Notes on Death
(The Innocence of Death)
Artist’s Note on Death:
Death to me is a child eager for life. It wants to understand both the gift it gives and the gift it takes.
To others, it is a skeletal figure upon a white horse.
All will view Death differently, whether as a Threat or as a blessing or perhaps as just one more challenge to surpass and by doing so to grow
With each person, a key is involved
How easily the key will move all depends on how open each person is to change,
Death, The Persona of Transformation is everchanging. Yet it is also one of the rare beings who can be said to be constant
About the Archetype:
In the Rider-Waite tarot deck, Death is shown riding a white horse. In its wake are the destroyed remains of a king and in its path is a praying clergyman, a young maiden with her body supplicating itself to the rider while her head is averted, and a young child offering death a flower. All of these are indicative of the various ways and stages in which we react to major life-altering changes. The king, by power and position, thinks he can command Death to stop only to get trampled. The Priest believes that prayer can avert the need to change and he is next to get trampled. The maiden offers herself to Death but only half-heartedly. She won’t survive so well either. It is the child who accepts whatever comes with an open heart that will survive.
Death is the transformation to a new stage through the purification of the old. We all go through these transformations. Our jobs become obsolete. Our relationships end. Our viewpoints and our lifestyles evolve as we grow. We have spiritual experiences that transform us. We fall in love. How we accept these changes goes a long way towards determining how far we can grow as people and as spiritual beings we are. The more we resist change, the harder the changes tend to be when they come, and the more we stagnate. It is only by being open to the flow of these changes that we can be open to the flow of life and spirit itself.
Scorpio (♏︎)-The Scorpio energy is one of intensity. It is passionate and lustful and yearns for knowledge. It is a secretive force and has a strong attraction towards the transformative. As such it has an attraction towards the mystical and may be drawn towards the mysteries of sex and death especially. While the scorpion with its regenerative powers and sting is well known as a Scorpio symbol, the snake and the eagle also are used to represent this energy. The snake represents both the sexual energy and the knowledge of life and death and the eagle which represents the spiritual life beyond transitory form. Scorpio is known for both its ability to see things through and its ability to see through things, penetrating them to their core.
In a Reading:
When Death turns up in a reading, it usually indicates a major transformative change in the querent’s life or circumstances. Usually, one that demarcates a new chapter in their lives. These changes may include a peak experience, a divorce or break-up, the death of a loved one, or even a near-death experience itself. What is important is how the querent deals with the experience. Do they fight to kick and scream to hold onto life as they have known it or do they accept the changes and move on? Usually, when the Death card shows up it is a change that the querent cannot alter so coming to terms with it is necessary. The card can also indicate a fear of dying on the part of the querent. Carlos Castaneda’s teacher Don Juan, among many others has suggested that we keep in mind that we all will die someday and use our Death as an advisor and indeed it is just one more stage. Seldom tho does the card refer to the querent’s own Death tho it can often refer to the ending of a stage of their life. It can refer to a need for the querent to release the life they have lived to now in order to embrace the life they have.
Death reversed or badly aspected can often show a dramatic resistance to change. The querent may have grown complacent and lazy in their life holding back on living fully in order to stay safe and comfortable. It may also represent the querent refusing to acknowledge changes that have already happened and move on. It is almost as if they are haunting their past rather than living their present. It thus indicates the necessity for change. The reversed Death card can also represent a feeling of loss and grief. In this instance again it is mourning for the way things were.
Life and Death have always been dance partners who were inseparable. The aspect of life was usually depicted by a feminine figure while the aspect of death was usually represented by an asexual or masculine figure. Just like a dance, there is an equal push and pull as it persists. The idea of reincarnation was birthed from this philosophy. While it is argued what happens after death not a lot of physical proof exists to back a solid claim.
While it is obvious we will all die eventually it is overlooked that we have an enormous amount of micro deaths while we live our lives. Every change for better, or worse, requires we lose something so we can make room for it. This means every change we undergo is the death of part of our being or ego. This card shows that a part of our life is coming to an end. So this begs a question. How are you changing for better or worse?