Have you ever wondered why the word ‘constellate’ – meaning ‘stars gathered together’ – is also used for people gathered together?

We all feel the power and beauty of constellation – whether it be in groups of stars or groups of people – but why?

Is it possible that we are feeling something old and true – that the atoms and molecules that make us up are the same as those that make up the stars, and that we can constellate in the same way?

Are we feeling the fact that the glorious reflection that clusters of stars offer us, is something that also lives inside us?

We too are not only made of stardust, but also grouped together in divinely beautiful constellations, just like the stars.

People constellate, all the time. We gather (or are gathered!) together in groups – family, friends, work colleagues, sports teams, hobbies – when we have mutual interests and/or common goals.

These groups are amazing to consider:

How many groups of people have you constellated to be part of?

And what is the purpose of these groups?

We come together for a reason. That reason may not be the same in every case, but there is a purpose to each group constellation, nonetheless.

Often there are dynamics in these groups: people don’t all get along, some people align with each other against the others, and there can be uncomfortable feelings that distract and detract from what the group has come together to do.

When groups work together in harmony, it is because the purpose is clear and the people in the group are united in knowing the purpose and in their commitment to delivering what the group has come together to bring.

The power of constellating, of working in this way, is that the group is always more than the sum of each of its members working alone, just as a constellation of stars is vastly more than the sum of the stars that make it. The group itself becomes another being. If there are seven of us in the group, the group itself makes a total of eight. When we work together with this understanding, we feel that we are each an essential part of the group, and that the group is so much more than any one of us, and then what we have come together for, naturally constellates too... ...

When we look up in the night sky, we see divine constellation everywhere – groups of stars gathered together, in forms and patterns that our minds want to make sense of – but what we feel is a glorious whole, and we resonate inside with that.

When we look at people, our minds may want to see and feel the same, but it does not always work out that way! It can be difficult for us to live and work together in harmony, even with all the will in the world, and when we have a shared purpose and love for each other.

And without that will, and that love, we have everyday tensions, conflict, hatred, abuse within families, communities, and nations, that escalate from time to time into outright bloodshed and war ... and all the while the stars shine down on us, from the vastness and stillness of the heavens all around us.

The stars are showing us how simple it can be. Taking a moment to look up into the night sky – to feel the power and beauty of these constellations, to feel their resonance within us, and to know that we are made of the same stuff, and divinely constellated in the same way – can inspire us to live more and more in this simple way in our everyday lives, constellating with each other, and with the stars.

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  • By Dr Anne Malatt, MBBS, MS, FRACS, FRANZCO Eye surgeon, wife, grandmother

    A woman with a wealth of worldly experience and a richness of lived wisdom, I live and work in a country town, love my work and the people I work with, and enjoy time with my family and friends, walking, reading and writing.

  • Photography: Clayton Lloyd