19. The Sun

The Sun (XIX) is a Major Arcana in the tarot deck.


The Sun card expresses a great joy of living, vitality, warmth, and confidence. It also stands for the illuminating powers of the conscious mind with which we achieve clarity and overcome problems, annoyances, and uncanny fears. It is additionally a symbol of youthful freshness and the feeling of being reborn. On a deeper level, it challenges us to overcome the darkness in ourselves, expand our sunlike nature, and free our “darkened” brother or sister and bring them into the light. A. E. Waite suggested that this card is associated with attained knowledge. The conscious mind prevails over the fears and illusions of the unconscious. Innocence is renewed through discovery, bringing hope for the future.


The Sun is the giver of life, nothing can live without the suns warmth and beams of light. The child of life holds a red flag, representing the blood of renewal while a smiling sun shines down on him, representing accomplishment. The white horse upon which the child rides represents strength and purity of spirit. The horse is without saddle or bridle. It is controlled without the use of the hands, either. This is a symbol of perfect control between the conscious and subconscious. The walled garden is the cultivated garden of mankind. He is riding away from it, leaving it behind. The sunflowers in the background represent life and the fruitfulness of the spirit under the nourishment of the Sun. There are four sunflowers, representing the four suits of the Minor Arcana, as well as the four elements. The wreath and the feather are the same wreath and feather the Fool wears.

The Sun in the Tarot of Marseilles
Alternative Decks

In the Mythic Tarot deck, the Sun is depicted by Apollo.

Opposing cards

Moon – confusion, disorientation, illusion
Eight of Cups – weariness
Six of Swords – depressed, listless
Five of Pentacles – being rundown, tired

Reinforcing cards

Tower – enlightenment, revelation
World – accomplishment, great achievement
Two of Wands – personal power, vitality, brilliance
Six of Wands – acclaim, prominence


The Sun is an energetic card, a simple card as well: no elaborate scheming, plain and simple is the best option. When the Sun turns up in a reading, it indicates a boost forward and the fact you can trust that work can and will be done, with relative little effort. You take pleasure in the simple life. This card is also a sign of success and completion. It can be a herald of joy, happiness, a good marriage, the birth of a child, a stable family, material prosperity or almost any other end that is positive – but above all it shows completion. One cycle is over and, before the next begins, there is a period of light and relaxation that you can and should properly enjoy. Success comes if you are confident and bold in the use of your creative energy.
Sun reversed indicates that finding the warmth and positive aspects may prove to be a little difficult. But, the Sun is never a negative card, and this is only temporary. The obstacles you see can be easily removed if you put your mind to it.


As soon as I perceived the Sun, I understood that It, Itself, is the expression of the Fiery Word and the sign of the Emperor.
The great luminary shone with an intense heat upon the large golden heads of sun-flowers.
And I saw a naked boy, whose head was wreathed with roses, galloping on a white horse and waving a bright-red banner.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I shut my eyes for a moment and when I opened them again I saw that each ray of the Sun is the sceptre of the Emperor and bears life. And I saw how under the concentration of these rays the mystic flowers of the waters open and receive the rays into themselves and how all Nature is constantly born from the union of two principles. – The Symbolism of the Tarot by P D. Ouspensky (1913)


The New Tarot Handbook Master the Meanings of the Cards - Rachel Pollack
True Tarot Card Meanings Learn the Secrets of Professional Readers - Andrea Green
A History of the Occult Tarot - Ronald Decker & Michael Dummett
The Big Book of Angel Tarot: The Essential Guide to Symbols, Spreads, and Accurate Readings - Radleigh Valentine
Tarot: Mirror of the Soul: Handbook for the Aleister Crowley Tarot - Gerd Ziegler
It's Written in the Cards - An Atomic Age Approach to Card Reading - Dr. Leo Louis Martello
Advanced Tarot Secrets : Secrets from the best tarot readers in the world - Dusty White
The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot: Keys to the Rituals, Symbolism, Magic and Divination - Chic Cicero, Sandra Tabatha Cicero
Understanding the Tarot Court - Mary K. Greer, Tom Little
A Cultural History of Tarot From Entertainment to Esotericism - Helen Farley
How to Perform a Psychic Reading - A Beginners Guide to Reading Tarot Cards - James Gregory
Kitchen Table Tarot Pull Up a Chair, Shuffle the Cards, and Let’s Talk Tarot - Melissa Cynova
A Feminist Tarot - Sally Miller Gearhart & Susan Rennie
WTF is Tarot ... How Do I Do It -  Bakara Wintner
Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot : The True Story of the World’s Most Popular Tarot - Marcus Katz & Tali Goodwin
Wisdom of the Tarot - Elisabeth Haich
How To Use Tarot Spreads - Sylvia Abraham
The Esoteric Tarot - The Key to the Cabala - Simon Kasdin
Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot - Rachel Pollack
Tarot for Troubled Times Confront Your Shadow, Heal Your Self  Transform the World - Shaheen Miro, Theresa Reed
Tarot Magic: Ceremonial Magic Using Golden Dawn Correspondences - Donald Tyson
Tarot Shadow Work: Using the Dark Symbols to Heal - Christine Jette
The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals - Mary K. Greer
Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth - Benebell Wen
Tarot Spells - Janina Renee

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