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Tarot Stories: When the Sun is not welcome

A few years ago, I was one of the regular in house Tarot readers at Treadwells Bookshop in London. I remember this day well. It was a Monday and I was doing my regular working hours. In the middle of the afternoon, two Chinese ladies entered the shop and inquired about getting their tarot read. Only one of them talked as the second one didn’t speak any English. They asked if they could both sit in the session, as only one of them spoke English and she would have to translate for the friend who the reading was for. I am always reluctant to have more than one person sitting in the session, too many cooks in the kitchen scramble the messages, but she insisted. I was recommended by one of her friends, wouldn’t take no for an answer and I decided to accept.

We sat down in the room designated for tarot readings and the two ladies were speaking amongst them. The English speaking one finally looked at me and said: ‘My friend wants to know why her ex boyfriend is reaching out to her and wants to come back’.

I picked up my tarot deck and started shuffling. Three cards fell on the table.

Le Soleil (the Sun), 8 d’épées (8 of swords) and the 10 de deniers (10 of coins).

I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. The first feeling is all the one we have to trust. After this initial flash of intuition, the analytical mind kicks in and the intuition tends to be pushed aside. It took years of practice to give the intuition the value it deserves.

The querant looked at the cards and gave me a smile. People are usually pleased when the sun comes out. It is after all a card that represents help, positivity, brightness, love and optimism. But reading the cards together as a sentence doesn’t necessarily yield the same results as reading them separated from each other. Cards are like words in a sentence. A reader needs to figure out their functions and what they do want to tell us. In this particular setting, I said:

‘Your ex boyfriend is reaching out to you because he is nervous about money and wants help.’

As I said this, her accompanying friend slapped her on the arm and screamed in Chinese. She then turned to me and said: ’I knew it, I already told her that’s why he is coming back’.

It is important to find the rhyme between question and answer. She asked me: ‘why is he reaching out?’. In the Soleil, we can clearly see someone reaching out to help or to be helped. This gives us the so called rhyme, it is not a result. The sun does not give us a happy ending here.

In the second card, the flower at the center of the swords made me feel a real sense of worry. This was rather unsettling. Too many swords, too many thoughts create worry. No clarity. I saw this girl in love, not seeing the swords behind her. Only he could see them and somehow would try to deceive her. It turns out she was rather wealthy and did worry that he was only interested in money. The other important aspect was the absence of coupes (cups) which would represent feelings and matter of the hearts. As she was enquiring about a lover, I did want to see some representations of love in the cards, but none could be found. Swords and Coins aren’t what you look for when talking about romance.

Reading this spread did require to listen to my intuition, find the rhyme and not be deceived by the obvious choice of signification of the cards. It turns out that the answer I gave her made a real impact. She found the strength in herself to let go of this relationship. She wanted to move on so she could then find a relationship based on feelings and not on wealth.

Do not assume that the sun will always bring good news. Look around and see how it might fit within the context you are working with.

The sun is often a card that we welcome, however there are always two sides to a coin. Too much sun in your eyes, you will be blinded and unable to see the swords around you.

Display of Tarot cards
When the sun is not welcomed.

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