Golden light glitters on the Ionian Sea. A woman in tangerine orange rests on a low couch in the expanding – or diminishing – sunlight. Everything about her says “sunshine.” From her flaming red hair to the warmth of her pink cheeks, from her sheer, bright dress to her luxurious posture, hers is an effortless radiance.
A lazy summer idyll, the moment feels endless. The woman’s body seems to melt, pliable, taffy-like in the heat. Her dress flows down and around her in bright cascades. Flowering, leafy plants crest the balcony wall, spilling color and perfume into the air and promising a colorful view from the veranda to the sea.
In the language of flowers, Oleander bushes recommend caution. In typical Victorian fashion, the artist reminds us of the connection between sleep and death, an apt metaphor for The Sun. After all, we have just passed through the Tarot’s dark night of the soul: after Justice and being torn asunder, there was Death, the deliverance of Temperance, temptation in The Siren, ego-destruction in The Shipwreck, realization in The Star, and then the perilous journey of The Moon back to the living. If this woman has passed through the veil, she has surely awakes in paradise.
Propped on the toes of her right foot, she is not entirely asleep. She rests to enjoy the sun and because rest rejuvenates. Though in repose, her ruddy vitality is obvious. We anticipate when she rises, she will be a picture of health – tall, self-assured and exuding sensuousness. After facing the preceding trumps, this sunny, revitalizing respite is well-deserved. Whether this is her daily life or a victorious reward for a life well-lived, enjoyment follows contentment follows pleasure. She has arrived.
The Sun in the Tarot of Delphi doesn’t bellow “Victory!” from a galloping horse. It is whispers on a soft, sibilant breeze and in the dulcet rhythm of waves. Warm. Sunny. Tropical. There’s a reason we associate these images with paradise. Wake, reach out, take the ripe fruit. Fall back asleep. Roll over. Make love. Fall back asleep. Get up. Stretch. Saunter through the sand, warm water kissing our feet. Yes, this is what victory feels like.
After the ordeal of the previous trump cards, from an intense education and participation in the world to death and a journey through the underworld, we return triumphant to the world above, the world of the living. The red and pink oleander flowers symbolize our travails, and the sun our victory.
And what do we do after our tribulations? Sleep for a week. Rejuvenate. This sleep is relaxed and refreshing. Nothing disturbs the mind. Time is abundant. This is complete restfulness, a triumphant sleep.
Life is Optimism
Being fundamentally optimistic, The Sun is to pessimism as light is to darkness. It forces gloom to fade like the last shades of night. It moves toward comfort, warmth, vitality, and assuredness.
The Sun signifies a life of contentment, sumptuous for the senses, soothing to the emotions, and without limits for the mind. This is when we enjoy sun, breeze, waves and birdsong, food and drink, quietude, laughter and music. The Sun reminds us that being alive is a victory. Against all odds, by an incredibly infinitesimal margin of chance, here we are.
Embodiment is ours to experience, and The Sun revels in being alive. When we stand in the influence of The Sun, we enter a state of awe. Pleasure and pain are sensational events. The Sun is the fullness of experiencing, when our senses are sharp, our bodies relaxed, our minds keen, and our laughter easy.