and the sunshine
the light the fire that turns that gives us all that is our joy that is us
the light that brings our hands together
the light that makes the flowers bloom below our feet
the light the sky would not be sky without, the earth would not be earth without
the light that turns the waters into rain
the light that makes us small, that makes us young, the light that says to us;
it has only been four billion years
there is yet time to play.
The Sun; it's not just a big rotating fission process in the sky. It's the sunlight on the ground that's what matters, what makes us possible. You can't look at it directly, anyway - only its reflections, its works. You can feel it, experience what it brings to the world, but never meet its eye.
The daylight doesn't last forever; it's a contained time, one which varies in scope throughout the year. Most Sun cards feature a walled garden, or some other natural barrier; the Intuitive card has its characters dancing on a tiny flowerbed, seemingly adrift in a black sky. It is life, play, and a way to rebuild the lost garden-state of childhood. For that's what a Garden of Eden is, a place where your needs are easily cared for, where you are innocent of rights and wrongs, where you can run naked in a garden tended by another's hands - that's childhood. The Sun can give it back to you. Suns commonly feature one or two naked children playing.
Many cultures have pinned wishes and rituals to the journey of the Sun; rituals or sacrifices made to ensure (or simply to mark) its return at dawn, or its strengthening in springtime. The Sun is a parent we can't trust to return when it leaves us; even now we know the maths of dawns and solstices, we look to an uncertain ending, a time billions of years hence when our sun will swallow our world whole. Individuals have their own misgivings - I remember grumblings throughout my childhood about short English summers, and then I remember the storm season in London in 2002, and the dreamlike heat of 2003 - the latter of which changed the meaning of summer forever. (And my favourite sun story is China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh, part of which features one character fighting to cope with an Arctic winter).
Make hay, because it might not return. We might never be children again, can you imagine? And cultivate - make a summer garden ready for your bursts of childhood. It's not innocence, not since it's come through the Moon - it's taken a lot of work and a world of hurt to enter childhood again.
The Sun is opposed to the High Priestess, who prefers to sit in shadow, and be wise with thoughts and words rather than young with joy and playfulness; the Sun's younger is the Wheel Of Fortune, which similarly rotates between joy and disaster, but without the Sun's reason.
Images of the Sun:
The Marseilles Sun - an image echoed by many later decks.
Innocence - the Osho Zen card deviates by showing not a child, but an old man, sat before a natural wall of blossom.
Amano's Sun - red, and presumably feminine - has made a wild, lush garden, that seems to need no wall because it's created barriers all by itself.