In May 2010, I attended a shamanic retreat in Hawaii which was lead by Wilbert Alix (for more info see I would like to share with you a glimpse of what I experienced in the class.

One of the activities I participated in during the retreat was a soul hunt. The concept of a soul hunt is that when we encounter a trauma, usually at an early age, a part of our soul departs to safety. As a result, we feel emptiness in ourselves that we fill with our ego. This is a great burden for our ego, whose primary responsibility is to report what it sees rather than interpret or be our guardian (imagine asking a five year old to protect you). Our ego will protect us not only from that trauma, but all the bad things that it thinks may hurt us. As part of the soul hunt, we need to kill that which protects us: our protector (ego), which then becomes a sacrifice to recover our lost soul in order to have a thriving soul and experience our Self again.

In the context of Tending to Your Garden Within, it is sometimes necessary to trim the old branches of the trees in our garden within in order to strengthen and enhance the vitality of the trees for the longer term.

The soul hunt is a method used to overcome our past hurts and traumas and to expand our sense of self by connecting with the higher self. As the result of experiencing our higher self and the experience of a vast expansion within, the magnitude of our traumas shrink drastically relative to the expansion experienced. Experiencing and connecting with our higher self provides an awareness of vastness that is beyond our imagination (think of changing one’s perspective from close up to 20,000 feet). With such an expansion of consciousness, our traumas resemble a small pebble in a large ocean to us. The poem below describes my emotional state before, during and the day after the soul hunt.

Soul Hunt

Before the Soul Hunt

I am nervously counting down to tonight.

Two more hours left to the ceremony…

Tonight I feel I am going through a mini death.

Tonight I need to slay the ego part that

has been filling the vacant space

in my being

due to a soul part lost

for my own protection.

Ego’s job is finished.

My ego part needs to relinquish its responsibility.

Tonight I need to welcome that part of me that has been away for so long.

Tonight I am going to meet my higher self.

Tonight I will have a glimpse at the one that

many people face at time of death.

I feel the fear of the unknown in my gut.

I can taste my fear.

I am seeking an imminent death of my ego part.

The ritual of cleansing my body and wearing a white cloth

creates more churn in my stomach.

It makes it more real and serious.

I can feel the fear. It is strong.

It is like being sentenced to death

with only hours left to the execution.

The fear is the fear of death of part of my ego.

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between “me” and my ego.

The part of my ego, my close friend,

has been my protector for many years.

I feel close to him.

He has done a great job protecting me.

I need to slay a part of him.

I am nervous to meet my higher self.

I feel closer to my ego than my higher self.

I feel anxious and nervous.

I must

and I will

go through this journey.

This is the right thing to do.

I need to sacrifice a part of my ego

to keep my soul alive.

During the Soul Hunt

It is perhaps fifteen minutes into the soul hunt.

I have asked my higher self to show itself in a form of an animal.

A beautiful, large, brown eye of a horse appears to me.

I heard a voice say,

“This is all BS. Just observe.”

The voice reminded me that all my apprehensions were due to illusions and

I just need to observe what is frightening me.

My breathing started becoming deeper and deeper.

I was breathing deeply with my entire body.

I felt a huge expansion inside my stomach.

I felt there was a Universe inside my stomach.

Feeling of expansion was tremendous.

I felt a sense of vastness,

much more than my physical body can hold.

Day After the Soul Hunt

I feel sad for the loss of my companion, my long time partner, my ego part.

I am also happy inside that I have re-connected to my soul part.

My sadness is a tribute to the relationship I had with part of my ego for so long.

My ego has protected me for so very long.

My ego part was an obstacle for allowing my soul to return from the void within.

Goodbye, my ego part.

Thanks for being with me for so long as a protector.

You served your purpose.

Do not worry about me.

I am now more than what I used to be.

I now have more courage.

I can grow through future challenges and traumas with more ease.

Copyright @ 2010 by Shervin Hojat

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