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  • Writer's pictureSophia Olson

XIII Death

The Death card is the thirteenth card in the major arcana. Here I have chosen to show this card as paper birch trees shedding their bright yellow leaves. As a kid I used to visit North Manitou island with my mom and sibling and here we would watch these magnificent trees with their curling bark and stark contrasting colors. This island used to be the home of my mom's grandparents. a place where the houses are now coming down as the land is reclaimed by wild nature now that the humans are pretty much gone from it.

We spent our days on the island listening to the stories from our mom's childhood, of days long past and memories all but forgotten. Singing songs taught to her by her mother who learned them from hers.

To me this card is about transformation.

It is hard to let something die, it is challenging to let go. Nostalgia haunts me sometimes and I cling on to, and mourn, days past, lovers lost, past selves who I wish I had been more tender too. But the beauty of letting go is that you are creating space for rebirth. If there was more room in your life, what would you bring in? Find out what needs to end. Let it go, let it die off, rebirth is around the corner. That is the message of the Death card.

As we enter these colder days, at the midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice, what can you let die? What habit or relationship or internal dialogue is no longer serving you?

I have prints of this piece up for sale on my Etsy page, and I truly love seeing this card hanging up in our hallway at home. It reminds me to have courage, to let go and accept the inevitability of change. Maybe you are ready to let something go this weekend. Write it down on a piece of paper and burn it with a candle. Just like the trees, we are able to shed dead parts of ourself so that we are able to bloom more freely.

With love,


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