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The Llewellyn Journal
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The Sun

This article was written by Norma Cowie
posted under Tarot

The Sun from the Animal Totem Tarot

The Sun's energy gives us warmth, light, and life. The Major Arcana card of the Sun, number nineteen, represents the same. It demonstrates to us the symbology of rebirth, growth, and progress. In numerology, "nineteen" comprises One—the beginning, newness, creation—and Nine—endings and completion. We breathe in, only to breathe out and in again. Night gives way to day, day gives way to night. Life begins, ends, and begins again.

Voyaging Toward the Sun
Our journey toward understanding how to work with this primary source energy begins with card I of the Major Arcana, the Magician. He is young, willing to learn about life, ready for adventure. We progress with him through understanding, temptation, and triumph, until we arrive at card XIII, Death. Here we are reduced to the bare bones of our philosophy and go through the test of fire. Here we die to the old and proceed into the new. We pass through the fires of the Devil and the Tower to be reborn with the Star, and arrive at the Sun a new person, completing the process, the coming out, as in a graduation. This stage of the journey is complete.

In the Rider-Waite Deck, both the Death and Sun symbols are riding white horses, moving from left (the past) to right (the future). Both carry flags—Death the mystic rose, the Sun a red flag of Truth. The great difference is that the Death symbol has no flesh: it is a skeleton covered in armor, while the Sun is a small, chubby child, the skeleton reborn. The child is intent on the new future.

Realizing Our Journeys
Sometimes changes happen so gradually that we are in a new future without being aware that anything has changed, unless we look back and realize, "Wow, things are different." Other times we are very aware that everything has changed. Whichever way it happens, change and the vibration of the Sun occur consistently in our lives. We come to have a new appreciation with each cycle of change. In the inner spiritual world the Sun represents the realization that the journey, the learning, the understanding is complete. As this level is finished, we are now ready to begin another new level of understanding, always growing in greater and greater dimension. We become humble in this realization of the forces we work with every day.

The journey to these realization points of our lives is not always easy. The corners need to be rubbed smooth. This happens as we let go of opinions and judgments that we would have fought for at one time. We realize that we are loved by the great force behind all things. We are one. This great force was often recognized and worshiped by previous cultures as the Sun, because the Sun was identified as the force that gave life. Today we understand that this force is within and throughout all things. The Sun, representing the force of life, is not separate and far off: it is here, right now.

By recognizing this force we become more attuned: our intuitive nature becomes as easy as breath. We begin a new cycle of life with new ideals and ideas. We embody the Sun. We become and accept our own power that radiates life with every step, every thought, every action. We grow beyond what we dreamed. We are one with all there is. We are completely ourselves. Life is good; it gives us all we need. As the Sun expresses life and as we embrace this life, we enjoy it on all levels, in consciousness, as we continue to grow as human beings on planet Earth.


Four Elements
The Four Elements Spread is a good spread for general queries. Concentrating on the question asked, lay five cards: one at the center, and one at each compass point around the central card. The bottom card represents the earthy, material aspect of the question. The top card stands for air and intellect. The left-hand card represents fire and action, the right-hand card water and emotion. The central tarot card gathers the four elements together, integrating them into a whole and bringing the central issue of the question to light.

From Llewellyn's 2001 Tarot Calendar. For more Llewellyn tarot books and decks, click here.


Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

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