Thursday, June 24th is Midsummer Day (quarter day) and the Feast of St. John the Baptist, forerunner, cousin and baptizer of Jesus of Nazareth. This feast day, the oldest festival in the Christian church, occurs three months after the Annunciation and six months before Christmas (winter solstice). There is a famous statement St. John made upon seeing Jesus at the River Jordon, “He (Jesus) must increase, as I (John) must decrease.” (John 3:30). The statement reflects the Gemini brothers’ Castor & Pollux seed thought “I see my other self and in the waning of that self, I grow and glow” (referring to the dimming of the personality (John or in the light of the waxing of the Soul).
“The symbolic role for John in Christianity is to act as the sacrifical twin for Jesus: the dark twin of the summer solstice (John) being replaced by the light twin at the winter solstice (Jesus).” Two St. Johns are the patron saints of Freemasonry; St. John the Baptist at midsummer (June 24) and St. John the Evangilist on Dec. 27. The two saints represent Temple columns, one during the greatest time of light (summer) and the other at the greatest darkness (winter). Standing as they do at the solstices, they represent doorways to light and dark, just as the signs Cancer and Capricorn represent the Gates from spirit to matter and back again. On midsummer’s day the ancients honored water and fire, the sun and the plant kingdom. It is the time of the great wedding (Duke Theseus to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons) as written by Shakespeare (lesser avatar, disciple, Master R.) in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (three plots, a wedding, the woodland and Fairyland featuring the King and Queen of the Fairies, Oberon and Tatiana, under the light of the moon).