Constellations are a method for transforming negative, conflictual relations and blocks to the invisible entanglements that we are each influenced by as well as a tool for understanding the hidden and invisible influences upon an individual or group. The past is connected to the future in the present moment and forms our being. Where aspects of the past, within the family or collective, are unseen or unacknowledged then the trauma from the past connects to our future via the present moment and we are entangled within it.
The idea that we as individuals can create a map of emotional entanglements within a ‘field of influence’ that can not only reveal the hidden influences of the past within our present but that they can also be disentangled and in such a viscerally tangible way is fascinating to me. I have been learning about and working with constellations for nearly two decades. In group and individual sessions I have repeatedly observed the impact of war and trauma from previous generations on individuals in the present, rarely a day goes by without the historical narrative of war and conflict coming up. From the first and Second World War, the Spanish civil war, the Bohr war to the American civil war, each leaving an imprint of trauma that is unconsciously held by the current generation for the previous. Influencing their relationships and personal choices as they experience their sense of belonging through the unconscious lens of unacknowledged trauma.
The core concept that constellation is based upon is belonging, balance and structural order. For an individual the flow of belonging and order can be observed as:
Family of origin
Friendships & intimate relationships
Collective global influence
The belonging for the individual within the structure and order of the family to the collective global influences is based upon the balance within each relational aspect. This relational belonging is seen through the lens of shared beliefs. The beliefs being cultural/religious/political in nature. When the beliefs, the passport to belonging and structural order are not accepted and balanced or if there is migration or displacement of some form then the belonging and the order within the structure or system is disrupted. This creates the entangled memories that are passed trans-generationally. It made sense to me that this flow of belonging, balance and structure from the individual to the collective global influences must also work in reverse. The historical trauma that occurs within the psychohistory of the collective -> country -> town-> community particularly as a result of conflict trauma associated with migration or forced displacement, would also be held by the individual within their family of origin. By exploring the collective historical trauma and the entangled memories within the historical trauma narrative of an aspect of the global collective there is the same potential to disentangle the traumatic entangled memories as the individual that forms part of the collective.
Exploring these possible entanglements through an appropriate intentional question will lay bare the unconscious loyalties and entanglements, with the potential to actively disentangle the blocks and entanglements that are influential within the intentional question within the collective aspects through to the individual aspects.
On a personal level individuals are able to integrate forgotten, excluded or unseen elements of family history (which in turn are entangled with collective history) so that the entangled trauma is not unconsciously being held by the individual, nor is the individual being seen through the entanglement(s).
In the collective or community context constellations can allow deeper insights into conflict or intractable situations. They can reveal the relational systems of loyalty within a framework. This allows us the ability to discern the best path forward and to disentangle and remove seemingly intractable blocks on the path forward. These blocks can be internal to the individual or their family/personal relationships or external within their community/working environment.
Representing within a group constellation is a multi-faceted dimensional experience.
The field of influence of a group will coalesce over the period of time that the group works together and will act as a separate informing field that supports the community that is created within the group as well as individually moving all the pieces within an individual’s field of influence that are resonant with the collective stories explored.
Every created community field of influence is unique to the place/land where the work occurs, the belonging of the representatives to that land or an earning of place there, the time that is spent together and the interaction of the constellation community group.
Each representative comes to the community field with the field of influence that they belong to, their ancestors and the historical narrative that is affecting them. This includes the arc through the field of the beliefs, land, migration influences, language, culture as well as the missing/unseen. Not all of this, if any, will be conscious within the participants.
As we continue to work each participant interacts with the created community field as they represent. Each participant has their own movement and process within the represented space in service of their own field, the intentional question field and the created community field. They are affecting the created community field and at the same time are affected by others influent fields within the larger created community field.
The participants are united in their own individual intentions in service of the created community field. It is because of this field interaction that representing within a constellation is such a rich and valuable experience.
The next collective group constellation is Continuing in the Footsteps of your Ancestors: Choosing to See, Choosing to Witness
on Sept 19th & 20th, 2020 in Madison, WI.