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TAROT CARDS: The Death Card & What It Really Means

The Death Card--one of the most feared cards in the Tarot system. Many times, when one of my clients gets the death card in their reading, I notice a look of shock and fear, or maybe a nervous laugh.

I understand why the tarot Death card is so fear-inducing in people, but it’s helpful to remember that the Tarot system is quite old and is based on very traditional imagery. As a result, sometimes you might see in Oracle decks that Death is represented in a much different way. Even if the traditional death imagery of the skeleton on the horse riding in is not used, it still has the same meaning. You could replace the death card with a “New beginnings” card in an Oracle deck for example.

So what exactly does the tarot card of Death mean?

Well, death is actually a representative of change.

tarot death card

Most readers will translate Death as a time where something is coming to a close, or something new is about to happen. Therefore, when I see Death in a reading, many times I actually think it’s a good sign because it shows you're closing up a previous chapter, lesson, or phase of life and are getting ready to move into a new one because of the lessons you have learned. You're evolving, expanding, and growing.

It's always very interesting when a client and I are interacting with the Death card because we have very different reactions. Immediately, I always tell people, “Don't worry. This doesn't mean actual death. This is actually a good card. Most of the time, it means you're expanding and evolving.” Now, if the Death card is not in a favorable position, it could indicate that you're hanging onto something that is no longer serving you. You're resistant to change; you're stuck in a certain pattern, maybe it could be emotional. It could be mental. It could be with your job or with a partner. It could mean you're not ready to move on, when maybe you should be moving on. It's a resistance.

tarot card the world

In reality, the tarot card of Death is a tool. I always think it's really powerful when it shows up in a reading because it teaches us so much about where we are in life, and how we are approaching our own power. I hope that when you see the tarot Death card come up in your reading, you know that a powerful opportunity for transition is there in front of you.

If you see Death in your reading and it's ill-dignified, just know that you might be hanging onto something that is no longer serving you. It's a tool to help you to introspect and analyze what you could be doing that's holding you back from a much fuller, happier, more powerful experience in life. It's great to remember that tarot cards are never inherently good or bad. They are configured in different ways so readers can tell a story for that client’s life. They are simply tools and metaphors that can help us put together a message that your spirit guides and your higher self would want you to know.

oracle cards compassion green crystal with candle

Many times, clients have told me that the imagery on Oracle cards makes them feel more positive and relaxed than tarot cards. There's a lot of misconceptions about Tarot and the dark side of it, but truly life is made of a full spectrum from the darkest to the lightest. As human beings, we have the opportunity to explore the richness of it. While we don't always enjoy experiencing some aspects of that spectrum, it provides great lessons for us to continue to grow, to learn, and to evolve.

In conclusion, when you get a tarot reading and you see a card that scares you, it's really there to provoke thought, to show you that there's more potential than maybe what you're currently seeing. I hope this clears things up a bit and demystifies this tarot card (Death) for you. I encourage you to read more about it, get a tarot deck yourself, take a look at the cards that make you feel weird. Listen to your inner guidance and hear what it's trying to tell you and what it's bringing up in you. Why are those feelings appearing when you see certain cards?

Thanks so much for reading, and I wish you all the best of luck and hope you continue to learn the amazing lessons that Tarot has to offer.

With Love & Light,


Have you gotten the Death card in your reading before? How did you feel about it? Let us know down below!

87 views2 comments


Sidney Fritz
Sidney Fritz
Aug 26, 2022

Great post thankks

Replying to

Glad you found it helpful, Sidney!

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