"When two souls have finally found each other, there is established between them a union which begins on earth and continues forever in heaven."
-Victor Hugo

Sacred Union represents the alchemy between the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine in human form. The symbolism of king and queen is often used to depict Sacred Union, since it involves both worldly and spiritual qualities. Similarly, those that join in Sacred Union commit to a love that bridges heaven and earth.

The journey towards Sacred Union requires releasing old attachments and opening to something more radiant, integrated and whole. Sacred Union can also be considered to be a spiritual path, for it is here, in our most intimate relationships, that we put our spiritual beliefs to the test. Our relationships, if entered with deep conscious intention, can be a powerful crucible for our own transformation.

Sacred Union means restoring the divine balance of masculine and feminine - both are equally important, but they have been separated into a duality. Masculine energy tends to be focused, goal-directed, and intentional. Feminine energy often wants to be radiant, expansive, and joyful--enjoying the moment. These energies don't always work very easily together. And the differences can be a source of conflict.

The internal imbalances are also mirrored in our 3D world. Our dominant western culture tends to privilege masculine energies (often resulting in over-masculinized women who are trying to compete). And our new paradigm culture tends to over-privilege feminine energies (often resulting in over-feminized men). Sacred Union recognizes that both masculine and feminine energies are complementary and equal halves of the Divine. The key lies in finding our own internal balance of these energies. In addition, it can be helpful, and also juicy, to open deeply with those who represent a different polarity.

Sacred relationship is thus the arena in which we can undergo our own healing-also leading to a healing for the collective. But integration and healing requires both our time and our focused attention- in the same way we approach other spiritual practices. The following ten principles are ones we have found to be at the core of creating a relationship that is truly based on sacred principles.

Ten Principles of Sacred Union

1. Commitment - It is vital to create a strong and supportive container for your relationship, especially when core wounds and material are activated. This need not be marriage or even monogamy but does need to be a strong intention and commitment to create the solid sense of safety for wounded parts to emerge.

2. Welcoming emotional triggers - The journey towards spiritual awakening requires bringing all of our core issues to the surface in order to clear or heal them. Awakening is about becoming fully divine and whole; whatever is in the shadows needs healing. Working in this terrain can include weekly challenges, childhood material, and even relational patterns and wounds from what appear to be previous lives.

3. Truthfulness and transparency - We find that it is best to have no topic be taboo. Everything can be used as grist for the transformational mill. For example, working with attraction to other people can lead to core work around jealousy. Sharing our truth and our reactions to another's truth can be a very potent opportunity for transformation. The key is to be self-responsible in the truthtelling and always look to peel back the deeper and more vulnerable layers. The point is not to be brutal but to be self-revealing.

4. Radical authenticity & humor - a key principle of sacred union is to welcome all facets of our being and personality into the relationship-including aspects of ourselves that might be culturally labeled wild, weird, twisted, or zany. Say "YES!" to all of your partners' sub-personalities. As you do, your relationship can become VERY entertaining.

5. Honoring of both masculine and feminine energies - All of us hold both masculine and feminine qualities, though most people tend more towards one pole. It's important that the relationship create equal space for both kinds of energies. For example, as a way to honor both energies, we have constructed a sacred temple space in our home, with an altar to the divine masculine, a separate altar to the divine feminine, and a third altar focused on our relationship.

6. Realistic expectations - Don't look to the relationship for everything. Sometimes men and women need to get certain "vitamins" from elsewhere-from other friends, groups, situations. Make sure you have ample opportunities to feed yourself the other nutrients that you need! If you expect your partner to fulfill all your needs, you'll most likely always be disappointed.

7. Co-creativity -A true sacred union ultimately finds expression in acts of mutual creation or service. Examples for us have included creating a beautiful home, working together on two different non-profits, sponsoring conferences and events that we've co-produced, and now teaching together about Sacred Union.

8. Spirit of adventure - Keep things fresh with vacations, getaways, breaking out of ruts, learning new things together.

9. Expanding consciousness together - To live awakened consciousness, it's first valuable to be able to relate to one other person from a more open, dilated place. So create opportunities to expand together, which can take the form of open-eyed meditation with each other or conscious lovemaking.

10. Breaking out of routines - We all need to break daily habitual patterns of relating from a more average consciousness-which we admit can be challenging! Our tendency as partners is to get into habits that become barriers to creative potential and energy. So we need to create pattern-interrupts that allow something fresh to emerge.

The above are really just a small sample of what we have learned. The most important thing we have learned is to take it all in a spirit of adventure, with a mutual commitment to help each other awaken and give their greatest gifts. That commitment alone will help you navigate many complexities and as more of your personal and karmic history is cleared, you will find your relationship becomes much more authentic, relaxed, humorous, wild, and free.

Author's Bio: 

Rev. Devaa Haley Mitchell works as a spiritual guide and runs ongoing programs to support women in awakening to their full potential through the organization she founded, Radiant Essence Services (www.radiantessence.com). She hosts the Inspiring Women Summmit, a virtual gathering of over 50 amazing women sharing their wisdom and gifts with thousands of participants (see www.inspiringwomensummit.com).

Devaa served as the Director of Member Engagement at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), an organization bridging science and spirituality. Previously, she was the Founder and Executive Director of the Full Circle Fund, dedicated to building a new generation of civic leaders. Devaa also worked as an Associate Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group where she offered management advice to Fortune 500 Companies.

Devaa was ordained as an interfaith minister by the Chaplaincy Institute and also received a BA in Anthropology with Honors and an MA in International Development from Stanford University. She was awarded a fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation, which she used to conduct research in the Brazilian Amazon on sustainable economic development for local indigenous groups using culturally and ecologically appropriate strategies. Devaa was also one of 26 contributors to a book called Radical Spirit, which focuses on Gen-X spiritual perspectives.

A core part of Devaa's path includes sacred music. Her debut album of songs honoring 13 aspects of the divine feminine is due out in the Fall of 2010. See www.devaa.com for downloads of her music.

Spiritual values are woven into Devaa's daily life, as she is committed to meaningful transformation in both her marriage and community. Along with her husband, Stephen Dinan, she teaches about relationship as a pathway for awakening.

Recently, along with her husband and a small team of dedicated allies, Devaa helped to launch the Summer of Peace Initiative. This new project is designed to harness the efforts of dozens of cutting-edge programs to reduce violence and create new models for collaboration that can be replicated in other cities and countries worldwide. The Summer of Peace is slated for 2012 and will kick-off with a festival, akin to the Summer of Love but with much more substance in addition to music and celebration. We envision building locally in the San Francisco Bay Area to creating a more open-source invitation to organizations, groups and individuals (and even nations!) to use the Summer as an opportunity to demonstrate what is possible in terms of shifting from a culture of violence to a culture of peace. For more information, see www.summerofpeace.net