(The above image is a copy of The Sun card in a standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The 8 symbols pointed out above are explained below.)
The Sun card illuminates our consciousness. It is a card of vitality, high energy, and freedom. While The Moon card illustrated our hidden instincts, The Sun card illustrates the part of us that we know and embrace. The card encourages us to be like the child and to succumb to the wonders of life.
For more information about The Sun card, check out A. E. Waite’s description here.
Point 1 – SUN
A sun shines in the center of The Sun card in similar fashion to the moon in The Moon card. While the moon illustrates our subconsciousness, the sun illustrates our consciousness. Like the moon, the sun has a personalized face while also representing collectivized knowledge.
Point 2 – SUN’S RAYS
The sun emits 21 rays of sunlight. This is meant to represent the other 21 cards in the major arcana. By omitting itself as a ray, The Sun card reveals the importance of illuminating others. The sun could turn the light inward, but instead chooses to turn it outward.
Point 3 – FOUR SUNFLOWERS
Out of a wall, there grows four sunflowers. Like the 21 rays, these flowers are meant to represent other aspects of Tarot. Specifically, the four flowers represent the four suits of the minor arcana: The Cups, The Swords, The Pentacles, and The Wands. The difference between the powerful sun and the imitating sunflowers illustrates the relationship between the major and minor arcana.
Point 4 – CHILD
A naked child rides a white horse at the bottom of the card. The child’s joy represents the fulfillment following spiritual enlightenment. His outspread hands illustrate the need to let go of the material world; he doesn’t hold any reins on the horse and yet he rides it confidently.
Point 5 – RED FEATHER
Above the child’s head, there is a red feather. On one level, this red feather represents the passion and liveliness this child exhibits. On a deeper level, this feather is a call back to The Fool card. By representing the fool as a child here, The Sun card reminds us of the child-like wonder we must inhabit to complete the fool’s journey.
Point 6 – RED BANNER
Despite being physically weak, the child is able to hold up a large red banner, revealing his inner strength. The banner not only reiterates the vitality illustrated in the feather, its length connects the highbrow of the sun with the lowbrow of the sunflowers, providing a bridge between two arcana.
Point 7 – HORSE
The white horse that the child rides symbolizes his purity and innocence. The horse is also a call back to The Death card. While that white horse brought death, this white horse brings life. Connections could also be made between the child and the grim reaper, both of whom carry banners and wear red feathers.
Point 8 – WALL
A grey wall cuts through the middle of the card. While the red banner connects the sun and the sunflowers, the grey wall separates them. It is a reminder of our limits and it illustrates the necessity to set boundaries.
An Upright Sun radiates positive energy. It is a card of success and fulfillment. Perhaps you have been going through a difficult time lately. An Upright Sun encourages you that the dark times are ending and are being replaced by the light of day. Be like the child. Let go of what is holding you back and experience the joy of the sun
A Reverse Sun suggests a failure of recognition. Perhaps you are hiding behind a veneer of adulthood. Let go of pretense and embrace your inner child. Enjoy life and the wonder that it offers. A Reverse Sun encourages you to look on the bright side of things. When dark times come, look around you and be grateful for all the blessings in your life.
For more Tarot Card Meanings, check out our blog here.
About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company Upwork.com. You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about Tarot here and his LinkedIn profile here.