Frequently Asked Questions on Soul Retrieval and Extraction

Frequently Asked Questions on Shamanic Facilitation (v1.2)
by Alison Sinclair and Paul Lewis. Vienna, Austria,
October 2003.

What is SR/E?

When should I have an SR/E done for me?

How does it work?

How does this relate to other forms of healing?

What’s the connection with Astrology or fortune telling?

What makes a Shaman a Shaman?

Can you tell me about the link between Shamanic symbols and Psychology?

Is this compatible with Christianity, or other religions?

What is the philosophical background of Shamanism?

How much does the SR/E cost?

The SR/E is a type of spiritual healing, so why isn’t it free?

What do I get for the money?

Who is offering this service?

What training has the Shaman had?

Who is your teacher?

How long will the SR/E take?

What makes the Shaman so special that they can do this?

How does the client need to prepare?

What does the client need to do after the SR/E?

Will you guarantee results?

Do I have to visit the Shaman to undergo the process?

Do you guarantee confidentiality and privacy?

Can you talk to a dead relative?

Can you answer specific questions for me?

What are “guides?”

What are “pieces?”

What is “extraction?”

Will I feel better immediately after the SR/E?

Can SR/E cure diseases?

Can you explain why Shamans don’t have to be Native American?

Isn’t SR/E just a form of psychotherapy?

Can I arrange SR/E for someone else?

How often can you perform an SR/E for me?

Can you protect me against black magic or curses?

How can SR/E deal with mental illness?

Do I have to believe in SR/E for it to work?

Can SR/E help the dying or the recently deceased?

What is SR/E?

Soul Retrieval and Extraction (SR/E) is a Shamanic process, which is intended to help emotionally troubled people achieve healing and wholeness within themselves. It works on the understanding that the human soul undergoes lasting damage due to trauma in this life (or others), and that a Shamanic Facilitator can help to repair the damage, and retrieve pieces of a person’s “Spirit” (not “Soul”) that have been lost. Everyone possesses a spirit in a life time. There is only one Soul for each person, regardless of how many lives they live. The spirit is indicative of their personality they have in a given lifetime. Although the term ‘soul loss’ is used here, please understand we are referring to loss of pieces of a person’s spirit in a given lifetime.

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When should I have an SR/E done for me?

An SR/E is helpful to everyone, because all of us are suffering from “soul loss.” There are many signs of soul loss, which are detailed in an excerpt from Soul Recovery and Extraction.

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How does it work?

A trained Shamanic Facilitator will move into an altered state (without the use of drugs of any type) to undertake a guided journey, in which he or she will work with symbols, events from this life or past lives, and archetypal energy to assist the Client to achieve healing. Typically, but not always, there are three parts: the journey to retrieve Soul pieces, the “external” extraction, and the “internal” extraction.

Note that the Shamanic Facilitator does not “heal” the client. Shamans are catalysts and act as a mirror for their client. All healing originates from within the client. A shaman will retrieve symbolic “pieces” which may trigger a deep internal healing crisis within the Client. These pieces are often linked to deeply-rooted feelings or memories of bad experiences which may have been suppressed, which means the healing process is often associated with a release of strong emotion. Conversely, a piece may also be retrieved from a very happy period as well. Usually, however, it is traumatic experience pieces that are returned to the client.

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How does this relate to other forms of healing?

Shamans (who may be women or men) are found in almost every native culture around the world, and thus Shamanism pre-dates the development of modern medicine. As a traditional method of healing, it recognizes the strong soul/mind/body connection, and works with the archetypes found in the collective unconscious to bring about healing, if the Client is receptive. Note that this operates as the psychological level – there are no medicines prescribed or exercises to be performed by the Client.

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What’s the connection with Astrology or fortune telling?

Some Shamanic facilitators may work with Astrology, but this is not a requirement. There is no connection with fortune telling, as Shamans in our tradition do not offer advice of this kind.

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What makes a Shaman a Shaman?

Some Astrologers discuss “Chiron”, which represents the archetype of the “wounded healer.” It is commonly believed that Shamans are more effective if they have been through profoundly life-altering experiences, including near-death, which can endow them with a greater sensitivity for the Client’s needs.

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Can you tell me about the relationship between Shamanic symbols and Psychology?

Many Shamans believe that they work directly with the shared unconscious mind of the Clients through an archetypal process. Some ideas from Jungian psychology support the concept that symbols have an important meaning to the individual, and Shamans who are able to retrieve the appropriate symbols may thereby trigger a healing crisis in the Client. Dr. Michael Smith, a world renowned expert on Shamanism and a student of Ai Gvhdi Waya, has written about the archetypal process in his book: Jung and Shamanism in Dialogue: Retrieving the Soul/Retrieving the Sacred, Mahwah, NJ, Paulist Press, 1997.

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Is this compatible with Christianity, or other religions?

We believe that people of any religious background, or none, may benefit from the SR/E. While some Shamans do not practice a formal religion, many come from traditions where each of the major religions are respected and acknowledged for their truth. Shamanism is not a religion, but rather a spiritual practice founded on non-ordinary reality.

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What is the philosophical background of Shamanism?

Shamans believe in life after death, and that we experience many lives on this earth, as part of a long path towards perfection. During this process, our karma brings us the lessons we need to learn in each life, and connects us to the people from whom we can learn important lessons. Shamans acknowledge that a human being is a spirit with a body, and that this spirit manifests at many levels – including a super-physical counterpart associated with the aura (layers of energy surrounding our physical body) and chakras (energy centres in the subtle body.)

There are many types of Shamanic tradition, so it may be helpful to note that the one we follow is an exclusively heart-centred one, and it uses compassion to direct the healing energy.

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Standard Journey (scheduled within one week): $200.00 US Dollars
Emergency Journey (scheduled within 48 hours): $300.00 US Dollars

The same price applies for animal, land, and plant journeys.

To determine cost of a journey for facilitators outside of the U.S. please contact the facilitator via email. Thank you.

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The SR/E is a type of spiritual healing, so why isn’t it free?

While some forms of spiritual healing are offered for free, we believe that the SR/E Client will benefit more if they participate in an exchange process, because they will thereby value the results. The Shamanic Facilitators take this responsibility very seriously, and conscientiously attempt to give full value for the money received. By establishing a price for this type of healing, we ensure that the Client is committed to the healing process, and is not entering lightly into what could be a deeply transformative experience.

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What do I get for the money?

Your facilitator will set aside a period of time in a ceremonial space to undertake a sacred journey on your behalf. This time is not shared with anyone else. After the journey, your Shaman will prepare a confidential report on the journey, which you should receive within 72 hours. In cases of emergency, a journey may be undertaken within 48 hours of the request, if the facilitator is available.

What training has the Shaman had?

Each Shaman has trained under the supervision of their teacher in a full-time residential course, and has practised many journeys to improve the results. Some Shamans are more experienced than others, so follow your intuition to find the one who is right for you. Each facilitator has additional trainining in either traditional medicine, alternative/integrative medicine or other healing arts such as Reiki. However these other techniques are generally not used during the SR/E process. Each Shaman has also been trained to walk in the natural world as part of their training, and have participated in a “sweat lodge.”

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Who is your teacher?

Our teacher is Ai Gvhdi Waya, who is a hereditary shaman, and is part Eastern Cherokee through her father’s side. Her great-great grandmother was a full blood member of the wolf clan. While little is known about her, one photo exists, and it is known she was a medicine woman. Trained from age 8 through 18, Ai Gvhdi Waya was given her native background by her father, and then Richard Graves, a Western Cherokee medicine man.

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How long will the SR/E take?

The SR/E process will usually take place within 72 hours of receipt of your order. However, depending upon the appointments already scheduled, it may be longer. As the first step,the client must buy and read the book Soul Recovery and Extraction by Ai Gvhdi Waya. After reading the book, and asking any other questions of the shaman, a time will be scheduled for the journey. In cases of urgent need, it may be possible to request an emergency SR/E, which will be done within 48 hours (at increased cost.) If the emergency request cannot be satisfied, we will offer a referral to another experienced Shamanic facilitator trained by Ai Gvhdi Waya.

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What makes the Shaman so special that they can do this?

The Shamans would be the first to admit that what they do is not special in any way. It is a technique which can be learned by most people who are willing to apply themselves, and has been found in most cultures as a respected traditional healing method. Many Shamans are also healers in other ways (many in alternative medicine fields and especially Homeopathy or Psychotherapy), and have found that Shamanic Facilitation is an especially powerful process for bringing about lasting and in-depth release of traumatic emotional experiences.

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How does the client need to prepare?

For the long-distance SR/E, no special preparations are required. Clients should cultivate a quiet and reflective mind during the period that is reserved for the SR/E, and should try to avoid times of stress or turmoil. We don’t recommend large family gatherings, weddings, funerals or moving household goods or any other situations where your focus is not on yourself when an SR/E is scheduled. The Client is not required to disclose any medical history prior to the SR/E, but is encouraged to give feedback on the observations made by the Shaman after the journey is complete. For local SR/E, the Shamanic Facilitator will provide detailed information on the process before it begins.

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What does the client need to do after the SR/E?

The Client should pay careful attention to any feelings, dreams or impressions they have in the period leading up to, and immediately after the SR/E. Please take note of them, and report any out-of-the-ordinary results to your Shamanic Facilitator. Your Shaman will schedule follow-up consultations after 48 hours, 30 days and 90 days, in which you should report anything unique or significant. These follow-ups are included in the cost of the SR/E.

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Will you guarantee results?

No, we cannot offer any guarantee. In some cases, the Shaman may receive guidance that it is not appropriate to follow the therapeutic process of a journey, in which case the Client will receive a full refund. Furthermore, depending on the nature of the problem, the Client may be in a life situation where the patterns which led to the soul loss are still present, or may unconsciously block acceptance of the healing process. This is called an obstacle to cure. While we cannot make any promises, we find many Clients improve within 90 days. For some clients the process of integration may take six months and up to a year afterwards, because healing speed is dependent upon the individual client.

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Do I have to visit the Shaman to undergo the process?

In our Shamanic tradition, there are two types of journeys which may be performed: local and long-distance. A local journey means that the Client visits the home or Sacred Space of the Facilitator. The two lay next to each other, while drumming is used to induce non-ordinary reality in the shaman for the journey. There is minimal body contact, which will be carefully explained before the journey commences. A local journey must be pre-arranged with the Shamanic facilitator, at least two weeks in advance. This will require a visit to wherever they reside.

Long-distance journeys mean that the Shaman undertakes the SR/E knowing only the name of the recipient, and with the written informed consent of the Client. In the case of minors, the consent of the parent or guardian is required. Due to the expense of travel , we recommend the long-distance journey. There is no difference in the results between the two methods.

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Do you guarantee confidentiality and privacy?

We take every precaution to ensure the strictest privacy for our clients. As much of the information is conveyed via email, we strongly recommend that the Client does not use a shared or family-accessible email account. Instead, the Client should establish a private free account with an Email provider such as Yahoo!® or Hotmail®. For Clients who wish for greater privacy, we support the use of strong encryption of the report using PGP, which is free software available for download via the Internet. (See http://www.pgp.com.)

Any information disclosed by the Client will be held in strictest confidence. As a trained Shamanic Facilitator, we are required to make case notes, which will be carefully anonymized before shared with other facilitators. We follow the strict guidelines of U.S. Privacy Laws, which regulate the collection and restrict the use of information we obtain to only the therapeutic purpose.

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Can you talk to a dead relative?

On occasion, a Shaman’s journey will take them to meet people who have passed over. Sometimes a message may be given, which will be reported to the Client, but this is not the goal of the journey. No instructions will be accepted from the Client to visit a specific person or entity.

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Can you answer specific questions for me?

Shamans generally do not take questions, nor attempt to contact specific entities that may be related to the Client. The Shamanic journey follows guidance which is given by the Shaman’s personal guides, and is not planned in accordance with Client wishes.

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What are “guides?”

Guides are non-physical beings who are willing to aid the Shaman on their journey. They may offer special skills that can assist with the journey or extraction procedures, and will sometimes act as an intermediary in negotiations with the entities encountered during the journey.

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What are “pieces?”

The Shaman’s goal is to retrieve “soul pieces” that can help the client to achieve wholeness. A piece is energy that is unseen by the naked eye, but in a shamanic altered state, it can be seen. This energy can take many forms, from symbols to an actual event occurring and being witnessed by the shaman as it occurred to the client. These pieces are often found under the control of other persons or entities, and it is the job of the Shaman to negotiate, on behalf of the Client, for their return.

A typical journey may return two or three pieces, but sometimes no pieces may be retrieved. When the pieces are returned, the Shaman will provide a detailed report on each piece, explaining the circumstances under which they were retrieved, and depicting the piece in symbolic form. Often, the symbol has a private meaning for the Client, or may trigger an association which can lead to resolution of deep emotional issues. In some cases, a piece may not immediately be recognized, but can be triggered later, up to three months after the SR/E is completed.

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What is “extraction?”

Extraction is a healing technique which focuses on cleansing the external and internal etheric field of our aura and chakras, as well as the superphysical counterpart of the body. Sometimes, symbolic “operations” are performed on the subtle bodies, which includes removal of obstructions or areas of damage that correspond to existing or hidden medical problems. When performed locally, this process may incorporate practices such as the use of sweet grass, sage smoke, drumming, a healing crystal, feathers and a rattle.

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Will I feel better immediately after the SR/E?

Actually, in many cases we believe that the Client may feel worse for a period of around 48 hours after the procedure, as the soul/body recovers. This is a natural part of the healing process, known as Hering’s Law of Cure which is “All cure starts from within out and from the head down and in reverse order as the symptoms have appeared.” This is a sign that the SR/E has been effective. Therefore, we strongly recommend that Clients “check in” with the Shamanic Facilitator after two days, 30 days, 60 days, and again after 90 days, to report any feelings or symptoms.

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Can SR/E cure diseases?

No claims are made for any medical or therapeutic benefit for this process. While some people have reported improvements in specific ailments, we do not endorse SR/E as a replacement for approved medical techniques. In particular, we do not recommend SR/E for cases of diagnosed mental illness, and suggest that Clients with such problems should consult a trained Medical practitioner for help. Especially, Clients with suicidal feelings or severe depression should urgently seek professional assistance from a crisis counselor. Clients should not discontinue use of any drugs prescribed by a Medical Doctor.

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Can you explain why Shamans don’t have to be Native American?

Shamanism is found in most pre-industrial cultures around the world, where it has not been displaced or pushed underground by organized religion. The Shamanic tradition is not exclusively the property of any one culture. Some shamans from world wide indigenous cultures have preserved their traditions more effectively than some other cultures, and have been willing to teach it to Europeans and others who have lost contact with their own native traditions.

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Isn’t SR/E just a form of psychotherapy?

Many Shamans recognize that psychotherapy can be very effective at resolving deep-seated emotional traumas, or helping a personality to achieve wholeness and integration, however typically this is a long-term process, over many months or years. The SR/E has been found to achieve similar results much more quickly. Most shamans are not licensed psychotherapists, nor do they make this claim. If your shaman feels you can benefit from therapy, it will be suggested to the client. All shamans have a network of health, medical and alternative medicine practitioners available to their client, and will request that they go to the appropriate person who is qualified to continue to help them on their way to wellness.

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Can I arrange SR/E for someone else?

We will only perform an SR/E when we have the Client’s written statement of informed consent. We will not perform a journey for anyone who is not informed that it will take place, or for someone who is unwilling. Where the consent cannot be obtained directly, the person acting on behalf of the Client must carefully attest to the circumstances before a journey can take place. Note we will also perform SR/E on an animal, such as a family pet, for the same charge.

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How often can you perform an SR/E for me?

We will not run another journey for a client before three months (90 days) after the last journey. Time is needed to integrate the pieces. If the shamanic facilitator judges that the client still needs to wait longer than three months, the client must abide by that decision. The elapsed time between SR/E’s should be at least three months, as this allows time for the returned pieces to be reintegrated into the personality. A typical customer may require up to three SR/E journeys within a nine month period scheduled three months apart if integration goes according to plan.

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Can you protect me against black magic or curses?

The SR/E is not intended as a protection against sorcery or bad luck, and Clients with this class of problem should consult another type of practitioner.

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How can SR/E deal with mental illness?

We strongly recommend that SR/E not be used in cases where clients have a current serious mental illness, whether diagnosed or not. Cases of mild depression, or past mental illness which has now been resolved, are not normally barriers to a successful SR/E.

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Do I have to believe in SR/E for it to work?

We find that the client who reads the SR/E book and has a favorable attitude will find that the SR/E always works for them. If a person refuses to believe in the possibility, then the shaman’s services should not be engaged. For clients who maintain an open mind, acknowledging that the mysteries of the human heart are deeper than the capacities of the brain’s perception, the SR/E will work for them.

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Can SR/E help the dying or the recently deceased?

We do not promise that SR/E will save your or anyone else’s life. In fact, Shamans see death as an integral and necessary part of life, and respect the process as entirely natural. We believe that the SR/E can assist the person who is dying to achieve greater peace and balance before death, which can help the transition. We and all traditional Shamans work with the dead and the dying. Traditions such as in the Tibetan “Bardo”, the Maori “Tangi”, and prayers for the dead are seen in many cultures.

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Who is offering this service?

Please go to the page listing shamanic facilitators trained by Ai Gvhdi Waya.

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