What Does The Death Card Mean In Tarot?

The prospect of the Death card turning up in a tarot reading can be fear-inducing, but it's not actually as bad as you think. According to The Tarot Guide, the connotation of its appearance doesn't necessarily mean physical death. It's actually used to signify "spiritual transformation and a time of change and new beginnings" when it's in its upright form. In the reversed position, it may mean that you are resisting change.

Classed as a Major Arcana card in the deck, Death is often a precursor to a positive transformation, whether that involves good or bad outcomes. It's all about where that transformation leads you in life and how you embrace change. As Biddy Tarot summarizes, the appearance of Death means that you need to put the past behind you and embrace new opportunities and possibilities coming your way.

If you're in a relationship, the Death card can signify that you or your partner "may be holding onto a relationship that's not working." You may also be stuck in a pattern that's stopping it from moving forward. In this instance, the significance Death provides is that "things are going to change whether you like them or not," and you can either embrace this change or resist it. While this sounds fairly negative, it can also result in a positive change in the relationship.

The Death card rarely indicates physical death

On the flip side, a reversed Death card can mean that you're "resistant to change in your relationship" and that you may even be holding on to something that's "run its course". Labyrinthos adds that there may even be a "failure to change negative emotional patterns" signaling the end of a relationship.

As for money woes, an upright Death card can be a warning that you may experience "a sudden drop in income or a loss of money." Again, while this may sound negative, it will actually "lead you somewhere positive and you will learn from it," according to The Tarot Guide. It may even be an indicator that the way in which "you handle your relationship to your money and what you value" will change drastically.

In terms of health, The Tarot Guide stresses that the Death card only indicates physical death "in extremely rare cases and only in certain combinations." More common than not, Death can symbolize a change coming in the near future. This is especially the case if you've been experiencing illness or poor health, as it can be the catalyst for you to "try and embrace the coming changes by changing your attitude" from a more pessimistic outlook to an optimistic one.