In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about Death Tarot Archetype.

Death Tarot Card Meaning

Part of the tarot archetypes, Death is the thirteenth trump, or Major Arcana, card in most Tarot decks.

Checkout this detailed breakdown of the meaning of Death tarot card.

Upright Meanings

The most feared card, despite not usually representing physical death, the Death card indicates a time of new beginnings, change and spiritual transformation.

This change may be unexpected, difficult or sometimes traumatic but will bring new energy so should not be resisted but embraced, resistance making it only more difficult.

Death indicates a need to let go of past beliefs or problems in order to move forward.

It is a good time to discover a deeper spirituality or connect more powerfully with the inner self, with the transformation often brought about by heartbreak, loss or grief but ultimately leading to a new beginning when embraced.

In a relationship, Death signifies the need to move on from a relationship, or old relationship habits, with these going to change whether this is desired or not and embracing the change making it easier.

It may indicate imminent divorce or the need for big relationship changes regarding deep and painful issues, with relationship counselling perhaps helpful.

The relationship can survive if both partners want this and embrace the change. Death can also bring positive change such as unexpected pregnancy or engagement which, despite being initially overwhelming, will bring new love and energy to life.

​Death warns not to depend on the status quo in a career context. If the recipient is unhappy in their career they should search for a new job or consider starting a new business.

However, finances may be more restricted but ultimately this will bring positive change and can be learned from.

Don’t avoid the financial issues but be practical in order to move forward – things will ultimately be ok if you do so.

​Death in a health context should not cause panic. It can mean a positive change is imminent if the coming changes are embraced and the recipient tries to find something positive each day whilst ill.

It is also a good time to embrace alternative therapies and approaches to illness.

Reversed Meanings

Death reversed indicates resistance of the change required to move forward and holding on to old negative energy, with the recipient struggling to let go.

However, new energy and a better future will come if they can do so. Such change cannot be resisted forever and the universe will push this onto the recipient, sometimes in a distressing way, with it being for their own good to embrace change as this brings a feeling of empowerment.

Spiritually, Death signifies spiritual transformation induced by difficulties such as grief to which extreme resistance is demonstrated. Faith may have been lost and anger felt about past experiences, with a feeling that nothing can compensate for past hurts.

The recipient needs to remember that remaining in this state will only hurt them.

Instead retaining faith in the spirit world will ultimately provide comfort and the ability to move forward.

​In a relationship the card indicates resistance to change and holding onto a failed relationship through fear of loneliness or duty. A past relationship may soon resurface.

For singletons, Death reversed indicates a positive love life can only be achieved by ridding oneself of negative behaviour patterns e.g. tendency to choose bad partners.

​Death reversed indicates the need for a new career direction, and resistance to this due to fearing loss of security, stability and routine even when the current job is unfulfilling.

Current behaviours may be stopping the recipient progressing, meaning time needs to be taken to work out how to move forward and then make it happen. Financially, deterioration is imminent and unavoidable.

The recipient needs to rethink their money management if the hardship is to be temporary.

​Death reversed resistance to proactively tackling health problems or healthy issues which are physical manifestations of internal emotional or mental problems which the recipient is avoiding resolving. Dealing with this will help them move forward.

Death Keywords

  • Spiritual transformation
  • New beginnings
  • Letting go
  • Endings
  • Change
  • Transition
  • Sudden or unexpected upheaval
  • Inability to move forward
  • Fear of beginnings
  • Repeating negative patterns
  • Resisting change
  • Dependency

Learn About the Other Tarot Card Archetypes

The Major Arcana is made up of 22 cards (or trumps). Explore the other tarot archetypes here:


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