After watching the news on June 25, 2009 of Micheal Jackson's and Farrah Fawcet's passing, it seemed like a proper time to talk about this card. The Death card is one of the most mis-understood of the Tarot deck.
In so many movies and TV shows, its appearance takes on a sinister meaning, as a harbinger or certain, horrific doom. The Death and Devil cards have taken on the greatest darkness and occult inferences.
Keep in mind, Tarot cards are just that - cards. Bits of paper with pictures and words printed on them. Wood pulp and ink, nothing more. The only meaning or power they have is what we give to them. They can be used as a springboard to access the inner mind, the human spirit, our intuition and innate higher knowing...but in the end it is the human heart and spirit where the power and wisdom lies.
Of all the Tarot cards, in my view, the Death card is most like a mirror. If there is terror and darkness there, it is only as a reflection of our own fears.
This card reflects our own attitudes and beliefs about death, the soul, the afterlife, and more.
If you believe that death is a final and forever separation from someone you love, with that love somehow ending, then yes, the Death card is one of terrible tragedy and doom.
If, on the other hand you believe that there really is life after death, and that the soul and the love survives...then the death card becomes something else entirely. It becomes a reflection of our hope. It becomes a card of rebirth, transition, and evolution.
When doing a reading, the Death card seldom means the sitter is going to go out the door and meet some spectacular end. The Death card is not the end of a life, but instead is an irrevocable birth into a new life. It can be literal death, yes, as with the case of these celebrities. But it has more to do with some permanent, life-altering change. The face of popular culture will never be exactly the same. When a loved one dies, as is inevitable, our lives, our selves are never quite the same. When I child is born, or a couple marries...that too is a forever, life-altering change. Change isn't bad...just different. Change can be for the better as well as for the worse...both are a part of life.
Physical death does not mean the love ends.
I was so impressed with the compassionate observations by Keith Olbermann as they showed the body of Mr. Jackson being transported.
Death is the great equalizer. No matter what sort of life was lived, in death we are once again just humans at the end of one path, beginning another. No matter how famous these people were, in the end they were fellow humans, wife, brother, mother, son...by whatever title, they were humans leaving humans behind. The mourning is the same. The love that persists is the same for everyone.
Death card is the card of change, a mirror showing us our souls, and a card of new life all rolled into one.
Celebrate the life that was...but also the life that IS...the lives of the survivors, the spirit-life of the one gone on ahead...and the forever life of the LOVE that exists in, through and beyond it all.
May all who grieve be comforted by the touch of life and love eternal.