The Sun is the nineteenth archetype of the Tarot’s Major Arcana. Radiating positive energy, it represents vitality, abundance and success. It is a wonderful card and unequivocally one of the most positive in the Tarot deck.
The Sun often appears at the end of a rough patch, or at the end of a crisis-filled dark night of the soul. It represents the moment when things finally begin looking up, when the dark clouds finally part to reveal the sunlight. The Sun is the embodiment of renewed hope and relief.
In its seeming simplicity, the Sun reminds us to look at the bright side of every life situation, and to cultivate and priorities joy in our lives.
What does the Sun mean in Tarot?
The Sun Tarot card represents all the things that come to mind when you think of the sun – it has associations of light, optimism, joy.
When we dig a little deeper it also represents success, abundance, healing, good news and good fortune. Plants flourish and tense muscles under the sun – when the sun appears after a dark, cold winter, its light puts a spring in our step and infuses us with a renewed sense of optimism and positive expectation.
When reversed the Sun becomes blocked and upended an we may struggle with connecting to its life-giving energies.
Is the Sun the most powerful Tarot card?
As a Major Arcana card, the Sun is one of the most powerful in the Tarot. Just as the literal sun is an indispensable force and presence in our lives, so are the qualities represented by the Sun Tarot card.
All too often dismissed as simply a good luck symbol or a signifier of an optimistic disposition, the Sun should play a much more central role in our lives than we often let it. After all, what is the meaning of life if not experiencing happiness?
The Sun, the Moon and the Star
The Sun Tarot card is one of the last in the Major Arcana. It forms part of the story that begins with the Fool card and ends with the World.
Because of its position in the Major Arcana, the Sun is preceded by many earlier chapters. The two immediately leading up to it help define the true meaning of the Sun.
The Star is the seventeenth Tarot card of the Major Arcana. Its primary meaning is inner guidance, finding and following the illumination of your own inner guiding star.
The Star can represent glimmers of light in a dark place. The landscape in the Star card is dark and mysterious, but if you have the ability to follow your intuition, you will find your way. In the Star card, you have to trust that your instincts are leading you in the right direction. The Sun card will be your reward, but you cannot get to it without going through the shadow.
The Moon is the eighteenth Tarot card of the Major Arcana and represents one of the darkest moments on the spiritual journey.
You have been following the illumination of your inner guiding star, but by the light of the moon, everything can look distorted. The Moon card essentially represents your own inner shadows, and your venturing through them in order to finally emerge in the light of the Sun.
The Sun is where you end up when you are able to follow your own inner voice, trusting it as it leads you through the most shadowy places both within and without.
The Sun card represents the joy and relief of a new dawn, a new opportunity, a new chapter.
Universal Sun Tarot card symbology
The Sun, like every other Tarot card, differs in appearance from mTarot deck to Tarot deck. Most are based on the traditional Rider-Waite Tarot and includes its symbols.
The golden-haired infant
A naked, golden-haired infant is the central figure of the Sun Tarot card. He is seated on the back of a horse and his arms are flung open as if to embrace the entire world. its joys and opportunities. The infant’s body language suggests enthusiasm and trust in the universe.
The infant himself is a symbol of the innocence, purity, wonder and potential of youth. An infant is unblemished, unencumbered, unhurried, unworried and able to exist fully in the present.
The white horse
The infant is riding a white horse. Like the infant itself, the horse is a symbol of innocence, purity and potential – a blank slate upon which anything can be written.
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But the horse is also a symbol of strength, vitality and freedom. A horse is also a mode of transportation, representing a sense of powerful positive forward movement.
Of course, there are also the fairytale connotations of the knight in shining armour, riding in on a white horse to save the day. In other words, the horse can also be considered a symbol of hope, of transformation, and of the positive and benevolent forces of the universe coming to our aid and carrying us in the right direction.
A large, anthropomorphic sun takes up most of the sky in the Sun Tarot card, its rays stretching beyond the edges of the card.
The sun is the joyful, life-giving force that makes everything grow and unfold. It represents life force, lust for life, and positive energy. The Sun can also represent inner illumination and feelings of confidence, joy and optimism.
Large sunflowers are growing out of the ground behind the infant – they are being nurtured and drawn up and out of the ground by the power of the sun. These flowers are the tangible manifestations of the sun’s powerful influence – they are sunlight in solidified form, examples of the sun’s manifesting ability.
The infant protagonist is wearing a wreath of sunflowers on his head, suggesting his ability to manifest, create, grow and become.
The red banner
The infant is holding a long red banner in one hand as he charges ahead on the horse. The red banner is a symbol the infant’s bloodline.
He is the newest leaf on the family tree and now the banner has been passed onto him. Many expectations and responsibilities may come along with carrying the banner, but they don’t weigh on him yet.
Meanings of the Sun Tarot card
The Sun Tarot card encompasses more than the clear and immediate associations that come to mind when you look at the Sun. These are the card’s most prominent meanings.
When the Sun card appears in a Tarot reading it is usually a sign of happiness, joy, relief, positive feelings and fresh, positive energies.
Happiness can come from any number of different sources or circumstances, but its essence is always the same.
Success, a positive outcome
When the Sun Tarot card appears, it is a sign of good things happening in the querent’s life. The future is looking bright, and success is a given.
A response you have been waiting for finally comes through. A new job may enable you to turn a negative financial situation around. An expected or unexpected opportunity arises to shine.
The Sun Tarot card can be a sign of healing and recovery.
The healing and recovery that the Sun card talks about can be literal and physical, such as overcoming an illness or shaking an addiction – but it can also be understood metaphorically or metaphysically and could mean overcoming an inner blockage or healing an old trauma.
The Sun card is imbued with warmth and its associated qualities of relaxation, comfort, nurturing and affection.
Warm feelings can be experienced literally when we sit in the sun an absorb its invigorating rays, but it can also be experienced in our pursuits and in our relationships with other people. Warmth can simply be an inner feeling of being in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing, moving in the right direction.
Vitality is one of the core upright meanings of the Sun Tarot card.
The sun is one of the most powerful and invigorating forces in the universe – it fills us back up with life when our batteries are low.
The Sun Tarot card meaning includes innocence, purity and the potential and freshness of a blank slate.
When the Sun appears, it signifies a new chance, a new dawn, an opportunity to begin anew. Sometimes it is about giving yourself permission to let go of any guilt, shame or other negative feelings associated with the past in order to allow yourself to embrace life.
In some Tarot readings the Sun card can signify finding a new path ahead or exploring a new and novel approach to a known issue or situation.
The Sun Tarot card meaning is not complete without a mention of lightheartedness and pure unbridled fun.
Too often in life, we tend to be overly serious and neglect our inherent human desire for playfulness and novelty. The Sun card can appear a potent reminder to priorities and make space for these aspects of yourself.
When the Sun shows up in its upright position in a Tarot reading, it is a reminder that you deserve to create and cultivate pockets in your life where you can exist feeling carefree, self assured and fully present and alive.
Meanings of the Sun Tarot card reversed
When the Sun Tarot card appears reversed in a Tarot reading, its general meaning is inverted and its positive and revitalising energies are blocked.
Depression, sadness, pessimism
The Sun reversed often implies negative feelings; sadness, a pessimistic outlook, despondency and even depression. Negative self-talk is often part of the picture.
The Sun reversed shows an inability to connect with the positive aspects of the Sun’s energy. It could be that you are depriving yourself of happiness and fun, perhaps dismissing these all-important experiences and pursuits as frivolous or as something you are undeserving of.
A negative outcome, self sabotage
The Sun reversed can point towards a negative outcome to a situation that is beyond your ability to control.
On the other hand, the reversed Sun can be a sign that you are sabotaging your own ability to achieve success and success. Giving ourselves permission to experience and reach out for what life has to offer us is one of the most important, and sometimes one of the most difficult, life lessons.
When the Sun card appears in its upright position it hints at a positive, yet still grounded outlook on life. The reversed Sun, on the other hand, can be a sign of an overly optimistic disposition or excessive enthusiasm. If you set the bar way, way too high and expect to be able to reach it easily, you have set yourself up for frustration and constant dissatisfaction. Perhaps it is time to re-negotiate your expectations with yourself and to contemplate whether less rigid expectations would set you free and ultimately allow you to experience more happiness.
The Sun reversed can be an important reminder to think things through, and to approach life in a realistic, hands-on way. An imperfect reality is much more fulfilling and thriving than a perfect fantasy.
What the Sun Tarot card tells you about your personal development
The Sun is the most positive of all of the Tarot cards. When it appears in a reading talking about your personal development, it suggests that happiness is within reach.
The upright sun Tarot card implies that you are in a good place in your life; you are feeling confident and comfortable in your own skin and in your own mind. You have arrived at a place where you are well aware of your flaws and limitations, but also of your potential and your gifts. There is a sense of self-acceptance and an openness and curiosity about what the future brings. You acknowledge that your life isn’t perfect, but you also accept that happiness doesn’t require a perfect set of circumstances.
When the Sun reversed appears in a reading talking about your personal development, it is bad news.
The reversed Sun Tarot card meaning includes self-sabotage and self-denial. Allowing ourselves to experience happiness and live our full potential should be the most natural and straight-forward thing – sadly, it rarely is.
When the Sun Tarot card appears in its reversed position it often points to blockages, inner wounds and internalised negativity hindering you from living and expressing yourself to the fullest. Dedicate some quality time to your own healing, to working on yourself and nurturing yourself.
What the Sun Tarot card tells you about love and romance
The Sun Tarot card meanings are not focused on any specific circumstances or relationships, but can still be interpreted and brought into specific circumstances. When the Sun Tarot card appears in a reading talking about love, romance and relationships, it is a powerfully positive omen.
The Tarot upright Sun signifies ease, trust openness, curiosity and embracing the positive aspects of life, including love and eroticism. The warm feelings hinted at in the Sun Tarot card meaning can be the positive feelings of being in love, or of feeling seen, heard and desired by a partner.
When it comes to love and romance, the reversed Sun card shows a toxic or negative situation. The toxicity and negativity can come either from within yourself in the form of holding back and not allowing yourself to open up and trust anyone and as a result squashing any romantic promise before it can grow, or it can come from a partner. Perhaps you are with someone whose negative attitude or criticisms are rubbing off on you and tinting the prism you view your life through. The Sun card reversed urges you not to allow this to happen.
Pull back a little, and at the same time, work on yourself, on restoring your own trust and confidence in the universe.