Marriage is not a ritual or an end.
It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner—Amy Bloom.
Fairy Tale Weddings are compelling in their sentimental perfection. The flowers, cake, months of meticulous preparation. The dress, tiara, spray-on tan, flowers in the button holes.
In our desire for the perfect wedding we so often find the golden apple of Discord. The Trickster appears to knock the bouquet off the altar of tradition. The fainting bride, the glitch in the sound system, little page boy who squeals just as the vows are pronounced. A flaw in the perfection of the meticulously planned occasion that brings laughter, and that may be the prelude of a profound agitation of two entwined souls. Like actors on a stage, bride and groom, play out the old scripts of the marriages before them. In their own lives, or in the matrix of their family history.
The compelling mystery of Marriage is that it can flay and brand, or softly kiss our soul. It is through our sentimentality, our innocence, our insistence in the “happily ever after” and the romantic dream of the marriage made in heaven, that we meet the dark challenges that a soul-ful union. It’s through the difficulties, often the sojourns in hell, that we refine the prima materia, the raw stuff of life, and experience the phases of Love in all their complexity.
As the days of May unfurl like bright-coloured scarves tossed by the wind, Mercury guides us across the threshold of change and the ritual of Marriage. Mercury is associated with the Trickster and the Magician archetype, and is the patron of youth, of new possibilities, new perceptions, offering us the gift of ingenuity and intellect.
Mercury has been riding tandem with Uranus for the past few days, a high-voltage energy, so perfectly typified by the spectacle of this year’s Eurovision song contest, and the win by Israel’s Netta Barzilai who celebrated diversity in her confident delivery. Mercury changes sign this week, slipping into Taurus on May 14th. Taurus embodies an earthly, sensual, resourceful energy, and as Mercury changes into the richly sensual clothing of Venus-ruled Taurus, this ingress signifies a phase of cerebral creativity for us all on some level.
The Taurus New Moon on May 15th heralds a threshold crossing, corresponding with Uranus’ ingress, the start of a new seven-year cycle, as Uranus penetrates the calm solidity of Taurus. Uranus, associated with upheaval, with sudden change that uproots the past, shatters the status quo. This marks an unfolding journey for us personally, and collectively, that will initiate us into unexpected change, fresh starts, and new challenges, just as the ritual of marriage marks a turning point in our lives, an initiation into an ancient covenant.
Amidst the blush of cherry blossom and the pristine purity of white-thorn, tradition and ceremony, street parties; amidst the flags strung against blue skies in celebration of the Royal Wedding, the stage is set for a sequence of astrological aspects that herald unexpected events and an opportunity to stretch and bend with changing circumstances in our lives.
Mars, the planet associated with action, with severance, moves into Aquarius, squaring Uranus, on May 16th creating the potential for a destabilising energy that urges us to break apart, to separate from something that may have grown too stuck, too staid, too stultifying. Mercury squares the Nodal axis, symbolising a “fatedness” a sense of “destiny” that’s embedded in the ceremony and tradition that will be enacted on May 19th.
Uranus was last in the sign of Taurus between 1934 and 1941, and these next seven years will have implications for those of us with planets or angles in the late degrees of Cardinal signs and the early degrees of fixed signs. Meghan Markle (North Node, Mercury and Sun in early degrees Leo) and her popular Prince (Pluto at 00 degrees Scorpio and Moon in Taurus) will not be exempt. Uranus energy feels like an electric current that sizzles uncomfortably and the more we resist the more we may feel we are being electrocuted. As new revelations compel us to marry the polarities in our lives, or cast away the old, and bravely say, “I do”, the symbolism of the Royal Wedding on May 19th invites us all to look beneath the spectacle, to notice the signs and the symbols, to be curious about the road ahead.
For some, there’s something reassuring about ceremony, securely tied like bright bunting, to poles of upright tradition. For a few hours of revelry and wonder, the strains of struggle and uncertainty will be soothed by splendour and spectacle. Even though our lives may continue to continue, we may feel a little differently, a little changed, perhaps, more open, more perceptive and curious about the world we see. On a metaphysical level, the ritual of Marriage is sacred. It’s a rite of passage, through which we metamorphose into a deeper, more soulful self. It’s an alchemical process though which we have the opportunity to integrate the masculine and the feminine within. Soon, we may discover that he or she is not the god/goddess we believed they were. Soon we may discover we cannot depend on our partner to make us whole, to love us forever and ever. Author Mignon McLaughlin observes, “a successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”
In the unfolding of our love, we may discover that marriage is a threshold into a mansion of self-discovery. A home-renovation project that takes us to the foundations of our past. And as we witness this Royal Wedding, something ancient within us all will unfurl like bright bunting, as we raise our glasses to Hope.
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