Awakening the Sacred Marriage
As Venus and Mars approach their exact conjunction their dance becomes increasingly complex and nuanced. Together they urge us to embrace our inner masculine and feminine whilst opening our hearts ever wider to the possibility of a global awakening to the raw depths of these seemingly polarised energies. The time is now ripe for a complete re-imagining of these most fundamental aspects of our nature. Just after midnight GMT on 20th February Mars enters its own sign of Aries, followed by Venus twenty hours later. In the Martian realm Venus is traditionally seen as out of her element, forced to relinquish love in favour of selfish desire, just as Mars must relinquish control in favour of compromise when in Venus’s Libran home. But when aligned with Mars as she enters Aries, he who was once her opposite now becomes her deepest and most committed ally. Mars and Venus locked in a cosmic embrace in the first sign of the zodiac signify a reawakening of the deeper and more holistic experience of those energies we have dumbed-down into gendered stereotypes propagated the world over.
But we are no longer dumb! We are waking up to the stifling straight-jacket of socialisation which tells us that gender defines who we are and what we can expect from life. A straight-jacket born of fear and despair, distorted reflections of the sacred and a gaping psychic wound which diminishes both masculine and feminine in an attempt to impose order upon an otherwise apparently disordered world: ‘you do this and be that way, I’ll do that and be this way and then we know what to expect from each other and demand of ourselves’. The time has come, Venus and Mars announce, to release our ideas of gender in order to experience directly the truth of the forces within and around us, which animate nature, create possibility and destroy when the end is nigh.
The sacred feminine is rising. We hear this a great deal these days. She is coming into her own, seen and acknowledged after centuries of suppression, denial and destruction. Across the world women are rising up to reclaim their right to determine the terms of their own lives. This is the beginning, but only that, for to fulfil the potential of this reawakening the sacred masculine must arise alongside her, hand in hand, standing together to honour the sacred marriage which is the source of all that is. We cannot be solely masculine or feminine no matter who we are, and until we each of us embrace our inner polarities we will live a life devoid of the shaping power of opposites which seek to birth us into completion.
On 21st February Mars crosses the celestial equator into the northern hemisphere, followed by Venus the next day, with their exact conjunction occurring in between. This conjunction is the moment of fertilisation in which sacred forces arise in the collective consciousness in a powerfully creative way. This is a watershed time at which we can more clearly perceive our own personal attachments to gendered identity and view ourselves from a greater height as luminous beings vaster than the skies, containing all that swirls throughout this endless universe. In this moment, as we assess the health of the sacred marriage within, we can embrace both the sacred feminine and sacred masculine, allowing them to speak to us and through us, sharing their visions for a new world in which neither is diminished, disempowered or fractured beyond recognition; in which both are honoured as parts of the whole, defined not by gender but by the ebb and flow of life itself. In just such living of our opposites we can finally become whole unto ourselves, no longer in need of completion by another but none the less eager to share our wholeness with those to whom we are drawn in this dance called life.
We need our inner marriage steady and strong. When our inner feminine has nurtured another towards their own wholeness, our inner masculine is needed to stand firm and announce ‘time now for rest and recuperation while I guard the door!’. When our inner masculine is weary from securing our place in the world, our inner feminine needs to shape an embrace which refreshes as it lulls to sleep the forces of action and activity within us. When the sacred feminine has given birth to the new, amidst sweat and blood, pain and tears, the sacred masculine offers its unremitting strength in an embrace of protection and power. In this epitome of all creative acts we encounter the unavoidable ebb and flow of all things, once this, now that, once hard now soft, once giving now receiving, once protecting now protected.
The path to wholeness, whilst walked in a gendered life, ultimately takes us beyond all duality. In order to know ourselves as all that we are we must know deeply and in balance the sacred feminine and masculine within. We cannot be one in its fullness without the other. We cannot be woman awake without man awake within us, just as we cannot be man fully alive without woman alive inside. Within this journey we encounter our own beautiful life of motherhood or fatherhood; of feminine forces and masculine power; of brother, sister, priest and priestess. And within each role resides the sacred marriage at its heart, potentising all that we are and all that we do with its paradoxical union of opposites birthing wholeness.
Time now to consider the forces within and without which combine to create the new or maintain the old; allow ripening of potential or stifle expression and power. We are those forces. They live through us and we do their bidding. As such we carry great responsibility and deep significance for we are birthing the new world with our every thought and word, deed and omission. We are living the sacred marriage every single day and its health is reflected in the balance of our own lives: is it a dysfunctional inner marriage or a healthy one? Born of shared respect and responsibility or dictates and disempowerment? Venus and Mars remind us that the future is born in the present in an act of cosmic creation in which we must play a formative and ever-increasingly conscious role.