The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so; but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger, and mosquitoes and silly people.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
How delicious this juxtaposition of Samhain and this week’s visit of The Sun is!
One of the most joyful cards in the Tarot, The Sun heralds victory over the challenges of the “night” cards preceding it in the Major Arcana. In particular, it follows The Moon card in the trump sequence.
The Moon is typically considered a problematic and difficult part of the Fool’s journey, the final challenge in which we must face our deepest illusions and fears.
So when we next reach The Sun in the Tarot story of the Royal Road, we have emerged from that darkness and our work with the shadow-self, and are ready to make the transition to liberation. In the Fool’s Journey, the Sun celebrates that our long return through the dark subconscious has brought us at last to the light.
Yet this is precisely the time of year when we enter that our journey into the Underworlds. Samhain marks the final descent into the darkest time of year. It is the beginning of the period our European ancestors knew as the Wild Hunt, a time of danger and chaos. The gloom gathers, the dark slide towards Winter Solstice hastens.
This week, the International Labor Organization has warned that we are on the knife’s edge of another global recession, even worse than the one we’ve just endured. In many ways, lights are dimming, and the darkness threatens to snuff out what has been kind and good.
Yet, here comes The Sun.
With it, the soul’s journey becomes clear, simple and straightforward. The Sun itself is depicted with alternating straight and wavy rays. This is an ancient way of representing the “philosopher’s Sun,” and illustrates the Sun as the source of light (straight rays) and heat (wavy rays) – illumination and warmth, the life-giving energies.
In a garden of sunflowers, which always turn their faces to gaze upon the Sun, a smiling baby rides a white horse.
The happy child suggests that after all is said and done, the mystical journey of the soul requires a return to childlike innocence. Like the open and upward-facing posture of The Fool, the little child rides with arms open wide in trust.
In many cultures, the white horse is a benevolent, protective spirit guide, or even the beloved and powerful Epona, horse Goddess of Gaul and Rome. The absence of reins or saddle resonates with many ancient carvings of Epona and indicates a complete integration of will and surrender.
Our fears, and the dark, and the evils that appear to swarm like invincible mosquitoes — all those frightening scenarios around us can be met head on, our arms outstretched.
Good wins the day, when we go forth in perfect love, in perfect trust.
Whatever dark journey lies before you, like the light of Eärendil, may this be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out.