In the article ‘Soul loss and soul retrieval’, I wrote about soul parts that have separated from our body and personality at some point in our life. Such a secretion leaves a void, a reduced vitality. Systemic Ritual is one of the methods to get back in touch with those parts and let them come back – if desired.
And what happens after a ritual in which soul parts are retrieved?
After a soul retrieval, you often hear people say that they feel ‘more present’, ‘lighter’, ‘more alert’, ‘less dreamy’ and ‘stronger’.
If you want to learn more about Systemic Ritual and working with the concept of the Soul: See:
Often people also report that they perceive colours more clearly, hear better, and smell better. In short, the connection with the physical body has been improved.
This can cause slight disorientation for a few days. The ‘healing’ has yet to settle down and find a place.
You often also hear these ‘side effects’ after a family constellation. Breaking free from an entanglement with a parent or ancestor, with which the method of family constellations works, is somewhere also a form of ‘retrieving a part of the soul’. A soul part, held by an entanglement, could not be fully present in the here and now because it was too closely connected with the trauma of that (ancestor) parent. In that context, this part was on the other side. When the entanglement is broken, that soul part can retake its place in the here and now, in the body/personality of the client.
People are often more emotional after a soul retrieval. With the retrieval of the lost soul part, sooner or later, the memory of the event that made the soul part ‘flee’ may also return. That is why you must also be careful with retrieving soul parts after major trauma. The soul part that has thus gone ‘to the other side’ cannot simply be ‘placed back’. There will first have to be some form of healing of this soul part before returning to the client. The soul part may even have to be taken to a ‘healing place’, a kind of spiritual hospital to receive care and healing there before returning.
In addition, the client must also be strong enough to ‘handle’ and ‘care for’ the soul part that is being retrieved. A client must therefore have sufficient strength to receive the soul part again. It must be safe enough for the soul part to return.
Welcoming little Susanne
After retrieving a soul part, feelings of happiness, sadness, or anger can arise. These feelings could have to do with the lost soul part, and the process of remembering and integrating has to start. And that can take quite a while.
I came across the little two-year-old Susanne in a visualisation during one of my ‘retrievals’ (it is not strange to be allowed to undergo several ‘retrievals’). I saw images of her in a beautiful forest with sweet cats, horses, birds, lots of flowers, extensive lawns, streams with clear running water and even two gnomes – Bop and Mieke as the little Susanne called them. The little Susanne had “hidden” in this beautiful place. And no – she didn’t want to come back.
Several times – spread over a few weeks – I had to visit her, become friends with her calmly and convince her that it was also very nice to come back to the here and now, in my body, in my personality. She eventually did.
Welcome home, little Susanne
Then for days, I felt a wave of enormous anger towards my mother and towards my oldest brother. I could skin them. I was sure it had to do with little Susanne and talked to her. I asked her what was going on.
That’s when the memory came to me. I was two years old, and my brother (5 years old at the time) was playing with me, but it got out of hand. He put a pillow on my face and lay on top of it. I choked, I choked. Then, after a few moments, my little body managed to throw him off me with unprecedented force. An unparalleled power of a small body – it managed to survive. I saw my brother startled and he ran away.
I realised this, back then, was the moment a piece of my soul left. I felt panic and fear rise in me. And then anger – I was furious with my brother and my mother. My brother for what he had done and my mother for not taking good care of her children. Where was she?
I told little Susanne that she’d survived, that she’d been strong enough to throw brother off her. And that these kinds of things are not nice, but can happen and that you can not blame a little boy of 5 years.
These words turned out to be completely wrong. This was not what the little Susanne wanted to hear. This did absolutely no justice to her feelings. These words were disrespectful, lacking in empathy – completely bypassing her feelings of fear, panic, anger and sadness. These words made her return to her safe haven with Bob and Mieke in the woods.
Again I had to find her there. This time I stayed with her, feeling the fear again; we relived the panic, cried, and cursed on brother and mother. We managed to thank the unparalleled strength that appeared back then. We realised it wasn’t ‘I’ who managed to throw off my brother – it was my body’s survival instinct that managed to do that.
These emotions persisted for several weeks. My brother should be glad he didn’t call or meet me in these weeks. I would have given him the full blast of anger.
After a ritual in which soul parts are retrieved, you are not done yet. A piece that has been separated from you for years needs time to integrate. That part needs all your attention, wants to be heard, seen and respected. That can be done in different ways.
As I described above, you can regularly start a conversation with the retrieved soul part. If you don’t have experience with this, find a therapist who can help you.
Pampering yourself is also a suitable method. The soul part has left because of a lack of joy, safety, etc. Show this soul part that there can now be joy, safety by undertaking things that underline this.
Bodywork – massage, emotional bodywork, shiatsu, acupuncture – methods that get the “chi” flowing again can be of great help too. Traumas are stored in your body. When a soul part is back, your body can also adapt, and physical blockages can finally be released with a little help from a therapist.
Drawing – the drawings in these articles are my own. After a return of a soul part, I created these – completely intuitive. One drawing shows what I felt. I felt as if a ‘body’ sank into me.
The other drawings show how I took care of the soul part – by travelling with it regularly – in visualisations – to a safe, beautiful and warm place to have quality time together.
After severe trauma, the first thing to do is consult a psychotherapist or psychologist until there is enough strength to do a session in which soul parts are retrieved. After that, a therapist can again be helpful to integrate the retrieved soul part.
Ingerman, S. Soul Retrieval. Mending the Fragmented Self.
Notes from Daan van Kampenhout’s courses