Seidr is an ancient practice, rooted, as I believe, in Shamanism (if not merely another word for the same). And a Seidu is one who interacts with Nature to discern rede, healing, divination, story telling, ceremony, and rite-of-passage. The Seidu takes on as many roles as their clan and tribe asks of them; be it healer or priest, mystic or poet.
In writing Forn Threifa: Ancient Healing Touch, I knew from the beginning that illness was more than physical, so sought to include there the emotional as well. However, the ability to heal a soul – one’s very lifeforce and vibrant vitality – is not easily conveyed. For to repair a soul, to ‘call it home’, or as commonly referred to today as ‘soul retrieval’, is a delicate matter.
You see, one’s soul may be ‘fractured’ by trauma, either physical or emotional, and it may occur at any time, either young or old. If young, one may have been living with this loss for decades, never quite feeling ‘right’ or ‘fitting in’, alienated from the very world around them. But whatever the cause, it is to one’s Orlog that the Seidu must look.
But first, rest assured that this is no fantasy, but an actual observation made in pre-historic times even, of those who have become dissociated (as Psychologists today have labeled it). But here, it’s best for C. Jung to explain:
“A dissociation is not healed by being split off, but by
more complete disintegration. All the powers that strive
for unity, all healthy desire for selfhood, will resist the disintegration,
and in this way he will become conscious of the possibility of an
inner integration, which before he had always sought outside himself.
He will then find his reward in an undivided self.”
-‘Marriage as a Psychological Relationship’
In short: What many in the modern Shamanic community today deem a ‘bad thing’, Jung recognized as a ‘universal and necessary psychic activity for the development of personality through the differentiation of functions’ (1). I tend to agree.
Perhaps one should think on soul loss as a ‘shedding’, as a necessary reduction of unwanted or unneeded parts of self; that self which one may have outgrown. The resistance or disruption then, that one may experience, could then be due to a refusal or reluctance to Change. You see, all Change causes pain, and though no one enjoys pain, the physical body is more resilient towards this manner of change than the emotional and intellectual part of self. You see, when pain becomes ‘too much to bear’, the mind will brilliantly compartmentalize it (we call this ‘swept under the rug’). This disassociation from pain is what the Shamans of old identified as a piece of soul leaving the body (or remaining there, but ‘tucked away’). In any event, this piece of soul-self ‘journeys’ to an Other Realm. Mostly, the soul, once organically healed, returns, but in some cases it does not. In fact, it may take-on a life of its own, and in so doing, become ‘lost’ or ‘distracted’; and if vulnerable, even ‘stolen’ or ‘collected’ by another. Taking all this into account, it becomes clear that there are simply no one-size fits-all scenarios when it comes to soul retrieval; or even whether anything at all should be done about this ‘shedding’.
Let’s assume that dissociation – or the “asundered association” of self (literal meaning) – is a ‘shedding’ or purification or needed event to rid one of dross and/or distress. This would be in opposition to those who dissociation is a detachment from reality (a psychotic episode). Know then that dissociation is a spectrum that ranges from daydreaming to serious mental illness; certainly then, not all dissociation is ‘bad’.
In my essays and books, I refer often to the soul-self, which is simply one’s true identity (as opposed to ego-identity). As such, the soul does experience pain and trauma that are certainly transformative, but does one desire to truly eliminate every such ‘overwhelming’ event? Are not such occurrences a ‘measure’ of one’s resilience, of one’s True Strength? I’m of a mind that only when one’s soul-self leads to destructive behavior, should action be taken.
For example, lets imagine one who was abused as a child, or mistreated as an adult, a good course of action is to help this individual identify the fear(s) – rational or irrational – to better identify ways to protect one’s soul-self in the future. Such wounded individuals should seek-out the company of healthy individuals; better still, those who actively work on Unwounding (such as on Wise Home, a Frith-space for Seidworkers). One such method involves the number eight (8), which I have highlighted in several essays and books (most recently: Seidr Sprehhan: The Sayings of Seidr).
Step 1: Recall the Root; and Start a Journal for this Issue. As difficult as it may be, try to remember the source of this situation.
Step 2: Recognize that this was ‘then’, not ‘now’. All too often we carry burdens with us into every situation in life. This is difficult to recognize, that we may be ‘making matters worse’, but in large-part, one often does.
Step 3: Develop a meditation, Out-Sitting practice.
Step 4: Use positive and pleasing visualization to counter negative imagery. (Re-direction of one’s focus / attention / intention.)
Step 5: Identify and discord negative self-speak. (Self-encouragement)
Step 6: Recognize when one turns a ‘mole hill into a mountain’, or acerbates a situation, or ‘blows it out of control’, instead of addressing the true cause. In short: Don’t let the little things trip you up.
Step 7: Put this matter behind you, or into perspective. Tell yourself its ‘alright to move on’, that its ‘time to move on’.
Step 8: Refer back to the Journal you started. Often, while in the forest we can’t see the trees; having a journal helps us see where we have been, where we are now, and in some cases, our next course of action.
Finally, Seidr is a highly specialized search for Real, for a heightened, enriched, and ‘in-tune’ life; which is what all humans seek. The transcendental aspects that define Seidr from ordinary yearning emerges from a Vast Well, that, with research, study and application, gradually becomes the dominate thread of one’s life. This ‘thread’ subdues all other endeavors, enhances all Other pursuits, and enforces the Ruling Powers of Wynn: Wisdom, Generosity, and Honor. In all, Seidr has three primary threads:
-the Seidu’s Forthfaring (their personal journey);
-the Seidu’s Worthing and Becoming (the Re-remembering, re-shaping of self); and
-the Seidu’s Right Good Will.
1-‘Multiple personality, dissociation, and C.G. Jung’s complex theory’, R. Noll
~ ~ ~
Soul Retrieval, by Elena Ray