Death Tarot Card Meaning (Card 13)

Tarot, like astrology, has long been one of our favorite divination systems. Interpreting either takes practice. As you learn, we wanted to help you to quickly connect to the cards and use them in ways that are actionable and practical in every area of life. xoxo, Tali & Ophira

Co-authored by James Kerti

What does the Death tarot card mean?

Though the Death card intimidates people new to tarot, its message of alchemy and transformation doesn’t need to be feared!

Contrary to appearances, this major arcana card signals the potential for new beginnings that spring from an ending or transformation.

The Death card:

  • indicates the closing of one door that leads to the opening of another.
  • doesn’t mean an ending of everything, and it certainly doesn’t need to be literally translated as a physical death.

When you see this card in a reading, the message is for you to welcome its appearance, accept the completion of whatever is coming to an end, and open yourself up to the possibility of something better coming your way.

What is the zodiac sign of Death?

The zodiac sign of Death is Scorpio

Death Tarot Guide

Keywords for Death: Ending, transition, transformation, potential for new beginnings

Yes or No: It depends

Planet of Death: Pluto

Element of Death: Water

What does the Death card mean in a love reading?

When the Death card appears in a love reading, it signifies that some aspect of the relationship is about to go through a transformation—or may already be. If you’re in a relationship that isn’t working for you, this major arcana card may signify that it’s time to let go and end things.

The Death card doesn’t necessarily refer to your current relationship. Are you still clinging to the memory of an ex or healing from the loss of a connection? Holding on to the past may prevent you from emotionally available and present with the person who is in your life now.

The Death card encourages you to take a (potentially) difficult emotional inventory. This card may be a nudge to close an old chapter for good. Perhaps you have some grieving left to do.

How to read your birth chart

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What to do with this information

Pluto governs our most private emotions. Our course The Pluto Code shows you how to channel this heavenly body’s energy to release the old so that the new can be born. You can get access to this course at a discounted price as part of our Cosmic Code bundle.

What does the Death tarot card mean for career, money and finance?

The Death card usually appears in a money or career reading when it’s time for a change.

If your job or work situation isn’t working for you, this major arcana card lets you know that it’s okay for you to start taking steps to look for something better. Even if your job once felt like a good fit for your talents, you may have outgrown it. The Death tarot card shows up when it’s time for you to let go.

In the context of a money reading, the Death tarot card can warn of financial hardships ahead. It may be wise to start job hunting or seeking new sources of revenue. You may be ready to cut ties with a client or business associate who you no longer wish to work with.

What does the Death tarot card mean for health?

The Death card doesn’t indicate a physical death, but it does point to a significant change with a health situation. It also encourages you that letting go is a key part of the way forward.

If you’ve been experiencing physical health challenges, this card indicates that you may need to make a major change in how you’re handling things. Perhaps there’s a new medication or treatment you could try, or behavior changes you could make that can lead to better outcomes.

The same message applies to mental or emotional health struggles. If you’re having a hard time in that arena, you might consider meditation or journaling as supportive activities.

Death Tarot Card in Reverse Meaning

When the Death card appears reversed, the message about change still holds. But this positioning adds that you’ve been fighting hard to resist the transformation that needs to happen.

Letting go may feel impossible or scary. But gripping to the past will prevent you from moving forward and experiencing the magical transformation that awaits. This is the time to ask yourself what you’ve been refusing to let go of.

Is the Death tarot card a yes or no?

Whether Death is a yes or no depends heavily on the question. Its message of embracing change holds here. If you’re asking about making a change, the Death card leans yes. But if your question pertains to wanting to stay in the situation you’re in, this card pull encourages you to let go.

Select another Tarot card from the dropdown below to learn its meaning

Feature art by Diana Hlevnjak