In metaphysics when we speak of soul loss, recovery or retrieval, we refer to a spiritual malady best described as an experience of isolation and brokenness that makes us feel, well, like a lost soul. There are many beliefs about soul loss and retrieval and many approaches to healing it. We shall concentrate on Chrysalis Tarot’s approach and the shamanic healing power of individual Family Constellations composed of ancestors.
Ancestors help us understand who we are and discern our purpose in this life.
Describing soul loss, psychologist Sandra Ingerman states, “There are many common symptoms of soul loss. Some of the more common ones would be dissociation where a person does not feel fully in his or her body and alive and fully engaged in life. Other symptoms include chronic depression, suicidal tendencies, post-traumatic stress syndrome, immune deficiency problems, and grief that just does not heal. Addictions are also a sign of soul loss.”
Recovering lost fragments of soul and restoring wholeness most probably do not require spiritual or psychological counseling, let alone intervention of an experienced shaman. Treatment will depend, of course, upon the severity of soul loss/fragmentation and correct identification of its cause(s).
However, in this exercise it will require that you task your imagination, the most effective healing tool we possess, to the matter at hand. The painting above by Russian artists Svetlana and Igor Anisiforov is titled Water Naiad affords perfect symbolism. Water is appropriate because it symbolizes higher wisdom; the unicorn symbolizes creative imagination; the castle is the abode of The Ancestors, and the moon symbolizes both personal and collective unconscious.
The fish symbolizes the dream world, the world you will allow your imagination to inhabit during this meditation. To enter it you need only to still your mind and tune to your family frequency – every family has a discrete frequency or vibration. It’s always there and available, but we seldom pay much attention to it. This is likely due to cultural biases against an active afterlife in an unseen world of dynamical information.
Family Constellations by definition presume the reality of an active afterlife. They recognize that our ancestors and ancient lineage determined who we are, physically and spiritually, and that any dissociation, isolation or fragmentation we experience likely stems, at least in part, from benign neglect of our ancestors.
In Chrysalis, we came up with the idea of an Ancestral Council Reading. We use the cards, mostly members of The Troupe, to represent individual ancestors to whom we feel closest. The cards then form the foci for the meditation.
An Ancestral Council Reading and a Family Constellation are effectively the same thing: by tuning into our family frequency, we engender a silent exchange of information heard only through faculties of intuition and creative imagination. It’s not at all difficult.
Soul loss is first and foremost about imbalance, therefore soul recovery is about restoring balance. In Japan maple trees are called kito, which means calm and restful peace – the primary attributes of balance and wholeness. These attributes are constant themes throughout Chrysalis Tarot. They also are attributes of Gaia, interpreted below by visionary artist Alex Grey.
Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self by Sandra Ingerman.