This year, though, we are having a number of astrological alignments that describe the sacred marriage in the collective. The most obvious of these alignments is the union of Jupiter and his consort Juno in Leo, peaking in the middle of May, a once in 12 year event. This follows on from the conjunctions of Venus and Mars, and Eros and Psyche in early March, two other congresses between archetypal couples. These, however, were mixed in with both the unpredictable Uranus and the karmic South Node - hardly smooth sailing for the longing for union and having more to do with liberation from the old than coming together.
This had me thinking how astrology reflects the journey towards the sacred marriage both within and without, that heart journey towards the beloved. One of the many beauties about astrology as a symbolic language is that it describes both inner psycho-spiritual processes and potential outer experiences. This aligns closely with the reality that the sacred marriage is essentially an inner union of the sacred masculine and sacred feminine, which may or may not be reflected in an outer relationship.
There are many actual astrological events that describe this journey. Most involve the coming together of the many archetypal couples in our charts - the Sun and Moon, Venus and Mars, Eros and Psyche, Juno and Jupiter, Pluto and Persephone, the Shiva asteroid and the Black Moon. All these unions represent the different layers of the Shiva/Shakti relationship described so powerfully in tantra. Personally, I would add Chiron and Hygeia, Saturn and Hekate and Shiva/Pluto with any of the dark goddesses as energetic partners.
When any of these couples meets, whether through the transits of all those beyond Mars or through progressions of the inner planets, some kind of unification happens within. This opens opportunities to build these into our ever-evolving selves and the possibility of having them reflected in our outer relationships.
I believe that the longing for soul union with another is inherent in all of us; it's just that it is covered over by our wounding, our unconsciousness, and our anaesthetisations. It is partially for this reason that we must work towards creating the sacred marriage within, before we can fully experience it in our relationships with others, where the urge towards conscious relationship is no different to our spiritual journey. Essentially, if you build it within, he or she will come!
And like any real spiritual work, it is not simply a journey of love and light, but one of deep personal transformation. It is a journey that involves the purification of toxins, the death of old ego structures and conditioned defences, of risking heartbreak and of sorting our soul longings from our lesser desires. Various shadows need to be removed from our hearts.
So it is simultaneously a journey down into the bowels of self and to the heavens. And when you are visited by any of these archetypal unions, reflected in our charts, both are catalysed.
This twin journey is described elegantly in the myth of Eros and Psyche. The goddess Psyche is one of the great openers to the experience of soul-to-soul connections, to the transcendent and unconditional experience of love. Even in the myth, though, Eros bolts when he gets truly seen by her, as he is too immature. This is why many people freak out when they meet someone whose Psyche is awake - it is their first glimpse of pure love. They bolt because they know intuitively that to stay would mean the transformation of every part of their lives. You need to be ready for it.
The other aspect of this preparation, one that is less talked about as it is more challenging, is the release of carried relationship conditioning, sexual trauma and rage towards the opposite sex, from not just our parents but from previous generations in our family systems. (Some would add, from our past life history and from 4000 years of patriarchal culture along with this). When Pluto, Chiron, Hygeia, Shiva and/or the dark goddesses are involved astrologically, this releasing is both activated and supported, especially if we can use a combination of primal work, purification practices and goddess meditations to get confluent with the process.
Even in the Jupiter and Juno relationship there are elements of this release. In the typically Greco Roman versions of their myth, Jupiter acts more like a randy adolescent than an embodiment of the king archetype, by constantly having sex with various human and non-human beings and avoiding being caught by his enraged wife (read mother projection), who takes her anger out on his illegitimate demi-god children. This is hardly a happy marriage; however they are incomplete without each other and their make up sex was legendary!
On another level, they are both agents of grace and benevolence, good fortune, fertility and abundance. Their coming together is cause for celebration after all the change, challenges and necessary fragmentation of old relationship styles and patterning in these last five years. They don't have the heavyweight primal power of Pluto et al but are great unifiers and act as bridges between the upper and lower realms, giving us a welcome boost in the journey towards the sacred marriage.
Juno, in particular, holds a pivotal position. She is a western form of Parvati, the Hindu goddess of the sacred marriage and consort of Shiva. Like Parvati she is a tantric goddess who seeks to create a relationship that becomes an alchemical vessel for the personal and spiritual development of both individuals, one that concentrates the sacred power or Shakti for their transformation.
And the fruits of this journey? As Sally Kempton, in her book Awakening Shakti writes, "If we are willing to make the necessary sacrifices, we can have enlightenment and intimacy together.......know our transcendent bliss-self and we can realise that bliss in passionate relationship."
Who would not want this?
Daniel will present a Sacred Marriage workshop with Andrew Harvey in Perth on June 22/23.
Daniel Sowelu (BSc Dip Ed) is a therapeutic astrologer, primal therapist and groupleader in his 35th year of private practice.