Summer tarot cards are represented by the Sun & Strength.
I see the most appropriate card to represent Summer season as the Sun. We see the Sun card as radiating the essence of light and warmth, which can also represent the sweltering heat of Summer. We do see this depiction better in the Strength card with the ferocity and intensity of the lion being soothed by the more moderate, conservative, and cool-tempered lady.
In the Strength card, we see the symbol of the Lion and the Maiden as representing Leo and Virgo, which signs are part of the duration of the summer season. The general meaning of this card is fortitude, control, and power, really. So it would be fitting to see how the solar power of the sun is significant to this card. Also, it is a card that represents Leo, a sign ruled by the sun.
The Summer Solstice is represented by the Cancer cards, which are: the Moon from the Major Arcana & the King of Cups court card. This is because the marking of this Seasonal shift is when the Sun moves into 0degrees tropical Cancer each year on the Summer Solstice, on or around the 21st day of June in the Northern Hemisphere.
We associate Summer with the Cardinal sign of Cancer. Cardinal signs initiate and start new things and new events, such as the turning of the seasons. The watery nature of Cancer is known as the “home-body”, who is comfortable in its own environment, and is family-oriented. Family reaches beyond the nuclear unit, to family-friends, soul-tribes and even nationality, or country of origin as a familiar culture influential in one’s upbringing.
Cancer is ruled by the Moon. The moon is our mother - whether it be our home-land that provided a place to grow up, our physical mother who provided a womb and physical nourishment, or mother-figures who nurtured and supported us along our life-path. The moon is also our cosmic mother, who is the Divine Mother, connecting us to our celestial and cosmic roots, from which we all came before we made form into human flesh.
The moon card embodies the characteristics I just mentioned. The luminary in this card hovers over a winding pathway, lovingly guiding the way, by providing her reflective light for us to explore and find our way through a mysterious landscape of the internal, subconscious realm. The moon exhibits the reflective, instinctive and intuitive energy that is within all of us.
The King of Cups is a character card, otherwise known as a court card, who also represents the sign of Cancer. Cancer is a Cardinal, Feminine, Water sign.
All of the cardinal signs in the zodiac show up as kings in the court cards whether the sign he represents is of a masculine or feminine quality. Remember that we have both masculine and feminine energies in all of us, regardless of gender. All water signs are shown as cup characters in the court cards.
Generally, cups represent feeling, intuition, emotion, flow, reflection, relationship and connectivity. Cup people, like this king here, are generally approachable and likeable people. Cancer has general qualities as being compassionate, understanding, empathetic, fair and mild-tempered. The king of Cups is the family-man that builds community.
With the King of Cups, he is social, humorous, dependable, honest, kind, and traditional in his approach. He enjoys the company of others, is good at commerce and trade, and is a humanitarian who looks after the welfare of the people. He is a good neighbor, father, husband, and is probably involved in the church, spiritual or community center.
The connection between the Moon and the sign of Cancer other than rulership, is that the moon is a universal energy which pulls big bodies of water. Since water represents feeling and emotion, it is the human nature that connects us all. As humans, we are made of mostly water. The moon can affect all humans on a deep level. With Cancer, there is an ability to go deep, or keep things at surface level. Water rises to its own level. In that sense, the King of Cups can relate to pretty much anyone, no matter where they may be on their personal level of conscious awareness. As his body position expresses, the King of Cups is facing forward, approachable and open in his body posture, but not aggressive or intimidating. He is seated back in his throne that is floating on water, with his foot reached out in readiness to dive in to the watery realm of feeling which connects us all.