constellations in words
When we have repeated negative thoughts and strong beliefs about ourselves it could be that we didn't just come up with it as a result of our own experience but it may be a result of a curse.
It is a very strong word. It carries many connotations from various eras and traditions. But its weight also emphasises the power our words and intentions hold. Setting aside 'professional' curse creation, most of us have at some point done a little unintentional cursing that might have long term consequences unbeknown to us.
A child being absolutely taken by the joy of expressing her love to the divine in a choir singing to just be shut down and publicly shamed for being loud and standing out is cursed to stop singing and will reinforce and grow this message and intention into a believe and an identity of a woman who is just not into signing or having no talent for it. Angry, upset Ex cursing her former partner in a chat with a friend and this friend ‘helping’ by wishing he stays forever alone. A woman whose life choices were dramatically limited by her farther cursing him with all her righteous anger when she fails to achieve her dream. Jealous sibling wishing she were the only child from the depth of her heart. Sometimes this could be a systemic family dynamic, when people remember their grandmother cursing her husband, or grandfather cursing all medical doctors, then in constellations we see the entanglements of the grandchildren with those curse energies and their consequences.
Examples are multiple and depending what framework we choose, these could be named differently. It could be called conditioning or programing. It could be shadow work. It could be addressed by a practitioner or by self-help book or in your own deep inner work.
It takes so little and most of the time we don’t even notice we do it. We just want to rebalance the unfairness that we experience at that very moment. The quickest way we know is using our voice and words to express a whish that the other person is being put in to their place. The power of our feelings and sincere intentions is huge. We might laugh about it or shrug it off but then remember the moment in your childhood when your heart was shut down by one word, or look, or gesture, or silence. Just to say, we all do it and we need to become aware of it. It has consequences that last decades and take a lot of personal work to undo.
As you get angry with somebody and fuming with rage, it is important not to suppress it and it is important not to direct it at anyone around you. As you become aware of your strong powerful feelings, send a little prayer that this rage doesn’t harm anyone but empowers your life transforming into a resource. Intention matters. Awareness is key.
South african workshops experience-
Unforgettable birthday blessings.
We gather to run a ritual
I pray, drum and sing habitually;
We invite helping spirit of fire flames,
We cross many borders of time and space
Calling in missing parts of our souls;
We enter the dreamworld respectfully
Guides watch our back carefully
Our essence come back happily
We lovingly integrate on return.
South african present and future
Held with prayer with love together
Healing happening layer by layer
Restoring the flow of love.
Horses playing with dogs around us,
Pincushions showing the way,
Wheel of heart eternally nurturing
Hands full of ancestral abundance.
I am something good from your past
I am something good from your future
We are partaking in feast
Of joyful tears and healing gifts
Gratitude flows all ways
East south west north below and above
Heart is expressed through voice in space
Song is transforming resistance to love.
Beautiful people magnificent land
Creatures after my heart,
Blessings to what is unfolding and what lies ahead
May this delight be repeated again
Last days of August I spent in Helsinki taking part and supporting a three days workshop led by Daan van Kampenhout for about eighty Russian speaking participants. Daan first mentioned the possibility of this workshop about a year before and prior to that there were multiple attempts to put something like this together.
Russian speaking part of the world has high regard for this work but having the language barrier only few can attend systemic ritual workshops in person. So this opportunity has been long awaited and gathered people from far and wide. Similar to workshops in Paris, there was a dedicated professional interpreter with a good history of working with international teachers. It was important to hold this workshop on a neutral ground as this enabled everyone to be on the same page, being guests in a beautiful country, step out of routine scenery and journey to get to those three days of magic.
And that is exactly how it felt – magic. Deep, insightful, poetic, healing process that opened hearts, it focused a lot on seeing goodness, blessings and strength in the ancestral field, retraining our minds that are so used to looking for what is wrong, for a weak link. Focusing on ancestral resources and healing we worked with themes of children and parents, mothers and daughters, symptoms and four levels of the soul, past and future resources, alcoholism and disconnection from ancestors, relationships and money etc.
Every day had a different group dynamic and by day three the tension started rising as it became clear that there was no time to address all requests made. Daan held it beautifully constantly staying in touch with higher powers to surrender any control of what was unfolding and letting go of expectations. It also helped to have several rituals that allowed everyone to work on their own issues at the same time. Having a group of almost eighty systemic practitioners holding space for each other for three days made such work possible.
Personally it was an incredible honour to be there and to be of service to the land of my ancestors in that way. I believe the fact that I live far from that land and am not invested into it allowed me to contribute freely and completely openly. It touched me deeply to see how many people are doing this work and to have a chance to participate in healing the wounds of the land and ancestors. I pray that more healing is possible, balance restored and loving connections made in all parts of that beautiful part of the world, place of my birth.
Daan Van Kampenhout website
Systemic Ritual community in the UK
My upcoming systemic ritual in London
Anywhere you go, even if just a few steps, you can contribute to the forces of good and bring light to this world. Here is how: imagine that every time your foot touches ground it sends a blessing into earth. As if as you walk you leave footprints of light behind. One step at a time, one blessing at a time from you to mother planet.
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 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.