The Sacred Marriage

tumblr_mfr81iBQhr1rfqso7o1_400In Celtic mythology, there is a special relationship between the king of the land and the goddess representing the land. Exam­ples included the goddesses, Eriu, the Morrigan, Macha, and Mebd/Maeve. The king is ritually married to the land/the god­dess, and the fertility of the land depends on the king’s worthi­ness and his fidelity to his vows to the goddess (i.e., to be just, etc.) This marriage is called the Sacred Marriage or the hi­eros gamos.

The Sacred Marriage represents the union of the Divine Femi­nine and the Divine Masculine or their mortal representa­tives. It is expressed ritually in the Wiccan Great Rite, which may be performed symbolically or in actuality. The Sacred Mar­riage of the Neo-Pagan Goddess and her masculine Consort is an affirmation of life and sexuality. The union of the Goddess and her Consort symbolizes the union of masculine and femi­nine, spirit and matter, heaven and earth, and death and birth.

In the Neo-Pagan Mythos, the hieros gamos cannot be under­stood separately from the death of the God that follows the Sa­cred Marriage. (See “Death of the God” below.) These extremes of human experience—intense joy and intense suffering—are inextricably intertwined. Together, they move us toward a greater understanding of the immanence of divinity in the mate­rial world.

Updated 2019