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Is the Death card in tarot really such a bad thing?

Updated on September 2, 2014

Death is coming


Is Death really such a bad thing?

When we think about death, we are pre-programed to see it as a bad thing simply because death for us means that there is a possibility that we might end up losing someone who we may or may not love forever as they leave us to embark on that final journey.

There are some inexperienced or plain stupid tarot readers out there who may try to predict that the card literally translates as you are going to lose someone - but due to the nature of life, the sands are constantly moving and shifting... so it's not set in stone that this is going to happen. That's why it is frowned upon to try to read this card so literally as it looks.

What we don't always see is the other type of "death" which occurs every Fall. If you take a walk on any day in Fall, you will notice that the leaves are changing color and falling from the trees - if you are really lucky, you might catch your final glimpse of the year of an animal that is migrating or hibernating the winter away.

If we think about both the types of death that I've highlighted above, one of them fills us with a cold sense of dread while the other isn't so bad - we might even think that it's beautiful because we already know that the trees will grow new foliage come Spring. It's pretty much the same with Tarot - although it could literally mean that you might have to say good-bye to someone in your life, it also can have other meanings that you may not factor in when you draw the card.

Let's think about Fall for a little longer here...

What would happen this year if there was no Fall this year? Apart from it being a very odd Fall to say the least, we aren't going to get the leaves dying off. If this year's leaves do not fall off the trees, that means that new growth isn't going to take place.

If we bring the topic back to mind and refocus on the Death card once again, the above sentiment can translate into it as:- This phase of your life needs to die off in order to enable you to embark upon your next phase with new growth - whether it be a physical growth or another sort of growth.

Death can also depict the end of friendship(s). While this might seem sad on the one hand, it's worth remembering that we have made an agreement with some of the souls that we meet in this lifetime to meet up and guide each other through a scenario or a set of scenarios - once we have fulfilled our agreements, we have no further need for this relationship and we tend to drift apart. Some of us will go on to help others while others will require help from someone else.

While I don't dispute that Death in general tends to mean that something either is or has come to an end, it doesn't always translate as a loss of life.

In much the same way as Fall transforms the landscape, Death can transform your life

For a person with spiritual beliefs, Death could signify that they are either going through an awakening or are about to embark upon an awakening. We aren't always born with the full set of skills that we require to see us through our lifetime.

Death could also put an end to a run of bad luck... although you don't feel particularly lucky while you are experiencing the changes that it brings in. If you are unfortunate enough to be living through this scenario, it can be common to feel like you have no control over your life or it's overall direction. It can be normal to feel powerless or even depressed. It's worth remembering that once this transition is over, the path will be clear once again for you to pick yourself back up and proceed on to greater things.

A third way that Death could work in your life is by indicating that there are things that you are holding on to that aren't healthy for you. In much the same way as you go through your closet and discard the things you no longer wear, you also need to go through your life and discard the garbage that is holding you back from being able to progress on to the next stage.

There are so many ways that the Death card can impact upon your life that it really is worth keeping an open mind on the card's appearance within your reading.

There are worse cards than Death in a Tarot Deck

Personally speaking, I feel that there are cards in a Tarot deck that are much worse to draw out in your reading. For me, they would be pretty much any card which is reversed... especially when several of them crop up in the same reading.

Death reversed translates as change is coming but you are reluctant or even resistant to face it. With that said though, the changes associated with death reversed tend not to be as big as those associated with death itself.


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    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Well said and interesting. You are right, it would be hard to imagine not seeing the new growth of spring. And the 'death' of fall brings with it anticipation.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      This was definitely an interesting read. Thanks for sharing!