Musings on Death (Gaian Tarot)

Can Death be comforting? Beautiful? Do a wrecked boat and a dead bird bring peace in a meaningful way?

I feel like a part of me is dying.

So that was the song I hear when I was getting out of my car this morning. I am battling a stomach issue today that is a direct result of my eating a Whataburger with jalapenos last night. Late. Very very late. Ugh. I so know better, right? But I was hungry and nothing else was available. I didn’t want to take the time to cook a bowl of rice (which is what I should have done.) So instead, teh Arwen hz the cheezburger-no-cheez. And is paying for it today.

On my mind while I shuffled for today’s card? My belly. My sweet boy kitty, Flynn who always comes to give me love when I hurt. My upcoming shopping expedition today with DesignerGirl. My darling Romeo whom I am going to see tonight. The card I got?


Really? REALLY? I had to laugh given all of the above. The Death card is one of the three that I have tagged as the BigBadBohemeths of the Tarot. It’s one of those cards that so many readers and querents alike shudder at seeing in a spread. Yet, Death also means painful, hard, all-encompassing change.

This Death card is so intriguing to me. A wrecked,abandoned boat rests at the water’s edge. On the boat is the carcass of a heron–a Great Blue Heron if I am correct. Grass shoots up all around and through the boat as the earth reclaims the material. A vulture (turkey vulture perhaps) hovers in the far left upper corner. You can tell it is a vulture and not a hawk because of the unique finger structure of the wing tips. Buzzards and vultures have those–hawks do not.  A net is in the foreground left. Three butterflies float on the breeze in the bottom right. There are two flowers here that look like poppies to me. And, no, I can’t say poppies without hearing the Wicked Witch of the West in my head. “Poppieeees, my pretties.”

Beyond the hulk of the boat, the water stretches on for what seems like forever. There is a dark mass of land at the back that slopes from the left to the right.

The one thing that really draws me into this card is the black space under the seat of the boat. You can see the wood and the grass and flowers and rope/net around it, but this black space looks like a cave to me. It is a place to retreat into for solitude and rest.

Overall, the card is one of the most peaceful Death cards I’ve seen. There is something comforting in knowing that all things return to the earth eventually. The heron carcass may seem macabre to some, but for me, it is a reminder that all life ends on this plane. The vulture coming in will feast on the dead heron–perhaps feed its young. Life will go on.

I think maybe the Gaian Tarot is telling me that my tummy problems will pass. I will get through today. If I pay attention, I might learn how to change some things about myself that I would like to change even though it will be hard.

And, like that song goes on to say…we’ll go walking in the rain and the sun.

The song that I’ve so horrifically misquoted here is “The Things We Do For Love” by 10CC. I know my friends that know my awful hearing are groaning right about now. 🙂 There is a group that has a list of “Things Arwen Thought She Heard.” It isn’t pretty, my dears. It is not pretty at all.

SOURCE: Gaian Tarot: Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves by Joanna Powell Colbert

Ace of Fire (copyright to Joanna Powell Colbert) Visit the Gaian Tarot site.

2 thoughts on “Musings on Death (Gaian Tarot)”

  1. i’ve pulled up this card several times over this month, more than 4 times. In fact, death might have been you monthly tarotscope for libra this month. all is well, but i can’t say i’m not waiting for the other shoe to drop. t

    1. I think maybe something needs to change in your life then if you are getting Death that many times. Good luck! I actually ended up sick yesterday and had to call into work today. I really hate doing that. Wondering if that was what my painful change was.

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