The Couple is an archetypal image of the Self that has reemerged into collective consciousness in our time. Its energy is created by your use of the metaphysical Law of Three to unite your lunar and solar twins into third-force archetypes and form a conscious relationship with the Self.
Our forebears projected the Couple archetype onto sacred couples such as Eve and Adam, Gaia and Uranus, Hera and Zeus, Ariadne and Dionysus. They are all variations on the theme of humanity’s growth into greater consciousness. We can learn a lot about our own consciousness from their stories.
We know very little about the relationship between Gaia (Earth) and Uranus (Sky/Heaven), except that Gaia arose out of Chaos and birthed Uranus. They indulged in a whole lot of instinctual copulation, after which Gaia created the universe, and then a bunch of people and creatures. Eve and Adam enjoyed innocent, instinctual lives too, until Eve disobeyed her God-image because she wanted to be more conscious. She persuaded Adam to do the same, and Adam blamed her for tempting him instead of assuming responsibility for his own choice.
Both couples parented children who introduced violence into the world. Gaia and Uranus’s children, the Giants, grow so quarrelsome and unruly that Uranus feared they would use their power against him, so he imprisoned them in Tartarus. Gaia sought revenge by enlisting help from their son Cronus, who killed his father. Meanwhile, in another part of the mythical world, Adam and Eve’s son, Cain, grew jealous because God gave his brother Abel more approval and attention. Cain decided to eliminate the competition and killed his brother, and the war for male supremacy was on.
Generations later, Hera and Zeus valued their relationship enough to invent marriage. Unfortunately, their marriage was a power struggle. Because they lived in a patriarchal pantheon, the balance favored Zeus, who did whatever he wanted without seeming to care how much he hurt or betrayed Hera in the process. This left her bitter and hungry for revenge. Their unresolved problems were passed on to their descendants. These mythic themes resonate with us because they’re still being played out in our lives. They create problems for us, our children, and our grandchildren until someone breaks the dysfunction with self-awareness and love.
Still later, when Ariadne and Dionysus met, they had both endured great suffering and were humble and grateful simply to be alive. They married for love and stayed loyal for life. Self-knowledge, love, and egalitarian partnership between femininity and masculinity had been added to the mystery of humanity’s evolution into self-awareness. Now you have the capacity to create that kind of relationship in your life.
By Greece’s golden age—500-300 BCE—some of these developments had already appeared in Asian philosophies. In the sixth century BCE, Lao Tsu, the father of Taoism, advised people to return to the natural Self of their feminine/yin and masculine/yang energies to live in accordance with the perfect order of things. Around the same time, Buddha taught that the healing Middle Way between physical and spiritual life lies in meditation and self-knowledge. A few centuries later, Jesus taught that God is love and the kingdom of God is within. Like Lao Tsu and Buddha, he understood that psychologically, the kingdom of God—and therefore of spiritual love—is attainable to each of us.
Over two millennia later, the majority of humanity still has no awareness of the sacred within. They rely on their religions to tell them how to think about their God, and believe that their group’s standards are the only correct ones. They think their religion has never changed, and that their salvation lies in believing in it. But history shows us that if we believe our group or religion has never changed and is the only correct one, we’re the ones who are wrong. Cultures and religions are always changing. They reflect the self-awareness, values, virtues, and God-images of the people who originate them. As people change, cultures and religions change.
You are changing too. Like Eve, you may eventually realize that your old God-image no longer works. You may wonder, “Who is this superior male authority figure I’ve been told to obey? Why doesn’t he want me to become conscious? Why don’t I feel safe? What do I have to do to make him love me? Why should I obey his rules when I don’t know who he is or if he’s even there? Why would he punish me with these trials I’m suffering when I’ve tried so hard to please him? Rebelling against outmoded beliefs and traditions can be very scary, but you will never be happy or fulfilled until you find the Sacred within you. Because that’s where it lives—in you and everyone.
Men and women today sense the irrelevance of a one-sided God-image. If the bastions of organized religions crumble, it will be because they no longer address the needs of our maturing souls. We imagine the sacred mystery of life to be far more benevolent, balanced, and complex than a superior masculine force with tolerance for the feminine and minorities while remaining separate and superior. We, our cultures, and our religions are evolving toward greater complexity and individuation while we are evolving toward wholeness and union in caring relationships.
How has your spirituality evolved in your life?
This copyrighted material is from pp. 176-7 of The Soul’s Twins.
Image Credit: The Kiss. Artist unknown. Pinterest.
Paper and E-book versions of The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. The Wilbur Award-winning Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications.com. Jean’s new Nautilus Award-winning The Soul’s Twins, is at Amazon and Schiffer’s Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit. Subscribe to her newsletter at www.jeanbenedictraffa.com.
Brilliant article, as always Jeanie! I love exploring the myths. I’m praying that I too will be able to break my own dysfunctional, multi-generational family cycle but boy do I have my work cut out for me at the moment with my dad, exacerbated by him catching covid in hospital last weekend. There are days when I don’t feel strong enough, when all I can do is throw my hands up and surrender and be guided by my dreams. I’ll return to one in particular in a moment.
I guess this is where I am right now in my life, in a tough place, where it feels like someone has turned the Tarot’s “Tower” card over in my spread and life is crumbling around me as I desperately try to hold onto the thought that this situation is needed and in the end, new life will emerge. Please! Hmm, my second Saturn Return which started in March 2020 is proving to be such a wild ride while hopefully in the background, my spiritual life continues to evolve.
Thankfully, I’m currently occupied with a dream that arrived at Imbolc, in which I was guided to follow Mother Moon’s cycle, which started that night 1st February, the night of the Dark Moon. I do wonder if my psyche is getting me to do this, much like being guided to write my “Poetry of the Year” and “Poetry of the Tarot” series, in order to learn more about the cycles and seasons of life and share this with others. Never stop writing, love and light, Deborah.
Thank you, Deborah,
Oh dear. I’m sorry to hear your dad has Covid on top of everything else. I hope it turns out to be a mild case. And I hope you manage to make your way through this tough time with a minimum of stress.
Dreams are certainly a help to me in times like this. Also I’ve been pulling a tarot card or two lately every morning with specific questions about the day, sometimes in relation to a dream from the night before. I’m just a beginner at it but its been exciting to see synchronicity at work in such clear and pertinent ways. I don’t know much about astrology, but enough to know it also follows the natural laws of synchronicity, and that’s something I take very seriously indeed.
It makes me sad to think about how so many churches in my past would have thought of things like this as “of the devil.” I even knew someone who thought yoga was “of the devil.” How terrified we poor humans are when we actually see manifestations of the Sacred laws of the universe. We’re so much more comfortable with the ordinary and predictable.
I would suspect that with your sincere respect for the sacredness of your psyche and your equally sincere desire to share its wisdom, it is indeed guiding you in these new directions in your work and everyday life. May they bring you the balance, presence, peace, and inspiration you are in need of now!
Love and blessings, Jeanie
Thank you so much for your kind-hearted reply Jeanie, much appreciated. Oh, you can never go wrong with Tarot and pulling a card or two a day is how I first learnt how to use those alchemical divination tools. Personally, I found it easier to take all 22 Major Arcana cards out of my deck and work with them alone rather than use the whole deck. The benefit was that I quickly became familiar with the symbolism and messages of each card, before later including all the court cards, and then even later on, I introduced all the pip cards too, eventually working with the whole deck. However, there’s lots of different ways to learn with Tarot and so much fun to be had! Okay, back to Mother Moon and active imagination with the little moon children from my Imbolc dream. Love and light, Deborah.
Thank you for sharing your method of working withTarot with me, Debrah. It sounds like a very smart and practical way to begin. I may try that. I’m a total neophyte with Tarot and now that I have experienced its wisdom I am hooked. Thank you for being a guide on this particular path on my journey to wisdom. Love, Jeanie
Isn’t it strange at all? I mean so many different religions, though I would limit it to three. But after all, after Jesus lessons on God and learning love, suddenly comes a bloody prophet, in the sense of the word, to change all the images of God? This is a fascinating issue with your splendid explanation. At the moment, I’m occupied with a thought that we, as souls, are imprisoned in this earthly body, maybe to learn? Or to remember what we have forgotten?
Yes, indeed, it is very strange. But when you think about how we all contain an unconscious Self filled with powerful forces over which we have little, and sometimes absolutely no control at all, it makes sense that with each step toward consciousness that comes when we are profoundly touched by one of these archetypal forces, our God-images change, and keep on changing. I share your thoughts that our souls are here to learn. And yes, as you say, also to remember. And I would add a third goal: to learn how to love. Thank you for writing, dear friend. I understand that you and your family are now plagued with the Covid monster. May you all recover swiftly and fully. Blessings to you all,
Thank you, Jeanie. It’s been a life-long balancing act to keep my inner masculine from overriding the feminine, and I can’t blame it on personal or family religion. The benevolent feminine force in my childhood was my paternal grandmother. She and my grandfather had a loving relationship of equality. I was raised without a dominant sense of father god and my parents rarely went to church. In my teens, I wanted to explore Christianity and was drawn to Catholicism (rituals, colorful robes, beautiful music, and incense), but when a priest wouldn’t answer my simple questions in a catechism class, I walked away. I didn’t think it through carefully as I was a teenager, but I knew religious dogma was not for me. Vic and I were married by the campus Unitarian minister who was open to our alternative style.
Learning about Greek mythology opened many doors, but I also love the strong feminine in Egyptian and Sumerian mythology. Still, the stories of Ariadne and Dionysus are deeply moving and I relate. Thanks for reminding me of their devoted love. At the moment, I’m thinking of Psyche the butterfly goddess and Eros. May you have a Blessed Valentine’s Day with the love of your life Fred.
I’ve been struggling with my inner masculine too for several months. He keeps wanting us to produce more, whereas my inner feminine just wants to restore the well of inspiration and creativity with reading, rest, music, and play. They both show up in my dreams. I try to meet the needs of both a little each day to arrive at a somewhat balanced sweet spot. To my relief, it’s getting easier to find it now.
I truly admire your spunk in walking away from catechism class. I have another strong woman friend who did more or less the same thing in her teens. I always wondered where she got the courage to do that. I think the difference may be that the more we are steeped in dogma in our youth, the harder we find it to question and rebel. I know a very gentle, ethical seeker who was raised in a strong religious tradition. He joined a religious cult in the early seventies with the highest ideals and hopes. After a few years and a lot of disillusionment, struggle, and betrayal, he finally left, tormented, broken, expecting to be struck down by God’s wrath at any moment. I don’t know if he has found a newer, healthier god-image of love and union between the opposites or not. I hope so.
Thank you for the Valentine’s Day blessing. May you be filled with the memory and reality of Vic’s love for you on this and all days.