by Dr. Alberto Villoldo: In past blog posts we’ve written about shamanic journeying to the Lower, Middle, and Upper Worlds…
Buried in the vast unconscious domain of the Lower World is a trusting, loving, innocent, feminine aspect of our soul. For the vast majority of us, this fragment was abandoned or taken from us by the great flood of childhood conflict or past life trauma. For it to remain whole, it fled—leaving just the wounded self behind.
To find, rescue and heal that missing part, we must go fishing in the deepest waters of the psyche. This sort of healing can’t happen when we’re angling from the shore, where we rework everyday concerns. We must learn to jump over the side and follow the currents.
As much as we might think we want to comfort these lost parts of our soul, we may find ourselves wanting to bludgeon them instead—they can be scary and repulsive. In psychology, we’re taught to analyze these aspects of ourselves, but in soul retrieval, we neither dissect nor deny these lost soul parts—instead, we acknowledge and heal them, and integrate them back into the whole of our being.
This is not an easy process. Setting your life in order again is often a cataclysmic event, since your world has been turned upside down. It can be tempting to tell yourself, “I can’t handle this now, I’m too busy. I’ll deal with it tomorrow, next week, or next year.” Just keep in mind that by the time most people come to me for soul retrieval, they’re suffering from physical illness or emotional distress because the lost parts of their soul are demanding to be acknowledged and reintegrated.
The key is to retrieve your lost soul parts before they send your life into a tailspin. The Laika conceive of lost soul parts as beings that we can engage and speak to. For example, your cruel nature may be personified by a sinister man in a black cape, while your vulnerability may be represented by a frightened little girl.
Now, if your soul was fragmented when you were a child, the little girl you retrieve won’t just grow up spontaneously. Once that part of your soul is recovered, you need to help her mature and grow up feeling safe. You need to attend to her, nurture her, and make room for her in your life.
If you attend to this soul part, it can grow rapidly, and it will change your life. This is why I ask my soul retrieval clients if they are sure they have the time and commitment for this step. Because whatever it is, the change is going to be big. The lost part of their soul is going to follow them home, and it will make them set their life in order again.
To find your lost soul part you first must read the maps describing where you’re going and pinpoint your destination. For the Laika, thoughts, dreams, and visions are just as real as the material world. There is no supernatural world—it’s all natural, with visible and invisible realms that we can visit through our dreams and imagination. They’re as mappable and knowable as our literal world.
Learning the map of the Lower World is akin to an orientation tour of a library. We’re told where everything is located, but it’s only when we begin reading and checking out books that we get to know the true depth and breadth of the place. Through journeying, we’re able to access the “living library” of our existence, which holds the landscapes, territories, and experiences of our past, present, and possible future. But unlike an actual library, where the knowledge and experiences are safely contained within publications neatly lined up on shelves, the terrain of our lives is mysterious, changing, and experiential.
In a future blog, you’ll learn more about the Lower World, and what it takes to get there.