What Does The Sun Card Mean In Tarot, And Why Is It So Important To Your Inner Child?

Tarot readings have long been used as a form of divination (and a fun night in with friends!). By randomly shuffling and pulling cards while focusing on your intention, it's believed that you'll be able to glean more insight into the situation at hand and get a fuller picture of what's going on. The difficult part of interpreting a reading, however, is understanding what each of these cards means. A standard tarot deck has 78 cards that consist of 22 major arcana cards and 56 minor arcana cards, so it can take years for even the most dedicated practitioners to fully memorize each of their meanings — even longer if they incorporate alternate meanings for cards drawn in reversed positions.


Some of these meanings are pretty straightforward — the Lovers, for example — but others take a more symbolic approach. The Sun card falls into the latter category, but by understanding the imagery and symbolism within the art and how this card relates to the rest of the deck, you'll be able to nail down the meaning and streamline your readings in no time.

The symbolism of the Sun card

Each tarot deck contains slightly different imagery, but for introductory purposes, we'll focus on the most well-known and well-loved deck: The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot. This deck was designed for the purposes of divination in the early 1900s as a response to a growing global interest in mysticism, and it's the most common choice for beginners. The designs are brightly-colored, medieval-inspired, and laden with symbolism, making them a solid option as you're learning each of the card's meanings.


The Sun card in the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot features, of course, a sun, but it also includes a happy young child sitting atop a white horse, as well as four sunflowers that symbolize each of the four suits in the deck, which in turn represent the four classical elements (fire, water, air, and earth). A card based around the sun is going to naturally radiate light and positivity, but the inclusion of the child and the white horse also hints at a more focused kind of joy that relates to the inner child. The overall impression that the card leaves is one of innocence, purity, and brightness — themes that will carry through in the card's more specific meanings in a reading.

What the Sun means upright

When a card is pulled upright in a reading, you typically know you can take its meaning to be more direct and aligned with the traditional symbols. In the case of the Sun card, this is quite a good thing: The Sun card represents joy and positivity, so seeing this card in a reading could point to the subject of the reading being happy and warm — or that happier times are ahead. It's also representative of an increase in energy and tapping into your internal vitality, whether that be through an outward expression of emotion and creativity or something more physical, like exercise.


Overall, this card read upright is likely to indicate that you (or the subject of the reading) will be feeling your best, full of energy, and ready to share your positivity, warmth, and carefree spirit with the world. When combined with other cards in a reading, the Sun suggests a general feeling of happiness and positivity, even if the other cards point to certain challenges or delays up ahead. If you're looking for an encouraging sign, it doesn't get much more optimistic than the Sun!

What the Sun means reversed

When it comes to reversals in tarot, meanings can get a bit tricky. Many readers choose to ignore reversals until they have a better grasp on the upright meanings of cards, but if you feel you're ready to incorporate a new step, there are a few approaches you can take. Some readers see reversals as a direct opposite meaning of the original card; some think that a reversed card has the same meaning but at a different level of energy; some believe that the reversed meaning is the same as the upright but is currently blocked in some way or on a delayed timescale. The method of reading reversals is up to each individual reader, so follow your instincts and intuition to decide which approach is for you.


When it comes to a card that's so directly positive when upright, a reversal usually isn't the best pull. When the Sun is reversed, it could mean that you're swaying to one of two extremes — either down and depressed or so full of optimism and joy that you're blind to reality. It can also signify that you need to do some inner healing, namely surrounding a wounded inner child.

How it relates to your inner child

Because the Sun card deals so much with your internal vitality, innocence, and sense of joy, it's naturally linked to your inner child. In psychology, your inner child is your connection to your younger self and the memories and emotions you experienced as a child. Over time, we mature and lose a bit of that connection and the natural playfulness of childhood, but the appearance of the Sun card in your reading can insinuate that you're tapping into the same kind of joy and wonder that you experienced when you were young.


On the other hand, if you experienced trauma as a child or were forced to mature too early, those moments where you felt hurt can continue to manifest into strong emotions in adulthood. For example, if you felt overlooked or ignored as a child, you might have a seemingly extreme reaction to someone skipping over or excluding you as an adult. The Sun card, especially reversed, can signify that you need to go back and heal these wounds in order to feel that joy and peace with your adult self.