Reflections from the Russia-Ukraine War Constellation
Reflections below, but quick announcement first….
Dan is offering the next Science, Myth, Magic, & Mystery Master Class starting April 25/26 to brave journeyers who are ready for a deep dive into the field. Participation in the class requires a 1:1 consultation.
Emily is offering an in-person workshop, co-facilitated with Structural Integration Therapist, Joy Carey, on The Body and Belonging on March 26 & 27.
Exactly two years ago, global humanity confronted an eerily similar threat. In March 2020, a novel coronavirus of unknown origins infected clusters of communities in China and Italy. The outbreaks were limited, but it remained unknown where the virus would spread and how deadly and infectious it would be.
Two years later, the Covid pandemic is weakening after infecting 500 million and causing 6 million fatalities. Today, a new threat to human survival has surfaced, a European war fought by Russia in Ukraine. The hostilities are contained geographically, but it remains unknown whether a lasting ceasefire can be brokered or if these hostilities will spread before igniting a nuclear catastrophe.
At the beginning of the Covid pandemic we wrote,
“We are coming together as part of a larger movement that is contributing to the evolution of humanity. The collective consciousness of “Life on Earth” is calling for us to mature beyond the cycles of war, oppression and human suffering, suppression of the feminine, and environmental degradation, towards building a collective capacity to healthily digest our personal, ancestral, and collective wounds.
The enforced isolation of the pandemic creates time and space for us to gain a greater embodied awareness that everything we embrace that is beautiful exists within us. And that everything and everyone we reject and despise also finds a home in the recesses of our hearts. This means that by turning inward and healing the parts of ourselves that are hidden in shadow, we are healing the larger collective.
The gift of human life is it gives each of us a miraculous potential to heal. We are here…in these pandemic times…coming together in a spontaneously arising temporary global community to do powerful healing for ourselves, our families and ancestors, our nations and societies, and Gaia as a whole.”
Between Emily’s Empowered Empath and Sage Soul program and Dan’s Science Myth Magic & Mystery class, we have facilitated over 100 deep-workshops and 800 individual Constellations since the beginning of the pandemic. In each, we trace the inheritance of tragedies and losses lodged in the body to their original source. When those behind us, who endured and sacrificed to pass life on are felt in tangible ways as being present, they support our healing, lifeforce, and freedom.
The land of Ukraine has been torn by destructive killing nearly continuously for 1,500 years. What is unique to today is the images of the war are beamed live in real-time to the entire world. And… humanity is at the edge of the precipice; a global arsenal of 22,000 nuclear weapons threaten to incinerate all the planet’s population centers. Either we will heal the traumas that compel us to destroy life, or we fall into the abyss of extinction.
On March 9, 2022, Emily and Dan co-facilitated a large group Constellation on the historic and archetypal fractals behind the current war. This event aimed to reveal the entangled, inherited traumas that are fueling the current war and find ways to contribute to a more peaceful world in resonance with our own ancestral fields.
Bert Hellinger, the Founder of Systemic Constellations, said many times, “War is the father of all things,” and “Peace begins in the soul.” Our aim for this workshop was to cast light on how these dynamics live in each of us and how to harmonize them towards the evolution of human consciousness.
We began the Constellation with a focus client, Kateryna, whose family encapsulates both the love and the enmity that characterizes Ukrainian – Russian relations. She wrote out a statement in advance of the call which she read. In part, she said:
“My father’s Ukrainian/Belarusian ancestors were starved, put into gulags, murdered, prosecuted, and forbidden to speak their native language by Soviets, as was almost every single Ukrainian family. In 1991, my father came out to protest the Soviet Union and fought for the independence of Ukraine. In 2014, the current began when over 100 Ukrainians were shot in Kyiv‘s main square demonstrating for Ukraine’s right to be part of the European family.
My mother’s family identifies as Russian. She and her Russian side of the family are celebrating the invasion of Ukraine, as they believe in Putin’s cause.
This terrible war has been waged for centuries. It has been part of my soul since I was born. Today, as the death tolls go up every hour, both sides call the other fascists which brings up the trauma of WW2 that devastated Ukraine and Russia. I know the ghost of that war is now being brought back to life.
Ukrainians are more united and feeling a greater sense of national pride than ever before. I am hoping this outrageous and fierce fight for freedom will unite the world and save all of us from tyranny and autocracy.”
We began with a representative for the Kateryna’s intention:
“I hope for the healing of these two nations. I pray for love and compassion for the Russians in my heart in years to come. I would like to find compassion and empathy, to relate to my mother’s side of the family, to my Russian clients, to Russia.”
Next, we placed five representatives of archetypal elements to anchor the container:
- War is the Father of All Things (Heraclitus)
- Nature is the Mother of Life (Claudia von Werlhof)
- Peace Begins in the Soul (Bert Hellinger)
The moment we began to place representatives for Kateryna’s family, our Internet connection became unstable. First, our video froze, then we dropped from the call entirely. Upon returning, we had difficulty hearing the audio. With this, chaos and confusion entered and stayed for the remainder of the call. Dropping off the call at this critical moment flustered us. When our connection settled, there were two representatives for Kateryna’s mother. Later, there were two Putins. The chat room was buzzing with public and private messages. While unsettling for us as facilitators, it was fitting that the field itself was rebelling against our wishes to maintain structure and order. Naturally, we wondered who we were representing while facilitating from behind the veil of confusion.
After the initial setup was complete, the Constellation included representatives for:
- Focus Client: Kateryna
- Client’s Mother (Russian)
- Client’s Father (Ukrainian)
- Mother’s Russian Lineage
- Father’s Ukrainian Lineage
- Russian Soldiers
- Ukrainian Soldiers
- European Union
- Nuclear Weapons
- Vladimir Putin
- Volodymyr Zelenskyy
- Global Finance System
- The Flow of Information
We asked those who were named representatives to step back one, two, three generations or further. They were guided to step back in time to the fractals of war before this war. For those who were witnessing, our invitation was to be with their own families, the wars fought on battlefields, around kitchen tables, and in bedrooms. We asked them to feel the energies that need to be acknowledged and represent them while noticing how they relate with the war among our collective at this time.
The representative for the Intention reported:
“Tremendous grief. Tremendous confusion. Overwhelmed. The only place I can stand is next to Nature as the Mother of Life. Very little exists with you. Brutality exists, the brutality that’s been there for a very long time. I don’t even know how I can be present.”
War is pursued to concentrate power and wealth. In the aftermath of killing, rape and destruction, those who are dominated – the grieving mothers, grieving fathers, the maimed and traumatized soldiers, the children left behind – have their power taken away.
There were about two hundred on the call who were not assigned representations. We asked all that were watching to connect to Kateryna’s heart and the heart of her intention. We asked them to look into the eyes of the representative for her desire to feel empathy and compassion. Those witnessing were guided to drop in deeper to access a healing movement as the Field circles. We welcomed Kateryna’s representative and the representative for the intention to drum in rhythm with the pulse of the Earth and the pulse of the heartbeat of our collective humanity. Each of us has our own inner drum, our own inner rhythm, our own inner movements that beat in resonance with the Earth. Each participant was invited to move rhythmically with their own pulse.
As the witnesses felt deeply into their own connection to ancestors, spirit, Nature and celestial resources, they might access the power of consciousness to offer these representatives, Kateryna and her family.
We asked Kateryna to share what she felt.
“I’m not feeling so strongly about Russia right now, but for all of us. I am looking at all the drumming and this big collection of elements, feeling our humanity… actually feeling compassion for myself more than anything.”
Emily asked her to say to Russia:
“When I have compassion for myself, I actually feel compassion for you, for you are in me.
Когда я сострадаю себе, я на самом деле сочувствую вам, потому что вы во мне.”
And then to Ukraine:
“When I have compassion for myself, I actually feel compassion for you, for you are in me.
Коли я маю співчуття до себе, я насправді відчуваю співчуття до тебе, бо ти є в мені.”
We collected additional representative reports via email that further amplify what was present in the field of the Constellation.
A representative for The Soldiers Who Raped Women, Men, and Children, as Acts of War:
“I am so grateful to have been present in today’s constellation. Early on, I had felt I was very connected to rape. The rapes that are part of war. Of course, the sense of the rape of a land is also with me in this moment, but during the constellation, I eventually felt that I was “the soldiers who raped women, men, and children, as acts of war.”
I, myself, have a history of rape by Russian soldiers in my own family history. I have a clear image from my mother’s line in Finland, where Finland was being fought over in many Russo-Swedish wars over many centuries. A woman in my line of women was raped as a girl and in my life, I have always identified as the victim.
So today, to represent the “perpetrator soldiers,” I had a great attachment with perpetrator energy. I was terrified when you asked me to look at compassion and be as big as I could be. It was a turning point. Finally, compassion was looking also at me, not just the victims of rape.
I felt self-compassion as I noticed the many of us who had been conscripted into armies whose orders were to rape. I felt like no one had ever looked at us soldiers with compassion before. I always was able to hold the aggression of rape, but never had felt the softness of compassion. This was a vital piece of what else was also present. I felt as though we were all in some way victims, be it of circumstance, expectation, orders, loyalties, revenge, or whatever took us into this dynamic. I sense a certain shame could be unveiled. This gave a huge possibility for light to enter the space.
For me, personally, I have a weight lifted from me. This burden of always having compassion for the rape victims has opened into a personal compassion for all who raped those in my own family line. I feel as though that part of my system has opened to seeing more and further. For this, I am personally grateful.
I have already noticed references to the rapes committed now in Ukraine. This warfare of rape is rarely spoken of except in whispers. My deepest gratitude to you both for creating the huge space for this work today. It was a wonderful experience.”
The representative for Kateryna:
“The representation was a tough one. Representing Kateryna I could really feel on the deepest level of my soul and in every cell of my body my Ukrainian and my Russian part, literally being in war against each other, tearing me apart. Not being able to distinguish who is victim and who is a perpetrator.
Saturn/time seemed like my only resource, holding the hope that something will/might heal and change in the future. Going back in time just confirmed what I already knew and held in my soul anyway.
All the technical issues, and the various questions from other representatives and the, what it felt to me, numerous messages in the chat were all part of the field – it felt like the hundreds of channels and platforms reporting about the war which are driving me crazy.
I lost sight of my intention and had to consciously decide to reconnect. At the end, all I wanted was to be between my intention and Saturn.
After the constellation, a wave of fury came over me. I was furious holding the question “That was it?” – we all gathered, and all this effort for this? I felt Kateryna’s desperate rage. Why did we all even meet? I felt like we “missed the chance” to go to the core and try everything in our power to cause change.
Why not put Putin in the middle of our constellation and making him connect to his ancestors, their trauma, and their grief. Why not make everyone in the circle drum and call in all their spirits to get him to feel, to get his soul moved?”
The representative for Kateryna’s Mother
“I felt very angry and irritable. Overheated, yet also very detached. Two things mattered to me – that I was acknowledged and respected as Kateryna’s mother and that she be my Russian daughter. Putin irritated me. It was audacious but unsurprising that he showed up as two people – two-faced, silly little weak man who cannot even show himself fully.
I loved hearing from Russia though, she mattered. I wanted others to look fondly on her like I did.
When we stepped back, I was straight in WW2 and instantly freezing. It felt barren, terrifying. There was snow, we were outside, starving, stone cold, bewildered. I was heartbroken, terrified, confused, barren. Suddenly I could connect to my maternal lineage – where previously there was nothing, now we were united in our shared experience.
I realized my hardness in this life is a way to separate myself from the pain of feeling all this dark history – it’s too much, too traumatic, I cannot function when in contact with it, so I do not look.”
The Representative for War is the Father of All Things.
“I loved the chaos at the beginning. I just loved it. I loved all the people getting in the mess. Emily and Dan disappearing. The representatives fighting with each other and claiming names, all of this is brilliant, all that confusion. I was highly energized and couldn’t stop moving. But when you said to go back, I went back to World War Two and I was peaceful. Nature is the Mother of Life, I felt a real connection to her the whole time.”
The Representative for Ukrainian Soldiers.
“I had a burning sense of noble injustice coursing through my body. This isn’t my choice. I’m doing this because I must. I am fighting for my land and my people. When Putin’s name is mentioned, I feel physically sick. When the EU and corporations speak, I start screaming like a neglected child – “Where the fuck are you? Why aren’t you here to help?’ How can you leave me like this?” I feel powerless and betrayed. But I’m defiant and I’m channeling my fury, my righteous anger into my weapon and resolve to fight.
When we stepped back, I felt pulled very strongly to WW2, I started to weep, because I found myself fighting alongside my Russian brothers. The stark truth of that filled me with grief and love. It relaxed my anger and replaced it with a sense of brotherhood.
Further back – I felt pulled, really pulled back, to the land, to a really strong sense that my origins are Mother Nature, the source of all life, and War, the Father of All – I know that I am their love child. I wanted to sink my hands into the earth, the land that is my home. I am from it, and of it. I love it so deeply and I will fight to protect it, because it is the source of life and love and flow for me.
I couldn’t stay in the past. I found myself back to the present – I have no choice but to fight. I must fight. And then flooded once more at the anger and betrayal of it all. I am a noble warrior, fighting a war I don’t want. I feel like a child abandoned by my mother and father, but I am fighting for them anyway, because what else can I do?”
The representative for Russia:
“I felt tremendous pumping of my heart and almost fainted. I needed to see the eyes of Putin. I’ve felt tremendously betrayed by him. He’s avoiding looking into my eyes. As the Russian nation throughout history, I have never been seen and recognized for who I really am, for my soul, for my heart, for my love.”
The Representative for Peace Begins in the Soul
“I felt physical pain, throughout my body; pain in my legs and hips as if I could not move forward, entombed, buried alive. It was very uncomfortable. I thought I may have been in the wrong representation, but I believe I was just absorbing the greater field.
As representatives began to report, to be seen and acknowledged, the pain began to subside somewhat. As we went back, I saw the shifting borders of Eastern Europe over time due to war, back and forth, back and forth, one lifetime a Russian, the next a Ukrainian, and back again. It looked like tumultuous waves on the ocean. I felt the draw of the ocean, the comfort of the ocean, the Soul. Whose grievance? Mine? Which me, what role, what nationality? I just want to be happy. I just want peace. My nervous system requires it. “I” want this for all.
Peace has been entombed. So much has not been seen. With the acknowledgement of the grief and suffering, and more, Peace and Soulful life have a chance.”
The representative for Grieving Mothers
“The depth of pain, loss and trauma was almost unbearable. I was in shock and had to “not feel.” As we dropped in deeper, I kept my speaker on mute because I could not let everyone hear the screams. My voice was gone, my tears were spent, my husbands, fathers, brothers, sons and daughters were gone. The ones who came home were traumatized, broken, and changed.
We were what was left. Old people and women with fatherless children. As I traveled back in time, I saw our mud houses with thatched roofs, our crops in the fields. The invaders came, burned our homes and our fields, murdered the men, and raped the women. This cycle of war has gone on for centuries.
The drumming began calling us back to find the healing movement. I saw a grieving Ukrainian mother reach across and take the hand of a grieving Russian mother. One after another joined hands. We became a wall of women with their children, grandparents, soldiers (alive and dead). Saying “In Our Pain and Compassion We are One.”
The representative for Nuclear Weapons:
“I was aware of all those brilliant minds that were invested in creating me and conscious of the waste. Those brilliant minds could have been so much better utilized. I felt anger at War is the Father of All Things. When we went back, I went to Germany, the beginnings of the effort to create nuclear weapons. Again, that motivation war behind it all. As war was speaking, I felt the ultimate concentration of power that is the fruit of war.”
The representative for Compassion:
When I was drumming, I was drumming as a Jew, a descendent of Holocaust survivors, who grew up in the Ukraine.
The representative for the Ones Who Are Left Behind:
I felt immense pain in my heart, as if my heart was bleeding. Immense anger. I was so angry that no one was seeing the big picture. Whatever I was representing was being excluded.
I was with the little girls and boys, the young women and men who were left behind. Not left behind as in people deserted them. Not left behind as in war took their parents, ancestors, land whatever. They are left behind after the war. They are the young ones who stand looking at the ruins, left behind from those wars with the scars in their hearts. They are the ones who grow up to form new generations and eventually us. They were not victims, not survivors. They were the ones who found it in themselves to carry on so you, me, everyone else can be born and help expand humanity. And to me that is love!
We are so grateful to all that participated and shared in the experience. Due to the technical difficulties, we have decided we will not be sharing the recording of this call; however, we are thrilled to announce that Antonia Steßl, a colleague and student of ours, is offering an event this Sunday called “Contributing to Change in the Ukraine and Russia.” This event will offer shamanic ritual and collective constellations.
The next round of the Science, Myth, Magic, and Mystery class begins April 25 & 26. There will be 2 sections, gathering on Mondays or Tuesdays from 12-2:30 pm New York time.
The Science, Myth, Magic & Mystery class offers a phenomenological and experiential map of where we came from, how we got here and what pathways lead us forward into a new evolutionary way. When you were taught that “myth” is a false story, “magic” is conjured illusion and “mind” is what your brain makes, you were indoctrinated into the worldview designed to stifle self-expression and spiritual awareness.
This experience is designed to support your own contribution to the evolution of human consciousness. The class is offered in two parts: group Zoom video gatherings and a private session. In the private session, you and Dan will set up your personal Constellations to identify and release hidden entanglements and free up forward movement towards any big life intention or desired outcome. On the group calls, we will all come together to learn about human life on the mythological, historical and cultural levels. These classes will feature collective Constellations where the field will be our teacher.
The Body and Belonging:
A Systemic Constellations and Structural Integration Workshop
March 26-27, 2022
Emily Blefeld & Joy Carey are offering a unique experience where Systemic Family Constellations and Structural Integration meet in the field of your ancestors and the movement of your form. How we hold ourselves often originates from how we relate within our family dynamics. Did we grow up tense and not feeling free? Our structure shows that in its own unique way. Did we have to hurry to keep up with our older siblings? Our structure shows that, perhaps by leaning forward with our upper body and hoping our legs catch up with us when we walk. Did we feel safe, heard, and have all our basic needs met? Our body reflects this as well, in our freedom of movement and expansion of breath.
In this experiential workshop, you are invited to explore what is going on for your body, mind, and heart through dialogue, movement, systemic constellations, and bodywork. You will reveal implicit agreements, release the bonds of loyalty, and find the solid ground where belonging and authenticity can balance.