Honoring the ancestors of Virginia and North America, as we prepare for Constellations Conference in October in Virginia Beach
Weyanoke Association's Coming Together Festival, above. Below at right, Little Beaver Winston, at Weyanoke Association's Coming Together Festival Photos courtesy of the Weyanoke Association..
By Melody Allen, MA, PMA, LPC-S
Rani George and Chuck Cogliandro are the "holders of sacred space” for this year's North American Systemic Constellations Conference Oct. 5-8 in Virginia Beach, Va. This station involves energetically meditating and praying over the well being of the conference along with planning rituals for the opening and closing ceremonies.
They have also headed an initiative to get the Native Americans of Virginia involved in the conference. At the steering team's request and through Rani and Chuck's meditative vision, we saw the need to honor the ancestors of Virginia and North America as a whole.
This impulse was in alignment with the emphasis of Family and Systemic Constellations on ancestral reverence. Bert Hellinger believed, and systemic constellation work agrees, that family history is a great place to start when trying to find answers to present family dynamics.
Systemic Constellations also speaks to acknowledging the excluded people and stories in our personal histories and we must be in integrity and expect the same of our nation.
"By acknowledging that much is not at peace in our history and accepting the reality of tension and the possibility of healing, we may glimpse the soul agreements our ancestors made to join the struggle." -- Rani George and Chuck Cogliandro
In honoring ancestors, it is important to recognize the first humans on American soil: the Native Americans. After much research and contact, the group that expressed interest in contributing to our inclusive efforts were the Weyanoke (meaning “sassafras") Association which is comprised of a group of Natives who have both Native and African American heritage.
This group originated in Jamestown, Va., and derived its namesake from Jamestown's most profitable crop. As the most oppressed groups at the time, African slaves sometimes intermixed with Natives and vice versa. The Weyanoke Association is proud of its heritage and its efforts to bring awareness of the diversity of the Native American culture on the East Coast.
When interviewed, Rani and Chuck shared the following:
“With the conference theme chosen as 'Bridging the Divide: Healing the Personal and Collective Soul,' the collective presence of descendants of these groups coming together to create ceremony will touch the beauty of diversity and the roots of the unresolved ethnic divisions in the United States.
“By acknowledging that much is not at peace in our history and accepting the reality of tension and the possibility of healing, we may glimpse the soul agreements our ancestors made to join the struggle. The Weyanoke group represents local descendants of the enslaved and free people of color of the area, therefore appropriate to invoke the ancestral spirits of the land."
During the opening ceremony, the Weyanoke Association will lead us in honoring the ancestors with songs and drumming to invoke blessings for the conference..
Some heritages represented by the participants will include African as well as the Nottoway, Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Chickahominy and Rappahannock indigenous tribes.. Descendants of European colonists, who sailed on the Mayflower, will also stand as representatives during the ceremony.
Please join us in welcoming the Weyanoke Association to the conference as we share our knowledge of Family and Systemic Constellations as a healing exchange. If you would like to know more about its initiatives, please visit its website here.
Join us for the 2017 North American Systemic Constellations Conference Oct. 5-8 in Virginia Beach, Va., for health professionals, educators, organizational and life coaches, consultants, clergy, community activists, change makers and others interested in alternative health and innovative practices. A pre-conference is also available. More info here. We'd love to have you subscribe to our e-letter here.
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