The Sun is a card that is usually viewed as a very positive card. It is often associated with joy and can represent a strong “YES” in a Yes/No spread. But every card has its positive and negative attributes and even a card with as many positive associations as The Sun can indicate something problematic under certain circumstances.
I offer for your consideration these two versions of The Sun card. The first card is from The Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell. This image embodies the happy, carefree side of The Sun. The two figures are dancing, swept away in the joy of the moment. There are sunflowers in the background, evidence of The Sun’s role as a catalyst for life and growth.
On the other extreme we have The Sun card from the Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night. In this card The Sun is a destroyer, rather than a catalyst for life. It burns and is too bright for the figure to endure. This brings to mind those scorching summer days when you just don’t want to venture outside for anything in the world. (We just had a brutal heatwave here in Portland, so that’s probably why this is on my mind.)
This later example represents the aspects of The Sun that are more challenging. The Sun as the great illuminator shines light into the shadows and may reveal things that are painful. It may represent bringing things to light that you would rather stay obscured. It can indicate when someone is being overpowering or overwhelming. It can symbolize when passion is burning out of control or has become too all-consuming.
Sometimes these challenging aspects of The Sun, while difficult, are still ultimately positive. When something secret is brought to light, for example an affair being revealed or finally “coming out”, the result is most likely going to be positive in the end, though it may be painful as it is happening. Other times the challenge is something negative that needs to be addressed or it will ultimately become destructive, such as when you are at risk of expending too much energy, or allowing yourself to be consumed by passion and at risk of burning yourself out, or at worst losing your sense of self.
As with all cards, the meaning of The Sun will depend on the context of the question, the spread position it lands in (if specific positions are being used) and the reader’s intuition, but I think its good not to just assume when it shows up that things are going to be purely positive, its worth considering the dark side of The Sun as well.