top of page

Transitioning through death

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Notably, the most misinterpreted card by those who are new to the Tarot; the appearance of the Death card in a reading, which can cause hearts to race with a mild case of panic, is often seen as the harbinger of well, Death! While the card certainly can show up as a sign of someone's impending voyage into spirit, in its simplest form it is a card of endings and beginnings...

The thirteenth card of the Major Arcana, Death is a story of transition. While the card inevitably features a skeletal figure; most often depicted as a version of the grim reaper, sickle, and all, it is a card about rebirth just as much as it is about dying. For the trained eye, this is perceivable in all depictions of the Death card, including the original Rider Waite Tarot, which features the image of the rising sun of dawn through the towers in the background. In many newer cards, the rebirth is depicted more clearly, with images of the spirit rising out of the fallen body, helping to enforce the idea that this card is so much more than the end of one's physical life.

In my thirty-plus years as a professional psychic, the Death has come up more times than I can count, and yet the amount of times it has actually spoken of physical death has been minuscule.

Life is filled with little deaths; endings of relationships, jobs, and life situations forcing us to change. This is the profound change that the Death card speaks of; moments in our life in which we can look back and say "I changed there!". Many of us fear change, especially the life-altering change that the Death card speaks of. Even when life is miserable many will stay in their shit simply because they are afraid. I offer up two of my favorite sayings for you to ponder when fear has you trapped; the first from my grandmother, "Fear is the soul killer", and the second from my father, "Bravery is going forward in the face of fear, to be without fear is to be a fool!" Fear destroys us from the inside out, speaking to us of all the things that can go wrong. It is a natural occurrence that in truth is helpful, giving us the heads up that the road ahead is tricky and we better be careful...

When the Death card shows up it is in many ways liberating, as it takes away the decision of change, showing us that time is up, this change is coming whether we want it or not, so best be prepared! In my own life, I have come to embrace such change when it shows up, my fifty years of life have proved to me that in the end, the transition has proven to be worth it. The kind of change the Death card speaks of is often profound, changing our lives in a way that there is a definite before and after to the scenario. If Death shows up in your readings remember it is also a card of rebirth, do not dwell solely on what is ending, instead, look for where the light of the rising sun takes you. Draw a few supporting cards if you are confused about the new direction that is presenting itself through the death of the old. Expect to be a bit unstable, as the shifting and growing that the Death card ushers in is often destabilizing.

I have been really drawn to the analogy of the caterpillar transitioning into the butterfly as a symbolic representation of the death-rebirth we are all experiencing; to some degree, through the pandemic. In order for the caterpillar to become the butterfly, it must withdraw itself from its known world, enter the chrysalis and literally dissolve into goo, before it can be transformed into the butterfly. Both incarnations of the being have exactly the same DNA, yet two totally different beings are created from it. This is a perfect example of the workings of the Death card. When it shows up; like the caterpillar we must enter the chrysalis of transformation, dissolve into our own goo (most likely snot and tears), and eventually be reborn as a new version of ourselves. Life is filled with such moments, we change throughout our lives as our mind expands, our body's transitions through the aging process, relationships come and go, and yes people we know and love die!

Take some time to meditate on the Death card, allow yourself to think about the transition you are personally going through. What pieces of your lives story need to die that you may become the new improved version of yourself? And when fear comes up, remember not to dwell on it for it will eat away at your soul, instead of stepping bravely forward, look at the change that is inevitable and ask what tools you will need upon the way; a perfect time for drawing a few more cards. Dance with death, see it as the harbinger of growth that it truly is, and if you're already deep in the goop stage remember to breathe, remember to dance, remember to sing, and remember this is a part of your becoming!

spreading love-


Death is part of a 22 part series that you can find here on my blog-


48 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page