constellations in words
In the darkness the light shines
Please tell me a story
Little candle, flickering flame
Do tell me your story
In the darkness the dark is alive
Waiting to tell its story
Soul parts are piling up
Bursting with their stories
Hundreds of years of split souls
Stories of pain and survival
Stories of human heroic self
Stories for those left behind
Lighting a candle in the darkest night
Opening heart to listen
Hearing stories releasing past
Breaking the seal of silence
Tell me your story
Show me your gift
Received in the land of darkness
Come to the light and be released
Back to sea of kindness
Inspired by this book I am now reading. Deep, touching reflection and personal story of a child of a survivor. So moving. Talking about transgenerational transference of trauma from a very personal perspective.
In May I had a privilege of interviewing Judith Hemming - a world leading facilitator and teacher of systemic work - for Changemakers magazine, that tells stories of individuals who are making a difference in the world around them. You can download the article below and the full magazine is available here
Changemakers Issue 7
In the recent experience I had with an environmental festival in Montenegro, I was given two hours to run a constellation workshop. Provided a regular workshop for me is at list six hours, this was a challenging request. It had to work as an introduction to family constellations method, be safe, and be an insightful experience. So what to do in two hours on a beach at sunset. I decided not to open any personal issues as the time was insufficient and the space wasn't exactly a therapeutic safe space, rather a well used public beach with a music stage around the corner.
With a group of twelve people we started with a meditation reconnecting with our place in our own family systems. In that way some systemic personal work that really wanted to happen had a safe space inside each person. We followed with a constellation for the festival and for the land, opening to bigger system of stakeholders, recipients and the Earth herself.
Then i offered a systemic ritual to walk through time on Earth, from the very beginning of life to the future ahead, sensing where healing is most desired right now and to come back to these places as healers. Using the constellation method, to represent a healer and do what feels right to symbolically or literally give healing to a particular place on this timeline.
Later participants reported their experience of how much light there was in the future and how one was able to project this light from the future back through time to where it was needed. Others seemed to be drawn to their family systems on the timeline attending to what was left unseen. After the ritual, back in a circle, we were very quiet for some time. As if it was too soon for any words.
In two hours we moved from a small unit of individual family system to a present moment larger system experience of a festival in a beautiful country to experiencing global timeline of the planet Earth. Big trip in a short time with lots of insights into what is.
Albreht Mahr and Gabor Mate talking about constellations. Very interesting watch.
A recent gift i received from South Africa was a workshop of dancing constellations. I love dancing and I love family constellations so it seemed a perfect combo. It turned out if you put the two together what emerges is a new quality of the field. Those working with constellations will know that moment you step into the field, it has a character and an intelligence. Maybe similar to zero point field in physics. Now imagine that field being almost palpable, drawing you in even while you are chatting in a break, leading you to a resolution almost by hand.
Music, rhythm and dance is such an ancient practice of humans that allowing ourselves to fully drop into it reconnects us to thousands of years of ancestors. Non verbal communication of the dance and movement created depth of trust among participants and safety of expression of anything arising. We danced, then constellated, and danced again. On a second day we took it even further into nonverbal and had a dancing constellation with our own ancestors. Sensing all the lineages behind us we were to follow the call and go to where we are drawn to dance. For the first time in my constellations experience I went back 39 generations to witness their pain, dance through their trauma, reclaim their identity and feel all their resources and blessings for me. I can still sense it in my body, that presence of so many behind me. I was told afterwards that 39 generations back may be the beginning point of forming our DNA.
I noticed a change in dancing as well as in the depth of my representation. By the end of second day movement became natural, free and spontaneous. Connecting with others in movement, which usually is the most self conscious part for me, felt welcomed and desired.
At the start of our two days together I set an intention to dedicate all generated energy from dancing to my ancestors and send it to wherever it is most needed. By the end of the workshop i felt all that energy from my ancestors come back to me. Resourcing the past is resourcing the present.
Thank you Tanja Meyburgh and Sian Palmer for this magical experience!
Sian Palmer's video from Johannesburg. Enjoy!
Many people in constellating community know about the international intensive in Germany, set up by Hunter Beaumont 17 years ago. For me it was the first one. About 50 people came together from 22 countries to enjoy six full days of constellations practice and teaching. Surrounded by incredible landscape of Bavarian mountains reflected in a lake, in the middle of the woods, we were in a perfect location to do our personal work, to heal and offer healing to others.
Mornings were spent in training with faculty members who presented a different aspect of shadow work each day. Shadow – was the theme for the week. Afternoons belonged to group client constellations where we were clients and faculty members rotated between groups to facilitate. We had a chance to see and experience five different facilitators, witness variety of styles and approaches. In the evenings participants offered their own workshops so on some days we didn’t finish until very late. For many the work continued even in their dreams, so coffee was essential.
My practice for the week was to stay present – to fully allow myself be here and now, or there and then – to try not project into the future or plan for the next thing on the agenda. It worked wonders. Starting the day early with Cherokee Sun Dance in the woods, greeting the sun and deer, connecting with trees and mountains, promising to stay no matter what – filled the day with grounded presence, with openness to what was ready to reveal itself. Making beautiful deep connections with people around me, all longing to be real, to be healed, to be of service to humanity, I felt at home, safe and accepted.
One of the highlights was Tanja Meyburgh and Sian Palmer workshop of dancing constellations from South Africa, that left me high for the rest of the day. Overall I learned a lot about constellations and shadow, neuroscience and circuits of emotions, myth work and shadow in relationships; made new friends, watched Hunter speak on Friday morning and enjoyed witnessing Judith Hemming re-enact Inana, The Goddess of Heaven. On the way back to London I felt richer in myself and it seemed like a week well spent. Next stop – South Africa Constellations Experience in September with Stephen Hausner, Francesca Mason Boring and many others.
I was recently asked to say more about birthday rituals I create. Here it is:
Systemic birthday ritual is a set of mini constellations that are aimed at resourcing rather than seeking resolutions. It is a tailored process for your special day to look and acknowledge the past, to anchor in the present and to set the intention for the future. We combine shamanic and systemic work to mark this time in your life and to build potential for next steps. You are welcome to invite any number of guests to participate in your ritual or it can be a one to one process with me. It could also be a beautiful gift for somebody’s birthday but make sure you have their consent first.
I believe that the time around our birth day holds special power and celebrating it with intention and meaning could bring strength and new energy to our lives.
I first experienced soul retrieval at Daan van Kampenhout’s training in Mexico City. As part of his teaching on Systemic Ritual he presented this concept to the group. I have met the concept before in my basic shamanic training but had a vague idea of how this could be practiced. We were to think of the times in our lives where some powerful, if not traumatising, events occurred and then use stones to represent the soul parts that were still there in those times and events. Being witnessed by a partner we were to set an intention to call those soul parts back and to use our voice to do it – singing, talking, humming. I have set up two soul parts that I believed were missing since I moved countries several times as a child, and breathing them back into my body brought quiet peace and a sense of completeness.
Soul retrieval is one of the core practices in traditional and modern shamanism. Description and details may vary depending on cultural context and background teaching but in its essence it is a belief that a person’s soul (or several souls in some cultures) could split into pieces and leave the body for various reasons. Most of the time, it will come back and reconnect but in times of great fear, threat, challenge and pain a part of the soul might choose to remain in dreamworld – the realm that we go to in our dreams, the other world, the other dimension – whatever you call it – the place deemed safer and more pleasant for the soul.
If soul loss occurs it may lead to physical and mental illness, a sense of dullness of life, as if something is missing and nothing is the same as it used to be. The colours are not as bright, the laughter is not as sincere and nothing seems to be able to change it – no matter what healing practices and therapy you do.
Traditionally, if I am to summarise this healing practice, when a practitioner senses soul loss, she would journey on behalf of the person to her guides and spirit helpers to get help in finding the missing part of the soul. Her guides would quickly locate it and bring her there. After some negotiation – mainly explaining what happened and that the threat/situation has shifted and the person is generally in a better state – a practitioner brings the missing soul part back to the person’s body. Continue reading
(Image from Snow and Ashes film by Gregory Kolbert)
Vibration of sound never dies. What you said out loud as a child is still resonating somewhere in the universe. What you said aloud as an adult is still somewhere around you contributing to your field. Are you using your words wisely?
If we decide to love ourselves
Would we betray our fathers?
Those who had fought so hard
To atone the sins of others.
Would we be guilty to change
How we see other people see us?
Would we then need to attain
Forgiveness for growing gap between us?
Between the old and the young
Through time, space and eternity
To be able to fully be
Guilt becomes part of maturity
If we decide to love ourselves,
Include guilt in this process too.
‘I see you, you’re part of me, i am here for you’
Acknowledging it - is the best we can do.
(Photo I took at Caux Expo museum, International Conference centre of Initiatives of Change)
I am fascinated by the Systemic Family Constellations work. I study it, practice it, research it. Here, I am sharing what I learn and hope it can be of use to somebody interested in healing their families, communities and lives.