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Death
by Aerin

Description
Symbolism
Meaning
Artistic Media
Artist's Bio

Description

You are standing in a cold, bare room facing an open doorway. As you examine the floor, you become aware of the meanings that the inscriptions have for you. It may be that the skull reminds you of that part of your life that needs to be left behind; the journal page is complete and needs to be turned afresh; the last bit of sand in the hourglass is falling through and time is running out in this place. You are unable to completely move on mentally until you have answered the one question that will allow you to learn whatever you need to learn from the past and let go. As you discover yourself asking this question you may realise that deep down you already knew the answer: the broom can now sweep this room clean of any attachments so you can cross the threshold unencumbered.

Now that your attention turns to the doorway, you notice the elder leaves inscribed above the arch and are reminded again of endings and the need for new beginnings. Beyond the doorway, a new moon is beckoning and a stand of birch trees shines eerily in the half -light. In the distance, you can make out a pathway although you cannot tell how to reach it from here. You find yourself moving forward to step outside, and as you do so you are aware of the door closing behind you forever.

Symbolism & Meaning

The card is a personal interpretation of the Rider-Waite meaning - my experience of death is an absence of anything as against a presence, hence the room (symbolising that which is to die) is empty except for the broom. I have used the skull, hourglass and journal to emphasis endings and the question mark as a reminder of the need for completion: you can't move on if you have unfinished business from the past. Having decided on a broom to sweep the room clean of debris, I discovered that it is also used for psychic cleansing - a very appropriate image for this card. Elder and Birch follow each other in the Celtic tree calendar at the Winter Solstice, symbolising death/ rebirth and new beginnings, hence the elder and the colour red above the doorway and the birch trees outside. The new moon (again a symbol of rebirth) is depicted as from the Northern Hemisphere.

Artistic Media

I wanted the room to look less sharply defined and 'real' than outside the door, hence the use of coloured pencils for the room and fine ink pens for the world beyond. The card is hand drawn on grey A4 card and scanned in: the border and text are computer generated.

Artist's Bio

I have lived in the UK all my life, and am married to a wonderful man who watches my Tarot study with some amusement and a lot of patience (especially when the latest deck arrives). My day job is life coaching and also training - I have a particular interest in creative problem solving and use Tarot in problem solving for myself. The original (and optional) theme for these cards was 'Aeclectic Spirituality': I see my own belief in the unlimited capacity of people to renew themselves reflected in this card. While I do not practice any particular religion, I am pleased that the Celtic tree symbolism found its way in since I feel close to it as part of my cultural heritage. This card is the first art project I have completed for a quarter of a century (since age 15).



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