Golden Tarot -- Death


A beautiful young woman lies dead. She is being tended to, prepared for death, by a group of five tiny angels, all dressed in blue gowns and with blue wings. The dead woman is very pale -- all the color has drained from her skin. We can see only her face and upper body. Her lower body is covered by a blanket of dark green and gold. She wears a white dress and a white scarf loosely arranged over her long blond hair. The angels are smoothing out her hair and face. One of the them prays. It looks like rays of light are coming from the woman's head, like a halo. There is a golden wall in the background. Above the image floats a winged skeleton, who adds an ominous note to what otherwise is a beautiful image. The skeleton reminds us that he has claimed her.

This death card seems to me to be all about the finality of a phase of one's life. It's over, which is not a bad thing. The angels look very kind and capable. They will do what needs to be done to ensure that the woman's body and spirit are given whatever attention they require. Death may have claimed her, but he has not won. But there is no escaping the fact that the woman's life is now over -- in a sense it's beyond her.

There is the sense in this card that death has come too soon. She is still very young, and we don't know why she has died. Her white clothes seem to symbolize her innocence, and that seems to be another facet of the meaning here: the death of innocence and dreams, which has to happen over and over again in life.

The angels are a reminder that when we have to give up our illusions, it's important to remember to take care of ourselves, not to become bitter. Recognize that dreams are beautiful and necessary. But when they are dead it's important to let them go.


This is a stunning death card. I see the angels as tending to her and preparing her for the afterlife. Since death is actually about rebirth this card tells me that even though something might end, there is always "life after death".