Facing and embracing the inevitability of change- working with the Death card in the Tarot

October 16, 2017





The spiritual energy ruling over this week is the Death card, one of the most misunderstood and feared cards in the entire deck.  In the thirteenth trump we are offered the wisdom from the tarot that in embracing the inevitability of death and dissolution, in facing the image of what we most fear most we can learn to free ourselves from patterns of stagnation, inertia and decay so we can make way for renewal and regeneration.


The death card most often appears when deep change is required of us, when forms and ways of living our lives are being outgrown and need to be left behind. Like the snake that sheds its skin we undergo a period wherein our energies are stilled, our vision is unclear and yet somehow we are able to find remaining reserves to let go of what is impeding our growth so we can emerge anew. If there is an area of your life where you feel stuck, where you feel the need for great change the serpentine energy of this card can help you leave aspects of your past behind so you can renew yourself  for a new period of growth.


Over the course of the next week the tarot foretells that many people will be facing some of the most difficult of human emotions;  pain, suffering, grief and loss. Like the scorpion sting the process of transformation wherein our masks are removed and we are pared back to the bare essentials of who and what we are has a potent poison that can leave us writing in agony. These difficult emotions teach us about the bittersweetness of life and learning how to make space for these feelings will be one of the big lessons we can learn that can help us bare the slings and arrows of life. 


Tears of grief and loss can leave us  feeling that we will drown in our sorrows, that we will lose ourselves in the ocean of emotion, especially for those who rarely allow themselves to express their deep feelings for fear of being overwhelmed. At times we can use our tears, our deep sadness for transformation. Starhawk's salt water spell wherein one cries their tears and speaks their words of sadness over a cup that is purified with salt and water then poured out onto the earth is one of my favorite ways of releasing difficult emotions. The practice of releasing and grounding as the waters are poured into the soil honors the power of the earth to break down old forms and transform them into something new. 


If there is an aspect of yourself that you wish to leave behind this week you can embrace the power of the death card using ritual forms that link in with funerary customs of burial rites. A simple way of doing this is to write down an aspect of yourself or your life that you wish to surrender to the trans-formative power of death. Dig a hole and bury the paper inside, as you cover it over speak a eulogy for these aspects that you commit to earth, cry your tears of grief and loss, letting go of what no longer serves you. If you want to get really creative you could even create a figure yourself made of clay or wax, placing your paper slip inside the core of this figure so you create an strong energetic link with what you wish to surrender to the power of death. 


Surrendering to the power of death is no easy task. The dissolution of the self is a painful process that if we are wise will be repeated over and over. This wisdom opens us to the final animal energy associated with this card, that of the eagle, the lesser known totem of the sign of scorpio that rules over the death card. With the power of the eagle we can attain the big vision of the larger view of the cycles of birth and death and see that decay and dissolution are but parts of a cycle of beginnings and endings. 











































writhing in agony. The week ahead will re

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