by Dr. Alberto Villoldo: As before, you may want to record these instructions before starting the exercise…
Prepare for this journey by opening sacred space. Sit comfortably, fix your gaze in front of you (or close your eyes), and take your hands into prayer pose. Focus on your intention to enter the Chamber of Soul Contracts. Reach up to your eighth chakra and expand this radiant “sun” to envelop your entire body. Call on the four cardinal directions to open sacred space. Perform the little-death breathing exercise and journey to your garden in the Lower World.
When you greet the gatekeeper, state your intent to explore the soul contracts you’ve entered into. He will guide you from your garden into your Chamber of Contracts. When you’re there, look about you, and engage in dialogue with the characters you meet. Ask questions: “Who’s that person by the fire? Who’s sitting in the rocking chair? What’s the scene that’s happening around me? Who are the characters?”
You may meet yourself at the age you were when you entered into that contract, and he or she will explain what you agreed to; or perhaps you’ll find a self from a previous lifetime. You may even find an ancestral contract and the person who first negotiated it. Ask the following of whomever you find: “What are you writing on that board?” “What are you scribbling in that notebook?” and “What are you repeating to yourself?” Remember that every contract assures you of something (safety, love, relief) in exchange for something else (the price you pay). What price are you paying, and what are you getting in return? Is it really worth it? Ask “What is it that you really want?” “What is it that would bring you peace or comfort or safety?” and “If you could ask God for anything, what would it be?”
Explore the language of the contract. If you need help, ask the gatekeeper, an all-knowing figure, to explain it to you. Then propose more favorable wording. Keep trying until you come to a new agreement that’s positive and life-affirming.
Before you go, explain the new contract to any other people in the chamber. By doing so, you are installing this contract into your unconscious so that it’s effective immediately. Tell the people you’ve found: “You don’t need to be doing this anymore. That script is not being performed here any longer. It’s complete; it’s done. You can be at peace now. Here is our new agreement.” Be sure that all of the characters in this drama know that this theater piece has come to an end. Reaffirm this new soul contract with each one of them so that they’re fully informed of the new agreement.
Now make your way out. Take your leave from the gatekeeper, Lord of Life and Death. Tell him, “Thank you for allowing me into your domains, where only those who have stepped beyond death may come.” As before, make your way back to our world. Take a big stretch, rub your hands together, rub your face, open your eyes, and come back into your body. End your journey by closing sacred space.
Now that your soul contracts are revealed, and the details explained, use the journaling process to renegotiate them and obtain more favorable terms that will stop constricting your everyday life.
The journaling process awakens the voices of powerful healing elements within your psyche. This is the voice of the soul part that seeks a new, life-affirming agreement with you. Start by taking your journal and a pen, and get comfortable in a place where you can open sacred space.
Then, draw a line down the center of a blank page as before. On one side, list the questions you’ll be asking; on the other, write the answers given by your soul part that seeks to establish a new contract with life. Begin by asking simple questions, such as “Who are you?” “How have you come to help me?” and “What is it that you really meant to ask for?” Transcribe the dialogue onto paper—through it, you’ll further establish the terms of your new soul contract. Allow enough time for a full conversation to emerge. This new agreement will guarantee your healed self the safety it requires to meet you in the next chamber.
We can also renegotiate our ancestral soul agreements with God—after all, why settle for a pact that was made on our behalf by an ancient ancestor? There are examples of renegotiated contracts with God in the old Testament. ln the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, for example, God says to Abraham, “I am going to destroy these two cities, because people no longer keep My ways.”
Abraham asks God, “If I can find 50 righteous men, will you spare these cities?” God says, “Yes.” Abraham comes back to God and negotiates the number down to ten and when only one righteous man—Lot—is found, he and his family are able to flee before the city is destroyed.
You can dialogue with God to discover how the ancestral contract of being cast out of the garden and condemned to a life of shame and suffering lives within you, and how it can be different. First, open sacred space, then draw a line down the middle of a page in your journal, writing your questions on the left side, and recording God’s answers on the right.
Begin by asking God, “What happened back then?” “What did Eve do?” “Who was the serpent?” “What did Adam do?” “What part of me lives in shame?” “Where does suffering live within me?” and “I see You everywhere I look and feel You in every cell in my body; will You walk by my side?” End by closing sacred space. Make your dialogues with God a daily practice.