Wedding for One

Saying ‘I Do’ to You

Summer is “wedding season,” but why feel left out when you can simply marry yourself? That probably sounds like something a narcissistic celebrity would say, but we in the spirit world know that even the most trivial notions reveal deep cosmic secrets.

The inner union between soul and spirit is an idea found in many of the world’s traditions, including high magic, Hinduism and Native American mythologies. In Greek it is known as the hieros gamos, or sacred marriage, and forms the chief aim of alchemy, whose magnum opus is the conjunction of opposites symbolized by the sun and moon. Countless woodcuts from the Medieval and Renaissance periods depict a disturbing but fascinating mystical-erotic union of king and queen, who are royal because this path is trod by the few, and brother and sister because they share the same Father.

If you suffer from frustrating inner conflict, then you probably need to officiate over an inner marriage. The hieros gamos bequeaths a four-dimensional consciousness that transcends the masculine-feminine binary, with one reborn as the Hermetic hermaphrodite, child of Hermes and Aphrodite. As one alchemical text puts it, “I lost myself, I found myself, I mated with myself, I gave birth to myself, I am myself.”

Jungian psychology refers to the process of integrating opposite-sex characteristics as individuation, with the result that ones becomes a Self with a capital S. Spiritual seekers might call the process a return to the Primordial State of the original spiritual blueprint of Man—as in mankind—an androgynous being called in Gnosticism the Anthropos.

It was only after the descent into material form, or because of a “fall” from the spiritual Garden of Eden, that the sexes were divided into two, for purposes of reproduction. The quest for inner wholeness thus marks the journey back to the original state, and preparation for the real marriage, which is the soul’s brideship with its creator upon the completion of its earthly life. 

It requires a long and arduous courtship to wed one’s mind-spirit-consciousness solar side with one’s feeling-intuitive-unconscious lunar side. It is also fraught with danger, as the ego feels deeply threatened and destabilized by the injection of opposite-gender content into consciousness with the goal of assimilating it. Not afraid? In the words of a big-eared little green sage, “You will be.”

But, if you succeed, you will be able to echo the words of Oscar Wilde, who famously quipped, “Love of oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

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