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  • Writer's pictureNatalia Blagoeva

What are Systemic Constellations? And why should you care?

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

Chances are you’ve taken decisions based on intuition or you’ve felt you know something for sure although you could not rationally justify it.

Chances are you have been inspired to take certain actions or you have tapped into some invisible source of inspiration and creativity.

And no doubt, you’ve heard leaders and creative people referring to intuition and inspiration as mighty source of wisdom and creativity at the core of their prosperity and talent.

I refer to intuition as whispers of our heart and inspiration as promptings of our soul. Hence, Systemic Constellations are a way to amplify those whispers and get better at hearing those promptings. After all, why leave to chance something that important?

The fact is, we’ve always known to listen to intuition when making decisions about things that matter and we've always appreciated inspiration as a source of direction and creativity. We are also learning to listen to our intuition and inspiration when things are too complex to make sense of. They allow us to access our own deeper intelligence and the collective intelligence of any living system and human group we are part. Before we go any further, there a few terms I would like to clarify.

Intuition vs. Instinct

Intuition and instinct are often used interchangeably even by experts, but they could not be more different.

Instincts are behaviors which are performed without prior personal experience or personal learning. According to Richard Barrett, "instinct-based decision-making takes place at the atomic/cellular level, because the actions that arise are based on learned DNA responses, principally associated with issues of survival... In adult life, instinct-based decision-making kicks in to help us survive and avoid dangerous situations. It is also at the root of the fight or flight response common to all animals." And also, when we follow our instincts, "we are not consciously in control of our words, actions and behaviors. They are in control of us. Instinct based-decision is a faculty of the body-mind. The body-mind is where we keep the "institutionalized" DNA memories that keep our physical body safe and secure."

Intuition is something utterly different. When it comes to intuition-based decision-making, again according to Richard Barrett, "we reach this level of consciousness after we have aligned our ego motivations with our soul motivations and have become a self-actualized individual." At this stage, "judgment is suspended: no meaning-making takes place, either subconsciously or consciously, The mind is empty: thoughts, beliefs and agendas are suspended. You are living in the present moment. The mind is free to make a deep dive into the mind-space of the collective unconscious, and emerge with a deep sense of knowing."

Intuition vs. Inspiration

The only decision-making taking place at a higher level of consciousness is Inspiration based decision-making. To quote the same author, "inspiration is sourced from our soul-driven promptings. It is always very personal and directive. It is about what you need to do now or in the near future. It is a persistent thought that will not go away. It will keep prompting you to take action until you do something about it. The purpose of inspiration is to support you in fulfilling your soul purpose. Inspiration is different to intuition. Intuition is non-directive. Intuition is an idea or insight that seemingly arises from nowhere that either leads you forward in your life or provides a solution to a problem that you may not even be aware of. Intuition can best be described as a "eureka" moment, whereas inspiration is best described as guidance for staying in a state of "flow.""

How are Constellations useful?

Constellations are a systemic method based on indigenous wisdom and continuously innovated in the last few years which allows us to to tap into the same field of deeper knowing without thinking which feeds our intuition and our inspiration.

Systemic Constellations enable us to use human capabilities we've always had but we have forgotten how to use. I think of it as a way to circumvent the limitations of our minds and tap into intuition and inspiration- the wisdom of our hearts.

To circumvent the limitations of our mind, we need to first dethrone our rational mind as the only source of learning, decision-making, problem-solving, creativity, innovation and meaning-making. I can hear many asking why should we dethrone the rational mind — that is how we got here at the first place.

True, but there are three main limitations to pay attention to:

  • First, rational and linear methods has served us well and they will continue to do so. However, they have also done damage by disregarding that any human structure is a living system that does not abide by them. They have turned especially ineffective in the times of fast change we live in.

  • Second, we love to simplify things to a 2D model or a 'black & white" choice. Yes, that makes things easier, but it rarely represents reality.

  • Our mind loves stories and narratives, and they have also served us well in the past and continue to serve us today. However, some of these stories are like old "maps" which in these new times cause us to misinterpret things or even blind us to what’s significant.

In a world of separateness, disconnection and polarization driven by old and new stories and our desire to simplify and rationalize, Systemic Constellations offer us an opportunity to tap into the essence. That brings clarity which has the power to touch, shift and transform. We develop the capacity to listen with our heart, think on our feet, speak truth to bullshit, and act sacred, not scared.

How did the Method of Constellations develop?

Family Constellations

This method started first as a way of gaining understanding of family systems. It was founded in the 1990s by Bert Hellinger, born in Germany. Bert Hellinger combined knowledge and practices from several different fields- family systems therapy, phenomenology and the South-African Zulu beliefs and attitudes to family. His ability to come with this approach was the result of his exposure to different cultures and the courage to venture beyond the usual borders and limitations of science, cultures, methods and beliefs.