Tarot Translation Group
So many folks who do not understand tarot are afraid to see the Death card in a reading. It does sound and look ominous.
Spiritually, the lesson of this card is simple. Change is inevitable. We can’t always avoid change. When change occurs we can always choose between seeing it as trauma or seeing it as an opportunity for transformation.
And transformation is what the Death card is really about.
It is interesting that in numerology the Death card is a 4. Four is the most stable number, but Death indicates change. To me this means that change is the only constant one can expect.
Death is ascribed to the element of Water. That indicates the deep emotions we have about change, but also that change is as inevitable as the tides.
Most often, the Death card does not predict a physical death. I often joke that I see it more often to indicate pregnancies and weddings than funerals. That makes sense though, because parenthood and marriage are both drastic changes, although usually joyous ones.
I wrote a poem about the Death card as part of my 78 Poems Project. This pretty much sums it up for me.
For the caterpillar in the cocoon
Does transformation come too soon?
Does the snake mourn the skin after it’s free?
If change is the door, letting go is the key.
Does the chick regret leaving the nest?
Would we prefer not to outgrow our mothers’ breast?
What is it in us that clings to the past
And dreads the unpredictable, inevitable last?
All things must evolve, age and transform
Every way dies, and new ways are born.