I will begin this article with two fundamental descriptive definitions of Spirit and Soul.
So very often I hear people speak of Spirit and Soul interchangeably; at other times I find that when discussing Spirit and Soul we are using fully different references, resulting in confusion.
The definitions that follow are, for the sake of clarity, what I mean when using the terms Spirit or Soul.
Spirit is pure, eternal and non-corruptible. Awareness is the nature of Spirit.
The essence of Spirit is frequency. In manifest form it is expressed as light and resonance. As the frequency of Spirit interpenetrates a field of life force (Soul) it sets that field resonating in a range of vibratory patterns that are made manifest as matter.
Awareness in manifest form is expressed as Consciousness.
Soul is comprised of life force and carries the imprint of experience and intent that is imparted to it by Spirit and the Body/Mind consciousness.
This imprint is carried from lifetime to lifetime, though not always in conscious memory. Soul-force is mutable, that is it can be affected upon to be either life-positive or life-negative.
This alteration occurs as a consequence of life experiences that may bring forth either joy or pain. Joy is the direct felt-experience of Spirit's activation of our life force moving and pulsing through our body.
When we act, choose or are influenced in a manner that is contradictory to our Spirit's purpose we experience pain.
An investigation into the nature of the Soul is paramount in our understanding of how we can most effectively come into alignment with our Spirit's desire.
The function of the Soul is to guide and direct the Body/Mind consciousness, the ego, into a path of life that allows for the Spirit to best express itself. Spirit impels the Soul as to the direction it needs to take.
The natural impelling drive of the Soul is towards change, movement and growth in attunement with the Spirit's desire. This drive is experienced by every one of us as Death. That is, to the invested ego-consciousness any movement towards change, a relinquishment of the status quo of our attitudes and cherished beliefs, is perceived by the Body/Mind consciousness as an impending death.
When the impelling drive of the Soul towards change is thwarted by our entrenched attitudes and attachments the force of that drive rebounds upon itself, now coming forth as a compulsion to suicide.
By suicide I do not necessarily mean an overt and conscious attempt to kill one's self, but rather a panoply of self-destructive behaviors and conditions arise, for the Soul will have its way, even if it means removing the current Body/Mind out of the picture in order to provide the Spirit with another chance, through incarnation in a new life, in order to proceed with the Spirit's desire to bring it's purpose forth in manifest expression.
An example of this drive of the Soul to affect change, and what happens when that change is denied by our Body/Mind, may help to elucidate this information:
When we are in a situation where we have acted in contradiction to our Spirit's desire, we experience a twang of conscience. When we suppress the message that conscience conveys, ignore it and carry on in spite of it, then we feel shame and guilt.
Conscience is the Soul acting upon our Consciousness to bring alignment with our Spirit back into balance. Guilt and shame are the consequences of Soul denied.
Imagine the three Souls as being one side of a hinge, the Body and Mind comprising the matching other side of that hinge.
When the Souls and Body/Mind are in alignment with each other the hinge pin of the Spirit can fit through, allowing the hinge to serve its intended purpose. If something is out of alignment, whether it be the Body, the Mind or one of the Souls, the hinge pin may still fit through, but the hinge squeaks and creaks.
In these situations there will be dysfunction in the corresponding arena of the person's life.
If a hinge piece is missing or bent way out of center, the pin of Spirit is unable to fit through. When this occurs there will be the resultant disability of the individual's life and experience and incapability of function in that area of life.
This is not a black and white situation. The affected person may function quite fine intellectually, for example, but be fully dysfunctional emotionally.
Every person has their own Spirit's path. The choices we make, as well as the circumstances that befall us in life, and how we handle them, determine our alignment with our Spirit's path.
Poor choices and unfortunate situations of violation and the disrespect of our sanctity, the manipulations allowed by us in our state of not knowing better, divert us from harmonious congruence with our Spirit's calling. To the degree that we diverge from our path we create a separation between our life and spiritual calling.
It is in the gap between our life and Spirit that dysfunction, disease and despair find fertile ground.
Soul seeks to draw us back into alignment with that path. When we experience those difficulties and impediments in our life, when we are plagued with misfortune, ill health and dysfunction, these are often indicators that we are out of alignment with our Souls' Calling.
The appropriate resolve is to bring our life, through our choices, into a greater alignment with our Spirit's purpose.
When we can recognize the course that our life would follow were we to surrender into the Soul's movement to bring about change, we are in a greater awareness of what the purpose of our Spirit might be.
THE SOUL'S DESIGN
We have three Souls, or aspects of one Soul:
the Earth Soul
the Underworld Soul (Dream Soul)
the Celestial Soul (High Self)
The Earth Soul is the one that we communicate with on a day-to-day basis and is the residing place of our short-term memory.
With this Soul we make connections in a logical manner, recognizing patterns and associations and grounding these perceptions into the Body/Mind as conscious awareness.
The Underworld Soul, or Dream Soul, is the Soul from which we dream. As our senses shut down at night our attentions shifts into the Dream Soul. Our remembered experiences of this Soul and its activities are what are translated to us in the waking state as dreams.
It is within the Underworld Soul that we store our life force that we generate each and every day. This charge of life force, or Power, as we refer to it Shamanically, resonates with our thoughts, feelings, impressions, experiences and perceptions; that is, memories. The Underworld Soul is the place where our long-term memories are stored.
Our Celestial Soul is the High Self through which we receive spiritual guidance and direction in our lives.
When our attention is moved into the Celestial Soul we experience flying dreams, dreams of the transcendental and visions which alter our perceptions of, and approaches to, life forevermore.
LOSS OF SOUL
Trauma, neglect of our basic needs, the experience of not being received into the world with honor and joy, loss of consciousness, such as in a blow to the head or severe black-outs due to drugs and alcohol, all can instigate a condition we recognize as a loss of the Soul.
When we exist in life with an aspect of our Soul disconnected or missing we suffer the consequential disruptions and difficulties that arise from being only partially 'here'.
The nature of the specific dysfunction is determined by which Soul has departed.
When the Earth Soul leaves the person experiences,
unable to fully make logical connections between events and data,
and a strong sense of not being whole.
Short-term memory is hazardous; the individual chronically forgetful, unable to remember the name of a person just met, where the keys to the car are placed, unable to recall the message of the last paragraph just read.
When the Earth Soul is gone the Underworld Soul moves from its native position in the Dream Realm and takes up residence in the place of the Earth Soul. As a consequence the individual often finds that life's daily events take on a dream-like quality, as if one were moving through a theatre production.
Walking into a social situation the person whose Earth Soul has been replaced by the Dream Soul has an overwhelming intuitive understanding of the mythic dynamics of the interactions they are greeted with.
Minor events take on connotations of high significance.
While we all have moments of this type of perceptual capability, the person whose Earth Soul is missing must live in the non-ordinary world each and every moment and usually finds it very disconcerting.
If it is the Underworld Soul that is disconnected or missing the symptoms are very distinct from that of a person's experience of their Earth Soul being gone. As the Underworld Soul is the point of attention from which we dream, the person has dream difficulty.
This difficulty may be an inability to recall dreams, or having no dreams at all.
Dreams may be disturbing, dreams of being chased, imprisoned, tortured, lost and adrift, unable to find one's way back home. As the Underworld Soul is the storehouse of our Power, when that Soul is out of sync we no longer have easy access to the life force stored there. (This is rather like having money in your bank account, but you have lost your ATM card and can no longer readily withdraw what you need to survive.)
As a result we are lacking in energy to accomplish life's daily tasks, can't seem to get the passion fired up, living in a state of malaise. Neither do we have the life force charge to maintain our health; we become susceptible to colds, the flu, infections and the like.
It is this life force field that resonates with emotive thoughts, feelings, experiences and impressions: the stuff of memories. When the Underworld Soul is in a state of disconnect we suffer from long-term memory loss.
Specific chunks of our past may be blank or hazy when we consider them.
Our Celestial Soul, through which we receive spiritual guidance and direction in the unfoldment of our lives, carries the blueprint of who we are in this life. The Celestial Soul imparts the direct desire of the Spirit into our field of consciousness.
The Celestial Soul can also be called upon to act in our favor, recreating the circumstances and events of our lives in accordance with our intent. However, it can only do so when given a clear directive, as in a vow.
An example of this is,
"I choose radiant and vibrant health!".
With this statement of intent-full desire the High Self can then engage the forces of Creation to bring them into alignment with that desire.
The Celestial Soul awaits such direction. Its fulfillment comes in responding to our desire. In order for the High Soul to be able to respond, though, requires that we state clearly and unequivocally our intent.
If we state:
"I want to be happy",
...the Celestial Soul cannot act, for all we have done is engage in wishful thinking.
What we may want is not the same always as that which we choose. And, in addition, when we use the phrase 'to be', we are putting our desire out there some other time in the future.
"I want to be happy," begs the question of "When?"
We must make our communication with our High Self in a positively phrased statement free of ambiguity, grounded in the present moment.
Conversely, to say "I am happy!" as if by stating our desire like it is already true, well, that is just plain lying. The response of the Soul to our lies is to withdraw, leaving us worse off than before.
In the contemporary cultures of today's world we are not taught the proper usage of language for commune with our Soul, if such a concept even exists!
The original intent and purpose of the gift of Language is for intimate commune with our own Soul, a means of bridging the chasm that exists between Body/Mind consciousness and Awareness.
Next then is Language a vehicle for communing between your Soul and mine and another's.
Only somewhere way down the line is Language intended as a way of transmitting data and information. Unfortunately the tables have been turned so that the emphasis, nay, the only use of language, is to convey mere data.
To reclaim this knowledge, and put it into practice, is to reclaim our rightful heritage as spiritual beings!
When, through trauma or neglect, the Earth Soul departs from integration with the other two Souls, becomes disanchored from the Body/Mind, it tends to stay here in the earthly domain, in the realm of physical construct. In essence it becomes a ghost.
Almost always the Earth Soul will retreat to a place, an environs, in which the person had come to associate a feeling of safety, acceptance and security.
This might be a tree that as a child the individual would climb high into to 'get away from it all', a favorite creek-side 'special place' where no one would find freedom from being bothered.
Or the Earth Soul may find that place of security in Gramma's house, away from the turmoil and abuse of our parental home. For some, who come into utero and find violence and rage awaits them; they may even retreat back into the 'In-Between Place' between one incarnation and the next.
Wherever the person identifies as 'safe', the Earth Soul will go.
Rehabilitation of the Earth Soul back into integration with the other Souls and the Body/Mind requires that the Soul first be located. As the Soul that is lost has not matured beyond the age at which it departed, it must be entreated with care, so as to not frighten it. It must be lovingly convinced that it is safe to go home.
When rapprochement has been reached between the Soul Retriever and the Earth Soul itself, arrangements must then be made with the Spirits who have been taking care of the lost Soul.
Very frequently the caretaker Beings have adopted the Soul as one of their own. It is with both joy, in seeing that the Soul will finally get to return to its rightful place of being, and sadness, at the leaving from their midst a loved one, that these Earth Spirits find themselves. Offerings and vows, on behalf of the person who is experiencing the reintegration, to maintain a healthy continued contact with these loving Beings, are necessarily made.
With a full and complete reintegration brought forth, the person, once disconnected and spacey, will immediately begin to feel whole and present.
Retrieval of the Underworld Soul brings with it its own unique set of variables. When the Underworld Soul is slammed out of sync, again through trauma, abuse, loss of consciousness, the death of a close and loved companion or family member, or anything which will thrust one into a state of shock, it departs into the realm of Dream.
The Dream World's essence is that of symbol, myth and correlative significance.
When we are dreaming everything that transpires is quite real to us. It is only upon awakening that we, sometimes with a swipe of the brow and a sigh of relief, are able to declare that 'it was just a dream'.
Whilst in the dream, there is no such escapism. In the Dream World everything we have engendered in life is met in its symbolic manifestation. Fears show up as monsters, guilts as demons. The love we have brought into existence appears as angelic beings of protection and beauty.
Make no mistake about it, these beings are real. They cannot be brushed off as fantasy figures.
A 'demon' or 'advocate' is a personal symbolic construct and is fully responsive to, and created by, our own state of being. And there are fully autonomous Beings in the Dream World that are not of our personal symbolic construct. They exist as manifestations of the collective human consciousness.
A 'Demon' or 'Advocate' is an autonomous Being of which we have very little or no control through the restructuring of our personal psyche.
During an Underworld Soul Retrieval the Soul Retriever will locate the lost Soul. Then, depending on where the Soul is, what it is undergoing and in which realm of the Underworld it is found to be, appropriate action is taken on behalf of the person to engage their Dream Soul and embrace it so as to safely bring it back home to its natural residing place.
Often the Soul is just wandering, adrift in fantasies, asleep. Sometimes the Soul is awake and adrift, often scared because it knows that it is disconnected and can't find its way home. In these situations the Soul Retriever simply embraces in loving care the Soul and brings it on home.
There are those Beings, Advocates, that keep a look out for lost Souls. They will take in and care for these Souls, rather like an orphanage.
If this be the situation the Soul Retriever must present their credentials (as the one who's Soul is lost, as Shaman, or Psychopomp) as well as the authority to be there on behalf of the person, if it is other than one's self.
The authority I refer to is permission given directly by the party asking for help. When credentials and authority are presented the Advocates will release the care of the Soul to the Soul Retriever.
The Soul is then returned safely home to its rightful place of relationship with the Body/Mind and other Souls.
There are also those entities, Demons, who keep an eye out for lost Souls. They will track down, hunt, snare, imprison and torture the Souls they capture. This torment is experienced in the person's life as emotional flare-ups and disability, outbursts of unknown sourced rage followed by deep depressions, constant misfortune and turmoil.
Those usurpers then feed upon the emotional turmoil that is generated by the torment of the person's Soul. They are the vampires, not of fang and claw, but of emotion and Soul Force.
When the Soul is found to be ensnared the Soul Retriever must then present credentials and authority. Most often the Demons will immediately release the Soul and back off.
Sometimes, however, a Demon who has fed upon the Soul Force of many, many unfortunate Souls and has become bloated with Power, and arrogant, refuses to release the captured Soul.
In that situation the Soul Retriever must be able, capable and willing to be as a Warrior on behalf of the ensnared Soul, doing whatever it takes to secure the freedom of that Soul. What must be understood here is that what ever happens to the Soul Retriever there, in the Dream World, happens to their own body here in the earthly realm.
Should the Celestial Soul become loosed from the Body/Mind, death is imminent within three days.
As the Celestial Soul begins its loosening, the individual goes into coma, drifting in and out of consciousness, speaking of visions and meetings with the dead that others around them are all too ready to ascribe to being hallucinations.
As long as the Earth and Underworld Souls are present, or retrievable, a person's Celestial Soul can be brought back and death averted.
Clearly these things I am describing, and the approaches, are not intended to be a 'how-to' guide. Such a course is foolish. I am here only seeking to bring awareness, in depth, to a topic that has very little understanding in the world at large.
These are activities for trained professionals who are well familiar with these practices, have the necessary spiritual back-up and lots of previous experience in traveling in the aforementioned realms in a state of full awareness.
As I have only given reference to the basic structure of activities in performing an authentic Soul Retrieval, to try and actually do a Soul Retrieval from the information presented would be akin to trying to drive a car without knowing about Stop Signs, Red lights from Green, brakes from the gas pedal.