The Sun, Key XIX in the Tarot, is a card full of joyful exuberance, spiritual richness, warm-heartedness and shining light. We are walking out of the shadows of our longing and reaching out to welcome the light. It is a card of healing, warmth and clarity after a time of darkness, soul searching, loss, baffling relationships or confusing situations. Our sun gives us warmth and its light illuminates our world. We all know if we stay in the sun too long, we will burn but we must also recognize that with heat, comes dryness.
"Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword. On one side all is correct, definite, orderly; the paths are straight, the trees regular, the sun shaded; escorted by gentlemen, protected by policemen, wedded and buried by clergymen, she has only to walk demurely from cradle to grave and no one will touch a hair of her head. But on the other side all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course. The paths wind between bogs and precipices; the trees roar and rock and fall in ruin."
Virginia Woolf, 'Harriette Wilson', Collected Essays.
When The Sun appears in a reading it is, in essence, telling us that we have finally gotten out of our own way – we have stopped blocking our own light. The Sun is about becoming lit from within. We have come to understand the nature of our desires and have come to terms with the issues that have drawn shadows across our eyes and hearts for so many years. As Rod Serling says: “There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on.” We are seeing ourselves very clearly. As the saying goes, “Every dark night, ends in bright day.” The rising and setting of the sun has always represented eternal renewal.
Bright clear sunlight in a dream tells us that success in all that concerns us will be ours. A sunrise in a dream tells us that new beginnings are coming our way and a sunset is telling us of promising changes for the better. An overcast sun warns of trouble in our relationships and a red sun lets us know that we will emerge victorious from our struggles.
In The Sun we are reminded that we have found a way for our conscious personality and the wild shadow side of our nature to co-exist; one looking forward and one looking back. We must be conscious of not spending too much time looking back at a past that cannot be changed because as Edna Ferber so sagely advises us, “Living the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causes you to bump into people not going your way.” Perhaps this is the place that is the fifth dimension as described by Rod Serling “a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition.”
Some may view this as the triumph of the consciousness over the unconscious but it is more about how these two aspects are inversely proportional; as it is with light and dark, the absence of one creates the other. It is about the separation of the conscious from the unconscious. Take two rooms side by side, separated by a closed door. The first room is brightly lit, the second room has no light at all, it is completely dark. If we open the door between these two rooms, the light from the bright room has more impact on the dark room than the darkness from the unlit room has on the brighly lit room. It isn’t about perfect balance but it is, as with most things in our natural world, about life being full of irregular combinations.
It takes awareness and discernment to recognize extremely polarizing situations and transitory positions. We all have to learn, the hard way, that what is wrong in our world is how we are acting and reacting to situations, people and circumstances. This is a projection from the negative shadow side of ourself; the paralyzed, wounded and thwarted child in all of us. The integration of this shadow into our own consciousness is the beginning of awareness through intelligence and the path to happiness in the future. We are whole when we have moved away from childish thinking but not forgotten the radiant and carefree child within us.
“We are all filled with a longing for the wild. There are few culturally sanctioned antidotes for the yearning. We are taught to feel shame for such a desire. We grew our hair long and used it to hide our feelings. But the shadow of the Wild Woman still lurks behind us during our days and in our nights. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed.”
“Experiencing directly ones own shadow nature, particularly the exclusionary, jealous and exploitive aspects of the self....Owning these. Making the best relationship one can with the worst parts of oneself. Letting the pressure build between who one is taught to be and who one really is. Ultimately working toward letting the old self die and the new intuitive self be born.”
“The things that have been lost to women for centuries can be found again by following the shadows they cast.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., “Women Who Run With the Wolves”