Summer Solstice and the Sailor

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“On A Ship The Sailors Lower An Old Flag And Raise A New One”

The Sabian symbol presiding over the Summer Solstice is a perfect picture that captures the divine battle between the Oak King and the Holly King that takes place as the Sun moves into the cardinal water sign Cancer.

Traditionally the year is split into two halves: the light half ruled by the Oak King and the dark half ruled by the Holly King. On the shortest night of the year the Oak King finally relinquishes his hold and darkness takes over. From this day onwards towards Winter Solstice there will be a little less light each day. Darkness falls earlier and earlier and the sleepy sun will struggle to awaken in the morning. The two Kings are the dual aspects of the Sun God, locked in an eternal battle yet neither can destroy the other.

The root of the word ‘solstice’ means to ‘stand still’. From our perspective on earth, the Sun seems to halt in the sky. At the Solstice sunrise the Sun will be at its most northeasterly point. At noon the Sun will be at its highest in the year. If you stood on the Tropic of Cancer at noon on the longest day, the Sun would cast no shadow as it is directly overhead. To me this symbolises the time in the year when the hero’s journey is clear. He stands still to truly see how far he has come, what has happened and what might happen next. Solstice is a time to pause and take stock on your own hero’s journey unhindered by shadows.

The Solstice point in my own chart occurs in the 11th house. It is the perfect time of year for me to stand still with the Sun and take a good look at the goals and wishes I have. It’s time to look back to how far I have come and look forward to where I need to go. As the Oak king gives way to the Holly King, now is the time to see if how I am working is working for me. Does something need to change? It is also a time for me to reflect on friendships and my contacts with the wider world.

The New Moon in Cancer follows quick on the heels of the Solstice at 8.35 tomorrow evening adding the emphasis on the nurturing theme. I look to the house that is ruled by Cancer to tell me where my energies should be going at this time.

In my own chart Cancer rules the 12th house. Cancer shows us where and/or what we need to nurture in our lives. For me it is important that I nurture my sanctuary to ensure that I have a safe place of retreat. I have a deep need to protect my innermost self. As the Solstice and then the new Moon occur in my 11th house of goals, wishes and friendships I can combine these themes by making sure I take time out of my busy life to contemplate where I am going with the goals I have set myself and spend some restful time with friends. Take a look at your own chart to see where the Solstice point falls and also the new Moon in Cancer which occurs at just 1 degree of the mother sign. The early fall of the New Moon means that there will be a second New Moon in Cancer in July. There is an extended opportunity to spend time cherishing the part of your life ruled by the watery Moon. The Cancerian theme heralded by the Solstice will be with us for some time to come. We all need to Mother ourselves a little sometimes.

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