Death Tarot Card Meaning

Reading Time
- June 15, 2022
Written by Aimi Davis 
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Death Tarot Card meaning

The Death Tarot Card is often seen as the worst card that can be drawn. 

When the truth is, it's a natural part of the cycle of life. 

Death, a skeletal figure, appears astride a white horse, and beneath the horse lies a royal figure.

There are additional symbolic pieces to the card, but literal death is a natural part of life in all its sad forms. There can be nothing new without death and things coming to an end.

Even change that is heartbreaking and sad is necessary. 

The Death Tarot Card must not be looked at or perceived as meaning actual death. Instead, the Death card speaks more to transformation and the closing of chapters to experience new parts of life and yourself.

Death Tarot Card Key Facts

  • Death is the 13th card from a traditional Tarot deck. 
  • The number 13 is believed to be a divine number associated with prosperity and good fortune to those who embrace it. 
  • Also known as The Ace of Spades, there is a long-standing superstition attached to the card, so much so that people worldwide will remove themselves from the vicinity of The Ace of Spades. 

Death Tarot Keywords


  • Transformation
  • Rebirth
  • Change
  • Adaptability
  • Harmony


  • Resistance to change 
  • Stagnation, Depression 
  • Imbalance 
  • Decay 
  • Stagnation 
  • Tendency to inertia

Death Tarot Upright Meaning

In a traditional deck, this card evokes a sense of fear and trepidation from sitters who receive the card.

But the truth is, there is much beauty in death. 

When The Upright Death Card is drawn, its appearance does not signify that someone in your life, or you, will experience physical death.

When the card emerges in its upright position, this usually signifies that a period of change is upon you in some form or another.

This means a part of your way of life will end as you step into a new phase of life. It is a natural way of life. It should be embraced. 

Love meaning

The Death Card is a sign that things need to change in a love reading. 

The Death card doesn’t comment on your choice; only that one needs to be made. 

As things stand, your relationship isn’t working, and the dynamics within your relationship need some attention. 

Whether you choose to stay and work on things or end things, there will be an element of death.

Not physical death, an element of transformation as you move into a new chapter. 

If you’re single or in a relationship, Death may also appear to you as a sign that it’s time to let go. 

Perhaps a past love is still with you, and you need to move on to heal. 

If things between you and your partner are not working, it may be time to face reality and end things.

Or, if a past relationship is interfering with your happiness, you need to sever ties and move on with your life.

Career meaning

If you feel unfulfilled, The Death Card reminds you that you are not a passive observer and can initiate change in your life for the better. 

The end of something need not be the end of the world. 

Let go of your fear of failure. 

When we fail, we still have an opportunity at a fresh start, and out of the ashes, a new life can take shape and be reborn. 

If you’re unhappy in your current work situation, actively seek change. 

You must come to terms with and accept that change is not your enemy but the natural order of life. 

Whether that means leaving your current employment or looking for a resolution to your situation, ultimately,

Embracing change in a career context means either you need to take steps to affect your happiness positively, or the universe will do it for you.

Finances and money meaning

When looking at this card in the context of your financial situation, The Upright Death Card does signify loss.

You must embrace change if you're struggling with your financial position. If you’ve made terrible financial choices or passively allowed things to slip away from you, become more present. 

This may mean you must shift your lifestyle goals or completely redefine them.

What you’re currently doing isn't working. 

Death Tarot Reversed

The Death Card Reversed reveals your tendency to resist change.

It may be that you fear the inevitable lack of control and safety. 

So you resist the inevitable at all costs. 

New experiences, challenges and new ways to live your life are suppressed by your inability to let go and face a difficult transition. 

The fear you’re currently holding onto, the level of energy your now expending is no longer sustainable.

You’ve got to ask yourself, “would change actually be that terrible?”. 

Change isn’t terrible.

There will be discomfort, and that’s natural, but why deny yourself what could be the beginning of something truly amazing?

Love meaning

It may just be time for you to reflect on any unhealthy attachments.

If you’re insecure and dependent on your significant other, no matter how unhealthy the relationship is, the appearance of the Death Card should bring some comfort.

It's a clear sign that things have got to change. 

You need to realise your potential and experience happiness in a different context. 

Loneliness is not to be feared; embrace who you are, and shed any negative patterns of behaviour. Remember that you may be the one who is in need of a transformation. 

You deserve love and respect as much as anyone else in your life. Trust that you will come out of your current situation more positively and work towards manifesting that outcome.

Career meaning

The Death Card Reversed holds similar significance to the Upright Meaning. It’s time for a career change or a new direction. 

Letting go of the stability that comes with your current form of employment may be terrifying, but it will be necessary if you’re unhappy and unfulfilled. 

Take some of the pressure off yourself.

You do not have to solve all your problems with one act. Instead, take your time, and take steps towards changing your situation.

Death wears his suit of armour, and you too must don yours as a symbol of strength.

You will need it during this significant transition phase in your professional life.

Finances and money meaning

Your financial situation may be in a state of decline, and while this is obviously not a desirable space to find yourself in.

The reality is that it’s happening. 

You have two choices:

  • Come to terms with the end of an era
  • Make positive changes in your life to accommodate this shift

Ultimately, to resist change is to hurt yourself in the future.

You may find it hard to relinquish control or admit that things didn't work out as you had hoped. 

This is not the end of the road for you. So far from it, this is a time for you to change your values and how you relate to material success. 

Deep and meaningful lessons about who you are and what life is all about are a positive consequence when you accept that you need to change. 

Is The Death Tarot A Yes or No Question?

The Death Tarot Card is a no. 

Some experts feel that it is a yes and a no card because it places the responsibility of your circumstances on your shoulders. 

But it is saying no to resisting change, and some perceive that as also saying yes to embracing change. 

What does it mean when you pull a Death tarot card?

Simply, things in your life are not perfect, and some aspects are far from it. You’re more worried about maintaining appearances and keeping the show going than your happiness and fulfilment. 

Whether it's work, finances, or relationships, something isn’t right, and you know this to be true, but you are resistant to changing your situation. 

Change is a transformative experience, the end of something also signals the birth of something new and exciting. 

What does the Death tarot card mean in love?

When it comes to love and relationships, the Death tarot card's love meaning can indicate that you’re stuck in emotional dynamics that are no longer working.

However, if you are already in a relationship, for the relationship to continue, you must acknowledge that change is necessary and embrace it. 

How many death cards are there in a Tarot deck?

There is only one Death Card in a traditional Tarot deck. Multiple cards promote transformation and change, but only the Death Card speaks to the end of one thing, to move on to the next.

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