Death Tarot Card Meanings

Tarot card - DeathThe Death Card Says: “Release What Doesn’t Serve You Anymore”

The Death card scares a lot of people, but really it’s just a card of endings and new beginnings! In order for new beginnings to take place, we have to clear away the old. It’s important to release things that are holding us back, whether they are negative emotions, beliefs, or relationships.

This Major Arcana card appears with a message to allow this change to happen! Endings bring new beginnings, so put your trust in the universe that this clearing out is for your benefit in the long run.

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    The Death Tarot Card Explained

    The Death card of the Major Arcana is symbolic of endings, allowing a chapter of your life to “die” so that a new one can begin. It’s not always easy to let things go. Accepting endings can be painful. But it is important to remember that what is in store for you is likely to be even better than what you are leaving behind. Everything in the world works in cycles, so embrace the endings so you can look forward to the new.

    The Death Tarot Card in the Past

    You just came out of a major ending. It might have been painful, but it was necessary. The past position is the best place for you to get The Death card in your tarot card reading. It means you already did the work, and there is a new door open to you now. You may have left a relationship or had another major ending, but this has now cleared the path for you, and the worst is behind you.

    The Death Card Reversed in the Past

    Were you clinging to something that was hurting you? Were you staying in a toxic relationship dynamic for fear of letting go? The change still happened, as it always does, but maybe you made it more difficult for yourself by not accepting it. The Death card teaches you to accept the inevitable, even when we are afraid.

    The Death Tarot Card in the Present

    You’re in a challenging situation right now and you know that you have to let something go. The change that is upon you right now can’t be stopped. If you can accept that this is the way things need to be, you will soon discover something new and beautiful on the other side. Change can hurt, and the emotions around that are normal. But if you can surrender to the universe and understand that you are opening the door to blessings, even if you can’t see how things will unfold, your transition will be easier for you.

    The Death Card Reversed in the Present

    Don’t resist the change that is upon you right now. The Death card in the reverse shows that you are trying to prevent an inevitable change from happening. But we cannot control or prevent change, in fact, it will only make things more difficult for you in the long run. A deep inner purging might be indicated.

    The Death Tarot Card in the Future

    You are going to have a major change or loss in your future, but it is nothing that you can’t withstand! When The Death card comes to bring an end to something in our lives it also brings lessons. The journey of The Fool through the Major Arcana is all about growing spiritually. Every challenge and obstacle we overcome makes us stronger and wiser. As we overcome and release, we learn our own strengths, and we also make room for beautiful new opportunities.

    The Death Card Reversed in the Future

    In the reverse, The Death card is warning you not to resist the change that will be coming your way. You might need to undergo a major emotional purging. It’s a good idea to pull some clarifying cards to reveal the deeper meaning of this card in this position.

    The Death Tarot Card in Love and Romance

    Your current relationship is about to go through a major change and maybe even an ending. If you are being honest with yourself you probably already know that your relationship isn’t balanced or fulfilling. Why are you remaining attached to something that isn’t flourishing? Be willing to release codependent tendencies and have the courage to walk away from unhealthy dynamics. The change will open the door to true happiness. If you have been single for a long time, you may be finding that coming to an end.

    The Death Card Reversed in Love and Romance

    In reverse, you’re being advised not to resist the change! Don’t stay in unhealthy relationships out of a fear of being single, and don’t stay single out of a fear of love! Change is coming and the best possible thing you can do is remain open to what comes your way.

    The Death Tarot Card and Your Career

    You’ve been unfulfilled in your career for quite some time and The Death card advises you to make the change toward your happiness. You might be afraid to let go of stability or security, but when our decisions come from a place of fear, we don’t live our best lives. Have the courage to listen to your heart, and release what no longer fits in your life.

    The Death Card Reversed and Your Career

    You’ve been repeating some negative patterns in the workplace and resisting taking the appropriate steps to put an end to this cycle. The Death card in reverse advises you that change is inevitable, and if you ignore the call from the universe to take the plunge, the universe will do it for you. However, it’s usually much more extreme and traumatic if you don’t make the change for yourself.

    The Death Tarot Card and Your Friends

    You will be parting ways with some people in your social circle when The Death card shows up in a friends reading. But don’t be alarmed. Are there friendships that you have been giving energy to that are draining? Are there relationships that take more than they give or leave you feeling unsteady? The Death card comes to clear the way for you.

    The Death Card Reversed and Your Friends

    Don’t resist the change when The Death card appears in your spread. Look at the places of conflict in your social circles and try to honestly assess the situation. Parasitic or toxic relationships will wear you down and hold you back.  Embrace the change!

    The Death Tarot Card and Money

    The Death card in a money reading indicates a financial loss. Are you accepting the loss and coping with it in the best way possible? We all need to learn to adapt to loss and change – remember it doesn’t need to be permanent.

    The Death Card Reversed and Your Money

    Are you having difficulty accepting a financial loss? Are you robbing Peter to pay Paul instead of accepting this change? Be careful not to engage in destructive spending habits in order to avoid the change that has come your way. If you continue this cycle, your long term financial outlook won’t improve.

    The Death Tarot Card and Your Health

    As a card of endings and loss, The Death card in a health and wellness reading can definitely suggest that you might have an upcoming health issue. But be thankful for the message and take the time to go to the doctor to get that checkup. Change is inevitable, but if we approach it with an open mind, we are much more capable of dealing with it in a healthy and positive way.

    The Death Card Reversed and Your Health

    It’s time to let go of any unhealthy habits or behaviors that are contributing negatively to your health. Are you avoiding the doctor or are you in denial? Or perhaps you have old fears around specific issues that are preventing you from moving forward productively. The Death Card is indicating that you must let go.

    The Death Tarot Card and Your Spirituality

    There is an ending happening on your spiritual journey, which can present in releasing outdated beliefs. Maybe you realize that you’ve been operating on unconscious beliefs that aren’t really in alignment with where you want to go on your spiritual path. Allow yourself to let go, allow it to end, and a new door will soon be opened for you.

    The Death Card Reversed and Your Spirituality

    Your resistance to change is blocking your spiritual evolution at this time. We must learn to let go when the universe indicates that it is time to do so. Practice non-attachment, and remember that once you release outdated thought patterns or beliefs, you will be filled with new enlightenment.

    The Meaning and Symbology of the Death Card 

    The Death card depicts a skeleton riding upon a horse holding a white flag in his hand that has a five-petaled rose on it. This rose symbolizes beauty, purification, and immortality. Our bones are what give our bodies structure and support. They make up the foundation of our body and they remain long after we pass on to the other side. The white horse is a symbol of purity and strength. This Major Arcana card is returning us to the basics, the fundamental building blocks of life. And out of releasing and letting go, the new can emerge.

    Keywords for The Fool 

    • Transformation
    • Release
    • Endings
    • Transition


    The Fool Card Associations

    Element: Water

    Astrology: Scorpio

    As a Yes or No question: No

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    Article Info

    Date: Mar 16, 2015
    Amelie Rose Estrela is a gifted psychic and lead author for tarot-explained. She has written many articles on a variety of topics within the spirituality niche, including Psychics & Mediums, Tarot & Angel Readings, Love & Relationships, Spells & Magic and Astrology & Horoscopes (the topic of her e-book).