The Sun is entering the sign of Cancer today, which means it’s the Summer Solstice! Let’s take a look at the meaning of the Summer Solstice, as well as some reminders about the sign and symbolism of Cancer…
* The Summer Solstice is first and foremost, in the language of astrology, a symbolic moment that participates in the symbolic framework of horoscopic/tropical astrology. Though it was originally conceived of from the vantage point of the northern hemisphere, because the language and entire framework of astrology is symbolic, the sign of Cancer and its seasonal symbolism may apply to anyone born during the sign of Cancer, from anywhere on planet earth.
* At the time of the Summer Solstice we have reached the longest day of the year, and yet it is from this exact point that the light will begin to descend again, and the days will slowly but surely grow shorter again, all the way up until the Fall Equinox when there is an equal amount of light and dark in the 24 hour period. Symbolically, this means that we are departing from the light and descending toward darkness. In the language of mysticism, “spirit is descending into matter again.” This moment reflects the porthole of rebirth, reincarnation, and the cycle of birth and death in general.
* Like the Winter Solstice, when we set “new intentions” for the year ahead, it’s a great time to check in and see how far you’ve come, or to once again set new intentions.
* Today I am celebrating a full year of rising before sunrise to meditate. When I first began this challenge my intention was to get to know the Sun better, and to work toward a deeper and healthier relationship to myself and my spiritual life, as well. I am happy to report that meditating prior to sunrise for the past year was a big success. I didn’t miss one day all year, and as a result I couldn’t recommend rising with the Sun more highly. Going to bed earlier and rising earlier has had a profound impact on my life, and meditation to go along with it has impacted me more than I could ever hope to summarize in words. I decided that I would share this accomplishment publicly today not because it’s really an accomplishment to brag about but because I hope that it may inspire some of my readers to commit more fully to your own spiritual health, whatever that may look like. Make it your top priority, every single day, to address your inner life, to get still and to listen, to slow down and tune in. What we find inside is the divine living in our hearts, speaking to us, encouraging us, instructing us, and guiding us, and the voice grows louder and the guidance clearer, the more we prioritize its presence.
* So, at this Summer Solstice moment, celebrate the light that lives in your heart and recommit to your spiritual health!
* As the Sun is now descending, it’s a good time to remember some basic lessons about Cancer and the Moon.
* The Moon and Cancer alike, Cancer being the temple of the Moon, are related to the descent of Spirit into matter, as well as the importance of remembering the original source/light that we are part of and longing to return to, all the time. For example, when babies come out of the womb they find the breast naturally, instinctively, so strong is the need to stay connected to its source. As we grow older we are taught to individuate and separate, to grow independent, and yet our need for nourishment, home, and heart remains as strong as when we were infants. So the question becomes, “How do I individuate while finding healthy ways to remain connected to my transcendental, spiritual home and source in consciousness? How do I stay connected to my essence as a divine spark?”
* During Cancer season it’s a great time to look at where and how we’re connecting our hearts for the sake of nourishment. It’s a great time to look at the environment we live in and to ask ourselves whether or not this environment is providing us with real and lasting spiritual nourishment, or whether it is creating an unhealthy codependency. You can always tell if you listen to the voice of your conscience, the voice of your own mother/father/sage that lives within you. It is a loving but firm voice, guiding and reminding you of what is best, correcting but not scolding, guiding but not forcing.
* The Moon has always been related to the Mind and to the mind of the world. When the mind is busy and active and frenetic without a stable and soft center, in no time at all we become “dis-eased.” In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that the mind is both an enemy and a friend. It has the capacity to be either for us, and so it depends on what we feed it and how we direct our attention. In a sense, our minds like our environments, are a sensitive ecosystem. What we feed our mind in turns dictates whether our mind will become a source of nourishment and guidance, or whether it will be helping us to justify and rationalize our unhealthy behavior, living in a complex web of denial or delusion.
* Our delusions can be grand and sentimental. They often have to be for us to remain so attached to them. And yet, ridding ourselves of a delusion rarely works if we are harsh about how we eliminate the delusion.
* Think: my mind is my friend. I can make simple, kind, good decisions.
Prayer: Be our Moon mind. Be our friend. Be our ever loving friend.