Arcana In Balance: The Sun



There are as many ways of interpreting any given Tarot card as there are human beings reading Tarot cards. The Sun card has an abundance of meanings, all as warm and nourishing and positive as the sun itself: Advancement, achievement, joy, vitality, enlightenment, clarity. The Sun card is a picture of a full life, literally and figuratively.

A card means many things, and the overarching theme is adapted even further by context clues such as the cards position within a spread, the sitter’s questions and concerns, reversal of the card and so on. But as you might remember, the Arcana In Balance series isn’t about defining the end-all, be-all definition of a card, but rather to zoom in and try to understand the place where the card teaches us balance.

I think that balance point within the whole is most akin to Diane Morgan’s interpretation of “Stability”. Interestingly, this balance point connects nicely to the balance point within the Moon card from last week. It’s no accident that Sun is considered “Yang” and the Moon symbolizes “Yin”. These cards have a dynamic harmony not unlike the elegant relationship we see between the two in the natural world.


If the balance point of the Moon is knowing when to go with the flow, the balance point of the Sun is knowing when to go for it. Utter stability would soon become stagnation, as we saw with the Hanged Man card. Utter lack of stability would be intolerable chaos as The Tower hints. If you only go with the flow, you risk being floated out to sea by the current. If you only fight the current you drown from exhaustion.  Balance the two, and you will find your way to shore.

Not enough sun and you lack vitamin D. Too much sun, and your skin burns. Balance the two, and you will find better health. Whatever analogy you choose, humans thrive in the “goldilocks zone” where things change, but in a learn-able, know-able way. Carl Sagan talks about this in the original “Cosmos” TV series, and again in this quote via

“For myself, I like a universe that, includes much that is unknown and, at the same time, much that is knowable. A universe in which everything is known would be static and dull, as boring as the heaven of some weak-minded theologians. A universe that is unknowable is no fit place for a thinking being. The ideal universe for us is one very much like the universe we inhabit. And I would guess that this is not really much of a coincidence.”

The sun rises every day. It sets every day. That is stable, reliable, comfortable, alive…but it is not devoid of change. It can’t be all sun all the time. We benefit from being attuned to the cycles, we benefit, too, when we take charge, make choices and make changes. Here I’m reminded of that James Carville quote I love to invoke when talking about predictions “I’d rather not predict. I’d rather affect” (via

The balance point of the Sun card is, once again, our reaction to external circumstances. Here we are asked to think about when we seek stability, and when we can execute change. The moon is Yin power, the power of attraction and attunement to natural flows, but the Sun is proactive power, the power of action and choice. It is knowing when to act to change things and when to act to preserve them. Protective and proactive, The Sun is a warrior card, keeping things stable when the comfort and shelter is needed, but having the courage to step out of the stability when needed. This warrior’s balance can indeed lead us to all the other wonderful things the Sun card can mean: enlightenment, joy, clarity (think sartori) and more.