Astrologically speaking we are on the cusp of a great age change from Pisces to Aquarius. This shift of energy is gradually transforming many areas of our lives including relationship. The last two thousand years bought the archetype of romantic love to the fore and radically changed what we expected in partnership and family. As we move into Aquarius the archetype of the group and of group love is coming in to focus and putting pressure on our ideals and thought-forms about relating.
Group relating is not new but takes different forms in each age. Before Pisces was Aries and the archetype of the Ram expressed itself most fully in the harem. Alpha males, whether Pharaoh or warlord offered protection to the tribe. In Pisces the archetype of the king and queen became more fully entrenched and in the west the archetype of Arthur, the round table and Camelot epitomized the group ideal. In contradistinction to the Aries ideal, the masculine now is united in search for and service to the feminine, the grail.
In the Christian tradition, Jesus bought in the archetype of the savior, the sacrificial ram in Aries which purified the temple now became the human sacrifice who offered himself to his tribe.
The foreshadowing of the Piscean group ideal and of Aquarius in the Christian story is the disciples sharing the wine or water of life in the upper room.
In Aquarius the masculine is complemented by the feminine so instead of a wheel of 12 men, disciples or knights searching for the grail - the wheel becomes 24, the search is over and the sacred waters of communion can begin to truly flow.
Souls incarnate in groups so at a transpersonal level we don’t so much form deep relationships but recognize those that already exist. As the externalization of the soul realms into our personal 3D world continues, the experience of the soul-mate phenomena is now taking on a group flavor. The sense of being ‘destined to be together’ not only applies to couples but to whole groups who are now having to integrate with each other and find the new relationship forms that reflect this reality.
Often it is the attraction between group souls that causes problems. Remember it was the love affair between Guinevere and Lancelot that bought down Camelot – or rather the inability of the triangle of lovers to resolve the dynamic between them in a harmonious and loving way that served the kingdom. Often this ‘lover’s triangle’ is a doorway or portal into Aquarian relating. Naturally if a group is intimately connected, one could say ‘married’ at a soul level then when individuals in that group meet, which the internet and global travel is making increasingly likely and possible, then there is going to be a powerful magnetic attraction. This attraction will be felt both consciously and unconsciously.
The higher aspects of the unconscious – what we may call super-conscious – will help precipitate spiritual awakening and remembrance. The lower aspects of the unconscious – what we may call subconscious – will be experienced as sexual attraction and awaken life-force energies in the body. Together they act as defibrillators that feed the heart and expand consciousness.
When they are not recognized for what they are then the response often results in one pole or the other being emphasized at the expense of the other. Either the sexual erotic energy is acted on resulting in a passionate interaction which can upset the stability of one or both lives so that the soul purpose cannot be acted on. Or the soul connection is acknowledged and developed but the sexual attraction is avoided resulting in unrequited love and often an impotence in manifestation of the soul purpose.
The out-picturing of this in the world since the sixties has been the often chaotic exploration of relationships, gender and sexual orientation. The inherent truth that the soul is hermaphrodite and contains both masculine and feminine qualities has meant many men and women resist the identification with normal or vanilla gender identification based on body. The inherent truth that the soul is group conscious has resulted in exploration of polyamory, open relationships and other non-traditional relating forms.
The impact of all this on family, child raising and living arrangements has also bought many experiments in community, eco-village and other forms of cohabitation.
We are still in the early stages of the ‘descent of the archetype’ so it is likely that the experimental nature of group relating will continue for many decades to come. We are however able to get an increasingly clearer sense of where the challenges are and what key integrations are necessary in order for the process to accelerate.
1. The wheel itself must be integrated or in the process of integration between masculine and feminine, spiritual and material realities.
2. Each individual on the wheel must be working on the ‘inner marriage’ as it is through the consummation of the masculine and feminine that the central hub of the wheel can be felt and responded to. As long as they are dependent on outer relating to produce the experience of ‘love’ and contact with the centre then issues of co-dependence and possessiveness will predominate in relationships.
3. Each individual on the wheel must also be working on the integration between their animal nature and their spiritual nature – the fulfillment of their soul purpose and the needs for material sustenance and way of life.
4. Personal responsibility and sovereignty are an essential component of being able to sustain group relationship.
5. True brotherhood and sisterhood is increasingly experienced through the processes of sharing love and life together. This sharing should result in everyone on the wheel becoming increasingly integrated and self-sufficient.
6. Self-sufficiency results in increasing interdependence. Each individual becomes more aware of their superpowers or unique contribution both to the group and to the world as a result of the group relationship.
7. Relationships between people on the wheel are supported and celebrated by the wheel itself and they are held in the context of contribution to the individuals involved, the wheel itself, and to the greater whole.
8. The wheel is the ashram or bridge between the universal and the individual. It both supports individual differentiation and is enriched by it. The wheel is a conduit for universal energies of love to flow into the collective life as well as a nourishing support structure for those on it. The greater includes the lesser and everyone is developed by the increasing capacity to flow the life-force.
9. The processes of individuals taking their place on the wheel or leaving it are recognized and celebrated through ritual and there should ideally be a trial period both before and after to allow for integration.
10. The process of deciding who comes and goes on the wheel is self-evident consensus – i.e. the group recognizes itself.
11. The wheel has its own emerging processes of self-maintenance, which could be physical plane meetings, meditative alignments or other group focused rituals.
12. The wheel pays attention to and becomes increasingly aware of its role and purpose in the wider group life in which it finds itself.
There will no doubt be many different ways in which the group archetype reveals itself. The number 24 has particular significance to the integration of the soul and the body. The heart chakra has 12 petals and so does the egoic lotus (the soul body). When they fuse at the time of the third initiation or the ‘marriage’ of soul and personality then the life principle behind both is revealed. This is why it is said that 24 is the number of Shamballa, for when the transpersonal and personal fuse, the universal centre – the hub of all wheels – is revealed.