October 24, 2012
We are the fortunate heirs of a great and venerable spiritual tradition, shamanism, many thousands of years old, with core principles and practices that are universal or common for one simple reason: they work. Among them is soul retrieval, found widely in shamanic cultures.
Dr. Harner learned how to do soul retrieval in 1961 while living among the Amazonian Conibo and brought it to the West. The Conibo taught him that every part of a person had its own soul, and that soul retrieval could be done for any portion of the person that had been injured or traumatized. In The Way of the Shaman (pages 71-72, 93, 99), he wrote of recovering “vital souls” to heal comatose persons and persons suffering from traumas, noting that this method can also be used “to heal patients by retrieving lost portions of their vital souls.”
Michael began training students in soul retrieval at least as early as June 25 – 27, 1982, as part of an Intermediate Workshop (no longer existing under that name) inside a cave in Grottoes, Virginia. Among the 31 students in that memorable location was Dana Robinson, now a longtime FSS faculty member, who recalls:
“In Grottoes, we did a considerable amount of shamanic work inside a large cave that we walked into a couple of times each day. During one session in the cave, you taught us a soul retrieval technique, and we helped a young man who had spent some time in a mental institution years before.I remember other events from that weekend 30 years ago, but the soul retrieval journey, the beauty of that cave, and the great teacher that we had stand out the most in my memory.”
The training in core soul retrieval to be offered by the Foundation is based on principles and methods that have been used successfully not just by the Conibo, but cross-culturally. Core soul retrieval is a shamanic healing method and does not involve the addition of Western psychological practices.
Prerequisite FSS Workshops: The Way of the Shaman (the Basic workshop); AND 1. These two advanced weekend workshops: Shamanic Extraction Healing and Shamanism, Dying, and Beyond; OR 2. Completion of the FSS Three-Year Program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing; OR 3. Completion of the Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive (see Note below).
Note: Core Soul Retrieval Training is also offered as part of the FSS Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive (from 2013 onward), held on the East and West Coasts of the USA.
All of the Foundation’s programs are based on Michael Harner’s pioneering work in core shamanism – more than 50 years of research, experimentation, development, and teaching. The resulting workshops and training programs embody the authentic, ethical, and effective practice of shamanism and shamanic healing and are widely considered as unparalleled in the world.