Anthropologist Hank Wesselman and his wife, shaman Jill Kuykendall discussed spirit medicine in relation to soul loss & soul retrieval. People can lose parts of their soul due to traumas such as abuse or the loss of a loved one, explained Kuykendall. There are three aspects to the soul-- spirit, body and mental which roughly correspond with Freud's superego, ego and subconscious (id), Wesselman further detailed.
The missing element of the soul might be found in the "lower world," a protective place that animal and plant spirits inhabit, said Kuykendall. She also named a "middle world," that is akin to the dream state with both positive and negative attributes and an "upper world," a place of divine knowledge that is home to angels and ancestral spirits.
In her work as a shaman, Kuykendall said she enters into the spirit realm by listening to drum beats and then conducts retrievals or repairs for persons who have the sense that they are missing part of themselves or are damaged. She described one case where a man was denied a communion service as a young boy, and in her visit to the spirit realm she was able to sense Jesus' presence carrying the implements of communion for the boy in order to heal him. Kuykendall called the kind of spirit medicine she performs "deep prayer" and said that this type of connection with the divine can work with any religious affiliation. She and Wesselman will next be teaching workshops in shamanism at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.
In his book Spiritwalker, Hank Wesselman described his altered-state journeys observing life first-hand through the mind of a 7-ft. tall forest dweller named Nainoa. In one incident Nainoa goes into a trance/dream state and is summoned to the edge of a clearing. What he encounters is a being standing on two legs that seems to be a cross between a tiger and a human.
Covered with a broken pattern of large spots, "its legs and feet were tigerlike, with enormous claws...One massive forearm rested along the trunk of a tree and terminated in a huge 'hand'...Its head and neck appeared slender and gracile compared to its robust powerful body. The small head bore a face with essentially human features." The beast-man came forward and stared into Nainoa's eyes and he saw a flood of unfamiliar images, where the boundaries were dissolving.
Bumper music from Tuesday July 27, 2004