Tarot Musings | "CAN THE DEATH CARD MEAN ACTUAL DEATH?" | mercurypothocare.co.uk

TW CW // Death & Suicide

Throughout my entire journey of reading the Tarot, I have always been told that the Death card - although featuring intimidating imagery - never means *actual* death. Yesterday, I experienced something which made me question everything I thought I knew about the Death card and left me pondering:

Can the Death card actually signify Death?

Allow me to give you some context:

Alongside reading tarot and creating spiritual candles using essential oils on my website (mercurypothocare.co.uk) I am also a professional actor. Having been in London for a couple of days to attend an audition, I was travelling back to Scotland on the train. I booked the 11 am train (I love my magickal numbers) and as soon as I got onto the platform I started to feel uncomfortable looking at the face of the train. I have lost a couple of friends to suicide on the railway and every time I see the front of a train, something inside of me starts to get into some empathetic panic. This is quite normal for me, so I didn't think any more about it as I stepped onto the train and settled into my seat.

We set off on time, and as we settled in, about half an hour passed and all was well until we suddenly came to an abrupt halt inside a tunnel. An announcement came over the tannoy to inform us that we would be delayed until further notice as someone had been struck on the track. We were awaiting emergency services, a new train driver, and a specialist funeral team to attend the site before we could continue the journey. I had a lot of time to think in the two hours we were stuck in the tunnel. Many emotions bubbled inside of me: sadness for the young man who lost his life & the drivers who witnessed it; anger at the lack of humanity and compassion shown by other passengers around me who were irritated by 'their day being delayed;' but also a curiosity about whether I had experienced a premonition on the platform before we had even set off on the journey.

I decided to look at the numerology of the day:

6th January 2022

6+1+2+2+2 = 13

13 in the Major Arcana = Death

But Death in the Tarot never means death, right? How could this be?

Here's the message I took from this experience and the numerology surrounding it:

Death is a part of life, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. On average, around 163,898 people die across the world every day. So, although the Death card doesn't foreshadow death, it certainly can't prevent it either. So Yes, There will absolutely be instances where the death card and death align. This, however, shouldn't make us prescribe that meaning to it. I like to think that my experience yesterday made me think less of death and more of life - how precious it is, how meaningless trivial things are, and how important it is to enjoy every moment on this earth.

Death in the Tarot is about venturing into new beginnings and shedding the skin of the former self in order to progress into new chapters. It is a wake-up call card for those of us who are on autopilot and merely exisiting. It is a wake-up call to start taking the direction of our lives and our destiny into our own hands.

When you simplify the number 13 down further in numerology, you get the number 4 (1+3=4) which corresponds to The Emperor (IV) in the Tarot. The Emperor leads by example and is structured in his approach. He doesn't leave things purely to chance. It reminds me of one of my favourite mantras:

"Like honesty needs a little plus, fate needs a little push."

Spiritually, I believe this experience was my wake-up call to shed the past and move into 2022 with more intention, more structure, and more autonomy of the self.

On another level, my heart aches for the young man who lost his life and for those who knew and loved him. If you are feeling hopeless and alone, reach out!


If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, or are contemplating taking your own life, please know that you are never alone. Here are some resources that can help you need in times of need:

Helplines (UK)

Samaritans - Call 116 123

CALM - Call 0800 58 58 58

SOS - Call 0300 1020 505

Papyrus (for those under 35) - Call 0800 068 4141

Childline (for Children and Young People under 19) - Call 0800 1111

Other Resources

Create a Safety Plan for Yourself

Prepare a Crisis Plan

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