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

March/April 2015 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.)


As a holistic practitioner of natural medicine, I am well aware that a vital component of ongoing wellness is the healing and re-balancing that must take place mentally and emotionally. As a practitioner of herbal medicine and aromatherapy, I have long been in awe of the synergy that occurs in a well-constructed blend. Synergy occurs when... read this article
May Bush and Wishing Tree Magick for Beltane
Improving Your Habits with Lunar Help
Dispelling the Superstition and Fear of Communicating with Our Loved Ones in Spirit
Everyday Witchcraft
Tarot: Let's Talk About Strength

Most recent posts:
Driving Our Own Bus Called "Life"
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Kerry Nelson Selman, author of the new Crystal Resonance. Recently, as I was meeting and greeting...

The Secret in the 7 of Wands
Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot It is not often that book comes along that really changes the way we understand tarot. Marcus Katz and Tali...

May Wine with a Modern Twist
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Melanie Marquis, author of The Witch's Bag of Tricks, A Witch's World of Magick, and the new...




Zeroboxer Zeroboxer
By: Fonda Lee
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot
The True Story of the World's Most Popular Tarot

By: Marcus Katz, Tali Goodwin
Price: $19.99 US,  $22.95 CAN
Dating Down Dating Down
By: Stefanie Lyons
Price: $9.99 US,  $11.50 CAN
Journey of Souls Journey of Souls
Case Studies of Life Between Lives

By: Michael Newton
Price: $16.95 US,  $20.95 CAN
Evidence of Eternity Evidence of Eternity
Communicating with Spirits for Proof of the Afterlife

By: Mark Anthony
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN