These last weeks I have been preparing to head out and teach Soul Retrieval to the apprentices in the White Bone Shamanic Arts Apprenticeship. It's such a giant area of shamanic medicine, and one that can seem easy. Over the years, however, I have come to understand that the concept truly is simple, and yet being present and facilitating a really effective soul retrieval isn't necessarily easy.
When I first started providing soul retrieval services for others, lots of soul parts would come and really want to return. Now with some experience, I am cautious to hold a strong intention (as Sandra Ingerman teaches) that ONLY the soul parts that are willing and who are needed will return... and ONLY the soul parts that this person is able to fully integrate will return.
I think in this dominant culture, we have this way of wanting everything and wanting it now, however, many of my teachers and elders have stressed to me that these are wants and yearnings of the mind, they are not necessarily based in experience, which is found in the body. So, sometimes our mind really wants soul retrieval and we want all of our soul parts back, and yet we are unaware that the digestion and integration phase of soul retrieval (the experience) sometimes takes great focus, time, effort, and commitment to change. It's the case of doing one thing really well, rather than many badly.
If you are thinking of soul retrieval and doing some of your own focussed work to call parts of you home, I would suggest that you spend plenty of time becoming as clear as possible on your intention. A great way to do this is through some concentrated work of moving from your head to your heart. I often recommend journalling with your non-dominant hand. You can ask you heart questions with your dominant hand, and then answer from your heart with your non-dominant hand. Alternatively, you can just draw with your non-dominant hand. You can simply ask your heart, "What are you yearning for?" Try doing this each day for a week and notice your emotions and body sensations as you go along. Once you are clear on the answer, then ask your heart this, "When was the last time you had this or felt this?" This might lead you back in time to an experience where a part of your soul left, or where you banished a part of your soul.
If this is the case, then begin to work with your dreams. Ask your Helping Spirits to hold you gently in your dreams and to bring back the soul part you need, who wants to come home, and who you can work with to fully inetgrate.
Sweet dreaming and warm blessings on your journey.