Constellating at the Brixen Gathering: Making Sense together

On Dec 18, just over a month from our Gathering in Brixen/Bressanone, we came together for a reflective session centered on the Constellation we’d experienced as part of the Gathering. Constellations – more theatre than dialogue – are difficult to capture in words. The image here conveys some of the ways in which mixed media is interweaving! Some good background reading to understand more of systemic constellations may also be helpful.

To start, participants had to re-member experiences and feelings from a month ago! We started by recalling the first debrief last week in which we had seen each other for the first time since the Gathering. There we had emphasized the significance of intergenerational interactions and the importance of connecting with the larger virtual community who joined us online.

In focusing on the constellation, we mused as individuals and together as AR+ what it means to be part of a larger system at this time of eco-social unraveling. The constellation had centered on the purpose/future of AR+. In general our reflection on the constellation revolved around the topic of community connections and networks, with a focus on the importance of community engagement and connectivity. Towards the end, Luea brought her experience of COP 28 where she’d supported the Climate Negotiator Program aimed at empowering young women in the UN space.

In discussing the Constellation…

Carol shared a pivotal moment where the constellation started to come together for her (who had chosen the role of purpose). In this moment she saw the importance of being open to the many resources available. Alastair has animated the role of resources and was heard to repeat – there are resources here, in abundance.

Andrea, who animated the AR+ community as an entity, described a shift in feelings from comfort to lightness, when she started to create a bridge to Mother and Father Earth. Alexandra shared the experience, as Mother Earth, describing a profound sense of opening up and expansiveness, and a desire to join the dance metaphorically represented by Andrea’s AR +. (Editor’s note: placing Earth as central in our future purpose seems like a strong calling to follow…)

Alexandra, Alastair, Alessandra, Luea, Simon (as Father Earth to Alexandra’s Mother Earth – see separate blog), Alicia, who had embodied “Unknown,” shared insights about being part of a larger system, providing nourishment and resources, the importance of intervention, and the sense of urgency. In her role in the constellation we’d noticed how “resources” had dropped from her pockets. Alicia also graciously accepted the invitation to membership in 2024!

Julian shared thoughts on the importance of community engagement and the role of connections in fostering energy and action. Alexandra highlighted the idea of not just metaphorically but literally becoming the mycelium and ecosystems, expressing a stronger sense of connection with the Earth.

Hilary and Simon linked this conversation about AR+ constellation to “the outside.” In the preceding weeks, we’d been reading about COP 28. It had started more or less after the Gathering and Luea, a mycellial link, had gone from Brixen to Dubai.

Luea shared more about her work with COP. Starting with launch of the Climate Negotiator Program, a five-month online training course aimed at empowering young women in the UN space. The program was developed in response to a perceived lack of intergenerational justice and absence of official training for negotiators. The training she helped bring for young women includes modules on UN content, negotiation tactics, and so called soft skills. Luea highlighted the diversity of the program, with over 120 participants from more than 55 countries. They also emphasized the importance of mental health and well-being during the training, providing support to participants as needed. Luea described also the training negotiation simulation. None of it really preparing for the overwhelm of COP.  We were left with her awe at the sophistication of the forces encountered and acknowledging the complexity and pain of the experience. COP is a constellation of our world at this time with its vectors of money, power, fossil fuel AND efforts at the margins (in this case with young women) to bring different voices.

We concluded with inviting further exploration of the themes discussed especially regards the role of AR + in the near future. 

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