Systemic Ritual

Stonehenge taken in June of 1985 by me


This is a fabulous link to Daan van Kampenhout’s website where he talks about Systemic Ritual. It was originally brought to my attention by Caitlin Matthews.

She also reviewed his book: Tears of the Ancestors on Amazon:

Daan’s work in Systemic Ritual – a form of collective family constellation that has a shamanic and prayerful basis – is known worldwide. For those who have not had the privilege of attending one of his gatherings, this book gives a good flavour of both why transgenerational healing is necessary and how it works.

Tears of the Ancestors is a remarkable book that dares to approach the more challenging aspects of our collective ancestral bequest with great respect, love and wisdom. In writing of issues that arise from the societal debris of world war, colonization or forced migration, Daan keeps a level playing field; at no point does he write of one side of a conflict as better or more justified than another. There are no winners in world conflicts, only successive generations for whom the mysteries of loss, pain and bewilderment cast a long shadow. The complex entanglements that arise between those whom we term ‘perpetrator’ and ‘victim’ are not as clear cut as we would like, as Daan reveals. We are all impacted by conflicts and there are no easy ways to peace and reconciliation.

Daan’s book is written as a personal pilgrimage which he shares with the reader as he moves around the many broken paths that lead back into the divisions wrought by the second world war: the impact upon Jews, Germans, Poles and others is explored. Some parts of the book are so painful that it is like walking barefoot over rocks, but it is a pilgrimage that we still want to take, in small steady stages. As we read on, the wonders and miracles of connection begin to spring up in landscapes we first thought so bare that we couldn’t be sustained – and they keep on happening. Even when Daan goes to discover the mythic roots of Nazism, the hidden springs of healing are surprisingly revealed.

Systemic ritual goes to the heart of the issue at the most archaic level, opening up a channel to the soul. I was shaken by the power of these encounters with the tribal soul – which is the collective soul that we share within groups to which we belong – and the skilful ways with which these perennial difficulties can be addressed.

This is a courageous book that gives practical insights into how transgenerational healing can be brought to our world. What is written here can be applied to any part of the world and any people immersed in conflicts, with the proviso that we first understand the specific context of the tribal soul of those places and peoples, because blanket solutions can often stop up the springs of healing and prevent its flow.

Daan reveals a method of respectful approach that offers hope and healing to the human heart on behalf of all our ancestors and descendants. I thoroughly recommend this book and have made it required reading for all students on my own ancestral courses.

Caitlín Matthews, author of Singing the Soul Back Home and Celtic Devotional

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