Divine Doorway 19: The Sun

After nearly a month of painting, yesterday, I finished the latest portal “door,” this one on canvas but with a window-like quality.


Divine Doorway Number 19: The Sun, by Laura Bruno


I modeled this extremely coded portal after the traditional Sun card in the Tarot, with some important shifts, which I’ll explain below.


Rider-Waite-Smith version of The Sun card

When I just checked the list of Divine Doorways and Porta Portals to see what number I’ve reached, I noticed the synchronicity: the Sun card is number 19 in the Tarot, and this Sun portal is my 19th portal in this series. I didn’t plan that. As so often happens with these portals, it just worked out that way. I had forgotten that I painted a portal based on the Sun before, Divine Doorway Number 10: Hopi/Jewel in the Lotus. This 19th door was more traditional and personal to me, whereas the first Sun was a commissioned piece, designed and coded to manifest that patron’s hopes and dreams.

The biggest challenges I faced with this portal were the absence of an actual door and the desire to include very complex Runic, astrological and other coding in a painting that retains its joyful, natural innocence. I wanted this 20″ x 30″ canvas to look like art for art’s sake, yet activate and emanate the full subconscious power I intended to infuse. I also wanted it to have a portal like quality without my usual canvas method of working a door image into the larger image. I decided to go with a “window” effect but felt led to leave the top off for an unrestricted sky and a sun that bursts out of bounds:


In the above photo, you can just make out the “awen” symbol embedded into the sun’s circle. Awen (ahh-oo-en) is a Welsh word and symbol for poetic inspiration. It usually features three dots at the top and then three rays emanating downwards from the dots. I painted a huge gold Awen sign in the circle. It felt powerful, but it ruined the joyful simplicity. One coat of white and two additional coats of yellow paint reclaimed the feeling of “simple” exuberance while still infusing awen directly into the child’s head. “Fire in the Head” is a Celtic term for the shamanic experience and bardic gifts. I thought the traditional Sun card’s imagery would work well for my intending/evoking more of that force. The word awen also links the idea of inspiration with breath or literally, “breeze,” so I also added more air movement of the flag, mane and tail.

Without getting too personal here, I painted this portal to help me integrate my natal 4th house Neptune in Sagittarius with my packed 10th house in Gemini. I’ve written before about the challenges I feel when I look at that 10th house, which represents one’s career and public role. A packed 10th house usually indicates a career in politics or some kind of fame (or notoriety if you play it wrong).

My very early Gemini Sun sits right next to my very late Taurus Midheaven, followed closely by Mercury, Venus and nine degrees later, Saturn, all in the 10th house, all in Gemini. Saturn is “exalted” in the 10th house, which is traditionally ruled by Capricorn. Saturn, in turn, rules Capricorn and also acts as the Lord of Karma, Father Time, and the strict assessor who makes his list and checks it twice. He clears his throat and gives you a knuckle rap if you fail to meet your obligations. At least … that’s how I’ve experienced my 10th house Saturn. Since childhood, I’ve felt both excited and oppressed by a sense of calling: “My path is my path.” I also have my 5th house North Node in Capricorn, which amplifies the sense of calling.

When I tried to dodge that calling from 1994-1998, increasingly powerful signs — including a traumatic brain injury —  “intervened” to knock me back in line. Pretty hard to get your PhD in English Language and Literature when you lose the ability to read, to think rationally and to tolerate fluorescent lights! I’m such a private person due to an exact Grand Trine with Sun-Moon-Pluto. In addition a 4th house Neptune makes me want to cocoon myself in a beautiful home surrounded by water on all sides, or live in some version of the Faery Realm. I write the blog because I know it’s part of my path, but otherwise I have zero presence on social media. The idea of becoming at all well known for my writing, art or teachings has always terrified me.

And yet … I know I have creative things to share in bigger ways. I know the importance of integration, of honoring all the facets of our complex being. I paint portals because I know they work. Whenever I face an impossible conundrum, a challenge that the “normal routes” have not addressed, I paint a portal. I code the portal to program my subconscious mind so that it acts as an ally, not a saboteur. When I paint commissioned portals, I do the same for other people. Because the subconscious mind communicates by symbols, Runes and other symbols can work even if rational steps, meditation, affirmations, therapy or self-growth initiatives have not.

The traditional Tarot imagery for the Sun card includes:

Sun: light, inspiration, success, life, growth, energy, shining

(I tried a few different versions of a sun, but this wavy one full of movement, with rays bursting through the “window” feels right.)

Child: innocence, natural state, nothing to hide, naked, playfulness.


Traditional Sun cards often show a non-engaged child. He’s just going along for the ride. I kept seeing a child becoming ecstatically ignited by the Sun — Fire in the Head, the mythical Mabon. In astrology, the Sun rules the sign of Leo, so I made the child’s hair ever so slightly like a golden mane. Leo rules the 5th house, so my 5th house North Node gets pulled into that symbolism, too. Leo corresponds to the inner child, something so many of my clients struggle to reclaim. I have a statistically improbable number of clients with Leo North Nodes or Leo Suns in their natal charts, so I also wanted to create a portal that helped them embrace that playful self-confidence and leadership.

I also added a heliodor crystal to the child’s solar plexus. I like the pun of helio (Sun) – dor (door), literally a Sun portal. According to the little card I picked up with this crystal in Traverse City:

“Heliodor resonates with the third (solar plexus) and seventh (crown) chakras to promote spiritual understanding, the right use of one’s will, and mental functions. Heliodor has an affinity with the Sun’s energy promoting physical vitality and providing the user with a golden white light of protections. Heliodor promotes the connectivity of the intuitive and conscious sides of oneself helping to eliminate the polarity in ones being. A stone of the Christ Consciousness, it can also purportedly be used to assist with physical ailments concerning the liver, spleen, pancreas, stomach and intestines.”

I had wanted to add a crystal from Traverse City to bring some 3- and 4d energy into the portal. This heliodor crystal links on so many levels. I giggled when I read the card.

Horse: carries the child, grace, non-judgment, acceptance. I also liked the presence of a horse as a connection to my Neptune in Sagittarius, the “archer” centaur. I turned the horse into a unicorn for its connection to purity, magic, healing, guidance and writers. It’s hard to see in the photographs, but the unicorn glows and “moves” in different light:


Wall: irrevocable change (you can’t go back; you must leave what you knew in order to succeed in the new way) … or in my interpretation: solid boundaries that protect the inner child and thereby allow everything to happen in the Sun card. The wall “has his back.” I used the stone surface of the wall as another opportunity to code this portal for my intended astrological integration. In certain lights, it looks like the unicorn leaves magic in her wake. The silver coding sparkles and activates, but I can’t quite capture it with the camera.


Sunflowers: joy, exuberance, turning towards the light, the floral embodiment of the Sun. In the above photo you can see Runes embedded in the sunflower leaves. Less obvious except when the light catches them, I put AR Runes in the centers of the larger sunflowers. AR represents a Rune of the Light, the Sun, and a form of protection by bringing everything to light. Negative energies, doubts or issues that require darkness to fester get cleared out by AR.

Most traditional Sun cards include four sunflowers, for the Four Elements. I included seven: four for the Four Elements/Four Directions, and three more for above, below and within.

Flag: an announcement, a change that others can see, victory or breakthrough, sign of a new beginning. I added Sowilo Runes to texture the flag as another way of evoking Sun energy.

Number 19: As mentioned at the beginning of this post, the Sun card is marked by number 19 in the Tarot. 1+9 = 10, and 1+0 = 1. The number 19 includes both an end and a beginning, a kind of reset. I opted for tiny Roman Numerals, XIX, because those letters also form Runes associated with gifts and individuality.


Quote: My portal “doors” always include some quote related to doors, passages, or shifts. The quotes must augment the art in some way, and they need to reflect the overall intention. Those are my rules; to my knowledge no “tradition” exists for coded portal paintings, Tarot or otherwise. People who paint portals often code them, but portals by their very nature break through old boundaries.

This portal’s quote reads: “Take a small step in the direction of a dream and watch the synchronous doors flying open. ~ Julia Cameron.” As the author of The Artist’s Way and many other books on unlocking your own creativity in bigger and bolder ways, Julia Cameron seemed a perfect choice. To find a quote by her that included “doors” and “synchronous” felt perfect!

I’m not sure how well the photo conveys it, but the top of the blue ribbon moves in smooth curves, while the bottom of it mimics the cloppety clop of horse hooves. I thought of smoothing out the bottom but then realized I had intuitively added both kinds of motion — the underlying footfalls of the unicorn and the seemingly smooth movement of the rider.

I opted for a blue ribbon effect for both the idea of “winning the race,” i.e. integrating my natal chart, and for the connection to watery Neptune. Fourth house Neptunes can be difficult to integrate, connected as they are to boundary-challenged childhoods, often riddled with family of origin issues with addictions, alcoholism and/or mental illness.

Positive Neptune expression includes inspiration, beauty, harmony, devotion, empathy, emotional healing gifts, and grace. Negative Neptune brings illusion, deception, addictions, alcoholism, escapism, apathy, self-sacrifice/martyrdom, confusion, and disenchantment. The implications of a challenged 4th house Neptune are obvious, especially when you consider that most 4th house Neptunians are introverted hermits. With that energy opposing my packed public 10th house and the soul pressures to “put myself out there,” I needed a portal to help the integration.

The rewards of 4th house Neptune are rich and deep. Carl Jung had a 4th house Neptune. Those who integrate this natal aspect connect to the deepest archetypes and collective creative energies, bringing them forth through art, literature, counseling, and dreamwork. Fourth house Neptune natives have vivid dreams and intimate connections with Nature. They resonate with Faerie and can very easily imagine — and often enter — the Faery Realm. I experience many of those blessings, but I feel led to integrate my emotional depths with the prompting of my North Node and packed 10th house.

Just to make sure this portal “works,” I added three lapis lazuli crystals (also from Traverse City) to activate the “doors.”


According to the little blurb that came with the crystals, lapis lazuli:

“Brings truthfulness, openness [Sagittarius qualities], inner power, intuition, creativity, virility & manifestation. Increases awareness and spiritual connection/evolution. Helps organize daily life as well as organizing & quieting a busy mind. Lapis is also used to contact guardian spirits. Brings spiritual love & enhances love & fidelity within marriage. Helps one overcome shyness & raises self-confidence. Helps one say just the right thing, as if by magic. Protects from both physical & psychic attacks. Helpful for sinus ailments, headaches, nervous system, speech problems, pituitary gland & pain relief. Lapis is an excellent stone for executives, journalists, and psychologists, stimulating wisdom and good judgment in the practical world. It aids intellectual analysis in archeologists and historians, problem solving for lawyers, and creates new ideas for inventors and writers.”

(Both crystal interpretation cards came from Higher Self Bookstore in Traverse City, MI. I’m not sure if there’s an additional origin to the quotes.)

In any case, the power of three lapis lazuli crystals felt just right to activate the doors, as the heliodor activates the crown and solar plexus of the child.


Painting this portal was my 46th birthday gift to myself, honoring the inner child with fun and a safe sense of vulnerability. It’s my most personal portal sharing, but also a gift to anyone who receives something from this painting or its process. I hope this portal and the shared process speak to others who may feel challenged to shine in a brighter way beyond their shyness, or to step into a Leo North Node, prominent 5th house placements, a busy 10th house, or a Sun/Midheaven conjunction. We each have something unique and beautiful that only we can bring forth just by virtue of being who we are.

Whether through art, a kind word, sports, music, something grand or something subtle, living authentically brings healing, empowerment and grace. I wish these things for everyone, whatever your path.

Blessings and Love,






17 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by RSO on May 22, 2019 at 1:39 pm


    I have been waiting for this to appear! I am thrilled for you 🙂

    This portal also speaks to me after having gone through Door 18 and the sun is shining for me again

    This is FANTASTIC on many, many levels ❤️

    Liked by 1 person


  2. happy birthday my sweet L!! best gift ever is the freeing energy of your portal upon your life ❤ so happy for you and thank you for sharing this more vulnerable piece of you…goes along with the opening it's creating 😉 love you!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Posted by Jane Derbenwick on May 22, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Your SUNS are so beautiful 😍! You have such talent 🖼🦉 Love ❤️ Momma

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person


  4. Posted by Eliza Ayres on May 22, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Posted by Tracy on May 23, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    What a beautiful and magikal piece of art…for you and for the world! Blessings and happy returns on your celebratory day!

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Posted by Carrie Neiss on May 24, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Beautiful portal! Such intricate detail and thought into this process, unbelievable.Thank you so much for sharing your personal journey. It’s time to expand, vulnerability and sharing leads us to authenticity. With Gratitude, Carrie

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Posted by RJ in Truckee on May 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    That’s a beautiful and powerful portal. You are really talented. Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person


  8. WOW!!! Love it, it is full of Joy and Light and so much symbolism you have created within your image, love the added crystals and the childlike innocence.. and the synchronicity of the number nineteen.. Brilliant..
    I think we could all do with the help of Positive Neptune, and as you said its expressive, energy which includes inspiration, beauty, harmony, devotion, empathy, emotional healing gifts, and grace.
    Who could fail not wish to hold such gifts..

    Sending Huge Hugs your way Laura ❤

    Liked by 1 person


  9. […] had planned to reblog my 2019 Sun portal in honor of the return of the light in the Northern Hemisphere, and the peak of Summer in the […]



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