The hidden meaning of Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” lies in the peculiar position of the 7 Nights of Midsummer’s Dream from June 19 to 25, culminating in the night of St. John the Baptist, the last prophet of the Old Testament and the first of the New Testament.
It is a reflection of the 13 Holy Nights, but unlike this period, it is not a gap between the lunar year and the calendar year. In this case it is the time that is gradually being canceled in cosmic space. There are 7 nights connected to the 7 spheres of the Planets and the archetype of time, which lead to the 12 signs of the Zodiac and the archetype of space. More precisely, Winter Solstice and Christmas celebrate the transition from the Mysteries of Space to the Mysteries of Time; Summer Solstice and St. John the Baptist celebrate the transition from the Mysteries of Time to those of Space.
Among these events is Easter, which celebrates the transition between time (Christmas) and space (Saint John). Therefore, if it is possible to penetrate the mysteries of Christmas with the imaginative consciousness, that of Easter with the inspirational consciousness, it is only with the future intuitive consciousness that it will be possible to penetrate the mysteries of St. John and Midsummer Night. Christmas is therefore a feast that humanity can already understand, since it is the birth of the heavenly soul of Jesus in the sublunar sphere: the Moon is the earthly past that we can already understand. Easter is the feast that humanity is called to understand in the present, since it is connected to the Epiphany, with the birth of the Sun-Christ in Jesus: the Sun is the present. St. John the Baptist is the feast that humanity can only understand in the future, being it connected to the sphere of Saturn from which the physical body of man originally descended: Saturn is the cosmic past that can only be understood in the future.
The occult sequence is the sequence of the 7 planets in ascending order, from the Moon to Saturn:
- 18/19 June – Moon
- 19/20 June – Mercury
- 20/21 June – Venus
- 21/22 June – Sun: Litha / Summer Solstice in the Sign of Cancer
- 22/23 June – Mars
- 23/24 June – Jupiter: Nativity of St. John the Baptist
- 24/25 June – Saturn
As in the case of the Holy Nights, it is possible to add an additional night, the 8th on June 25/26, which represents the Zodiac which is the limit of the sphere of the Ancient Saturn. This ascending sequence of planets celebrates the expansion of man into the macrocosm and the return to the condition of the Ancient Saturn, the limit of which was the Zodiac. The heat that envelops the Earth at the height of summer is a reminder of that ancient saturnia condition, of only cosmic warmth.
However, since the Ancient Saturn is also the foundation sphere of the Earth as the Garden of Eden as well as Adam Kadmon, since the Earth and humanity were one in the Ancient Saturn, it is also possible to consider the descending sequence of the planets, i.e. from Saturn (1st) to the Moon (7th), ending in the Earth (8th), which celebrates the descent of humanity from the cosmic past to the Earth’s present.
The Summer Solstice takes place in the Sign of Cancer, ruled by the Moon, the Lady of the Waters, which also represents the dreamy consciousness of the Ancient Moon and the mirror of all cosmic impulses from the past.
The outer physical Sun is here at its highest power, while the inner spiritual Sun is at its lowest power. This implies that the possibility of slipping into the ancient dreaming consciousness of the Moon is at its maximum. In fact, John the Baptist, the initiate of Aquarius, baptized under the cardinal sign of Water, Cancer, which has the Moon itself as its governor: Christ descends into the physical body of Jesus of Nazareth at the moment of baptism in the Jordan, thus sanctioning the beginning of the interpenetration of the forces of the Sun into the body of man and, subsequently with the Mystery of Golgotha, into the body of the Earth.
We can therefore characterize the polarity between 13 Holy Nights and 7 Dream Nights in this way:
- 13 Holy Nights: the upper ego-body astral pole prevails over the lower body physical-etheric pole. Self-consciousness is strengthened to such an extent that it is possible to meet Christ in his recapitulation of the Incarnation in Jesus of Nazareth. The 13 Holy Nights put us in communication with Christ as the future image of humanity that is fully manifested in the Epiphany and in his action in the Mystery of Golgotha and Resurrection at Easter.
- 7 Dream Nights: the lower pole of the physical-etheric body prevails over the upper pole of the astral body. The dreaming consciousness is strengthened to such an extent that it is possible to encounter the previous stages of humanity’s evolution in the form of imaginations, particularly linked to elemental beings, the spirits of the 4 elements that govern the 4 ethers: life, sound, light and heat. Here then are the fairies as main characters of Shakespeare’s work.
It should also be noted that the 13th Night of the Holy Nights is already the night of Adam Kadmon and is therefore linked to this summer period: the sum of the 12 Holy Nights + the 13th Night + the 7 Half-Summer Dream Nights gives as a result the number 19 which, in itself, is the sum of the 12 signs of the Zodiac and the 7 spheres of the Planets, the same number of the Esoteric Lessons of the First Class.
Now, if the ego finds the Christ more accessible during the 13 Holy Nights, it will be much more difficult during the summer reflection of the 7 Nights of Dream, since the ego will be at its “sleep” maximum. For this reason, on St. John the Baptist’s Day, medicinal herbs are collected, some of which are made a bonfire as an offering to the ancient gods. It is in fact a period in which the etheric body and the physical body are more subject to regeneration also thanks to the etheric forces of plants; suffering less from the intense action of the Ego-body astral pole.
If in the 13 Holy Nights a strengthening of dreams during sleep is observed, in the 7 Nights of Half-Summer Dream it is the dreaming consciousness of the lower pole physical-etheric body that emerges during the day, in the waking consciousness. This recapitulation of a past condition of humanity revives the memory of Paradise in the soul of man.
In other words, the 7 Nights of Mid-Summer Dream have more to do with the past than with the future of humanity. For this reason, to penetrate them through a conscious vision, the highest intuitive consciousness is necessary, a condition that can only be acquired in the future by humanity. It is therefore the paradisiacal image of Adam Kadmon, the immaculate soul of Adam, also called the Nathanic Soul, who is incarnated in the cave like the baby Jesus in Luke’s Gospel. This is confirmed by the fact that John the Baptist is not only the reincarnated Elijah, but in turn is that part of Adam who is cast out of Paradise together with Eve: John the Baptist is the reincarnation of Adam, the manifest counterpart of Adam Kadmon who shows himself to dreamy clairvoyance in the dazzling exterior beauty of summer.
In this sense the polarity is between Adam the Baptist and Christ Jesus:
- Adam-the Baptist: sums up the whole Old Testament story. The first man, expelled from Paradise who with his ministry foretells the coming of Christ. The Baptist is the one who baptizes with water. It is Adam who wants to return to the Father.
- Christ-Jesus: represents the whole New Testament and anticipates the future times of Revelation. He is the one who restores the heavenly condition of Adam through action in the Mystery of Golgotha. Jesus is the never fallen part of the Baptist. Christ is the one who baptizes with fire.
Just as in the 13 Holy Nights Jesus, the high initiate, and Christ, the solar god, are co-present, so in the 7 Nights of the Mid-Summer Dream, John the Baptist, the first man, and Adam Kadmon, the cosmic man, are co-present. Thus a double lemniscate is formed: on the one hand, at the height of winter, between Jesus as the representative of humanity rising up towards Christ, the representative of the Trinity in the cosmos descending towards the Earth; on the other, at the height of summer, between the last prophet of the Old Testament John the Baptist who foretells the union of Christ with the first man Adam.
Being the return to an atavistic condition, one must therefore be careful not to be absorbed in this past dreamy consciousness, which recalls the desire to live in Nature, to go to the sea and be lulled by salt water, which reminds us of the cosmic condition of the Ancient Moon, when the cellular liquids of the living and those of the Earth were one. The temptation will therefore be to dissolve luciferically into the dreamy condition of the Ancient Moon. Thus, the Feast of St. John the Baptist is a feast of the future will of the human being who will be able to penetrate with intuitive forces into the source of the splendor of physical-sensitive existence, the foundation of which is the Ancient Saturn.
The bonfire of the night of the feast of St. John the Baptist represents the highest spirit of outer fire, Lucifer, or Prometheus, the bearer of the flame of intelligence and outer fire. Since Lucifer remained behind in the Ancient Moon, he is the one who through his action brings man back to the past heavenly condition, that of the group soul before the Expulsion from Paradise, when man could still eat the Fruit of Life.
The 7 Nights of the Half-Summer Dream therefore show us the past of human evolution that from the cosmic heights in which he lived expanded as a cosmic man, Adam Kadmon, descends progressively towards the Earth, compressing himself and thus becoming incarnate. In this process of incarnation, the cosmic Adam is broken in the individual souls of men through the intervention of Lucifer and the Fruit of Knowledge.
The polarity in this sense is between Adam Kadmon and Lucifer:
- Adam Kadmon and the Tree of Life: the ether of life and the ether of sound. The Fruit of Life is the connection with the divine life of the Elohim, the creators of the archetypal human form through the Ego. Life as destiny.
- Lucifer and the Tree of Knowledge: the ether of light and the ether of sound. The Fruit of Knowledge is the anticipation of the future condition of freedom. Life as free will.
In this imagination, there is on the one hand the great image of Adam Kadmon, as bearer of the Fruit of the Tree of Life, and on the other hand there is Lucifer as harbinger of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, at the centre is the Ego of man, which proceeds of the group soul towards individuality.