All in Constellation

A View to Constellations - by Suzi Tucker

Pickpocketed from Wikipedia: “A constellation is a group of stars that forms an imaginary outline or pattern on the celestial sphere…”

A systemic constellation refers to a group of relationships that forms an imaginary pattern or outline on the internal and external landscape of a human system. Rather than an animal, the pattern we see tends to be in the shape of despair or disappointment or anger, loneliness, illness, poverty, grief, longing, lack of thriving …

This pattern appears imprinted on the family or organizational system as a whole or on the heart of an individual.

Systemic constellations are both surgical and encompassing; they invite change quickly and unfold over a long time. Bert Hellinger, the provocative founder of the work, has assembled thinking from the realms of philosophy, psychology, sociology, and art to try to understand where things fall apart — and how they can come back together no matter the amount of damage that has been done.

Revisiting the Landscape of Family Constellations - by Suzi Tucker

The phrase Family Constellation refers to both a philosophical lens and a process. The premise is that the family system and the individual’s internal system are reflections of each other.

The word Constellation is meant to denote a sense of how people inside a system — and the system inside the person — cluster in response to precipitating events. Who runs? Who hides? Who denies? Who shuts down? Who strikes out?

Sex and the Balance of Give and Take

One way for a couple to think about their relationship is for each partner to say of it, "There is me, there is you, and there is us." It’s in the us where the couple gets to create the relationship, including what role sex will play.

In almost any couple’s sexual relationship, one partner has more desire than the other. If this partner’s desire isn't reciprocated by the other, it puts the partner in a weakened position, facing the possibility of rejection anytime he or she makes an overture for sex. Bert Hellinger, the founder of Family System Constellations, sees the balance of give and take as one of the fundamental needs of any relationship, and it is especially important in the sexual realm.

The Fear Constellation

Sara sits at the end of the table, surveying the horse figurines she has placed in front of her. I am to her right at the side of the table. "Pick one to represent where you are today," she says. I look at the fifty or so horse figurines and try to pick one. I have learned over these four days of working with her that my logical left-brain will be of little use in choosing. The part of my brain that enabled me to get a PhD in Physics many years ago will only make me anxious if I use it to choose. Instead, I tune into my intuitive, relational, feeling brain. I choose a black and white pinto that looks young, energetic, curious, and eager, yet somehow hesitant. That is actually the way I feel in this moment. I place it slightly to my left and in the center of the table. "Good," she says.

 "Now pick a horse to represent the fear you spoke of."