Summer Solstice / The Portal of Mortals

As markers of the seasons, the solstices have long been the subject of magic and myth.  Even in our scientifically oriented times, these ancient ideas can inform much about our relationship with our world.


Summer Solstice

In a letter to a wealthy patron, a renowned Renaissance philosopher and astrologer addressed the esoteric significance of the summer solstice, which marks the sun’s entrance into the zodiac sign of Cancer:

“Ancient theologians said that souls go into lower things through Cancer, the domicile of Luna. For since by a disposition to generation they come into a region subject to generation, appropriately they were thought to make their way through the zone of Luna which favours generation. Therefore the ancients called Cancer the gateway of mortals.”

Marsilio Ficino

According to the ancients, it’s through the portal of the summer solstice that heavenly souls incarnate into the earth plane.   Indeed, the sign of Cancer is still associated with lunar functions like mothering and nurturing the tender and young.


Kabbalistically, the moon is associated with Yesod, the ninth sephira , which corresponds to the organs of reproduction. 


Because of its central position in the Kabblistic Tree, Yesod participates simultaneously in – and bridges the gap between – the worlds of body and spirit.


But because Yesod is also associated with the concept of Maya or illusion, it is a place where we can easily go astray. 

For this reason, at the summer solstice not everything is as it seems.  At this sacred time, we easily see that the light force is at its strongest.  Yet how many of us also see that within this bright moment lies the seed of decay?

So today, take time to honour not only the sun’s zenith, but the entirety of its cycle.  In doing so, you take a conscious step toward making the most of your incarnation through this portal of mortals, which has both a beginning and an end.

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