This summer solstice (for us in the northern hemisphere), is an especially powerful time for transformation, as it is followed within hours by an annular eclipse and then the new moon.
Here, we will be celebrating Medusa’s Wedding. This is my shorthand reference to the alchemical ritual of bringing the death and regenerative powers of the Divine Feminine, represented by the dark moon, out of the shadows and into the heart of the Divine Masculine, represented by the sun. The annular eclipse, although not be visible from our location, will create a ring of fire effect around the moon. The symbolism is beautiful; the shadow of the dark moon and all that you dare not look at, dissolved in the embrace of the sun and then reborn as a new moon.
The alchemical marriage, is about the merging of opposing perspectives to create something new. In the coded language of alchemy, this is presented as the marriage of the Red King and the White Queen, or the sun and the moon. The outcome of the union is the luminous child – a new you. In Jungian psychology the sacred marriage, the conjunctio, is taken to describe the integration of opposites within the psyche that often cause inner conflict, but are also drivers of individuation or self-actualization. It describes the continuous process of creation and expansion of consciousness and the universe, but at particular times in the year it can be very helpful to slow this process down in the form of a ritual act.
A ritual act is a form of play – it does not have to be intense or serious whatever the subject matter, in fact, the more light-hearted you are, the better. You do not have to believe in anything nor have any special knowledge. It is a very simple and effective way of changing a Pavlovian response and opening your mind to new possibilities. In other words, setting yourself free.
The alchemical marriage can involve the union of any opposites, polarities, paradoxes or conflicts, provided that they are personally meaningful. We are working on personal conflicts at this Summer Solstice, because these tend to be the most paralyzing in our daily lives and this paralysis is what we project into the world at large (following the Medusa theme.) The conflict you work with here has to be personal, something or some one that keeps you stuck or triggered, damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
This ritual is for the dissolution of conflict. This does not mean that the conflict is resolved, in the sense that a desired outcome has been reached. It means that you are no longer paralyzed by the conflict, so you can see what you need to do and have the power to act. When you dissolve a conflict within yourself, you dissolve it for everyone with whom you are connected, even if you don’t know them. The dissolution of the conflict allows energy and power (Shakti) to flow freely.
For the ritual you need to decide on the conflict and get very clear on what the two opposing issues are. Then you make a model, or representation of the conflict. For example, if your conflict is over money – you hate it, but need it – then you could find a photo of yourself, roll it up and wrap it in a bank note. This is a very basic example, because the more effort and creativity you put into making the model, the more it brings you into connection with the two sides of the conflict, the more effective the dissolution will be. You are not going to impress anyone else with it, it’s entirely and selfishly personal to you.
On or around the time of the Solstice where you are, you burn it to ash. Watching something that is meaningful to you burn with the intention of dissolving its connection to you, works on the subconscious mind. It does not mean that the things/people/events are destroyed, just that they no longer have an emotional hold on you. You remove the stress or resistance in the situation so energy can flow and new solutions arise that you could not have imagined before. This is sympathetic magic.
What is the result? Generally, you will find a new perspective on the issue, more clarity and the elimination of doubt and confusion and when you act, the matter is easily resolved in your favour.
Joseph Chilton Pearce calls this inner state ‘unconflicted behaviour’ and describes a situation in which he scaled a dangerous vertical cliff because he was challenged by a friend, despite having vertig
“In retrospect I realized that my wild, near hysterical elation [after climbing the cliff] was somehow connected to my acceptance of death in those moments, of taking death into myself so to speak, so I could in some manner go beyond it.
Following this incident, my next discovery was that an unconflicted person has dominion over a divided person. Such dominion highlights the difference between the two types of behaviour. As an unconflicted person, I was immune to danger or disaster during any unfolding event as long as I remembered to let the force of this behaviour take over and avoid the knee-jerk reflex of fear and doubt. Miraculous or impossible events could unfold once I abandoned all hope and turned over matters to this peculiar force of will.”Joseph Chilton Pearce, The Biology of Transcendence
He is describing the alchemical marriage of Shiva and Shakti, that takes place within, whenever we have an idea and commit whole-heartedly to bringing it into being. Ritual does not make these things happen, only you do that, but it can help prepare you for those moments.
More on Medusa’s Wedding here.
And Medusa’s Wedding Part Two: WOLF-FLOW