soul retrieval


Cutting the Cords of Negative Energy

Cutting the Cords of Negative Energy by Jan Engels-Smith

Human beings are primarily energy systems having a human experience.  Our energy systems are complex and reach far out of the body surrounding the body in fields of energy. These fields can be called auras, subtle body fields, or electromagnetic fields depending on which discipline you follow: metaphysics or science.  These fields of energy can extend out several feet from the body. There are also energy fields inside the body, which are called chakras.  Chakras are more like broadcasting towers and actually feed the subtle body fields around us.

My point in describing this is to help readers understand that energy is the predominate part of our make up and is a major component of our emotional stability, mental clarity, and spiritual awareness.

Our energy is not static but is extremely fluid.  It can be lost, hijacked, contaminated, or stolen.  It can also be refueled, ignited, heightened, attuned and returned.  Maintaining our energy fields and energy system is a major component of good health.  Unfortunately most people are unaware of this need and go through most of their life not sustaining or performing maintenance on their energy system.  The outcome from this lack of attention can present in emotional instability or complications, mental cloudiness or obsessive thinking, and spiritual stagnation.  In fact, all illness is caused by faulty energy frequencies in the body.

The emphasis is this article is on the “cording” of energy.   Every event that you encounter or interaction that you have results in a connection of your energy with this external experience.  These “cords” create the synergistic interchange that both affects the experience and, in response, alters your own being. The result may be minor (although cumulatively significant) or majorly impactful. For example, your memories are a result of the energy interaction you are experiencing with your environment.  Your memory is a result of synapses in the brain (energy currents) bringing a recall into focus.  Metaphysically, we can understand the cords are being “read” and a vague memory may achieve clarity—even into all of our other lifetimes. These connections may be very positive in providing constructive and useful benefits, but there are dangers as well. In the myriad of experiences in our current life combined with the incidents from many past lives, we can become severely entangled in cords, which can present in multiple ways.  We may not be able to let go of lost loves, wounds, or haunting memories. We have all experienced the mental conversation with ourselves after a difficult conversation where we imagine what we wish we had said and even, at times, invent a new conversation and believe a new truth that differs from what actually happened. This is an example of cords being energetically activated to keep this situation alive and present in our psyche.  These energetic connections can affect a person’s heart rate, pulse, and temperate as well as create an extreme emotional state, such as experiencing anger while remembering an uncomfortable incident. The incident may have happened years previously, but we still respond because the energy is still contained in our long-distance connection. Needless to say, these counterproductive cords can be very destructive for the individual and need to be disengaged or cut in order to find peace and wellbeing.

Cord cutting is part of the maintenance of the energy system.  Not all cords are negative or binding in nature.  Some cords are part of our energy imprint of our soul’s evolution through space and time. Children often cord with their parents and parents with their children.  If a situation feels unfamiliar or possibly scary, a young child will step between a parent’s legs.  Energetically a cord is coming from the root chakra of the parent that feels nurturing to the child, energetically informing him that he is safe. However, a negative entanglement may only be resolved by performing a cord cutting. In this act, intention will always be a key factor in finding the correct cords to cut.

Cords usually are connected to energy centers or chakras in the body. The presence of the cord in connection with a particular chakra will determine the emotional component of the cord.  Each chakra exchanges particular energy with our physical, emotional, and spiritual environment—such as love relationships in the heart chakra, loss of power in the solar plexus, or not feeling worthy in the root.  However, since no event is usually singular there can be many cords connecting for various reasons throughout an energy system. Fatigue or exhaustion, guilt, obsessive thinking, not being able to let go of an issue or person, or prolonged grief are a few examples of symptoms of needing a cord cutting.  In my personal view, one could do cord cuttings daily to relieve anxieties and to strip away unhealthy thoughts, just as one might take a daily shower to enter the day fresh and energized. Of course some cord cuttings require more extensive attention and effort.

There are many different methods that can be used in cord cutting. In my personal healing sessions with clients, I always incorporate a very specialized cord cutting—one that the spirits taught me and is very ceremonial in nature. This ritualistic severing of the cord can also be used to restore lost soul pieces.  Many of my clients have experienced amazing results where difficult issues fade away out of the conscious mind and even sometimes out of the memory.  I myself experienced this after I did a session on myself.  My father was a main perpetrator in my life and it seems most of my healing work for myself was about him.  Workshops, private sessions, readings, and self help classes I participated in always seemed to surface him as the source of pain that required my healing.  When the spirits taught me this particular cord cutting, I performed a full session on myself employing all of the ceremony and ritual that I would use for a client.   A few months later I was attending a healing training seminar with a friend and we were to bring up an event that had created an energetic wound.  My friend leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Are you going to work on your dad?”  Since at that moment he was the farthest thought from my mind, I then realized how effectively that ceremony had worked.  I could barely remember my issues with him; they were gone.   I had been truly freed.

In the case of cord cutting concerning family members or loved ones that you are still very involved with, please realize that the intention of cord cutting will remove the difficult situations not the person from your life.  It is always good practice to keep your most precious relationships clear of negative cords; this keeps the relationship healthy and vital.

I can not fully describe the previously mentioned ceremonial cord cutting in this brief article because I can’t explain its contents without readers being fully trained in shamanic energy medicine techniques; however, I can share a ceremony that is profound and I use in workshops with my students.  It is important to remember that it is your birthright to be happy, vital, joyful and sovereign.  Many people are not in those states of well-being because energetically they haven’t been taken care of or learned how to care for themselves as adults.  But happiness and well-being are the natural conditions of life.  Cutting cords and performing energetic clean up is natural and necessary.  Nature does it automatically and naturally.

My favorite example of this is from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.  Tolle shares his observation that after two ducks get into a fight they separate and float off in opposite directions. Then they each flap their wings vigorously a few times to get rid of the surplus energy that built up during the fight. After flapping their wings they float on peacefully, as if nothing had happened. Dogs shake, ducks flap, and cords are cut automatically.  Humans seem to have lost this natural release function as the ego developed and ruled.  Now we need to incorporate ritual to obtain the same outcome.

Here is a basic technique:

  • State your intention to envision the cords that are binding you to your unhappiness.  You can change the intention with whichever words feel more fitting, i.e.  “My intention is to cut all the cords that are negatively binding me to unemployment.”  or “ My intention is to cut all the cords that are negatively binding me to unhappiness with my spouse.”
  • Envision yourself sitting in nature in a beautiful place.  The sun is shining and you feel safe, peaceful and full of grace.
    A bright light appears and you realize that this light is creator, source or the divine.  It shines brightly on you and illuminates your chakras.
  • Starting at your feet, ask to see the cords that are coming off your foot that are binding you to your unhappiness.  Once the cord appears in your imagination follow it out and see what or who is attached to it. (This could be this lifetime or any other lifetime; don’t try to control this with what you know.)
  • Once the person, place or thing appears, envision that you are holding a great sword, laser, or some sort of cutting device.
    State: “With the power of love and the empowerment of Source within me I cut this cord and I am free.”
  • At that moment cut the cord off of yourself and then make a second cut to remove the cord from whoever or whatever is attached to it.  Actually move your arm through space in a cutting motion.
  • The cord will fall to the ground and who or what it was attached to will float off untethered from the cord.
  • Go through each chakra: root, adnominal, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown.  You can also do your shoulders and hands before the crown.  The crown is always last.
  • Once this is complete ask the light of source to fill you completely.  Envision this and your true self appearing. Your true self is yourself that has no harm, wounds, or disappointments.  It is the version of you that is your perfect self.  Ask this true self to come and merge with you and source.  Once this happens the cord cutting is complete.
  • Envision yourself in this merged state gathering up the cords and envision a sacred fire burning.  Burn the cords in the fire.  Once the cords are burned, state, “It is finished” three times.  Say “Thank you” and come out of the visualization.

The power to be free lies within each of us and only requires a personal decision to accept the perfection of our true self in a perfect universe.

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Transition Blanket

Transition Blanket by Jan Engels-Smith

Transition Blanket


I created a Transition Blanket in preparation for my father’s imminent death. To this day, this sacred object continues to bestow life-altering blessings on my entire family. I’m convinced that this divinely inspired gift is meant to reach far beyond my own family after witnessing what this blanket did not only for my father, but for all who experienced its healing power. This is the story of how the first Transition Blanket came into being, and the remarkable impact it had on everyone it touched.

When my father died, he died with an expression of horror frozen on his face. His eyes bulged; a mask of stark terror twisted his visage as his final breath escaped- a deeply distressing image that haunted all of us who witnessed his passage. My stepmother instantly succumbed to a wrenching fear that something awful had just happened to her beloved husband on the Other Side and that he was now trapped in a terrible place, for eternity. She was inconsolably distraught.

In my own heart, I knew how much my father had always dreaded death and his ultimate passage into unknown realms. Once this inevitable moment was upon him, it was impossible for Dad to conceal his terror any longer. I felt certain what we’d seen on my father’s face was simply a lifetime of fear at last releasing itself; though realizing this brought little solace. I, too, felt overwhelmed at this moment, imagining what the future would be like as I struggled to make peace with this final horrific scene, and somehow bring comfort to my family in the days and years ahead.

The Transition Blanket proved to be the generous purveyor of the strength and comfort we all needed to find. Its miraculous powers soon transformed our family’s experience from one of tragedy and suffering into an experience of profound healing and peaceful acceptance. Yet this miracle, like this very special blanket, took a while to unfold… Our ultimate opening to the inevitable death process may represent one of life’s richest experiences. In fact, ancient Tibetan traditions teach that death is life’s most important event. One’s own impending death, or the death of a loved one, holds great potential for shifting priorities and reframing relationships more profoundly than any other earthly event. Renewed and reshaped perceptions have the power to alter both physical and non-physical realities in surprising ways that can contribute enormously toward an aware and awakened life. Yet the looming sense of loss and finality that fills the heart and mind as death approaches can precipitate either great healing or emotionally devastating results. Death becomes the Master Teacher during such deeply transformational times. And so it was for my family…

I have spent my entire adult life in a career of service, helping people in difficult life situations. As a licensed psychologist, I’ve worked with thousands of individuals over the years. I am a seasoned alternative healer as well, primarily in shamanic practices, having received formal training and intense individual instruction from powerful medicine people. I teach shamanic classes on death and dying. I’m a certified Reiki master and have been actively merging my shamanic training with Reiki disciplines for ten years. Yet none of this extensive experience had fully prepared me for this time when I would be called to usher my own family through the gates.

I felt an overwhelming personal sorrow about soon losing all physical connection with my dying father. We lived thousands of miles apart. Knowing I could help him in so many ways, if we lived closer left me frustrated and longing for deeper connection. I called upon the spirits and other compassionate energies for assistance, as is my shamanic way.

It is impossible to fully explain the spiritual beliefs I hold, or the nature of my personal interactions with the divine realm, in the scope of this brief article, yet I must offer at least a little background so you can better understand the constant sources of my inspiration, and how the Transition Blanket eventually came to be.

Whether we’re aware of it or not, an unfathomable resource of wisdom and love, in many forms, exists just beyond what we know as our reality. This other universe is commonly called non-ordinary reality. In this parallel realm, all is possible. Non-ordinary reality is the place to which a shaman journeys in an altered state to obtain information from the spirit helpers. Reiki is also sourced from this sphere.

Keenly aware of my human limitations, I often journey out to ask my wise spirit helpers and guides for advice and assistance. Now I asked the spirits to teach me how I might best serve my father in spite of the physical distance between us. During this astounding journey, not only did my trusted allies show me powerful ways to support my elders, but they also tended my own grieving heart in the most loving and intimate way. I emerged with a clear sense of purpose and renewed confidence that all would be well as soon as I followed the detailed guidance I was given. The spirits were certainly answering my urgent needs, but it also felt like they were using me to “birth” yet another powerful healing method into ordinary reality, a method I would soon feel compelled to share with others. They were teaching me how to create a beautiful transition experience for my father, which included something I didn’t yet understand… a Transition Blanket!

The first task my spirit helpers assigned me was to examine and define what I personally believed about the death process. They wanted me to review how my Western culture had prepared me, or not prepared me, for the eventuality of a loved one’s death.

I was shocked by what I discovered. While my own unusual path of exploration and learning provided m with powerful beliefs and intricate road maps for navigating through the end-of-life experience, Western culture, in general, essentially ignores this entire “uncomfortable” subject. Fixated on perpetual youth and feel-good-now pursuits, Western culture acts as if death will never come.

It became painfully clear how ill-informed and ill-prepared our society is for the ineffable end-of-life event that will surely touch us all. In this fast-moving culture where elders are often pushed aside, viewed as burdens rather than precious reservoirs of wisdom, the ancient rituals and ceremonies that truly honor aging, and the sacred transition to the afterlife, have all but disappeared. Is it really any wonder we feel shocked, and lost, and utterly terrified when Death’s hard knuckles finally wrap upon our door?

My own father was one of these lost and terrified people now, facing the most profound, unknown experience of his life. Like so many others, Dad’s natural fear of the unknown was magnified because he had so little real knowledge about where he was going or how he was supposed to get there.

In my many years of counseling and death work, I’ve noticed that those who’ve led an essentially “unexamined life” seem to experience far greater anxiety and suffering as death approaches. They find themselves without any meaningful way to relate to the life they’ve lived, or to the great mystery that now unfolds before them. Their end-of-life struggle and confusion creates HUGE emotional distress, and their exit, which could be and should be an elegantly peaceful process, is severely hampered. What a terrible travesty this is!

Unfortunately, “pat” religious dogma that often preempts personal questioning and introspection can never substitute for a gentle, truly meaningful, and deeply explored experience when the end of life draws near. Unsupported by ancient beliefs, the powerful death rituals and ceremonies that once safely guided our forbears into the afterlife, how might we better prepare our “modern” selves for this inevitable end-of-life experience? What can we expect and what should we believe? Where is our roadmap? Perhaps the Transition Blanket had come to show us the way…

I hardly knew where to begin, but enduring love for my father held my feet to the sacred fire. I was supposed to create some kind of “transition blanket.” But beyond this, what exactly was I expected to do? If I truly intended to help my father, I needed to act NOW.

Long aware that our beliefs ultimately create our reality, it was time for me to carefully review my own beliefs about the death process, just as the spirits had already advised. I needed to recognize which of “my beliefs” were actually borrowed, and which were authentically mine. This would help me discover and discard any old, outmoded beliefs that now stood in my way. It was a daunting but necessary task if I hoped to offer my father a peaceful transition.

My head swirled with endless questions. Even with “freshly cleaned” beliefs, even if I were allowed to unravel the death mystery for myself, would my personal discoveries really translate to help others with very different beliefs? (like my own father, for example!) Could my intense desire to help him, along with some kind of “mystery blanket” actually bridge the huge gap between our personal beliefs about death and the afterlife… could a Transition Blanket somehow bring both ends of my father’s life circle gracefully back together again? Was there still enough time to find out?

In my father’s final moments, did I need to visualize my version of what the afterlife promised, or his? What exactly does my father believe about death anyway? An uncomfortable subject, to be sure! Like most families, we’d never really talked about it, and I’d never bothered to ask. How could I ever construct a proper Transition Blanket for him, or create a ceremony that would truly support his transition experience if I didn’t know these answers? Floundering in an endless sea of questions, I decided to seek more guidance from my trusted spirit helpers.

As I journeyed this time, a strange calm came over me and a plan suddenly emerged. A whole tapestry of death transition teachings already existed for me- threads of clarity woven throughout the various faiths of the world. I could look there for my answers!

There was no time to waste. I was already familiar with Methodist and Baptist versions of Christian doctrine from my childhood, though I’d left this path many years before. Now my belief system is steeped in the Lakota traditions, though I’m not a traditionalist by any stretch of the imagination. I began researching the death transition practices from many other cultures of the world.

The common thread unifying all these variant versions of the death transition always led the soul into a new existence. However, in these other traditions, without exception, each individual was carefully prepared in advance, receiving clearly defined information about the precise actions necessary to achieve a successful transition to the afterlife. Somehow, this critical piece was missing from “modern” Western culture’s puzzle and many souls were now paying the agonizing price.

For some unexplained reason, I suddenly found myself pondering the biblical concept that “wherever two or more are gathered” there is strength and power. Aha! Perhaps believing is the important part — maybe the “details” of what we believe really don’t matter much at all. In the final analysis, could it be that the generic power of believing (in anything!) supplies all the energy the human consciousness needs to escape the physical body and fuel the soul’s journey to the “believed in” afterlife? Wherever two or more are gathered. Propelled by the loving support of others who genuinely care about us, no matter what their personal beliefs- could this extra fuel ease and speed our death transition process? These sudden insights landed like rock-solid truth in the middle of my being- I was onto something here… I could feel it!

My new understanding indicated that no particular spiritual belief system is superior to any other. It also suggested that we might very well continue to follow our own truth, whatever it is, even after we die.

I was ecstatic! Oh, we are all such magnificent beings, filled with such incredible eternal power… but how easily we forget!

Hungry for even deeper understanding now, I journeyed again and again. With each journey, I discussed another layer of my feelings and my intense desire to provide powerful transition support for my father. My spirit helpers were eager to actively participate in this process. They confirmed that there is, indeed, a sacred preparation for each soul, to help it on its way. I learned that proper care of the soul is essential for well being both here on the earth plane and in the afterlife. To my delight, the spirits were now willing to teach me this transition preparation!

During subsequent journeys, various spirit helpers presented themselves. They were eager to provide help not only for my own family members, but for humankind in general. I’ve found this to be true at other times in my work as well. That the benevolent spirits of non-ordinary reality are just itching for humankind to seek their advice and ask the correct questions. They can finally offer us the techniques, the ceremonies, the rituals that will help us, as a nation of human beings, to take better energetic care of ourselves. This is precisely why they had been instructing me to make a Transition Blanket for my father. Now I was finally ready to do it!

My spirit helpers told me to buy blanket material and to sew small objects on the blanket, objects that I would imbue with power in shamanic terms, “imbue” indicates the act of “blowing power into” an object). I bought some gorgeous woolen blanket material at the Pendleton Woolen Store and sewed a rich binding around the borders. I made it a manageable size so a sick person could easily carry it to cover himself or herself as they lay in bed, rested in a chair, or stretched out on a couch in front of the TV.

With each step of construction, I journeyed again, asking for additional detail about the objects I should use for my father’s blanket. I was given several options and decided to make four red prayer tie bundles in the Lakota way. My spirit helpers told me that each bundle was to hold different information- power objects, spiritual helpers, and Reiki symbols. Each time I was given new information, I brought this information back from non-ordinary reality into ordinary reality by holding my intention and then literally blowing this energy into the individual objects as I finished my journey.

Once imbued with power, the object now contained the specific prayers, spiritual helpers, Reiki symbols, etc. is tied onto the blanket. Even though the imbuing process seems to be directed toward the objects, the entire blanket soon becomes imbued with love and healing power. When the dying individual lies under the Transition Blanket, the Reiki symbols and spirits instantly become activated (as the recipient might soon report!)

With my father’s Transition Blanket, the first spirits to take form and action were the Spirits of Extraction and the Reiki Usui power symbol. They entered the first object I made. These particular spirits activate a clearing process, removed any foreign energy that might intrude into a person’s natural (authentic) energy system. Such intrusive energies are harmful to a person, causing hardship because of their low vibratory frequency. These harmful energies include fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, sadness, and other low frequency emotions. The extraction process allows a person’s energy system to quickly return to its pure radiant, magnificent nature- the highest vibration frequency, which is most natural for this particular soul. This instantly restores balance to the person on an energetic level. What a profound blessing for someone whose body is so gravely ill!

The second object attached to my father’s blanket contained the Spirits of Soul Retrieval and the Reiki Distance Symbol. These spirits bring back lost soul parts or any divine essence a person may have lost throughout their lifetime. Soul retrieval restores the person in the most sacred way, so that when the soul begins its next journey outside of the body it will do so in its most intact and complete form. The Reiki distance symbol facilitates the soul retrieval process. By interfacing with these benevolent spirits, lost soul parts or divine essence can far more easily find its way back home to the original host as they rest beneath the cozy warmth of their Transition Blanket. The qualities of calmness, serenity, peace, joy, trust, and knowingness will also return, for these are the natural feelings of wholeness every intact soul enjoys.

I then imbued the third object with the Master Healers and the Reiki Master Symbols, opening the channels to the Universal Life Force of unconditional love. Several of these particular symbols and spirits will also help with pain reduction and inspire feelings of well-being no matter how difficult the last “physical” days may become.

The final object held the spirit helpers of Transition and Psycho Pomp (a Greek word for taking souls to the light) and the Reiki Distance Symbol. The Distance symbol activates what I call the angels (spirits) of transition. These angels escort the soul after it lifts from the body. They midwife the soul to the other side, to heaven or the equivalent realm, according to that individual’s personal beliefs.

All of these sacred symbols can be activated into greater strength by saying or drawing the symbol each time the person lies under the blanket. But if the recipient is not a Reiki practitioner or even aware of Reiki or shamanism, love and power will still be activated simply by the presence of a body form lying under the blanket.

Many other small objects could be used on a blanket to hold spiritual power. One might sew on strips of cloth, feathers, beads, or ribbons, draw pictures of power allies on fabric, later attaching these to the blanket. Shamanic journeys and information from your allies will offer your best guidance about this. Let your intuition inspire you. The spirits are always eager to help their human relatives!

The Transition Blanket, now fully imbued with spirit helpers and Reiki symbols, will protect the individual both in this world and the next. As an individual lies under the blanket, all the spirit helpers will be activated and working with the individual energetically (except the transition helpers, which will activate only once, at the actual moment of death). The feelings and energies that an individual receives from the blanket should be exceptional. But remember- as with any spiritual healing being offered to another, always ask their permission first and never assume they would want help such as this.

I tried the blanket myself before I mailed it off to my father and I loved it! I could feel the power pouring from it. When Dad received his Transition Blanket, he was in stage four of esophageal cancer. He experienced immediate reduction in his pain level whenever he placed the blanket over himself. He told me it brought him peace and he could feel my love.

I spoke almost daily with Dad by phone. After he received the blanket he often mentioned the effects it had on him. He said, “I feel so much better. I have less pain. It makes me feel good. I feel your love. I feel more at peace. It calms me.” In fact my step-mom soon refused to leave Dad alone in the house unless he had his special blanket nearby, because she knew if things got bad while she was gone, he’d have it as a ready resource for instant help and pain management.

Since my Dad had no prior experience with energetic healing of any kind, his words couldn’t really reflect what was happening to him energetically. The balancing (I feel better), the extraction of fear (it brings me peace), the soul pieces returning to him (I feel love, it makes me feel better) were all clear signs that the healing spirits and Reiki energies were working powerfully with him. What I took for granted and knew to be happening on an energetic level, my father was expressing in his own beautifully simple way.

I earnestly believe the Transition Blanket prepared my father well for his transition. During his illness, he managed his fear and showed amazing life vitality. He barely seemed ill just a week before he died His voice, color, and personality were strong almost to the end. I believe this was all a gift from the blanket. When Dad’s time finally came, he crossed over quickly. I remain convinced that the final horror that swept over his face in those last moments was just the dread he felt about his imminent “life review” (or as he would say, “His Judgment Day”). Perhaps we’ll all tremble a bit when it’s our turn to have every “shortcoming” pointed out, one by one?

I was instructed to keep the Transition Blanket over someone for four hours after death. For a person to “die in a good way” the time after passing shouldn’t be rushed. Four is a sacred number to the Lakota and this amount of time gives the soul time to transition. The number four reflects the four elements of earth, fire, air and water, and the four seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall. The four elements of earth, fire, air and water contained in the physical body must also transition. This, too, takes time.

If prayer ties are used on a Transition Blanket these ties should be removed from the blanket so they can be burned or buried with the body once the death process is complete. The blanket can then become a family heirloom, perhaps to be used again when other family members are ready to transition. The Reiki symbols and spirit helpers will reunite you quickly with loved ones on the Other Side!

At the time of my father’s death, all that I had been taught by the helping spirits proved true. His Transition Blanket was pulled over his body and face, where it remained for the next four hours. We all breathed a sigh of relief when the blanket mercifully concealed Dad’s horrified expression.

After the designated amount of time, my father was uncovered. As the blanket was pulled back, we were shocked by what we saw. Dad’s face was now completely serene, relaxed and peaceful with a slight smile on his lips. My stepmother fell to the floor in weeping gratitude. I have witnessed many miracles in my life but this one tops the list.

Looking back just four hours, I wondered if the spirits had orchestrated this profound change of my father’s expression just to awaken my family. So much remains a mystery.

This sacred blanket served us all miraculously and still brings daily strength and comfort to my stepmother. With the blanket nearby, my step-mom feels strongly connected to my Dad and well-protected by the spirits. In fact, she sleeps with it every night!

The Transition Blanket did far more than anyone expected. Besides preparing my father for his transition and next incarnation, the healing energy of the blanket touched each of us in the most profound and personal way. It seems as though the spirits and Reiki energy knew exactly what each of us needed and provided individual healings for all of us as well. This magical blanket certainly proved itself to my stepmother and my sisters! The tangible evidence we received quickly erased any doubts about the power of a Transition Blanket.

My intuitive guess is that a Transition Blanket will likely yield different experiences for each person it serves. Compassionate spirits and Reiki energies know precisely what to do in every situation. Quite literally, we can trust them with our lives!

By sharing this story, my ultimate intention is fulfilled- to make the powerful concept of a “transition blanket” available to everyone who wants it. How you choose to apply this information is left to you, and the guidance of Universal Love.

The first Transition Blanket brought my father peace when he needed it most. It brings me peace now. May it do the same for you and everyone you cherish. I invite you to prepare for the inevitable, for surely it will come. As my own family learned, mindful preparation can quickly transmute fear into faith, worry into compassion, and anxiety into peace. This is apparently the sacred mission of the Transition Blanket. Is there any greater parting gift to wrap around someone we love?

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Warning Signs of Soul Loss

Warning Signs of Soul Loss by Jan Engels-Smith

soul loss


We are plagued in our culture with people hurting—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The issues that doctors and psychologists deal with on a daily basis are what a shaman would see as warning signs of soul loss.

Warning signs of soul loss can include:

• Anything chronic—fatigue, depression, misfortune, faulty relationships, emotional problems, suicidal tendencies.
• The inability to release some emotional trauma from the past, such as a death, divorce, or other loss.
• Addictions of any kind—alcohol, drugs, food.
• Not feeling connected to the body or reality.
• Operations or difficulty in recovering from surgery.
• Repetitive sicknesses—colds, flu, and so forth.
• Major illnesses.
• No sense of direction.
• Shame or feelings of guilt.
• Feelings of unworthiness.
• Not feeling one’s personal power.

Our culture suffers dramatically from these symptoms. It is rare to come across someone who responds and lives life from wholeness instead of from the woundedness of his or her past. If a person has voids from soul loss, these voids act like magnets trying to fill up with any energy to become whole. If you are exposed to anger, fear, greed, anxiety, unhappiness and hatred repeatedly, those are the qualities your own soul will absorb. Extracting negative energies, bringing back the lost soul energy, and then teaching a person how to stay whole will not only heal the individual and restore personal power; it will begin to restore wholeness in our society as well.

The positive shift many of us work to instill, in Western culture, is toward a restoration of wholeness and an understanding of our oneness. This work addresses the fact that we are energy, as is everything, and that all energies influence one another. We must learn to maintain and care for our own divine energy—our soul. In such a climate of responsibility and openness, shamanism would find a welcome home.

All of us have experienced trauma in some form just from experiencing life. Because of this, I believe that most people would benefit from an initial soul retrieval. I have witnessed amazing results in healing using this technique, and have also experienced it firsthand. Soul retrieval changed me, not only as a person but also as a professional therapist.

I never liked the idea of long-term therapy; I could not understand why it took people so long to heal. What I discovered in shamanism is that therapy takes so long because the part of the person that needs to be healed is not present and available for treatment. The lost soul part is in a different reality and is not even present in the therapy session.

When I first started my shamanic training, I asked my clients if they would allow me to do soul retrievals on them as experiments. All consented except for one individual who considered the concept too bizarre. Within one month, all of the consenting clients were finished with their therapy. The results were amazing. I now understood, at a different level, the concepts, theories, and explanations that I had applied in prior therapy sessions.

During traditional therapy, people often understand what has happened to them on an intellectual or cognitive level, but still change does not occur. They remain too attached to their pain. The shamanic explanation for this is that the lost soul part remains suspended in a different reality, reliving the traumatic event of its loss over and over. The client still does not have access to the soul part, and successful therapy is hindered by its absence. After a soul retrieval, there is understanding not only in the mind but also in the heart and soul of the client. The return of the lost soul part allows healing to occur emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

The soul is divine in its essence, and this divine nature is retained in a lost soul part. In receiving a soul retrieval, one never gets back the problem. The soul part left because of the problem. During the soul retrieval, the divine essence returns, which restores wholeness to the soul and causes the person to feel complete and empowered. The person is once again connected to his/her divine nature and able to detach from the past. Energy is no longer held captive to the past, and it is no longer necessary to relive the event and experience its pain.

After a soul retrieval, previous therapies increase in value and understanding. The multilevel healing allows the person to process information from the perspective of wholeness, rather than of fragmentation, and to move beyond the traumatic experience. As a result, perspectives about self and life change: When perspectives change, reality changes. It is then that life changes can occur.

Artwork by Barry Mack

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Shamanic Healing and Soul Retrieval

Shamanic Healing and Soul Retrieval By Jan Engels-Smith

Learning about shamanic healing and soul retrieval became imperative for me. I contacted Sandra Ingerman, the author of Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self, through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. I strongly felt that I needed to have a soul retrieval and the information about journeying stimulated wisdom that already resided in my soul. I remembered lifetimes of being a healer and my knowledge from previous lifetimes became available to me again. I not only reevaluated my counseling practice, I reevaluated my understanding of the concepts of God, Spirits, possibilities, and other realities-the meaning of life!

Shamanism is an ancient healing art, dating back at least 40,000 years and was used by most indigenous cultures in the world. This healing method emphasizes that all experiences affect your soul and that all healing comes through the soul. In shamanic cultures, the care of the soul is extremely important. In fact, it is the most important aspect of healing. The shamanic belief is that a human being is first and foremost a soul having a human experience, not the other way around. If the soul is cared for properly or is healed through the process of soul retrieval, other healings can then manifest in the mental, emotional, and physical bodies of an individual person.

We have doctors who specialize in everything imaginable except for the soul in our Western culture. To me, this care of the soul is the missing link in healing and must be cared for first. Fortunately, this is beginning to be understood in our Western culture and more people are seeking out individuals such as shamans for their healing.

Shamanically speaking, all things are energy. The movement or the transmutation of energy is part of the healing of the soul, which is itself energy. In a healing, the shaman moves out the energy that does not belong to a person and refills him/her with the divine energy that is the essence of that person’s true soul. The theory behind soul retrieval is that there is soul loss when an individual experiences powerful or traumatic situations.

Through individual experiences like some sort of trauma, a person loses part of himself as a survival mechanism to withstand the pain. In shamanic terms, this process is called “soul loss.” In psychology, it is called “disassociation.” Psychology does not ask where the lost part goes and how one gets it back. In the practice of shamanism, when a piece of the soul or energy leaves, it actually goes into another reality and is lost from the person. A void then exists in that person’s soul. Think of the soul as a giant jigsaw puzzle. When you experience a trauma, a piece of the puzzle is lost, leaving an empty space in the puzzle. When this soul loss occurs, a soul retrieval is necessary to restore wholeness. In a process called journeying, a shaman is trained to enter an altered state of consciousness and travel into different realities to find and retrieve the lost soul parts. The shaman then literally blows these parts back into the client via the heart and the top of the head, restoring wholeness to the client.

The voids created by soul loss can actually fill up with energy that is foreign to the soul. This can manifest into all kinds of diseases or physical, mental, or emotional problems. According to shamanic definition, the soul is perfect and divine, and life should reflect this. If a person is not experiencing happiness, or if there are physical, emotional, or mental problems apparent within a person, then evidence exists that there is not only soul loss but also an intruding negative energy. Extracting this negative energy and restoring the soul through the process of a soul retrieval promotes feelings of wholeness and happiness. When a person stopped singing, indigenous people realized that a soul retrieval was needed. With the restoration of the soul’s wholeness, the person would sing again.

In a shamanic culture, care of the soul is part of daily existence. I believe that is why these cultures are notably contented, happy, and crime-free. People who are whole or feel good about themselves handle the ups and downs of life in a wholesome way. When people feel fearful, threatened, or fragmented, their responses to life are extremely different from those who feel trustful, optimistic, whole, and complete. In our culture, we have very little experience with sustaining trust and optimism. Our cultural system is based on a win-lose hierarchy. Someone is always gaining while another is losing. In shamanic cultures, this win/lose phenomenon is seen as soul stealing, or stealing away someone’s personal power.

Many people purposely steal personal power from others. A person can be the victim of this theft at any stage of life, but it often happens to children, especially if they are raised with authoritarian, controlling, or needy parents. The parents actually steal power away from their children. A resultant exchange of power occurs if a person is abused in any way: emotionally, physically, sexually, or mentally. The overpowered loses energy to the abuser. Children are easy targets to control and extremely vulnerable to soul stealing. The resultant soul loss leaves a void that is filled by negative energy (usually feelings of unworthiness) and the individual carries this energy for a lifetime, or until the lost soul parts can be retrieved. If there is no care of the soul built into the culture’s system, the result is a society of wounded people. Feelings of unworthiness can lead to all sorts of dysfunctional behaviors and attitudes that predominate in society. These feelings of lack can take generations to heal, but once the patterns are recognized efforts can be made toward healing. I have found in my own research that the core counseling issue for most people is the issue of unworthiness. People need to be genuinely loved and connected to a higher power. Once soul theft occurs, an effort must be made to recover it.

Cultural and family mores often create hierarchical gender structures, which establish male dominance. The result is socially reinforced losses of personal power for a false sense of social order. A country-western song like “Stand by Your Man” is an example of a gender-based system of control that suggests “appropriate” positions of power in relationships. Women have been taught to give away their personal power to the male gender to find love or acceptance. Other examples of this belief system abound in our culture, but in true love and acceptance one does not give away one’s soul. The void caused by engaging in this behavior can have extremely adverse effects.

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Soul Loss and Soul Retrieval

Soul Loss and Soul Retrieval By Jan Engels-Smith

A particular form of soul loss happens in relationships built on codependency, in which one person bases his or her worth in another person rather than in self. “To rescue another person or to collude in abusive patterns is to give away one’s soul in an attempt to hold onto the relationship” (Soul Retrieval, Ingerman, p.112). This is a false love that can create soul loss on both sides. True love augments the soul and is most present when the soul is whole.

Soul loss creates a fragmentation of one’s wholeness. Consequently, a person continually tries to fill the voids caused by the fragmentation. Attempts at “fulfillment” may include overt behaviors associated with drugs, alcohol, sex, faulty relationships, or more subtle behaviors of verbal and nonverbal communication.

Listen carefully to conversations and you’ll hear a definite exchange of energy occurring at all times. Questions about what you do for a living, how much money you make, what education you have, and where you live often establishes a hierarchy of energy. If the intention of the questions is to establish position, then a winner and loser is established in these conversations. When positive energy flows, people recognize and pursue their interdependence. Interdependent behavior is evident in mutually supportive relationships in which individuals retain their personal power and self-worth. In such relationships, a person is not striving for worthiness from external criteria such as wealth or beauty, but rather from a powerful inner sense of worthiness. This worthiness creates wholeness.

Understand that interdependence is not the same as dependence. In fact, soul loss is often the result of dependence. This is why children are so susceptible to theft of a soul part. However, many adults are also highly dependent on others and subject to resultant soul loss. The journey to restoration of the soul part requires the individual to first move from dependence to independence.

This movement from dependence to independence is accomplished by regaining one’s individual power. Many confuse this transition with being selfish. They have been taught for so long to give away their personal power to meet the needs of others that this transition to independence can feel jolting. However, the acquisition of independence allows one to participate in the universe in a positive and personally powerful way. Once one’s independence is established, the individual is able to move from independence to interdependence and become a part of the wholeness of life without the loss of individual energy.

This movement from dependence to independence to interdependence is part of the larger universal shift to identifying with the web of life. The recognition that we are all part of one another enhances every individual’s personal power. We are capable of ending our personal fragmentation and the society’. In shamanic cultures, a soul retrieval is performed within three days after any major event in a person’s life. Traumatic or other dramatic changes such as; childbirth, marriage, death of a loved one, an accident, a broken relationship, an argument, were addressed immediately by performing a soul retrieval. It was assumed that anyone going through such an event would have a high probability of soul loss, and in order to instill proper healing, the soul was attended to first.

Unfortunately, in our culture, years and years of fragmentation and soul loss can accumulate for an individual, which creates the potential for a soul to become critically fragmented. We can see the results of this by looking at the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of our society. We have a society that is depressed and self-medicating with illegal drugs, alcohol, and over-the-counter or prescribed medications. Our youths have difficulty finding purpose and meaning in their lives. Relationships and families fall apart with ever-increasing frequency. The culture is not grounded in taking care of the soul.

We are plagued in our culture with people hurting-physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The issues that doctors and psychologists deal with on a daily basis are what a shaman would see as warning signs of soul loss.

Warning signs of soul loss can include:

• Chronic-fatigue, depression, misfortune, faulty relationships, emotional problems, suicidal tendencies.
• The inability to release some emotional trauma from the past such as a death, divorce, or other loss.
• Addictions of any kind-alcohol, drugs, food.
• Not feeling connected to the body or reality.
• Operations or difficulty in recovering from surgery.
• Repetitive sicknesses-colds, flu, and so forth.
• Major illnesses.
• No sense of direction.
• Shame or feelings of guilt.
• Feelings of unworthiness.
• Not feeling one’s personal power.

Our culture suffers dramatically from these symptoms. It is rare to come across someone who responds and lives life from wholeness instead of from the woundedness of his or her past. If a person has voids from soul unnatural fragmentation we have created in the universe. Not sure about the previous sentence what it means. Maybe if a person has voids from soul, it means we have created unnatural fragmentation in the universe? We can have wholeness of person and wholeness of life.


In highly interdependent societies, where the interdependence is recognized and appreciated, soul retrieval is a daily and accepted activity. The care of the soul is the first priority in health, both for the individual and for the society. If a person has voids from soul loss these voids act like magnets trying to fill up with any energy to become whole. If you are exposed to anger, fear, greed, anxiety, unhappiness and hatred repeatedly, your own soul will absorb these qualities. Extracting negative energies and bringing back the lost soul energy, and then teaching a person how to stay whole will not only heal the individual and restore personal power; it will begin to restore wholeness in our society.

Restoration of wholeness and an understanding of our oneness is the positive shift many of us are working to instill in Western culture. This work addresses the fact that everything is energy including us and that all energies influence one another. We must learn to maintain and care for our own divine energy-our soul. In such a climate of responsibility and openness, shamanism will find a welcome home.

All of us have experienced trauma in some form just from experiencing life. Because of this, I believe that most people will benefit from an initial soul retrieval. I have witnessed amazing results in healing using this technique and have also experienced it firsthand. Soul retrieval changed me, not only as a person but also as a professional therapist.

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