A constellation in Hellinger’s latest method, further developed by Brigitte Champetier de Ribes (New Family Constellations, or Spiritual or ‘Medial’ Constellations, as Hellinger referred to them) may be perhaps described as a deep meditative experience.

In tune with another force, we let ourselves be moved by it, slowly and quietly, in silence.

The more recollected we are (facilitator, representatives, all other participants), the stronger is the healing force set in motion by the constellation. 

The least we interpret, the more far reaching are its effects. The key for us is minimum intervention: another force is at work.

The worksops consist of a group of attendants who may or may not know each other (private individual sessions may also be undertaken). The client presents in one or two sentences, very briefly, the issue he needs help with to the constellations facilitator. In some cases this may not even be necessary. 

The facilitator, attuned to the energy field, and in resonance with the client’s family system, especially the client’s mother, may ask some relevant questions. These are generally questions relating to the family, for instance, questions that relate to facts, rather than feelings or thoughts. She will then ask the client to choose representatives from the group (people to represent family members, or other entities, or concepts, depending on the information the facilitator receives from her connection with the Field). At an online workshop, the facilitator may choose the representatives herself.

The client then observes what happens as representatives let themselves be guided by the movement to a particular place, position, attitude… (sometimes the client may be asked to participate in his/her own constellation alongside representatives). 

Hellinger abandoned the method by which it was the client who placed representatives according to his/her inner image, since he realised that this is an interference with the spiritual movement.

As the constellation progresses, other participants may be taken by the field as representatives (any change an ‘observer’ may feel in her body, a need to adopt an unusual posture with her hand, arm, foot…, receiving the consistent attention of a representative, a compelling feeling to lie down on the floor, get up on a chair, stand up… these generally are signs that the ‘observer’ is now part of the constellation, whether it is known or not whom or what she represents).

Representatives free their minds of thought, abandon all intention, they simply are. They wait for a feeling, a sensation in their bodies, they attend to their perceptions, recollected, allowing themselves be taken by the movement they feel comes to them. If nothing comes, that is ok. If something comes, it is allowed unfold. 

Astonishingly, representatives start feeling like the real people they represent, and often clients are able to recognise attitudes, or symptoms, and dynamics, that pertain to their relatives, or their employees or co-workers, etc., as they watch the constellation unfold. 

Representing is healing also for representatives as long as they do not project their own issues onto the representation, it also facilitates compassion as one stands on the shoes of someone else, and may lead to powerful insights.

The wish to attend a constellation workshop shall come originally from within the person who wants to attend, from their own free will, this is a prerequisite for the work to have strength and be effective. 

Insisting that someone attends, or forcing someone to attend, weakens both, the attendant, and s/he who got them to attend, having adverse consequences also for the constellations facilitator who works with such a client.

Pace: The movements of representatives are slow, the slower they are, the more in tune with the Field.

A constellation may take from 10 minutes to even 1 hour.

Constellations of the Spirit happen mostly in silence. Representatives may be asked about what they feel by the facilitator at given points, but they shall not speak on behalf of s/he they are representing, for it would be an interference. There is a sense of sacredness, great respect, in the work and the way it is conducted; in the presence of gravity, of the matters of Life and Death that emerge, we lower of voices, and remain quiet.

In New Family Constellations (as Hellinger referred to his latest approach, exemplified by Spirit constellations or medial constellations), the quantum healing method par excellence, the facilitator relies fully on the knowing field and its will. The facilitator is aware that it is another force who slowly leads the movements of representatives and decides at all times what the next movement shall be and the outcome. Thus, the facilitator, in a state of total surrender, puts herself in the hands of her guide, her connection with something greater, acting from the void that shows her the way, step by step. 

Unlike the old style constellations, these are undertaken in a deep meditative state, in inner silence, with no psychodrama or intellectual analysis on the part of the facilitator or representatives; representatives are not placed in a specific location nor are they moved by the facilitator or guided by the facilitator’s or representative’s personal will. These constellations are powerful and deeply healing. They require a deep commitment with unconditional love, that primeval love that surrenders to everything as it is and everyone as they are, and which is expressed in gratitude to everything and everyone, for it is that love that has thought, and thinks, everything that is, into existence. To exist is to be loved.

These Forces, identified by Bert Hellinger in the course of his practice, are as inexorable and its effects as evident as the force of gravity may be. They reveal themselves in experience through the phenomenological work of family constellations and through their effects in our everyday lives. Bert Hellinger referred to them as “Orders of Love”, and always spoke of the importance of assent, of saying Yes to what is, as prior to them. Brigitte Champetier refers to them as Forces of Love, for they move everything that exists forward toward greater, unconditional, love, and includes Assent as the first one.

The Force of Assent

When we assent to everything as it is, and every one as they are, we acknowledge deep down that everything is wanted they way it is by a greater force, even if we don’t understand, and this immediately puts us in tune with life allowing success to enter. We are immediately in harmony with the others forces of love, flowing forward toward a greater love. To flow with it is to allow abundance and well being, it is to move toward our highest realization.

The Force of belonging: Everyone has the same right to belong, no matter what

When someone was/is excluded (murdered, aborted, rejected, hated or forgotten) from the family system (whether a dead ancestor or living person; whether a blood relative, or someone external to the family that made room for someone else -such as a former partner, or a perpetrator to a family relative, or a victim to a family relative), someone else from a later generation is unconsciously compelled to occupy his/her place. Someone from a later generation will attempt to include the excluded by unconsciously reliving his life and misfortunes, following the excluded into death, perhaps carrying his anger, his desire to kill, or replicating a tragic death, becoming a victim perhaps for love of a victim that was, or atoning for someone who did not assume the responsibility of his/her actions. The powerful attraction that these excluded exert on us, is Love.

The greatest misdeeds, like the smallest, are done out of love, blind love. This is a  kind of love that takes us out of our place, as we rise above our ancestors, believing that we can help them that way, as if we were their elders, or parents, for instance. But this furthers exclusion (on becoming them, we continue not to see them), until someone in a later generation finally integrates the excluded, without judgement, with love: enlightened love (now we see). Thus Hellinger claimed, from his experience with family constellations, that Karma can be healed, now, with love (enlightened love).

Family Constellations help us bring the excluded into our range of vision, restoring their belonging within our hearts and the system, thus bringing peace to them and us, furthering our human growth, and bringing us closer to the healthy, successful, compassionate and loving persons we are meant to be.

The Force of Precedence

Those who came before (our ancestors, our parents, our older siblings, the founder of a company or organisation, employees who have been there longer…) have a preeminence over those who came laterwhen the latter give owed respect to the former, the former serve the latter.

Family constellations reveal that in the family unit, the man/husband has precedence according to function, for he looks after the mother-child unit. The woman respects the man, and the man serves the feminine.

Hellinger observes that there is another hierarchy at work, one according to function (i.e. in the couple relationship, the man, who when respected by the woman, serves her; in a hospital, administrators, then doctors, then nurses…) When both hierarchies are respected (longer membership in the system and function), the system succeeds. One other hierarchy matters here also, as noted by Brigitte Champetier, one according to training/education (in relation to the task at hand).

This priority shows spatially in constellations in such a way that older members of the system, or those who have priority in terms of function and/or level of training/education, are placed from right to left in successive descending order (placed by whom? this is the arrangement where representatives feel right, where the energy field places them). Hellinger observes that in everyday situations, from meetings to meal gatherings, when participants place themselves respecting that order, everything runs more smoothly.

The order between systems, however, is different to that between individuals in a system: the most recent system has a priority over the previous ones. This means, for instance, that as soon as a sperm fertilises an egg -as soon as a new life is created- that male and that female belong together to a new system that comes before their previous one, with all its far reaching consequences (while former individuals, like previous partners, have a precedence and are owed respect by the new ones, or a child from a previous relationship will have precedence for his natural parent over this parent’s new partner). New systems have a priority over the older ones, who shall make room for them (for example, our new family unit has priority over the family where we came from).

The Force of Compensation 

There is a constant need for balance, opposites need each other to move forward (through balance and reconciliation).

Balance is sought for, but not achieved, thus Life moves forward (perfect balance is still). The greatest quantum of energy that propels Life forward and us in our human growth happens when opposites fuse (i.e.: the reconciliation of victim and perpetrator; the union of man and woman).

Who moves representatives at a constellation workshop?

What is that which, when left alone, without interference from the facilitator, from thoughts, embraces all participants, all the represented, victims and perpetrators at once, with the same love and care, an slowly moves them all towards a solution, Love and Life?

Where does that loving hand that picks you up and then at the end, carefully lands you back onto the ground, where does it come from?

“The Hellinger Sciencia has an additional dimension, the spiritual dimension that pushes us beyond the knowledge about orders and disorders in our relationships that we can directly understand. Only through that dimension can its universal scope be perceived, as well as the effects that emerge from it in all areas of existence .

What is this knowledge of the spirit and what are its dimensions? Observation is the tool to discover it and to detect its effects: nothing of what exists moves by itself. Everything is moved by something that comes from further afar. Even when something seems to move on its own initiative, like everything that lives, its movement cannot originate in itself. Every movement, with regards to all living beings, is initiated in an outside movement and continues being moved by the latter continuously for as long as its life lasts.

Something else demands time for reflection:

Every movement, above all every living movement, is a conscious movement. This means that there is a conscience present within that force that moves everything. In other words: every and each movement is an intentional movement. The movement happens because it is intended by that force, obeying to how this force wants it.

Therefore, what is there at the origin of every movement?

A thinking, that thinks everything just as it is.” Bert Hellinger, in Revista Hellinger, marzo 2007

The healing force that comes to us, changing us and our lives, originates from beyond the family system, it supersedes all other morphic fields, it is beyond the repetition of the past, it is always new. 

This force, which Hellinger named ‘Movement of the Spirit’, now reveals itself (as Brigitte Champetier explains in her latest workshops) as our empty centre, the emptiness that is at the heart of all matter, of our cells and molecules. 

This healing force is inside all of us, and connects us all, for it is the One, and the same, whether it’s inside you or me. 

Acknowledging that we are this void centre, and without interference from our will and personal desires, during a constellations workshop, we allow the healing from the void within that knows best.

We could call this “the intimacy of the soul”, if the word soul didn’t have so many meanings. Nonetheless, here are some reflections that refer to our innermost. “The world of the soul is secret. The secret and the sacred are sisters. When the secret is not respected, the sacred vanishes. Consequently, reflection should not shine too severe or aggressive a light in on the world of the soul.” John O’Donohue

New Family Constellations, or spiritual constellations, as Hellinger referred to them (or medial constellations) take place in deep respect for the person’s intimacy, her innermost. In tune with the greater force at work, the facilitator takes the lowest position in the family system of the client. There rarely is permission to make representatives talk during a constellation, as Brigitte Champetier advises. Interpretation of a constellation is kept to a minimum, and if possible, avoided, for any interpretation that we may produce will always be too small for what is manifested, and a hindrance to the healing movement and the continuation of its path in our souls well after the constellation is over.

“The master keeps her mind

always in unity with the Tao;

this is what makes her shine.

The Tao cannot be grasped.

How can then her mind be one with it?

Because she does not grab onto any idea.

The Tao is dark and unfathomable.

How can it make her shine then?

Because she allows it”

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The constellation is not meant to be understood. What we need to know, is revealed to us, and most is often kept from us. She who knows too much, is inclined to judge, and she who judges, does not love. Constellations work best in our souls when they are forgotten.

Hellinger warns about the harmful effects, after the constellation work, of asking and proving someone about his constellation, and what happened in his family system, about how he feels or what he will do next, and states that this curiosity is a grave intrusion, like “poking at the soul”.

Brigitte Champetier further calls for maximum respect when talking about someone or a constellation, since words channel energy and strengthen or weaken the person spoken about.

“What’s going on with spirituality? What’s going on with the spiritual masters, the great gurus? Who is missing? None of them has a mother. No one! Spirituality means: I without a mother. That is spirituality. None of these masters has a wife. The question is: How do we find the way to the Father? We find him with the mother, only with the mother. I call that a Trinity. This is the trinity: mother, father, child and happy!” Bert Hellinger

If on identifying ourselves as spiritual, we feel different, powerful, better than others… we are feeling child’s pride or arrogance. Together with this comes a feeling of authority as we may demand of others to come ‘up’ to where we are… out of place.

Our mother is big, we are small. As we return below to our place… we also let others be, just as they are, with love. The path of spirituality, is then redefined: not to less (less of the world, less foods we can eat, less people), but more; not away from our mother, but toward her; not looking for our father in the heavens, but accepting our real one; not upwards (away from reality, away from our parents, out of place), but downwards, low, close to the Earth, where water flows towards our feet, rather than our heads, there where we remain small before the greatness of our parents and ancestors. Spirituality is humble, and it serves Life. In it, we love. How? With our eyes open.

The effects may be immediate, or they may take weeks or months, sometimes years (up to a few years may be, the deepest changes take longer). In children specially, the results may be immediate, and also spectacular, also in pets. Different constellation facilitators have observed that it is gradually taking much less time for the results to show over the last decades, and that the time clients need to wait between a constellation and another is also becoming reduced.

The effects of a constellation are unknown at the time the work is undertaken. Constellations set a healing movement in motion, but we cannot predict in which way will healing manifest. Its effects are holistic, for everything in our lives is interconnected. As an issue becomes resolved, all other aspects of our lives start to change also. We may notice changes also in other members of our families, or how we relate to others and others relate to us. And the beauty is that as we put order in ourselves (as we occupy our right place), the world around us also starts becoming ordered.

For a constellation to work, the client needs to accept his life and his issues just as they are, for challenging this may be. The paradox is that only when we can accept and thank what troubles us, can it change, and only when we can accept and thank others, are they free to change too. Constellations also require a commitment with personal growth and with taking responsibility for one’s life and actions, accepting that we have a part to play in that which troubles us, or in our difficulties with others; giving up on victimism and blaming others, and rolling our sleeves to work on ourselves.

It is advised not to take action on what is revealed in a constellation for at least six weeks, or months, may be more, after the time of the constellation -the action, whatever it is, then flows as if on its own, naturally and in tune with the new set of circumstances facilitated by the constellation, which will have changed from the time the constellation took place.

Participating at family constellation workshops helps and reinforces the work of your constellation, and is healing even without having a constellation done (even reading about a constellation may be healing if a resonance occurs with one’s own issues/family system).

With a knowledge of systemic dynamics and the love forces that heal when we flow with them, an awareness of how the ‘personal’, ‘collective’ and ‘spiritual’ consciences operate, and an awareness of possible therapist’s projections on clients and how to avoid them or solve them, the facilitator allows herself become an instrument for the Movement of the Spirit to unfold (the actual constellator). She may ask the client to say words that bring hidden dynamics into the open: acknowledging what is helps restore the flow of love. She may ask the client to repeat words that, like casting spells, bring about healing; or words that, while attuned with something greater, come from somewhere else, and are specific to the specific client and her issue.

Bert Hellinger observes that there are two basic movements, one toward more Life (success, health, fullness, happiness, love), and one toward less, toward death (prolonged bereavement, being caught in the past, entanglements with ancestors, illness: exclusion, pain and suffering that do not relate to the here and now).

“The movement towards death is the most comfortable. He who is attracted by death, feels like God, an owner of life and death, but an owner who has given nothing in exchange” (Hellinger, Barcelona, September 2009).

The movement of the Spirit, and the facilitator that allows it work through her, lead clients to Life.

The facilitator is not the constellator, but an instrument of another force at work. Bert Hellinger even speaks of the facilitator as a membrane, that vibrates with the movement of the Spirit, rather than a channel. In resonance with the Spirit, the facilitator avoids interfering with her personal will or her own personal ideas of right and wrong. The outcome is not decided by the facilitator, but by the healing movement of the Spirit, a knowing field, with its own will (Hellinger refers to it as the ‘Spirit Mind‘). This is a greater force that encompasses all, and that thinks and wants everything as it is and everyone as they are, and loves everyone with the same measure: victim and perpetrator, taking care of all. Bert Hellinger observes that this work requires no fear from the facilitator, no fear to channel a solution, or deliver information, that may defy mainstream ideas of how things should be. Sometimes, there may not be permission for a constellation, or to work toward a solution. At this time, the courage of the constellations facilitator is called for also, to stop the work as wished by the Field, whether liked or not by us, regardless of whether we understand or not.

Bert and Sophie state that a constellations facilitator shall act: without intention, without fear, without pity, without love. Without love? Yes, a facilitator who ‘loves’ her clients, will be prone to a harmful ‘therapeutic’ relationship, wanting to ‘save’ them (from whom? From the very movement of the spirit). The facilitator acts with benevolence, a benevolence for all that is and all that are, in the same measure, a benevolence that comes from somewhere else.

In Acknowledging What Is, Gabriele ten Hövel asks Bert Hellinger: “There is something that you can’t fathom, that you call the deepest forces?” He replies:

Those are metaphors. I also call it the ‘great soul’ or ‘something mysterious’. But it’s not something I try to fathom … In the same way I can acknowledge and respect another person’s way of being, I can also acknowledge the mystery without needing to unveil it. Precisely because I hold this distance, I can connect to it. (Hellinger 2009, p. 42*).

The facilitator, as a human being, is not perfect. The facilitator is working too through his/her own personal issues, in his/her own path of growth and personal healing. By not interfering with the greater forces at work, the facilitator’s imperfections are kept in check. When the workshop is over, we go back  to our imperfect self.

“Without our imperfections we become inhumane. With our imperfections, we become amiable for others. I integrate, I carry those imperfections with me; besides, I follow them. I let myself be carried by them. Behind them, I feel secure. Above all, I have the assurance that I am going to be loved”

Bert Hellinger, May 2013

Facilitators have a responsibility nonetheless: the continued work to integrate and respect the forces of love in our own life, for as Hellinger states, only a facilitator who has achieved this will be able to truly succeed in achieving a constellation. A facilitator that has not integrated something of the orders of love in her own life may not be able to channel a solution for a certain issue.

To be in the love of the spirit, is to be like a dog: loving everyone regardless of who they are, regardless of what they do, even before we know them, unconditionally, without judgment. Humble, and fully in the present. This is the love that heals.

Family constellations put a healing movement in motion that unblocks stuck energies in the family system, allowing them (Love, Life) to flow down to us. To be a vehicle for this healing movement, we need to remain humble, assume our responsibilities, living in the present, refusing to partake in exclusion (for, as Hellinger states: do we know better than the greater Spirit that wants and loves everything as it is, and everyone just as they are?), loving without judgment: reconciling both, victims and perpetrators, in our heart.

 In you I find myself

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