Behind the fearsome and forbidding aspect of this Key lies a world of inspired meaning. In the first place, the scene is not sunset, as you might suppose, but sunrise. The card does not represent the end, but the real meaning of Death, which is change, motion, transformation. Death is but the gateway to a larger life in reality. It is the power represented by this Key that transforms our consciousness and releases it from the trammels and limitations that now hamper its free expression. The significance of this Key is profound, when you realize that all of our knowledge of Life rests upon its continual motion and change, disintegration for the release o f energy.

The skeleton is the conventional figure of Death. His scythe is of steel, referring to the planet Mars. It is crescent shaped, indicating a relation between this card and Key 2. The handle is shaped like a letter T which stands for Tau. The three hands, two active and one passive, represent works. The severed foot refers to the end of the Piscean age, as the rising sun does to the beginning of the Aquarian age. The man's head symbolizes wisdom, and the woman's, understanding. The white rose is the same as that carried by the Fool in Key 0.


Name Death
Key Number 13
Hebrew Letter Nun
Signification Fish


Note G
Guematria 50
Astrology Scorpio
Alchemy Watery


Highlights of Tarot  (ISBN 0-938002-02-3) 
Copyright 1931 by the School of Ageless Wisdom, Paul Case AA71739 
Copyright 1959 Builders of the Adytum R235814 
6th edition revised Copyright 1970 Builders of the Adytum A138325 
13th edition revised Copyright 1989 Builders of the Adytum TX2801102 

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