The Sun


Tarot 19 – The Sun

By James Donahue

Having successfully made the fearful journey described in the Moon tarot card, Number 18, our Fool now emerges in The Sun card, said by many readers to be the happiest and most popular of the cards when it appears in a tarot reading.

The Sun is the antithesis of The Moon card. For our traveler, the night has passed and he finds himself enjoying a glorious summer day. The Sun symbolizes success, well-being and happiness. This card also symbolizes unconditional love, the type of love that does not depend on any kind of reward.

Notice that our character appears on this card as a happy, naked child riding a white horse and holding a flowing red banner. Dominating the picture is the sun, its powerful rays reaching across the heavens.

Some say the white horse symbolizes solar energy, which the rider controls without the use of a bridle or even a saddle. The child represents a perfect balance between the control of the conscious and subconscious mind. His nakedness shows that he has nothing to hide and is nearing the final stages of his spiritual journey.

Notice there is a red feather projecting from the hair of the child. This same feather appears on the Fool and Death cards in the Waite/Ryder decks. One analyst suggested that Waite purposely uses this feather to tie these three cards together. He is perhaps suggesting that at this point the Fool has been transformed through the mystical Death and now is nearing the end of his educational journey.

The child and horse are moving away from a walled garden created by mankind. Peering over the top of this wall are four sunflowers, in full bloom. The walled garden is man-made. It offers protection from the outside world, but it also confines all who find themselves trapped within. As this wall grows it becomes a tower, symbolic of the ego, which has been a constant pitfall for our Fool as it is with all of us.

Notice that on this card, our Fool is riding away from the wall. It is as if he has escaped this trap and is now enjoying the ultimate freedom of spiritual bliss that all of us seek. He has returned to the raw innocence of childhood.



The Mind of James Donahue