Pearls of Wisdom - Death

Rede Seeker

A woman walking is the central figure in this card. Her right side is young, pink and fresh; her left side is dark and decaying - much like the Teutonic Goddess Hel, Sovereign Lady of Helheim, a destination and home for the Dead in Germanic Lore. This Lady's dark hand seems to be releasing a mask. Her rlght hand holds a single pearl. She wears pearls in her headdress, earrings and necklace.

The Right side of the card is brimming with new life - trees and bushes with new leaves and buds. A blue stream teeming with fish, butterflies fluttering and a lake in bright blues reflecking a calm sky. There is a sun overhead. A serpent and a string of pearls are twined around a blooming bush in the lower right-hand corner. There are butterflies in the upper right-hand corner

The Left side is dark. The once bright sun is now in purple and lavender colors. the night sky holds three stars which seem to be caught in the bare branches of a Tree Spirit. There are dead leaves falling from this tree; the bush in the lower left corner is the same dried and barren color as the tree. There are two masks on the left side of this card. Both with enigmatic expressions; one is a darker shade of blue than the other. The lighter of the two is closest to the dividing line between Death and Life. One mask seems happier than the other. There appears to be a serpent skin near the river. This river is a darker shade of blue than the river on the right side of the card. The upper left-hand corner contains a shell and an insect.

What wonderful imagery for stepping out on one situation into a new one.

The Rune, Othila, appears on the left-hand column. Othila is my Rune of 'Journey's End'. The cycle is complete, the Innengard (Clan-based homeland) opens for you.

The rune, Kenaz, appears on the right-hand column. Kenaz is the Rune of physical transformation - the 'solve et coagula' of the alchemists - to dissolve and reform. It is the Rune of the harrow, the pyre, the torch, and the forge, where material is shaped for a specific purpose. It is also the Rune of the sore or boil - this kind of transformation is very visceral - it will probably hurt.

While Othila is the last Rune in the Elder Futhark, Kenaz is part of the first Aettir (first of three rows of eight Runes which form the 24-Rune Elder Futhark). Rune total = Othila (24) + Kenaz (6) = 30 = 3 + 0 = 3 = Thurisaz. Thursaz breaks resistance and is a catalyst for change.


Death is one of the cards I don't really like to be messed with too much but I love this version. I'm glad that Roxy Simm kept the original title of this card, changing it's name to something more 'New-Agey' like 'transformation' is something I really don't like.
Death is death and should be a bit scary, that's the nature of death (in my opinion ;)).

This image is gorgeous. I love the way she seems to be casting off the mask herself, giving more control than the more traditional death cards, an acknowledgement that we can choose death or to end things should we want to.

Edited to add an image of the card.


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I love how she strolls joyfully in this card. Death is not a thing to be feared.

This transformation - as she sheds the old and steps forth into something new - is an experience to cherish and look forward to.

She has the Tree Spirits there, to watch over her as she tosses away the mask and steps from the darkness into the new light.

I can't think of a more hope-filled Death card anywhere.


I so agree Emm. This is the first Death card I've seen that doesn't show Death in some cliched way, where there is a certain element of fear or dread involved. This card shows that death is no more than transformation. It could be called "Transformation" or even "Release". The woman is shedding her masks, her fears, her "before", whatever that was for her. She is being released to something better, bigger, transcendent.

Whether it's a literal death, which just means she's relinquishing the shackles of the body, the worries of the mind, gaining her truest freedom, or she is leaving behind a life, perspective, way of being, that just wasn't working anymore. She's becoming more than she was. This is a happy card for me. She's gained a spiritual understanding, and embraces her new life with joy and anticipation.


I want to add that I love the way the colors speak in this card. Moving from the darkness to the light is so beautifully depicted in this image. The caterpillar/butterfly images reflect this so well too. What she is becoming is so much more than what she was. There's an excitement I feel for her as she walks into the light, that I've never experienced with any other Death cards. I see her joy and anticipation, and you can't wait for her to step completely through the threshold.

There's nothing to fear. There are no worries, no trepidation. This is a card of hope and joy.