I had an incredible opportunity to support this year's International Systemic Constellations Conference organised in Australia and offered across all time zones. It used to be called an Intensive and it definitely felt like one, with more than 65 presenters in all parts of the world, several parallel tracks running from 1 am till midnight for 8 days. I could only be there for some of the sessions and here is a little summary of what I saw.
My first session (I served as host and tech support for all these sessions) was with Dr. Karl - Heinz Rauscher on symptom constellations and healing voices. A combination of systemic lens and shamanic healing in approaching physical symptoms and beyond. Fascinating work that he begins with diagnosing whether the issue comes from personal trauma, ancestral field, karmic past or present family. See the end of this email for a way to practice this for yourself. https://en.dr-rauscher.de/
Elena Veselago's first session was on grief through systemic lens - a realisation that we are connected by the field at all times to all people, beings and things in our life and when they disappear, that connection breaks and the energy that was being exchanged has no place to go so creates chaos and pain. Many communities have a way of holding grief that allows to 'seal' that broken connection and to redirect the energy to other parts of the field. Therapists also perform this role in some ways, especially in the modern societies where the old rituals are lost. In another workshop Elena shared her understanding of holding a container and reading the field, where you allow the field to touch you and inform you without needing to 'do' anything about it. Even just that, already initiates the healing movement and the Field presents to the therapist what needs to be seen, what needs to be returned to the client, and what the client can't see themselves.
A session with Shavasti offered a beautiful reminder of the power and art of healing sentences. Shavasti wrote a book (as John L. Payne) on the Language of the Soul, talking about the skill of entering the field with undefended heart to hold the unknown. The phrase to say out loud is 'I just don't know' and to sit with it, to notice how it feels in the body, and then say it again. And again. 'I just don't know'. https://shavasti.com/
Daan van Kampenhout led two workshops, his first online groups, working with setting up a ritual with supportive ancestors, those who have been with the same issue and know how to heal and integrate. A simple ritual was to set up 'somebody who supports me conditionally' (if I meet their criteria), 'somebody who supports me unconditionally' and 'me'. Looking and exploring the dynamic of all three and holding space for what needs to emerge. What imprints do we still carry within us about needing to deserve support and what it feels like to be supported unconditionally - is it possible to receive this support? Daan has also started a new online project of holding singing sessions, where he sings and chants his healing songs holding space for us to do our personal practice - meditate, rest, journey, heal. Beautiful experience every other Sunday and Thursday. https://daanvankampenhout.com/
Jane Peterson, whom I met for the first time and fell in love with her style and presence, offered a workshop on couples dynamics and 'telltale' movement - the importance of paying attention to what is not said between two people, body language and signs of whether the movement is 'towards' or 'away'. Setting up you and the other (partner, mother, daughter etc) and noticing where the movement is heading in this relationship. https://www.human-systems-institute.com/
Bertold Ulsamer did an inner constellation around the birth trauma for a client, recreating the process in such a way that it felt much more safe and supportive and agreeable for the newborn to agree to step into the world and let go of generational resistance. A skilful step by step process of being completely relaxed with the unknown. Bertold has many resources on udemy about various aspects of systemic work. https://www.ulsamer.com/startseite/
I wrote before about my experiences of what I call the 'dancing constellations' - Ancestral Connections work of Tanja Meyburgh and Sian Palmer. The grounding power of movement before dropping into the depth of meditation to meet ancestors and to connect with what they hold for me, dancing my way through the beautiful insights and blessings. For the first time in the meditation the ancestors didn't just show up and stood there, they were incredibly active as if they just dropped by and suddenly met all old relatives they haven't seen for ages. Saying hello across generations, time and space. A wonderful experience. https://realacademy.net/
With Susan Schlosser we talked about nature constellations and the appearance of the ancient ones in constellations - what do they have to say to what is happening in our lives? To experience this, set up 'you', 'your ancestors' and 'the ancient ones' and see what comes. You could also add your 'issue' to this, to look at it through the eyes of the ancient ones. https://truenatureconstellations.com/
As Dr. Karl - Heinz demonstrated, a little exercise to experiment with understanding where the dynamics/issue comes from could be to set the issue up in the middle, and around it in four corners set up four options - family of origin, personal trauma, current family, karmic past (if this is not part of your belief system, you could still experiment with it, or leave it out); set the intention to receive insight about the roots of the issue - one by one stand in each option feeling into body sensations. Before this, work with the body to understand your Yes and your No, see the video here, and use this knowledge in each position. If family of origin feels like a Yes, then pay attention to which side is more active - left or right, mother's or father's. You can do the test several times and you could do it blind too and compare results.
Considering this has been a first event of this kind and scale and that for many teachers this has been their first exposure to working online and on zoom, I think it was a great success. Of course there is room for growth in the area of accessibility and diversity, and I hope it will be taken on board for the next year. Now it is time to integrate all the learning and to take it into real life, personal practice, off line being and doing.
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.