top of page

13 - Death - Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism


endings and new beginnings, the end of a situation or life cycle, inevitability, changes, farewells, lost chances, loss, transformation, cutting something out of your life, elimination, stagnation, lack, putting the past behind, transition to another state, to get back to basics, start anew, acceptance of the inevitable.

death tarot

Death - Description and Symbolism

The Death card shows the personification of Death riding on a white horse. The armor he is wearing symbolizes that he is unconquerable. He holds a black flag with a white rose representing purity and rebirth. The pope is standing before him. On the ground lies a dead man – a king, representing that nobody can escape death. His mourning family kneels on the ground. In the background the sun is rising, to refer to a new beginning.


Death - General Meaning

Death has the number 13, which can be reduced to the number 4 and refers to a stagnation here. Even though this card might be feared by someone inexperienced reading the cards, its meaning is not necessarily negative. Death represents endings and new beginnings that come with it. It could symbolize all sorts of things - like a final breakup, the ending and new beginning of a certain life phase, all kinds of closure and even the death of an attitude or way of thinking. It could mean that you finally close a chapter of your life, because it is no longer serving you - and this will open new doors for you. Death can also be a reminder to make a necessary change, to let something go, and to accept an inevitable change.

Death - Love Meaning

In a love reading Death can symbolize a big change in the relationship. It could mean that the relationship is likely to end, if it appears in a future position, but it could also mean that a phase in your love life comes to an end. For example if your partner gets a new job and now has a lot less time for you and nice trips with you on the weekend. In that case Death could symbolize that change. It can represent that this life phase is ending. As an advice it can represent the necessity to let go of old patterns and behaviors and it can also hint that it is time to leave an unhappy relationship.  Death also reminds us to put the past behind after a relationship has ended and to accept the change. For singles it could mean that their life will change because of a new relationship.

Death - As Feelings

If you ask how someone feels for you, Death could indicate that the person in question does not feel much of anything at the time. Maybe this is due to their current circumstances. If they had feelings for you before, it could be the case they don't feel anything for you anymore. Their feelings for you might have 'died'. But this depends on the other cards and the current situation. Death can also indicate that they feel like the relationship is over. They might feel like it cannot be saved. Another meaning is that they feel like a transformation is taking place. ​

Death Reversed - Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism


resisting change, resisting an end, refusing to move on after an end,

being stuck in the past, reappearance of something from the past, rekindling an old flame, 

bringing something to life again, 

Death Reversed - General Meaning


If the Death card appears reversed, it can indicate that you have a hard time letting go of something. Maybe you have suffered a loss, and even after some time has passed, you are still unable to accept it.

In that case it can remind you that accepting the inevitable is necessary for healing, no matter how hard this may be. Another meaning could be that you resist a change. Maybe you don't want something to end, even though there is nothing you could do to keep it alive. Death reversed can also indicate that something from your past is reappearing in your life. 

Death Reversed - Love Meaning

In a love reading Death reversed can indicate that a relationship is on the verge of a breakup but you fight against that change. You might think of ways on how to keep your relationship alive, because you can't accept the thought of having it end. Sometimes Death reversed can remind you to finally accept what might be inevitable. Death reversed can also symbolize the rekindling of a previous romance. Someone from your past might be back in your life again. 

Death Reversed - As Feelings

If you ask how someone feels for you, Death reversed can indicate that they are willing to do all they can to keep the relationship with you alive. They might not accept the thought of having things between you come to an end. Another meaning could be that their feelings for you have changed after a breakup. They might think about rekindling the romance with you.

© Illustrations from the Radiant Rider-Waite 2015 reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems Inc., Stanford, CT 06902. c. 2015 by U.S. Games Systems Inc. All rights reserved.

bottom of page