photo of the Death card from the Robin Wood tarot

9/5/1967 — Death

photo of the Death card from the Robin Wood tarot

OK. Here it is, the most abused card in any story, TV show or movie that invokes the tarot. This is it. We’re going to die! Game over! Pack it in! Say goodbye!

When doing a spread for someone the appearance of this card is often followed by the words “hang on a minute” by the reader (or at least me) because of the negative reaction this often invokes. (Thank you lame-ass TV shows, stories and movies.)

So, what is this card about? Most spiritual cultures agree that death is not the end. There is something that continues outside of the crude matter of flesh and goes on to do other things. It is a threshold, albeit a door that tends to only swing one way and locks behind us. We can go through, but we won’t pass back this particular way again. It is a card of transformation, of evolution. The caterpillar is consumed to become the butterfly and emerges anew.

When Death appears things are changing and not in subtle ways. Something big is changing. There is certainly an air of “Careful what you wish for.” You can’t necessarily prepare for what is about to happen, but you can decide to be open to it. What happens next is likely for your greatest good. You will be taking on new things and leaving some old things behind. What you leave will be left forever.

This card appears during life changes. It is a harbinger of new jobs, new relationships, new discoveries. That’s good stuff, and should be welcome. However, it’s not necessarily gentle with routine and may have some shocking reverberations as you grow accustomed to the new situation.

I can’t help but think of this beautiful song (which I really must start performing myself) when I see this wondrous card.


Alone, this card is interesting and means that things are going to start happening NOW. I’ve been open to—and needing—change in parts of my world. I’m open to it and I welcome it, though I would like to manage it somewhat. That’s OK, though. Let it come!

Of course, if I look at this card in context with yesterday’s card, The Chariot, I should fasten my seat belt. Things are moving and changing and I should prepare for massive, perhaps even rapid transformation and change. It all points to good stuff, but some stuff is going to be left behind. I should be packed light and ready to go. I can’t possibly predict what is about to happen. It’s not for me to to say. I must be ready to flow and not resist. Am I up for this? There’s only one way to find out. I have to let myself be taken through that door.

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