THEOGAMY – Divine Relating
The problem with words is that they both liberate and imprison in what T S Eliot has called the constant ‘raid on the inarticulate’. When we finally ‘name’ something that has been intangible to us we bring it into manifestation – we coalesce an energy being into form. Then the process of liberation begins - because all meaningful energies – like Love and God and Ecstacy - will never be defined or contained in any concept or word, only pointed towards.
So we want to point towards a new paradigm for authentic relating that supports a fresh and deep tasting of the realities that both transcend and include the forms and words they inhabit.
This naming of this process has evolved directly out of the experience of journeying deeply in a personal/transpersonal relationship together. It is a realised expression of a lived and embodied teaching rather than a theoretical paradigm. In fact the understanding has come as a result of the intensity of the experience rather than the other way around.
We got married at what we might call the second phase of relating. In the first phase there is often the identification of each partner with one side of a duality – masculine/feminine for example. We had both already been married before and had families. Our interest in coming into union was to bring into equality and then integrate the spiritual and sexual polarities as well as the masculine and feminine polarities between us and in each of us. In other words we were expressly and intentionally creating our relationship as a container for transformation. For the first five years we decided on a monogamous relationship as a way of getting to know each other deeply and developing the trust and shared experience that would ground our later work. Then we began to open into relating with others knowing that where we ultimately wanted to get to was the goal of two independent whole free beings celebrating each others journeys and yet deeply united by love. We also knew that getting from where we actually were to where we wanted to get to was a wild ocean that would need a solid relation-ship to cross it.
This journey is where the second phase of relating deepened. We learned how to live as a ‘foursome’ where, for there to be harmony, we had to fully acknowledge the masculine and feminine halves of each of us while at the same time acknowledging the unique challenges and differences that come with being in a male or a female body. Engaging others consciously was a way for everyone to grow and develop their inner marriage. Engaging others unconsciously from wounding was a way of working through pain and awakening dormant parts of us. The goal in this phase of the relationship was to consummate the marriage between masculine and feminine in each of us and give birth to what might be called the ‘authentic self’ – the divine child that fully experiences itself as the loving result of the union of the primary pair of polarities in cosmos. Prior to this consummation most relating contained an element of projection – the masculine in one of us relating to the feminine in another and so forth. Authentic relating can only begin when there is an authentic self to relate so this is the beginning of the third phase and the end of the previous relation ‘ship’. Now the sacred container of relating is not held together by shared agreements , intentions or communication. It simply IS and real love is the joining element rather than something generated out of the interaction. We do not ‘make’ love from our union but our union is the direct result of the realization of love.
At this point we started to struggle with finding a conceptual frame work for our relating. We weren’t monogamous although we loved the monogamous essence of our relating – the beauty and purity of mining so deeply and opening so fully to one other that the essential divinity shone through. We weren’t polyamorous in the sense that we identified with the lifestyle of having many lovers and yet we loved the polyamourous essence of being able to authentically connect with the core of others in such a way that more pieces emerged to be loved for all of us. We definitely weren’t celibate and yet there was a celibate essence in our relating that we loved – each being ‘guardians of the other’s solitude’ as Rilke put it. The recognition that the primary marriage was going on inside each person and god/goddess.
So what were we? Naming the experience is helpful in talking about it – to ourselves and others. One day it dawned on us – the key factor that linked all our relating was wanting it to be loving and connected with our divinity and virility – sacred, authentic, essential. The real relating was with god/goddess. The hieros gamos is an ancient rite at the heart of the temple mysteries where the two primary polarities – masculine and feminine come together in the ceremony of sacred union. Sometimes one of the pair is divine and the other human – the great goddess or god unites with a consort and sometimes it is a marriage between equals but always the union is restorative and generative.
The greek word for this type of union is Theogamy meaning the marriage with or between gods. Our relationship had arrived at its destination. Union and identification with god. It seemed we were practising theogamists. Now the only options for us were union with god/goddess or union ‘as’ god/goddess. When we were alone, when we were together, when we were with others – the same union between the two divine principles. Sometimes one would be god and the other goddess. Sometimes one would be human and the other divine. Sometimes many aspects of the god/goddess would play together. One thing that we know through our practise - theogamy is an accelerated path for the deep fusion not only of the masculine and feminine principles but also of our divinity and animality so that we can begin to feel what it is to be truly integrated as human beings