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13 - Death


Card Information:

Numerical Value: 13

Element: Water

Astrological Associations: Scorpio, Mars


  • Departure

  • Collapse

  • Nadir

  • Rejuvenation

  • Goodbye

  • Fate

  • Purification

  • Harsh transition

  • Fear manifest

  • Reincarnation

  • Post-ending disarray


  • Farewell time

  • Change resistance

  • Past fixation

  • Post-finale gloom

  • Loss denial

  • Unfinished closure

  • Adaptation failure

  • Old stifles new

  • Denial entrapment

  • Newness knocking

Understanding the Death Card:

In the Death card, a skeletal figure representing death emerges atop a white horse. People mourning for the fallen emperor are also depicted on the card. Sorrow and mourning dominate the imagery. Clad in battle attire, this figure is a skeleton. The main color of the flag held by the skeleton is black, but a white rose is drawn within it. Three individuals representing every stage of human development—old age, maturity, and childhood—are seen. In the background of the card, a newborn sun is emerging. This sun reminds us that after every sunset, there will be a sunrise. The astrological sign of this card is Scorpio, and its number is 13.

The Fear Surrounding the Death Card:

The Death card is perhaps the most feared card for Tarot enthusiasts. The name of this card alone is enough to frighten many Tarot readers. Some may even interpret this card as representing physical death. However, this card contains much deeper meanings than initially perceived.

Symbolism of Endings and New Beginnings:

The Death card symbolically informs us that a significant chapter in one's life has completely closed. However, this closure also signifies a new beginning. The emerging sun in the background of the card reminds us that after every sunset, a new sun will rise. However, the primary color of this card is black, and this ending can make one feel pessimistic and painful. The significant change happening in the individual's life upon seeing this card can often lead to adaptation challenges.

The Concept of Destruction and Rebirth:

Death is also a card of hitting rock bottom and complete annihilation. The message brought by this card is that the current situation is already at its lowest point, and it will not worsen no matter what. The card depicts an Emperor lying lifeless on the ground, reminding us that even those at the top can eventually fall to the ground. It signifies that nothing, not even the human body, can be ours forever. We will eventually bid farewell to everything we possess, even our bodies. In short, death reminds us that every sunrise has a sunset, and every beginning has an end.

Understanding Death as Transition:

Our hero encounters the Death card on their journey and learns that death and separation are also parts of life. Contrary to appearances, this card does not represent physical death; instead, it signifies a page that has closed forever and bidding farewell to someone or something beloved. It symbolizes the point of saying goodbye to the past to make way for something new in our lives. This death is, in a sense, a kind of separation, similar to the soul departing from the body, where there will be a permanent goodbye to something.

The Symbolism of Destruction and Cleansing:

Death is a card of destruction; when it arrives, it destroys, clears, and makes room for the new to enter our lives. It symbolizes the most significant cleanups we perform in our lives. Although the separation indicated by the Death card can sometimes imply letting go of something we deeply desire, it is essential for progress in life. Despite appearing as one of Tarot's most frightening cards, Death is actually about making room for the new by eliminating the old. Just as a new building cannot be constructed on top of another, the Death card's message is to completely demolish the old to make way for the new. Yes, this separation is painful, but it is necessary for advancement in life.

Embracing Endings as Gateways to New Beginnings:

The Death card marks the entry point into the underworld of Tarot. The card's meaning is farewell, but this farewell, although painful, also heralds a promise of the future. This promise will only begin to enter our lives after the farewell brought by the Death card. Although perceived as farewell by us, this experienced pain is liberation. Despite being one of the most frightening-looking cards in Tarot, it should be interpreted positively and is a definite sign of inevitable change.

Confronting Darkness and Accepting Pain:

The Death card confronts us with darkness and reminds us that it is time to accept pain. Whatever has happened must be acknowledged, and this pain must be accepted. Death is not a card we should avoid but rather one we should welcome into our lives. Only when we extend this hospitality to it and embrace it will it reward us. With every appearance, this card brings a gift, but this gift will only be given to us when we stop resisting change, surrender, and allow it to enter our lives.

Looking to the Future Instead of Dwelling on the Past:

The Death card teaches us that it is time to look to the future, not the past. Just as a driver who constantly looks in the rearview mirror cannot see ahead, this card tells us it is time to look ahead, not behind. It teaches us that it is time to bid farewell to things that need to be left behind. Death is painful but promises change and is a part of life. Although death signifies the end of one life, it also marks the beginning of another.

Reversed Death Card: Embracing Profound Renewal

The reversed Death card beckons the call for profound renewal, a yearning that stirs deep within the soul. It signifies the collapse of old belief systems or perspectives, mandating radical changes. This card unveils a rock bottom moment, where the old must be discarded to make room for the new. Resisting this farewell only prolongs the pain, and bidding adieu sooner rather than later is advised.

Furthermore, the reversed Death card serves as a poignant reminder not to resist change. Welcoming transformation, making way for what must depart our lives, is to our advantage. It underscores the importance of accepting closure in our lives and not shying away from its truth. Refusing to acknowledge the inevitable only begets more suffering.

Love Interpretation of the Reversed Death Card:

In matters of love, the reversed Death card suggests that change is inevitable, often entailing discomfort in the process. While it may signify separation, it can also portend a profound transformation—a chapter forever closed. Encountering this change can be challenging and painful. In a broader context, it underscores that we might confront uncomfortable situations in our romantic lives.

When the reversed Death card graces the domain of love, it underscores the necessity of ceasing to dwell on the past, as it negatively influences our present. Those confronted with this card must acknowledge that certain aspects are now consigned to history, necessitating a turn toward the future. Resisting the departure of the past will only exacerbate pain and hinder the commencement of a new chapter.

Career Implications of the Reversed Death Card:

In the professional sphere, the reversed Death card signals the conclusion of a particular phase, one that is unalterable. Its central theme is closure, paving the way for a fresh start. However, the termination may not be easy for the individual to adapt to. For some, the card may symbolize bankruptcy or hitting rock bottom. Yet, regardless of the specifics, it signifies the imperative of accepting certain harsh truths. When this card appears in the career sector, it implores individuals to draw a line under the past and continue their professional journey with renewed vigor.

When the reversed Death card emerges in the career aspect, it serves as a potent reminder of the need for change and a fresh start in specific professional matters. Those confronted with this card must cast aside the old to embrace the new, fostering progress in their careers. It underscores the fear of change rooted in clinging to the past and calls upon individuals to step outside their comfort zones. Innovation and significant changes within the work sphere are needed. Those who encounter this card must welcome novelty and adapt for improved financial gains.

Financial Implications of the Reversed Death Card:

In financial matters, the reversed Death card indicates that a financial phase is winding down, potentially unsettling the individual. The fallen Emperor may signify financial decline, reaching a low point, or even bankruptcy. However, irrespective of the precise nature of this ending, it emphasizes the necessity of acknowledging difficult truths. It might symbolize the depletion of funds, resulting in the closure of a business, the termination of a project, or job loss. Those who confront this card must allow what is slipping away to do so, refraining from resisting this change.

When the reversed Death card manifests in the financial sector, it underscores the need for drastic decisions in financial affairs. Through changes or alterations in their approach to work or business, individuals can attain improved financial outcomes. Reversed Death also prompts us to accept loss or the release of a sum of money. Instead of fixating on past losses, those confronted with this card must learn from past mistakes and look toward the future.


Please remember that Tarot card interpretations can be highly personal and situational. The context of the reading and the reader's intuition play a significant role in understanding the full meaning of a card. These interpretations serve as a general guideline but should be adapted to your specific circumstances and feelings.

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