A while ago, whilst considering the admiration and interest I have in the shamanic concept of soul retrieval, I devised a Tarot spread which could lend itself to the idea. Soul retrieval is the process of reuniting a lost or detached part of the psyche with the individual who has lost it as the result of trauma or upheaval. The lost piece is often considered to be somewhere that's difficult to access or hard to navigate, so a soul retrieval practitioner will be guided into the sufferer's psyche and will then journey into its depths to put back together what has been broken. The long-held idea of the soul as a place consisting of four chambers was my starting point for the spread. Each chamber represents a different part of the journeying process and should be represented by one card.
Chamber 1 - This card is drawn to represent where and why the soul loss took place. Use the message of this card to help you understand why soul loss may have initially been necessary and how it has come to prolong itself (meaning, why the soul fragment has not returned to the psyche). If there is an attempt being made to locate the soul fragment in someone's psyche, this card is meant to offer clues as to its location.
Chamber 2 - This is the obstacle card. It will show you what stands in the way of reuniting the soul fragment with the sufferer, whether it's yourself or a querent. It usually represents part of the trauma which led to the soul loss itself. But it can also be representative of any difficult or manipulative spirits or energies which are making the soul retrieval a tougher job. This card may also give you clues as to what the obstacle may physically look like in the shamanic journey. For example, The Tower may suggest that you will find the obstacle in a building or that there may be a fire you will need to put out on your vision quest into the sufferer's psyche.
Chamber 3 - This is a card to represent the soul fragment itself. During the soul retrieval journey the soul fragment may actually appear as an aura, a light of some kind, a sacred object or a human being or animal. If the soul retrieval is an attempt to heal trauma from a past life, the soul fragment may actually appear as the person the sufferer was in that life, so you may meet a child, for example. This card is open to interpretation. The symbols and message offered by the card are supposed to be representative of the energy or appearance of the soul fragment but intuition must be utilised fully to receive the answer that seems most likely.
Chamber 4 - The final card is a useful tool to help the sufferer to move forward after soul retrieval and to smooth the pathway into the future. This card is a nurturing message to enable faster and more effective healing and perhaps to offer some direction, since the effects of soul retrieval can be overwhelming and disorientating.
As a healing tool which can often profoundly impact someone who finds themselves at a difficult stage in life, it seems to me that Tarot and soul retrieval could well go hand in hand perfectly.