XIII. Death


There are thirteen moons in a year; Taylor Swift was born on the 13th. It’s good luck, it’s bad luck, it’s what you make of it. It’s Death.

The Death card is similar to the Hanged Man in that unversed TV writers will often have their murderers leave it as a calling card, an ominous portent of yet more murdering to come. But Death, like the Hanged Man, isn’t what it appears to be on the surface at all.

Death is a card of change, a card of endings. It is a symbol that something in your life is about to become vastly, markedly different, but – this is so, so important – this change is one for the better. It’s what I would call a necessary ending, I guess – something giving way to make room for something different and new and ultimately better. This isn’t without pain, though; Death doesn’t take things lightly. Resisting what’s coming will only make it hurt more, and that’s the reason that Death shows up, in the end. Sometimes you’re holding on so tightly that you don’t realize the thing you’re clutching is burning you, and Death comes and unfolds your fingers and lifts it gently from your grasp. It’s terrifying to let go of what is known, of the things you were once certain of, but think about renewal. The sun sets and rises again in the morning, reborn out of the night, out of its temporary death. So too will you rise, no matter how much it seems like you are plunging forward into darkness.

Death is a card of transformation, of an unstoppable force, and I know it feels like you are being battered by the waves of what is coming for you but if you just pick up your feet and let it carry you, you will not drown. An ending is not a failure, and a loss isn’t always not a win. That was ungainly but hopefully you see what I mean, which is this: it hurts but it is for the best. A lot of times when Death shows up you don’t know what you need, what kind of change is coming for you, and my advice to you in this time is simply to let it all in, let everything happen. Death is the card of change for the better – no matter what happens now, it is taking you somewhere that will be good for you. Embrace whatever change is brought your way, even if it hurts, especially if it hurts. Starting over completely is daunting and sad and scrapes at your heart; the feelings of “I did this already,” of “how can it be different,” of “how can it be better?” – I know. I know. But you have to trust that this change will be good for you.

So let go, let go
Just get in
It’s so amazing here
It’s all right, cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
Let Go,” Frou Frou

I talked about it a little bit but I want to reiterate this now: Death is the card of letting go, of ending certain attachments. I’m not just talking relationships, although of course they’re included, but I’m talking everything. Anything that is bad for you that you can’t let go of – spending, drinking, whatever. Your life is your life and you do what you need to in order to survive, I will never ask you to give that up. But Death showing up is a signal that maybe you are ready to let go after all, to release the things that are dragging you down, the things that make you heavy. You are always rising, I think, like from the depths of some great dark ocean, and the sun is always overhead breaking down through the water. And there are beautiful things everywhere in the ocean, in every part, even in the depths there are those glowing jellyfish, you know. So as you’re rising it’s okay for it to take some time; it’s okay for you to hang out in the depths for a while. But you’re still rising, all the time rising, and there are things you take with you that buoy you upward and there are things you take with you that weigh you down. Death is a signal that there are some things you need to let go of, some things to release and kick away from, even if it feels like you are weightless without them. Weightlessness is terrifying, I know, and directionless and smothering, but it is also freedom. It is also a blank slate. The pain of change gives way before the bright limitless potential of the future.

Maybe it’s not my weekend
But it’s gonna be my year
Weightless,” All Time Low

About Aly

aly was born in nashville but left before she could meet and befriend and ultimately wed taylor swift. now she lives in colorado, where she spends her time crying about bucky barnes, yelling about pop music and vampires, and writing young adult fiction.

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