Thursday, October 29, 2009

Drawing the Death Card

One of the cards that most people are afraid to draw from the tarot deck is Death.

In one respect, that is a very natural response, because when we are busy living, we do not want to dwell on thoughts of dying.

Like everything else, we can change our response to it by reframing our understanding of this word and this concept. This weekend, as I mentioned earlier this week, we have two major holidays which celebrate this phase of our evolution, the day known to some as Halloween, Samhain or the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos).

In almost all cases in a reading, though, the Death card is not about predicting that you are going to die. Usually it represents a major change in a person's life.

For example, when we leave home to begin our adult life, we have left our childhood behind. When we get married, a new phase of our life begins, and the old phase has died. When we get divorced, the marriage has died. When we graduate from school and enter the full time working world, another phase of our life has died. When we leave one career and begin a different one, a part of us dies to give birth to a new phase of our life. Sometimes we outgrow old friendships and embrace new friendships when we meet fellow travelers on the same path in life.

Just like the caterpillar must die so that it can become a butterfly, we too, shed layers of ourselves in the course of our evolution and growth in a lifetime. So yes, it is also appropriate to celebrate and mourn those parts of our life that we have let go of in order to give birth to a new part of our life.

To address the other aspect of Death, the one that most people identify with first, when we note the passing of someone we loved, someone who played a significant part in our life, we are acknowledging our interconnectedness and how that person helped us evolve. Often, they held up mirrors for us.

When a person very close to us dies, there is an immediate sense of loss, of grief. That is natural. These holidays also give us time for a little perspective. With a little more distance of time, we can stop and reflect on the essence, the totality of that relationship.

Various religions have different theories about what happens after we die. Where do we go from here? We will not know for sure until we get there, what it is like.

What we do know is that if we appreciate all aspects of life, we must also appreciate death as one of the passages we will go through, just like we all went through puberty. I remember it well. That is when my hair got curly. It is still curly. What does that mean?

We need to accept each phase in its own turn. Most of us want to live as long as we can, as well as we can. That is natural.

Reframe it this way. Is your love life now what you thought it would be like when you had your first sexual awakenings? Is it like what you thought it would be like 10 years ago? Is your career or business experience now what you thought it would be like when you began working? Is it even what you thought it would be 20 years ago or 5 years ago?

We don't know what happens when we cross that veil and pass through that gateway either. We will know when we get there. Don't worry about it now. Just live your life as well as you can now and what's next will take care of itself. It always does. It is part of our evolution. Each stage of our life is an evolution.

Drawing the Death card does not mean that the end of your life in this body is just around the corner. What it does mean is that there is another evolution we are working our way through right now.

Let go of fear and embrace the change. Just like all of my speculations about my sex life or my work life from my younger age have proven very different from my younger vision, so might my views about death. Looking at death reveals another way to see life. Can you see it now?

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