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Tarot Cards News, Issue #011 -- Death Tarot Card
January 08, 2013

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Discover the Meaning of the Death Tarot

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What is the Meaning of the Death Tarot Card?

What is the Meaning of the Death Tarot Card?
By Lisa M. Ray

Death is the fourteenth card in the sequence of the tarot deck. However, it is important to note that it does not represent death as human beings normally know or fear it, which is as an ending. What the Death card truly represents is monumental change and rejuvenating metamorphosis. Many people forget that death really is a transformation from one state of being to the next. Nothing ever truly ends as people have a tendency to fear.

The first step involved in getting in touch with the lessons taught by Death is acknowledging the very fact that not only is change an inevitable part of life, but it is a beneficial one as well. Death is merely the most sweeping and existence-altering change of all. It marks our natural and inevitable transition into the next world and the Death card itself serves to remind us that existence continues always no matter how catastrophic the change. It is also important to note that death is also a part of life that comes along with no discrimination or prejudices. Each and every one of us will die one day regardless of our social station, our religion, or our creed. In this way, death is also an equalizer that reminds us of how much we all truly have in common with each other at our core level.

The traditional tarot image used to represent Death serves to reinforce all of these ideas and concepts. The figure of Death is represented by a mysterious horseman riding atop a pale steed. In his hand, he bears a black banner upon which is emblazoned a white rose meant to represent life. He rides unarmed with any weapon, yet in many tarot depictions, several figures are shown falling in the path before him, awaiting the inevitable change that the horseman is sworn to bring about for them. The landscape through which he rides is a vista of the entire world of the spirit at large and includes the sun, which in this instance symbolizes immortality.

The appearance of Death in a tarot spread can under the right circumstances signal an actual death, but this is in fact not typically the case. Death in almost every circumstance is the herald of an imminent change, transformation, or important rite of passage in the life of the querent. It's appearance can mean the end of an old, outdated way of thinking, a lifestyle that has been outgrown, or any other situation that is no longer serving the querent as well as it ought. Whatever the situation at hand may be, the querent can no doubt be certain that the time is definitely ripe for serious consideration in regards to discarding it so that a brighter, more productive future can begin.

In many cases, the changes and evolutions signified by the Death card will not be easy to accept. However, their coming is most likely completely beyond the querent's control and ultimately of benefit, so he or she would be best advised to go along with them and remember that no matter how something may feel at the time, nothing is truly ever destroyed or lost. When one door closes, another is sure to open through which the beautiful vista of the future will be seen soon enough.

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