How do you connect the land of your ancestors with the land you are in now?
Invite nature elements to help you. Everything is connected, and we all walk one Earth, breathe the same air and have the same rain that journeys from land to land. All rivers and oceans are connected.
When you stand on the Earth where you are, breathe into it and imagine your breath traveling all the way to the land of your ancestors, let them know where you are on the Earth, introduce them to the ancestors of this land you in now, invite them to join you here.
Bring some milk to your river neighbour and invite her to take it to the river ancestor of the land of your origin.
Imagine your roots growing deep into Earth and meeting the roots of your ancestors somewhere deep in her belly, nourishing each other, sharing wisdom and learning. The same you could do to connect with ancestors of the land you are going to.
Why do it? When we feel connected to our ancestors, recent or from hundreds of years ago, we feel part of something bigger, more ancient, wiser and stronger. We feel more supported and stable. We know that somewhere in the depth of our lineage all possible resources exist for us, most experiences are present and processed and the wisdom is available. We also feel continuity of existence, permission to be fully present in the foreign land, embodied memory of historical movements of our ancestors.
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In my work, I often see how the truth of our right place settles the whole system. For example, one believes that they are the eldest in the family, and then discovers there were other siblings before them, who did not survive. Setting up and naming the right order, brings ease and sense of calm to everyone before and after. The sense of 'something is missing' dissolves and more energy is available.
I would like to share with you a ritual to explore your own place in your system.
When you set up your siblings, include everyone you know, born and unborn. If you do not know for sure, for example in case of adoption, or being conceived with a help of a donor, set up a collective representation - one representative for all siblings who were born and one representative for all unborn siblings. For your ancestors you use collective representation as we just don't know most of the time.
Begin by setting up representatives for yourself and your family tree. Start with only two or three generations for this ritual. So You, your parents, your grandparents and great grandparents.
Stand as yourself with the family system being behind you. Notice how it feels. Then slowly turn around to look at your family. Notice what changes in your body as you feel them looking at you. Use simple sentences to acknowledge what is - thank you for my life; you are my parents, grandparents, great grandparents; I am your descendant; I am your grandchild etc
Using your intuition and body's felt sense place two more representatives next to each person in your family - one for born siblings and one for unborn siblings. In your intention you include into these representations all known and unknown siblings.
Sometimes you might get a sense of it not being right at all, follow it and withdraw that representative. For example, you set up all born siblings for your grandmother and you feel this is just not right. So don't set it up. Then you set up the unborn siblings and it feels right in your body. Trust that sense even if you do not have any information about it. On some level this is also a deeply archetypal energy work, so it will touch on some layers that we don't know about.
When you set up representatives for all siblings for each of those present in your ritual, go back to your own representative, tune in. See what is changing for you as you now look at this family system that tripled in size. Acknowledge all siblings with a simple sentence - I see you, you have a place.
Now, set up representatives for all your siblings in the right order. Facing your family system declare to them - I am your descendant. I am one of [say the number]. I am [say your order number - second, third etc]. We are all your descendants. We all belong.
Notice what it feels like in your body to take your place in your system and allow others to have their places. Breathe.
You could add sentences to acknowledge all your siblings, born and unborn and to tell them the right order and that you will always be their older/younger sister/brother. And that you all are children of this family.
When you feel enough, close the ritual with gratitude and release all representatives.
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As we are at the end of October, this special time of the year celebrated in various cultures, I invite you to pause, take a deep breath, imagine behind you generations and generations of your ancestors. Whether you knew them or not, the fact that you are here means they were there. Hundreds of them. All of them experienced this threshold between seasons for many centuries.
Allow yourself to lean back slightly into their wisdom and receive the knowing about this season and what its most precious gift is.
Ask yourself - how can this time be more meaningful for me, my soul, for my family and those I love? See what comes as a subtle knowing within you.
Maybe it is about the lost dreams of your ancestors that you still carry in your bones? Collectively we dream our dreams and some of those that don’t happen flow further to the future, with the hope of manifesting one day. In our world today, with all that is happening, how many dreams become lost? How many will be passed to future generations as lost dreams?
Today, imagine turning to your ancestors and acknowledge their dreams. Honour those that came true and those that didn’t and release any that you might be dreaming on their behalf. 'My dear ancestors, I honour your dreams. I respect your fate. Any dreams I carry on your behalf, today, I return to you, with gratitude.'
Breathe in and out. Continue with your day, maybe in a slightly different state.
In my work I come across the lack of connection with the inner child a lot. This is a part of ourselves that holds the pain of childhood and often gets entangled with the ancestral problems either to survive or out of love. Developing a relationship with our inner child allows us to know when what we feel belongs to the present or to the past; to recognise familiar dynamics as those that were helpful and even life saving in childhood but are limiting us now. In this meditation I guide you to meet your inner kid and let them know you are now an adult and will take care of them.
Let me know how it goes.
Attachment theory is a popular subject now. Here is a way to explore it in a ritual form
On the Wheel of Four Directions set up You in the middle, and then four attachments in four directions:
South - Secure #attachment
East - Anxious Attachment
West - Fearful- Avoidant Attachment (also called disorganised)
North - Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment
Outside the Wheel set up one stone in each direction to represent a relationship you are looking at, e.g. romantic relationships.
Begin exploring by standing in the centre of the Wheel, in your own place. Notice what it feels like to be surrounded by different attachment styles - different stories, dynamics and behaviours that belong to each style. Drop into your body, observe any physical or emotional sensations that might arise.
Decide which style you'd like to explore first and step into that place (have the stone that represents that style, between your feet, so that you are right above it). Experiment with looking into the centre of the Wheel, at yourself; or outside the Wheel - at the romantic relationships. Notice the difference.
Then step into the place of the Romantic #relationships , facing the attachment style and yourself in the centre of the Wheel. Notice what is happening. For example, when I stood in the romantic relationships in the North, looking at Dismissive-Avoidant attachment I felt my whole body being pushed back, as if that attachment was a wall around my representative in the centre. I took several steps back until this sensations diminished.
In this way, explore each direction. Then consider what resource you could bring into this experience. For me the first thing that came up was Love. I added a representative for Love to each direction between my representative in the centre and representative of the attachment. Then I did all steps from before again, exploring what changes for the Attachment, for the Relationship and for Me in the centre when #love is added.
In my case, Attachments turned to face Love and became much softer towards the Relationship. It felt transformational in a very gentle way.
When you feel you have learned enough, close the #ritual with #gratitude
Recently I heard from several people that they are really interested in this type of work, but they just don't have the time for it. Anytime they sit to meditate they feel they are wasting time that could have been spent much more productively.
The point is that we are all different. And our path to our own truth and discovery of what opens our heart and talks to our soul will be different. There is no need to wait for special circumstances, conditions, mood, state of mind or signs. If sitting down does not work for now, turn any of your ordinary activities into meditation, into a practice of unordinary reality.
Washing windows or cleaning your house - set an intention to clear your own aura, or your loved one's aura (with their permission, of course). 'My dear Higher Self (my dear guides, allies, guardians, ancestors, beloved divine - choose what resonates with your being) as I clean this window, as I move my hands to clear dirt off it, anything that needs and is ready to be cleared out of my own field is removed.'
If you are walking to pick up your kids from school or going shopping - set an intention to exchange blessings with Mother Earth - 'Beloved Great Mother, as I walk to my destination may every step bring a blessing to you, may every breath bring a blessing to me'. And then you walk consciously, mindfully, aware that every step you take contributes to building your relationship with the world.
If you are gardening, or watering your plants, set an intention to grow something good, something new in your life. 'Dear plant spirits, as I nurture you, as I take care of you, may I also take care of my wellbeing. As you grow, may you bring growth into my life.'
With anything you do every day, a good practice is to stay mindful of your body - what sensations arise, what you pick up from your environment. In this way you will become more aware of what opens your heart, and how interconnected you are with all that is.
Turning ordinary reality into unordinary one takes an intention, awareness and prayer; it is a practice that will enrich your life with wonder, sacredness, meaning, and joy.
I would love to hear from you about how you practice sacredness in your life, what works for you?
Do you know what baleen whale is? Now imagine applying this to listening. In constellation work the process starts with an interview, where facilitator would ask about the issue, intention and various facts about the family. This is what is seen. What is unseen is facilitator’s interaction with the client on the energetic level, the deep listening.
Richard Wallstein talks about deep listening as a process that invites a range of metaphors. Baleen whale is one of them. These creatures have filter systems for their food, so that only what is good for them enters their body. Similarly, facilitator has this neutral perception ‘baleen’ activated to sense into what is relevant and not, where energy goes, what is important in the moment.
The other metaphor is a hair cell. These are cells in our body that resonate with the vibration of the sound. Similarly as facilitators we resonate with the sound, tone, way of talking, body language of the client, listening not only to the story but to what is not being said as well.
In his recent talk on interviewing process Richard also mentioned a third metaphor - prairie grass fields. Just as the wind brushes and shapes the grass through the fields, facilitator is open to all the movements of the interview, not fixating on a preconceived idea.
Deep listening could be practiced in other settings in life. Imagine if we could sit with each other holding those metaphors in mind. Imagine listening in such a way to your garden beings, to trees and animals. How would this change what you hear?
When parts of us are staying with our parents, for whatever reason good or bad, especially if there has been a lot of pain and suffering in childhood, we are not fully available to our own life and to the future. Our inner child still feels responsible for fixing parent’s life, rescuing, atoning, being loyal to be fully accepted, to belong, to survive. If we step up to become our own best adult to support our inner little one to feel safe and belonging no matter what, it will be possible for us to leave the parent’s fate to themselves.
And not just parents - previous seven generations of our ancestors are still influencing our lives on so many different levels and most of them are unconscious, hidden among our ego, defences and limiting beliefs.
In the video above we are doing a meditation to connect with our family of origin and see how entangled we are (or not!).
This is such a powerful time of the year. When you think of it from a collective energy point of view, almost everywhere on earth people have been marking this time of the year in some way, whether prehistoric ancestors greeting the sun as it begins to bring back the light, or the millions of people in more modern times praying and celebrating in churches everywhere, or the celebration and anticipation of the new year. Collectively we carry this time in our DNA as very special wether individually we agree with it or not. Tune in to the collective field, notice the patterns and be clear about what is yours and what doesn't belong to you. Below is a ritual you could do on 22 December to mark the return of the Sun. It also includes your inner child. This time is especially magical for our inner little ones.
Use as many stones to represent as feels right. Set up a circle of 'sunny' ancestors. One by one, call each of them in - all those ancestors who are shining warmly at you from the past. At least nine. Around that circle create another circle with a scarf or a piece of wire, to represent the loving hands of the Grandfather Sun. In the middle, set up yourself as an adult and your inner child. Set your intention to honour the Sun that gives life to all on this planet and connect with your loving ancestors.
Begin the ritual by standing as your adult self and feel into it. How doest it feel to be in this circle and to have your little one there too. Use simple sentences to welcome the ancestors and to let them know who you are. Then stand as Inner Child and see what you notice. It might be that the adult self needs to reassure the little self, or maybe the child knows all ancestors already.
Move to stand in the place of the loving hands of the Grandfather Sun, looking at others within your arms. Notice how it is to represent the sun.
Then move to represent somebody from the 'sunny ancestors', notice who you are drawn to.As you stand there, look at your own representative - the adult and the child, notice what comes up. Maybe there will be gifts coming, blessings and support.
And again, stand as your own representative, the adult and the child. Receive all the support, busk in the sunshine, dance as a child in sun rays. Fill up your batteries and pour your gratitude onto those around you, including the loving arms of Grandfather Sun. Use simple sentences to acknowledge, honour and celebrate your lineage, your life, your ancestors and Grandfather Sun. Stay there for as long as feels right. End the ritual.
This is a ritual to acknowledge and honour the different sides of the festive season that the ancestors and our families might have associated and experienced with it. To find a place for all of it in ourselves and feel supported and resourced doing it.
Set up two representatives on the opposite sides of the room - one for the joy of the season, and one for the suffering of the season. Stand in the middle and choose a representative for a resource to hold in your hand. It could be your guide, your guardian angel, Love, or another powerful resource. Holding on to the Resource, slowly walk towards the representative of Joy of the Season. As you stand in front of it, acknowledge it, feel into it, imagine looking into its eyes, and make a little gesture to touch it and take a little bit of it for you. If possible, bow to it to honour it.
Then slowly walk to the other side, to the representative of the Suffering of the Season. Acknowledge it, look into its eyes, if possible bow to honour, do not touch. Repeat this walk between the two at least three times, noticing with every step what is happening for you, how your body is doing, what feelings and sensations come up, keep hold of the Resource for extra support.
After several rounds, come back to the middle, and with the support of your Resource find a way to breathe in both sides and find a place for them in your body, as both belong to the story of your lineage in a variety of ways. Close the ritual with thanks to your Resource and all involved.
I am fascinated by the Systemic Family Constellations work and everything shamanic. 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.