XIII - DEATH
Everyone faces death in some guise. Here, we are speaking of a psychological death rather than a physical death. In this card, the skull stares with inexorable resolve. The chilling message is: If you want to move past this point, you have to pass through death. Why would anyone want to; what is the incentive? Death holds the rewards on his banner and shield. The white flower symbolizes a purity of desire, and the white horse a purity of will. Anyone wanting to continue on their spiritual journey needs these. They indicate the death of the ego and with it long-held beliefs that are no longer useful. This must happen to make way for new energy and life.
The message of Death is that spiritual growth brings pain. It isn't easy to let go of certain behaviors or beliefs, to admit errors in thought and practice. Without negating the magnitude of ego-death, the emblems of what is to come - greater spiritual strength - remind us that the endeavor is not without its reward.
Be aware of the fear of change, of letting go of outmoded ideas. Fear of change leads to stagnation, which might be longer lasting and more painful than a clean death.