Death Tarot Card (XIII)

Key Meanings

Endings and beginnings. Transformation. 

The Death tarot card.The original RWS Death tarot card.

Meaning of the Death Tarot Card

The Death tarot card is about transformation. It’s about endings and beginnings. 

The ending is seldom (almost never) about physical death. More likely, it’s about the death of a situation in your life, a relationship (or a way of relating within a relationship), of a job (or of a particular role within a company), a project you’ve been working on, or the situation regarding that project. It could also indicate a rejection of some sort.

The Death tarot card is about change and transformation. The ending of a situation you’ve grown used to is usually painful, but death is a part of life, and sometimes things need to die in order for the blocks to be removed, so allowing new and more beneficial situations to enter your life.

Sometimes, in a relationship reading, you may need to end a relationship so that you can allow a more beneficial relationship into your life. The Death tarot card can be a message to let go of negative thoughts and feelings, and move forward with hope.

In what way can you transform yourself. Look at the surrounding cards for clues.

Some tarot readers remove the death tarot card for fear of upsetting clients, but this isn’t necessary. The Death tarot card is often painful, but it is often an indicator of a positive transformation, too.

Reversed Death Tarot Card

If the death tarot card is reversed, resistance to change, inertia or lack of movement may be indicated.

A slow and difficult change is also possible. 

Another possibility is that the reversed card asks you to take a different perspective on a situation that is ending.

The Death Tarot Card—ShadowscapesThe Death Tarot Card—Shadowscapes—is a good (and beautiful) example of how modern tarot decks have moved the focus of Death tarot cards away from death and final ending, to that of a new beginning.

Images, Symbols, and More

The Death tarot card of the RWS deck shows a skeleton in black armour, riding a white horse, and carrying a black flag with a white rose emblazoned on it. 

The white rose symbolizes purity of heart.

Before Death are kings, bishops, men, women, and children. None can stand before Death.

In the distance, between two gates, the sun rises, and new life begins.

The Death tarot card relates astrologically to Scorpio.

There is no Birth tarot card. The Death tarot represents both death and birth because they are the same. When we die on this world, we are born back into the world of spirit; when we are born into this world, we die from the other world. There is only transformation.

Marseille Death Tarot CardMarseille Death Tarot Card (Jean Dodal).

Major Arcana


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