The Card of the Day: Death
“No need to fear the changes you are going through."
The Death card is the tarot's most notorious symbol for change and transformation. Many people are afraid to sit at a tarot reader's table because "the Dreaded Death Card" might show up! What if he tells me I am going to die!? We've all seen the movies where the dark and mysterious fortune teller turns over the death card, to foretell someone's ghastly end. (I've been fighting that stereotype my whole life!) In reality, the Death card is a wonderful card to get in a reading. It means that conditions are going through vitally important changes, for your own good. Although not always welcome, and sometimes shocking to experience, the change is absolutely necessary. Death is ALWAYS accompanied by rebirth. Like the legendary Phoenix, you too will rise from the ashes to live a joyful life again...revitalized and renewed.
Do you struggle with accepting change? Does a perpetual fear of death, keep you from actually "living" your life? What old, unneeded, part of yourself are you resistant to letting go of, even though you know it would set you free?
Death appears astride his white horse, to herald an end to the old ways. His steed marches over kings and commoners alike. No one is immune from his power. All must change. Everything that lives must die. Death's banner is a white rose on a black background. This is stark symbol of a truth that is "black and white." Light (the white flower) always emerges after darkness (the black background). Although his skeletal face looks scary, Death is not the monster. Nobody wants to see Death, even though he (like dentists) has the thankless job of ending suffering. Death cannot be bargained with, and eventually visits all. The King under the horse found that out. No amount of money could put off this day for him. The adolescent girl in the card looks away...unable to look Death in the face. The priest has been preparing for Death his whole life, and yet even he kneels uneasily.
Only the fearless little child in the foreground holds a flower up to death. Children don't get scared of change the way adults do... Children don't fear death, because they don't understand a fear of "the great beyond"..... Actually, they were just there! Why be afraid of a realm of infinite joy, reunion, relief, rebirth, and laughter?
Look closely at the background of the Death card...past the river...way up in the distance where the two towers form a gate. A realm of light lies beyond, represented as either a rising or setting sun. Whether it is rising or setting sun is unimportant...for as the sun setting here it is simultaneously rising somewhere else. Is that a "shining city" illuminated in the sun's radiance?
Fearing change is as foolish as fearing the Death card itself...it's only a symbol printed on a piece of pressed cardboard! And yet symbols have the power to place us in direct confrontation with what we are most resistant to. Those big things we know we need to change in our lives, but are afraid to. Being in denial, and avoiding making necessary changes sets you up for a rude awakening. Why put yourself through that? Don't you realize it's all going to work out, and be alright?
In reality you need to periodically let go of "the old" to make room for "the new." It's as necessary as cleaning your kitchen. Think about it....what if you never threw the old rotting food away? What if you kept every scrap of waste...the moldy cheese...unwashed plates......the expired milk....the moldy bread. You are asking for an infestation and imbalance. The symbol of death shows us that letting go of the moldy things within our mind and spirit are necessary, for a healthier self to be born anew. Only hindsight will show how these changes led to a rebirth of joy in your life.
Today, don't fear your changes...they are occurring as a better you is being born.