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.