I am my beloved’s, and my beloved’s mine ~ Song of Songs, 6:3
Love is everything. It is not confined to a definition or a list. It is what gives life meaning. It is not an emotion, even though it feels so sweetly. It is often a verb because we need to treasure it, nurture it and care for it, if we want to really experience it. Love is what makes sense and why everything is happening. It is the answer to all the questions we didn’t even know how to ask yet. It is the immortal face of our beloved after death. Love is what gives us meaning, and what matters to us most deeply. Love is our highest purpose.
Love is an inner experience, just like God is an inner experience.
In some schools of astrology it is believed that as human beings we balance most of our karma through marriage or through our significant relationships in this life. Some people believe that sometimes we even marry our greatest enemy from a past life; and many believe that marriage is a significant soul contract. I have my own personal thoughts on the entire concept of karma, but as an astrologer, using various techniques from different modalities of both esotericism and astrology schools of thought, there is certainly a higher purpose seen through marriage, and more precisely, it may give you insights into the questions: Why does marriage occur? What is the lesson meant to be learned? How do I balance the karma of my marriage? How is marriage meant to help my soul’s growth?
I’ve previously discussed the perspective from an esoteric and Shamanic astrology view point that you read in my article The Purpose of Your Relationships for Each Ascendant Sign, but now let’s look through the lens of Vedic Astrology, which is another modality that I use in my professional practice.
In Vedic Astrology, the “karma” of a house, or area of life, can be seen from the 10th placement of itself. In this sense, we can view the concept of karma as a balancing of our life, or the work one has to do in life to balance out the actions and consequences from their past and present. This also relates to where one has to initiate action and infuse more intention, dedication and devotion into their actions. As a result, the wishes and dreams may be then revealed and fulfilled as the soul is evolving further on its higher path.
The 4th House: Balancing The Karma of Marriage
Marriage in our natal chart is seen through the 7th house, and 10th from itself, thus becomes the 4th house. In other words: the karma of our marriage can be balanced through our 4th house.
What is the 4th house?
This is the house of our deepest, most inner self. It represents our childhood, our past lives, our upbringing and family life, our subconscious, our intimacy, our nurturing and nourishment, our mother and lineage, our heart’s land and desires; it is our home and church of skin. It is the unique emotional and spiritual wild lands of our body, and the hearth of flames where our heart settles for peace and comfort at night. It is the love that returns us to love.
The 4th house is basically our journey from the womb to the end of our life – from the moment we are born until we become again all five elements. It is the entirety of our life, and our inner experience of it, for all in life, both love and God, are an inner experience. As such, the 4th house is the essence of our life.
So why does marriage occur and how can we balance its karma?
The 4th house is ruled by the sign of Cancer and so the significator of the 4th house is the Moon, thought in some astrology schools, it is also Venus. The Moon is about nurturing, nourishment, our heart and our emotions – so the first purpose of marriage, and the first way to balance its karma, is to nourish your family, be emotionally supportive, and contribute to the emotional wellness of your loved ones. Venus also inspires us to bring comfort, diplomacy, affection, creative expression, gentleness of communication, and seeing the beauty beyond the veils; appreciating and treasuring our spouse, family and children.
The 4th house also rules land, home and property, and the significator, or karaka, of that is Mars. In his higher manifestation, Mars is courage, integrity and protection. It shows us that marriage is about protecting our family and the privacy of our relationship. Mars is the significator of our efforts and courage, and we need to show bravery, as well as apply consistent efforts into our marriage. There also needs to be honour, integrity, and self-accountability. When fights happen in relationships, and they always will and do, we need to stay strong yet kind, don’t quit on one another, and find ways to settle our relationship into peace. Fight for those you love, protect your home and protect the privacy of the emotional and spiritual land that your marriage is.
The 4th house is also connected to Jupiter, because Jupiter is exalted in the sign of Cancer. Exalted Jupiter shows us that the higher purpose of marriage, and why marriage occurs, is that we need to embody and awaken our spiritual wisdom and knowledge, and apply it towards our human relationships. Through the twists and turns that relationships inevitably are, we are allowed an opportunity for a deepening and for an inner alchemy to occur. We can only meet another as deeply as we’ve met ourselves. And through more self-awareness and self-knowledge, we will be able to see and appreciate the divinity in another and all around us. We have to treat our marriage, and all of our significant relationships, as if we are entering a temple, a church, a cathedral. Have a set of higher values that you hold yourself to. Stay true to your word, infuse intention in your gestures. Have responsibility towards your bonds. Respect each other. This is how, if you believe in karma, you will balance it all out; but perhaps more than anything, this is how you will fall deeper into love, into life, into all of your soul’s growth.
Navamsa: The Higher Purpose of Marriage
In Vedic Astrology, the purpose of marriage can also be seen from the ninth divisional chart known as the Navamsa. In simple terms, the Navamsa basically dissects the 9th house of the natal chart for deeper insight. Some people might wonder why – because the house that rules marriage and partnerships is our 7th house, while the Jupiter-ruled 9th house is the house of higher beliefs, dharma, spirituality, philosophy, devotion and faith.
It’s because, as we already said, a marriage is seen as an ashram, a temple, a church, a cathedral – it is the church that we build in the heavens of our hearts. It is our devotion to another human being with whom we have chosen to share our life and path with. A marriage is a merging of two dharmic paths – of two souls who merge to trust and believe in each other and bring their merged path forward. It is learning and growing together. It is supporting each other.
It is a temple, a space of heart and of higher inner soul growth through our experience with another person. As such, we need to treat it with the privacy and honour that we would as if it we were entering a sacred and holy place. We need to respect it. We need to respect each other. We need to be faithful. We need to be trustworthy. We need to support one another, and we need to nurture our connection, giving it the attention it needs. There is me, there is you and then, there is the relationship. And we need appreciation, for we can only love what we appreciate, like our childhood’s toy or the rose in The Little Prince.
When two souls meet and fall in love, boundaries dissolve, they merge, and a third soul is born: the soul of the relationship. And it has its own timings and needs, and it needs us to nourish it and nurture it. It becomes a devotion. With patience it deepens and grows, for patience is the mark of truest love. Patience enters the soul of matter and discovers the land of our heart, and this is the only land that truly matters.
But of course, it takes two to make this happen.
Please remember that none of the above imply that you should fight for your marriage at all cost and at the cost of your health and well-being. If your marriage has become a battlefield, and you are consistently more miserable together than apart, it is time to re-evaluate and re-consider whether you should stay together. And especially if you are facing abuse in any way, shape or form, please consider leaving and moving away immediately. Apply the wisdom of your Jupiter, the self-love and intuition of your Moon, and the courage that Mars gives you, to discern and choose the decision that’s best for your path forward in your life. Honour the sanctity of your heart – this is what our Moon always teaches us, and this is what will always align you to your unique soul’s purpose.
When I think of the essence of a church or any temple, I think of prayer, humility, trust, and the concept of interdependence, all of which are foundations for a beautiful marriage.
As all else in life, there are two aspects of love also: the masculine and the feminine. The feminine aspect of love is receptive, feeling, longing. She is the mystic, the soil, the earth, the healer, the intuitive voice in the corner of our heart, the whispering in the trees. She is the longing of the I don’t know what yet, but it shifts our eyes towards the unknown distances; it is a calling from deep within us, from a time before time beyond time. The feminine whispers softly in a way only the heart of her beloved can hear and ever understand, “I long for you, I yearn for you, I wait for you.”
The masculine aspect of love is the initiatory actions. He is the searching, the finding, the seeking; he is the fiery sword of truth and of integrity. He is words, he is action. And he is the prayer. There is an initiation of his love, as his hands dig into the earth to find her, because he knows no other way than to be united with the one he is made for. He says, “I love you. I want you. I need only you.”
Until one day two worlds meet, they touch, and we find that love is not only felt in is hearts, it is known by our hands also. Soul kisses soul on the human lips, and they vow themselves in marriage, in trust and faith.
Within a church, we pray. And there is a certain level of humility, trust and vulnerability associated with prayer, and this is precisely what is needed in a marriage for these are the foundations of building true intimacy. We need humility to know that we don’t know it all, and never will, regardless of how long we’ve lived together; humility to know that there is always something new to discover in our partner; and the understanding that we shouldn’t feel entitled, ungrateful or assuming. There is faith. There is trust. You need to marry someone that you can trust with your life.
And yet prayer isn’t something too fragile; it is tender but it is strong. It holds us amidst thorns and mud, when we are humbled on our knees – it holds us strong. And so we too, in marriage, hand in hand, holding on holding strong.
Within a church, we also learn the spiritual concept of interexchange. Whenever we enter a spiritual temple, we leave a donation for we have been given something of peace in our heart and spirit. Within any relationship, there should also be giving and receiving. If one only takes but never gives, the bridge between the two will begin to weaken and shatter. We need one another, and there is interdependence.
There is a beautiful practice in Zen Buddhism, where monks go out each morning to collect alms in their empty bowls. They can only live off of what they have gathered through the donations, and in fact, this is only done by the most advanced monks. This is because within this practice is the learning of receiving. It is very easy to give, for those who have big charitable hearts, but it is much harder to receive, which is why they need to learn this. More than that though, it teaches vulnerability and humility. How many of us can go out there with open palms, trusting that life will provide us with what we need? How many of us can fall into the arms of someone, in full trust that he will not let us fall? And then there’s the other lesson: that the hands that give and the monks’ bowls are both dependent on the same emptiness. Within this emptiness, is the grateful heart. There, is the fullness of life, spirit and love.
To love is to live life as a prayer. To live with an open heart, loving heart, and let love pour from the lips and hands along the circling staircases of our ordinary and mundane. Right hand is man, left hand is woman, when they hold, they kiss, and love is stronger.
What about if you are not married or if you want to improve your current marriage?
So as always, the answer is only one: develop your inner self. And then embody the love and wisdom through your every day lips, hands, gestures and your feet’s movements.
If you are single, and you feel happy though you still desire a relationship or marriage – consider that you are currently doing the work, so you just don’t need another to awaken you to it. Your desire will still manifest, but it just has its own timing, so just enjoy where you are currently in your life.
We can only meet another as deeply as we’ve met ourselves. So if you are having problems in your marriage, look within but both of you need to do that. If you are single and having problems with friendships, family or other relationships, consider doing some self-reflection and try to settle those tensions into peace.
Everything in life is a relationship, and you don’t have to be married to experience yourself in this way, or for these houses to apply to you. We are in continuous relationship to all around us, to nature, to wildlife, to emotions and to thoughts, to movements and gestures, to other people, and even to our furniture. We are capable of loving everything when we spend time with it. Even confined to a room, we will build some form of intimacy to that room. And when we finally begin to see how all interweaves and how spirit is somehow imbued in everything, how life breathes through everything, how God experiences itself through everything, this is spirituality. In these quiet intimate moments of noticing, we’ve opened worlds, doorways, that have expanded our perception, and we’ve come into a deepening, a deeper understanding.
Love is not there to please us or make us happy always. It is there to grow us, shift us and transform us. It is through our relationships with others that we have the opportunity to evolve – by learning about ourselves in a deeper way than we could have otherwise. Ultimately, it is about coming back to our true selves, so if a relationship has led you to yourself – know it was of love, no matter if it ended or not. It helped you come back one step closer to your path and to yourself, to return yourself to love, to embody love, to build love, and that’s the highest purpose of all.
Then, now, always.
Painting by Ron Hicks.
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