What is the Sacred Marriage?
In spiritual teachings from all over the world, we see the same story of creation being played out in a myriad of forms. In many traditions, we call this the Sacred Marriage.
While all very different, the mystical creation myths all have this same dynamic of the Sacred Marriage at their heart – the interplay between the sacred masculine and the sacred feminine as an essential process that brings about everything else in existence.
These teachings come from almost all spiritual traditions, from the Yin/Yang in Taoism, to the Yanantin/Masintin teachings in Andean mysticism, to Shiva and Shakti in Tantric traditions.
Even in those traditions that we’re accustomed to seeing as purely masculine, we find powerful teachings about the sacred feminine and her role in the process of creation, such as Shekinah in Judaism and the Holy Spirit in Christianity.
These teachings all tell us how the world is brought about through the dance of these two sacred principles; that through their marriage – their union – life is created.
The Birds and the Bees
This is an easy teaching to accept, seeing as we see it in action almost every day of our lives. We watch male and female animals create babies, we watch male and female flowers create seeds and we see the (masculine) sun and the (feminine) earth interact to create fertility and life all around us.
But there’s more…
These overt expressions of the Sacred Marriage are easy to take at face value. It seems so simple: masculine = male and feminine = female.
And this simplistic understanding can then easily translate into the way that we see the world around us – into doctrines about the way males and females should relate to each other, or the way men should relate to other men, or women to women.
These doctrines then shape our whole approach to relationships and community, becoming more and more rigid as they get further from the spiritual truth they were originally based upon.
Not out there, but in here.
Because the reality is that teachings about the Sacred marriage, and about the relationship between the sacred masculine and the sacred feminine, have nothing to do with gender or biological sex.
While observing the more overt signs of this essential relationship in the natural world it can be so easy to mistake those outward expressions as the whole teaching, and to understand that teaching literally rather than mythically.
But these teachings are based upon a deeper, more mystical experience than that of the physical world. They can explain the process of procreation, but they also go much, much further than that – teaching us about the relationship between our own masculine and feminine natures within us, and about the power that lies within this relationship.
The Sacred Marriage is about our dual natures as both physical and spiritual beings, and the opportunity this gives us to grow and explore existence from a new perspective. It is about the interplay between our creative and destructive sides, and how that allows us to heal and let go of the past and then create something new for ourselves.
It is about our ability to be passive and active in life – sometimes letting life come to us, and other times going out and getting what we want – and how dancing between these gives us the perseverance to go the distance.
It is about the tension within us between our visions for life and the world, and our need to focus on the moment, and how incredible this tension makes us at dreaming and changing the world without burning out or losing perspective.
And it is about our physical partnership with another soul, and how all of these tensions, interactions and dances will take place within that outer marriage as well as our own inner marriage. It is about how we can see our partners as spiritual beings, always changing, growing and full of paradox just like us.
And it is through these powerful paradoxes that we keep moving in life, swinging between all of our contradictory states, holding the tension of both and practising harmony. The Sacred Marriage within and between us is what allows us to grow, change, dream and create ourselves over and over.
In the real world.
Practically, this means that we can start to shift our understanding of every area where masculine/feminine principles have become confused with male/female labels, and become freer & more creative both personally and communally.
Once we can experience ourselves as containing both masculine and feminine energies, no matter our gender, that we begin to realise that this teaching is about more than just sex and physical creation, and that it touches every area of our lives.
If you hold the masculine as well as the feminine, then you have access to all of the roles, the maps and all of the power that the masculine contains, as well as the feminine ones. You can be a warrior, a king or a father, as well as a mother, a priestess and a crone.
You no longer have to be defined by your sex, and the roles that are culturally associated by it, because you’re aware of your greater nature as a soul that is both – and that gives you freedom.
And you can be freer in the way that you see others as well – no longer defining social relationships by sexual or biological labels that aren’t congruent with the deepest nature of things.
Which allows room for a lot more creation and growth in the world, because that Sacred Marriage becomes more and more free to express in all of it’s forms, rather that just those that match our cultural maps for it.
How does the Sacred Masculine express within me? What about the Sacred Feminine?
How comfortable am I with looking for the masculine or feminine within me? How does seeing myself as a soul that is both masculine and feminine change my approach to life?
What’s happening for me right now that might benefit from the medicine that the masculine holds? What about feminine medicine?
Remember – the Sacred Marriage isn’t about the cultural expectations or social roles that we’ve come to associate with being female or male.
The Sacred Masculine isn’t necessarily strong or courageous or fierce. And the Sacred Feminine isn’t necessarily soft or nurturing or empathetic. These two principles are fundamental expressions of Spirit, far beyond definition as one thing or another.
Come to them with an open mind and you’ll be surprised at how deeply they live within you, and everyone else.
Luitha K Tamaya is a contemporary shaman and spiritual teacher who has been working with her guides for over 15 years, and is the author of The Way of Change.
You can find her online at Luitha K Tamaya, on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, and can email her at email@example.com.