Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

January/February 2016 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Analysis of the Death Card of the Tarot

This article was written by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke on November 30, -0001
posted under Death

The Death Card in the Tarot

  • The 13th Major Arcanum 
  • image: Skeleton as the Grim Reaper
  • Hebrew letter: Nun
  • Divinatory meaning: change, transformation
  • 24th path on the Tree of Life connecting Netzach to Tiphareth.

 Qabalistic Description. The 13th Key, the 24th Path. The Final Equalizer. This path leads from Netzach to Tiphareth. It is the initiation in which the Personality willingly undergoes “death” to attain the knowledge of the Higher Self. The Personality is dismembered, reassembled and absorbed into the Higher Self. It is death and resurrection through the voluntary self-sacrifice that is the transformation of mundane ideas into purified thoughts. Nun means a fish.

Card Description. The sign of transmutation and disintegration. The skeleton which alone survives the destructive power of time, may be regarded as the foundation upon which the structure is built, the type which persists through the permutations of Time and Space, adaptable to the requirements of evolution and yet radically unchanged; the transmuting power of Nature working from below upwards, as the Hanged Man is the transmuting power of the spirit working from above downwards. The colors are blue-green, both dark and pale, the two dominant colors of the visible world, and the flashing colors of orange and red-orange.

Interpretation. Time, age, transformation. Change that is involuntary as opposed to The Moon, XIX. Sometimes death and destruction, but rarely the latter, and the former only if it is borne out by the cards with it. Compare also with the High Priestess.

Psychological Value. This card can help you understand your own past history, uncovering the unconscious origins of present problems. It also helps you to have a real effect on the “time element” of your life, as well as helping you learn how to manage time and understand its influence. This Arcanum can assist you in eliminating old outmoded habits which have become obstacles to progress. 

This Arcanum can help you to develop sincerity, precision and depth of analysis, as well. (According the Divine Tarot of Aurum Solis  -  Divinity: Kronos;  Greek Letter: Omega.)


You might have noticed New Year's Day tends to fall at different times in different cultures. For example, Chinese New Year falls in late January or February (at the new moon of their first lunar month). The Jewish New Year (aka Rosh Hashanah, or "Head of the Year") occurs in the fall, at the beginning of the seventh month of their ecclesiastical... read this article
Altar Design: Drafting the Plans for Manifestation
Fall in Love with Yourself This Valentine’s Day: Uncovering Your Amazing Gifts through the Five Elements
Surviving Venus and Mars Retrogrades
How to Use Affirmations That Work
The Moon as Calendar and Timepiece

Most recent posts:
Deciphering the Nature of Purifying Ritual Space
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Michael Furie, author of Supermarket Magic, Spellcasting for Beginners, and the new Spellcasting:...

Tarot Journaling and the Star
At the beginning of a new year, people often make a resolution to keep a journal. Keeping a journal has many benefits and can be done any number of...

5 Secrets of Self-Healing
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Amy B. Scher, author of the new How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can. Do you know self-healing...




The Abyss Surrounds Us The Abyss Surrounds Us
By: Emily Skrutskie
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Llewellyn's Witch's Coloring Book Llewellyn's Witch's Coloring Book
By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
Wheels of Life Wheels of Life
A User's Guide to the Chakra System

By: Anodea Judith
Price: $21.95 US,  $25.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
$11.19 US,  $13.59 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's Shadowscapes Coloring Book Llewellyn's Shadowscapes Coloring Book
By: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN