At several points in my life, I felt my soul fracture. It was like my personality shifted in an instant. This has generally been in response to intense trauma- like a part of me fled for safety. I became colder, more detached, more empty. I haven’t said that I became stronger- perhaps my ability to reign in my emotions and weather the storm was a kind of strength, but also it created weaknesses. Unable to find those parts of myself again, I filled the gap with co-dependant relationships, alcohol, over-work and self destructive behaviour. Fractures lead to more fractures- the behaviours I engaged in to fill this emptyness caused more of me to run for cover. Sometimes in the silence I could hear a faint crying, like a child somewhere was lost, scared and wounded. So I didn’t allow silence to endure, I filled it with frantic efforts to fill the voids- chaos, drama, chasing ever more meaningless levels of wages, socially acceptable achievement and false identities.
I was running as if the void might catch up to me and swallow me whole. Of course, the void was within me, so one day- it did.
My body broke, my mental health went with it, and for months I intensely relived all my mistakes, traumas, shame, guilt and pain. My fragile defence system and shallow inner world was burning and the pain was excruciating. I lost weight, I lost time, I lost my identity, my convictions, friendships, career and sexuality.
Left with nothing but time, though there had been little but pain there in the first place, I was forced to stop running. The healing process was slow and difficult. It started with writing a little. Then painting a little.
I wont describe this journey in detail, suffice to say, after many months, more than a year, one day I was walking in a sunny woodland, thinking about the small creative business I started, the new, realer friends I have made, the witchcraft I returned to, and I felt a kind of..ping. Like something crashing softly into my body. I felt… a little like I had done as a child, when walking the trails of the place I grew up in Devon. Sensations and feelings I remember, but haven’t felt for many, many years. I knew, deeply and with conviction, part of my soul had returned to me.
This was not a joyous return. I was nearly overwhelmed with a strength of emotion I haven’t experienced for years. Except maybe anger, which I have never stopped feeling deeply. This part of myself has been lost, alone and out in the cold for some time. It make have taken on traits it didn’t have when it felt. It has all the trauma I pushed away from me. Integrating this back into myself may be in some ways, more painful than the experience of soul fracture in the first place.
I wont try to advise you if you have gone through something similar. I only seek to share this. I will however, list a few things which might tell you if you have experienced soul fracture or spontaneous retrieval. I will also share a link to This Brilliant Article by an author I have deep respect for on the subject of intentional soul retrieval.
Signs of soul Fracture:
Please note some of these things may also be signs of treatable physical or psychological illness. Even if the cause of your distress is spiritual in origin, it is perfectly sensible to seek therapeutic or medical support.
- You suddenly feel like a different person- your mannerisms, vocal patterns and the way you wish to dress may change.
- You feel less emotional, or experience less of certain types of emotions.
- You find it easier to detach from people.
- You experience dissociative episodes.
- You are unsure of your identity, you might feel like you change identity around different people or quickly absorb other peoples views, interests and mannerisms as your own.
- You feel frequently empty.
- You feel frequently numb.
- Your emotions are easily unbalanced or changed by outside factors.
- You cannot bear to listen to music or watch media which makes you feel emotional.
- You cannot tolerate being alone or in silence.
- You engage in self destructive behaviours and lack compassion for yourself.
- Your stress or distress tolerance is lower than it was.
- You often feel surprised by things you say or do, as if you are operating on autopilot.
- You have ‘felt’ your soul fracture.
Signs of Spontaneous Soul Retrieval:
- You remember things you loved doing that you had forgotten about.
- You feel sensations and emotions which have been absent for a long time.
- You feel sure of who you are.
- You start enjoying music or media that you had forgotten, or avoided.
- You remember things you had ‘blocked out’.
- You feel like you did during a period of your life from your past.
- Colours seem brighter, the world is more vivid. You notice things more.
- You feel more ‘present’.
- Blocked abilities- artistry, singing, psychic intuition etc that have been absent return.
- You have strong feelings about things you thought you had moved on from.
- Your emotions feel stronger and deeper.
- You ‘feel’ part of your soul returning.
Please remember that soul retrieval is just the first part of this kind of healing. You need to integrate this returned part of yourself to prevent further fracture and feel more grounded and settled again. It can for a while feel like sharing space with a stranger- two or more parts of you have been separate for some time and have developed separately.
I am not sure I believe parts of our souls ever truly leave us, maybe they just go into retreat deep within our inner caves. However, it is the case that a break in unity has occurred and careful reconciliation is required. This may take some work. Reassuring the wounded parts of us that we will now accept them and not shut them out or send them away, learning to tolerate living with our feelings and vulnerabilities. There is a level of risk- no one soul fractures for fun, it it a self defense mechanism, by accepting parts of ourselves back, we are sacrificing that defense. We should not blame ourselves for this- life can be brutal. Approach soul retrieval with a sense of compassion for ourselves, forgiveness for our mistakes, and love for our own vulnerabilities as well as our own strengths.