The Death Tarot Card Meanings Explained

Death tarot Rider WaiteKeywords:





Resistance to change

Personal transformation

Inner purging

General Meaning of Death in a Reading

The Death card. The Scorpionic card of major change. People often fear getting this card in a tarot card reading, but it doesn’t mean that your life is coming to an end! In fact, this card is a wonderful indication of a new beginning – after acceptance of that which is ending. The Death card is intrinsically linked with rebirth. Like the phoenix who is reborn of the ashes, this metaphorical death is bringing you a brand new opportunity. But first, you must accept what you are leaving behind. You must release, let go and surrender to what you cannot control. There will be a loss of some kind, but on the other side, you will find a whole new world.

The Symbolism of Death

Death tarot visconti sforzaA skeleton dressed in black armor rides upon a white horse. The fundamental structure of our bodies, the bones, are that which remain long after life has left us. The Death card brings us to the inevitable return to the fundamental basics. Releasing all of which no longer serves us. The black armor represents mourning and the impenetrable nature of this card. This death, this change is coming, and it cannot be avoided.

The white horse is a symbol of pure strength and power, and horses have long been symbols of moving forward through life. The skeleton bears a white flag in his left hand. Upon this flag, a 5 petaled rose is depicted, representing beauty, purification, and immortality. Even in death, there is beauty. The five petals represent the number 5 in numerology, which indicates change.

There is a dead man laying on the ground with his fallen crown. Before the horse stands a priest, a woman, and a child as if pleading for Death to spare them. But he marches on. He comes for us all. But don’t get too worried! The sun setting on the horizon informs us that this situation is definitely coming to an end, but even though the sun sets each evening, so does it rise again after the period of darkness.

Death in the Past

When the Death card appears in the past position it indicates that you have recently made a major transformation. There is something significant that you left behind. Although the struggle may have been difficult, you have begun a new chapter in your life and you are free from the metaphorical chains that bound you. The past position is the best place to find the this card because it reveals that you have already done the hard work and the worst is behind you.

The Death Card in the Present

When this card appears in the present position you probably already know exactly why it has presented. You are currently dealing with a challenging situation over which you seem to have no control. This card often accompanies a major break up or divorce, loss of a job or other major traumatic event in your life. Acceptance is key because Death cannot be stopped. Your best bet at this point is to figure out a way to make lemonade out of lemons.

The Death Card in the Future

Death tarot jean dodalIn the Future position, the Death card is an ill omen. A major loss of some sort is coming into your life, whether it is in your relationships, career, or physical body. But don’t freak out! This card will open new opportunities for you once you learn the karmic lessons that you need to learn. A lot of times we become attached to things simply out of habit or fear, and we miss new and greater opportunities.

The Death Card Reversed

In reverse, this card signifies you resisting the inevitable. The card still signifies a major change is upon you, but in the reversed position it means you are resisting this change. The lesson to take with you is to surrender to those things that you cannot control. Trust in the universe that this ending is exactly what you need at this moment. When you rise again from the ashes, all will become clear to you.

Death in the reverse can also indicate a deep inner purging. Perhaps you are releasing and recovering from past traumas, fears or limiting beliefs. When this card appears in reverse it is a good idea to pull a clarifying card to give you a deeper insight into what you need to release and what your affirmations ought to be moving forward.

Death Tarot One Card Meaning

In a One Card Tarot reading, Death is telling you to accept this loss, whatever it may be, and move on. There is a new opportunity on the horizon and your dark night of the soul is coming to an end. Although you may have been suffering, this period is now coming to an end.

The Death card Yes/No Meaning

Yes/No Tarot readings are very straight-forward. If your question is about whether or not there is hope for a situation, then the Death card is telling you “No.” Let it go. Conversely, if you are wondering if you should walk away from something but you have some reservations as to whether its the right decision, then the card is telling you to cut those ties. Have the courage to move forward and new opportunities will present themselves.

Summary of the Death Card

A card of endings, transformation, and letting go, this is the card of rebirth. Just as the caterpillar must undergo a messy death before emerging as a butterfly, this time of transformation is upon you. When the card appears in the reverse position, there may be delays and resistance to change. Do what you can to shed the old skin and have the courage to walk away from what no longer serves you.

Affirmations for the Death Card

“All change is good”

“I am able to let go of what no longer serves me”

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

More about the Death Card

Ready to see how Death fits into a full tarot card spread? When you get a full reading, you can learn intricate details about the forces at play in your life. Whether you are looking for answers regarding your love life or your career, a professional psychic advisor can give you insights that can help you walk confidently down the right path.

Try out a FREE Online Tarot Reading

You can get an online tarot reading absolutely for free if you know where to look! At Kasamba, your first 3 minutes are absolutely free for every single psychic advisor that you try out. It’s a great opportunity to find the perfect tarot card reader without taking a financial risk. At Psychic Source there are readings available for as little as $1 per minute, and a portion of their proceeds are donated to communities in need. Keen also offers the first 3 minutes for free, and they guarantee their readings so you can get a refund if you aren’t satisfied.

Article Info

Date: Mar 18, 2019
Amelie Rose Estrela is an experienced psychic and recently published, esteemed lead author for the Psychic Guild since 2003. She has written hundreds of articles for the website on a range of topics covered within the psychic niche, including Psychics & Mediums, Tarot & Angel Cards, Astrology & Horoscopes (the topic of her newly-released e-book), Love & Relationships, and Spells & Magic. You can find out more about Amelie on
Want A Free Psychic Reading?