HOLY F*CK: IN CONVERSATION WITH DANIEL PINCHBECK

Alexandra Roxo meets radical thought leader Daniel Pinchbeck, to talk spiritual materialism, future planetary solutions, and the rise of the extreme right…

Photo: Alexandra Herstik

Daniel Pinchbeck is a writer, thought leader, speaker, and one of few modern radical voices that come from a grounded, realistic, and holistic perspective. Today we are in dire need of leaders and thinkers who can articulate and envision a path towards union and healing that includes our political, environmental, cultural, AND our spiritual state. Daniel speaks of the whole picture, with a balance of right/left, masculine/feminine, science/art.

His new book How Soon is Now REALLY resonated with feelings I’ve been having for years about the nature of the world we live in, which I have explored in my own writing here on The Numinous and in some of my films. This includes the need to make a shift from focusing on the personal, to focusing on the global. To overcoming spiritual materialism. To escaping hyper-individualism and coming together.

Also, how plants may be aiding in our evolution on multiple levels. How our approach to love and sex is so heavily politically guided and conditioned. The need for rites of passage and the need for ecstatic connections to the cosmos and to each other, through experiences like Burning Man, with psychedelic experiences, and a reconnection to the Earth.

Beyond all this, Daniel’s book reveals to us how we can engage with the planetary shift and initiation that we all know at soul level is in progress, and in doing so be a part of the healing of our planet.

Even better, Daniel is going to be LIVE with us for Moon Club this Sunday Feb 5, which means you can join and ask him questions too! Click here to sign up.

I sat down with him for a little prelude to Sunday’s talk…

ALEXANDRA ROXO: So you’re an author, a TED speaker, a radical thinker, a writer. You wear a lot of hats in terms of your work. What’s the common thread?
DANIEL PINCHBECK: I think that the core of my work is a philosophical quest for the nature of reality.

AR: Word. Was there was a clear point at which this search began?
DP: I had a major spiritual crisis in my mid to late 20’s. I’d been writing for magazines, and it just began to feel very nihilistic. I felt this kind of total emptiness. I also realized ultimately that when people believe conscientiousness is only based in the physical hardware of the brain, then life has no particular meaning. I was like, ‘okay, how can I actually inquire into this?’ I remembered my psychedelic experiences in college as having suggested that there were these other layers of psychic reality that I didn’t really understand.

So I went back to them and went to West Africa, to do Iboga and I went to the Amazon to work with a tribe in Ecuador with ayuasca and so on. These travels informed my first book Breaking Open the Head, and then new questions kept opening up—because these experiences had completely transformed my world view.

AR: The subtitle of How Soon Is Now? is: “From personal initiation to global transformation.” To me it feels like that is what we’re all being called to now, on a micro and a macro level.
DP: I came from a leftist background, and I always had this uneasy feeling about our culture and the direction our society was headed. And then when I looked more into the ecological disaster that we’ve constructed and the amount of poverty and inequality that the system creates, I also saw this whole “new age” spirituality thing, with the meditation and the yoga, as kind of like a trap—because I felt that people were using it as just another distraction, getting so obsessed with their own little healing journeys.

AR: There is definitely the idea of: “I’m entitled to my healing and my enlightenment and I gotta just focus on that.” Healing individually is very necessary too—but how do you see us then finding a way to integrate this into healing the Earth?
DP: It would require for those of us who’ve been on this evolutionary initiation path to reach another level of our capacity to…hold a new frequency, to express it to people who are out of the loop. One thing that really began to upset me overtime was Burning Man. When I first went I was like ‘oh of course, this is the model for this new society. The point is to now bring this out into the world.’ But overtime I saw it become more like another entertainment complex. I saw the people who run Burning Man being really kind of pleased with themselves because all these rich people wanted to hang out with them.

But I think a shift is actually happening, because of this geopolitical emergency that we’ve unleashed. For example, I saw a really good thing on Facebook—this guy wrote that he used to have three different groups of friends that didn’t really integrate very well. One was artists, one was meditators, and the other was activists, and he was, like, thanking Donald Trump because now they’re all in the same group. We’re basically confronting a very, very severe existential emergency with this situation, that I think people are beginning to comprehend in kind of waves.

AR: In the book you use Burning Man as an example to show how if society praises you for good behavior, like cleaning up your own trash for example, and if we praise each other for good behavior, we can start to rewire the conditioning that says it’s somebody else’s responsibility to ‘do the right thing.’
DP: I feel that what Burning Man reveals and why it was such an ‘aha’ moment for me is that our social nature is extremely malleable and changeable, and humans will conform like putty to whatever reward system presents itself. So, say you get laid by becoming a Neo-Nazi and hating on the Jews, a bunch of people will do that. If you have lots of lovers or one lover or whatever you need, as a result of being generous, altruistic, and sharing your gifts open heartedly, you’ll do more of that that.

AR: So how did things tilt so far to the extreme right?
DP: Unfortunately, the extreme right has managed to marshal a lot of collective intelligence by expert use the media system, whereas the progressive community has been much more slow and much less strategic and tactical.

There’s actually been a phenomenon of people on the coasts in LA and New York having greater freedoms, better lives, more opportunities, but we haven’t really taken care to transmit these benefits to the rest of society. And, rightfully in a sense, the rest of society realized they were just being shafted and got extremely angry. I think that theoretically, the more conscious we are of this, we have to bear the blame when things go this wrong.

AR: That’s a tough wake up call for people. If you’re living in light and love all the time, you don’t want to hear “hey, this is your fault, take responsibility, step up to the plate.”
DP: But this awareness is spreading rapidly right now. In a sense, what I am trying to show with the book is that the progressive mystical counter culture hasn’t done a good job of articulating the world that we want to bring into manifestation, beyond our individual process.

For example, let’s take The Beatles at their word: “All you need is love.” But how do you actually create a society centered around altruism and sharing and empathy, what does that look like? In the book I am pretty rigorous looking at this in terms of love and relationships, in terms of monetary systems, even questioning whether private property is good for us. I’m sure many people will disagree with some or many of my conclusions but that’s good. At least we have something to disagree about, which can lead to debate and innovation.

AR: I write about sexual healing quite a bit and you share an anecdote about the community, Tamera, in Portugal, that’s so moving—how a young man’s first lovemaking happens with all the group gathered around the house, celebrating and holding space for him. I cried. There is so much internalized sexual shame in our society. I grew up in Georgia in a very, very Christian space and I was totally shamed from a very young age. When I heard that story, I was able to envision people not “losing” their virginity, but embracing this as a rite of passage—leading to us totally flipping the way that we approach love and sex.
DP: One of the founders of Tamera in Portugal said that sexuality is a superpower that radiates throughout all different facets of society, and we can totally see that with this last election. We saw it with Trump and the grabbing of the pussy, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Roger Ailes who was the Fox News head who was taken down in a big sex scandal, and all of their connection to Jeffrey Epstein, the pedophile…

In a system where sexuality is oppressed, alpha male types seek power and wealth (versus creating a system that spreads wealth evenly) so they can have sexual access, you know? Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, society is more open about sexuality, but it’s actually been reintegrated into a system of domination and control. So it becomes MTV Spring Break or Sex in The City, that type of vibe.

AR: Yes, those pop culture markers reveal that on one level we can “have sex” and “be sexy” but on another level it’s absolutely not okay as a culture to accept our sexual nature. 
DP: Rupert Sheldrake writes about the idea of “morphogenic fields” or “morphic resonance”—that actually, when a small number of a species is able to fully discover or integrate something new it can become generally available to the collective sort of non-locally. So if there’s a small number of communities that have shifted into this different frequency of collective care and responsibility and kind of a truly liberated Eros,  or attitude to love and sexuality, then that could really propagate quite quickly. I mean Neo-Nazism didn’t seem to exist two years ago…and now it’s all over the place. Or look at something like Facebook, and how quickly everybody began using it. Ultimately, I think it’s fully possible that positive shifts towards empathic and responsible social system could also happen rapidly.

Discover more about Daniel and his work at Pinchbeck.io. His new book, How Soon is Now: From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation, is out February 20 2017.

KARMIC PORTAL: THE NUMEROLOGY OF 10/10

The numerology of 10/10 brings a double dose of good karma—if we are brave enough to use it, says Felicia BenderArtwork: Eandaru Kusumaatmaja

In Numerology, the number 10 is a Karmic number.

Yet while the other Karmic numbers (13, 14, 16, and 19) indicate that there is a debt to be paid, the Karmic number 10 offers something different.

This number actually offers a burst of “good” karma.

And with a double dose of this energy available to us on 10/10, comes a fabulous opportunity to do some work around completing certain things in your life that need closure. To be kaput. Done. Finito.

As such, the numerology of 10/10 offers us a portal for rebirth. For here is an opportunity to identify and act upon our sense of individuality and assert our independence in a healthy and dynamic way. It is challenging us to step into our authentic and unique gifts.

For with the numerology of 10/10, we’re also offered an energetic opening that links with the valuable energies of the number 1—which are leadership, independence, individuality, creativity, and a pioneering spirit.

And so, if we are willing and ready, here is an invitation to take action to finish what is DONE in our lives, and then turn our focus and our talents to new beginnings.

This said, the numerology of 10/10 will take considerable courage and initiation for optimal results.

And as if it weren’t powerful enough on its own, this year 10/10 is happening in the number 9 Universal Year (2016 is a 9 Universal Year). So this day offers some added punch—IF you’re ready to surrender, and to let go of what is no longer serving you and opening yourself to making room to change to enter your life.

The Universal energy of the 9 has been plying all of us all year long with intense energies related to change, transformation, and letting go.

And, now that we’re readying for 2017—a 1 Universal Year—this collision of the 9 and the date 10/10 becomes super-powered.

Don’t miss out on setting the stage for stepping into the next big thing in your life.

:: TACTICS TO MAXIMIZE THE NUMEROLOGY OF 10/10 ::

Rethink your own thinking. Can you step back and see the ways in which you have perhaps been living with an outdated operating system? Working within limited beliefs and worn out memories that continue to hold you hostage in an unfulfilling or off-track life?

No more excuses. This one is self-explanatory. It’s time to take responsibility for where you find yourself right now—the good, bad, and the ugly. Step into where you are and make a plan for the change you want to see, whether it’s one small step or a monumental shift.

Lighten up. All of this change, transitional and momentum can feel unsettling and can tip into overwhelm, and a feeling of being heavy and “too much.” If this is the case, try to shift perspective and pace yourself. Find humor when you least expect it.

STARCHILD TAROT INTERVIEW: PLUS 5 DECKS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Tarot is having a moment. And with more artists than ever bringing forth new versions of the classic Tarot, it’s never been easier to unleash your inner reader and find a deck that sings to you! Whether you’re a witchy mama looking for something a little more macabre, or a Kundalini goddess in search of some high vibes, there is a deck out there with your name on it.

To aid your search, we’ve rounded up five hot off the press tarot obsessions, kicking things off with an interview with the goddess behind The Starchild Tarot, Danielle Noel, about her special edition Akashic Records deck. By Gabriela Herstik.

Starchild Tarot creator Danielle Noel

The Numinous: First off, we love that you’re including the Akashic Records as a card in the major arcana of your new deck. What will the card represent?
Starchild Tarot: Thank you! I have always thought of the Akashic records as a source of mystery and divine information. At first, it was a somewhat abstract concept to grasp. When I was younger and just beginning to understand its significance, I imagined ancient manuscripts containing hidden and sacred knowledge, and thought, “how can I access this?” Now I understand the ‘Akashic Records’ as an energetic source which contains various frameworks of spiritual truths, with information pertaining to yourself, your life paths, incarnations, and the Universe at large. When you work with the cards, you have access to this information too, and are essentially connecting with the endless possibilities available to you.

The Akashic Records card of this special edition comes after the traditional 21st card (The World/The Universe), as a bridge beyond this holistic key, which I think connects well with how we are evolving at this time on our planet. I truly believe that a shift is currently taking place – energies are being enhanced and polarized, insights and sacred knowledge are rising to the surface like never before, and we are being forced to really think about our own enlightenment, mortality, and collective consciousness. This card taps into the acknowledgement of yourself as more than a physical being. It encourages you to take note of your own karmic imprints, and to consider the sacred knowledge that is being offered to us all at this time.

TN: Your imagery is super feminine and dreamy. Do you think that sort of energy in a deck makes it easier for the reader to access the Akashic Records?
ST: Certain sacred spaces and forms of sacred geometry are very activating, which is why I incorporate particular sites, colours, and symbols throughout this deck. This one also has a lot of pastel hues (pink and corals in particular) which connect with the heart chakra. My intention with each image is to inspire your imagination and intuition, through the layering of various visual triggers and healing modalities.

TN: Do you have a favorite card in this new deck? Why? (We won’t tell the others!)
ST: I have to say I really love the “Akashic Records” card. The image seems like one of the strongest visual portals that come up, and I’m curious to see how people will respond to it. Each symbol, colour, and portion of that card plays significant role in its interpretation. I have a deep fascination and love for Thoth and the emerald tablets, as well as the history of Atlantis, so those keys are also embedded in the image.

TN: What else is different about the new deck?
ST: There are a lot of new cards, which came from the desire to keep making new “gateways,” and the style for this deck is also slightly different than its predecessor. I added a lot of hand painted layers and watercolour textures, and it is much less “collage” based and more illustrative. Some of the cards from the original Starchild Tarot have remained in the Akashic edition, however, they have each been modified with painted overlays and new details.

Throughout the Major Arcana I have also added “Spiritual Keys” to help each reader along their journey into the Akashic records. These categories (Chakras, Gemstones, Guides, Symbols, Astrological/Planetary) can be used to expand your knowledge when working with a specific card, or to apply meditative and/or magical practices throughout the use of the Starchild Tarot. I have also added two new spreads in the guidebook (The Akashic Spread & Metatron Spread).

TN: Is creating collages on the cards a meditative experience for you? How does it aid your own journey with the Tarot?
ST: Meditation and energy work has been a huge part of my life over these past few years, and creating the cards has gone hand in hand with these explorations. I always start with the backgrounds which are ALL familiar to me in some way or another. Many of them come from photographs from my own travels, or of sacred sites from around the globe.

Our planet has so many activation points, with many of the great monuments working as chakras within the energy grid of Gaia. To acknowledge and respect these points honors the interconnectedness of us all, as they illustrate our history and spiritual evolution. The Tarot is a simple yet complex visual representation of ancient stories and concepts, and I think about this when I am creating the images. Somehow, they act as smaller pieces to a much larger cosmic puzzle.

The Hoodwitch, a.k.a. Bri Luna, as The High Priestess

TN: How do you choose the incredible real-life women featured in your decks?
ST: I’ve been lucky to have crossed paths with some amazing women and light workers, and when I began creating the decks, I thought that by integrating these guides, the energy of the cards would be enhanced through the powerful intention and co-creation that was put into the imagery. They are mediums, tarot readers, energy healers and others, who all share a common love for the Tarot and Magick overall.

TN: Which deck did you learn on, and what other decks are in your practice today?
ST: The first deck I ever purchased was a second-hand copy of ‘The Aquarian Tarot’ – I found it at a local flea market, and strangely, it had two Ace of Swords! After that, I learned on the ‘Tarot of a Moongarden’ and the ‘Thoth’ Tarot, but there are so many decks that I now love and appreciate. I also love that more and more people are tapping into the Tarot as a tool for self-healing and learning, and it doesn’t surprise me that it’s become so popular.

I think this comes from the “waking up” process that’s happening – there is a need for more spiritual outlets, as people are recognizing the importance of introspection, and the existence of more than what we see “on the surface”. Currently, the decks I use the most are my own, The Aquarian Tarot, The Klimt Tarot, Spiritspeak Tarot, The Goddess Tarot, and the Thoth Tarot.

TN: What’s the one thing that you want people reading your cards to know?
ST: There are many hidden layers and symbols in this deck. These were added as activation tools, so I am curious to see how they will be received. I have put a lot of love into this project, and hope that each person who reads the cards will be able to build their own relationship with the images and interpretations. That is my intention: I hope you feel supported and cared for when using these cards.

I would also like to point out that this new deck is not a replacement of the first, rather a special edition that opens up new insights. I am going to be re-releasing the “first edition” in the new year, so both decks will be available for sale, along with my future Moonchild Tarot, which is the shadow companion to The Starchild decks. I’m also working with a writer, and together we are creating a very special Oracle deck that I can’t wait to share in the not so distant future!

Starseedtravels.com

:: 5 MORE DECKS YOU NEED TO KNOW ::

The Wild Unknown Second Edition 
The Wild Unknown has quickly become a cult classic and with good reason. The wilderness inspired deck speaks to our innermost existence with its beautiful imagery, so it comes as no surprise that the Universe seems to be vibin’ at a higher frequency (read major excitement) at the release of the Second Edition deck. Although most cards remain the same as in the first edition, the cards illustrator Kim Krans has chosen to revisit are absolutely stunning – and help infuse readings with a colorful new energy.

The Four of Swords is bathed in a radiant blue green aura, Temperance is complimented with a sweet rainbow background and The Lovers scream “relationship goals” now more than ever, with cotton candy colors woven behind the two geese. The icing on the cake? A new, more in depth, fold out guide to each card. Although the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” reads true most of the time, we’re happy The Wild Unknown chose to ignore it on this occasion.

Thewildunknown.com

The Fountain Tarot

The Fountain Tarot
Deeply cosmic, The Fountain Tarot speaks to our unyielding need to find a deeper connection to the Universe we inhabit, and the souls who walk alongside us. The journey to this fountain of bliss starts as soon as you open the silver holographic fantasy of a box the cards reside in. From here, a greeting stating “you are the breath and voice of Universes” on the inside cover, sets the tone.

Designed and written by Jason Gruhl, Jonathan Saiz and Andi Todaro, the surreal imagery of each card allows an exploration of the sacred point where inner purpose meets outer expression. Perhaps most notably in The Fountain card itself, number “infinity,” which invites us to “surrender to that which you are, whole and perfect.” An invitation to remember that at our core, our true self is so much greater than we recognize.

Fountaintarot.com

The Serpentfire Tarot sixth edition

Serpentfire Tarot Sixth Edition
The colorful, dreamlike landscape of the Serpentfire deck by Devany Wolfe is unparalleled – and so totally Numinous. This deck is a beautiful tribute to the Goddess in us all, with an exploration of Kundalini energy woven throughout. These cards are for the dreamers, the seekers, the weavers, and those who feel an affinity to the Universe around them, even (especially) when it seems almost too big for their grasp.

Collages appear in some capacity in almost every card, from The Lovers personified as two wolves howling at a cosmic pyramid exploding with jewel-toned bliss, to The World being held over a Goddesses head with the Moon phases interlaced on top. This is no mundane magick. From the exquisite sacred geometry collage on the back of each card, to the brightly colorful, vibrantly infused and completely otherworldly art created by Wolf, this deck is truly spectacular.

Serpentfire.ca

The Spirit Speak Tarot

Spirit Speak Tarot Deck
If you’re into the more macabre, DIY, gothic look, the Spirit Speak tarot by Mary Bean Evans is right up your ally. With an alluring, sketchy quality, the illustrations for this deck resonate at their own slightly darker frequency – inviting you with a wink and a dripping dagger to step into that which is unknown. But feminist imagery, a clear love for the occult, and a really beautiful take on the Universe and the Cosmos also appears throughout.

So whether you pulling a bone hanging precariously atop a dagger to form a scale for “Justice” or a long-haired queen cradling a rune and her wand as “The Empress,” the Spirit Speak will quite literally…speak to your spirit. Let’s just say if the friendly monsters under your bed were into divination, they would have this deck on lock.

Spiritspeaktarot.com

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR CHANGE

How to navigate internal and external shifts in your Universe? Laurie DiBiagio shares her ten commandments for change.

At 29, I would like to graciously grant myself the title “Change Connoisseur.” I also don’t think claiming myself an aficionado of change at such a young age is in any way audacious. I have been blessed with three dominant, mutable signs: Sagittarius Sun, Pisces Ascendant, and a Gemini Moon. I was designed by the stars to mutate.

With this astrological recipe, life is ever-changing for me: exciting, exhausting, emotional, and inspiring. I love it, but I often feel like there is never a moment to fully catch my breath. Somehow I never fall short. With all my experience in the fields of eternal transmutation, I believe I’ve earned myself an Olympic gold medal in reading the signs of transition and metamorphosis.

At the end of each year in my 20’s, I always ended up in a drastically different place from where I started. Ending one relationship to enter a new. Living in NYC to relocate to Hawaii (and back again). Quitting one job and starting the next. Thinking I was going to end up with him to finding the only person I needed to fall in love with was myself. Navigating my way through my parents’ chaotic and melodramatic divorce. Giving up the corporate world to becoming an entrepreneur. Living alone in a cottage studio 20 steps from the ocean on the North Shore, to sleeping on my mom’s couch. Going from adventurer and lover, to homemaker to vagabond, daughter, sister, student, teacher, and back again: multiple times. And this barely scratches the surface.

Within all this, one well-learned and highly prevalent lesson is that change doesn’t always appear victorious, or come in a neatly wrapped box with a shiny little bow. It is often very well disguised. It most likely won’t appear as anything spectacular and grandiose, BUT it will be perfectly placed, and it will be the exact tool that you need to continue on this great journey: good, bad, and ugly.

 

Ahh, the delightful path of the unknown. While at times it may appear devastating, it is always miraculous: never a punishment, always a gift. Everything manifests in our lives exactly at the point it is meant to. When we have learned all our lessons, of course, to allow that particular event to be released. Without change, how would we let go? To defy the force of change is to defy the Universe. Yet people do this every day, and some for their entire lives.

In defying the Universe, life becomes stagnant and difficult because you are no longer conscious or open to the abundance you are meant to receive.
With that being said, and with no further adieu, here is my guide to conjuring and summoning forth the signs for dynamic change to occur in your life in a really intentional and “prepared” way. You must remember though, there really is no treading lightly into change. Change is meant to facilitate growth and enlightenment. Without trips, slips, falls, and some bruises we wouldn’t reach the next level. Change comes with light and dark energy, both with great purpose. You must accept this notion.

:: MY TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR CHANGE ::

1. Ban words like “restriction”, “limitation”, and “realistic” from your vocabulary. Do not allow the projections of fear and jealousy within yourself and others to poison your mind.

2. Don’t let the facts fool you. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Believe. Pray. Give gratitude. Find the blessings in your current situation. Be open and you shall receive.

3. Never hesitate to ask for help. Call upon Green Tara or your most present Ascended Masters and Goddess to show you the way, to reveal in time your next move. Our teachers, angels, and spirits are always here to guide us with their divine intuition and wisdom.

4. Always stay in your heart. No matter what, you can always come back to this space. I often find myself holding my pointer and middle finger down on my heart chakra or placing a rose quartz there in my savasana to remind myself to tap in. All change exists in the heart, not in the head. Stay here. Be still. Listen.

5. Embrace alone time. You time. Spirit time. Listen to music. Get out in nature. Meditate. Read your cards. Hold your crystals. Clear and shield your energy. This will keep you vibrating on a frequency that allows these magnificent little thought bubbles to enter your stream of consciousness. Make life a ritual.

6. Write. Write. Write. Write what is in your heart, your soul. Write your goals, hopes, dreams, and wishes. Write anything you desire. Nothing is too ambitious, for it would not exist within you if you weren’t meant to have it. Keep your words with you, or burn the pages and release the ashes to the universe.

7. Follow the Moon. Set intentions on the new moon, and release when it’s full. Bring your writing, oils, crystals, incense, deities, or anything else that serves you. Make it an art form.

8. When in doubt, pray it out. Just pray. TRUST. One small action every day toward your desires paired with good old fashioned genuine belief will leave you with a tried and true recipe for success.

9. Believe in miracles, they happen everyday. The Universe always provides. Do not forget this. Make it your Mantra.

10. Know that you are exactly where you need to be at this very moment. Now, let it go. Watch magic happen. You will know it when it hits you. Be aware. In the advice you speak to others, in the advice given to you, in moments that feel full of impending doom but are really full of grace, you will feel it hit you. Take the ride. Do not resist. There will be no denying it because you will feel it in every fiber of your being.

Laurie DiBiagio is a designer, maker, artist, entrepreneur and adventurer. You can follow her adventures through the wild unknown at Sirenaandthesea.com and follow her @sirena_and_the_sea

NEED-TO-KNOW: FAMILY CONSTELLATIONS THERAPY

Can a unique form of group therapy that seeks to define your role within your family heal generations-old inherited issues? Ruby Warrington goes swimming into the energy field with Family Constellations therapy…Image: Shane Small

A few months ago, with the help of French facilitator Marine Selenee, I experienced my first Family Constellations therapy session. Held at Marine’s chic studio apartment in downtown Manhattan, there were three other women present, each of whom played a different role in my Constellation, as did I for them. Many emotions were felt, and many tears shed, and afterwards I felt a sense of release, like something generations old had been worked out of my body at a cellular level.

I was instructed not to speak about my experience for two weeks, to give my mind and body time to integrate with the deep energetic work that had been done. And so I sat with my experience and simply watched on, as every area of my existence began to assume a subtly different and more dynamic form, all thanks to a shift in perception about my family situation – and by definition, myself. If our role in our own “family constellation” is at the root of our human experience, it’s what shapes our entire reality. Right?

How does Family Constellations therapy work? Consider this. Depending on your personal belief system, we all choose our parents, choose to be born in a certain place at a certain moment in time. In doing so, we also choose the unique set of circumstances (and issues) that this configuration gifts us to work with as our karmic lesson in this lifetime.

If that’s too much of a deep dive, then think instead about the question of “nature vs. nurture.” Are we born a certain way, or do the circumstances of our upbringing shape us as we grow? Would I be a completely different person if I was born into a different family in a different time and place? Or am I simply “me,” navigating life with the tools I’ve picked up along the way?

Using Family Constellations therapy, Marine works with the latter theory, the idea being that we repeat the negative patterns we see in our parents out of “loyalty” – they’re the people who gave us life after all, our tribe. We want to be accepted, so we want to be like them. But where these patterns go against our true nature is where we get stuck, where we feel pain – and also where we’ll find the biggest assignments for our personal growth.

I defy any soul currently enjoying this human experience not to have a single issue they can’t trace back to their family (see that ancient Chinese proverb; “they f*** you up, your mom and dad”). As Marine puts it; “90 percent of your issues don’t belong to you – and you pick most of these up before the age of six.” A century of psychoanalysis and talking therapy is entrenched in this understanding, and yet Family Constellations therapy seeks to journey beyond words in search of resolutions to these fundamental glitches in our operating systems.

The key lies in performing the surgery required, the severing of our attachment to our family members’ issues, on our emotional body, before the stories our intellect tells us about who, what and why we [*insert whatever your personal debilitating hang-up is here] have a chance to get a look-in; “Once you recognise that your behaviors and beliefs are not your own, it’s possible to see your true self, your own beliefs and purpose, more clearly,” says Marine.

But how, precisely? Before you embark on a mission to meet your own Family Constellation, here’s what you Need To Know…

• Psychotherapist and former Roman Catholic priest Bert Hellinger discovered Family Constellations therapy when living with the Zulu in South Africa, where the modality was used to resolve issues within the tribe.

• A Constellation can be performed by a group or one-to-one, with a facilitator to moderate. It is the facilitator’s job to do most of the talking; participants are simply asked to notice and express how they feel as events unfold.

• The facilitator begins by asking a few questions pertaining to the issue the participant wants to address. He or she then asks the people needed to bring about a resolution to find their place (whatever position feels right in relation to each other) within “the field.”

• The field, usually the space contained within the circle of the group or the room where the Constellation is taking place, represents the energy field where all souls and all generations exist together as pure spirit.

• In a session, actual family members do not need to be present – other members of the group are called on to “perform” these roles (not nearly as awkward or potentially embarrassing as it sounds).

• This may include family members who have passed, or any unborn children who are also part of the participant’s Constellation.

• Once situated within the field, the facilitator may also ask the different “family members” to recite key phrases relating to the issue in question (without ever going into the “story” – what, why, how) – again asking people to identify the emotions connected to these statements.

• Forgiveness may be asked, and apologies offered (again via the facilitator).

• Many tears may flow.

• A resolution occurs when it becomes evident which family member owns which emotion, behaviour or belief, allowing the participant to realize their own power to simply let whatever doesn’t “belong” to them go.

To find out more about Family Constellations or book a session contact [email protected] or visit Marineselenee.com

Marine will also be hosting group sessions ($60 per person) in Brooklyn, NY, on:

July 31st (6:30pm)
August 3rd (1pm)
August 7th (6:30pm)
August 10th (11am)