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The Meaning of
the "Death" Tarot Card

The end of a cycle and beginning of another. A loss of money or personal property. A larger trend is drawing to a close.

[ inverted meaning ]
A failure to accept endings. To live in the past while deluding oneself about the present. An inability to start over.

Advanced tarot interpretation

(Applies to the upright position) The Symbolism of the Tarot Card:

A skeletal figure in black armor carries a banner which incorporates a white rose, symbol of life. Mountains rise in the distance and a large gate with the sun below it seems to symbolize the gates of heaven. A river flows through the card, with a ship sailing down its length. Death leads a large white horse over the bodies of the stricken. He is unmoved by the prayers of a bishop directly in front of him, and continues on his path unabated. A king lies under his feet, a maiden is in the process of succumbing to him, and a child offers him flowers.

The Meaning of the Tarot Card:

This is actually a much better card than it appears on the surface. Life in the face of death, rather than death itself, is the theme. Rebirth, a new beginning, death of old ideals that no longer serve the individual. The destruction of the old, inferior personality in order to pave the way for the new, more spiritually aware personality. Stripping away of masks to make ready for the new, more aware, self. The ship and river represent this card as a journey rather than as the destination in itself. It is the point at which one realizes that all the old has fallen away, rather than the act of rebirth - that follows in the next Major Arcana cards. This is a time of change that the individual has been resistant to, clinging to the old things that must be stripped away. There is a loss that will take place, but it is a necessary loss. A need to clear away all of the old fears and shadows from one's consciousness in order to truly be reborn as a new person, or emerge into a new situation.

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