Death Tarot Card Meaning

Illustration of the Death Tarot Card, often one of the feared cards, depicting a skeletal figure in black armor riding a white horse. The figure holds a black flag adorned with a white rose, symbolizing transformation. In the background, a diverse group of people, including a king, a young woman, and a child, face the rider, indicating that change is inevitable for everyone. The sun sets on the horizon, further emphasizing the theme of endings and new beginnings.


I. The Upright Death

In General Readings

In Love Readings

In Career Readings

In Health Readings

II. The Reversed Death

In General Readings

In Love Readings

In Career Readings

In Health Readings

IV. Questions About the Tarot Card Meanings

As a Person or Personality

Positive, Negative, or Neutral?

As a Yes or No

Past, Present, and Future

V. Free Printable Cheat Sheet

Wordpress Table of Contents by Topic


In the mysterious and captivating world of tarot, the Death tarot card often elicits a sense of unease and apprehension. But fear not; although this enigmatic card is one of the most feared tarot cards in the tarot deck, it is far from ominous; instead, it serves as a harbinger of transformation and renewal. Contrary to popular belief, the Death card rarely signifies physical death. Rather, it heralds the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, marking a significant change in various aspects of life.

Nestled between the introspective Hanged Man and the harmonious Temperance, the Death card is often considered one of the most positive cards that can be pulled in the tarot deck as it invites us on a journey of self-discovery and growth. The Hanged Man encourages us to surrender and gain new perspectives, preparing us for the transformative power of the Death card. Once we've undergone the metamorphosis that Death brings, we find ourselves at the doorstep of the follow-up card, Temperance, ready to embrace balance and harmony.

As you delve deeper into the meanings of this card, you'll uncover the beauty of its transformative energy and learn to embrace change as a catalyst for growth and self-actualization. In the ever-changing tapestry of life, the Death card shows that endings often give rise to new beginnings and that through personal or spiritual transformation, we can find greater fulfillment and purpose in our new life.



The Death Card Upright Tarot Card Meaning


Printable Images of the upright Death tarot meaning of the Major Arcana. The keywords are:  Endings, New Life, Letting Go, New Direction, Going Own Way, Embrace Change, Spiritual Transformation

The Death Tarot Card in General Readings

When the Death tarot card appears in a general tarot reading, it signifies a significant change, an end to a major phase in life, and a new beginning. Contrary to popular belief, the Death card rarely represents a physical death. Instead, it symbolizes a metaphorical death, a personal transformation, or spiritual growth that leads to a new chapter in one's life. The meaning of the Death tarot card meaning is often misunderstood as people fear the idea of endings. Still, it's essential to remember that the card signifies necessary change and growth.

In a tarot spread, the Death card may also indicate the need to release repeating negative patterns or destructive behaviors to make way for positive change. It is a Major Arcana card, meaning the changes it heralds are significant and impactful. Embracing the Death card's transformation can lead to spiritual healing, personal growth, and, ultimately, a more fulfilling life.


The Death Tarot Card Meaning in a Love & Relationships Tarot Reading

In love and relationships, the Death card often signifies the end of a romantic relationship, a significant shift in partnership dynamics, or the release of unhealthy attachments. It may also indicate the need for personal transformation to attract a new partner or improve an existing relationship. Letting go and embracing change is essential to achieving a fulfilling love life when the upright Death appears in a relationship tarot reading.

Death upright in a love tarot reading may also suggest that one needs to address issues in their romantic life, such as toxic relationships, a break up, unrequited love, or imbalances within a partnership. It serves as a reminder to let go of the past, learn from past experiences, and move forward with a renewed sense of self. Death shows that by facing these challenges and welcoming change, one can open their heart to new love, mend existing relationships, and cultivate a deeper connection with their partner.


The Death Tarot Card Meaning in a Finance & Career Tarot Reading

In a finance and career context, the upright death card suggests a significant change in one's professional life, such as a career change, the end of an old job, or the start of a new business venture. It also implies that a money situation is coming to a close, making way for a new direction in one's financial journey. Resisting change can hinder growth and progress; thus, embracing the death card's transformation in this context is crucial.

The appearance of the death upright in a career tarot reading may signal the need to let go of a stagnant job, reassess one's professional goals, or take a leap of faith into a new career path. In a financial context, it can indicate the end of a challenging financial situation or the necessity to release unhealthy spending habits. By acknowledging the need for change and taking steps to improve one's financial situation, individuals can experience personal and spiritual transformation and create a more stable foundation for their future. If you have been looking to start your own business but have been reluctant to quit your old job because of the security it offers, Death may be indicating that it's time to consider jumping in with both feet.


The Death Tarot Card Meaning in Health & Wellness Tarot Readings

When the upright Death card appears in a health reading, it may indicate the need for a lifestyle change, a shift in one's mental health, or the end of unhealthy habits. The card encourages a new beginning and spiritual transformation to achieve a more balanced physical body and mental state. It's important to remember that Death does not usually represent literal death or severe illness but rather symbolizes the need for change and growth in one's health and well-being.

In a health tarot spread, the Death tarot meanings can serve as a wake-up call to address issues related to physical, mental, or emotional health. For example, it might signal the need to adopt a healthier diet, start exercising, or seek professional help to manage mental health concerns. By embracing the changes that Death upright signifies, individuals can work towards achieving a healthier, more balanced lifestyle and improved well-being.



The Death Reversed Tarot Cards Meaning


Printable Images of the reversed Death tarot meaning of the Major Arcana. The keywords are:  Depression, Fear of Change, Living Unaware, Delayed Endings, Resisting Change, Unhealthy Attachments, Repeating Negative Patterns

The Reversed Death Tarot Card Meaning in General Tarot Readings

When the Death card appears in its reversed position, it often indicates resistance to change and an unwillingness to let go of past patterns, beliefs, or situations. This resistance can hinder personal growth and the ability to embrace new opportunities. In a general reading, the Death reversed serves as a reminder to confront and overcome fears, embrace transformation, and move forward with a renewed sense of purpose.

The Death reversed meaning can also suggest that one is stuck in a rut or unable to progress due to their inability to release past issues. It might indicate that the querent is avoiding significant changes or decisions, fearing the unknown or potential loss. By acknowledging and facing these fears, individuals can gain the courage to move beyond their comfort zones and experience growth in all aspects of life.


The Reversed Death Tarot Card in a Relationship & Love Tarot Reading

In love and relationships, the Death reversed card may suggest that one is clinging to a toxic relationship or unwilling to let go of past romantic patterns. This resistance to change can prevent the development of new, healthier connections or hinder the growth of an existing partnership. Recognizing and addressing these negative patterns and embracing change to improve one's love life is essential.

The reversed Death card in a love tarot reading may also indicate a need for personal transformation before entering into a new relationship or addressing issues within a toxic relationship or partnership. This could involve releasing emotional baggage, healing from past wounds, or working on personal growth to become a better partner. By acknowledging the need for change and taking steps towards self-improvement, individuals can create a stronger foundation for lasting and healthy relationships in their romantic life.


The Reversed Death Tarot Card Meaning in a Finance & Career Tarot Reading

When the Death card shows reversed in a financial or career context, it may indicate that one is holding onto an unfulfilling job or struggling to adapt to changes in their financial situation. It can also suggest fear of taking risks, exploring new career paths, or a career change. The Death reversed encourages individuals to confront their fears, let go of the past, and embrace the transformative opportunities that can lead to personal and professional growth.

The reversed Death tarot meanings in a financial reading might also signify stagnation or a refusal to adapt to new financial circumstances. It serves as a reminder to assess one's money habits and make necessary changes to ensure a more secure and stable future. By embracing the transformation that the Death card represents, individuals can work towards achieving their money goals and attaining greater financial freedom.


The Reversed Death Card in Health & Wellness Tarot Readings

In a health and wellness context, the Death reversed card may indicate a reluctance to make necessary lifestyle changes or address mental health issues. It can also suggest a struggle to let go of harmful habits or to accept the need for personal or spiritual transformation. It's important to face these challenges head-on and be open to change to achieve a healthier, more balanced state of being.

The reversed Death card in a health reading may also represent a period of stagnation or difficulty in progressing toward improved well-being. This could be due to procrastination, denial, or a lack of motivation to implement necessary changes. By acknowledging the obstacles to better health, individuals can begin to work through them and take steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

In some cases, the Death reversed meaning can indicate a slow recovery or a delay in healing from an illness or injury. Patience, self-care, and persistence are essential during this time, as well as seeking appropriate medical attention and support when needed. Ultimately, the reversed Death tarot meanings in a health context serve as a reminder to prioritize one's health, embrace change, and persevere through challenges to achieve overall wellness.

Commonly asked, however, is if the reversed Death card means an actual death. Yes, in rare circumstances, this is the case, but it's typically only seen in tarot spreads associated with grieving and leading up to unexpected events causing a tragedy where the querent seeks clarity. It's best to look at the surrounding cards to see what they suggest is ending or transforming because, 9/10 times, it does not imply a literal death.



Death Tarot Card Description: Visual Elements & Symbolism


Death Zodiac Sign - Scorpio

Death Astrology Modality - Fixed (Mid-Season)

Death Element - Water Element; Although this card doesn't traditionally have an element, The zodiac sign Scorpio is associated with Water, so an association to Death can be made. 

Death Planet - Pluto; Although this card doesn't traditionally have a planetary symbol, Scorpio is governed by Pluto, so an association to Death can be made.

Death Associated Crystals - Black Tourmaline, Bloodstone, Obsidian, Amber, Zebra Stone, Snakestone, Apache Tear


The astrology symbol for the water element

Black Flag: Its dark color is that of mourning and the mysterious,

White Horse: The color white is symbolic of purity and used to signify that Death purifies everyone.

Armor: His armor represents his invincibility, the fact that no living thing can ever hope to avoid or destroy Death,

The people: A king, a young woman, and a child face the skeleton pleading with them to be spared. This scene represents that death spares no one and that death is inevitable. 

Boat: The boat floating down the river in the background represents mythological boats said to escort the dead to the afterlife.

The astrology modality sign for fixed modality.

Skeleton: The bones in the skeleton represent what remains of us long after our soul has departed. The posture of the figure indicated dominance and an inability to be defeated. The armor symbolizes invincibility, meaning that nothing we can do will stop what is coming for us, including death.

Two Towers: The two towers in the background represent the towers in the Moon tarot card. They represent a sense of dying nightly and waking up anew upon waking, much like a rebirth every morning.



Questions About The Death Card

The Death Card as a Person or Personality

When the Death card represents a person or personality, it often signifies an individual undergoing a significant personal transformation or spiritual growth or who is adept at embracing change. This person may be able to let go of the past and move forward with grace and resilience. They might also catalyze change in the lives of others, helping them recognize and release unhealthy attachments or patterns.

Additionally, the Death card as a person or personality may represent someone who is introspective, seeking spiritual growth or healing, and unafraid to face the darker aspects of life. They may possess wisdom and understanding from their experiences and personal or spiritual transformation. As they confront and overcome their challenges, they often become a source of guidance and support for those around them.


Is it Positive, Negative, or Neutral when the Death card appears?

The Death card is often seen as negative due to its association with endings and the fear of change. However, viewing the Death card as a neutral force encouraging transformation and new beginnings is essential. The card's energy can be positive and negative, depending on how one approaches the changes it heralds. By embracing change and viewing it as an opportunity for growth, one can harness the positive aspects of the Death card.

The Death card's symbolism of transformation and rebirth can be empowering, mainly when it represents releasing toxic relationships, breaking free from unhealthy habits, or pursuing spiritual healing. In this sense, the Death card can be seen as a positive force for growth and renewal. Alternatively, if one resists the changes represented by the Death card, it can result in stagnation, missed opportunities, or an inability to move on from past traumas or disappointments. Therefore, the card's energy depends on one's willingness to embrace life's inevitable changes.


The zodiac symbol for the planet Pluto.The Death Card as a Yes or No

As a yes or no answer, the Death card is not straightforward, as it signifies transformation, change, and new beginnings. If the question relates to letting go of the past, embracing change, or moving in a new direction, the Death card can be seen as a "yes." However, if the question pertains to maintaining the status quo or resisting change, the card's energy leans more towards a "no."

In some cases, the Death card as a yes or no answer may indicate that a situation is in flux or that additional information is needed before a clear answer can be provided. It's important to remember that the Death card encourages personal growth, transformation, and adaptation. When faced with uncertainty, focusing on embracing change and trusting one's intuition can help guide decision-making.


The Death Tarot Card Placement: Past, Present, and Future Outcome

In a past position, the Death card as an outcome signifies a major transformation or end, paving the way for the current situation. This past change may have been challenging, but it has likely led to personal growth, newfound wisdom, and a deeper understanding of one's life path.

When the Death card appears as an outcome in the present position, it indicates that the transformative energy is active. This is a crucial time for letting go of old patterns and embracing change to unlock new opportunities and experiences. It's essential to face the unknown with courage and an open heart to navigate the challenges and changes that the Death card brings.

In a future position, the Death card as an outcome suggests that a significant change or personal or spiritual transformation is on the horizon. Although it might be challenging to let go of what is familiar or comfortable, embracing the transformative energy of the Death card can lead to personal growth and, ultimately, greater fulfillment and success. By facing the unknown with courage and an open heart, one can effectively navigate the upcoming changes and seize the opportunities that arise from them.


Wishing you love & light,


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Free Printable Cheat Sheet: The Death Tarot Card Description of the Major Arcana (Rider Waite Tarot Deck)

Free Printable the Death Tarot Card Cheat sheet with the picture of the upright and reversed Death tarot cards, as well as the upright and reversed associated keywords.

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