Tarot : The Sun

The Sun Card

Tarot: The Sun

The Sun radiates joy, vitality, and the rejuvenating spirit of our inner child. This card is a potent reminder to bask in the effervescent light of life itself. It beckons you to to embrace the source of all vital life and recognize that same radiant energy within yourself. The Sun card urges you to rekindle a connection with the warmth and playfulness associated with childhood. It invites you to rediscover the innocence and spontaneity that may have faded with the passage of time.

Like a sunflower turning to face the sun, it is time to allow your spirit to unfurl and absorb the boundless energy of this cosmic force. The Sun card is an embodiment of pure positivity, a beacon of hope that reminds you to celebrate each day with the unbridled enthusiasm of a child, for in doing so, you infuse your life with an vibrancy that touches not only your own heart but also those around you.

The Sun Reversed

The Sun reversed in tarot often symbolizes clouds temporarily obscuring the joy and positivity associated with this card. It suggests a period where optimism is waning and clarity may be eluding you. This card position can indicate self-doubt or external factors that could be hindering your happiness. Even so, it is also a reminder that the sun always rises again, and this phase is temporary. You are being called toward inner reflection. It is time to seek the source of your inner light and trust that brighter days will come again.


“I radiate joy, warmth, and vitality. I bask in abundant joy of the present moment, embracing my authentic self and spreading light to those around me”

Major Arcana Symbolism

Tarot Card NameThe Sun
Traditional Card ImageryA stylized version of the sun
Traditional SymbolismGrowth, Success, Reason, Splendor, Abundance
NumberXIX, 19
Classical ElementFire
Traditional Upright MeaningPositivity, fun, warmth, success, freedom, openness, inner beauty, confidence, love, good luck, enthusiasm, vitality, success, optimism, joy, happiness, truth, self-actualization
Traditional Reversed MeaningInner child, feeling down, negative mindset, self-doubt, conceitedness, overly optimistic, oppression, unrealistic expectations, need for inspiration
Archetype In NatureThe energetic power of the environment to provide light, fuel, and other necessities
ChakraSolar Plexus
Astrological CorrespondenceLeo, Sun
Yes or NoYes
Crystals and StonesYellow Tiger’s Eye, Olivine, Lemon Quartz, Heliodor, Yellow Jade, Peridot, Golden Pearl, Sphene, Jargoon, Sulfur, Melichrysos, Honey Calcite, Pyrite, Chrysolite
The Sun Reversed

Tarot Through the Ages

Tarot was originally invented as a card game in the mid 15th century. French occultist Jean-Baptiste Alliette, also known as “Etteilla”, was the first to assign divinatory meanings to the cards in the late 1700s. Many others have followed in his footsteps, bringing their own unique interpretation of the cards. In our exploration of the Tarot, we weave together contemporary insights with the timeless wisdom of the past. This blending of past and present perspectives offers a more holistic view, allowing us to connect with the evolving narrative and lineage of wisdom that has shaped our understanding of each card over time. Let’s dive into some of these historical interpretations…

Allegory of Death

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 Sun (XIX)

The Sun (XIX)

The luminary on the Sun card is distinguished ,in older cards, by alternating straight and wavy rays. The Sun appears to shed its influence on earth by light, heat, and-like the moon card- by drops of dew. Court de Gebelin termed these droplets “tears of gold and of pearl”, just as he identified the lunar dew as “the tears of Isis”.

The card signifies the transit from the manifest light of this world. This is represented by the glorious sun of earth, the light of the world to come, which precedes aspiration. This kind of hope is characteristic of the heart of a child. The sun is also a symbol of the consciousness within the spirit. This consciousness exists in direct opposition to the reflected light.

In this card, we see humanity as a little child in the sense of simplicity, innocence, and wisdom. In that same simplicity, he bears the seal of Nature and of Art. In his innocence, he signifies the restored world. When the self-knowing spirit has revealed itself to the natural mind, humanity finds renewal. Higher consciousness and instinct exist in harmony as man moves forward through life.

-Modern Translation of The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite (1910)

The Sun Card Imagery

On the Sun card we see a naked child mounted on a white horse and displaying a red standard. This seems a suitable symbolism for this card. It is the destiny of the Supernatural East and the great and holy light which leads the endless procession of humanity, emerging from the walled garden of the sensitive life and passing on the journey home.

Beneath the dog-star there is a wall, suggesting an enclosure of a walled garden where two children live. These children would be either naked or lightly clothed. Facing the water, they would be playing or running hand in hand. In the foreground, a naked child is mounted on a white horse and displays a scarlet standard.

-Modern Translation of The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite (1910)

The Sun Meaning

The Sun Meaning

Two naked children are shut behind a walled enclosure. The sun sends down his rays upon them, and drops of gold escape from him and fall upon the ground. The spirit resumes its ascension and it is no longer a reflected light, which illumines the figure. Rather, it is the direct creative light of the God of our Universe, which floods the figure with his rays. The walls indicate that we are still in the visible or material world. The two children symbolize the two creative fluids (positive and negative) of the new creature.

-Modern Translation of The Tarot of The Bohemians by Papus (1892)

Significations of The Sun

  • Awakening of the Spirit, Transition From the Material World to the Divine World, Nature Accomplishing the Functions of God = The Elements
  • The Body of Man is Renewed = Nutrition, Digestion
  • The Material World Commences Its Ascension Towards God = The Mineral Kingdom

-Tarot of The Bohemians by Papus (1892)

The Sun Tarot Nocturna Graphic

The Sun Card

The Meaning of The Sun Card Throughout History

The Tarot deck is a beautiful synthesis of esoteric thought and archetypal imagery. The journey of the deck, shaped by the events and values of each era, has continued to evolve and take on new significance as it adapts to a larger cultural story. Often a tarot card will have a variety of names and meanings. Exploring the historical interpretations of each card will create a deeper understanding of this powerful method for divination and self-discovery.

Various Names For The Sun Card

Tarot de Marseille (1650)The Sun
Court de Gébelin (1781)The Sun
Etteilla (1783)Enlightenment / Fire
Paul Christian (1870)The Dazzling Light
Golden Dawn (1888)The Lord of the Fire World
Papus (1892)The Sun
Rider-Waite (1910)The Sun
Thoth (1943)The Sun
The Lord of the Fire World

Card XIX: The Sun

The Sun sending down his rays upon two children, who suggest the sign Gemini. (Behind them is a low wall.) It signifies Earthly Happiness.

Upright: Happiness, Content, Joy
Reversed: These in a minor degree

-The Tarot by S.L. MacGregor Mathers (1888)

Support Independent Bookstores With These Tarot Selections

Support Independent Bookstores With These Tarot Selections

Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Their mission aims to strengthen the fragile ecosystem and keep local bookstores an integral part of our culture and communities. We have put together a collection of some of our favorite Tarot items. The deep symbolism of the Tarot can be used to access a wellspring of inner wisdom and guidance. This method of divination is also an incredible tool for accessing your own powerful intuition.

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The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

The Sun (XIX) - The Illustrated Key to the Tarot published 1918, public domain
The Sun (XIX) – The Illustrated Key to the Tarot published 1918, public domain

This guide by Arthur Edward Waite, the designer of the most widely known Tarot deck and distinguished scholar of the Kabbalah, is the essential Tarot reference. The pictorial key contains a detailed description of each card in the celebrated 78-card Rider-Waite Tarot deck, along with regular and reversed meanings. Contents describe symbols and secret tradition, ancient Celtic methods of divination, and wonderful illustrations of each Tarot card. This book is the perfect complement to old-style fortune telling and also serves to make the Tarot entirely accessible to modern-day readers. The Pictorial Key to the Tarot is the classic guide to the Rider-Waite deck and to Tarot symbolism in general.

The Llewellyn Tarot

The Sun (XIX) - The Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson © 2006 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. All rights reserved, used by permission.
The Sun (XIX) – The Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson © 2006 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. All rights reserved, used by permission.

The imagery of the Llewellyn Tarot invites you into a mystic world of ancient forests, sensuous seascapes and wondrous waterfalls brimming with mystery, meaning and magic. This lavishly illustrated deck is based on the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith deck, making readings easy. It also reveals a compelling Celtic story featuring Rhiannon as The Empress, Bran the Blessed as The Emperor, The Wild Herdsman as The Devil, Gwydion as The Magician, Llew Llaw Gyffes as the Bringer of Light and other figures from Welsh mythology.

Harmonious Tarot


The mythical world of Lady Victoria Westwood will enchant you with it’s charming feel of a hand-painted tea cup or maidens fanning a goddess. The borders of the Harmonious Tarot show typical Victorian decorative flowers, and the backs are intense, mirrored mazes like rugs or wall hangings that are ideal as focal points for meditation and pathworking. It’s subtlety and whimsy makes this deck ideal to bring forth new insights and realizations. Like the Victorians, it’s depth is often more than is apparent on the surface.

How will you Harness The Transformative Power of The Tarot?

We invite you to walk into a cosmic narrative in which we are all a unique element in each other’s story. Humanity has long used sacred tools for awakening the soul and illuminating our path toward enlightenment. The Tarot is simply an instrument. These cards amplify your inner wisdom and empower your highest truth.

What aspects of The Tarot can serve you as you walk through your own Mystic Doorway?

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What you have read is only the beginning…

Mystic Doorway is always gaining new insight into the rich symbolism of Tarot. We are looking forward to sharing with you as we continue to expand our knowledge of this divinatory tool. Check back with us soon to see what we’ve added to our Library.