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That Scary Death Card - What You Need to Know About This Terror of the Tarot

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A spiritual counselor and psychic for over 30 years, I share my knowledge of the psychic readings, tarot and the magickal arts.

What Death Means

If there's anything that terrifies folks about having a Tarot reading, it's the possibility of the Death Card coming up.

Spread by movies trying to sensationalize drama and abused by the occasional unscrupulous reader, the Death Card strikes fear into the heart of anyone who doesn't understand it.

It sure doesn't help that this poor card happens to be number 13 in the order. The triskaidekaphobia just adds to it's Bad Boy reputation!

Death Card from the Robin Wood Tarot

Death Card from the Robin Wood Tarot

But this tarot card rarely -- if ever -- predicts physical death.

In fact, when its energy is used in powerful and effective ways in your life, this is an extremely useful and positive card.

Instead, the Death Card is all about those little deaths that we experience every day. Every time you:

  • Quit a job
  • End a relationship
  • Finish an artistic project and send it out into the world
  • Send your kid off to college
  • Finish a book or see the end of a movie

...You're experiencing some form of death. That's exactly the sort of thing this card predicts. It's about the inevitable changes that we live every single day of our lives, and the power of letting go.

So let's talk about the real meaning of this feared and reviled card, how it's abused and how it should be used.

If You Don't Allow Death

Take a rose and put it in a plastic zip bag. What happens? The moisture in the rose eventually creates mold and rot, and you end up with a bag of something stinky and foul where beauty once lived.

If you don't quit that job you can't open yourself to another. If you don't get out of a relationship that's unhealthy for you, you won't be open to a new and more fulfilling one when it comes. Holding that manuscript in your drawer won't get it published. And if you don't allow your children to separate themselves from you, not only will they never have the experience of being fully adults, but they'll probably resent you for it.

Death leads to Rebirth

The Death Card is the power of the chrysalis. A caterpillar doesn't know what's going to happen to it when it's time to go into that state. It merely trusts that it's time to do so, spins it's chrysalis or coccoon and allows itself to be transformed. When it emerges, it is as a butterfly (or moth) transformed in beauty and given the chance to fly.

Many Death Cards actually show a butterfly, a caterpillar or both right on the picture.

Letting go of things that hold us back is healthy step that we should take in our lives. If we don't give into the Death Card, then we don't give ourselves the opportunity to fly.

Death Card Poll