Death Tarot Card Meaning

Stina Garbis

The Death card is number 13 in the Major Arcana of the Tarot, and represents the sign of Scorpio. On this card, Death comes riding a white horse, and is bearing a flag of the mystic rose. Behind him, between the pillars of man, rises the sun of immortality. In his wake is the deceased King and falling before him is a curious child, and a wailing maiden. Standing ahead of the horse is a religious figure awaiting his coming. This Death bears no sickle, he has no weapons. He is moving slowly across the scene with people passing in his path.

This is a dark and scary card for many, but most know that The Death card doesn’t mean death, that it means change and rebirth. But change is really scary and is not something that a lot of people like to face. It’s easy to live day by day doing the same things and getting the same results.  However, in order to really express our lives in bigger and greater ways, we need to be continually saying goodbye to our prior selves, and be reinventing ourselves every day. Taking big chances, making big decisions, and changing our habits that kill us and our motivation is a scary proposition. Many people like to stay stuck because it is comfortable, even in the most uncomfortable of situations. But Death comes whether we like it or not. We can take our lives into our own hands and exact change where we see fit and constantly try to become better and better or we can let the universe reap destruction and death upon us beating the change out of us. No matter what happens there’s always going to be change and we can’t stop it.

This is card number 13, unlucky 13, the number, everyone fears, and skips over if they can. But it is just another number, it’s another aspect to life that we can’t avoid. We all may want to close our eyes, knock on wood, and carry a lucky rabbit’s foot, in order to avoid our fate. But every dark cloud has a silver lining and in every poor situation there is a good outcome.

Tarotoo card

Scorpio, whose ruler is Pluto, which is the God of the Underworld, is the ruler of this card. Scorpio holds our secrets and what we choose to keep untold. But the universe knows our secrets and karma will always be diligently taking place. We can’t run from ourselves. The more we try to hide the more our insides will become our outsides.  Our environment reflects our innermost nature, and we can’t stop that. Our lives will always show the truth of our nature, as change and truth will never escape us. It is Law. Death always comes calling.

This card rarely means actual death, it is supposed to be taken on a more mystic level. This card represents rebirth. On this card, the King has died. It is as time passes. As each moment is crowned King, it passes away to crown the next moment, and the next moment, leading into eternity. What rules us one day will become the past tomorrow, then will only be a memory. The woman on the card, mourns change and the passing of life. She does not want to let go. The child looks at the horse in wonder, what is next to come?  Children experience each moment as new and bring with it a fresh new life and new take of this world.  The priest wants to understand God and reads the rites of the others, knowing that this is an essential part of life. Not many want to die, but it is obvious that this transition is the path that all that are born will experience. But with the sun of immortality rising behind the scene, it shows that our lives are never lived in vain. Our purpose is greater than we can ever imagine, and we have added to the landscape of life within the microsecond that we are present for.

This card upright means the passing of time. Everything must change and we can’t escape that. Change is coming for you and you will experience a rebirth that is glorious. It can represent a fear of change that is overcome or the ending of bad habits. This card can mean leaving a legacy or can indicate an end of a relationship, job, or season of life. Menopause.  Death is an internal experience unlike The Tower which represents an outside event that changes everything.  The Death card is something that happens within. We are changing, we are making the shift and it is deeply personal. When it comes to a relationship that has plagued you for a long time, that has been on and off and has thrown you into a pit of depression this card, hails “hallelujah”, the time has come to say goodbye to your problem. The end is here and now we can look forward to a brighter future. When something dies, or something changes, it’s because it has to, and that’s okay. something will take its place and what has passed will live on in the annals of history. It’s good that things change, the divine doesn’t want us to have an ugly, unhappy, disappointing life, and will often remove these disappointments from us, so that we can be reborn and have a fulfilled and meaningful, happy life.  It’s easier to look at change with wonder and curiosity like the child instead of mourning and wailing, complaining and pleading to God to not let it be.

Reversed meaning: reversed, this card can be a fear of letting go. It can mean resurrection, or that death passes over you, or that you have a near death experience where you almost lose it all but are saved at the last second.  It can mean recovering from grief or depression and that you wake up to life and accept what it gives you. You no longer fear the future and you’re willing to accept what comes your way. It can also indicate that there is a delay in changing, and that your challenge is prolonged and that your opportunity for growth and movement is stalled. We can’t ignore our fate, but sometimes we can resist it a little bit longer.

Yes / No meaning: When asking a yes, or no question The Death card would mean ‘no’ unless you’re asking if something is over. The Death card means an end so if you’re asking a yes, or no question regarding if something will continue or stop then the answer is stop. If the question is do they love me, the answer may be that maybe once, but that’s in the past and it’s time to move on into a new future.