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Soul Retrieval, Restoring Power Loss, Overcoming Spiritual Blockage by David M. Boje, Shamanic Practitioner November 30, 2016

Figure 1: Remains of Heart of the Soul after Fragments Depart (drawing by D. M. Boje November 15, 2016)

I am a shamanic practitioner, and facilitate a shamanic drumming circle in Las Cruces, New Mexico based on Michael Harner (1980, 2013) books and over a dozen training seminars. I put together a compilation and summary of several blog posts I did bout Soul Loss and how it relates to my own academic work in storytelling. For more see

Drumming circle clients oftentimes have ‘soul wounds’ and ‘soul loss’ that occur in trauma events, when a fragment of the soul protects our Self by leaving (Ingerman, 1990; Duran, 2006).  Some our wounded warriors. Others have Soul Wounds from other traumas. The rhythmic drumming we do has the capacity to facilitate altered states of consciousness (Harner, 1980: 66). Every thing, and we are living things, has soul. The soul is spiritual essence that is immortal Being of humans, plants, animals, rocks, mountains, as well as the elements of fire, water, earth, and air. Every thing has a spiritual essence, a soul that is immortal. These soul-things (or entities) are entangled with one another, capable of action-at-a-distance because they are not empirical objects. Rather the soul exists as its own flows of energy, and as waves of vital essence.

My purpose? Here and Now I want to do something with shamanic practitioners of Las Cruces that can help with the soul wounds and soul loss of veterans and homeless of our community. Healing the Soul Wound (Duran, 2006) and Soul Retrieval (1990) are both ways of healing the fragmented Self, to be an authentic whole Self again. Our shamanic practitioner encounters with fragmented soul retrieval can help our veterans and homeless overcome many kinds of trauma.

What causes soul loss? Trauma events cause soul loss, and this includes being in a care-giving profession or role, where you give vital essence and energy to some ‘Other’ person, and forget to retrieve your soul fragments. Trauma event includes trauma of combat, any kind of drug, sex, or work addiction where we inflict trauma on our own body, illness, accidents such as the stress of violence, the traumatic brain injury (TBI) from physical injury, the loss of loved ones, and sexual trauma of rape and incest.

What happens to soul fragments? In an event of soul loss, our soul fragments decide to escape, and flee the pain, in order to let remains of our soul survive the pain. The survival strategy lets us hold the remaining life-energy together for a short while, but soon it drains us, taking more and more life-energy to keep it together. With soul loss, Ingerman (1990: 12) asserts, “The light has gone from our existence.” This loss of soul fragment leaves us with less light, less power, and less memory. It is the feeling “I’m not all here” (IBID. p. 13). We can feel abandoned, less joyful, less energetic, more depressed. A soul less than whole Self, is not able to handle the pain of simple life events, and cannot reclaim memory experiences that have left the Self.

What is the consequent of traumatic soul loss? The consequent of soul loss is a ever-increasing space of emptiness deep inside our spiritual essence that is in need of healing. The consequent of soul loss is an absence of vitality of life because our whole Self is no longer whole and can no longer attain its desired intimacy, joy, and love of life.

Can we retrieve soul fragments in ordinary reality (OR)? No! No amount of retrospective sensemaking narrative of our past experiences will be able to retrieve our lost soul fragments. This is because searching the trauma events, or reliving by way of narrative sensemaking (re) experiencing of trauma is looking in the wrong world. Reliving trauma event, again and again, is done with our military and veterans, in order to desensitize them to the violent event. The results for our veterans returning from combat have been less than spectacular.

What are the shamanic practices of soul retrieval? Shamanic practitioners have trained and are skilled at creating ‘altered states of consciousness’ (ASOC) in order to journey to the REAL of Non-Ordinary-Reality (NOR), to other worlds that are entirely ‘Real’. There are three worlds that co-exist: Lower World, Middle World, and Upper World, each with many levels to explore. The Middle World of ordinary reality (OR) is where events of trauma occur, and it is also our ordinary reality (OR) of experiences of sensemaking that looking backward to relive trauma events but cannot ever find lost soul fragments there because you are looking in the wrong world. Our fragments of lost soul have left for the serenity of Upper World and the compassion and care of Lower World existence in order for the remaining soul fragments to survive in Middle World ordinary reality (OR).

Drawing by Marita Svane in Boje and Svane article

Figure 2: This is a depiction of the 5 B’s of Antenarrative assignment process, with Heidegger (1962) fore- concepts.  See blog post where above figure is explained or see

Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs) AGMs exist in the Real, and can manifest in events and experiences. The empirical domain of actual and experience cannot attain to the Real where AGMs exist. The transcendental ‘Real’ is antecedent, with many Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs) in the independent existence of the “Real” Lower World and “Real” Upper World of nonordinary reality (NOR).

The Heart-of-Care The AGMs are what I call the ‘heart of care’ that is all about fore-caring in four ways: fore-having, fore-structuring, fore-concepting, and fore-telling.


Figure 3: Heart of Care of Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs) [drawing by D. M. Boje, November 15, 2016] For more see

AGMs would focus AR attention on identifying, describing, and predicting (where possible) the particular ‘fore’s’: fore-having, fore-structuring, fore-concept, and fore-telling that make up what we call –fore-caring in advance and preparation in advance. That fore-caring in all its fore’s are the antecedent conditions necessary to accomplish living storyability, and narrative sensemaking. 

An Ontological Interpretation of Soul Fragments This is my own ontological Interpretation of the Situation of Soul Loss and Retrieval. We project the possibility of recovering lost fragments of our Soul Loss. In the Shamanic Journeying there is the potentiality for disclosedness of the location of lost Soul Fragments in a fore-caring that is ahead-of-itself antecedent in the AGMs. The shamanic practitioner journeys along-side the client, in a fore-caring, in the Non-Ordinary Reality (NOR). The shamanic practitioner falls into Lower World or ascends into Upper World to do Soul Retrieval.

An ethic of Caring, a conscience that obliges us to bring into our scope of shamanic practitioner work a fore-having, grounded in the primordial existence of the Soul. We must ‘see’ not in a sensemaking empirical way of the five positivistic senses. By contrast, the ‘Real’ kind of Seeing a shamanic practitioner does grasps the unity of the Self, the possibility of becoming an authentic Whole-Soul-Being-in-the-Middle World since all the fragments of Self already in-advance have antecedent Being-in-the-Real-of-Middle-and-Upper-Worlds. As Heidegger (1962: #237) puts it, “We cannot cross out the ‘ahead-of-itself’ as an essential item in the structure of care.”

The attestation of AGM state of Being ‘Real’ phenomenologically is in its “potentiality-for-Being-one’s-Self” (Heidegger, 1962” #268). But, we can easily get lost in the they-self of the Middle World, having given fragments of our Soul away in caring for Others, or in having them taken away in trauma event after trauma event. It is easy in Middle World to be ensnared into one addition event after another, and the habits of addition events can be hard to break free from.

Ontological Roots We can say that addiction itself has ontological roots in Middle World, and that healing comes from restorying fragments of the Heart-of-Care from Upper and Lower Worlds where AGMs are ‘Real’ in their potentiality-for-Being in anticipatory resoluteness, a “disclosedness of the meaning of the Being of care” (Heidegger, 1962: #321, italics original). The ‘Spirit’ that exists spatially and in the temporalizing of temporality is not a ‘Spirit’ that falls into the spacetime of the Middle World, its Euclidian space, or its clock time: “’Spirit’ does not fall into time; but factical existences falls as falling from primordial authentic temporality” (Heidegger, 1962: # 436). In other words Spirit of Upper and Lower World does not fall into the clock time of Middle World, but our Soul can fall from primordial ‘Real’ of authentic temporality into the addictions of Middle World, or into Soul Loss from trauma. In this way there is a dialectical relation between Spirit and Soul Loss.  

A person can have POWER LOSS causing depression, chronic illness, and misfortune. How can we restore Loss of Power? We go into an altered state of consciousness and consult with the spirit to share with you, what the spirit perceives is going on. By retrieving power we have given away, or lost by our encounters with other, or by being a loving care giver. We can journey to call back elements of our selves, and ask for help from our Spiritual Teachers in Upper World, our Helping Animal Spirits in Lower World. Gather the Power Loss, from other people, from trauma, and get fragments of your Power back. We all have guardian spirits (Power Animals) around us, watching us, and they make sure harm that can be avoided is avoided. They don't interfere with our intentions or what we need to learn. Life transitions involve Power Loss. As we weave new fabric of life energy into Being of Body, Mind, and Spirit. Turbulence is part of our Quantum Experience of Being-in-the-World. Turbulence is an attunement to the Quantum Spiritual Energy, that manifests into the physical world. For example, we can get attuned to a downward quantum-spiral. To change the downward spiral, for example, in our work world, we need to change our spiritual energy world. We can journey to the spirit of the quantum land, and learn about quantum-energy. We can learn the quantum cycles, quantum spiral rhythms, the quantum fractals rhtythms. We can SYNC with the quantum spiral wohorls, the path our life journey is on, such a sin our work practices. We have a quantum attunment to turbulence, anxiety, angst, turbulence as well as to joy, harmony, peace, and serentity. We can create new spiral pathways, and reenergize our power, recover our power fragments, and gain our authentic whole-Self.

A person can have SOUL LOSS in their experience of emotional and/or physical trauma (stress, PTSD, TBI, abuse, addiction, exploitation, accident, war, disaster, and so on). How do we restore Soul Loss? We do a Soul Retrieval Ceremony. What to do? Journey to discover your parts of soul lost (dissociation, fragmentation of soul), and what needs to be done to bring these soul fragments back to you. As we try to keep our Soul safe from harm, and experience trauma/loss, we are reluctant to go to that place of loss, and to bring back pieces of Self back into our life. Go and Gather up all the pieces of Soul Loss and bring them back into your life. Gathering fragments of Soul Loss back into your life, and get your Core Essence back into your life. You can do this by yourself, or ask for help from Shamanic Practitioners, such as in a Drumming Circle. One of the major causes of illness is Soul Loss. Our Soul is our vitality and what keeps us our live. Any trauma cause a fragment of soul loss. Any shock causes Soul Loss. We hae a Self protection mechanism, going away from our body when a trauma is actually happening, and there is Soul Loss as we live outside ourself (in protection) and are not in the suffering we experience. To stay in that Soul Loss takes energy, life energy away form living in our bodies. Soul Retreival lets us get back into our bodies after a schock, trauma, and so on, and stop numbing our Self. In our body, the colors are vibrant, our sense are more attuned.

A person can have SPIRITUAL BLOCKAGE (negative energies come in an inhabit the body). A Spiritual Blockage is localized in an area of the body. For this, you can do an Extraction. Perhaps it is death of a loved one, and that spirit is hanging on, and does not know they can move on to helpful areas in Upper or Lower World. Care givers and those easily attuned to the pain and suffering can entertain Spiritual Blockage. We can make choices for ourselves to undo, untie, un-enmesh form Spiritual Blockage. Typically the Spiritual Blocks are ready to move on. Bringing your own energy back and merge those fragments back into your Spiritual Body. Write in your journal, the journey experience, and changes you experience in your life after the journey.

Here are several examples:

Soul Retrieval Session by Daniel Leonard - Dancing Bear

This video shows a full 2 hour soul retrieval session (edited to 10 minutes) with Shamanic Healing practitioner Daniel Leonard who trained with Sandra Ingerman.

Sandra Ingerman: Experiencing the Shamanic Journey This video explains the origins of Shamanism, and some help on how to be in a Journey Circle

Shamanic Training Tip Shamanic Journeying Sandra Ingerman

Changing times are awakening our Spirit and Light - Sandra Ingerman


Bhaskar, Roy. (1975). A Realist Theory of Science. Leeds, UK: Leeds Books Ltd.

Boje, D. M. (2008). Storytelling Organizations. London: Sage.

Boje, D. M. (2011). Storytelling and the Future of Organizations: An Antenarrative Handbook (London: Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society)

Boje, D. M. (2012a). Quantum Storytelling. Free book on line.

Boje, D. M. (2012b) Quantum Spirals for Business Consulting. Free book on line.

Boje, D. M. & Henderson, T. L. (Eds.). (2014). Being Quantum: Ontological Storytelling in the Age of Antenarrative. Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Boje, D. M., Svane, M., Henderson, T. L., & Strevel, H. B. (in press). Critical corporate social responsibility in tamara-land: The role of tetranormalizing fractals. In R. Ocler (Ed.), Book chapter for a Springer collection, Rodolphe Ocler (ed.).

Boje, M., & Svane, M., Gergerich, E. (in press). Counternarrative and Antenarrative Inquiry in Two Cross-Cultural Contexts. Cross Cultural Management.

Harner, M. (1990). The Way of the Shaman. PDF Available online for Free. or PDF avaialble free MediaFire. or Buy used copy by mail. or Kindle edition.

Harner, M. (2013). Cave and Cosmos: Shamanic Encounters with Another Reality. North Atlantic Books.

Heidegger, M. (1929/1962/2008). Being and Time. Translated by John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson in 1962 from the 1929 German, with 2008 introduction by Taylor Carmon. NY: Harper Row.

Ingerman, S. (1990). Soul retrieval. San Francisco, Calif. HarperSanFrancisco.

For more see