constellations in words
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!
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.
In 2019 I published some of my poetry inspired by systemic work in this journal. It is available as PDF, Kindle or printed at the link above.