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This book, which covers Visions and hallucinations, explains what causes them and summarises how many hallucinations have been caused by each event or activity. It also provides specific help with questions people have asked us, such as ‘Is my medication giving me hallucinations?’.

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Observations placeholder

Villoldo, Dr Alberto - Soul Retrieval



Type of Spiritual Experience


You don’t actually have to rely on a shaman to retrieve your bit of lost soul.  If you have a kindly helper able to question you as you journey down into your subconscious under – for example – hypnosis, they can help you tease out the story or the artefact of other symbolic object  that represents the trauma doing all the damage

A description of the experience

Soul Retrieval – Dr Alberto Villoldo

The Lower world, the belly of the Great Mother, is the domain that protects our fragmented soul parts until they are ready to be brought back safely into the Middle world of our everyday consciousness.

The darkness that's represented by the Lower World is where we hide the things we no longer want to see. For example, I frequently run into instances of child abuse among my clients.  In psychology, we look at how this experience may have been repressed and how it lies buried in our unconscious; then, through psychotherapy, we attempt to unearth and understand it. ….

When a child is abused or traumatized, a fragment of his soul breaks off and returns to the archetypal domain of the Great Mother for the protection that his biological mother could not provide. This soul part is actually a portion of life energy that’s now unavailable for his growth...................

In order to heal the soul and find that missing part, we must go fishing in the deepest waters of the psyche, where we haven't gone before. This sort of healing can't happen when we're angling from the shore, where we rework everyday concerns. No, when we meet the soul in its own domain, the tools of psychology fall short. Psychology is like the fisherman who baits his hook, drops his line over the side, and brings whatever bites up on the deck of consciousness. We need to learn to jump over the side and follow the currents into the Lower World to explore its mysteries before we can really bring our catch to the surface. And what we find in those deep waters may unsettle and even frighten us.

We may think that we want to confront these lost parts of our soul, but when we finally do, our fears will often make us want to bludgeon them - after all, they can be scary and repulsive. In psychology, we're taught to analyse these aspects of ourselves, but in soul retrieval, we neither dissect nor deny these lost soul parts - instead, we acknowledge and heal them, and integrate them back into the whole of our being.

Of course, this is not an easy process. Setting your life in order again is often a cataclysmic event, since your world has been turned upside down. It can be tempting to tell yourself, "l can't handle this now, I'm too busy. I'll deal with it tomorrow next week, or next year."

Well, just keep in mind that by the time most people come to me for soul retrieval, they're suffering from physical illness or emotional distress because the lost parts of their soul are demanding to be acknowledged and reintegrated.

The key is to retrieve your lost soul parts before they send your life into a tailspin. You can do this by journeying to the Lower World to meet the soul in its own domain. The Laika conceive of lost soul parts as beings that we can engage and speak to, and even heal and rescue. For example, your cruel nature may be personified by a sinister man in a black cape, while your vulnerability may be represented by a frightened little girl.

The source of the experience

Villoldo, Alberto

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Psychological trauma