of the not known. The person may have been experiencing a chronic and pervasive depression, yet not able to come to grips with this. Soul Retrieval works very well with other therapies. A therapist can only work with the parts of the person which are there, it is an encouraging development that people are now coming to Soul Retrieval sessions accompanied by their therapist.

The most common immediate response after a Soul Retrieval , is that the recipient feels that they are more ‘full’, that there is more of them. They may even experience the density of the body to have changed.

It is important to recognise, that each person is different and everybody will react differently after a Soul Retrieval. Some may feel heavier, bigger, happier, angry, sad, laughing, or perhaps nothing for a few weeks. My observation is that most people will experience a change within a two week period, two weeks seems to be the magic number when the person really feels the effect. It is important to trust the persons psyche completely.

The only role that the recipient has is to receive the healing. It is important that they keep open, and concentrate on staying open to receive this energy – that is their only task.

After Soul Retrieval , recipients should allow themselves space to be with the returned life-force. For some it may be quiet reflection, others may want to be in nature, in the countryside , in the parks. Nature is a wonderful healer, being in nature, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, of the Earth, will help the soul-parts to integrate with the recipient.

Howard G. Charing, is an accomplished international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organises specialist retreats to the Amazon Rainforest at the dedicated centre located in the Mishana nature reserve. He is the author of the best selling book, Plant Spirit Shamanism (Destiny Books USA).

Visit our website for workshops and training in Soul Retrieval

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