In the Shamanic traditions of the Amazons, specially by the Mestizos, it is believed and known that it is possible to lose a ‘soul’, either partially or completely, by a person as a part of natural process. It can happen in few ‘Ways’ or during a Sacred Ceremony where the Holy Medicine of the Holy and Divine Mother Ayahuasca is consumed.
Stealing a Soul
A soul can also get stolen during a Sacred Ceremony which may require an intervention of a Shaman to call it back. It is also believed, that a sorcerer can ‘steal’ away a soul, and throw it away into space, or under tunnels or into the Andes. If a Shaman does not recover the lost soul, a person will sicken and inevitably die.
Recovering the Soul
The ritual of recovering a soul involved rattling, blowing tobacco smoke, and sucking, and by singing the Holy Icaros which call the soul back into the body. A Shaman will blow tobacco to the crown of the head, then suck the soul back from the temple, pit of stomach, and top of the head, while calling the soul back by singing the Holy Icaros.
A soul reenters the body through the crown of the head, like a wind. The Shaman does not journey to find the soul, rather ‘summons’ the soul to return to the body. A Shaman would blow tobacco on the participant in the Sacred Ceremony, or the patient, until the soul would reenter the body at the command of the Shaman.
Shamans are said and known to possess extraordinary powers. The retrieval of a soul is such an ability known in the Amazons to be possible to be possessed by a Shaman of high level.
- Beyer S. V., 2009, Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon, University of New Mexico Press, USA.