People involved with this shamanic practice that we've stumbled into, speak of non-ordinary reality. Yep. That. For sure. There is nothing ordinary about what is happening to me; to us. So, if what I write here has that "I don't know that I believe any of this, but don't know how else to explain it," sound, you will understand where it comes from.
Any event that causes shock could cause soul loss. And what might cause soul loss in one person might not cause soul loss in another...
It is important to understand that soul loss is a good thing that happens to us. It is how we survive pain. If I was going to be in a head on car collision the last place that I would want to be at the point of impact is in my body. My psyche could not endure that kind of pain. So our psyches have this brilliant self protect mechanism where a part of our essence or soul leaves the body so that we do not feel the full impact of the pain.
In psychology we call this disassociation. But in psychology we don’t talk about what disassociates and where that part goes. In shamanism we understand that a piece of the soul leaves the body and goes to a territory in what shamans call non ordinary reality where it waits until someone intervenes in the spiritual realms and facilitates its return.
I have completed the "formal" process of my soul retrieval -- two sessions with the shaman. The first session, on May 3rd, lasted about an hour and a half. There were really two main parts to it: something called an extraction (removing and repairing blockages and injuries), and then the actual journey to retrieve essences of my "soul" that had left me somewhere along the way. There was a bit of simple ritual to it all: prayers to the four directions, rattling and chanting and whistling, drumming, the ringing of bells, and some fairly limited degree of actual physical touches by the shaman. I didn't notice a lot -- some odd imagery of amber colored ribbons rippling from my left arm through my body and out the other side, and a very clear image of tiny, baby fingertips reaching out. None of it was so intense that it was jarring or even really very notable. It just was.
The shaman told me that she'd found three "parts" or "essences" and had convinced them to return to me. One was a little girl, about three years old, who was "very shy," and very wounded in a very tender part. She appeared with a very small, little cat, that was a comfort to her. That little one needed "healing," before she was returned to me. Then there was a young woman, about 24 years old, who had "left" at the point when I decided to put my own wants and desires aside to stay in my marriage -- because I had two small children to raise. That part of myself had understood that there was no place for her, given that choice, and so had separated from me. Lastly, a part of me that left when I had the hysterectomy, the part that just could not bear the loss of yet another part of my emotional life, was also returned. They were gathered up from wherever they had fled to, convinced to come back and be here with me, blown back into me, and sealed in place. I had the sense that there was something different, a sense of almost quivery, shaky fullness, but I wasn't too sure what it really portended.
During the next two and a half weeks, I had "homework" to do. It seems that it is not unusual for a shaman to promise recovered soul parts that they will be given gifts or treats or rewards in return for their agreement to "rejoin" the life they'd abandoned. I promised to read a bedtime story to the little girl -- one that I remembered my father reading to me. I promised to spend time reading my old, old copy of Kahil Gibran's Prophet with that young woman -- it was one thing that I remember clinging to through all those dry, dreary, sad years. And, I promised to share a piece of blueberry pie with my hysterectomy self -- something purely sensual and sweet just for the two of us.
I did all of those things:
- I read "Little Red Riding Hood" with my little girl. It was a week night at about 8:00 in the evening. I finished the story, and found myself feeling an overwhelming sense of sleepiness. I think I was sound asleep within five minutes of finishing that "bedtime story."
- Another night, I ran a warm bath; added some bubble bath, and settled in to read "The Prophet." I could hear myself resonating to the rhythms and patterns of the words. It was an interlude out of time.
- Then, last Sunday, I got around to that blueberry pie promise. I'd thought, in the beginning, that I'd just go to a restaurant somewhere and order a slice of blueberry pie -- but it is not the season. I couldn't find anyplace to get a piece of blueberry pie. So, I bought some blueberries and made it for myself. It was not without resistance however. I was furious, angry, teary and depressed all day long. In my head, I could hear that part of me shrieking, "I don't want any damned old pie. I want my parts back! I want my femaleness back!" It was an awful day -- really miserable. I did, however, manage to get the pie done and eating it seemed, oddly, to settle all that fussiness. I slept well and I had a good week. Interestingly, I felt like my week was calmer, easier, happier. I seemed to just go with whatever came at me -- nothing felt stressful or negative.
Thursday was my second session -- a follow up intended to seal the retrieval and settle the reintegration in place. I expected it to be pretty non-consequential, a sort of perfunctory check in that would amount to a "how's it going" conversation. It was way more than I expected. Having done all of the requisite chanting and rattling and praying to the four corners, the shaman called out each of my newly returned essences. We talked. They described what gifts they brought to me, and I had the opportunity to ask them questions. It was the strangest experience I have ever had. It was intensely emotional. I cried, and shook, and laughed, and hyperventilated. An hour and a half later, I left her house and headed home. I was completely spent.
And I went right on, doing what I do. I have just not been willing to look at any of this too closely. It seems so "out there" that I have been afraid that I was imagining things; making things up; psyching myself. The skeptic in my keeps whispering that, "probably this is really nothing, and it will end up to be a matter of wasting $125.00."
This morning He and I got ready to play. I have wanted to play for a couple of weeks now. Really wanted it.
SM play has been a tricky thing for us for a very long time. Well before "the troubles," I'd lost my capacity to really "get into" sadomasochistic play. In those months leading up to the hysterectomy, I'd been physically miserable, and then afterwards, I'd been so devastated by the surgical after effects, that I'd never really recovered. For years, I've toughed it out through sessions, gritting my teeth, clutching a pillow, trying not to scream or flail or run. I've gotten into my head and counted my breaths, and chanted my little mantras, just trying to do what I could to meet my "obligations." There's been very little, in all of that, of pleasure or delight for Him or me.
We got started today in the usual way, with me over our old spanking pillow on the bed. He started off pretty easily with some hand spanking and a light little leather paddle, and I was getting myself into my usual breathe and count routine. But then, the oddest thing happened. I began to notice a heat rising in my gut. I started to notice a throbbing in my sex -- and, even more wondrous, I was wet! Me! Wet! Suddenly, the blows He was raining down on me weren't awful; weren't a challenge; weren't something to be endured. This morning, in a twinkling, I stopped worrying about staying in place through the pain, and started worrying about staying in place through the rocking orgasm. Oh yeah. Welcome home parts and pieces!
So, I don't know. I can't explain any of it. Not going to even try. Just too happy to try to analyze stuff.