Death is regarded as the thirteenth card in the Major Arcana of Tarot Cards, which comprises of twenty-two cards in total.

The Story behind Death

The Fool gets down from the tree and comes across a field, which he starts to walk through. Everything looks barren, even the trees have no leaves. He then sees a skeleton on a white horse. The skeleton is wearing black, and The Fool realises this is Death. The Fool is feeling sad, and asks Death if he is dead. He is told that he is dead in a way because he has left his former self and is moving in a different direction. Death informs The Fool that things have to be stripped away before anything new can grow. The Fool empathises with Death, and momentarily feels like a skeleton himself.

Meaning of The Death Tarot Card

As with some of the other cards in the Major Arcana, The Death Tarot Card can easily be misinterpreted. It does not necessarily refer to physical death. A person doesn’t stay the same all of their life – old parts of them die and new parts replace them. There has to be death in order for there to be new life.

The Death Tarot Card suggests that nothing truly dies, rather it transforms into something different. It shows that even at the lowest point, there is always potential. We must feel exposed and vulnerable temporarily, until we have moved into a new phase of our lives. The transition is not instant, there is a short period of time that elapses before the old replaces the new.

Death shows us that we must fully let go of the past before we can truly embrace the new. Instead of fighting change it should be embraced so that you can move on to new, greener pastures. This card usually shows a person that great change is heading their way, but they must drop the old to make room for the new.