Constellations–A Potent Partner to Sound Healing: Part 1

bigstock-a-zen-stones-background-white--16243001I am starting to explore the unique edge of sound healing and constellation work, so I thought I would first describe what Constellations work is.

Constellation work is a healing art form that is all about relationships. We can inquire and study the energetics of our relationship to anything—people, places, aspects of ourselves, nature, any topic or emotion.

We designate a sacred space we call the Knowing Field in which to investigate systems involving our relationships. The Knowing Field is charged with knowledge from the ages, from our ancestors, from nature and the web of life, from the all-knowing divine forces that run through all things. In shamanism, we experience it as a matrix of Non-Ordinary Reality, and/or an expression of the Akashic records.

We focus on a specific issue, and begin the inquiry by arranging REPRESENTATIVES of key elements of this issue in the Knowing Field. Key elements of our issue can be people, places, nature beings, thoughtforms, emotions, ideas, dreams. We can REPRESENT these elements by assigning people, objects, pieces of paper with the names of these elements to STAND IN for the elements in the Knowing Field. (There are also special flat rubber foot prints of various sizes and colors that are made specifically for Constellation Work).

Our knowingness we invite to come first through our body. With our felt-sense, we notice how things feel and change as the spatial relationships of the representatives move or are moved.

We start by placing these elements in a spatial configuration that “feels right”— From the original spatial relationship of the elements in the knowing field, we then invite the wisdom of our body to inform us of the energetics of the relationships between the elements of system. The energetics of the relationships create movement and feeling, and thoughts and express through the Representatives, revealing wisdom and options for healing in the system in which the issue lies.

Representatives may be asked to report how they are feeling, and to share thoughts that arise as they stand in for their element. They may be asked to move, or feel called to move to a different position. New feelings and thoughts may arise that reveal information about the issue.

In many instances, the facilitator will ask a representative to speak a healing sentence that may create shifts in the energy of the constellation, and thus the relationships and system itself.

The flow of love in a relationship or the system deeply affects energetics of the relationship or the system. This flow can be unblocked by listening for and speaking a healing sentence that acknowledges the truth of the relationship or system, and that allows the truth to settle and be held with compassion.

Adding intentional sound to constellations:
Intentional sound adds a new vibration to the system that reaches the right brains of the representatives, and charges the knowing field with heightened vibrational potency that encourages transformations in the system. More on this later…


We can do constellation work on our own, in groups of people, or in pairs. Here I describe the process when a group of people are assembled for the purpose of doing constellation work.

First, a seeker comes forward with an issue or question. It can be bout anything—relationships with people, emotions, a career or business question, a question about where they are living or wanting to live, a natural or managed ecosystem, anything!

The seeker will give a description of the issue, with the facilitator (“Constellator”) asking questions that will illuminate key elements of the system to be represented.

The constellator will then ask the seeker to invite people, one at a time, to “stand in” as “representatives” of different elements of the system that frame the issue. The seeker purposefully and with their felt sense places each representative in the knowing field in a spatial configuration that “feels right”, and reflects the system as it exists currently. The representatives are called to feel into their bodies and notice what the wisdom of the body is telling them about the energetics of our spatial relationship to other representatives that are standing in for people, places, or things in the Knowing Field.

The representatives may begin to feel that a movement is necessary, in relation to each other. Representatives usually have body sensations, thoughts and emotions, all of which can provide wisdom and insight into the energetics of the element of the system that they are standing in for. In shamanism, we experience this and refer to it as ranging from “channeling” to “mediumship”, depending on how deep the connection is.

The facilitator will carefully ask representatives to report their feels and thoughts and sensations. Based on movement and this information, the facilitator may ask that a representative to speak healing sentences that will help release the tension or blockage in the system or relationship. Through this very intentional inquiry, we can unwind unconscious patterns and unblock the flow of love and life force, greatly enhancing our well being. We can gain a broader perspective on the systems in which we live and live with more freedom, ease and love.

Constellation Work in the Absence of Group
I have done very powerful constellation work on my own. If I am trying to decide a particular path to take for a specific decision, I will take a piece of paper and write a phrase that states and represents one decision or outcome of a decision or fork in the road. I will take another piece of paper and write another phrase on it that states another potential fork. On performing a “blind constellation”, I will then fold these up and mix them up so I do not know which paper is which. I will stand on one of the pieces of paper, placed in the Knowing field (a rug designated for this work, usually). I will notice how I feel while standing on this piece of paper. Then I will stand on the other piece of paper, noticing how I feel as I stand on this one. I will usually have very different experiences and sensations as stand on each of these. From these, the answer will usually be revealed to me. I will pick the one that feels the best. Then I will look at what that piece of paper says. We can also perform the constellation in the same way, but knowing what the pieces of paper say ahead of time.

Another potent form of constellation we did with Suzi Tucker. We chose a pair of rubber foot prints made for constellation work to represent Anger (one can easily use a piece of paper with the word written on it). We placed the feet down on the knowing field, and then stood in relationship to it in a way that felt right to us. We noticed what we noticed. We moved around it and noticed how it felt in front of us, behind us. Then we stood on it, and noticed how we felt then. It was very instructive. The biggest thing I noticed was how it felt like a supportive force when it was standing behind me, but it felt confrontive and uncomfortable when it faced me. When I stepped on top of the feet, it revealed to me in a deeper way the wisdom of having anger flow through me as a creative force and that it could be like the weather without holding it in the body.

This healing art form emerged through Bert Hellinger’s work studying various cultural and family groups. I originally came to Constellation work through a Hawaiian-based Shaman named Larry Kessler. I am currently training with a Shoshone woman named Francesca Boring Mason. Both of these people have a deep honoring of the Ancestors, Nature, and bring a deep spiritual aspect to the work. I follow in this way of approaching Constellations.

Stay tuned for more…


This is what help looks like today

We call on the benevolent compassionate helping spirits for help in our shamanicbigstock-a-zen-stones-background-white--16243001 sound healing work, in all of our work –no matter what healing modality.

It is human to have a particular set of images of what the help might be
like-angels, people, circumstances sweeping gracefully in to save or illuminate us…oh what an earthly folly. We must be ready to accept the help as it presents to us, so divinely orchestrated that we laugh at its perfection and say thank you!

During the spring shamanic sound healing intensive, we called in all of our help for the weekend. With grand and humble intentions for our learning and healing, we cast the circle and went about our work.

Sunday morning (the day we changed our clocks… well, some of us) my
assistant found herself late. Very late. To do the thing her heart most
sings for-to be in circle in sound, service, spirit-impediment after
impediment got in her way. Her frustration was profound. She gave herself a hard time all the way on her ride to the circle; she was in quite a state.

We paired up to do a healing, using the next lesson of the day for a method, and whatever was up for each person as a healing intention (this the way we roll!). She chose her relationship with time. And Whoa, what a magnificent, illuminating healing unfolded. Old energies departed, old configurationsshattered; divine wisdom and power rode in on the heart and voice of the practitioner. Curses unraveled, lessons infused…

When the debrief unfolded, and the whole picture of the morning was illuminated, we all exclaimed


All of it–impediments, upsets, pain, then the seeking, the subsequent call to healing and its unfolding!!!!

A great reminder. Help is not always puppies and clouds…And, it always comes when the heart is open and when we are truly receptive. Help almost never looks like what we think it should. We are buoyed on our earth walk by the grace of the divine. Ever mesmerized by the Great Mystery…

A great mantra for me…perhaps you might find it helpful.

“This is what help looks like today”.

How to Make Your Own Meaningful Spirit-guided Sound

What is Spirit-guided Sound Healing?

Sound is a carrier wave of intention, and is a magical creative force that re-configures matter and energy. Spirit-guided sound healing adds the active participation of compassionate benevolent spirits—beings from the divine realms. These beings encode the sound with power and wisdom, guiding the sound to its most potent targets.

When sound is transmitted and received in a container of love and divine spiritual guidance, miraculous healing and manifestation of dreams and prayers can more powerfully be set into motion.

Read more…

Spiritual Intervention

I realized at even a deeper level what I want most in life.


At the women’s visioning retreat I co-facilitated this last weekend, we did a repeating question process (“What do you want?”). In this process, you form dyads; your partner in the dyad asks you the question, in this case “what do you want?”. You answer the question. They say thank you, then ask you “what do you want?” And the process repeats itself over and over, for 10 minutes or more. Then you stop, journal and switch roles. So much of the unseen bubbles up to the surface as you dig deeper to answer the question, over and over again. It is a powerful process for any kind of question.

What I realized I wanted most in my life– no small surprise that I find myself creating opportunities for this– is to help people realize that they are not alone in the world… That they have helping compassionate spirits that are supporting them and out ahead of them on their path orchestrating the perfection of their lives. At Every Moment.

This morning, I got to hear that my spirits and I had a success in this mission of what I would consider epic proportions.

I have been the practitioner in charge of implementing the Shamanic Treatment Sessions on Veterans with PTSD. It is a study being conducted by LightSong School of Shamanic Studies and Oregon Health Sciences University. During the shamanic treatment sessions, Vets receive power animals through power animal retrieval and soul retrieval, along with a mantra and other kinds of powerful spiritual tools and healings. Other treatment sessions include extraction, deposession, curse-unravelling, and other core shamanic techniques of healing the soul.

Bill (I will call him), one of veterans, relayed a story this morning that just gave me chills.

His family has been experiencing some drama instigated by a disenfranchised family member who is suffering and threatening violence to Bill’s family. Bill was on his way over to do very bad things in response to the threat of violence to his children by this disenfranchised family member. He was racing over there deep in a rage, when his spirits intervened. These spirits, brought to him during power animal retrieval and soul retrieval, filled his head and heart with their presence. Bill stopped the car, listened to the information his spirits were giving him and  turned the car around, went home and called the police. We both feel that the spirits’ intervention prevented Bill from going to prison for the rest of his life. His mantra, retrieved during soul retrieval, kicked in and was going round and round in his head, which instigated the intervention by the spirits, and helped him return home safely with out further violence.

This intervention (though not the circumstances around it) is exactly what I stand for in this world and what I have committed myself to. I have been a little low lately, and just now, in writing this, I am reminded and reinvigorated with my mission.

A Personal New Year’s Pipe Ceremony

ImageIn the beginning of this new year, I felt the prayer of calling, and the calling of prayer. This calling wanted to be answered in the personal traditional way that I am so grateul to the first people for.

This prayer of calling was for people to have an experience of deep communion with spirit, with their true self and their healing. I was shown what was really at the core of my “marketing plan”. In fact, the most important things was not the marketing plan as an entity, but the feelings of what people would experience as a result of showing up and being part of what my ceremonies and coursework hold for people. That magical vortex of intentional sound, of feeling, hearing, seeing in our mind’s eye spirits, energies, imagery and messages that serve our soul. It is not about “marketing my classes”, it is about feeling the results for the people in my own body-mind-spirit continuum, and emminating that out.

White puma and elk came with the ceremony, and it took on a whole meaning and direction unto itself, with the spirit of the pipe very deeply present. I thanked my body-mind-spirit partnership for all that it has gone through and summed to this point. I felt what it was that I “stand” for, what I take a stand for, what I am committed to creating. Those moments, where a person, and or a circle of people, can feel deeply connected, nourished…where there was space to have realizations in the mind that are felt in the body, and ripple out and doctor the soul. Where the threads of community and individual sound can go out into our lives ahead of us, creating, orchestrating elements in our lives, at the purest creative level.

To read about  opportunities to follow your own calling, go to

My New Album Around The Wheel: A Shamanic Sound Healing



My first album, Around the Wheel: A Shamanic Sound Healing, is coming out next week. The album is comprised of the sound that came through during two shamanic sound healing sessions the spirits and I performed. (Very little editing, and no second takes (redo’s)). The album is designed to provide a healing session for people–to facilitate releasing those things that no longer serve, and inviting and filling with divine wisdom and power. We utilize the energies of the Medicine Wheel, whatever form that takes for each of us; we go through 6 directions of releasing through catalytic sounds (sounds that break up constrictions, impediments, obstructions), and filling with coherent (sweet, harmonious) sound.

Thank you to Sean Flora who produced and mastered this album and Robert Streff who provided the art work. May we all heal, and through our healing, heal the Earth.

Until I get up and running with PayPal and CD Baby, I am distributing the disc the old fashioned way–if you would like to purchase a copy, please send a check for $12 made out to Hidden Lake Retreat and send it with your address to PO Box 598 Eagle Creek OR 97022. The artwork is really priceless, so it is worth having a physical copy! To here a sample of it, click here.

A Dance with My Ancestors

tracks-225x300I had the distinct pleasure and good fortune of being in circle with John Lockley. John is a Xhosa Sangoma (medicine person) from South Africa. Our time together focused on connecting with our ancestors, and deriving healing from working with our dreams. Several mini- and not so mini-epiphanies (and epiphanies about epiphanies) occurred for me during the weekend.

The truth of the miracle of my life   I have a new sense of my ancestral lines—it expresses as a psycho-spiritual image of 2 lines of flowing behind and to the sides of me. On my walk today, the full force of the miracle of my life touched me, as I thought about: all of the pairs of people who came together to procreate to ultimately create me. 5,000-10,000 pairs of humans meeting and forming a long or short union to ultimately result in Laura Jill Rapport Shainsky. And the millions of obstacles to survival and pro-creation all of those people had to overcome and manifest. And all of the qualities that contributed to their overcoming all of the risks of being on earth to procreate. When I really ponder the enormity of the miracles, it brings me to my knees in such gratitude for my life, my ancestors. And Thank you John Lockley, and my beloved Africa!


Tiger Dream and My Destiny with Jan Engels-Smith When I was 10 or so, I had a dream I have always remembered. The only dream I remember from my childhood that had such a deep impact. I glimpsed the meaning of this dream this weekend. In the dream, I found myself in a cage with a Tiger. There was deep sense of fear and wanting to escape, but also a deep allure. I was able to climb up out of the cave and commune with the Tiger from where I felt safe, though my heart was still beating. The spirits showed me this weekend that I was connecting with my teacher/mentor’s ancestors-power animals, revealing the connection we have in our lineage, and would revive and continue to live together in this lifetime.


Mitakuye Oyasin  As a result of this weekend’s work, I have noticed my dreams have fully included members of the LightSong (my shamanic) community. I am being shown that we can travel back different distances in our lineages to find where our lineages meet and become one. The dreams I have begun to have are sending lifeforce energies back to greet those points of unions, to carry forward blessed work together in this lifetime, in our community work together.

Life turns through a flash of gratitude and light from the sky   Another point John made, which is something the LightSong community is very intimate with,  was that the emotion and position of gratitude is very important for this work. I  remember the day my life turned around for the first time. I was struggling to recover from a very traumatic experience in Los Angeles (mentioned below), and working for the YMCA as a mountain camp facilitator. We were doing ceremony together in the Mammoth Mountains with the parents of the Family Camp trip we were conducting. One of the prompts in the ceremony was something like “who is God to you?” or “what is God to you?”. In a rush, I realized that “MY GOD SAVED MY LIFE, TO DO WORK I HAVE NOT YET DONE ON THE PLANET”. My God had saved me from my very traumatic near-death experience. I went down on my knees in gratitude of this realization, and just as this occurred, lightening struck, flashing dramatically across the landscape. It was biblical, like God say YES! YES! YOU GOT IT! And in circle with John, the whole piece about gratitude being an initiating emotional doorway deepened in my understanding greatly.

Bumping into God   John talked about how people come to becoming shamans or medicine people, and how he and others go through a “calling sickness” where the body, mind and spirit may degrade before becoming receptive for the intensive spiritual path can commence. I was reflecting on how I came to my own healing path. I was shown, while in his presence, that my healing path was initiated when I made a big impact with Mt Hood–a very important and present god in our physical, geographic and spiritual environment.

I was skiing in 1991 on the mountain, caught an edge while going very fast, and hit a mogul (big bump on the slope) with my head and shoulder. Bumping into this god began a 10-year road of recovery that opened a doorway to the spiritual-physical aspects of life. More importantly, this impact initiated my deep seeking, which eventually led me shamanism and Jan Engels-Smith, my teacher, mentor, friend (who brought John to us and why we were all sitting in circle together this weekend).

The luxury of having epiphanies   The questions “how am I expressing elements of my ancestral lineage?”, and “how is what I am doing in life sending healing back through to them?” echoed in my consciousness the whole weekend. In fact, these will be key questions that I will be continually be addressing now, probably for the rest of my life. While we were in circle with John, we sang, danced, and then laid down on the grass outside, heart to heart with the mother, Earth. I felt a doorway opening to my lineage, even from the very beginning of our time together. And all of a sudden in a flash, I was very moved by an epiphany and a healing of my lineages sent back from this epiphany. It came in a sentence from the spirits: “My ancestors never had the luxury of having epiphanies about rape”. And my doing so was a healing back through both lines. I bless them with my doing this, sharing and honoring their suffering by healing my own.