Ancestral Healing through Shamanism & Family Constellations
When we try to avoid what is unpleasant, sinful, and confrontational, we lose precisely what we wanted to keep, namely our life, dignity, freedom and greatness.
Only he who confronts the dark forces and accepts their existence is connected to his roots and the sources of his strength.
– Bert Hellinger
Constellation work was discovered and developed by Bert Hellinger, a German psychotherapist, in the 1980s. Its roots lie in Family Sculpting, Psychodrama, and the family work of mid-century psychological trailblazers such as Virginia Satir.
Bert Hellinger became less satisfied with the results of Family Sculpting and the role-playing of Psychodrama, and began to notice that when he would place representatives for family members, interactions were happening spontaneously even when the representatives had not been given a role or any instruction. He saw that representatives seemed to be receiving information about the system on their own. They became like oracles.
Bert Hellinger saw something common to all human relationships, some simple truths. He expressed them as natural orders and they were discovered through a great deal observation.
He was searching for ‘what is’ and what he uncovered were timeless truths that underpin human relationships systems. He called them the Orders of Love.
When you experience these orders yourself you know them at a deep level. They are natural orders, organized principals and forces that sustain systems. Disturbance in families occurs when the ancient Orders Of love are disturbed some way.
Often two to three or more generations back may appear in the family system and lead to distress, illness and emotional difficulties today.
Disturbance develops in families due to disruption by:
Early death of a parent, child, mother in childbirth
Anything that causes shame / guilt e.g. bankruptcy, crime, prison
Mental illness or physical handicap causing a parent not able to take their role as a parent
Family dynamics can effect and restrict you. Family secrets such as shame, guilt and sadness unconsciously live through the genetic trail that connects all family members.
Anything that results in exclusion or not being acknowledged or accepted into the family can show itself in future generations.
The Family Constellation process allows you to work with the invisible network of loyalties we inherited from family lineage.
Standing as a representative within the Constellation, we receive information about the system through our body in a phenomenological way. Representatives follow the wisdom of their bodies and move in ways and into places that match the urges they are getting from the Field of the system.
Like the stars in the heavens, when representatives complete their movement, this new Constellation reveals a new and deeper meaning we were unable to see before.
The language of Constellations is deeply visual. Body sensations for representatives in the Constellation can be powerful, and the urge to move or stand in a certain way or to speak a particular phrase can be quite strong.
This happens through our innate Middle World abilities to receive, translate and report energies and fields.
We use this oracular power of seeing in our shamanic practices.
Constellations are deep Middle World work. They involve our bodies, after all, which live in the Middle World. We can read these Fields because our bodies always give us strong and reliable information from them. Our bodies faithfully and truthfully convert energies into signals we can understand via our senses and via our memories of the mind and memories of the body.
This is simply a part of being human, a natural and built-in ability for all of us. These mediumistic abilities are part of the natural early warning system that helped our ancestors survive.
Constellations often take place in a circle of people who come together in a sacred way to be in service to their families. People come to a constellation workshop to shift something troublesome appearing in their life or family.
When a person states their issue, the facilitator asks some basic questions about the family, who died early or in an unusual way, who was excluded, and any large events that affected the family as a whole. The facilitator connects to the Field of the issue in an intentional way and forms an assessment. He or she asks representatives to embody a part of the system’s ‘Knowing Field’ to bring the hidden structure of its relationships into clearer view.
Early facilitators became aware of a consciousness, which German constellations facilitator Albrecht Mahr named the ‘Knowing Field’.
Systemic Constellations are a means of revealing the hidden structure of relationships in a system. By representing parts of the system with people or objects, we connect with the energies and information of those parts and with the system as a whole. When asked to represent a portion of a system, a person receives information for that part through his/her body.
This knowing is twofold: information about her specific part, and context about her part’s relationship to other parts of the system.
In the same way we receive unique and shared wisdom for a question when we go on a Shamanic journey in a drumming circle, each representative gets unique and shared insights from the information Field of the system.
In a journey circle, clarity emerges when we share our unique portion of wisdom, putting all of the information together after the journey. We get to see our insight in a greater context. No one receives a complete answer to the journey question; the answer comes from the sum of our individual experiences.
In a constellation, clarity appears when we put representatives for different parts of the system together. We can then see a bigger picture. This is like assembling a holographic image from shards of the original. Putting the pieces together increases the resolution and sharpness of the image, giving us more information than any one piece can hold.
In a systemic constellation, the facilitator perceives the information presented by the Field via its representatives. Representatives ‘speak’ in a visual language, moving into clusters and patterns that mean something about what the system contains.
Unlike a Shamanic Journey circle, the Constellation facilitator interacts in real time with the embodied system through the representatives by using statements and questions, and suggesting physical movements. The facilitator vibrates the system to find the unseen energy tangles which cause dysfunction. The constellation is like an oracle, speaking for the system through many voices, listening with many ears and ‘answering’ when questioned. Answers may come in the form of new cluster patterns, newly revealed relationships among members. They may also come in body postures, looks, and in words of the representatives.
As Shamans, we know everything is alive. Everything is connected. Everything grows, transforms, and has a destiny which includes needs and desires.
Constellations allow representatives, either humans or objects, to connect with a part of the consciousness energy, the Spirit and intelligence of a system. In constellation terms, the system strengthens when each element finds its proper place.
Two of the primary goals of constellation are to strengthen the system and increase the flows of love in it. Often they occur simultaneously.
Once the Orders of Love are restored, insights and healing occur. You can heal in a profound way through Family Constellations by healing the root of the problem if you are prepared to seek the truth and grow from it.
If you feel moved towards healing Yourself or to reach out for a Loved One experiencing Shamanic Constellation Work, please contact us