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The Sun Tarot Card Meaning – Smith-Waite Centennial

The weather is warming up here in the Okanagan, and The Sun feels like a great card for today's Card of the Day free reading! And with our daily tarot card yet again in the reversed position, it's an invitation to lighten things up. 

Have you been having a hard time seeing the sunnier side of things lately? It can be tough this time of year to channel positive vibes. But you're not alone, as the tarot reminds you. So let's take a closer look at The Sun card and what it means.

The Sun tarot card reversed featuring two Tiny Ritual spell candles, detailed image description in body text, dark blue background

The Sun card in the Smith-Waite Centennial tarot deck

In tarot, the Major Arcana or trump suit has 22 cards—numbered from 0 to 21—and The Sun is card 19. Traditionally, The Sun is associated with "masculine" energy while its counterpart, The Moon card, is associated with "feminine" energy. Personally, I don't draw much inspiration from gender binaries in tarot. And if you're interested in why that is, you can take a look at our Card of the Day post for the Queen of Pentacles. Let's take a look from a different perspective.

In Rider-Waite-Smith tarot decks, The Sun card shows a happy-looking infant riding a peaceful white horse and a rippling red banner. The baby and the horse evoke a sense of joy and innocence, while the red banner suggests triumph and more maturity than the card at first implies. Typically, tarot readers think of the order of the Major Arcana as a cycle of the soul's personal development, beginning with The Fool and ending with The World. This progression is called "the Fool's Journey." And with The Sun standing third-last along this journey, today's card suggests a great deal of past experience in the conceptual background.

Meanwhile, in the literal background of The Sun card, we have a grey stone wall with a row of merry sunflowers peeping over the top. Above it all, an enormous yellow sun radiates across a blue sky. The sun's face is serious—though not quite stern. Between the wall and the sunflowers, as well as the happy sky and the sun's serious expression, we see another echo of that dichotomy we looked at before. Like the infant versus the banner, these juxtapositions between light-heartedness and seriousness emphasize that the meaning of The Sun card is a return to innocence. This is a joy that comes despite, or perhaps because of, the weight of accumulated wisdom.

So upright, The Sun card is all about a happy outcome to some calculated decisions. But in the reversed position, it's less an omen of good results and more an invitation to start taking a sunnier outlook.

Connecting with real joy—not just pressure to "stay positive"

In the spirituality and wellness communities, there's a lot of pressure to cultivate "positive vibes" and a tendency to oversimplify mental health as merely "staying positive." Aside from the ableism of compulsory positivity, assuming that everyone can be happy if they just try hard enough is simply misguided! The last thing I want folks to take away from today's reading is to make a show of seeming happy.

Instead, The Sun card invites you to take a look at the journey behind you and where you're at now. This card means you've made some really huge steps but you're looking at your progress from a totally skewed perspective. Are you making mountains out of molehills? Your shadow is longest when the sun's at your back.

Celebrate warmth and your own inner fire

If you can, try to look at your progress with the generosity you'd have for a friend. Would you be prouder of them if they were in your exact position than you are of yourself? And what would it feel like to view yourself in a kinder light? If you look up just a bit, you'll notice the sunflowers and not just the grey stones.

If the darkness of winter is weighing you down, it can help to light a literal fire. Big or small, I always find that spending some time with a safe, toasty fire can help me reflect and unwind. If you don't have access to a fireplace or bonfire, even a candle will do. That's why I've pictured The Sun card above with two beeswax candles. These ones are from Tiny Ritual, my favourite candle brand—and Tiny Ritual also shares some compelling thoughts on how to retrain your mind away from negativity. (This isn't a paid promo or anything. I just really love their candles and their blog!)

So spend some time today learning to appreciate your own inner fire. Consider everything you've learned and accomplished on this tough journey of yours. And if you can safely access a literal fire today, it can help you connect with some compassion for yourself.

S.M. signature — Savanna Margaret's initials

Having trouble seeing things from a positive perspective? Tarot readings can help. You can book a one-on-one session with yours truly if you'd like some inspiration.