As a member of the wonderful Fellowship of Tarot Rebels I hope you enjoy our November Blog hop celebrating the Death card! I feel very honoured to be a part of this and am grateful beyond words. x

Every day we blindly go through our living experience, yet not noticing the numerous little deaths that occur within us and around us. Perhaps we are designed this way or have evolved to become ignorant of the sacredness of these little death experiences that form the life cycle of existence. From the dead skin cells we shed to a spent and withered flower.  The Death and regrowth cycles go on and on automatically without much if any input from anyone.


Transition – Sirian Starseed Tarot by Patricia Cori & Alysa Bartha

We take for granted these little deaths. Yet feel immense pain and shock when a big death comes along. It feels out of the ordinary.  A disruption and a punishment, sent to hurt us or cause us pain and grief. The fact of the matter is life is about constant endings and re-birthing. Not just in the literal sense, but in any other sense of the word too.

Often I am reminded ‘death is permanent’. In a sense this is true. The little deaths don’t appear to create much impact, they are necessary and often beneficial.  New cells grow, new buds bloom. Waste returns to the earth to feed and provide nutrients to promote growth and flourishing.  It is indeed a beautiful system of nature recycling.

What if the big deaths were beneficial too? I’ve always loved the association of the butterfly with the Death card – a symbol of metamorphosis and transformation. But we humans are not butterflies and we don’t hide in a chrysalis for a set amount of time and magically emerge as beautiful transformed butterflies. We must go through a number of processes to come out of the other side of the figurative death. A few of these are confronting and some are plain hard work.


Blue Morpho Butterfly “Morpho peleides”         

We must first acknowledge that death is looming or has been. Denial is a big part of the block to becoming transformed and regenerated. The 8 of Swords Springs forward. When we refuse to see, to become conscious that it is time, we will almost rot, till eventually the transformation is forced upon us. But why make it more painful than it needs to be?


Death – Thoth Tarot , Crowley & Harris

With death comes mourning. Allowing our reactions and feelings the time and space to be is also a part of death. Time to make sense in our own way of what has passed. Accepting our feelings and being compassionate to them, before moving on to accepting the ending is final. The thing about finality is that with every experience, we carry a piece within. These pieces are what helps us to grow, to live, to love and to learn. The 5 of Cups is reminiscent of how we respond to these endings. Either focusing on what is lost, or regrouping and turning our hearts and minds to what is available still and becoming comfortable with the transition that must take place.


Mythic Tarot – 5 of Cups by J. Sharman Burke & L. Greene


After the initial mourning and acceptance we can then utilise our inherent abilities to harness the lessons, the spirit, the hope and the experience to look towards the light of moving forward beyond the cemetery of endings to our transfiguration or transformation. Death comes when time is up. We don’t usually get to dictate that time. It’s part of the Wheel of Life.

We are very blessed as humans to be gifted the ability to experience love and joy, learning and growth, but we are not immune to the flip side of these gifts. Each death we experience on our own short journey, has its purpose for our path. Sometimes we cannot see what that purpose is and that’s okay. The little deaths and the big deaths are unavoidably part of it all. As we transition through phases and experiences, we can become more authentically who we are meant to be or we can be blindfolded and rot.  We are blessed to have the choice. I wish you love, compassion and growth on your own journeys through all of these transitions that you will inevitably face in life, whether big or small.

Much love and blessings,

Tess x




Little Death, Big Death – Reflections on the Death Card

Major Arcana, Tarot Rebels Blog Hop, Tarot Thoughts

4 thoughts on “Little Death, Big Death – Reflections on the Death Card

  1. Tess,

    Death is such a large yet blissfully small concept, and I really enjoy how you brought us down to scale with all of the little deaths we experience in life. This is such beautiful food for thought in exploring death as a concept overall, and for coming to terms with big loss in our life.
    Thank you for this!


  2. I really enjoyed how you related the Death card to the 5 of Cups. I also think of the many tiny deaths we experience on a daily basis, like “la petite mort” which originally referred to the brief loss or weakening of consciousness, but in modern parlance is applied as an euphemism for a sexual orgasm – in that light, some deaths are actually quite fun!


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