FAQ Soul Recovery and Extraction
What to expect in the SRE healing process


Frequently Asked Questions on Shamanic Facilitation (v1.3)

Prepared by Alison Sinclair and Paul Lewis 2006.

1.  What is SRE?

Soul Recovery and Extraction (SRE) is a shamanic process, which is intended to help people achieve healing and wholeness within themselves.  It works on the understanding that the human soul undergoes lasting damage due to trauma in this life or others, and that a shamanic facilitator can help to repair the damage, and retrieve pieces of a person's “spirit” (not “soul”) that have been lost.  Everyone possesses a spirit in a life time.  There is only one soul for each person, regardless of how many lives they live.  The spirit is indicative of their personality they have in a given lifetime.  Although the term "soul loss" is used here, please understand we are referring to loss of pieces of a person’s spirit in a given lifetime.

2. When should I have an SRE done?

An SRE is helpful to everyone, because all of us are suffering from “soul loss” to some extent.   There are many signs of soul loss, which are detailed on this Web page: http://medicinegarden.com/SRE/SREchapter.html

3. How does it work?

A trained shamanic facilitator can move into an altered state (without the use of drugs of any type)  to undertake a guided journey, in which he or she will work with symbols, events from this life or past lives, and archetypal energy to assist the client to achieve healing.  Typically, but not always, there are three parts: the journey to retrieve soul pieces, the “external” extraction, and the “internal” extraction.  

I emphasize the partnership between client and shamanic facilitator in the healing process.  A shamanic facilitator does not “heal” the client.  Shamans are catalysts and can help a client trigger their own healing and fresh insights into the issues in their lives.   A shaman will retrieve symbolic “pieces” which may trigger a deep internal healing crisis within the client.  These pieces are often linked to deeply-rooted feelings or memories of experiences which may have been suppressed, which means the healing process is often associated with a release of strong emotion.   While the shaman will recover the missing pieces, each client is responsible for his or her  own healing journey and the more actively involved he or she is, the more effectively they will be able to integrate the work done. 

4. How does this link to other forms of healing?

Shamans (who may be women or men) are found in almost every native culture around the world, and thus shamanism pre-dates the development of modern medicine.  As a traditional method of healing, it recognizes the strong soul/mind/body connection, and works with the archetypes found in the collective unconscious to bring about healing, if the client is receptive.  Note that this operates as the psychological level – there are no medicines prescribed.

5.  What makes a Shaman?

It is commonly believed that shamans are more effective if they have been through profoundly life-altering experiences, including near-death, which can endow them with a greater sensitivity to client's needs.  Traditionally, a person may become a shaman through a direct calling from the spirit world,  being taught by a more experienced shaman, or in some cases it may be hereditory.  Some astrologers discuss “Chiron”, which represents the archetype of the “wounded healer,” which is also relevant to this concept.  Chiron, the wounded healer

6. Can you tell me about the link between Shamanic symbols and Psychology?

Many shamans believe that they work directly with the shared unconscious mind of the clients through an archetypal process.  Some ideas from Jungian psychology support the concept that symbols have an important meaning to the individual, and shamans who are able to retrieve the appropriate symbols may thereby trigger healing in the client.  

7.  Where can I get more information on this process?

We strongly recommend that any prospective client visit the Medicine Garden web site (http://www.medicinegarden.com) and purchase the book “Soul Recovery and Extraction” by Ai Gvhdi Waya.  See http://www.medicinegarden.com/SRE/SREchapter.html for more information.  

 I also keep a few copies and can post them within Europe for Eur.10 plus postage.

8.  Is this compatible with Christianity, or other religions?

People of any religious background, or none, may benefit from the SRE.  While some shamans do not practise a formal religion, many come from traditions where each of the major religions are respected and acknowledged for their truth.  Shamanism is not a religion, but rather a spiritual practice founded on non-ordinary reality.

9. What is the philosophical background of Shamanism?

Shamans believe in life after death, and that we experience many lives on this earth, as part of a long path towards perfection.  During this process, our karma brings us the lessons we need to learn in each life, and connects us to the people from whom we can learn important lessons.  Shamans acknowledge that a human being is a spirit with a body, and that this spirit manifests at many levels – including a super-physical counterpart associated with the aura (layers of energy surrounding our physical body) and chakras (energy centres in the subtle body.)

There are various types of shamanic tradition, so it may be helpful to note that the one we follow is an exclusively heart-centred one, which uses compassion to direct the healing energy.  

10. How much does the SRE cost?

The following prices apply:
Standard Journey (scheduled within two weeks):    Eur. 150
Emergency Journey (scheduled within 48 hours):      Eur.  250    

The same price applies for animal and land journeys.  

11. What is involved in this process?

Your facilitator will set aside a period of time in a ceremonial space to undertake a sacred journey on your behalf.  This time is not shared with anyone else.  After the journey, your Shaman will prepare a confidential report on the journey, which you should receive within 72 hours via email.  If by regular post or mail, depending upon the distances, it can take up to 7-10 days for the report to arrive.  In cases of emergency, a journey may be undertaken within 48 hours of the request, if the facilitator is available.  And telephone contact will be the main communications vehicle in these cases.

12.  What training has the Shaman had?

 I trained under the supervision of  my teacher in a full-time residential course, and have undertaken over hundreds of journeys.  Some shamans are more experienced than others, so follow your intuition to find the one who is right for you.     Further training has been provided by spirit guides.

I was trained by Ai Gvhdi Waya, who is a hereditary shaman, and is part Eastern Cherokee through her father’s side.  Her great-great grandmother was a full blood member of the wolf clan.  While little is known about her, one photo exists, and it is known she was a medicine woman.  Trained from age 8 through 18, Ai Gvhdi Waya was given her native background by her father, and then Richard Graves, a Western Cherokee medicine man.

13. How long will it take?

The SRE process will usually take place within 1 or 2 weeks of receipt of your final order, following preliminary discussions.   As the first step, the client buys the book “Soul Recovery and Extraction” by Ai Gvhdi Waya.  After reading the book, and asking/answering any other questions of the shaman,  a time will be scheduled for the journey.  In cases of urgent need, it may be possible to request an emergency SRE, which will be done within 48 hours (at increased cost.)  If the emergency request cannot be satisfied, we will offer a referral to another experienced Shamanic facilitator trained by Ai Gvhdi Waya.

14.  How does the client need to prepare?

 For the long-distance SRE, no special preparations are required.  Clients should cultivate a quiet and reflective mind during the period that is reserved for the SRE, and should try to avoid times of stress or turmoil.  We don't recommend large family gatherings, weddings, funerals or moving household goods or any other situations where your focus is not on yourself when an SRE is scheduled.  The client is not required to disclose any medical history prior to the SRE (except for any prescription drugs he or she is presently using), but is encouraged to give feedback on the observations made by the shaman after the journey is complete.  For local SRE, the shamanic facilitator will provide detailed information on the process before it begins.

15.  What does the client need to do after the SRE?

The client should pay careful attention to any feelings, dreams or impressions they have in the period leading up to, and immediately after the SRE.  Please take note of them, and report any out-of-the-ordinary results to your Shaman.  He or she will schedule  follow-up consultations after 48 hours, 30, 60 and 90 days, in which you should report anything unique or significant.  These follow-ups are included in the cost of the SRE.

16. Can you guarantee results?

No, we cannot offer any guarantees.  In some cases, the shaman may receive guidance that it is not appropriate to journey for you right now, in which case the client will receive a full refund.  Furthermore, depending on the nature of the problem, the client may be in a life situation where the patterns which led to the soul loss are still present, or may unconsciously block acceptance of the healing process.  This is called an obstacle to cure. While we cannot make any promises, we find many clients improve within 90 days.  For some clients the process of integration may take six months and up to a year afterwards, because healing speed is dependent upon the individual client.

17.  Do I have to visit the Shaman to have an SRE?

In this shamanic tradition, there are two types of journeys which may be performed: local and long-distance.  A local journey means that the client visits the home or sacred space of the Facilitator.  Drumming is used to induce non-ordinary reality in the shaman for the journey.   There is minimal body contact, which will be carefully explained before the journey commences.  A local journey must be pre-arranged with the shamanic facilitator, at least two weeks in advance.  In this case the follow-up communication can be by email and/or telephone.  I usually send the written report by email, and it is recommended that clients have a private email address for this purpose.

Long-distance journeys mean that the shaman undertakes the SRE knowing only the name of the recipient, and with the written informed consent of the client, once they have read the book.  In the case of minors, the consent of the parent or guardian is required.  Due to the expense of travel, we recommend the long-distance journey.  There is no difference in the results between the two methods.

18.  Can you talk to a dead relative?

On occasion, a Shaman's journey will take them to meet people who have passed over.  Sometimes a message may be given, which will be reported to the Client, but this is not the goal of the journey.  No instructions will be accepted from the client to visit a specific person or entity.

19. Can you answer specific questions for me?

Shamans generally do not take questions, nor attempt to contact specific entities requested by the client.  The  journey follows guidance which is given by the shaman's personal guides, and is not planned in accordance with client wishes.

20. What are guides?

Guides are non-physical beings who are willing to aid the shaman on their journey.  They may offer special skills that can assist with the journey or extraction procedures, and will sometimes act as an intermediary in negotiations with the entities encountered during the journey.

21. What are pieces?

The shamanic facilitator retrieves “soul pieces” that can help the client to achieve wholeness.  A piece is energy that is unseen by the naked eye, but in a shamanic altered state, it can be seen.  This energy can take many forms, from symbols to an actual event occurring and being witnessed by the shaman as it occurred to the client.  These pieces are often found under the control of other persons or entities, and it is the job of the Shaman to negotiate, on behalf of the Client, for their return.  Sometimes gifts may be received and brought to the client as a piece.

A typical journey may return two or three pieces, but sometimes no pieces may be retrieved.  When the pieces are returned, the Shaman will provide a detailed report on each piece, explaining the circumstances under which they were retrieved, and depicting the piece in symbolic form.  Often, the symbol has a private meaning for the Client, or may trigger an association which can lead to resolution of deep emotional issues.  In some cases, a piece may not immediately be recognized, but can be triggered later, up to three months after the SRE is completed.

22. What is “extraction?”

Extraction is a healing technique which focuses on cleansing the external and internal etheric field of our aura and chakras, as well as the superphysical counterpart of the body.  Sometimes, symbolic “operations” are performed on the subtle bodies, which includes removal of obstructions or areas of damage that correspond to existing or hidden medical problems.  When performed locally, this process may incorporate practices such as the use of sage smoke, drumming, a healing crystal, feathers and a rattle.

23. Will I feel better immediately after the SRE?

Actually, in many cases a client may feel unsettled for a period of around 48 hours after the procedure, as the soul/body recovers.  Energy may also fluctuate slightly over this period and issues may surface for conscious resolution.  This is a natural part of the healing process, and is a sign that the SRE has been effective.  Therefore, we strongly recommend that clients “check in” with the shamanic facilitator after two days, 30 days,and again after three months, to report any feelings or symptoms.  

24. Can SRE cure diseases?

No claims are made for any medical or therapeutic benefit for this process.  While some people have reported improvements in specific ailments, we do not endorse SRE as a replacement for approved medical techniques.  In particular, we do not recommend SRE for cases of diagnosed mental illness, and suggest that clients with such problems should consult a trained Medical practitioner for help.  Especially, clients with suicidal feelings or severe depression should urgently seek professional assistance from a crisis counselor.  Clients should not discontinue use of any drugs prescribed by a medical doctor.  I encourage a team approach were possible.  If a client is already in psychotherapy, it is recommended that they discuss the journey with their therapist both before and after the shamanic treatment.  Support from a qualified homeopath can also be beneficial in promoting the integration process.

25. Can you explain why Shamans don't have to be Native American?

Shamanism is found in most pre-industrial cultures around the world and could date back to the Neolithic period and before.  The shamanic tradition is not exclusively the property of any one culture.  Some shamans from world wide indigenous cultures have preserved their traditions more effectively than some other cultures, and have been willing to teach it to Europeans and others who have lost contact with their own native traditions.
According to www.wikipedia.org: "The term "Shaman" originally referred to the traditional healers of Turkic-Mongol areas such as Northern Asia (Siberia) and Mongolia, a "shaman" being the Turkic-Tungus word for such a practitioner and literally meaning "he (or she) who knows".... The word passed through Russian and German before it was adopted into English."

26. Is SRE a form of psychotherapy?

Many shamans recognize that psychotherapy can be very effective at resolving deep-seated emotional traumas, or helping a personality to achieve wholeness and integration, however typically this is a long-term process, over many months or years.  The SRE has been found to achieve similar results much more quickly.  Most shamans are not licensed psychotherapists, nor do they make this claim.  If clients are in therapy, it is beneficial if they inform their psychotherapist  about the planned SRE and obtains support from their psychotherapist in working through any issues that may arise. (see 24. above).

27. Can I arrange SRE for someone else?

I will only perform an SRE with the client's informed consent.  Where the consent cannot be obtained directly (for example in the case of incapacity), the person acting on behalf of the client must carefully attest to the circumstances before a journey can take place.  Note I can also perform SRE on an animal, such as a family pet, building or land for the same charge.

28. How often can I have an SRE?

Clients need at least three months, often more,  after the last journey before having another one in order to integrate the pieces.   A typical client may require up to three SRE journeys scheduled three to six months apart.

29. Can you protect me against black magic or curses?

The SRE is not intended as a protection against sorcery or bad luck, and clients with this class of problem should consult another type of practitioner.  However, as a result of having some of the energetic holes filled, one could become less open to such attacks, depending on the circumstances.

30. How can SRE deal with mental illness?

SRE should not be used in cases where clients have a current serious mental illness, whether diagnosed or not.  Cases of mild depression, or past mental illness which has now been resolved, are not normally barriers to a successful SRE. (see questions 24 and 26 above) .

31. Can SRE help the dying or the recently deceased?

We do not promise that SRE will save anyone's  life.  In fact, Shamans see death as an integral and necessary part of life, and respect the process as entirely natural when it occurs at the right time.  We believe that the SRE can assist the person who is dying to achieve greater peace and balance before death, which can help the transition.  We and all traditional Shamans work with the dead and the dying.  Traditions such as in the Tibetan “Bardo”, the Maori “Tangi”, and prayers for the dead are seen in many cultures.  SREs can also be undertaken for the deceased.

32.     Can you put me in touch with my guide or totem animal?

While sometimes a person's guide may seek to communicate with a client during an SRE, I can not guarantee that such a connection will occur and I could not agree to undertaking a journey to fulfill such a request. 


If you have any further questions about SRE, please send an email to: alisonsinc@gmail.com