Some principles of Constellations that inform Social Alchemy
1) The Overall Picture
When a Constellation is set up, it provides a visual representation of a complex system. In addition, representatives often find themselves with a physically felt experience, and insights, that are important and novel.
There are at least three stages to constellations:
a) Setting it up. We obtain some history, and then choosing representatives for various people and themes/influences/issues in the field
b) Demonstrating the entanglements. At some point in time, the constellation often feels stuck. At this point, it is often portraying a symbolic understanding of where the system is stuck, what issues are at stake, and the dilemmas or issues affecting things. New insights can be found, that allow new ways to approach the situation.
c) Seeking resolution or healing movements. With guidance, the constellation is allowed to find its own right resolution. This often involves acknowledgment of secrets, giving everyone who belongs their rightful place in the system, and ‘giving back’ burdens that were ‘taken on’ out of love and loyalty. At times, some new resource is found that is a powerful ally. When a constellation resolves, there are often new insights, and a deep internal release felt in the body of most, if not all, of the participants
2) “A place for everyone”
Everyone who belongs in a system, needs to have a place in the system. This includes victims, perpetrators, ‘family members’.
Attempts to exclude anyone who belongs in a system leads to major systemic problems.
Therefore, even the “1%” and anyone else who is often demonized or ostracized need to have a place in the system.
3) Loyalty bonds.
Love is a very powerful and creative force. And, our love and caring becomes entangled in attempts to be loyal to one deeper self, and to one’s family, and to one’s culture. These often compete with each other. Understanding these movements of love and loyalty are part of the perspective that we gain through this work, which often leads to both insight, and compassion, for those involved.
4) Interrupted Reaching-out Movements
Trauma can inhibit our capacity to reach out for what we want. This can happen on a personal level, and on a social level. The severe helplessness and disempowerment that occurred in the USA after 9/11 is largely related to an administration that ‘took over’, and encouraged the population to helplessly let the government take care of things.
Healthy democracy requires the people to be able to stand up and reach out for what they want. Constellations encourage a healthy reaching-out within the ritual space of the process. This often carries over into other aspects of one’s living.
When people come together to be of service to each other, a shared field is created. Others can stand in for, or ‘represent’, various people and influences. Surprisingly, as they do this, they often seem to be able to access information from that particular point of view. It offers a window into realities that often remain hidden in normal living.
Representatives are invited to allow themselves to move as they feel guided, once in the constellation
6) Healing movements and resources
Often a novel insight, or new energy, shows up in the field during a constellation. This provides a source of support and empowerment that can be used in our lives.
7) Ongoing relationship between those presently alive, and ancestors
In Constellations, the ongoing presence, AND INFLUENCE, of ancestral dimensions and historical dimensions are acknowledged. This was common to indigenous and Eastern cultures, but is very foreign to most Westerners. The role of history, of what came before, is a key aspect of many constellations, particularly social ones.