What is the "Field of the Horse?"

In constellations, we talk about the “Knowing Field’, a term first coined by Albrecht Mahr, M.D. to try to describe the energy arena we step into when we are in a constellation. We find that with just a little bit of coaching, we are able to sense a meaningful kind of energy within our bodies and/or between us and others in the constellation, that gives useful information about the constellation. That energy is always there to sense. We in the Western world have to re-learn to tune into it. Horses live in it all the time - it is a survival strategy for them. Can we at all understand what this phenomenon is for them and how we are sometimes able to join them in it?

Participants have told us about results from their constellations done in the field of the horse (by which we literally mean both being in a pasture with them, and also being allowed to become part of the herd in an energetic sense). One participant told us the following after a constellation in which horses were part of the field:

“By the time the session ended - after just one session (!), the issue was completely resolved.  The next day I took action, and the whole family dynamic was not just changed, it was truly transformed!  The relationship in my family that had been causing me much grief, and had led to me not talking to a favorite family member for two years, had disappeared.  In its place was clarity, forgiveness, understanding and a new sense of peace and ease. It is now almost a year later, and I continue to marvel at the potency of this method - the shift has stuck, and the relationship has grown stronger and stronger. “

What happens when we’re with horses? Sharon Blackie, author of If Women Rose Rooted quotes Sue Blagburn, owner of Adventures with Horses, in Tamar, Cornwall, England: “Over the years of working with horses . . . I began to see that horses can teach us a better way of being in the world. It’s about learning to find, or reconnect to, what has heart and meaning in our lives. Horses can help us with this. The horse asks us to become honest, authentic in our behaviour and emotions, because horses are prey animals and want to feel safe in our presence. When you approach horses, they’re not listening to your agenda, status or outer persona; instead, they’re watching your body language, assessing your emotions . . . they’re listening to your inner story, not your outer story.

‘Horses see through to our internal states. They reflect them back at us, make the invisible visible. They respond to who and how you really are, in your body, in the present moment. A horse can give accurate and instant feedback about what is real and truthful in us. And so they can become our allies and our guides as we explore our inner stories, and as we start to understand how they are tied up with our external challenges, ambitions or stuck places. All of this helps us to see our lives with new eyes, to shift and to become more authentic. Horses teach us how to re-align mind, body and spirit so that we can walk on into our future with courage, grace and integrity.’”

In the events we have done with Cathy Buelow, our colleague and equine assisted coach, she has spent time with all of us, teaching us how to attune to the moods, energies and fields of the horse. For many, this has been a brand new, amazing experience. It heightens our awareness of them, of this field and of ourselves, and gradually, they graciously allow us to become a temporary part of their herd, at least energetically.

It is in this context that we then do constellations. They lend us their heightened sense of the energy to whatever patterns we explore, sometimes from a distance, sometimes close by. They help us know by their behavior when it is we touch the issue’s core, a mysterious truth, and often come to aid us in the healing; their gentle presence egging us on to our deeper selves.

This June’s event is a perfect time to explore what the Field of the Horse is all about, to learn new truths about your core self, and to generally have fun outdoors with other soulful friends, both equine and human. Look for information about this opportunity under the “Events” menu.

The Orders of Love: the Hidden Principles Behind Family Constellations

For our first blog post, we thought we would review the basic tenets of family constellations. Some of you are very familiar with ‘the orders of love’; for some these are new ideas. For all of the issues we work with in family constellations (as opposed to organizational or collective constellations, which have their own orders), these three principles stand behind the entanglements we see; behind relationship problems, additions, suicide, health issues, mental health issues, and many more. I have learned these principles in many contexts. However, recently I read one of Bert Hellinger’s (constellations’ founder) books, No Waves without the Ocean, and I loved the way he phrased them. Below I reprint what he said; feel along as you read them - where do they resonate? Where are you perplexed? Anywhere in disagreement? Where do you need more information? And then comment below - let us and each other know what you are thinking . . .

“Every family has a common soul and a common conscience.  This soul and this conscience are guided by three unwritten laws.

“Firstly, everyone in a system has an equal right to belong.  This applies both to the living and the dead.  When someone’s right to belong is denied, for example, because of a moral judgment such as: “He is a scoundrel”, or “He is an alcoholic”, or “She had a child out of wedlock”, of whatever else one may say about another person, it always has the same effect. Certain members in a family or clan feel superior and claim that they have a greater right to belong because they are better people.  But the family soul does not distinguish between good and bad in that sense.  Because the so-called bad is only another side of that multiplicity from which the good also draws its strength. Without bad there is no good.  A person who is terribly good is, in reality, terrible.  Or someone who considers himself as perfect is actually pretty terrible.  He is also dangerous.  Those who consider themselves as better people are dangerous.  In the company of people who see themselves as ordinary, you can feel peaceful and have a sense of belonging.

“When someone is denied an equal right to belong in a family or clan, the family soul or family conscience will try to balance this out in some way to re-establish the order.  This is the second order, with which the family soul and the family conscience are both concerned.  It usually follows on from the first order in this way:  a person born later feels identified with an earlier member who has been excluded, but is not aware of it consciously.  She represents her in order to balance out the injustice in terms of the family conscience.  The person later born then suffers in the same way, has the same feelings and becomes like her. She is identified with her.  Because of this identification, the system has yet again to realign itself in terms of good and bad.

“The solution for the person who is identified would be to honor the excluded family member, that is, to grant that family member a place in her heart.

“It also happens that sometimes a member is excluded or forgotten because their fate is too frightening to face, for example, if a woman dies in childbirth.  She needs to be counted in or included in the system so that no descendant has to represent her.  Then everyone has a chance to feel peaceful again.

“So, to reiterate, the first two orders of love are: everyone has an equal right to belong, and: the system will balance out aright of belonging that has been denied.

“The third order demands that those who come earlier in the system have precedence over those who come later.  The family soul and the family conscience protect the right of those who come first and sacrifice those who come later in order to establish balance.  When the status of those who come earlier is acknowledged, those who come later are free. “

Bert Hellinger, No Waves without an Ocean, p. 40-41

What? Those who come later are sacrificed? A family soul? I don’t believe in souls . . . This applies to the living and the dead? If any of these thoughts, or others, are going through your head, comment below and let’s dialog. KC