Altar Work: Soul Retrieval, Part 2

Drum, Journey and Heal, a True Story

In Part 1 we introduced Soul Retrieval as a cure for the loss of energy caused by trauma or shock.

We said a practitioner of soul retrieval, a “shaman” perhaps, or a person who uses shamanic techniques, performs a “journey” to retrieve the lost energy/consciousness. The goal is to restore a person’s energy and vitality.

Melba came to our altar one day. After talking some we saw a hole needed to be filled.

“Soul loss,” I say to Melba.

She gasps, “What?”

I explain things happened when we were younger and parts of us stay behind, parts of our essence, through frights, sustos, accidents, nightmares and life’s troubles.

In the old days more practitioners practiced soul retrieval, but now everybody wants things instantly. “Soul loss is why our ancestors invented the limpia, the cleansing. To prevent soul loss.”

I explain the “journey” and say, “I won’t talk to you again until I finish. Then I will blow into your chest four times and then into the top of your head four times. Then I’ll tell you what came back.”

I salute Spirit and put my “blindfolds” on, a woven shawl that’s been part of our medicine for 30 years.

The Drum is our vehicle. I play hard for some minutes, letting the beat guide me and calling for my totem. Today I invite the Jaguar, Ocelotl.

She comes from behind, full jaguar form, and runs for the entrance to the Cave. One could say it’s a mental cave, one I see in my mind, but we’ve been so many times, it somehow seems like much more. I follow.

The entrance is wide, so I run behind Jaguar to our choices. There are doors, passages, gates, some lit up, some dark, some soft grass, some hard rocks.

We choose a tiny entrance, a small door. As we arrive at the door it disappears and a muddy hole opens, oozing an invitation to go that way. We step in and do a long, fast, slide in and down.

We slam into a rock that stops us cold. Jaguar lands on her feet. I’m against the rock.

We see the rock is actually a boulder and needs to be dislodged.

I reach in my medicine bag, also more real than just a mental construct. I bring out a thunderbolt. I have to throw fast. It burns. I throw it at the center of the big rock.

The rock blows, but the pieces come back together into a light, a beautiful round orb of light above another cave. This entrance is well lit and is tall enough for me to walk upright. Jaguar trots forward and the cave winds around until we come to a small hallway inside a house.

The first thing we notice is a baby’s crib with a baby in it. A couple is standing at the foot of the crib. At this moment, anger flares in the man. The raised hand lands on the lady, who I now know is Melba. She bounces off a dresser standing behind her and already dazed, doesn’t realize she’s walking into the final punch, right in her stomach.

Melba doubles up and falls to the ground, but now the scene begins to disappear as I receive the information that Melba was 21 years old when this happens.

Not wanting to lose anything we found, Jaguar and I return the way we came. We follow the winding cave back to the boulder we blew up, then back up through the oozing mud to our original entrance.

I know the answer, but I ask Jaguar, “Do you have Melba?”

Jaguar can’t talk the way humans do. I see the answer in her golden eyes.

“Ok,” I say and remove my blindfold as Jaguar disappears into me.

Gracias,” I say standing and leaning over to blow into Melba’s chest. Melba raises her head and I cup my hands an inch above her chest. I blow four times as Jaguar goes through Melba to deliver the 21-year-old Melba we had retrieved.

Young Melba reunites with Now Melba. I blow four times again over the top of Melba’s head.

“Thank you, Creator,” I say, stooping over Melba to look in her eyes, “Abre los ojos, hija.”

Melba blinks her eyes open and there I see young Melba. “Welcome home,” I whisper.

Melba smiles. Her face shows lighter than before we started. Good. I give her a glass of water and ask her to drink it all before we end. I then recount to her the events of our little journey.

Melba remembers young Melba and remembers that scene. She had to go to the hospital, was unconscious for some days. It was the first time her now ex-husband, Rodrigo, had hit her.

I say, “That 21-year-old lost her hopes and dreams. In that moment, they went away.”

Melba nods and I know she understands on some level, and now we need to bring this thing fully into the present, in some physical way.

“I want you to get a birthday cake, nothing fancy. It can be for just you or you can have family and friends there. Put a number 21 candle on it and sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself to welcome young Melba home.”

I follow with the speech about “things that appear to be silly or frivolous,” such as this birthday cake. I explain how “silly” in this world can be a powerhouse in the invisible worlds, and so forth. I tell her we are looking for two things to happen.

“First you should be having some memories of that time. They won’t hurt as much now. They just come so you can release their sting, so you have to let me know about that, OK?”

She agrees.

“Second, you should feel more energy when you face some of your difficult moments, those moments you hate but you can’t avoid. You receive more energy so that you can deal with the harder parts of your life in a better, more harmonious way.”

Melba has been a customer now over ten years and our work goes way beyond that original healing.

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Published by Mike Callas

Named curandero, healer, by the people we serve, we're close to 40 years living around our humble altar. Our experience has created a legacy we are inclined to share, as well as inspired many a story and the making of myth. In true toltec fashion, we make art.

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