I was invited to do a short interview on a radio about wedding ceremonies. Here it is.
I have been recently interviewed for an online directory and wedding 'all questions answered' resource. We talked about this work, ceremonies, and what I love about celebrancy. Hope you enjoy it!
"As well as being an amazing wedding celebrant Aleksandra is a systemic practitioner who works with people to resolve their life situations with the help of a therapeutic framework called ‘systemic family constellations’ and systemic ritual.
It’s based on the idea that members of any family system are interconnected and what happened in the past might be influencing what is happening in their life now. It has a number of principles observed which can be used to strengthen any family system, anywhere in the world, and she uses those principles to design wedding ceremonies as well. Fascinating, or what?
What has been the highlight of your wedding career so far?
When parents of the couples who at first are a little sceptical, are then deeply touched and full of understanding. This work moves hearts in so many ways.
What has being a wedding Celebrant taught you about life and people?
Ah, good question. To never assume anything or judge; and to be flexible. There is my way and there is a right way, and I will only find out the right way by truly being present to what is going on for the couple – their needs, their family dynamics, their belief systems about themselves and the world...."
To read the complete interview click here
What could systemic ceremony be done for?
Coming of age
Preparing to give birth
Ending a relationship
Preparing to die
Moving to a new house
Even starting or seeking a new job
I put everything I know and work with into designing a ceremony - systemic constellations knowledge, working with the field, systemic ritual and work with ancestors and my shamanic healing training, as well as training in civil family ceremonies. The word ‘systemic’ refers to anything to do with family system. Every ceremony becomes unique for a specific person, their system and their life situation. It adds to restoring and supporting balance, calling in resources, creating new energy and healing. Ceremonies can be created for one person as an individual ritual or for the whole family as in a wedding ceremony and baby naming. They can be run outside in nature, in places of power, with elements and elementals participating, or in your own room or in a any other premises. It is a beautiful way to celebrate life.
(photo: Madara Lazdina)
Creating a family, becoming married is not a simple affair but at least in the beginning it seems relatively straightforward. All family entanglements tend to show up a bit later down the road with almost 40 percent of couples deciding it is not worth staying together. However, traditionally, amount of attention given to the spiritual side of separating is significantly less then when people get together. Maybe this is due to the fact that for many years divorce has been impossible and very much frowned upon, so when it happens everyone tries to get it over and done with as quickly and invisibly as possible (of course this is a generalization and for many it becomes an incredibly long and painful process).
In a wedding many couples choose to have an extra ceremony on top of the legal registration, they put a lot of planning and often engage a special person to conduct this ceremony for them - a symbolic entering into a new phase of their life as a couple. However when they choose to end this phase, rarely any special symbolic steps are undertaken to cleanly end the relationship, to step out of it and to close this chapter. Often there is too much involved into a divorce to even think about it again. Too much pain, attachment, confusion, trauma. Unlike the beginning of a relationship, its end is often an unexpected, traumatic experience for all sides. I often work with people to help them make a closure, an ending that would ensure all of the Self is back from that journey with another person, that they are ready to go on with their own life. Divorce healing ritual is one of the ways to assist the process of separation. Even years after relationship ended such ritual might bring relief and opening of the heart. It helps to put a final full stop internally, to declare it out loud to the universe that what used to be a single unit is now no longer so, a cycle is complete and you step outside of it. On the wheel of four directions it is as if you’ve walked the full wheel - East, meeting a person and beginning a relationship; South - being partners, getting married, spending years together; West - starting to feel the end, feeling the cracks that can't be repaired and North - ending marriage, divorcing. It helps to go through the wheel to acknowledge with gratitude everything that happened, the gifts you received, the life you built together and maybe to see the whole journey as a process, a cycle, a ritual. To acknowledge and own the pain on both sides and to leave 'what doesn’t belong to you' behind. When this Wheel is complete, a new wheel is available - you step into the East being open to something new, being available to a new beginning in your life with support of everything that happened before.
(artwork - Meret Oppenheim)
Every ritual is different. It is based on the orders of systemic constellations and uses its method of representation but is specially designed for the birthday person. This one focused on resources. I did it for a friend who turned fifty recently and wanted to do something special to mark this time in her life. We gathered seven women in a circle and invited them to represent the ancient women ancestors, those who knew life in its fullness and abundance, to bring gifts to their descendant - gifts of strength, courage, calmness, wisdom etc. Together, held by the sound of the drum, we walked the wheel of life bringing power to where it was lacking in the past and providing resources for the future. Each woman received dreams and wishes from her little self and got to experience some wisdom from her older self.
I really enjoyed the sacredness that we created together and beautiful energy that will carry my friend through many more years to come.
(image: Lily Lough)
I love what I do and I love talking about it. In systemic work words are very important, they are healing and supportive. In celebrancy, in ceremonies, just like in constellations, words create movement of the soul, create safe space and touch hearts. Here I share my thoughts, inspirations, knowledge and words on ceremony, ritual and celebrancy.