Open the doors and windows. Let the light shine in. Shake your body. Take a deep breath. This card comes to wake us up. In class today you’re going to sit with your fellow students, share your cards. You’re going to share stories of endings and beginnings. You might notice images of bones, of shadowy, veiled figures, there might be crows, skulls, roses, wilting flowers. Thistledown.
This card is traditionally the one people fear the most. I’ve had people sit down for readings looking terrified that this might come up, as though I am about to predict some doom on them or their loved ones.
It isn’t that. It is a part of life.
Nowadays we are cut off from death. From birth too. Often these major transitions happen in hospitals, attended by professionals. Our unknowing makes us fearful. We can’t control this. Reflections on mortality can be found here…
For me this card also points at the cycles and phases of life, and my experience with this card is very much in this vein. It points to the end of one phase, a closing off, the sadness, grief, despair which that brings. Often these are dramatic closures, relationships finishing, whole ways of working and living suddenly driving off a cliff into the void…
But there is a gift too. In my favourite Death cards there is the imagery of dying plants. And I know that in the plant there are seeds. That in this ending, however unwelcome, however long I grieve, the seeds for the next cycle are waiting.
Take the time to sit with this card. Journal whatever arises.
Acknowledge your endings, light a candle if that helps and give thanks for what that phase/ person/ situation brought you.
When you have a chance buy a packet of seeds and plant them. Wildflowers are good. As you hold them in your hand think of the flower which grew and lived and died to produce them. Then scatter them and let the new cycle begin.