Tarot Card Meanings

Tarot Cards: Death

What does the Death Tarot Card mean when it shows up in a spread?

When we look at tarotcards and see death show up, some of us can feel a little apprehensive. 

It’s not that death signifies an imminent death in your life. Rather it signifies the ending of a cycle, pattern or event.


Tarot Card: Death


Let’s look at some of the words associated with the meaning of this card.  We’ll look at it in both positive and negative aspects.

Positively means that the card will be upright:

  • Transformation
  • Endings
  • Change
  • Transition
  • Letting go
  • Releasing

Negative meanings of the card (it will be reversed):

  • Fear change
  • Repeated bad habits
  • Repeating bad behavioral patterns
  • Resisting change
  • Stagnancy
  • Decay

Death Description

Typically when you look at the death Tarot Card, you’ll see Death riding a white horse holding a black flag that has a white pattern on it.

Death is presented as a living skeleton. 

Bones are the only part of the body that continues to exist once we die. Death wears an armor suit, which renders him invincible – Death cannot be beaten or cheated.

The white horse represents purity because Death purifies every soul.

Beneath him, all people are equal – a king, a beggar, a prostitute, a priest, politician, businessman or a thief, there is no difference. 

Death Tarot Card – Upright

Everyone has been made to fear death and no one really wants to talk about it, or even mention it because they believe death to be a negative end to a person or animal.

This fear spills over into the superstition tied to some of the cards in the Tarot Deck.  Death is one of the cards on the short superstition list.

Because death is misunderstood and avoided at all costs, let’s try to change your perspective a little.  In Tarot, Death is actually a very positive card, because it means that a change or ending to a bad situation or event in your life or the world is coming.

Logically then, if something ends, there will always be something new to take place.  Your choices for the new events in your life are yours alone to make.

The old saying goes, as one door closes, another opens and your only choices are to step through one or choose another.  You need to close a chapter and move forward.

The death Tarot card can also mean that you’re about to face major changes in your life, a transition or transformation of some kind.

In order for the transformation to happen, an old version needs to die of so that the new version can be born.  It may seem scary, but what would life be if we never faced any challenges at all.  You should embrace change and move forward with focus and determination to succeed.

Another thing that the Death tarot card can mean if it arrives in a reading is that you need to let go of habits, patterns, things or relationships in your current life in order for you to be able to move forward and find success.

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Death Tarot Card in Love, Career & Finances - Upright


In love and relationships, the Death tarot card can mean that the emotional bonds that you find yourself stuck in no longer serve you.

If you’re in a relationship you must learn to embrace change. Sometimes death (the Tarot Card) can indicate that ending the relationship might be the better route to take. (Especially if things aren’t great)

Remember; as one door closes, another will open.

While it may be difficult to accept, sometimes true love requires a transformation that’s in the best interest of both parties and sometimes tough love is the best remedy, even if it means saying goodbye and walking out.

While death showing up in a love reading may seem scary, it could be positive too, meaning an end to simple dating and a wedding proposal.

Are you still single? As a card showing up in your love aspect, Death can mean that you should consider the habits and behaviors that may be standing in the way of you building stronger relationships with others.

Important to remember:  Cards are suggestions. You have the ultimate freedom to decide whether to accept and welcome transformation, or ignore it.


Have you been miserable at work?  Have you been pressured to do things you otherwise wouldn’t.  Have you felt like moving on, but were waiting for the right time or a sign from the divine?

The Death Tarot Card could be the sign you’ve been waiting for. 

You may be waiting for longer than necessary.  It’s worse staying unhappy where you are, than taking the first steps to getting out of there. 

Get your Resume updated and get it out!

As you end the relationship and close the door, another event or path will open for you, it’s the cosmic law.  When you step past the threshold, another possibility always comes your way.


The vast majority of us have a love hate relationship with money.  Most of the time it seems like we never have enough to get by.

But, when death shows up, it could mean that a financial issue is about to show up that’s going to lighten your balance significantly.

This event may trigger you to change the way you manage finances and how you handle incoming cash going forward, so it could be a good thing.

Multiple Energetic Formats

Considered "woo-woo", but still as relevant as ever


Actually, I believe in everything, including astrology and tarot cards.

All of it is just another way for people to try and tighten the link to the spirits in our universe.

I believe it exists for all people. 

Billy Dee Williams

Death Tarot Card in Love, Career & Finances - Reversed

When the Death Card ends up reversed in a spread, it just means that there still needs to be change, but you are resisting it and standing in your own way.

You might not be ready to let go of the past, or you could be unsure about the necessary action you need to take to go forward.

Resisting change and clinging to the past limits your growth.

Take time to assess how you’ve been trying to make changes in your life. You might find that you’ve been blocking changes that need to be made because you fear the unknown.

It’s OK to be afraid!

Believe in your abilities and trust that you’re taking the right steps to move forward. Life moves on and each passing moment brings an increasing number of future regrets.

Death doesn’t need relate to regret, especially if you listen and act on it.


In the Love aspect, the death Tarot Card in Reverse can mean that you may be resisting any type of changes to your current relationships or romance.

This can even be relevant in a relationship that’s boring and no longer helping either of you grow as individuals.

You might be too dependent on the relationship, or you may only stay with your partner because you feel comfortable, obligated or scared of being on your own.

That’s not to say that old relationships cannot be revived. The Death card reversed could indicate that it’s time for both of you to make a change.

Changes in the relationship can mean a new dynamic which may include more romance, travel, new hobbies, joint activities, new friends, etc, etc.

If you are still single, the Death Tarot Card Reversed in a love aspect may be suggesting that you avoid negative behavioral patterns and habits in order to truly engage in a new loving relationship.

You might have self-esteem issues, victim mentality or other wounds that need to heal before you try looking for a partner who’ll love and respect you and one you can love and respect in return.


You’re being shown by the Death Tarot Card that it’s time to make a change.  In the Reversed position, it indicates that you are the stumbling block who is not willing to change.

You’re a sucker for punishment that will stick around despite the toxic work environment, the crappy pay, or boring work.

Change happens whether we like it or not! (In both work and personal life…)

We must learn to accept change it instead of resisting it.

When we hang on to the cycles that are no longer meant to stay in our lives, you can watch it slowly destroy and drain the life out of us.

Sometimes, the Death Tarot Card represents negative patterns that keep repeating themselves at work.

Do you self-sabotage? Do you get all defensive when you make a mistake? Do you have an alter-ego that shows up then you need to interact with co-workers?

Think about the things/behaviors you need to let go of to get rid of these unhealthy patterns. 


Losing a source of income may be unavoidable and it may be hard to accept and adapt to.

You might have to make changes to your expenses in order to make it through this transition phase.  

You might find it hard to give up unnecessary luxuries that you consider “necessary”.

Try not to allow this time to negatively change how you see the relationship you have to your material wealth and your moral values.

If you’re constantly doing this and comparing yourself to others you may not be learning your lessons.

Learn to stop resisting change and you may have a much easier time coping.

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