From the BlogSubscribe Now

My work is changing – beyond Tantra

Dear Reader,

You will notice on the drop down menus of my site *New* offerings, see the links below. This article is intended to offer a deeper look into how my practice is changing and why:

Changes in a nutshell

At present these offerings appear as new additions in a site that is predominantly neo Tantra>> and sexuality focused. I am currently building a new website in which the balance will be the opposite way round. The modalities above, which do not contain any intimate body work, will take up more space on the new site.

There will remain a section for hands on touch offerings that include intimate touch. Within a safe container of cutting edge consent teachings, working hands on in this way can really enable people to learn about the pleasure in their body!

The change in balance on my new website though, reflects a change in the allocation of time within my practice. I am gradually spending more time offering the new modalities in which I have been trained, and the balance of Tantra sessions is reducing. I remain committed to my current tantra offering, where it is well placed to meet a persons needs.

Below – I expand upon this new direction and it’s origins in the past.

Beyond tantra – ancestors & family constellations

Family constellations (aka systemic constellations) is a a therapeutic method for healing psychological pain, originated by German Psychotherapist Bert Hellinger: this the story of why and how I came to study it!

A few years ago I was with a cousin from my moms side of the family, I had not seen her for years and we were keenly sharing stories about the past. She said my mom was something of a rebel – the Catholic convent school girl who absconded to art college! – and her choices in boyfriends were not always approved of by the family. My cousin went on to say:

“Of course things really hit the fan when you mom took up with a Romany man”

“Who was that?” I asked

“Your Dad!!!” she exclaimed with great surprise

It made me realise I knew little about my Dads origins – with both parents dead I turned to genealogical research for answers and spent months immersed on Ancestry.co.uk. Many secrets where revealed and some were not: overlapping Romany ancestry remains a possible but not provable juncture, rather than his actual origins.

Perhaps other mysteries lead my mothers family to conclude my Dad had something to hide, and so to speculate on his origins.

What surprised me most though, was a branch of my fathers tree in London. I myself came to London aged 36, to engage with my sexuality in ways outside of the “normalcy zone”. Certainly it took time for friends and family to integrate my being a Tantra practitioner: it seemed a radical and independently motivated act to set up in this work at the time!

Little did I know, my Great Grandmother and Great Great Grandmother were French (origin) women living in Maida Vale, as recorded on 1911 Census records. Marie and Ernestine Lefort: both unwed and yet with several children, here is what newspapers said of the area at the time:

The period immediately before the First World War was also that of the ‘almost Corinthian days of Maida Vale’, when jokes were made about mistresses kept there in discreet apartments.
British history online

I also found Ernestine working as a servant in 1891, with no mention of her first child at that address. She pops up in a workhouse in 1898 before showing up in the luxury of Maida Vale, where she has taken the surname Saunders and mantle of “widow” – though there is no marriage to be found. Marie has a string of workhouse entries too.

What were their lives, I wonder? It is still not clear.

This is not the story of women from a poor background – her father was a renowned French artist and jeweller. But this commentary from the Foundling museum gives a window into what Ernestine and Marie Lefort will have faced in the Victorian era as unwed mothers:

What was essential to Victorian England was that women stayed “pure” (there was, unsurprisingly, no parallel narrative of a “fallen man”) … and for the women who fell, the drop was very far indeed.

From The Victorian women forced to give up their babies The Guardian

I came to realise the extent to which the present moment is in constant relationship with at least 100 years of ancestry and events. I wondered about my own choices: coming to London, exploring the taboos of sexuality – did my ancestors call me here?

Certainly when I visited Maida Vale, I had the uncanny experience of walking unfalteringly to Ernestine’s apartment with no help from any map. I stepped out of the tube station barely changed since their time (it opened 1915) and walked straight to their door, like I just knew the way.

The phenomenological experiences of systemic constellations has caused me to realise how much illusion we hold about individual sovereignty and choice. Our free will emerges from and is profoundly influenced by the systems in which it is exercised. The more we deny this, the more likely it is that the system will exert an invisible pull and trip us up.

Systemic thinking invites us to look back and see everything right to its roots. Scoop in the whole picture, see all the parts, welcome the gifts and respectfully release what we are entangled with. Then we are truly free, to take a sovereign step forwards.

Whether the history of our ancestors,  our workplace, the fore-bearers of our professional sphere, or outdated concepts we hold – these histories flow into and shape our present and future. That’s why it is central to my Practitioner Mentoring>>

For general one to one systemic work on any issue at all please read further and book here Family Constellations Sessions>>

Beyond tantra – rebirthing & breathwork

Around the same time I was looking into my family tree, I also discovered breathwork. This came about through visiting an intentional eco community in Evesham called The Greenery.

Everyone living here engaged in breathwork, to keep opening out all that was creative and alive between them. I was struck by the vibrancy of their living and thought “I want some of that!” – here is what I learned.

Breathwork offers the possibility of incredible access to early memories stored in our body, that have unconsciously shaped our life choices.

From womb to birth and beyond – the gifts and traumas of early infancy – as our brains wire up we form critical beliefs about the world and our place in it. Breathwork opens this past up to our view, so we can make conscious choices about things, rather than be unconsciously driven by what we cannot recall.

It also opens expanded states of awareness that draw in the best of ourselves – beyond what we know or can conceive yet with ordinary awareness. Breathwork gives access to altered states, with the capacity to finely direct those experiences towards psychological exploration and integration.

Alongside a deep level systemic enquiry in my life – breathwork enabled me to take a deep breath and to feel all that was going on! It enabled me to open up what I couldn’t recall about my own childhood, but was evident in my life path.

To give an example – when I was four my cousins came to stay, having experienced a traumatic event at their home: the primary impact of this event is with them and is their story to tell. However I didn’t realise how much my own life was impacted by what happened at the time.

In breathwork sessions I uncovered my own terror and confusion about the events, through somatic (i.e. held in the body) memories that I had previously had no access to. Through recalling the imprint of this time, I realised I had formed two beliefs: “families and homes are inherently dangerous” and “it might be safer to not have a home than to have one”.

These core beliefs – wired into my four year old neurology as it formed – showed up through constant travel and spells of homelessness in my early twenties. They also expressed through a continual moving of house every few years (or often even less) into my thirties, in a restless search for safety. Till I recalled and could soothe my inner four year old, I had no idea what had driven those patterns.

The only way we can see through these persistent patterns is to go to their roots. Where family constellations looks at the systems we have internalised, breathwork points to the direct impact of events locked in our mind / body / breath waiting to be discovered. Before we unveil and truly know them, echoes of these things can perplex and trip us up for years.

Breathwork lives in a section of my site called somatic sex therapy>>. Due to the origins of my practice, people often approach me with issues relating to intimacy and sexuality. I am uniquely positioned as a breathworker (and family constellations practitioner) to look into these themes.

However, I can offer you a breathwork session on any theme that you like – give me a call to find out more!

A place at the table

What this means is that people who approach me, have multiple routes by which to bring resolution within my practice. Together we can discuss options available and see which is the best fit.

Sometimes that will be hands on work, or sometimes wounds will nestle deeper in the past and a family constellations lens will bring more clarity. Or perhaps we will look to the breath to uplift, embody and feel.

My multiple modality practice is subject to rigorous supervision from DK Green and I am accountable to the professional body of ASIS. In the past, conventional therapy and hands on sexuality work have not been comfy bedfellows; it is right and proper that any meeting point between the two is handled with care and appropriate boundaries.

This divide though has lead to hands on sexuality work often been hived off into ghetto areas of the internet, subject to draconian legislative threat. From SESTA FOSTA through to proposed changes to sex work legislation in the UK, the hands on aspect of my work is not totally without risk.

I didn’t meet my French ancestors Ernestine and Marie. But I feel I knew them through my feisty Grandmother Daphne, born to 16 year old Marie in Maida Vale 1911. Grown up Daphne was known for bringing my Grandfather into disrepute driving “brazenly alone through the army quarters on her way to disreputable dancing venues”.

Grandad winked as he told me the rest of the story with a hearty chortle:

The Colonel gave me a call, telling me to bring her to heel – I said to him, well you try and control her and see what happens!

I create a place at the table for ALL aspects of my work, because I believe to do so best serves the needs of my clients. More personally, I do so to honour the spirit of these women.

Throughout my professional life I have worked towards healing the wounds of a sex negative present and past. It’s my personal activism against regressive and oppressive forces on the rise around the globe. Its my activism towards a future where the breadth and complexity of human sexuality has its full place of acceptance at the table. The natural conclusion of such acceptance is that adults have every right to experience whatever sexual acts they choose, within safe and ethically driven frameworks.

“Safe and ethically driven” is a consent education issue  – but it is also clearly a systemic issue too, replete with gradients of power. As such my new site will also focus on wider systemic themes and how they dance with the self, to form our shared experience. Working not just as individual islands – but collectively and with awareness of our place in the world wide web of things – is the only way to address the most pressing issues of our era.

That’s all I have to say for now – except sign up here>> or to the right of this page, to hear more when it is launched! Please get in touch>> also, if you have questions, comments or would like to know more about booking a session now.

The doorway of my ancestors Maida Vale apartment building.

The doorway of my ancestors Maida Vale apartment building.

 

My ancestors, circa 1922

Speak Your Mind

We have moved!

Tantra4Tigers operated from 2007 till 2019, Rose C Jiggens now offers new work including Family Constellations and Breathwork.

If you would like to know more, please head over to her new website:

True Self Systems