A question: what is sacred marriage? Is it done between two different people, or within oneself?
I am a firm believer in “as above so below.” Time and again do I see the principle in operation With the sacred marriage it is no different. The sacred Marriage is known in alchemical terms as Hieros Gamos. It basically means the union of all opposites as symbolised by the conjunction of the archetypal masculine and feminine in the ‘alchemical marriage’, the hieros gamos. In alchemy it results in the grand climax, the achievement of the goal – the lapis philosophorum, the hermaphrodite embodying the united King and Queen. This union engenders the birth of something new, the ‘Rebis’, this ‘divine birth’ symbolising a re-awakening, a new consciousness.
The Hieros Gamos can transpire on all levels, as well as between a man and a woman who consciously enters into a union, to engender “something new.” As in alchemy both has to go through a process of purification first.
To give you further insight into the sacred marriage; in Christian Gnostic traditions the Holy Eucharist is also called the “Wedding Feast,” for the union of the Bridegroom and Bride is celebrated in it. The Bridegroom conveys the wine and the Bride conveys the bread. The “remembrance” alludes to what is conceived through the mystical union of the two opposites. It also relates to what in the Kabbalah is called the ruhaniyut and the sheaf. The ruhaniyut is like the soul of the tree and the sheaf is like the sap of the tree. Both the soul and the sap of the tree are called the life of the tree. Essentially, they are two manifestations of the same thing; the life-power of the tree. Like the masculine and feminine appears to be separate on the lower levels, at higher levels they are one. The remembrance is of the unity. So you can see how the sexual union of the male and female could also become a talismanic representation of the union of opposites.
As above, so below; In the Sophian Gnostic view, the Holy Eucharist is not isolated to the wedding feast, but extends to all of our living, and even food. When we eat and drink, we are eating and drinking the body of the earthly Mother and her children and the Heavenly Father who is the one life-power within and behind the whole of creation. The wedding feast is in remembrance of the unity of all. Everything that we consider to be separate from ourselves can be united within ourselves – in the Bridal Chamber. When we live life mindful of the innate unity of all, we are enacting the sacred marriage. Through conscious living our bodies can serve as the hermetic vessel of transformation. Perhaps in light of this, the following quote from an African oral tradition will cast light on the real purpose of humanity.
Beings were first mineral,
and finally animal.
This hybrid being unifies the three kingdoms.
It is crowned by man.
He signifies unity.