Stephen Victor is widely known in this community as a facilitator of family and business constellations both here and abroad. However I find his work to be much more than that of setting constellations. My curiosity about him and his work led me to his door. As I entered the charming home he shares with his partner Valerie Niestrath, the first thing I noticed was the abundance of interesting indigenous artifacts and large stones, artistically arranged.
These stones in your home have such presence. Can you tell me something about them?
Stephen: Yes, I can. I suppose the stones are a tangible form of my relationship to the earth. The stones are called ‘khuyas,’ a Quecha word from the Andes literally translating as ‘pieces of my heart.’ They are carriers of refined energy and power. They are devices of connection. I think most of us in modern times have forgotten our connection to the earth and that in a mythological sense, we are the earth herself; we only feel separate. The stones are carriers of language and in a very true sense they are my friends. They evince my perceptions and experience of nature as supportive of us and awaiting our collaboration.
Does this relate to your work?
Stephen: Of course. The essence of my calling is a re-remembering of who we are. I assist in fostering movements beyond the currents of acculturation, upbringing, education, training and experience that determine most lives: a looking beyond all of that and instead prompting the seeing and taking guidance from the tangible energetic life-affirming realities all around us – those fields which are rarely seen and much less acknowledged as extant.
How we humans live and behave has nothing to do with our actual character and true nature. I guess the rocks, the trees and all of nature serve as a reminder of that for me. Human absences of civility, of kindness and decency, our bent on the mundane day to day ‘live in your brain’ struggle has no real relationship to who we are. Humanity, all of life and the mystery, are simply love; our true nature and character is one of wholly unprecedented creativity awaiting its unique expression. All of life, and each life, is profoundly and staggering beautiful. My work assists one to see this again.
My work also involves removing impediments to love. Impediments issuing from institutionalized ideologies round which we wittingly and unwitting conform at the expense of living our own lives poetically, creatively, compassionately, lovingly.
Does this relate to the work that you do with constellations?
Stephen: For me, constellation
methods are more than a brilliant, dignified and honorable approach for reconciling difficulties, healing a self, and removing impediments in a life (which they do beautifully); they are chiefly processes of divination (a means of accessing information from a non-human source on how best to proceed in a given circumstance). In this way, as a divination tool, they, for me, are a teaching instrument which I use with others for opening to, perceiving and working with the fields of universal intelligence and wisdom in which we exist.
What do constellations look like and how do they work?
Stephen: Someone has a problem they want resolved. The person speaks to the issue briefly; in doing so, the energy field of this life circumstances becomes more readily visible. I ask others in the room to stand in “the field” representing the people or circumstances revealed by the field; the field informs the representatives and me directly of the “unseen” dynamics to be righted – through specific movements – which arise from opening to love. (Love is the source of all reconciliation and healing.)
This sounds like a complex skill. How would you describe your particular gifts in working with these energetic fields?
Stephen: I am able to perceive the fields of a family, person or business, and sense intent; see the root cause of a problem. I can see pathways out of a morass and into creative places. These abilities are no longer for a gifted few, we all are ‘wired’ to perceive the nonphysical. We begin by growing and mending wounds and opening mind and heart. This is about opening to the language of the non-imaginary imagination, which for me is the instrument and faculty of perception used to perceive nonphysical reality. There will be a time in human development when everyone will be consciously seeing and working with energy fields.
Have you always had this gift, this sense of energy? What has influenced you?
Stephen: Not at all. I was clueless, but loved being out-of-doors. As a young man I joined the Navy to get away from my small Midwestern roots. The beauty and magnificence of the ocean, whales breaching, porpoises stretching from horizon to horizon with the morning sun reflecting off their backs, playing with the ship; this was staggeringly beautiful. Later, becoming aware of Vietnam and while working as a cop, I had difficulty reconciling the violence and craziness that is our way of life.
How did that change?
Stephen: In my late 20’s , 30’s and early 40’s I did a great deal of work using NLP (neurolinguistic programming) based skills and models. I found I could develop a field of rapport with a person or group, and extend myself to include them; in doing so I would know their thinking and how they processed information. I mediated conflict in and provided consultancy to organizations. It worked beautifully, people got desired results, but I was still thinking in neurolinguistic terms, not of energy fields. Then I heard of the Hellinger constellation work. I soon realized that I knew much about this process and in fact it was what I had, in part, been doing.
Why would someone seek you out rather than a therapist or business consultant?
Stephen: To put it simply, field or constellation methods access information that conventional approaches cannot reach. Working with field energies requires personal and perceptual development and language not found in graduate and professional schools.
What is your connection to the mystical path, to Andean Mysticism?
Stephen: At the same time I started working with constellation methods I also started training with Andean Mystic Juan Nunez del Prado, a keeper of the ancient Andean traditions. I found many correlations in these distinct ways of working with nonphysical aspects of our lives. For the last six years, Juan and I have convened workshops together here and in Europe. We have a one coming up here at the end of May, “The practical Mystic.” My partner Valerie is the real expert when it comes to Andean Mysticism. She is easily one of the most knowledgeable and skilled paqos in North America of this body of wisdom. She leads groups to Peru, workshops, and leads energetic nature walks here in Ashland.
At the same time, I began reading poetry and more recently began writing mystical poetry. Poetry is another form of field work – if it remains unanalyzed – but instead perceived. This too is representative of the shift humanity is in, from the prosaic to the poetic.