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Death Tarot Card Meanings

Death Card Meaning in Tarot

Death Tarot Card Meanings

All of us stop and shift in our seats when we come upon the grim reaper. Many of us equate death as an ending, like getting called out of the game of life. Thankfully, that is not what this card is about.

Devil tarot card meanings

The Death card speaks of a major conclusion in an area of our lives. Often when this card shows up in a reading it means the querent has had, or will have a change that is monumental - an ending of circumstances that were dragging on for far too long and the only way to make a clean break is to have a sharp ending. The key point to remember here is that where there is an ending, there is also a beginning.

The Death card also exposes us to the inevitabilities in our lives. Everyone has heard the old adage "the only thing you can count on is death and taxes." The quote left out one other inevitable occurance: Change. We can alway count on change. No matter how long we've been at our jobs, how long we've been married, or how long we've lived in one location - fact of the matter is that everything changes. We may remain in the same house all of our lives, but our lives will always change. Life is in constant motion and this is the irony of the Death card. Death is never the end - it is simply a motion in a different direction.

Please note: The historical nature of the Tarot is steeped in allegory. As such, this occurance of this card rarely indicates actual physical death.

Death tarot card meanings of the skull Skull: Long seen as a symbol of humanity's mortality - the skull is a symbol that all things change and transition. Some cultures see the skull as the seat of the mind - the home of our thoughts. In this case, we can translate the skull to mean the death of unwanted thoughts.


Death tarot card meaning of the sun Sun: More irony with this card! The sun is a symbol of life and growth. The sun in this case serves as a symbolic reminder that where there is an ending, there is always a new beginning. The sun will rise again, and tomorrow is another day.


Death tarot card meaning of the rose Rose: A long-standing symbol of purity, promise, and beauty. In the case of the Death card, this rose represents the promise of new beginnings. We must also take the thorns into consideration - with the promise of new hope, we may have to endure a few stinging thorns (painful ordeals) along the way. Such is the way of life. More on Tarot rose symbolism here.


flag meaning in the death card Flag: When we consider the cards on which the flag is featured (Death, Sun & Judgment) we get a good concept of its symbol meanings. The flag is an announcement to change - something has shifted and a flag makes the world aware of this shift. It is a bright, bold obvious sign that a new day is dawning. This is not about subtle shifts - the flag is about "in-your-face" transformation; an event to announce to all who will hear. Click here for more on Flag Meanings in Tarot.

Key Questions Relative to the Death Tarot Card Meanings:
When contemplating the Death Tarot card meanings, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do you handle change?

  • What can you do to prepare yourself for change?

  • Is there something in your life that is due for a change?

  • Should you wait a bit to make that decision you've been worried about?

  • How do you feel about endings? Do you recognize they are followed by beginnings?

  • Are you being honest with yourself in exposing areas of your life that need transition?

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