Death Tarot Card – Meaning, Reversed, Guide, Love

All you need to know about The death tarot card. Meanings, messages and how to use it to create your dream life.

What’s the death card?

Death is one of the Major Arcana of the tarot, to be exact the thirteenth card, also known as “The nameless arcana” because in some decks (such as in the Marseillaise) the name is not indicated, but only the corresponding number.

The death card: Image and Representation

It is represented as a skeleton armed with a scythe, therefore similar to Death in common iconography; in some representations the skeleton is also wrapped in a hammer.

Death sits on a horse, which in turn passes over a series of characters, which vary according to the representations but in general one can recognize a king, a bishop and some children. In the background the sun is setting (or rising) between two towers.

The symbology is quite clear, since the protagonist figure represents death, as well as the scythe.

However, in the card there is also a banner, which belongs precisely to Death and which bears a symbol of a flower with five petals, the symbol of rebirth.

Death must not be understood in the literal sense of the end of life, but rather as the term, the end of something and the beginning of something else, rebirth. The sun setting, or perhaps rising, underlines the ambiguity of this card.

Divinatory meaning of the death Card:

The Fool keywords 

  • end / beginning,
  • transformation
  • rebirth
  • mystery
  • the old dies
  • old ideas fall
  • evolution
  • detachment
  • proof of our strength / capacity for self-knowledge
  • understanding of the vanity and transience of things.

Reversed keywords

  • destruction
  • crisis
  • unacceptance of changes and the unknown
  • diseases
  • accidents
  • resistance
  • stagnation of old habits
  • feeling of boredom
  • avoiding changes
  • pain
  • failures
  • loss
  • thoughts fixed on past situations
  • physical death
  • inertia 

The most positive qualities about the death card

The first thing you need to be reborn is to die. With this approach you will be able to understand the positive meanings of the Death card in the tarot.

+ If your question is about your love life, you will be surprised by its positive meaning because it can be contradictory and will depend on the context. On the one hand, the Death card can announce a new stage in life as a couple, another step in the relationship such as coexistence or marriage. But if your relationship does not make you happy, this letter is the signal for you to decide on a breakup.

+ Changes and profound transformations also in the workplace. Are you scared? Does it give you vertigo? Of course, but it is your opportunity to dedicate yourself to what really makes you happy or to carry out a project that you have been dreaming of for a long time.

+ The Death card usually appears after a long or complicated illness, an accident or a health episode that will lead you to radically transform your lifestyle. The goal is not just to survive, but to live with the best possible quality of life.

+ It is on an internal or emotional level when the Death card becomes more evident. It signals a new cycle, a renewal or a true rebirth. Have you been having a hard time? Well, the time to rise from your ashes like the Phoenix.

The most negative qualities about the death card 

As you can imagine, if the Death card comes up inverted, there are some negative meanings to deal with.

But in no case do you have to wait for your own death, that is not something that the tarot cards announce.

+ Bad times for love or, at least, for the way you understand love. This letter announces great love disappointments, deceptions that will lead you to rethink how you manage your romantic relationships.

+ We are not going to beat around the bush, because the appearance of the Death letter in a negative sense and speaking of work speaks most of the time of a dismissal. But who says that quitting your job isn’t exactly what you need to reinvent yourself professionally?

+ Take care of yourself if the Death card comes out and your doubts are about health. We insist that you don’t have to take it literally; You will not die. But you may have to face certain complications or diseases that without being serious will make your life bitter for a while.

+ In the emotional sphere, the letter of Death in a negative sense refers to the danger of depression in which you find yourself. You are very close to falling, so ask for help to start a personal development work as soon as possible that will lead you to better manage your emotions. 

The positive meaning of the death card when upright

Despite what we may be inclined to think, the positive meaning of Death is truly positive.

In fact, it indicates the end of something, the possibility of leaving something behind without any kind of remorse: that is over, but something else will inevitably take its place.

The end is generally something that has already been there, and can be linked in the literal sense to the disappearance of an acquaintance but also to the end of an interpersonal or work relationship, something that has now ended.

More difficult it can indicate something that is about to end, but in general we know that this is now a path that is no longer worth taking.

However, the loss is not painless and, on the contrary, it is quite painful, so much so that it may be necessary to modify one’s life, metabolize the grief, in order to accept it.

The end of something indicates the beginning of something new but also a transformation that we must find in ourselves, an evolution of the personality, a positive transition from the old situation to the one we are about to start.

It is always important to focus on novelty, on the need to undertake the new path, a new job, a new relationship: what is past is now behind us, and we no longer have to worry about it.

In summary, the meaning can be understood: 

Love: indicates a strong change, something that “breaks the balance”. The most common thing is the end of the relationship, the breakup, which is nevertheless beneficial for the two single partners; in other situations, it may indicate the need to review the couple’s relationships, a clarification that radically changes the situation.

Work and money: similar to relationships, it indicates a great change; it can be the end of one job and the beginning of another, a change of home, the end of a positive path that we managed to reach after a series of obstacles.

Health: While it may suggest otherwise, changes in health can be positive. A disease that is left behind, the end of a therapeutic path, a conclusion. In other cases, it can literally represent death, understood however not with the negative meaning, but with the end of a long path of suffering, which must be considered a liberation.

People: generally, indicates pain, a lonely person who looks at himself or has the need to do so, a doctor who works closely with death, a person who is reborn after suffering great pain. 

The negative meaning of the death card when reversed

Death, on the contrary, indicates one of the worst consequences of the entire world of Tarot, because the main indication is pain, both physical and mental, and more generally indicates negative feelings, ranging from melancholy, to anguish, to anger, passing through discouragement.

On the contrary, death has the meaning of a failure, or of an end that we are unable to overcome. The situation is a stalemate, an immobile situation that does not allow us to make rational decisions because we are not in the state of being able to do so.

Situations can indicate an end, as already indicated in the positive meaning, but in this case you cannot leave the situation behind and therefore you experience a sense of despair, of constant anguish, from which you cannot get out, and this can lead to deleterious consequences, such as falling into vices that can have direct consequences on our health.

What we have worked for fails, goes wrong, “dies”, but rebirth is not there at least in the moment, because one is unable to face one’s loss. It is important to try to do it, but despair will bring problems even some time after its presentation.

Love: Generally, indicates the end. It can mean the breakup, sometimes sudden, of a love relationship, a divorce or the end of a friendship relationship. It will not be a happy or announced end, and it could have a negative impact on the two people who suffered it.

Work and money: for work, also in this case indicates an abrupt termination of the relationship. It can represent dismissal, but also a drastic change in life that forces you to quit your job completely, for example a transfer; it can also indicate success achieved but unexpectedly canceled. It can represent a very difficult choice that leaves us displaced (for example, moving to another city for a safe job).

Health: from the point of view of health there is in general an unexpected situation. Negatively unexpected, a debilitating, chronic disease, a negative discovery, or a very serious situation which fortunately lasts for a short time. It may not only concern the person but also other people who are close to him.

People: people who are related to death in some way. They can be people who kill, people who commit suicide, or people who are very “close” to death such as a seriously ill or depressed person.

Combination with other major arcanas cards and what can the death card mean

Death + The Fool: Death of the old man in your life, which will be very painful, but new beginnings with joy and fun.

For the question posed, the outcome is still positive. New life in which you feel like a child, joy and happiness every day, you don’t look back.

Death + The Magician: A person who was gone returns. It can therefore be a sexual encounter or a return after a breakup. Many views and intentions need to be changed.

Death + High Priestess: A new person who has psychic faculties, wisdom and knowledge. He can see in death and life. Very intuitive, she acts to get what she wants, but she is not very good at conversing with others, she is a loner.

Death + The Empress: Tough events, such as money / health / death / loss of job / home. Probably more than one at the same time. But as soon as they are overcome, true love arrives. They could also mean that you become very creative if you weren’t looking for the love of your life. The empress is creativity and abundance, harmony in the home. 

Death + The Emperor: Changes in your life that will bring about changes in you, and can also leave wounds and be painful. These changes can lead to success, a better position in society, or help from a man of authority.

Death + The Hierophant: Death of all the old ways + trying to restore order to a situation. A painful crisis that will be remembered even after a long time.

Death + The Lovers: “In moments of crisis, find true love”. Devotion to your love, this bond will last even after a crisis! First you have to face the change and be reborn, to then be ready to be together. We realize that “now or never”, Death leaves no way out, you have to choose.

Death + The Chariot: Death of the old in your life, a new person is born + a lot of willpower, unstoppable person, who gets what he wants. In love: love is sought after a painful period of solitude, where nothing was going the right way. But now you are full of passion and you are convinced that you will be able to conquer him / her. Surrender is not an option.

Death + Justice: Everything that was before dies, and there is a karmic balance (get what you deserve).

Death + The Hermit: Intense changes, often more than one + isolation and great loneliness. The Hermit gives a little light in the darkness, you have the opportunity to look at your life differently after unpleasant events and become a new person. Finding strength and your true values ​​in solitude.

Death + Wheel of Fortune: Inevitable and intense changes, a new period arrives. Look at the surrounding cards. Looks like a blessing in disguise is coming. At first it can be tough, but then you will have luck. An inheritance is coming. 

Death + Strength: Death of the old and need to be strengthened in difficult situations.

Death + Hanged Man: Hanging upside down with no way out, it feels like hell. A new, wise person will come out, but the period will still be very painful. It is advisable to take another card to clarify the reasons for this transformation. Loss of a relative or friend.

Death + Temperance: Scorpio and Sagittarius. Great painful transformation, then optimism and an outgoing person.

Death + Devil: The old man must die, that’s for sure + uncontrollable attraction. It is possible that a relationship will be born, but also going out and nights out in clubs. Possible addictions and obsessions in the future, beware! Possible arrival of a relationship or a one-night stand. Possibility of being dominated by desires.

Death + The tower: There are more possibilities: “Intense change, a future so unexpected it leaves you speechless”. “Disaster, but enlightenment after much suffering”. Death of the old and immediately something new, perhaps too fast! In love: Changes and new encounters, maybe even the same person but changed.

Death + The Star: We are reborn, the Stars teach us to believe in ourselves because there is potential. People might comment on your look. Positive changes. Great optimism.

Death + Moon: Problems and uncertainties. Don’t count on it, but it can happen. There is fear and anxiety about the future. Quarrels. Nightmares.

Death + The Sun: A person who always lives and focuses on the present. A young-minded person, who seems much younger than his age, optimistic and wise. He is a capable person in life. In love: intense changes + feeling ready for a new love and to be with the person we have always wanted. 

Death + Judgment: Intense changes in your life, and immediately after having to make a choice. This choice is important, it will bring joy or sadness, so it must be weighed very well. There is no turning back. In general, however, a beautiful card, which marks the rebirth, the joy, one feels appreciated. Reward and karmic rebirth. Positive changes. Great optimism.

Death + The World: The world changes around you from one moment to the next. Completeness after a lot of pain! If you lack love, you will find a stable relationship and if you lack money, you will get it together with a new home. The universe is concerned with people who have faith. 

How to use the death card to create your dream life?

Death invites us to know ourselves, asking ourselves what to let die within ourselves.

As already said, symbolically one would have to die to a state of   ignorance to be reborn in a state of greater initiation, perfection, mental freedom.

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