13 - Death  

Meaning: Closure, completion, transformation, change, rebirth.

A gallery of some of the many artistic expressions of the Death tarot card taken from beautiful and contrasting tarot decks.

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Death Tarot Card - Morgan Greer Tarot Deck

Death Tarot Card
Morgan Greer Tarot Deck

Death Tarot Card - Joie de Vivre Deck

Death Tarot Card
Joie de Vivre Deck

Death Tarot Card - Tarot of the Witches

Death Tarot Card
Tarot of the Witches

Death Tarot Card - Druid Craft Tarot Deck

Death Tarot Card
Druid Craft Tarot Deck

Death Tarot Card - The Star Tarot Deck 2nd Edition

Death Tarot Card
The Star Tarot Deck 2nd Edition

Death Tarot Card - The Gothic Tarot Deck

Death Tarot Card
The Gothic Tarot Deck

Death Tarot Card - The Sorcerers Tarot Deck

Death Tarot Card
The Sorcerers Tarot Deck

Rebirth and Renewal: The Essential Guide to the Death Tarot Card

The Death tarot card often evokes a sense of foreboding and fear, primarily due to its association with the concept of physical death. However, in the rich and symbolic world of tarot, the Death card signifies much more than an end to life. This article delves into the intricate tapestry of meanings behind the Death tarot card, exploring its symbolism, implications in various aspects of life such as love, career, and health, and its significance when drawn in reverse or as part of a 'yes or no' reading.

Symbolism and General Meaning

At its core, the Death card represents transformation, closure, and the inevitable conclusion of a chapter, paving the way for new beginnings. It is the 13th card of the Major Arcana, a number often associated with transformation and rebirth. The imagery on the card varies across different tarot decks but commonly features a skeleton, representing the bare essence of all beings, riding a horse and often carrying a flag or a scythe. This imagery underscores the themes of equality in the face of change—everyone, regardless of status or wealth, undergoes transitions.

The Death card encourages us to embrace rather than resist change, highlighting the natural cycles of life and the importance of letting go of past attachments to evolve. When the Death tarot card appears in a reading, it prompts introspection and acceptance of change, signaling that holding onto the past may hinder progress.

Love and Relationships

In the context of love and relationships, the Death tarot card meaning can signal the end of a relationship or a significant phase within a relationship. However, this conclusion is not necessarily negative; it can indicate the shedding of outdated emotional baggage, making room for deeper connections and new experiences in love. For those seeking insight into their romantic lives, the appearance of the Death card suggests a period of transformation and renewal, where old patterns are released to welcome new forms of love and affection.

Career and Finances

Regarding career and finances, the Death card often signifies a necessary and inevitable change. It could mean the end of a particular job, career path, or business venture, but with the promise of new opportunities on the horizon. This card encourages individuals to let go of unfulfilling or outdated career paths to discover new avenues for growth and satisfaction. In financial readings, the Death card can indicate the conclusion of financial struggles, urging a fresh approach to financial management and investments.


When it comes to health, the Death card's appearance can be a call to abandon harmful habits or to recognize that a certain phase of illness or recovery is coming to an end. It's a reminder that to heal and improve our health, sometimes significant changes in lifestyle or mindset are required. The card's message is not to fear these changes but to embrace them as part of the journey towards better health.

Reversed Meaning

When the Death card appears reversed in a tarot reading, it amplifies its themes of resistance to change and the inability to let go. A reversed Death tarot card may indicate that the querent is stuck in the past, unable to move forward due to fear, uncertainty, or an unwillingness to accept the end of a phase. In this position, the card serves as a stark reminder that avoiding change can lead to stagnation and missed opportunities for growth.

Yes or No Readings

In 'yes or no' tarot readings, the Death card can be somewhat ambiguous. Its primary message is one of transformation and change, which doesn't neatly fit into a simple yes or no answer. However, if the question relates to the end of a phase or the need for change, the Death card might lean towards a 'yes,' indicating that it's time to let go and move on.

Love and Reversed Positions

In love readings, a reversed Death card might suggest that a relationship is stuck in a rut, with one or both partners resisting necessary changes for fear of losing what is familiar. It can also indicate an inability to move on from past relationships, hindering the potential for new love.

Financial, Career, and Health in Reversed Positions

When reversed in a reading about money, career, or health, the Death card underscores the consequences of resisting change. In finances, it might mean clinging to unprofitable investments or jobs out of fear. In career readings, it can suggest staying in an unfulfilling role due to fear of the unknown. And in health, it might indicate a refusal to make necessary lifestyle changes for improvement.


The Death tarot card, with its profound symbolism of endings and beginnings, serves as a powerful reminder of the constant flux of life. It encourages embracing change, letting go of the past, and moving forward with courage and optimism. Whether in love, career, health, or spiritual growth, the Death card assures us that after every ending comes a new beginning, filled with opportunities for transformation and renewal.  As we navigate the complexities of life, the Death card invites us to let go of the old to make way for the new, guiding us through the inevitable transitions with wisdom and grace. Understanding and accepting the message of the Death tarot card can lead to profound personal growth and a deeper appreciation for the journey of life itself.