Today’s card is Death from the Manga Tarot
It’s Friday the 13th, let’s talk about the 13th card in the Major Arcana. Death! Oh no, Death! A scary card! Right? Well, maybe not. Let’s dive into the card.
Okay, sure–the card shows the grim reaper taking someone into the light. Or does it? Maybe it’s a hooded monk showing a young acolyte a painting on a temple wall. Maybe it’s a wise witch teaching her young apprentice how to create light with a simple spell.
Maybe you see something else in the card. The point of all the ‘maybe’-ing here is to get you to pause for a moment and question some assumptions you might have about the Death card because it can mean different things.
I’m not going to tell you it never means an actual death, because anything is possible. However, in my experience, this card usually means something else. Sometimes it’s a symbolic death, the ending of a phase of life, the end of a job, or a breakup. All of these things can be painful and there might be a period of grieving associated with these losses. This reading is not at all meant to denigrate feelings that you might feel around these kinds of events. The Death card recognizes that endings can be frightening. Change can be a frightening prospect, even if it’s change for the better. Maybe you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes and you’re looking at the end of delicious food forever (spoiler alert: it’s not, it just means a new approach to delicious foods in smaller portions or less often. Ask me how I know 😉 ). A death or an ending is a major event and this card is telling you to honor those feelings and give them some space. Let yourself sit with the changes and absorb what it might mean for you. But don’t forget that there is a second energy in the Death card.
Look at all that light! It’s practically shooting out of the card. That’s because the flip side of death is life. Sometimes we have to let go of our past circumstances, relationships, or jobs in order to move forward. The Death card shares some traits with another ‘scary’ card, The Tower. Both of them talk about changes, but where the Tower card represents sudden frightening change, the Death card can be a slower and more organic ending. When it shows up it might be indication that a change you’ve been afraid of making is really the right choice. Perhaps there is some change coming up in your life that’s completely out of your control and you’re feeling anxiety about it. The Death card could be appearing to reassure you that this change is for the better.
When you see Death, remember that all things must end, and that maybe this end is a fresh start for you.