THE SUN // IDENTITY
Updated: Sep 15
THEMES: IDENTITY * VISIBILITY * REALIZATION * MANIFESTATION * COURAGE *
NEW BEGINNING * SUCCESS * JOY * CATHARSIS * INNER CHILD * PURITY *
HYBRIS * AMBITION * CREATION
What you see: *1)
a huge sun
a low brick wall
one or two children
a white horse
What you get:
The SUN is a welcome sight and an auspicious sign in any spread. It speaks of Identity, Visibility, New Beginnings, Realization, Success, or Joy. In western Astrology the sun is the marker of our Self, our purpose, our genuine life force, and the source of our vitality.
Does this sound like a reason to celebrate? Definitively! And yet it’s well worth it to dig a little deeper here. For today, the SUN ranks among the most underestimated and oversimplified symbol in the Tarot. We’ll see that brilliant highlights and deep shadows are inseparably interwoven in the SUN.
CREATION and CATHARSIS
The SUN teaches us that our IDENTITY is not static. Instead, our most generative life force is engaged in a constant process of regeneration, a vital and demanding cycle of death and rebirth, rise and fall.
Ancient cultures clearly grasped this double meaning and venerated the sun for its life-giving qualities such as light and warmth. But their imagery laid just as much focus on the death of the Sun at dawn and its journey through the shadowy underworld. Symbols like the Phoenix or the Scarab incorporate the twofold nature of our central luminary. The first one is an immortal bird that cyclically regenerates by burning itself and rising from its own ashes. The Scarab is a beetle that is famous for rolling balls of dung across the soil and into a subterranean tunnel system. The scarab was associated with the Egyptian god RA who is rolling the ball of the sun across the sky and accompanying it on its journey through the underworld.
Certainly, the sun always shines. But it is far from always being visible.
Let’s look at the details of the card to get this point more precisely. In the background we see a low but solid brick wall. Very often this is understood as an indicator for the constructive potential of the card. You are called to manifest and realize an idea or a project. Maybe it is time for you to start something in a bold and hands-on manner. And certainly, if your feeling tells you so, go for it! This could be the solid fundament of your future headquarter!
But then at the same time it could be something very different. Do we really see a headquarter under construction or is it rather a hindrance under deconstruction? Often the SUN is a call to demolish and overcome the mental barriers and doctrines that stop you from entering the abundant field of possibilities. In order to fully SHINE you may have to sacrifice your ideas of what’s allowed and possible. In order to be entirely SEEN you may have to leave your homezone aka Headquarter behind.
COURAGE OVER COMFORT
In our present society where Visibility and Vulnerability go hand in hand the SUN demands your COURAGE. We can think of Pink here, the young protagonist of Another brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd). To find shelter from traumatic circumstances the boy starts to build a metaphorical wall around himself which eventually leads to an existence in isolation and scarcity. The SUN is asking you to free your INNER CHILD, the torchbearer of the uncompromised and most brilliant part of your Identity, from the incarcerating structures that you no longer need.
To receive the abundant gifts of the SUN you need to find your way back in what my ZEN-Teacher Stefan Matthias once called the “second naivety”. It is an attitude that is mature, realistic, and grounded and at the same time radically open to the possibility of a positive outcome.
Alright then: Demolish any Ideas of Scarcity! Trust in Abundance! Leap for Joy!
I promise, the SUN is on your side!
What I got:
My most impressive encounter with the SUN so far happened at a workshop on advanced leadership techniques that became pathbreaking for my work. I booked it shortly after I had left the remote valley in the Alps where I had lived for six long years and was bursting with confidence and ambition. As participants we were asked to bring a token that would symbolize our objective and intention. I brought the SUN. “I want to shine!”, I said, “I want to overcome what holds be back.”
The SUN did its work. It shone its light on my enmeshments. The four days unfolded as a deconstruction of my shadowy conceptions of Authority and Hierarchy and both exposed and demolished the fine mechanics of control and manipulation that I had deeply internalized as a child. It was awful. It was healing. And yes, eventually, it led to greater success.
*1) Today, there are many different Tarot decks with very diverse imagery. But in this Blog, the Rider Waite Tarot and the Tarot de Marseille serve as major references for me.