1. It doesn’t actually mean you’re going to die – Whoever told you that the Death card means literal death was just kidding with you. The themes of the Death card focus on necessary endings so new growth can begin and clearing away the things that no longer serve you.
2. Death card years can bring about insane endings and beginnings – Personally, and maybe I’m just insane, but I love experiencing a Death year. The ultimate teacher, I’ve always learned incredibly powerful lessons when I’ve been going through a Death year. At the time of writing this, I’m in one right now and it’s been intense, but intense in that I know everything I learn/let go of this year will be replaced by incredible new growth once this process ends. I’m talking huge changes – changes in relationship, how you relate to yourself, jobs, your identity. Death years give us the freedom to be reborn. It’s awesome.
3. Death goes hand-in-hand with surrender – A lot of us cling so tightly to life because we’re terrified of death. Death is the great unknown and for us humans who love control and schedules and routine, Death is seen as the anti to everything we’ve constructed for ourselves. A key to navigating the energy of the Death card is to learn how to surrender and trust. When Death appears, you are being asked to take a deep breath and trust that the universe, your higher self, knows whats best for you and it will deliver on that - you just have to get out of your own way. So surrender and surrender and when you think you can’t surrender any more? Surrender a little bit more.
4. No one escapes the themes of Death – It doesn’t matter who you are, what age you are, how rich or poor you are, we’re all going to experience the themes of Death. They are as sure a part of life as the rising of the sun. This is depicted perfectly on the card (the pope, the fallen king etc.). And so what are we to do? If we can’t escape death, we can learn how to lean in to the lessons it has to teach us. This is where that surrender piece comes in again.
5. It can herald a dark night of the soul – Death is the great void. That place in the in-between before life begins again or before we transition. It’s a liminal space and sometimes, it can be hard to see beyond the void to the new life or transition that’s waiting for us. Sometimes Death can herald a dark night of the soul, where you question who you are and what you’re doing. A path which once gave you immense comfort now feels cold or difficult. The key thing when Death shows up in this form is to trust where you’re being led. You’re growing. You’re transforming. Ride it out as best you can – it’s always darkest before dawn. Make sure you practice impeccable self-care if you find Death’s energies showing up in your life in this form.
6. It’s the calling card of getting comfortable with the uncomfortable – In the words of Jimmy Eat World: here we go, we take on so much pain, to feel secure - not feel anything. Most of us would rather scoop our own eyeballs out with a spoon than face up to or give voice to any uncomfortable feelings. Death shakes all of that up. Death demands that we actually listen to ourselves and that we sit with that discomfort until it becomes comfortable. When you can do this, you can face anything.
7. It makes us look at our fears – Death teaches us that fear is all in the mind and that, when we can sit with them and really truly look at our fears, we find that the only power they have over us is the power that we give them. Fear is an illusion. Death teaches us to see through the illusion to the other side. The secret to dealing with fear? Face it and get comfortable with the discomfort it sparks within you. When you can do that, the illusion crumbles and the fear disappears.
8. This too shall pass – As a card, Death speaks to the cycles of life. It reminds us that what goes around, comes around. Spring will always follow winter. Day will always follow night. So wherever you find yourself, make peace with it and know, that no matter how hard or awful or wonderful it is, that it’s only a temporary state of affairs. The tides will turn. The seasons will change. This too shall pass. So try to find the beauty in how fleeting life is. This is one of the biggest, most beautiful mysteries of life that Death offers us.
9. What’s dead can be reborn in a different form – That job you thought you wanted, that relationship that crashed and burned, when Death appears it shows us that something better is on the horizon. Yes, you may not get the initial job, but the one that rises from the ashes of that rejection will spark your soul like nothing else. So don’t mourn because you’ve lost what you thought you wanted, trust that there’s some life left in the ashes and what you seek will come round and be reborn again in different form, one that’s more likely to suit you better.
10. Life is short – Every day we get closer to our deaths but rather than allowing that statement to strike fear in your heart, Death teaches us to allow it to inspire us. Life has meaning because one day we will die. So enjoy your time when you’re here. If you’ve been putting off pursuing the life of your dreams or committing to something that you know in your gut will be amazing, the appearance of Death is here to remind you that you are a finite being. Your time here is limited. So live it up while you have the chance. Chase your dreams and live a big, bold beautiful life so you’re not mourning the life you could have had when death finally does catch up with you.