Occult, Tarot

How to Read the Death Card

Don’t Freak Out! There are no bad cards in tarot! Major Arcana Death Card Tarot

Tarot Death Card Rider Waite Deck Major Arcana 13

The Major Arcana Death card looks scary, but I’m always thrilled when this card comes up in a reading. Why? Because card number 13 isn’t (necessarily) about literal death at all. It’s really about transformation, transition, and getting rid of the old to make way for the new.  Let’s take a closer look at the Rider Waite Death Card.

The Symbolism in the Tarot Death Card

In this card, we see Death – symbolized by a skeleton – riding a white horse. A man lies dead on the ground beside him. A closer look reveals that the dead man is wearing a fur cloak and lying beside a crown and a scepter. He is clearly of high station, perhaps royalty. In front of Death are a child, a young woman, and an old priest, representing that death comes for everyone – regardless of station or belief.

What Does the Tarot Death Card Mean?

So, what’s the lesson here? What is this card trying to tell us? If you pull this card, ask yourself, are there things in your life that are no longer serving you? Are there opportunities that you’re blocking because you’re afraid to get rid of the old? What things do you need to let go of to move forward? What negative thoughts, people, or behaviors can you purge from your life? See, not so scary after all!

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How to Read the Death Card


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