|Nature Spirit Shrine|
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the intrepid trio searches for the bits of Voldemort’s soul that he has hidden in the landscape of England and the lives of those surrounding the individual formerly named Tom Riddle. The book talks about how damaged he had become by splitting off bits of his soul, twisting himself until he was completely amoral and savage.
In the real world things aren’t that simple, and souls can be broken.
In the real world bad things happen, all the time, every day. War and death continue onward. Pain is real and unfair and unbiased. Pain breaks us. Trauma is the thing that shaves off bits and pieces of a soul. We all have lost a bit from time to time. Some have lost more than others. Occasionally we give some away to a beloved person or place. Our soul is our self: our energy, time, and psyche all rolled into one. It’s both a particle and a wave. It is real and imaginary, and can function in both the world of science and magic.
I’ve been doing trancework for over two decades now. I didn’t even know this spacing out and seeing stuff that I was doing had a name when I started. Many years later I do. I’ve been around the block, read the books, and tried the things. I know exactly how little I actually know. But in all this self-exploration and pondering of the cosmos I’ve learned a few things. Along the way I learned I was broken. Most people who have had traumatic stuff happen to them know this about themselves, but I’m stubborn. I figured it out though, and realized that surprisingly, being broken is helpful. At least it’s helpful for a spiritworker! I use pieces of my soul to do things. I send them off with tasks. I am my own team!
|Huginn and Muninn (private collection)|
A fetch is a piece of a soul in the shape of an animal that a spiritworker sends off to do his or her bidding. I happen to have a fetch shaped as a bird. Turns out, this is totally normal for shamans and spirit workers. In the lore, the soul is often described as a bird. Odin has his two ravens, Huginn and Muninn. Their names are translated as Thought and Memory. Just like how a fetch functions, he sends them out, they do his bidding and when they come back he knows all that they know.
So I am my own Voldemort. I use my soul as a tool to heal, to guide, to watch over people. I use the pain that I have felt to transform my self, and my community. I think that’s what they mean when they talk about the Wounded Healer Archetype. It’s not such a bad place to be. I kinda like it. But it’s definitely not something I would suggest anybody go and do to themselves. Busting off pieces of soul right and left is a bad plan.
Take a moment and remember something really bad that happened to you. Just for a moment, and eat some chocolate or laugh at something funny afterwards. But for a moment, remember it. That feeling of emptiness and pain? That’s the kind of thing that causes soul loss. It sucks.
Everyone has the potential to have horcruxes. None of us are an island, rising out of an ocean of nothingness. We are connected by our relationships and our energy and thoughts are part of that. Our souls interact. Pieces get stuck in corners or fall off like a rusty muffler. Funny thing about souls, you can grow them back. If a soul is energy and time and our thoughts and memories then we are constantly creating soul. All the time. Every minute. Even Voldemort. It’s what you do with your soul that counts, not how many pieces it’s in.