The Death (XIII) Tarot Card

The Death (XIII) Tarot Card
Tarot Card Meanings – Tarot Reading And Understanding The Death Tarot Card

Death, the Tarot card of transformation, signifies the commencement of profound change. In a Tarot reading, the Death card indicates that another life cycle has ended and a new cycle has begun. Death often represents the transition between these two chapters of life. The Death Tarot card is the continuation of The Hanged Man’s journey of surrender. Sacrifice has led to self-acceptance, and one’s concept of self has been forever altered. The old self has been discarded and a new one has yet to fully form. In death, a new birth inevitably follows.

Thirteen is the corresponding number to Death. The number thirteen is made up of the numbers one and three and when added together equals the number four. Four represents stability and order. Four is the number of manifestation.

Death, so often associated with chaos, actually initiates the transformation necessary to begin a new phase of life. In a Tarot spread, the Death card represents the rules of nature, which transform old life into the new. Death is not an ending, but rather a part of a greater cycle where the past lays foundations for the future. Death is part of a larger pattern. What can be seen as destructive is, in truth, the opportunity for something much greater. Death plants the seeds for the growth of tomorrow. Death is an act of generosity as it cleanses and purges the remnants of our old lives. Although there is a great deal of grief associated with death, this grief serves a productive purpose. It is our way of saying goodbye to something familiar and known, and ultimately prepares us for a new way of living.

The negative aspect to the Death card is inevitability. In a Tarot reading, the Death card reminds us that death does not discriminate and has no preferences. All must eventually meet him on their journey. Death's Tarot card meanings remind us of our mortality and constantly shadows our every move. We cannot escape death nor try to make a deal with him. He represents the ultimate act of acceptance.

Upright Death Tarot Card Meanings In A Tarot Reading

In a Tarot reading, the Death card indicates that there is going to be a major change in your life. It will be an experience that leads to an important transformation. You may find your life takes a totally new and unexpected turn. The Death card tends to appear in a Tarot reading when there are major life events such as marriage, divorce, career changes, moves, or the birth of a child. Death also indicates that there may be an experience that alters your life as you know it. Typically, this suggests that your life may have to be restructured. There may be a phase in your life that is coming to an end. Examples of this could include a child leaving the home, the end of a relationship, a graduation, or the death of someone you may know.

Death’s Tarot meaning also informs us of the need to purge oneself of old ideas, relationships and situations that are no longer useful. This may require a period of reflection. Sometimes it takes a great deal of effort and introspection to uncover what exactly is not working in our own lives. Death indicates there must be a shift in order to carve a new way.

  • Transformation
  • New beginnings
  • Permanent change
  • Transition
  • Letting go of old ideas

Reversed Death Tarot Card Meanings In A Tarot Reading

In a reversed position, Death typically warns that there is a refusal to change. This could be related to a fear of the unknown or being too attached to old ideas that allow you to feel safe. In a Tarot reading, Death indicates that you are gripping on to an outdated situation, relationship, or perspective. You may feel a reluctance to look forward due to your attachment to the past. You may be forced to give up what you do not necessarily want to. Resisting change makes the process much more painful. Surrender and acceptance would be in your best interest. Choosing to face the transformation reaps the greatest reward.

  • Failure to change
  • Fear of the future
  • Feelings of depression and apathy
  • Attachment to one’s past

© 2010 All Rights Reserved. Images of individual tarot cards are from the Aquatic Tarot Deck created by Andreas Schröter and are used for example purposes only with his permission.


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