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Trying to understand "Death" card as a challenge/ obstacle

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Miradeck  Miradeck is offline
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Trying to understand "Death" card as a challenge/ obstacle


Hello fellow tarot card readers,
How would you interpret the "Death" card when it appears when the querent is enquiring on why a certain action is not taken?
Does it mean there is resistance to change? Fear of the unknown for example?
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decan  decan is offline
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Maybe something must end before something new can appear (an action).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miradeck View Post
Hello fellow tarot card readers,
How would you interpret the "Death" card when it appears when the querent is enquiring on why a certain action is not taken?
Does it mean there is resistance to change? Fear of the unknown for example?
That's a very interesting question.

No one can tell you what it DOES mean, only what it can mean. In effect it could mean any of the things you suggested. Any of those are possible things it might mean. It depends on the meaning the reader embraces (we each have slightly different takes on each card) and on what the reader's intuition tells him it means in that particular reading. Maybe you could say in the end that boils down to their faith in life. In how likely they are to believe that things will work out for the best, and that endings are just what lead to new beginnings.

That said, for me with my meaning, it would likely say that the person is not taking the action because they don't believe anything good will come of it. They believe that it will or might cause something in their lives to end, but they can't see beyond that.

The actual meaning for the Death card for me = something ending that NEEDS to end, to create the needed space for something better to come to the querent. That is my meaning. THAT the thing ends because it is meant to and NEEDS in order to clear the path for something better in the querent's life that is trying to reach them.

Eg let's say the person feels they are being underpaid and is considering going to his boss and telling them either they receive more money or they quit. IF all they could see was that they might lose their job if they did (and all they could see was that loss)...they might be not too likely to do so as they need a source of income and change may be scary. All the see if the immediate future...something ending.

IF, on the other hand, they could see that the ending would lead to something better ...either they might lose that job but be promoted in the company. Or lose this one and get a better one elsewhere...

IF they held this belief they would likely be more willing to take steps to create change. If they really believed that something better would come that could lead them to take the chances that would create that change. Maybe a lot of boils down to the level of your faith in life and of your belief that things in life will always work out for the best for you.

Babs
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For me, Death comes up when there is something that is drawing to an inevitable conclusion - it NEEDS to end, as Babs said - but it's not necessarily something that is going to be a fun and easy time. Death is like a metamorphosis, in that it requires losing a comfortable inertia (life) in favor of a period of growth (rebirth). Sometimes I see Death as having an element of choice, but often times it's something that is going to happen whether we like it or not, and we often don't, because it's hard to embrace the uncertainty of rebirth over the certainty of the present.

So yes, a valid reading of that card is that there's a resistance to a change that must - and will - come. Perhaps the point of no return hasn't arrived yet, but it will. Death, like taxes, is inevitable in the end, but it doesn't have to be cataclysmic in the way that, say, the Tower would suggest, if the person in that situation embraces the inevitable change.
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The challenge of mourning a loss


The Death card, ultimately, is a very factual card. Something will end. You will feel sadness over that loss. And something new will take it's place. Those are the facts. How you deal with all those is up to you. But there is the challenge. How will you deal with each one of those facts? And if you can't deal....well, there is the obstacle. What if you can't face those facts? There are people who refuse to believe something has ended and is gone. There are those who won't let themselves mourn.

Death says you need to do both. Understand, it doesn't say you have to accept the new thing that moved into that empty spot left by the old thing. Nor does it say you ever have to come to terms with the loss. You can be forever sad about it. But you do have to accept that it is gone. Period. And you do have to accept how you feel about that (sadness/mourning).

In regards to an action not taken (the question for the spread was "why are they not taking this action" and you got "Death" in the obstacle to action/taking the action?)...taking the action challenges them to accept loss or deal with the pain of loss. So they avoid the action to avoid that challenge. Or, more simply, the obstacle to taking the action includes ending something or accepting that it has ended. They're not ready to do that.
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IndigoWaves  IndigoWaves is offline
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It could mean that the topic is closed and decidedly "over", as far as this person is concerned, for reasons taken seriously enough to be indisputable... So, the action may be undesirable, or like beating a dead horse, if it's even thought about at all.
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Transition


Quote:
Originally Posted by decan View Post
Maybe something must end before something new can appear (an action).
Thanks decan, it does feel like the end of a cycle and the beginning of another.
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Fear change or embrace it


Quote:
Originally Posted by SunChariot View Post
That said, for me with my meaning, it would likely say that the person is not taking the action because they don't believe anything good will come of it. They believe that it will or might cause something in their lives to end, but they can't see beyond that.
Thanks Babs, this resonates with what I had in mind when I first encountered this card. It gives me the feel that somewhat, fear of the unknown, fear of change is involved. And there are 2 ways to go about it, either to embrace or to resist it. Either path takes us down a different route. But we can't tell which path this "Death" card is showing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunChariot View Post
The actual meaning for the Death card for me = something ending that NEEDS to end, to create the needed space for something better to come to the querent. That is my meaning. THAT the thing ends because it is meant to and NEEDS in order to clear the path for something better in the querent's life that is trying to reach them.
So in this context, I gather what this is trying to say is that "Death" card came along to tell the querent that the inaction was inevitable and that it should be the case in order to end something that is not useful in the querent's life and that things should move on?

I've added another card to clarify the "Death" card and it was a "5/Swords". Another complex card which I interpret as cutting loss, a card with little chance of success. So as an obstacle, does that mean, that due to view of little success, therefore no action is taken? How should I read this combo?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootlife View Post
Sometimes I see Death as having an element of choice, but often times it's something that is going to happen whether we like it or not, and we often don't, because it's hard to embrace the uncertainty of rebirth over the certainty of the present.

So yes, a valid reading of that card is that there's a resistance to a change that must - and will - come. Perhaps the point of no return hasn't arrived yet, but it will. Death, like taxes, is inevitable in the end, but it doesn't have to be cataclysmic in the way that, say, the Tower would suggest, if the person in that situation embraces the inevitable change.
Thanks barefootlife for your added explanation. This is exactly what I had in mind
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Miradeck  Miradeck is offline
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Starting something knowing that there is an end to it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen View Post
The Death card, ultimately, is a very factual card. Something will end. You will feel sadness over that loss. And something new will take it's place. Those are the facts. How you deal with all those is up to you. But there is the challenge. How will you deal with each one of those facts? And if you can't deal....well, there is the obstacle. What if you can't face those facts? There are people who refuse to believe something has ended and is gone. There are those who won't let themselves mourn.

Death says you need to do both. Understand, it doesn't say you have to accept the new thing that moved into that empty spot left by the old thing. Nor does it say you ever have to come to terms with the loss. You can be forever sad about it. But you do have to accept that it is gone. Period. And you do have to accept how you feel about that (sadness/mourning).

In regards to an action not taken (the question for the spread was "why are they not taking this action" and you got "Death" in the obstacle to action/taking the action?)...taking the action challenges them to accept loss or deal with the pain of loss. So they avoid the action to avoid that challenge. Or, more simply, the obstacle to taking the action includes ending something or accepting that it has ended. They're not ready to do that.
Thanks Thirteen, I really enjoy reading your clear explanation and to me, this means that the challenge is knowing that once the action is taken, it is inevitably leading to an end which may not be the outcome they want, even if the journey is what they want, and therefore, they do not want to take that action.

Can I expand this topic a little to understand further how the meaning of "Death" would change if this was in the position of "Feelings for someone"? Does it mean the feelings have died in the current form and have transitioned to another state of feelings? e.g. from love to hate? Or does it simply mean a dead end to the current state of emotions?
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