XIX - The Sun

XIX - The Sun - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

The final card in our trilogy of celestial bodies, the Sun represents the warmth, safety, protection, and the constancy of life. The Sun is the antepenultimate card of the Major Arcana and represents the period of tranquillity and jubilation that we seek in life when we reach the end of the great path, before we prepare to venture beyond the limits of the Earthly plane.

In the upright state, the Sun asks us to embrace the life we live in all of its glory and in all of its imperfections. The Sun represents our attempts to release ourselves of burdens, to rest and relax in order to prepare the soul for the next stage of our existence. At this point in our journey our job is done, or work is met, and we have wrought all that we can. The circle of life begins again in the generations that will follow in our footsteps, here we pass on what we have learned to that new generation, whether they be our kin or kindred.

In the inverted state the Sun represents solitude, loneliness, and severity of being. At the end of the great journey the pill of acceptance is bitter and hard to swallow when we have not achieved what we sought to do in this life. The Sun in its inverted state calls upon us to make peace with our past failures and to find solace. The celestial object within our skies sits alone in solitude bathing Earth in radiant beauty and nurturing the lives of those who follow the path it illuminates before us.

In the Rider-Waite deck the Sun sits in the sky above a depiction of serenity. All life ultimately relies upon sunlight, it is the giver of life, a gift bestowed upon man by God to sustain the Earthly plane. Beneath the Sun four sunflowers can be seen bathing in its radiance, sustained by its rays. The sunflower will always turn to face the Sun in the sky, no matter where it is planted. The Italian name for sunflower as shared by many European languages is “girasole” which stems from the Latin root “gira” to turn, and “sol” meaning Sun. Their presence in the card calls upon us to turn towards warmth and comfort and find peace and happiness in the moment. Our job is no longer to look forward in hope, nor to look back in despair, but to find contentment in the moment.

At the bottom of the card a child sits upon a white horse, representing the circle of life’s continuance in the generations that come after us, the horse echoes the symbolism of Death who rode a white horse representing their symbiosis and the renewal and transformation of life with each new iteration.

The red tapestry flowing aside the child represents the tapestry of life woven by the Sisters Fate, representing the interconnectedness of all beings, our shared impact, and the legacy we leave behind.

Finally in the bottom right barely visible in the stone wall can be seen the Rod of Aaron inherited by each new generation, God’s presence persists in perpetuity.

In self-reflection the Sun serves as a prompt to consider the fixed points in our lives and the situations we find ourselves in. The Sun emphasises the consideration of what is reliable and what we can depend upon. These can be micro or macro elements, minutes in an hour, hours in a day, the seasons changing, anything separate from us that provides certainty against a backdrop of change and unpredictability.

Recognition of the constancy of our world and the wider Universe can be reassuring as a point of comparison when we find ourselves overwhelmed by change, and overwhelmed by uncertainty, or overwhelmed by choice. The Sun will always shine, whether we can see it or not, day will always turn to night, and return again with the dawn. Our planet will continue to spin and traverse the cosmos, no matter how significant our struggles may become there is an entire Universe out there and the depth of infinity to contemplate.

The scale, and magnitude of the problems we face are determined by the focus, concentration, and the weight that we give them. When you are feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself “Why am I focusing on this?” or “Why is this consuming so much of my time and energy?” and crucially “What can I do or focus on instead?” the key here is not suppression but rather preventing obsession.

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