Death Card

Death Card

The Death card is often misunderstood by people who are new to Tarot. While the concept of death is scary, and the card is often drawn as a living skeleton or the grim reaper. While the idea of death is scary and uncomfortable, the message of the Death card in Tarot is far less sinister. In fact, in many cases, the appearance of the Death card can bring good news.


Upright: Ending, change, transition, a release
Reversed: Fear or change, stagnancy

Upright Meaning

The biggest messages associated with the Death card are about transitions and endings. While endings can be challenging, they are often necessary in order to make room for bigger things. For instance, marriage is the end of singlehood, graduating high school is the end of your life as a grade-school student. In both of these cases, something has to end in order for another new and exciting thing to unfold.

Another meaning associated with this card is transformation or transition. You’ll have to let go of your old version in order to fully embrace your new self. While the idea of changing can be scary, it’s also necessary. Death in a reading may also mean that you need to let go of bad habits or unhealthy attachments. After all, we cannot grow and improve if we don’t let go of the ideas and habits that no longer serve us.

Inverted Meaning

Depending on your reading style and experience you may or may not generally focus on the reverse meanings, but they are good to know just in case. When seen inverted, or upside down, in a reading, the meaning is slightly different. However, instead of an easy release or transition, the inverted Death card denotes a fear of change and stagnancy. When seen inverted, Death is warning you that holding on to something that no longer serves you can lead to trouble.

Death in a Love Reading

Upright: While the death card often symbolizes an ending, it can also symbolize change or serve as a warning that you are stuck in emotional dynamics that are no longer working. Ultimately, this is a signal to either change or move on from distractive patterns.
Reversed: A reversed Death card warns us to be careful and not fall into old relationships that did not serve us well in the first place.

Death When Asking About Careers

Upright: Death coming up in career questions might mean a job transition or even a career transition. This change is typically a good thing, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.
Revered: If the card is reversed, there it means that you may be stuck at work. This might mean that you’re in a job that you no longer find fulfilling or that you’re repeating bad work habits.

Death When Asking About Finances

Upright: This can mean either a financial loss or the adaptation to financial loss. Remember, this is just a heads up of what might happen and not an absolute.
Reversed: Challenges when adapting to financial changes or a sign that you are continuing bad or disruptive habits.

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