Death Tarot Card

Card Name: Death, No Name Arcana, Grim Reaper, Rebirth

Category: Major Arcana, Soul

Position: 13

Zodiac sign: Scorpio ♏

Death is the most dangerous card in the entire tarot deck. It symbolizes a physical transition to another reality or a spiritual leap. Charon has already prepared the boat and is waiting for the newcomers. Karma does not sleep, and therefore the past must be erased into powder. This is the beauty of being. Sometimes memories work badly. However, in the reversed form, the card personifies being stuck at the stage of decay, decomposition. The traveler remains to sit near a pile of bones and skulls, as in the painting "The Apotheosis of War" by Vereshchagin. A new reality lies ahead, but he is afraid to let go of the control of the fading mind. Ghosts are forever attached to the past, and therefore they are used to not letting anyone into their habitats.

Symbolism and Key Ideas of the Death

In the classic Waite Tarot, the Death card has many figures. However, the main role is played by a skeleton in armor, sitting on a horse. The rider holds a black flag, on the canvas of which a white rose is painted. The harness is decorated with drawings of skulls and bones. Scarlet feathers are attached to the character’s helmet. However, they are very thin, flowing. Directly in front of the horse stands the holy father in golden robes. The confessor stretches out his hands in a prayerful gesture, as if asking for mercy on him. In the lower right corner, a boy and a young girl sit on their knees. Directly under the hooves of the animal lies a gray-haired man covered with a cloth. He lost his crown as well as his life. In the background is a waterfall with a ship in the distance. And a little higher – two towers and between them the sun.

The Major Arcana Death strikes the viewer with its diversity. Every detail here is extremely important. So, even a churchman cannot beg for mercy from life. Disintegration is its reverse side, a meeting with which no one can escape. The different ages of people symbolize equality before the Higher Powers. The end can come at any moment in time. The pond, on the other hand, shows a kind of river Styx, through which souls are transported by ship. Two towers repeat the motifs of the 16th Arcana, personify the passage to another world. The sun is probably setting. It marks the end of the day, the beginning of the night.

Meaning of the Upright Death Card

  • The end of a certain stage of life and also of any business.
  • Physical death of a person, animal or leaving the body.
  • Spiritual crisis or cardinal changes in character.
  • Development of the situation is not in favor of the fortuneteller.

In the upright position, Death shows complete stagnation, the end of a certain stage. This is a stop, no longer suggesting further travel. Everything conceived is coming to its logical conclusion, there is no point in making efforts. Any process will end sooner or later, and now this time has come. The questioning person needs to come to terms with the inevitability, to realize his powerlessness. In some cases, the Grim Reaper signifies physical death. Some participant in the case under consideration will simply leave this planet. But also the Arcana personifies a certain crisis – a spiritual transformation. This is a buffer zone, passing through which the personality will not be the same. In the future, life will change dramatically.

Despite its gloom, the Death card gives hope for the future. Water symbolizes new life, rebirth. Being itself is infinite, just its forms must change. The limited human consciousness is not capable of accepting this idea. Hence all the fears and conjectures. In some decks, the card has a name – No Name Arcana. Such a label hints at an attempt to depersonalize the stage of disintegration, not to focus on it. Also, this name well reflects the idea of zeroing, purification.

Love and Relationships (Upright)

  • Crisis time for both partners, a difficult stage.
  • The need to completely change for your passion.
  • Not the time to find happiness in your personal life.
  • Work on oneself, affecting the sphere of partnership.

In the love spread, Death represents the crisis that lovers go through. Treason and betrayal in the past could lead to it. However, now the couple has a chance to completely change their attitude towards each other. The very peak of experiences will make you take a different look at life together. Further development of the situation will depend on the joint efforts of the beloved. If they do not want to do anything, then absolutely their love affair will come to an end. The card shows the transition, but here is the final destination people choose themselves.

For loners, the Transformation Arcana predicts a rethinking of one’s own requests. Now, a person should not enter into a relationship, so as not to prevent himself from developing. Moreover, changes can affect any area of life – career, training, personal growth. Death suggests that a new partner will meet in a different fate. The scenario must change dramatically so that the querent can find true happiness, mutual love. The current situation does not imply such an outcome.

Career and Finance (Upright)

  • Loss of work, business; bankruptcy, distress.
  • Funeral homes, sale of ritual paraphernalia and clothing.
  • Acute lack of funds, inability to move.
  • Financial crisis and debilitating money situation.

In the context of the field of activity, Death shows funeral homes, organizations involved in seeing people off on their last journey. Here, the meaning of the card is similar to the Four of Swords. This is the sale of clothes, flowers, wreaths; coffin making. But also the Arcana shows work in hospices or morgues. As a signifier of the situation, the card hints at an imminent dismissal. The company may cease to operate, officially close. The emphasis here is on collective issues, not individual ones.

There are also huge problems with money. The querent feels an acute shortage of funds, does not know how to remedy the situation. However, Death portends a new path. The crisis sooner or later will force to act. It is impossible to sit on the ashes all the time. The time will come, and the questioner will rise from his knees, rush to his desires. Now he is only aware of the fatality of what is happening. The last hope must die so that the fortuneteller can pull himself together and start a new life.

Health and Spirit (Upright)

  • The need for a very difficult operation on an important organ.
  • The threat of abortion or stillbirth.
  • Depression and also suicidal tendencies.
  • Difficult time, rethinking yourself and your role in life.

The Tarot Death that has fallen out gives a negative meaning to the health spread. Here the card may well show a lethal outcome. Minimally, this is a serious operation with complications that have appeared. For pregnant women, the Arcana promises the loss of a child. For the mother herself, there is also a threat to life. It will be very difficult to pull a person out of the clutches of a bony one. In some cases, the Grim Rider denotes the loss of a vital organ. Urgent surgical intervention is required.

In terms of the psyche, Death represents the passage through a crisis. Now the person is in depression. This stage precedes acceptance, and therefore is the most difficult and long-playing. Most likely, the querent has experienced a difficult situation in the recent past. Now the psyche is trying to recover, fenced off from negative factors. In the future, a person will be able to overcome himself, become stronger. A new path will open before him. Therefore, it is important to fully live today’s hardships, so that later you will never return to them again.

Situations and Questions (Upright)

  • Disidentification with the past, acceptance of fate.
  • The need to get away from some situation and from a person.
  • The inability to influence what is happening, randomness.
  • Lack of choice, predetermined ending of the case.

Most often, Death represents the end of something. Puzzles are scattered in a chaotic manner and now the full picture is not visible. In the future, they will develop differently, you can not wait for the return of the past. The unknown is so frightening that, at times, people hold on to broken relationships, hopeless jobs. It is something understandable and familiar in such a complex world. However, all attempts to invent a time machine are simply ridiculous and absurd in the face of fatality. Acceptance of hopelessness is the only way to survive.

Death asks questions: “What should be left behind?” and “How not to cling to the past?”. To avoid the temptation to resurrect some kind of bright era, you need to burn all the bridges. The card without a name seems to give the questioner a can of gasoline in his hands and sets fire to a match. She does not ask permission – she simply confronts the fact. There is no other way out than to end the memories once and for all. And it is best to peel off this patch very quickly and without looking.

Spirituality and Karma (Upright)

  • Spiritual cleansing, rebirth; renewal of consciousness.
  • Touching eternity or something unshakable.
  • Facing harsh reality or accepting death.
  • Abandoned attempts to fight the world order and karma.

Death takes on a positive meaning only in terms of spirituality. Here the card is revealed as the death of the ego, a new birth. For the first time, a person encounters the concept of the soul, gets to know himself again. He is not just a physical body or mind. In some decks, the Arcana is called Rebirth, which fully reflects its essence. On the path of spiritual search, the seeker will face losses more than once. They will continue until the person leaves everything superficial. As a result, only the true spirit should remain, not burdened with base attachments.

But in terms of karma, Death promises severe trials. A person will watch someone else’s funeral, lose loved ones over and over again. All this will prompt thoughts about eternal life, spirituality. A person can start looking for himself in a certain religion. Thus, the character becomes humbler, calmer. If the end is coming anyway, then what’s the point of resisting it. A funeral allows you to think about how to start living a more fulfilling life. Happiness is in every moment. It is worth learning to notice it.

Meaning of the Reversed Death Tarot

  • An attempt to escape from the fatality of fate, negative events.
  • Desire to delay reckoning, to postpone the X-day; negation.
  • Stuck in transition or difficulty making a dash.
  • Substitute another person for your own well-being.

In the reversed position, Death means being stuck in a state of decay. A person is so unwilling to accept his plight that thereby automatically prolongs it. Yes, you can delay leaving, but this is just a temporary phenomenon. The end is inevitable. Life in this state becomes gray and uninteresting. A string of empty days evokes a melancholy mood. But the final departure or breakup is much more frightening. The reversed Death card in the Tarot also represents disappointment in something, emptiness, loss. The negative value remains, but is softened a bit.

Death in the opposite form also indicates an unwillingness to accept refusal. This is over-demanding to yourself and others. The querent denies the very idea that something in life can not work out. However, there are factors that cannot be influenced. Together, they turn into a headache for a perfectionist. Also, the reversed Death can mean watching other people’s failures. The querent himself will remain aloof, guarded by fate. But this is an exceptional option. Basically, the position of the card hints at, albeit small, but losses. You have to give something, part with something.

Love and Relationships (Reversed)

  • Fear of letting go of “sick” relationships and leaving.
  • Slow degradation in a couple or depreciation of life.
  • An inner void that cannot be filled with relationships.
  • Unwillingness to move forward, change and seek your destiny.

In the spread of love, Death in the opposite sense symbolizes a painful attachment to a partner. Relationships destroy every single person, but the final break is very scary. A person is afraid to get freedom because he is immature. As long as there is even a problematic family life, there is predestination. However, such relationships will still outlive themselves and bring complete disappointment. The fortuneteller must realize this and try to get out of the vicious circle.

For lonely questioners, the reversed Death promises difficulties on the way to a new life. The querent is in a state of depression, so potential partners are not attracted to him. Only people with similar problems and experiences can start communication. But you need to understand that they just want to speak out, complain about their own fate. If a person is empty, then he has nothing to share with the world. He certainly cannot bestow love and warmth, no matter how hard he tries.

Career and Finance (Reversed)

  • Trying to hold onto a bad low paying job.
  • Willingness to put up with unsatisfactory conditions.
  • Small financial losses, unforeseen expenses.
  • Burn out in one place, but keep the other ways.

In terms of work, the reversed Death indicates the fear of losing the current place, even if they pay too little there, depreciate the talents of the querent. However, he still does not want to grow professionally. A certain limitation of the mind keeps in place. The world is multifaceted, but the questioner does not see it. In some cases, Death reversed shows profiting from the grief of other people. An example is funeral home agents who arrive at the scene of the tragedy faster than the police themselves. They offer their services to the stunned departure of a close relative with a big markup.

In the context of finance, Death in the opposite position hints at small losses, losses. Yes, they hit the pocket, but there is still a chance to recover. This is a kind of mini-crisis that will quickly be forgotten. And, most likely, the questioner has additional options on how to improve cash flow. The player did not bet on one red or black, and therefore won. Especially no stranger to businessmen.

Health and Spirit (Reversed)

  • Successful operations, exit from a coma; minimal losses.
  • A patient who survived a serious accident, catastrophe.
  • Compulsive hoarding and collecting all sorts of rubbish.
  • Fear of development or desire to stay in the current moment.

If Death fell reversed in the health spread, then this is a very good sign. The operation will be successful, with minimal consequences for the questioner. It will be possible to take trouble away from home. It can also be clinical death for a while. However, all the same, a person will survive, retain all the necessary functions of the body and brain. The position of the card sometimes shows micro-infarctions or micro-strokes. In any case, they do not carry such a threat as full-fledged ailments. Rather, this is an important warning, it is urgent to change your habits and lifestyle.

But in terms of the psyche, the reversed Death symbolizes the fear of letting go of something. So, a person can not throw away garbage, not take care of himself, not carry out hygiene procedures. Fear of the end blocks the path of life. As a result, the person simply loses precious time, does not enjoy what is happening. The surrounding reality presses, but the person still does not give up. Some people even believe in the coming of a Savior who will save them from physical death forever. But at the same time, they absolutely do not understand why they should live forever, because their reality is far from ideal.

Situations and Questions (Reversed)

  • Denial of both the end and the beginning of life; emptiness.
  • The internal disintegration of the personality and the loss of the meaning of being, ideas.
  • Negative attitudes that prevent you from building a new life.
  • The illusion of influencing inevitability or fatal events.

In different situations, the reversed Death carries its own message. However, most often the position of the card shows stuck in a certain stage. So, a person can replay unpleasant painful moments in his memory over and over again. Nothing can be returned, much less exchanged. But it is pleasant for the ego to resurrect its own suffering. In them, it feels like a fish in water. The desire to put everything on the shelves sooner or later will affect life itself. But it’s just one big illusion.

The rolled reversed Death asks questions: “What prevents me from changing?” and “How to move away from the past?”. The transformation process is under way. The important thing is not to disturb him. Therefore, it is worth opening up to a new one, living through all the pain to the end. Negativity, all kinds of experiences will come out on their own, if this is not prevented. Purification is absolutely necessary for the further vivid perception of life. But if you continue to sit on the shore, you can never dare to swim in the waters of being.

Spirituality and Karma (Reversed)

  • Black magic, work with dead, necrotic forces.
  • Session calling the deceased relatives, communication with the departed.
  • Karma, which consists in the constant loss of loved ones.
  • Watching someone else’s funeral or being tired of yourself.

In the context of spirituality, Death in the opposite form means involvement in dark egregors. The practitioner works with low-vibration energies. Perhaps he honors the cults of death, induces or removes damage. In any case, darkness is habitual and desirable for him. In it, he most fully reveals his own potential, draws strength. It is worth remembering that black is an extension of white. Life is cyclical and there is a place for absolutely everything. Also, the position of the card symbolizes necrotic magic, divination with the help of the spirits of the dead.

From the position of karma, the reversed Death is read as a long life. In this incarnation, a person will have to part with many people, to see them off to another world. In old age, weighed down by memories, he himself will want to leave the planet. However, this is where the trick lies. The film The Green Mile, based on the novel by Stephen King, conveys the idea of a life taken well. The fate of the hero was lengthened by the execution of an innocent prisoner. For some people, eternity will be a real test, not a gift from above.

Death as a Significator of a Person

If the card lies straight, then Death shows the mysterious people. Their life is shrouded in a halo of mysticism. They repel and attract at the same time. Astrologically, the Arcana corresponds to Scorpio. Eliphas Levi was a French occultist. In his youth, he became a deacon and took a vow of celibacy. However, the acquaintance with the beautiful Adele Allenbach changed everything. Levi’s mother could not stand the collapse of her son’s "spiritual" career and committed suicide. So Eliphas became interested in the world of magic. Then he married Noemi Kadio, but all of their children, one by one, died in infancy. All these events formed a strong will of the magician, but also morally finished off.

In the reversed form, Death personifies people who worship necrotic deities. In Christianity, there are rituals with the use of relics. These are dead, atrophied parts of human flesh, supposedly belonging to the saints. Thus, parishioners touch eternity, take on the charge of pure energy of a monk. But there is no reliable evidence about the effectiveness of this ritual. Therefore, the card in the opposite form often simply shows those who turn too often to the past and the obsolete.

Death: Combination with other Tarot Cards


Advice and Warning of the Death Card

The upright Death advises to accept the inevitability. You can just relax and trust the flow of life. Everything unnecessary will go away by itself, without the efforts of the querent. This is a kind of cleaning inside and out. Therefore, it is worth having a positive attitude towards all kinds of crises, transitional stages. As a warning, Death hints at the senselessness of grasping at the obsolete. The questioner will only waste precious energy in vain. Trying to keep it will be more expensive than entering a new reality. There, the fortuneteller is waiting for real happiness, there is no point in worrying about current losses. Sometimes being takes money or relationships, although it could be the very life of the questioner.

The reversed Death advises learning from the mistakes of others. And even all the small failures that occur with the querent are designed to teach him to appreciate what is available more. Health can not be bought for any money. The happiness of being with a family is much more valuable than having huge bags of gold. When the end comes, no millions will help. As a warning, the reversed Arcana speaks of a great danger of getting stuck in a depressed state. An attempt to grasp the thread of a decaying reality delays the arrival of a new happiness. And what has already outlived itself will not bring more satisfaction and joy.

Death: Daily Card Meaning

Dropped Death as a card of the day predicts some significant loss. And nothing can be done. It is impossible to influence the twists of fate. Today they can be fired from work, rob, make a serious diagnosis. The querent will remain alone with himself and think about what is happening. It definitely doesn’t just happen. After all, everything is finite in this world, which means it is not so important. Only love remains unchanged value. Additionally, the card can show a trip to the necropolis, to the cemetery, or to the cabinet of curiosities. In some cases, it implies the real funeral of another person.

The reversed Death promises a chance to get off with little blood. The negative value is softened a little, the intensity of the card decreases. Therefore, the querent can pay a fine and stay at the current job, have a big quarrel with the other half, but then reconcile. Yes, there will be an unpleasant aftertaste, but at the moment it will be possible to neutralize the threat. Even in the reversed form, the Arcana shows all the same trips to cemeteries. The only difference is that they will be unofficial. That is, these are dead places – swamps, impenetrable forests. There is always a danger of losing life, getting into an uncontrollable situation. However, in microdoses, such travel is useful for maintaining a fighting spirit.

Major Arcana