The Meaning of
"The Sun" Tarot Card
Tarot Quick Info
What is the inverted meaning of
"The Sun" card?
The Meaning of
The Symbolism of the Sun Tarot Card
The top-half of the The Sun tarot card is taken up by a depiction of a brilliant Sun. The face of the Sun is placid, calm and benevolent. She spreads her energy and vitality to the world.
Beneath the warmth of the Sun rides a happy child seated naked on a white horse. The horse is not bound by a harness or saddle, which indicates limitless freedom.
The child — whose gender is ambiguous — wears a crown of sunflowers symbolizing simplicity, happiness and contentment.
The face drawn on the Sun is placid, calm and benevolent. She spreads her energy and vitality to the world.
As with figures in the The Star and The Moon cards, the child here personifies the radiance of the Sun — with a heart that shines brightly, spreading radiant joy.
In one hand, the child waves a long red banner symbolizing vitality and freedom. The great, flowing banner seems surprisingly light, and despite the child's small size he/she holds it up effortlessly.
Behind the child are four sunflowers which symbolize the four suits of the Minor Arcana. The wall behind the child suggests a walled garden — symbolizing safety and adding to the carefree feeling of the card.
NOTE: Observant tarot readers may notice that the red feather which extends from the child's head is similar to the feathers found in The Fool and the Death tarot cards. For such a happy card, it's a striking symbolic connection — especially to associate Death with a child only a few cards later. The feather takes us on an interesting journey of its own through the Tarot; The Fool represents the start of the journey; Death represents a transition and purification; and finally, we see the spirit glorified in the Sun with a return to joy and happiness.
How to Interpret the Sun tarot Card
The Sun is one of the most positive cards in the Major Arcana. It brings a message of vitality, warmth and contentment.
Everything that was previously obscured or mysterious in the Moon card is now clear. Questions are answered; Desires are fulfilled.
... it is an indication of abundance and increased personal strength
The pure heart of a child and the brilliant sun signify a rebirth into joy after a time of clouds and reduced energy.
When the Sun card rises into a tarot reading it is an indication of abundance and increased personal strength. It may indicate a time of brightness and success — or it may indicate a person who radiates the qualities of the Sun.
The Sun card also reminds us of interpersonal relations, and the way our personal energy is felt by others around us. The card reminds us that we each shine our energy onto the people in our lives. The way people act in our presence is often a reflection of the light we radiate.
It is also helpful to consider the Sun card in relation to its preceding card in the tarot sequence: The Moon. Where the moon represents questions and <9>unasnwered mysteries, the Sun represents the clearing of those mysteries — and the answering of long-standing questions. If something has been wrapped in mystery, the Sun may indicate a final unveiling of the truth.
If the card references a past event or a prior trend, it may reference a time when abundance was manifest and when energy and love flowed freely. If the card references a future event, it may point to a coming breakthrough, when the clouds part, and energy and warmth finally return.
The Sun is an extremely positive card. It carries overtones of financial success, rising physical health, a clearing of past problems and inner peace.
The Sun tarot Card Inverted
The reversed Sun card is often misinterpreted to mean gloom or have a similar negative meaning. In most cases, the reversed Sun card is still very positive — but indicates that someone is having difficulty seeing the positive in a situation.
When the sun is hidden behind clouds, it still shines just as brightly.
When the sun is hidden behind clouds, it still shines just as brightly. Likewise, the inverted Sun card represents a concealed positivity. Something is masking warmth and radiance — but that warmth and radiance is still there.
When the reversed Sun card appears in a reading, we are reminded that light is still shining. All clouds eventually part, and the sunshine always eventually returns.
The card may also indicate a silver lining, hidden within a cloud. Perhaps something that seems negative or ordinary actually has a positive side which has not yet been considered.
In some cases, the card may also carry a gentle warning about being overly optimistic or overly hopeful. If the card references a situation about which there is already considerable brightness and optimism, the reversed Sun card may remind us that while the clouds are not currently visible — they may one day return.
Generally speaking, the Sun card reversed is still a very positive card. It carries overtones of inner warmth, financial turnarounds, or a diamond in the rough.
Common Symbols Found On the Sun Card
Tarot cards often use a a symbolic language to convey additional hints about each card. The Sun includes at least three common, repeating Tarot symbols. Each of these symbols which repeat throughout the deck can add greater levels of meaning to the card.
The symbols which appear on the Sun card are:
Children symbolism appears on the Sun card:
On Minor Arcana cards children convey the idea of the positive ideas of innocence and purity of intent. When appearing alongside parents, children generally convey the concepts of family, wealth and happiness.
NOTE: The child depicted in The Sun card is subtly different from other children appearing throughout the Tarot deck. On the Sun card, the happy child is a personification of the Sun itself. He or she (the child's gender is unclear) represents not only innocence, but also happiness, vitality and joy.
Garlands symbolism appears on the Sun card:
The symbolism of garlands and rings of flowers appears often on many cards of the classic Rider Waite deck. Garlands of leaves and flowers represent festivity, plenty and our unbreakable connection to nature. In some cases, the presence of garlands may also point to a ceremony or some official recognition.
The Red Feather
The red feather symbolism appears on the Sun card:
The red feather symbol is among the most frequently debated symbols of the seminal Rider-Waite deck. One thing that makes the feather so notable are the 3 extremely important Major Arcana cards upon which the feather makes an appearance: The Fool, Death, and The Sun. The feather is prominently displayed on all three cards, and would seem to be central to the interpretation of all three. The red feather also makes an appearance in the Minor Arcana — on the Page of Wands.
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