I got your goat!


Pictured above is the planet Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, whose symbol is a goat.

Saturn’s domain includes many things, including our individual authority or inner author.  Saturn reminds us that we are the Chief Decision Makers in charge of our lives!

For more reasons than I can name here, we have given over our goat (our authority) to others – our parents, religious institutions, spouses, bosses, doctors, gurus, coaches, educators, and the media.

Suffice to say, our goat is getting got, a lot!

At least these are the terms in which astrologer Caroline Casey talks about Saturn and it’s incarnation in the form of Capricorn.

As an officiant I see this phenomenon show up strongly when it comes to wedding vows.

What does the ringed planet have to do with wedding vows, you ask?

It’s surprising to me how many people don’t think about the vows they will be making to each other, which essentially form the ground of their marriage.

What happens in ceremony ripples into material reality, as what’s invoked under the alter unfolds into the world over time.

As a modern minister and a bit of a trickster, I rub my hands together with a dubious twinkle in my eyes when I get to decide what other people will promise one another under the alter 😉

But honestly I much prefer when couples write their own vows, and make promises in proportion to their natures and private knowing of each other – staying true to themselves and the spirit of their relationship. It thrills me when they use the opportunity of their ceremony to enhance what is already between them, and invoke that which has direct and personal meaning to them.

I like for them to take it on, and take it seriously!

How can I ever know what happens behind closed doors and get inside the exchanges of love and erotic exploration that happen between them, or the ways they navigate the trials and tensions of their relationship dynamics and dysfunctions…?

Some couples just feel confused and don’t know what to write.  They need help, and that’s great!  That’s when we can put our heads and hearts together and create something magical.  Where my experience can meet their love story and animate and direct it in a good way.

However, some couples just don’t want to think about it, or can’t be bothered.  But it’s not very easy to get behind words that are not your own, or keep promises that are not in resonance with you, or that feel contrived.

I think our world would be very different if we looked within to know ourselves deeply, determined what was best for us personally, questioned our beliefs and conditioning, and insisted on relevance and meaning.

Some of the ways you can recover your inner authority include:

*Do a media fast for a period of time – cutting out (or significantly limiting) all radio, tv, social media, etc.

*Try on ideas the way you would a new outfit. You don’t have to keep it, just be willing to wear it around the house for a day or two.

*Question everything – not in a combative way, but in a way that is grounded in curiosity and wonder. Ask yourself questions like: Is this empirically true? Is there another way I can look at this?

*See how things feel in your body and psyche. When you hear a concept or an idea notice whether you feel fragmented and conflicted, or excited and empowered. Notice if your body goes into contraction or expansion; if you are breathing more deeply or holding your breath. Does it make your mind spin, loop and race, or does it feels relaxing or enlivening…?

Just some things to consider!

I hope that we can all wake up to the ways that we give our thoughts, preferences, and choices away, and break free from influences that obscure our essence and our truest self-expression!  I pray that we can take back our rites and rituals and feed that which is holy in new and life-giving ways!



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