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Death Revisited

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on May 3, 2011 | Comments (2)

Apparently I did not do my job as communicator when I wrote about the Death card last month. The post is HERE. In reading through the comments, I thought that if one person who posted misunderstood me, then others who did not post might have misunderstood as well. So, I’ll try again.

But first, a little bit of Death come to life. This past weekend, I was at the Readers Studio in New York. At the Saturday night banquet, some folks dressed up at tarot cards. These two fine ladies represented Death.

I particularly love the bright splash of color with the orange flowers, a nice reminder of the spark of life inherent in Death. And isn’t the image of the Fool a perfect compliment to Death in the costume on the right? In every ending is a new beginning.

Death is an ending but is also a transformation. The Death card in a reading probably does not mean physical death.

I believe these statements and use them when I read, when appropriate. Don’t you?

I also believe that pain, loss, fear, regret, etc. are a natural part of the human experience of change, transformation, evolution, and death. Even if one focuses on the rebirth aspect of death, the process of birth is not an easy one. Or so I’ve been told by my friends who have actually given birth.

My point was merely that as modern readers we might consider the inherent danger or problems in glossing over our clients’ experiences and feelings in the face of death, whatever form it takes in their lives. To me, there is nothing wrong with admitting that something hurts, or that I’m afraid, or that I’m sorry something is leaving my life. Those feelings do not mean that I won’t heal or face my fear or embrace what is to come.

You know, I think the experience of death (metaphorically speaking) is a lot like the High Priestess. She represents the experience of initiation. That is the part where you cannot fully know or understand or “get it” until you experience it. Unless you experience the feelings and truths embedded in the full experience of death, I think you miss an important part of the transformative process. I don’t think that means I embrace a doom and gloom view of death. Do you?

Reader Comments

Written By Russell
on May 25th, 2011 @ 10:49 am

Hello, Barbara,

I think your approach to the Death card is very measured. I particularly appreciate the concept of initiation that you tie with it; especially since many occult traditions speak of initiation as a form of Death, it is a very apt comparison.

I also think your distinction between “Pain is real, valid and worth discussing” and “doom and gloom” is extremely important, metaphysically and culturally for us as a society. We have a chronic obsession with NOT feeling pain in our current culture, powered largely by the scientific institute, which would rather label many legitimate cases of distress as an “illness.”

I am glad to see a fellow reader who is not afraid to give her querents painful news, while at the same time does not give herself over to dreadful fatalism. I feel like it is useful to associate Death with its astrological counterpart, Scorpio: harsh and uncompromising, but received in the right aspect, can really give you a much needed push in the right direction. (At least that’s how the Scorpio in my life is.)

Thanks for another good post.

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on May 25th, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

Hi, Barbara.
So many movies and TV shows so someone dying after the Death card is revealed. It’s become a theme in many people’s minds, so much so that when I give readings and the card comes up, I break the tension by saying the following…

“Oh good, I’m going to try and say this in one breath. (I take a loud, deep, inhalation.) Whenever the Death card comes up I always have to explain it because if you ever see it in a movie or on TV someone immediately gets shot or gets a knife in the back. That has nothing to do with the card. It actually means positive evolutionary change. It’s death only in the sense that a caterpillar has to ‘die’ so a butterfly can live.”

Here’s a URL to my take on the card: http://tinyurl.com/3b7sjsm

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