• Aleksandra Chumak

Family Constellations in Movies. Lion King and Beetle Juice

Bert Hellinger says: "In all our various relationships, fundamental needs interact in a complex way:


1. The need to belong, that is, for bonding

2. The need to maintain a balance of giving and taking, that is, for equilibrium.

3. The need for the safety of social convention and predictability, that is, for order.


These needs constrain our relationships, and also make them possible, because they both reflect and enable our fundamental human need to relate intimately to others". (Love's hidden symmetry by Bert Hellinger with G. Weber and H. Beaumont).


The infraction of one of these needs brings confusion and disharmony to our relationships. We can see it in our lives, we also can observe it in popular movies and tales.


Let's see how disruption of belonging changes the life flow and then how family constellations are restoring the order on example of "Lion King" and "Beetlejuice".


When Mufasa dies in "Lion King", Scar tells little Symba he is responsible and guilty for the fathers' death. Symba accepts the guilt and feels exclusion from the family system. His life turns to the different direction since then. He lives far away from the home he belongs, eats insects and doesn't embrace his power as a king. When Nala asks him to go home and protect the family Symba denies his belonging and decides to stay un-attached. Then Constellations are coming facilitated by baboon Rafiki. Old shaman brings Symba to the water and makes him see his Father reflexion. 'Your Dad is here. He is inside of you'. That's when Symba realizes that he belongs. He embraces his power, returns home, protects his own family from the usurper and returns life and prosperity to the valley.


Of course it is a fairy tale but it touches us deep to the soul because each of us knows how does it feel to be excluded from the group and how does it feel to belong. When we feel disconnected from our family of origin we are searching for belonging somewhere else, often feel rootless and powerless. In a real life it could look like we cannot become successful no matter what we do or don't find support. Meanwhile, the original support is always there and comes from our origin.


Another example of exclusion/inclusion from the system we can see in 'Beetlejuice'. I have seen the Broadway musical recently and was astonished how beautiful Constellations process is. The girl's mother days and she moves with her father to a new wicked house. Father brings his new girlfriend with them and the girl hates her as we often can see in a real life. But is that natural order? Do the relationships between the daughter and step-mother have to be tight? No when the order is followed. In the 'Beetlejuice' father is not speaking about the mom, he also prohibits his daughter to grief and talk about her loss. He wants his daughter to move on and accept the new mom.


This ca never happen. The daughter gets angry and cooperating with a mean ghost to banish the father with his new girlfriend from the house. Then she comes down to Netherworld to find her mother and bring her back. The scared father follows his daughter. 'They need a family constellation' I've thought and guess what? Soon enough it's happening. The girls tells her father she cannot just move on because the mother was everything for her. She needs to talk about her and acknowledge her place in their family. The father finally admits that his wife was everything for him as well and he lets them both to grief. When mother is no longer excluded from the family system - father and daughter are coming back home. The dads' girlfriend is about to leave but little girl tells her to stay. 'You're strange, but you belong, I don't want you to leave' - she says.


When one parent is gone and the child stays with another one is very important to keep the mother's or father's place intact. The place of missing parent has to be acknowledged and respected. And that would allow a chance to create a new family and keep the balance.


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