Marriage is the essence of human relationships. It challenges us to be of one accord without abandoning the truth of our individuality. It challenges us to not lose ourselves in one another, but rather to walk side by side heading in the same direction.
As with all relationships, marriage is an endless presentation of choices about how we want to be with one another. Each choice results in either more unity or more separation. Chose into that unity every chance you get.
Sacrifice your judgments, expectations, and any other ways that you have learned to separate yourselves from each other.
Share the gifts of your friendship, humor, vulnerability, sensitivity, and kindness. Be sure to find ways each day to protect, affirm, and support each other, and to treasure the balance and shared values that you have found with each other.
Enjoy the intertwining of your independence with your intimacy. I wish you the courage to keep your loving hearts open to each other for the rest of your lives. -The Wedding Ceremony Planner by Judith Johnson
Over the past two years, I’ve officiated two marriages. One, for my sister, the other for a soul sister. It was an honor to be asked to play High Priestess, and even though I didn’t ask the first time, when my girlfriend announced her engagement, I volunteered. Turns out I enjoy presiding over ceremonies (with Vesta, Goddess of Contracts, conjunct my Midheaven Venus — I should have known). The ceremony writing aspect always causes me to reflect on my own marriage and vows. I recall my husband’s (a Sun in Leo, with a Jupiterian nature) which said that, together, we’d blow through the ceiling of happiness. He has kept his vow.
Our vows were whimsical, hopeful, beautiful. All sacred romances start out that way. High on endorphins and possibility, we’re excited to have someone attractive and fun and sexy to hang out with for every night for the rest of our life. With the right person, it stays that way. Over time, we realize that the growing doesn’t end. After the laborious process of becoming and then finding the right person we want to spend our life with, the growing pains of true love require a whole new skill set. Skills like, negotiation and compromise. We negotiate everything- finances, sex, dreams for the future, shared time versus alone time, household chores. And when not to compromise, as when a sustained backbend balanced on one hand will land us in the chiropractors office or a therapists sofa. Others: taking responsibility for our choices. Learning to forgive, say “I’m sorry”, and then…to never bring it up again. How to fight fair. We learn through dumbly fumbling along. Like eager puppies who appear big and fierce and knock the wind out of us with their greeting, we often don’t know the full extent of our power- unnecessarily hurting each other and our self.
If life is a classroom, relationship is that perfect teacher, helping us to be spiritual grown ups (or grown downs, depending). Like the sign Libra, one of the first things we learn about the laws of relationship, and to be able to hold ambiguity, often for long periods of time. Learning to hold ambiguity is the art of not choosing one side or the other during a disagreement or different set of values, and we do this in order to live with those we love -who are different from us, but elementally the same. Because we are in this sacred dance of partnership, it takes time, patience, dedication to figure out this balance. We learn how to be of one accord -and- to not abandon the truth of our individuality, but we usually abandon it a few times, first. We learn about the power of choice – to move us closer together or further apart, often by making choices that tear at ‘Us’. We learn our experience of relationship experience is always our choice, but not before naively believing that our happiness rests in another’s hands.
Committed relationship, the one we all want to be in, takes a certain amount of psychological self-awareness on both parts, and an ability to grow separately, while not growing apart. When we enter a relationship, we enter into a relationship with everything about them- their karma, regrets, strengths, wounds, dreams, hopes, their secret desires for us, and even their ancestral & family ghosts, ghosts of the past. They marry the same in us, and that’s both the bad news and the good news, good because we can receive healing, support and love in the areas that only can be healed by someone who loves us that deeply; bad because if they are not cut out for that job, we will continue to ask for it and be disappointed, unhappy or even re-wounded. We also enter into a relationship with time, and time changes people. People change, we all change, and we respond differently. For some, when times get hard, growth forges new flexibility of character and previously undiscovered reservoirs of strength, while others cling more resolutely to their already difficult character tendencies. If we change in new ways, hopefully we honor the others’ need for it–while not being threatened by it. Commitment brings up everything. It’s a wonder ‘We’ survive; it’s no wonder that some don’t.
Every new moon is a conjunction of the sun and moon, analogous to the union of the masculine and feminine; Libra is instructive on the art of balance. How are your relationships faring? To astrologically work with relationship issues, look to your Seventh & Eighth House planes. Planets in the Seventh House speak to our resources in partnership, what we have to offer others -and what we must receive in kind in order to truly trust them. If we have Moon in the Seventh House we offer a particular kind of loving, nurturing, sensitive, caring and tender; if we do not receive this, we’ll be unhappy. A Seventh House planet is 50/50, and it’s character describes what you need to trust, or take confidence in, another. Planets in the Eighth House describe qualities of our mate-for-life by describing the part of our self that has been wounded by intimacy in the past, and require healing through our intimates. Mars here has sustained a wound to sexual passion & honesty, which an honest, sexually non-shaming partner will help heal. Transits to these intimate planets, Venus, Moon or relationship points offer more insight. Saturn, planet of dedication & commitment, remains in Libra (2009-2012): Are you able and willing to dedicate your self, do what it takes, to make your relationship(s) work? Uranus & Pluto’s diabolical position to this new moon bring us face to face with the obstacles in our partnerships, and those areas of our life that need to be reinvented, transformed, or eliminated altogether. Let’s honor that the transformation-wielding power of Pluto is usually psychological; an honest talk or a journal session can bring about the ‘elimination’ we need. The fact remains, as the New Moon and accompanying planets touch our birth chart(s), we’ve each reached respective points of sober truth, reality-facing about our relationships, choices and life paths.
Relationships are not easy, and they especially haven’t been since Saturn entered Libra. If a relationship is broken beyond repair, we may decide to leave. But if hope springs eternal, hope’s favorite place to spring eternal is in love, so we must also remember we can love again. Love is forgiving that way. At this new moon, maybe we’re no longer the blushing bride on her wedding day; we’ve been weathered by time, stripped of our illusions, having faced the challenges these past two years introduced. This new moon will help us understand what holds us back from happiness, and points the way to radical elimination and change. By so doing we take a tentative step forward, get one promise, dedication, vow or aspiration closer to the sacred conjunctio*.
*In the mystical tradition of alchemy, conjunctio, sacred union of the sun and moon, is magical, transformative, individuating. As a psychological process, conjunctio asks us to bring foreign or disowned parts of our self into awareness – so we can become more whole, authentic, available to our self and others.