To know the self fully is the greatest endeavor one can undertake... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
To know the self fully is the greatest endeavor one can undertake…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

In the shamanic world of Carlos Castaneda’s lineage, recapitulation was introduced as a practice that enabled the practitioner to obtain full awareness of all experiences lived.

The process of reliving one’s life is accomplished by utilizing a Magical Pass, in this case a breathing exercise that involves a back and forth head movement, enabling one to enter a state of heightened awareness. It is a necessary and required practice for all who enter the shamanic line.

A successful recapitulation enables one to become whole, recapturing all energy previously attached to unresolved or unknown experiences from the past.

It is in heightened awareness that deep truths about the nature of reality are experienced and revealed. For instance, the knowledge that everything is energy, that one can energetically leave the human form, and that other worlds can be accessed are just some of the truths the shaman encounters. In the heightened awareness of trauma these truths are also experienced but remain shielded from ordinary awareness.

It is through the dynamic of the recapitulation journey, actually re-experiencing every event in a life, that one is offered access to those shielded secrets, allowing them to once again become known. Until recapitulation, trauma sufferers live in a state of fragmentation. Re-encountering the fragmented self and piecing the parts back together again, but with full knowledge and awareness of doing so, are necessary components of gaining wholeness. For shamans it is required for advanced training, but equally valuable for those who have suffered trauma. Recapitulation of trauma leads to reintegration of all the parts of the self and the opportunity to live a full and healthy life.

Shamans utilize the recapitulation process in preparation for future encounters with the unknown, so that they may remain whole rather than fragment as they had done in the past. This is helpful for all of us to learn, especially when presented with challenges in our everyday lives, when encountering our past lives, when confronted with outside energetic forces, and when maintaining awareness at the moment of death, when the soul’s journey is totally recapitulated. This is the ultimate point of training heightened awareness and gaining wholeness in this lifetime: so that we may evolve rather than reincarnate at the time of death.

In a state of heightened awareness one becomes fluid in learning to change levels of awareness, although the memory of this process may remain inaccessible in ordinary consciousness. These experiences include Out-of-Body Experiences (OBEs), known in the clinical world as dissociative states. Dissociative states are known to occur during severe trauma when experiences become fragmented, partially known, distorted, or completely forgotten for the sake of adaptation and survival. Many people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) report leaving their bodies, either viewing the experiences of the body from afar or even leaving, in their energy body, to another environment completely.

In the shamanic world this dissociation is a necessary and induced state required to gain heightened awareness and access to other worlds, or perhaps better put, greater access to true reality. After Jeanne Marie Ketchel left this world she began to communicate the importance of the recapitulation process through Jan Ketchel. She teased it away from the ancient practice of the shamanic world and introduced it as a practice accessible to all in the flow of everyday life experiences. All events are synchronistic and meaningful, whether resonant and heartfelt, or triggers of deep discomfort. They offer us the opportunity to awaken and through thoughtful inner exploration to uncover the deepest truths of the self, allowing us to achieve wholeness and completion in this lifetime.

Before Jeanne left this world in 2001, she and Chuck had already practiced Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) for several years. Their attention was drawn to this technique when they were deeply immersed in the shaman’s world, as it incorporated dealing with traumatic memory using bilateral movements similar to the Magical Pass used during recapitulation breathing. EMDR proved to be especially helpful in accessing and processing experiences from previously inaccessible states of heightened awareness.

Both Jeanne and Chuck, from different energy states—Jeanne in her energy body in infinity and Chuck in his human form—had the opportunity to guide Jan through a three-year-long recapitulation process led by her body’s total reliving of 16 years of traumatic experiences stored in heightened awareness. As she lifted the barriers to the truths of her own journey through recapitulation, Jan was led to a unified energetic self with a capacity to channel.

In September 2011, Jan published the first volume of The Recapitulation Diaries. The Man in the Woods documents the first year of her three-year-long recapitulation process and is offered as a guide to others wishing to embark on such a life-transforming journey of total healing. It is also a valuable resource to professionals working with clients suffering from trauma of all sorts. Subsequent volumes have been published and are available for purchase through our store.

The discoveries made during Jan’s recapitulation process led to the formulation of and introduction of Recapitulation into Chuck’s psychotherapy healing practice, with the following conclusions:

  1. Trauma is the gateway to heightened awareness, an inborn yet rarely awakened human potential.
  2. Trauma results in a fragmented self, with a syndrome identified in the clinical world as PTSD.
  3. A thorough recapitulation process results in unification of the fragmented self, elimination of PTSD symptoms, free access to innate knowledge and abilities, as well as a deep sense of happiness, balance, and well-being.

Chuck has helped many clients achieve integrated wholeness and heightened awareness through the modality of the recapitulation healing journey in the context of a safe and supportive therapeutic environment. In fact, all are invited to take this inner journey every day by the events that trigger their deepest feelings and truths. Sometimes a seasoned guide is helpful. If he can be of assistance please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

Here are some additional writings about recapitulation that might be helpful as you take your journey through life, searching for your own healing path of heart and your true self:

First Step Of Recapitulation

Second Step Of Recapitulation

The Four-Fold Process Of Recapitulation

Evolving Recapitulation

The Benefits Of Early Recapitulation

The Mirror Of Recapitulation

Child Care

Chuck Ketchel, LCSWR