The death, or transformation card is not a predictor of death in the person who draws it. Instead it is a card of transformation, referring to the eternal cycles of life and death in abstract, and to transformation in the particular case. For instance, in your business life, you may desire for things to go one way, and instead of going that way, something entirely different happens. The transformation of the death card is profound, powerful, and evolutionary, not revolutionary. Death takes one situation or experience and transforms it into something completely different. When all the plans you have made blow up, see if you can find what is emerging. If you are not tuned into the energy of transformation, you could miss it.
The sun rises (or sets) in the background. Across a grassy plain, a skeleton rests his scythe on his shoulder as he reclines and looks at the sky. Two heads regard rest in the foreground, while framed at the bottom of the card is the figure of a dead person. Corn sprouts in the field. This card refers to the transformation that occurs when the fields go fallow in the fall, lay dormant in the winter, and then burst into life again in the spring to bear fruit for the harvest. This process is inevitable, just as our transformation from youth to adulthood to old age is. Think of how you were 15 or 20 years ago. What transformation you have gone through. Transformation is inevitable and natural. It’s through the little deaths of things that no longer serve us that we can sprout and flower into our full magnificence.
Correspondences of the card:
Card number: 13
Thirteen is the number of the baker’s dozen. 12 with an extra bonus thrown in. This is like the Transformation card because there is a bonus gift thrown in when everything flips. You just have to find it.
Thirteen is also the number of moon months in a year. The ancient pagan calendar was divided into thirteen moon months with an extra day or two thrown in at the end that did not belong to any year. The Romans shifted this into the 12 month sun calendar that we use today. That was a radical change, and suppression of this old calendar system may be why the number 13 is considered by some to be unlucky, even in the twenty-first century.
Zodiac or Planetary association: Scorpio
Scorpio is a sign known to be deep. Scorpio is the cardinal water sign. The element water is associated with emotions, and Scorpio calls up emotions. You might think of your emotional response to this card and notice that emotions may be coming up. Scorpio can be associated with all the emotions, including the so-called negative emotions such as fear, anger, or sadness, and the more subtle combinations of those emotions such as jealousy, resentment and envy.
Symbols unique to the card:
The figure at the bottom of the card is a drawing of Grunewald’s dead Christ indicating the cycle of life and death. The corn sprouting in the field is another indicator of the cycle of transformation that occurs every year in the fields. The heads indicate that we are not immune from this cycle. The two heads belong to Goliath, the mighty one who was cut down by a young boy, and Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry the VIII of England. Even the queen could not stop the execution order, but Anne Boleyn lives on in the history books, creating a legacy which outlasted her life by hundreds of years.