Emily* describes her first experience of constellation as eye-opening. ‘It’s like you lift the mirror and people point out things you’ve never seen before. I gave Tanja a brief overview of what I wanted to look at, and immediately I could see my family dynamics play out in random people.
‘In the representation, “my mother” started to look down, and said she was feeling very sad. Seeing that lady standing there looking so defeated was like seeing my own mother. She’s gone through a lot, and it became obvious that my mom was feeling immense grief. My “sister”, meanwhile, was turning away from it, oblivious to the whole thing. That was also spot-on.’
So how does seeing your family dynamics brought to life by strangers help? ‘It helped me to see things I hadn’t seen before,’ says Emily. ‘It’s like going into a house that you’ve been in a million times, but suddenly you realise there’s a room upstairs that you’ve never been in. And inside is a lot of stuff that you didn’t know existed.’
Her family, says Emily, tends to sweep their issues under the rug. ‘My grandparents went through World War I and II; my grandmother lost four siblings, all her brothers, in the war. That came up in the family constellation, and I could see my grandmother’s grief as well. For a representative to go through that grief is healing, but also for me to see that is healing. Grieving is an important part of life, and often it doesn’t happen because we need to keep going. And so we look away.’
Emily believes the experience is profound because it tunes into both your emotions and your intellectual understanding of your family. ‘It brings together things that have been disconnected, and helps you make peace with what has happened in the past.’
‘The science of epigenetics is starting to prove what constellations have been doing for years,’ says Tanja, ‘and what a lot of traditional healers have been saying for a long time: we can’t push things under the carpet and pretend they don’t exist – because we belong in a system. If anything happens in one part, everything is affected. Even if we don’t know those people.’