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Tarot Reflections

October 2006

A Spiritual Journey with Tarot: Death
Gary Meister, CTM

Gary Meister has been studying Tarot from several different viewpoints for the past 25 years. Certified for over 20 years, Gary is a member of the ATA and a Certified Tarot Master (CTM) recognized by The Tarot Certification Board of America. Gary also holds a Certificate of Outstanding Achievement in the "Intuitive Tarot" course from

Visit Gary's website at


Tarot is an excellent tool for meditation to enhance spiritual growth. With Tarot, in our readings we each have subtly different meanings for the different cards, meanings which work well for ourselves better than anyone else’s. Spiritual Tarot works the same way. We each have our own path and we each see subtly different things in the Major Arcana cards to help us along that path.

With this series I’m sharing my journey, in hopes that it might help to shine a little light on yours. I’m using the Rider/Waite/Smith Tarot on this spiritual journey.

Death is a skeleton in black armor riding a white horse. He holds a banner with a black background, printed with a white rose. A priest stands in front of him in supplication and two children kneel before him. A king lies, apparently dead, under the horse. But here comes a surprise; in the distance (to the card’s right) is a rising Sun showing between two pillars. The Sun shows that there is brightness inherent in the meaning of this card.

The repeated combination of black and white is a reminder that the things we think of as black or bad are often just the beginning of something white or good. This is a card that often frightens people when they see it in a reading but, the truth is, it most often doesn’t have anything at all to do with somebody dying; it has to do with change.

Now, we human beings hate change and we fight it with everything we’ve got. The evil we know seems to be better than an unknown future. But change is the only way we can grow, the only thing that can make things better than they are right now. If we want to see the future be better that the present, we must welcome change. We need to open our arms and invite it into our lives.

There is an aspect of the Death card that tells us to change our behavior. The major insanity of the human race is that we keep doing the same things, over and over, while expecting different results. It just doesn’t happen that way. If nothing changes, then nothing changes. We need to change our behavior so that we can bring newer and better things into our lives.

When I meditate on Death, it reminds me that the only constant thing in the Universe is change. Changes happen every moment of every day, whether I like it or not! Learning to accept change in my life and learning to change my negative behaviors will bring about a much brighter future for me.

Accept change. That’s what Key XIII, Death, means to me.


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Tarot Reflections is a publication of the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2006
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