Getting Married One Chakra at a Time
by Freya Ray
Marriage. We all know couples that do it and succeed. They have the big wedding, and then they’re at least reasonably happy with each other and have a nice long run. But what about the other version? Tom and Jeff or Jeff and Betty or Betty and Sue live together reasonably happily for years, decide to get married/handfasted/have a commitment ceremony, and within months aren’t speaking to each other.
What happens to cause this? Why do functional relationships crater so completely after a wedding? Surely it’s not just the stress of a big emotional production, as this type of breakup seems far more common than breaking up due to other kinds of stress. It’s almost predictable with many couples — wedding, three months later distance and fighting, three months after that filing for divorce.
I have a theory. I hope it’s even one that will help people avoid this fate themselves.
The focal point of a commitment ceremony is just that: the taking of vows that speak to the couple’s commitment to each other. Vows. The problem with vows is that they have great power, power beyond the words themselves. When spoken in front of one’s entire community of family and friends, in a sacred setting consecrated to the Divine, they are immensely powerful. They take on a life of their own.
And (drum roll, please) every way in which the relationship does not currently live up to the vows declared is immediately thrown in the couple’s faces.
If you vow to love and there are resentments in your heart, those will become magnified and impossible to hide. If you promise to take care of your partner and aren’t sure you mean it, that will be tested. If you promise to be truthful and sometimes you avoid the issue, you will get caught. Any and all ways in which reality does not live up to the grand promises made will be brought to the surface for attention.
It’s bad enough in a traditional wedding ceremony. To “love, honor and cherish, in sickness and in health… till death do us part” is hard. But at least it’s simple. There are just three things, which are pretty standard noble virtues. One should always love, honor and cherish the people in one’s life, whoever they are. But pagans have a bad habit of writing their own vows, and the next thing you know they’ve spent five minutes describing all they’re going to do and be for each other.
It’s a long laundry list of good intentions. When half of them come screaming at you for immediate remedial work, it’s overwhelming.
Welcome to the post-ceremony meltdown.
If you don’t believe me, do a mental inventory of the couples you’ve known who have broken up soon after their wedding. Most of the time, they break up because of issues they knew about before they got married. The issues were stuff they thought they could live with and were living with. And the issues were in conflict with the vows taken. When the issues were something to be accepted as part of living together, they could be worked with. When the full force of collective intention had been directed at a life consonant with the higher virtues and in conflict with the bad habits, it quickly leads to disaster.
How to avoid this? Well, you could only marry someone with whom you have no issues whatsoever. Ha! Welcome to lifelong celibacy. Or you could only promise to take one day at a time and care about each other as best you can in the moment and try to be nice. Seems rather pointless, doesn’t it?
How about taking things in stages?
Who says you have to get married all at once?
I’m proposing a chakra wedding ceremony — well, actually, seven or eight of them. In a series. Strung out over time.
Say we’ve got a couple with the following issues: He is tempted to lie and cheat occasionally; he comes from money and she doesn’t, so she feels guilty that he makes most of their money; she’s more powerful psychically and has a bad habit of using her intuition to manipulate him into doing what she wants him to. Before you think, “Wow, what a mess! They should never get married,” let me tell you this is not that bad a set of stuff. It’s just that mostly we only look at one problem at a time and minimize its importance. All of these issues can be overcome, and the couple is probably together to do the healing work to overcome them.
So what have we got here? We’ve got a belly chakra issue with the cheating, a root chakra issue with the money and dependency stuff and a third-eye issue with the psychic stuff.
The couple has a wedding; they promise to be honest and faithful, to take care of each other for richer and for poorer, and to respect each other, compromise and work through things together as equal partners. They’ve announced their intentions to eradicate their three huge issues, all in one day, when they’re already tired and overwhelmed on innumerable levels from the wedding stress.
Instead, why not try making a commitment to each other one chakra at a time? Have a private ceremony, speaking your root chakra vows to each other. Promise to take care of each other physically and financially. Promise for sickness and health, for richer and poorer. But leave all the rest of the stuff out of it.
Then sit back and wait for what comes up. Our example couple would, I hope, have opportunities to discuss their class issues, negotiate ways to share money, clarify for her that he loves her regardless of the amount of money she brings in and so on. They will have plenty of stuff to work through to keep them busy. Money issues, basic survival financial stuff, is incredibly stressful. It’s enough all by itself.
Issues that could come up at root for another couple might have to do with health, dependency, responsibility and reliability, getting off the couch and finding a damn job, where to live, getting out of debt, who’s going to do the cooking and cleaning, sleeping issues and so on. Everything having to do with survival on the material plane. Plenty.
Have a ceremony for your root chakras, and then do all the healing and cleanup work required. Do all the negotiation, moving, figuring out of schedules, learning how to live together, financial planning. Whether it takes six days or six years, stay with this one set of stuff until it feels clear. Then and only then, have a ceremony to commit to each other at the belly chakra.
Sexuality and relationships live at the belly. Many couples are going to have quite the rodeo ride here. Survivor issues, fidelity challenges, past relationships both good and bad, sexual incompatibilities and expectations and everything of that nature arises here.
In our example couple, he’ll get caught trolling for women on the Internet, or she’ll find a letter from a woman he cheated with a year ago, or he’ll confess to his urges, or something. It will come up. They’ll talk about it, fight about it, get couple’s counseling and either work through it or not. But, supposing they’ve done the root-chakra work first, they’ve got a vastly better chance of making it through, because they have a solid foundation to stand on. She knows he loves her enough that he doesn’t mind supporting her. She’s seen the way he’s been willing to talk through their root chakra incompatibilities and negotiate compromises. And it’s just the one thing.
Over time, maybe they’ll find the source of his need to cheat, he will get therapy for that, and it’ll be handled. Another couple might need to work out that she wants sex every day and he only once a week, she can’t have oral sex due to sexual abuse, he isn’t totally over his ex-girlfriend, she wishes he were in better shape, he wants to get kinky and she doesn’t. Etcetera. Every couple is likely to have sexual issues of some kind or another, and it takes time to work through them. Six days or six years later, you move on to the solar plexus.
Power. Power and success in the world, your sense of personal power and your level of power in the relationship. It’s a murky area, and every couple needs to deal with who’s running things and how the power is shared or not. It’s never as simple as “Let’s negotiate everything equally.” You’d go insane. You can’t sit down and process your feelings about zucchini in the grocery store. You can’t call each other during the day to find out if it’s okay to spend $10 on your lunch instead of $8 today. You need to divide up responsibilities somewhat, so you both understand what’s yours to decide, what’s the other’s to decide and what’s shared. This takes time to sort out.
I’m not going to go through all seven chakras, as you can study up on them and figure the rest out for yourself. Running through the first three in some detail gives you enough information to get started and a sense of what I’m talking about. There’s plenty there to deal with. You’ve got time to become an expert on chakras before you’re done with the first three, I promise.
What I’m proposing is that a couple deepens their commitment to each other one chakra at a time. When you’ve gotten through all seven, and you feel good, solid, stable and clear with each other on all fronts, then you can invite a couple hundred people over to help you celebrate your union. Take the public vows, inviting your community to hold that energy with you. Step into the arena of a sacred vow with a reasonably clear path between you.
Give yourselves time to grow closer. Give yourselves time to catch up to your promises, one step at a time. Breathe and grow closer in between each one.
You know you love each other. You know you’ve come together for your healing and to help each other move forward personally and spiritually. You know your love is not a simple thing, but rather a complex, intricate dance of life between you. If it were a tree, you wouldn’t transplant it, prune it and harvest its sap all in the same day. If you were managing a company, you wouldn’t announce layoffs the same day that the new product line is released. Don’t pile everything on the same day in your relationship either. Manage it more gracefully, taking one step at a time.
It’s just a thought. Whatever you do, bright blessings for you and all your loving relationships.
Freya Ray is a professional psychic, shaman, writer and teacher. She is available as a psychic for parties and events such as Samhain parties. In readings, she accesses the Akashic records and the client’s guides, bringing her clients the most useful information available for life’s challenges and adventures. She has worked at Phoenix and Dragon in Atlanta and Rainbow Moods and Lemurian Imports in Tucson. Her writing has appeared in the Sedona Journal of Emergence, the New Times, the Awareness Journal and the Magical Journal. She can be reached for comment or for psychic readings by phone at (206) 276-4290 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For full information on her practice and a writings archive, check out www.freyaray.com/.