When I read for people who are new to Tarot, often Death is the only key with which they’re familiar, and the key frightens them. “Ohhhh I hope I don’t get the Death card!” is an exclamation I hear frequently. If the querant does draw Death, it gives me one of my best opportunities to teach about Tarot and the richness of its symbols. Rarely does Death mean physical death in a reading.
I often think this key should be renamed: Resurrection, Rebirth, Renewal, Transformtion, Transmutation are some alternate names that come to mind. This key ultimately is about letting go of that which no longer serves us, so that we have room in our lives for joyful abundance and new life.
We surround ourselves with so much that isn’t for our highest good – too much stuff/clutter, people who are not supportive or who are “energy vampires”, too much emotional baggage from our past – so much that weighs us down and literally buries us. As long as we fill our lives, hearts, minds with negativity and clutter, there can be no room for the positive, good energy that the Universe really has in mind for us.
Notice the flower on the flag Death carries: it is the five-petal rose of the eternal life-force. The water in the river that flows at Death’s feet is carried up to the sky by the light and heat of the sun, and comes down again in the form of blessed rain: a reminder to us that the cycles of life are eternal and giving.
The fallen people at Death’s feet – including the Bishop – are a reminder that there always will be endings in our lives, and there will always be beginnings. The cycle spins on and on. This Key, most importantly, represents the notion that Spirit is eternal.
So, I invite you to take inventory of what needs to “die away” in your life so that there is space for joy, happiness and all the gifts the Universe is waiting to bestow upon you!