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death tarot card vitoria deck

Did you know that we are made of stardust?

"We are the stuff of long dead stars, our endings are in our beginnings"*

The technology of this is simple, the atoms from which you and I are made were forged in the intense heat and mass of giant stars, subsequently going nova and scattering our building blocks throughout the universe.** Our life from the death of stars.

Death? Its an integral part of life. This card represents the clearing of the way for something new. It might today be known as Recycle but that lacks a certain je ne sais quoi, n'est ce pas?

Life, and all things in it, has a sell-by date. Philosophically, this card invites you to dwell on inevitabilities - the certainties of things ending and the possibilities these endings create for new beginnings.

* from 'Stars' by Jeremy Rogers

Our own gentle sun makes just helium from hydrogen, though other trace elements are present - 85% brighter than most other stars in our galaxy it could be something of a signpost for anyone seeking life...
 death tarot card marseilles deckMy pack doesn’t name this card, most likely for superstitious reasons.  Of the original – the earliest known – Tarots, there is an even split between cultures where the decks gave this a name – ‘Death’ – or didn’t – no name at all but obviously death from the image. Two cards in the deck get an immediate reaction – this is one of them. Most readers will immediately laugh and quickly say that of course it’s called death but it doesn’t mean death. Our forbears, and especially those that produced the Tarot, had quite an admirable tendency overall to call a spade a spade (or a sword, but we’ll come to that later) and I rather think that when they called it Death, Death was what they had in mind.  The GR (Grim Reaper) did tend to hover pretty close for most people back then of course, and belief in an afterlife was a much more important part of one’s mental armoury.  The imagery shows that despite their habitual bluntness there is a wider angle to this card: the GR has reaped a few souls and amongst the debris lies a crowned head, a bishop’s mitre… Death comes to us all.  Whatever our station now we get an equal chance to begin again.  Here, finally, is where the questioner can rest a little easier: it is, of course, symbolic as are all the cards.  Drawing the Hermit doesn’t mean that the questioner is going to go and live in a remote cave on the moor and live off berries.  Drawing Death asks us to contemplate the natural cycle of all things, all things come to an end but in endings are beginnings.  To grow a new crop it is necessary to clear the stubble and turn over the earth.  Many forest fires are part of a natural cycle of renewal.  Applying these thoughts makes this one of the easiest cards of all to read.  












© Jeremy Rogers 2007 Document made with Nvu return to top