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Join Date: 31 Oct 2004
Location: Christchurch NZ
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Steampunk tarot (Moore) - XIII Death


Here we have a female sitting on a horse as the main focus of the card. She is wearing a free flowing white dress, and is holding a huge scythe. Her hair is black, and she is sprouting a large pair of black feathered wings. The horse is rather non-descript and is brown in colour with a black mane. (Apologies if this colouring or breed of horse has a particular name, but I am not up on equine etiquette).
We can assume she is representing the issue of Death, and is perhaps a gentler depiction of the Grim Reaper.

In the background we see we are in a churchyard, with various headstones and monuments around to verify this. Standing in front of one particular gravestone (which appears to be slightly illuminated when compared to the others) is a welldressed gentleman, holding his top hat respectfully in his right arm. We see he is holding a red rose in his left hand, and there appears to already be a red rose placed on top of the gravestone. The sky over the graveyard is blue with a hint of cloud.

I guess in this card, the scene says it all. Those readers who really do see this as representing rebirth, transformation etc, may be disappointed that those aspects are not really well depicted.

I like how the character Death is shown displaying emotion (empathy?) as they ride away. Therefore they are not totally devoid of understanding whilst undertaking their task. The death of the deceased happened some time ago (I know you have to wait months before erecting a headstone) so the fact she is still there and watching over the widower I find quite comforting. It is not a case of "well, you are on your own now - see ya!" It is as if they are watching over them until such time they know they will be okay.

Life does go on, but we can see from the small amount of colour on the card in the form of the red roses, love also goes on. I wonder what he is saying to the deceased, who may have been his wife? If he were to see the character on horse, I wonder what he would ask them? And if it would bring healing or anguish?

Interesting card. I think it is one of those that needs to appear in a reading now for me to really get a handle on it. I am not sure if it were appear in a face to face reading I would be able to totally convince the querant they need to see this card symbolically. Therefore, I have to say it is not one of my favourites in a deck, but there again maybe in certain Western cultures we don't really have a healthy view of death compared to other cultures.
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