Constellation Postures and Gestures

Constellation facilitators receive valuable information about family dynamics by watching the protagonist’s and representatives’ unconscious body language. It is also useful to employ the body’s cellular memory to help the healing movement by directing the people participating in a constellation to assume certain postures and use particular gestures.

Here are a few possibilities of reading body language. It is important to notice these postures, but not assume that they mean the same thing every time. Do not generalize! Wait for other corroborating signals from the Field or representative statements. The following pictures are only suggestions, not a body language key. Besides the suggestions of interpretations given below, each posture can also point to a different dynamic altogether. Work in a spirit of exploration and always consider all your information (and even lack thereof) before announcing your interpretation of a posture. Patience and and refraining from assumptions is the best strategy for  not missing vital information.

Gaze:

            

Most facilitators and experienced representatives know to look for dead persons when eyes are cast down, and especially, if the whole body wants to go to the floor. But an inclined head can also indicate shame or avoidance. Sometimes a representative may look up or into the distance. This gaze, too, can mean a connection to a family member who is missing/has no place.

Representing The Dead:

         

When a rep’s eyes are closed, it can be an indication that the dead person is at peace. Open eyes can mean the opposite. When a rep chooses to lie face down, it can be an indicator for a sudden, or even violent death. The fetal position can point to in utero trauma, such as the miscarriage of a twin.

Resistance:

     

Watch for body language of resistance: Fists, turning away, forearms crossed over heart are all very obvious signs of resistance. Sometimes, the body is showing signs of resistance even while the rep or client is going through the motion of reconciliation. A good facilitator will catch this and not allow the embrace to be an empty gesture. When the body is not playing along, the heart is not fully engaged.

Couples:

      

When a couple is placed next to each other in a constellation, it is easy to assume that they are connected. If you want to see what is truly going on in any relationship, especially a marriage, place the representatives directly across from each other so that eyes and hearts are facing. Many relationships are symbiotic, meaning, that they are not supported by a heart connection. While this is a legitimate choice, their children could feel all the feelings that the couple is suppressing in order to carry on the relationship. The nature of any relationship can be revealed by placing two people directly opposite from each other.

Healing Posture For Couples:

When a couple is ready to give and receive love, and the female dominant partner is standing supported by her ancestors, invite the male dominant partner to approach her, rather than having them meet in the middle, or the female go to the male. Energetically, the female is the passive, receiving pole and the male the active, giving. Regardless of individual personality of clients and their family member, the body feels the difference and responds well. Instead of active movement towards the male, the female can open her arms, signaling receptivity.

Healing Posture For Siblings And Partners:

To mark the difference between hierarchical relationships, I ask that represented partners or siblings, or anyone connecting in a more equal relationship, hold out one hand to each other instead of both hands, as an invitation to connect. A full hug would have one arm up (preferably the left for heart over heart connection), and the other under the other person’s arm.

Healing Postures In Parent/Child Relationships:

1)    2)           3)    4)                                                             5)

  1. When giving back burdens, feelings and family patterns, the parent holds out their hands, palms up, in a gesture of offering. The child places his/her hands on top of the parent’s hands. They often grip each other which is fine, but for the energy transfer, it is better to place the hands palm on palm and to make sure that the hands are not held either too high or too low. A good flow of energy down the arms and into the hands is facilitated when the arms are only slightly bent.

2)Whenever a child has become their parent’s parent, or when the grown-up child has resistance to becoming the child of their parent again, I shrink them in size by asking them to go on their knees (or sit in a chair) in front of the parent. The body responds really well to the perspective that is possible from this position. Almost always, this helps in reconnecting them with the heart and feelings of their inner child, its longings and desires, pain, anger, etc. Here, these feelings can be voiced and the next step towards reconciliation can follow. I often invite a hug of parent and child in this small child posture, which puts the child’s head against the belly or breast of the parent (3).

4) Honoring ones parent(s) with head bowed is a soothing posture. It indicates the full acceptance of the parents.

5)When resistance is too great to accept the parent, I ask the client (this step is not usually necessary with a representative)to assume the deeply relaxing Child Pose, as taught in Yoga. The forehead touches the floor and I invite the client to let all thoughts drain into the ground. I ask them to turn their hands palms up in a gesture of receiving, and to breathe deeply into the lower lobes of their lungs in their back. These lower lobes do not get oxygenated in most adults, and breathing into them further relaxes the client. While the client is in this pose, I tell them about their life with all its possibilities which they only have because their parent gave life to them in the first place. If the parent is the mother, I narrate the sacrifices of pregnancy, birth and motherhood, until the client feels energized enough to sit back up and see the parent in a new light. Then they can be grateful for their life and accept that the parent was not capable of giving more. Instead of the glass half full, they can see the potential for happiness and growth in their own life.

4)Not as comfortable:More relaxed:

The client’s cellular memory responds to body postures and I have noticed countless times that it can make a difference how representatives hug. As a rule, parents have their arms over the arms of their children, reminding the body of a time when the client was little and could not reach the necks of the grown-ups. The second picture above shows an embrace that is more relaxing and childlike, with the client’s cheek resting against the parent’s shoulder.

Ancestral support:

        

These are different postures to give parental/ancestral support in constellations. Holding one’s hands on top of another representative’s shoulders can be tiring, especially if it is a tall person. Placing one’s hands on the hips instead, feels just as good, especially to women, and is less strenuous. For more closeness and a stronger sense of support, hands can also be placed of the descendant’s belly or on belly and heart. Pay attention to how far apart the ancestor representatives stand. if you need more strength in the constellation, ask them to move closer together, bodies touching.

While the postures greatly support and even facilitate the healing movements, it is advisable to check in each situation, if a correction is advisable or necessary. When the energy is flowing anyway, it can be awkward to interrupt the flow and make a posture correction. Some postures can be demonstrated and explained early in the workshop to the whole group. Then a reminder is woven more easily into the healing movements.