Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Death: What Are You Afraid To Bury And Let Die?

Death can have two meanings when drawn in a divinatory reading. Either there are some unresolved issues associated with the death of a loved one or friend or it signifes a startling rebirth and rejuvination for the querent.  As I've described before, the tarot is about enlightenment and illumination and the Death card is no exception.  This card always implies endings, transitions or forces outside of your control.  Although Death himself is black, the color which encompasses all color or life, he rides a white horse (the mythologized 'pale' horse) the color of absolution and purity. In his hand, Death carries a banner depicting a white rose. Again, the color white juxstaposed with the rose is  another symbol of purity. The rose is also identified with Venus/Aphrodite the Goddess of Love which signifies fecundity and fertility which is the opposite of Death.In the Middle Ages, the rose became identified with the Virgin Mary.  In addition, the early Christians identifed the five petals of the rose with the five wounds of Christ, thus emphasizing the flower's sacredness as well as symbolizing rebirth as Christ rose from the dead.  The point being that where there is Death there is Life.

Most people associate the number 13 with bad luck, but aren't certain why.  Well, one explanation is that Judas, who betrayed Christ, was the 13th man at the Last Supper and therefore 13 became associated with Christ's death and all subsequent deaths.  In a more abstract and numerolgogical sense, Rachael Pollack explains that the number 12 resembles a 'perfect' number. That is, "it combines the archetypes of 1 and 2, it symbolizes the zodiac and therefore the universe, it can be divided by 1,2,3,4, and 6, more digits than any other number.  13 destroys this perfection as it can only be divided by nothing other than 1 and itself.  But looking beyond this notion of perfection, 13's imperfection reminds us that rather than only symbolizing something destructive it simultaneoulsy heralds novelty and originality and it paves the way for something new to be created.

Death illicits a multitude of questions for the querent.  What change frightens you?  Are there unresolved emotions and feelings associated with a loved one's death?  Are you in a process of transformation ? How would the 'death' of something in your life' bring about a rebirth?  What are you afraid to 'bury' and let die? A relationship? A job? Is there something you need to 'kill off' but can't quite bring yourself to do so? Is hanging on to a relationship or job 'killing' you so that you are experiencing a spiritual 'death"?

 Paradoxically, Death is the ultimate 'good luck' card as it is the harbinger of new life cycles and possibility.

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