Making Peace with Endings
The Death Card
This is one of the more troubling cards in the tarot deck, hardly anyone likes to see it in a spread. Yet, it is an important card, one that deserves attention. Some-times we need to be reminded that something has finished or needs to end. Often we hopelessly cling to things that no longer serve us. The Death card is here to help us with this transition. In this workshop we will discover how to make peace with endings and in the process we will experience transformation.
- Tarot deck
- Journal or a piece of watercolor paper
- Glue stick, tape and pair of scissors
- Watercolor paint – ochre, burnt sienna or yellow and orange, large watercolor wash brush
- Plastic wrap
- Pastels, crayons or colored pencils
- Alphabet rubber stamps or letters cut out of a magazine
- Hole punch and string or needle and thread
- Tarot images. You can print photocopies of the cards you pull or use a tarot deck that you no longer use for readings. You can also create your own tarot cards using collage, drawing or painting.
- Download and print: falling-leaves-template
Death in the Tarot
The Death card in tarot is a completion of an old way of being or thinking, an ending to a job or even a move. It can also be the end of a relationship and occasionally life itself. This shedding of previous ways allows the spirit to ascend toward the Divine. It can be a liberation from things that have held you back, things you no longer need or that which causes suffering. From death comes rebirth. In nature we see the leaves fall and plants die back but we know that this is just a process that eventually allows for new growth.
In many cultures we shy away from death, it seems negative and frightening. I live in New Mexico which was part of Mexico until it became part of the USA. Many of the traditions from Mexico still exist here such as the Day of the Dead which occurs on November 2nd. It is a joyful holiday; a time to connect with one’s beloved deceased. People decorate the graves of their loved ones and set up altars with marigolds, and favorite foods. There are parades and parties honoring those who have died. I feel it it is a much healthier way to view death. Looking at death directly can help us in many ways.
Death in Tarot de St. Croix depicts a happy skeleton travelling through a cellular matrix toward the light. In her hand she holds a key to the great mystery. We can only imagine that which is on the other side. But from near death experiences we hear reports of travelling through a tunnel toward the light, and of being surrounded by love. Rest in Peace is a common phrase used for those who have passed. This spread will help you “rest in peace” with a little or great death in your life.
Make sure you will be undisturbed.
Take a few deep breaths and ground yourself.
Go through your deck and find Death.
Make a little altar and place the Death card on it. Light a candle. Spend sometime contemplating the card. Think of how Death is showing up in your life. It can be something or someone that has already died or something that you need to let go of. Ask the Death card to assist you in finding peace.
Shuffle the remaining cards in your deck and pull a card for each of the following questions.
WHAT WILL HELP ME RELEASE THIS ENDING?
HOW CAN I HONOR THIS DEATH?
WHAT WILL HELP ME THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS?
WHAT WILL I RECEIVE FROM THIS ENDING?
Place the cards on your altar and let the cards speak to you.
This is an explanation of how I created my page, you can also do it anyway you feel inspired.
Background: Crinkle a large piece of plastic wrap – enough to cover your whole page. Mix enough yellow ochre or yellow watercolor with water to cover your page. Quickly brush the watercolor onto your page using a large wash brush. Immediately lay the crinkled plastic wrap over the wet paint. Let it dry. Remove wrap.
Paste an image of the Death card onto the page.
Leaves: Cut out the leaves in the template. Using a leaf as a reverse stencil on your page, apply burnt sienna or orange pastel, crayon or pencil around the edges. You can also use dryish watercolor stippled with a stencil brush. Color the cut out leaves with ochre and burnt sienna on the front side, apply yellow/orange watercolor to the back.
Title: Rubber stamp or use cut out letters or simply write the title and what you want to end on the page.
Spread: Glue or draw images of the tarot cards you pulled onto one side of the leaves.
Punch a hole into the leaf and attach thread or string by tying a knot on the back. Tape the top of the string so the leaves dangle. An alternative would be to use thread and a needle, sewing through the paper, and leaf with some thread between.
On the back of the leaves write the question and an affirmation on how the card on the front of the leaf instructs you in finding peace. If you have more to write you can write over the background or add another page. Lately I have been liking short succinct responses that I can reread quickly as a reminder, but this is your choice.
Click this link to download a PDF of this workshop: PDF
I would love to see your pages, if you feel brave please post them on our Facebook Tarot Visual Journaling Group
I hope that this workshop helps you find peace in an ending,
Lisa de St. Croix