Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tarot Card of the Month: Death

The Tarot Card for October is Death. Death is also referred to as Hades in some Tarot decks. Death is the Thirteenth of the Major Arcana in Tarot. Death is associated with the planet Pluto (a planet named after the Roman equivalent to Hades), the element of Water, and the zodiacal sign of Scorpio. It should be noted that in older times this card was associated with Mars, but in modern times has been associated with Pluto.

Death is one of the most feared cards in a Tarot Deck, and one of the most misunderstood. Many believe this card indicates physical death, but in merely represents change, transition, transformation, new beginnings, and metamorphosis.

This card depicts a skeleton dressed in black armor, riding a white horse. The skeleton is carrying a black flag that is emblazoned with a white, five-petal rose. A royal figure appears to be dead on the ground, while a young woman, child and bishop plead with the skeletal figure to spare them. In the background, there is a boat floating down the river, similar to the Egyptian boats that would carry the dead. On the horizon, the sun sets between two towers.

The skeleton reminds of the mortality of man as well as representing the Grim Reaper, that Messenger of Death. The armor symbolizes invincibility and that death will come, no matter what, and its dark color is a symbol of mourning and the mysterious nature of death. The horse is the color of purity and a symbol of strength and power. The white rose is represents beauty, purification, immortality, resurrection, or rejuvenation; all of them concepts of death. The number five (5) represents change and health. The one dead and the three pleading human figures remind us that death does not spare anyone no matter their lot in life. The boat represents transition or transformation. The setting sun reminds of the cycles of life and death with its continuous setting and rising.


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