Card Type: Major Arcana
Card Number: 13
Star Sign: Scorpio
Other Names: Grim Reaper, Lord Shiva
Key Meaning: Major Changes
The Death Tarot card signifies you are going through some major changes in your life. This is the end of a chapter, and it is time to move on.
🥰 Upright: Change, endings, new phase
😒 Reversed: Resistance to change, feeling stuck
Death Tarot Card Description
This description is based on the Rider Waite Tarot Deck. The Grim Reaper rides through a field littered with dead bodies. There are people from all classes, including kings, bishops and peasants. We are all of equal status when it comes to Death, everyone falls before her. In the background, there are two towers and a rising sun, which offers the promise of a new dawn.
Death is not the card of doom, or a bad omen. It is uncommon for this card to represent a physical death, rather it typically implies the end of something, like a relationship that was holding you down, a job that was no longer fulfilling you or a health condition that robbed you of joy. It can also mean kicking a bad habit or a negative way of thinking. This card reminds us that all things come to an end, and there must be endings for new life to emerge.
That said, I feel we should allow this card to scare us a little too. Death is a reminder of how little time we have to make the most of this life. It urges us to reach down deep inside and make the most of our days. It should act as an incentive to dig ourselves out of a rut, and live. Death offers a great gift, it teaches us how to live.
Other keywords associated with this card: Creating a bucket-list, importance of living, mourning, unfinished life, urgency.
What Zodiac Sign is The Death Tarot Card?
The Death Tarot card is assigned the star sign Scorpio. While most people fear death, those with Scorpio in their astrological chart are fascinated by the mysteries of the After Life, and many even have mediumship abilities.
Pluto, the ruling planet of Scorpio, is assigned to the Death card. Pluto is the planet of death and rebirth. It is similar to the energy of Lord Shiva in Hinduism. Lord Shiva is known as The Destroyer, as well as the father of rebirth.
In astrology, Death is assigned to the eight house, which is ruled by Scorpio and Pluto. The eighth house is where astrologers look for information on birth, death, mysteries and deep bonding.
The Death card corresponds to the element water.
Death is assigned to the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Nun, which is symbolized by a fish.
Romance: What does The Death Tarot Card Mean when You Ask About Love?
When Death turns up in a love reading, the meaning will depend on your question. For example, if you asked:
💖 Will I find love? Yes, but only after you have gone through a personal transformation. Some change needs to happen first, this could be to do with your mindset, appearance, health, job, or even where you live.
💖 Does he or she like me? They think you’re a bit weird (meant with love). If the person you are asking about is quirky too, then hey, this is a match made in Heaven.
💖 What is the future of our relationship? This card can mean the end of an unhappy relationship. Mostly, it means that your relationship needs a bit of a shakeup because you have fallen into a way of doing things, which has killed the magic.
More Relationship Guidance
💖 Death can indicate the end of a cycle. For example, arguments and bad feelings coming to an end, making peace with the past or children leaving home.
💖 In a personal journey, this card says you are like a phoenix, rising from the ashes.
CAREER: What does This Card Signify when You Ask About Work?
If your question relates to work, business or study and you receive the Death card, then it can mean:
⭕ You leave your job, either voluntarily or because you retire or are offered redundancy.
⭕ You experience a major shift in your career path or education, and head in a completely new direction.
⭕ You are fascinated by the mysteries of life, and should pursue this curiosity in your educational or working life.
Careers associated with this card include: Mediumship, shaman, past life hypnotherapy, grief counselor, hospice care, insurance, military.
If you are considering hiring a candidate and this card appears, it means:
This candidate may be qualified or experienced in a different area. However, they are ready for a new direction, and it’s worth giving them a shot.
MONEY: What is the Meaning of The Death Tarot Card in a Money Reading?
If you asked the Tarot about money and finances, and you receive Death, it can mean, you:
💲 Receive an inheritance, redundancy or retirement pay-out.
💲 Take out an insurance policy or make a will.
💲 Finalize a property sale or division of assets in a divorce. Now you can move on.
💲 Change the way you make money. You move from one type of work to another.
Tarot Card Combination Meanings
“Death combined with Empress” – End of childbearing days
“Death combined with Ace of Wands” – As one door closes ..
“Death combined with Judgement” – You can communicate with the dead
HEALTH: What does The Death Tarot Card Mean when You Ask About Health?
In a health reading, this card is good news! Despite the Grim Reaper’s scary appearance, Death signifies the end of a problem. If you’ve had a cancer tumor, for example, this is the card you want to receive. It can also mean you finally kick an unhealthy habit once and for all. This card is less about moderation, and more about completely ‘killing’ a situation. For example, you quit smoking for life or finally end yo-yo weight struggles.
Death is also associated with an elimination diet, working out which foods your body cannot tolerate well.
Health conditions associated with this card include: Constipation, cystitis, urinary tract infections, hormone swings, STDs. This card rules: Reproductive system, bowels and excretory system.
YES/NO: Does This Card Mean Yes or No in a Reading?
❓ When you ask a Yes or No question and this Tarot card turns up, then the answer is NO.
TIMING: Does The Death Card Predict any Particular Timeframe?
🕔 This card is only a timing indication when you specifically asked a timeframe question. For example, if you want to know if something will happen, and when, then you need to draw two separate cards. These are in fact, two separate questions. This is a fundamental principle to understand if you want an accurate tarot reading – and it is core to my teaching in my book Tarot in 5 Minutes.
🕔 The Death card represents October 23 to November 22. If the card is reversed, timing will be longer – perhaps up to a year later, same date.
Karina’s Timing Method:
I am using a traditional major arcana timing method here, based on the zodiac sign assigned to each card.
What is the Meaning of The Death Tarot Card Reversed?
When Death is upside down then the horse lands on his back, and movement is not possible. This may mean:
✔️Something needs to change, but you are putting off the inevitable.
✔️ A situation drags on and on, and there still is no clear ending in sight.
✔️You are unwilling to let go of a bad investment.
✔️Wasting your life by just passing time. No matter what age you are, there is so much more you can do.
✔️Other keywords associated a reversal include: fear of failure, fear of change, denial, constantly dragging up the past, half-hearted change, resignation, time to kill.
Video About The Death Tarot Card
Coming Soon – my new video on the Death card.
Complete List: Tarot Card Meanings
Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.