trauma healing [an action of soul retrieval]
[Download link to save/print out this ritual for yourself is at base of post]
This action is about transforming stories, assisting detachment into growth acknowledgement, with stones as soul holders: the grandmothers and grandfathers of the earth and cosmos.
This stone practice I learnt originally from a suggestion into soul retrieval from shamanic teacher Itzhak Beery. I believe it a very good practice which you can do as a ritual for yourself, for getting out of victim-consciousness and into your agency.
I developed it and have changed/expanded some of the details but hope the structure and the way I describe it is clear.
...Do this action if you have 100% decided that your reflection and emotional digestion of the wounding is already enough [after/during psychotherapy]...
ie: You have talked through enough. You’ve witnessed yourself enough. You’ve felt through enough.
Now you’re ready to shake that [damn] story off, acknowledge your new wings and find the gain - You’re ready for leveling up!
STEPS [explained below] 1. DIVINATION WALK 2. OPEN YOUR BODY TO SEE 3. COLLECT TEN STONES 4. TEN STORIES : TEN WOUNDINGS 5. TEN CHANGES TO YOUR NARRATIVE : GAINS
6. BURNING THE OLD STORIES 7. SOUL HOLDERS - NEW INNER POWER 8. MEMORIES / FLASHBACKS : PERSPECTIVES
1. DIVINATION WALK:
Take a walk - a specific ritualised divination walk - where you *really* connect and allow your self to dissolve into nature and your environment.
Divination walks are best done when you power up and open your self in advance, with drum journeys or rattles or mediation music, rituals to get you in space. This walk can also be done simply as ‘so’ - as you walk the beat of your everyday life... But that depends how hectic your everyday life is.
The main point is connection to the deeper flow.
Don’t go on your walk preoccupied with your phone and an audiobook, or a chatty friend.
Go alone or with someone who knows how to make divination walks.
Go to connect as deeply as you can with nature!
2. OPEN YOUR BODY TO SEE
Really see. With your whole being. What jumps out to you?
Let your eyes drift over nature and see what meets your gaze.
We are looking for stones.
If you find some, ask the stones: “Which of you are here to please assist me in my evolution?”
3. COLLECT TEN STONES
If you feel the stones agree - Collect ten of different shapes and sizes and bring them home.
Put them in a special place in your home - or altar.
Consciously connect with the age of the stones, the weight of the stones, the slowness of the stones, the density. Spend some time admiring them - do you see any symbols in their folds and creases? Are they smooth, reflective, or crumbly and dusty? What kind of grandmother and grandfather energy is within the rocks you have found.
[You could definitely make a drumming journey on that too to simply meet the rock spirits.]
Whenever you handle the rocks do so with gratitude, the real stuff -> from your heart. Perhaps you might feel like immersing them in water and letting them sit on your altar for a while.
4. TEN STORIES: TEN WOUNDINGS
When you feel like it, [which could be instantly, or hours/days/weeks after finding the rocks], write out those ten stories, of ten woundings, on separate pieces of paper, which you would like to offer away.
It might be hard to think of 10... [this practise also can alert us to how much we focus on one or two particularly wounding events, blowing them up, even more in our memory. Whoops!]
Make sure these are woundings that you are *really ready and prepared* to get rid of! Absolutely sick of. Done with! Goodbye!
Place each paper under the stone that seems right for each wounding.
Leave them on an altar for a period of time - perhaps that is a week or a few days. During: feel through the woundings and acknowledge your self as “wounded”. Make sure you do it and really treat yourself as you would a good friend!
If you’re searching for a healing Goddess - Kuan Yin is an amazing Goddess/Bodhisattva to put on your altar during this one. She is a super healing power. [Related to the angel of temperance]
If you’re searching for a Crone energy [grandmother] then check out Hekate the liminal Goddess. She is connected with our ‘grandmother in the cave’ who co-weaves the cloth of reality.
Tend to the alter during this time - Fresh flowers, Fresh water, light the best candle, add objects that bring you JOY and inner strength.
Take time... re-read the stories as much as you want, add to them if you like.
5. TEN CHANGES TO YOUR NARRATIVE : GAINS
When you’re ready, go back in with new pieces of paper, and begin writing now exactly what you have gained from each of these experiences, one by one.
[BTW: Don’t judge yourself if you still feel blue rage at this stage - sometimes things just are ‘so’ - the point is we getting to a stage of letting go and forgiveness of the situation/unconsciousness. Forgiveness does not mean you are a doormat... its a release for YOU.]
Really what have you got from this? Small and big. Get detailed.
We are changing the narratives of our lives because that is not only our RIGHT but actually also - within our power. The stones help us carry it through... and through... and through.
Place the new paper detailing your massive gain, under each rock.
Gains might be - new perspectives, new and deeper understandings of yourself, new abilities within yourself, new friendships, new creative endeavours, new life goals...
Really dig in deep to try and come up with as much gain as you can notice, from each story.
It might also be qualities of yourself that you did have before, yet did not value as much before.
“I know now, 100%, that I will never ‘really’ abandon myself.”
“I value and start to understand what open, curious space / attunement actually is.” “I start to understand how resonance feels.” “I value all feelings and have learnt not to judge them.” “I conquered an addiction.” “I could see an addiction for what it really is”. “I leant to be more accepting.” “I learnt how to put myself first.” “I had dreams that led to ......” “I made art that led to......” “I learnt how to build.....” “I discovered a new part of the world/my neighbourhood/my city....” “I have more compassion for the suffering of others...” “I found deeper connection with animals/nature” “I let go of perfectionism...” “I learnt how to feel...” “I made friends with...” “My understanding of .... changed” “I realised that my core personal qualities are....” “I have the capacity to care.” “I have passion for....”
....on and on and on...
It might be qualities of yourself that you lost or could say goodbye to.
Wait another week or so, being aware of your transformation in process, tending to the altar. There will be more ideas that will come up especially if during that time you simply walk in nature with no aim... [tip: notice the sky]
6. BURNING THE OLD STORIES
The time will come when you can burn the stories of the woundings and watch yourself letting them go.
Really - watch the fire engulf the old narratives. Watch the flames lick, devour and transform your personal stories of woundings into heat, air and then dust.
The ashes are to go back into the earth. This can stay in a pot-plant in your house for a while, but eventually is better if you deposit it outside - into a body of water or into the earth.
7. SOUL HOLDERS - NEW INNER POWER
Let the stones sit with holding the paper which details what you have gained for as long as you need on your altar spaces.
Each stone acts as a holder of these stories. They don’t need to exist in your mind anymore and you are not carrying them alone.
You have given the wisdom of your experience to the earth through the grandmothers and grandfathers, which will be taken deep into the Akashic archives and will evolve consciousness in whichever way it needs to. Trust that you have done a radical, powerful giving action by giving your story away.
If you need to come back to the stories, you can revisit the stones, but when finding yourself retelling the wounding stories in your head - remember that you have made this stone practice as a decision to move into empowerment and those stories do not just belong to you alone anymore.
They are not your stories anymore!
8. MEMORIES / FLASHBACKS
Each time of revisiting memories, we can also thank the stones for carrying our *double-sided* stories before getting sucked into the past as only a victim again.
This brings us into an easy space of gratitude without even realising it. [a mind trick]
...And it keeps the mind in some kind of greater acknowledgement that there IS always a “gain/portal” related to “wound”.
As warriors we make our new present moments from this sense of great achievement.
Keep the stones as long as you need to, [keeping them immersed in water is an option].
The gain stories can spend some time on your bathroom mirror or where you’ll see them. Read them often.
Eventually you might feel like giving them all back to the earth, stones and papers, for good!
And on that day it will be a true CELEBRATION for all - living and non living.
Much fierce love and joy to you on your healing journey!
Thank you to Siri Nystrom for taking this sweet portrait of me - Head down, immersed in befriending and collecting stones for divination and soul retrieval practices, on the coast of Taghazout, Morocco, 2018.