Exploring the Ancient Practice of Spirit Marriage

Exploring the Ancient Practice of Spirit Marriage December 18, 2023

Developing a bonded relationship with a spirit

Cupid and Psyche by François-Édouard Picot

Spirit marriage is the bonded or intimate relationship between a human and a subtle being such as a deity, spirit, or extraordinary intelligence. In this practice, the consciousness of the practitioner is linked or wedded to a specific entity, and the two beings share a co-creative consciousness as a result. It is a form of embodied spirituality and a transpersonal phenomenon. This practice has appeared in many cultures, among a strikingly large number of religious traditions ranging from African Traditional Religion to Hindu practice to Christian mysticism.

The general practice of communication with a spirit can manifest in many different forms—channeling, possession, sexual encounters, visitations, and the like. However, spirit marriage tends to be an advanced phase within this range of potential contact, delineated by the fact that most spirit marriage practitioners have gone through a marriage-like ritual or ceremony of union, designed to bond them to a particular spirit, presumably forever.

When did spirit marriage begin?

Ishtar on an Akkadian seal, Sailko, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spirit marriage has allegedly been with us since the dawn of civilization. Through folklore and mythology we hear of its ancient roots. We first start to see textual records of the practice in the ancient Mesopotamian sacred marriage, where it is reportedly undertaken to aid humans in the development and expansion of consciousness, both spiritual and everyday. Spirit marriage is said to result in the development of extrasensory perception (ESP), esoteric revelation, and personal and societal transformation. Based on my twenty-plus years of research and experience, I believe that spirit marriage can be a viable means for personal individuation and spiritual growth, even though it has been marginalized and obfuscated throughout history.

Spirit marriage currently can be found as a living practice in many marginalized spiritual traditions. Most notably, the African Diaspora traditions of Haitian Vodou and New Orleans Voodoo; the folkloric Faery tradition of Faery Seership; British Traditional Witchcraft; the African Traditional religion of the Dagara people in Burkina Faso; the Indo-Tibetan Tantric sadhana; the Norse Heathen practice of the God Spouse, and various Amazonian plant spirit unions. As well, the Catholic Rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity, wherein a nun mystically espouses herself to Christ, also falls within this purview.

Why undertake a spirit marriage?

Philemon by Carl Jung

Spirit marriage has the potential to be a kind of liberation spirituality. At crucial moments in history it seems that it has offered spiritual empowerment, co-creative engagement, and conscious evolution to its practitioners. And in cases wherein dominant religions and their God(s) are mediated by a human oppressor, many have chosen to offer themselves to what they contend are spirits that predate or dwell outside the oppressive regime—beings that are believed to have a higher authority and more power than their human persecutors. In fact, I once had a mentor tell me that if the Gods you’re worshipping don’t seem to be on your side, then you need to choose new Gods!

However, not all spirit marriages are undertaken to free someone from oppression. In fact, most seem to be undertaken at the request of the spirit who wishes to co-create with a human. Spirit marriage can offer a means to personal agency, individuation of the Self, and an avenue for personal awakening—often against widespread cultural oppression and religious intolerance.

The practice of spirit marriage can involve personal awakening, the establishment of self-worth, and the claiming of sovereignty in a world that in many cases relegates members of marginalized spiritual traditions to categories of evil-doer or corrosive influence. In many cases the practice of spirit marriage has been upheld predominantly through oral tradition or in the “twilight” or “coded” language of metaphor—only revealed to the trusted initiate—so as to preserve the practice of spirit marriage against the overarching tide of religious and cultural persecution.

What is the purpose of a spirit marriage?

The Birthday 1915 by Marc Chagall

One potential outcome of spirit marriage is not only liberation and transformation of the individual, but ultimately the transformation of society—for who we are as individuals greatly impacts who we are as a collective. Spirit marriage practices have led and continue to lead to the development of a co-creative consciousness between humanity and divine intelligences. This loving partnership, in many cases, has supported the human counterpart in the cultivation of their extrasensory perception, esoteric skills, and acceleration of their spiritual development—in some cases leading them to become a minister to their communities.

Simply encountering the topic of spirit marriage can transform you, leaving you altered, quickened, and hopefully awakened to the extraordinary nature of your being, and the vast, intelligence of our beautiful Earth and its many extraordinary beings. If you feel you are being called into a spirit marriage, or would like to learn more about this topic, visit DrMeganRose.com or follow me on social media (IG, FB) @drmeganrose.

You can also order a copy of my book Spirit Marriage: Intimate Relationships with Otherworldly Beings online or at your local booksellers, available from Inner Traditions/Bear & Co.

About Megan Rose, PhD
Dr. Megan Rose holds a Ph.D. in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a M.A. in Religion and Society from the Graduate Theological Union. Dr. Rose is an initiated ceremonial magician, Shakta Tantric, and Faery Seer in the folkloric Pagan tradition of Faery Seership. Visit DrMeganRose.com You can read more about the author here.

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