***I am a Core Shamanic Practitioner trained in the lineage of Sandra Ingerman of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. Through class study, shamanic practice groups reading and almost 20 years of experiencing journeying, doing soul retrievals, extractions, and soul guide work, I’ve developed a deep love of this ancient form of Healing the Spirit which in turn can heal the mind and body. I am a wounded healer, drawn to this work due to serious illness and trauma. So much of this is healed, while layers continue to be released the further I pursue this work.

SHAMAN (Shah-man)– A Tungus word from Central Asia (from the Siberian Tungus tribe) referring to a person who uses a state of spiritual ecstasy to enter the normally imperceptible realities of the spirit world to get help for him/herself or others.. The word shaman comes from root words meaning “knowledge” and “heat,” two ideas that capture fully the rich traditions of classic shamanism. The shaman is someone on fire with certain kinds of knowledge that comes from the spirit world. “One who can see in the dark”

A true Shaman is a term reserved for people trained in the traditional methods of shamanism that are unique to indigenous tribes and cultures. The term could be applied to a person born into a certain tribe and trained in the ways of a shaman or it could be applied to Westerners who have been apprenticed to native shamans and trained extensively in the old ways of their people

What distinguishes the shaman from a shamanic practitioner is the shaman’s intense relationship with helping spirits and the knowledge of how to proceed that is received from those spirit helpers. At the heart of a shaman’s power and reputation, therefore, is his/her spiritual practice. He/she lives with an intensity, seriousness, dedication and calling to this shamanic practice.

A shaman is often ”called” to this work. Very often he/she has experienced severe illness, near death experiences or severe trauma that changes their world view and draws them to this work and practice

Soul Retrieval

From a shamanic point of view, soul loss is not necessarily a bad thing either. Your soul “knows” if you are capable of handling a traumatic experience or stressful situation.  If not, the wounded part of your soul leaves your body so that you won’t feel the ego-annihilating fullness of the pain. Soul fragmentation protects the person undergoing some trauma or loss, shielding them from the bulk of the pain, and helping the individual get through the traumatic event. It’s a survival mechanism that protects your soul from being annihilated and shields the individual from the pain of physical or emotional traumas.

While soul loss may have been unavoidable or necessary at the time of the trauma, neglecting the hurt fragmented parts of the soul and going on with life with a fragmented soul leads to other problems, such as depression, susceptibility to disease, behavioral patterns from the unhealed trauma that lead to self-sabotage, and mental illness.

SOUL RETRIEVAL is the process of recovering the lost soul fragments and is typically performed by shamans. Soul retrieval practices exist in many cultures.

How do you know if you are experiencing Soul Loss?

  • You can’t remember certain parts of your life.
  • You are plagued by constant feelings of fear or anxiety.
  • You feel like there’s a missing part of yourself.
  • You have strong periods of depression.
  • You are not sure about your purpose in life.
  • You experience long periods of insomnia.
  • You feel mental or physical fatigue that does not have any medical explanation.
  • You feel lost.
  • You have difficulty overcoming certain issues in your life.
  • You feel like you’re not in control of yourself.

Soul Guide

Soul Guide shamanic work are advanced techniques used for a variety of reasons:

First a Practitioner journeys to the middle word for all techniques of soul guide work. He/She goes alone without their power animal, but works with sprit guides there to meet, give the intention to and watch them do the work.

Always drumming is necessary to start any session, this puts me into a theta state where I’ve learned to be able to hear what is happening in this reality while, at the same time enter the worlds of non-ordinary reality to do the work cleanly and clearly. By this, I mean I trust my army of helpers who I call upon to do the work. It’s not me but I’m there I always keep a drumming CD going while the work is proceeding to keep me in this state.


  • Help a soul who is caught between this ordinary reality and going to the light , go to the light
  • Often a client will come saying their loved one’s soul is near them all the time; feels like they want to tell them something. During a session with this client, I find the soul, ask them who they are and what they need help with. Once I get this information, I become a median where the soul can converse with my client. Then there is usually a closure between the two and I can them proceed with helping them to the light
  • End of life – For 15 years I was a comfort therapist RN contracted with my local hospital and called upon to do Therapeutic Touch and Reiki with clients. Sometimes I saw clients for months, other times called in because a client couldn’t let go and needed that extra gentle push. With these clients I often did Soul Guide work. Either my intuition guided me to do it or I really just knew I could help them go. Always throughout one or more sessions I conversed with the souls to find out what they needed and relayed the information to family members. I could always see my helpers and how close the client was to the light. Little by little or sometimes in one session the client went to the light peacefully.

Janet Goldenbogen-Self, RN
Holistic Health Practitioner
Holistic Therapies, Inc.
Port Townsend, WA


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