Tarot - the Fool's Circle of Life
by Danielle Astrid Ricard
For ease in writing, I will use the gender pronoun that best matches the illustration below - no sexism intended. To listen to Musical accompaniment, look for a small link in the text!
This Archetype is number 13 of 22 Trump or Major Arcana cards in the Tarot. While the remaining pip and court cards portray more mundane realities, these cards represent higher energies, karmic forces, powers beyond our control, and superhuman strengths. In the Thoth Tarot deck, Death is ruled by the Scorpio
~ Changes ~
The King is dead - Long Live the King!!
This is probably the most feared and misunderstood card in the Tarot, especially on first sight, yet for me - Death is one of the most refreshing of all the trumps. It must be remembered that when this card appears, it should not be taken as an indication that someone is going to physically die.
Of course they will - someday...
Death will surely come. We feel its icy hand in the cold, frosty winter that kills the dead-wood once and for all so that new seedlings can flourish. We witness the reaper's wrath in the raging fire that purifies the forest. His shadow lingers in the slow decay of a sad, loveless marriage, as he eventually clears the way for new, vibrant love.
Life-renewing, Death can bring an end to a boring job in favor of something more challenging and meaningful, or the abandonment of some useless, time-consuming habit. The promise of something new is what makes Death so fascinating. Even in actual physical demise, we proceed to a place that is mysteriously new, and undoubtedly infinitely more beautiful and peaceful.
I believe that the quantity of energy in the universe, in our spirits and in our lives, is somewhat finite. While it's true that we can expand our capacity for knowledge, experiences and relationships - we inevitably reach a point of saturation, in which something has to go in order to allow space for something new to enter the scene. This is where Death comes in - to clear the air, till the field and bury the dead. I sometimes wonder if people who are over-filled somehow, and refuse or are unable to chop out the dead-wood, are actually forced to leave us in death.
This card reminds us that change is necessary, and inevitable. After we grieve the loss of something or someone, we can embrace the rays of hope and life that are nourished by the legacy that is left behind. And we must grieve. Without going through a time of processing - emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally - the personal meaning of that which has passed on - we may not be able to properly nurture, or even realize the new life that is given in its wake.
Death is necessary to life. His arrival is painful, but he promises so much! May you embrace the changes that await you without fear - mourn what is over and done with, buried and gone... and witness with wonder and grace how the pure richness of its passing nourishes the blossoming flowers...
MEDITATION: Contemplate a serious change and/or death in your life. Feel the energy of loss and gain. Consider how you have allowed the changes, dealt with them, and processed them - or not.
PERSONAL DISCUSSIONS: When have you felt the energy of Death? Have you seen it occur for other people? Have you had happy/sad experiences with this energy?
TAROT EXPERIENCE: Recalling a time when you may have you drawn this card, what were the circumstances surrounding it, and what did it mean to you? How do you feel this archetype affects the cards that come before or after?
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