The Sun is about to reach its maximum peak, as the shadows at noon are getting shorter and shorter. The Soul of the World soars towards the cosmos, abandoning itself to the heights of the stellar worlds. Human senses become more powerful as light and heat penetrate deeper and deeper into our bodies. Besieged by the summer, consciousness surrenders to a sweet numbness.
The heat makes us feel attracted to the sea and its refreshment. Fire calls Water, Gold calls Silver. Out in the world, the alchemy of nature takes place, working in secret on the union of opposites. At the Summer Solstice, matter becomes subtle and turns into spirit—into the thinnest ethers. And with our participation, human vices are transformed into virtues.
But what does all this have to do with the sign of Cancer? And what is the relationship between this water sign and the summer heat? In this article we are going to talk about it in relation to the Virtue of the Zodiac given by Rudolf Steiner: Unselfishness becomes Catharsis.
The Spiritual Forces of Cancer
Cancer is the sign of the Mother. It represents the womb from which every life comes into being. This immediately makes us think of the primordial sea as the cradle of life. So the waters of Cancer are the amniotic fluid that envelops what is about to be born.
In a spiritual sense, what we want to give birth to is a new human being, something higher than ourselves. The mother represents a renunciation of selfishness operated by Nature, since she has to take care of and nurture another being. In this sense, Cancer represents the forces of unselfishness. And not only on a natural level, but also on a spiritual level.
On a spiritual level, the Mother is the archetype of the human soul that is able to give birth inside of us to an unselfish being. It is the mystery of Isis-Sophia, the Mother of God, who gives birth to the Spirit in us—the divine Solar Being.
Unselfishness becomes Catharsis
The unselfishness that makes us dedicate to others, such as the archetype of the mother does according to the laws of nature, has an effect on our soul. This is called Catharsis.
The term Catharsis means purification. In Ancient Greece It was a term especially used to refer to the purification of the human soul for spiritual purposes. And this is exactly what altruism brings to our soul. It purifies it, in order to create the space to receive the spiritual light, also called enlightenment or the Holy Spirit.
According to Anthroposophy, this subtle transformation of the Astral Body, uniting the human soul with the archetype of the Isis-Sophia, leads to the development of the Spiritual Self—the first spiritual member of the human being.
In this sense we can say that Unselfishness becomes Catharsis. And that Catharsis opens the door to the impulse of the Divine Wisdom—Sophia.
As you can see this inner process is placed as a complement image to Christmas (Winter Solstice), when instead the solar being is born out in the macrocosm. And the upcoming festival of St. John on June 24, recalls baptism—a moment of both rebirth and purification.
The Summer Solstice Sky
How can we find a reflection of this impulse towards purification in the sky? Let’s take a look at the Summer Solstice chart (see the picture above).
Let’s start from the Sun (yellow circle). As you can see it’s distancing itself from Mercury, which is about to get direct. As we know both Mercury Retrograde and the last Solar Eclipse in Gemini raised a lot of shadows to process and to purify, during the last month.
This is also pointed out by the Moon (purple circle). The Moon is the ruler of Cancer, so the entrance of the Sun in this sign particularly involves her in the process.
Not only the Moon is closing the Saturn Uranus Square in a T-Square, but it’s also in her fall (Scorpio) and in the so called via Combusta (usually from 15° Libra to 15° Scorpio, but it depends who you ask). This means that this Moon definitely requires a deep form of purification.
In fact the Moon indicates an emotional involvement in the Saturn Uranus Square which we discussed about in the last article. And as we know the forces of Scorpio (Moon in Scorpio) can go deep in order to heal the soul. But they require us to tackle things we usually don’t want to deal with.
Twelve Moods Meditation for the Summer Solstice
I hope this article inspired you to take into account a personal purification process. I would like to leave you with a little idea that I am considering. I’ve “translated” the positions of the planets in the Summer Solstice chart into the corresponding verses that Steiner gave us in the Twelve Moods. This is the resulting meditation, please let me know what think about this idea in the comments below.
SUN IN CANCER
You resting, luminous glow,
VENUS IN CANCER
Engender warmth of life,
MERCURY IN GEMINI
Embrace what desires to strive
MARS IN LEO
Toward the firm resolve ‘to be’.
JUPITER IN PISCES
Through becoming, uplifted to existence,
SATURN IN AQUARIUS
In becoming, shaping itself to existence.
MOON IN SCORPIO
All-being sustains the beings.
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I consider myself a free researcher in western spiritual disciplines, in particular Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy and the Neoplatonic Hermetic tradition. I have a three-year training in Astrology at the CIDA delegation of Trieste, the Italian Center for Astrological Disciplines. I graduated in Computer Engineering from the University of Trieste.