Four classic shamanic therapies are employed to diagnose the spiritual body and return it to harmony, resulting in healing at the physical level. These are the arts of divination, extraction healing, soul retrieval and psychopomp
Divination is art of “seeing, feeling, hearing and speaking" to the Divine. Motivated by a desire to facilitate healing, shamans are proficient in this art form and use it to ascertain specific knowledge and advice on behalf of their clients. From looking into the future potential or past experiences of a client, to diagnosing “spiritual intrusions” or the root cause of illness, divination provides that therapeutic information which is essential to returning one to a state of well-being.
Soul Retrieval. A belief found to be common throughout various ancient spiritual and current religious systems as well as within many modern-day psychotherapeutic paradigms is that traumatic life experiences can cause parts of the "self" to fragment off. A shaman sees these parts as having gotten "lost" in the spiritual dimensions. Intense pain, terror and/or grief can cause "soul loss", leaving one with less vital energy and personal power and therefore, vulnerable to "intrusions". Through a shamanic healing journey, the shaman retrieves these lost soul parts and brings them back to an individual, enabling them to be more powerful and "spirited".
Extraction is a form of energy healing which involves the removal of inappropriate "intrusions" from the spiritual body which are seen to be the root cause of physical disorder. When a shaman sees “intrusions” in a body, this is the symbolic communication referring to instances where we may have taken on another’s worldview, belief systems, emotions, patterns, etc., which are not in harmony with our personal integrity. Intrusions are an inevitable side affect of our socialization and culturalization process. The removal of these erroneous energies allows us to return to a state of freedom, independence and sovereignty.
Psychopomp, meaning “conductor of the soul”, applies to those practices in which a shaman engages in order to help guide the souls of those passing over (or who have already passed and are still in need of resolution on the earth plane) and to counsel, support and offer relief to those who are grieving through Mediumship (personal messages of comfort and advice from our departed loved ones), spiritual teachings on the dying process and suggestions for ceremonies of honor and remembrance to help us heal and move on.
Kathleen S. Kennedy
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