The reaping skeleton fills the card, and carries a scythe. A scorpion, a snake, and a fish are found in the card, representing Scorpio, the Orphic egg, and Nun.
- Tree of Life Path: #24—Tipareth and Netzach
- Zodiacal Trump: Scorpio
- Hebrew Letter: Nun (“Fish”)
Path #24: Tipareth to Netzach
Connecting the center of the tree to the sephirah of great power in love. This path is about transforming things out of necessity or love.
Death means transformation, change, and in some instances regeneration. We mow down what no longer serves us to build better and stronger things on top of what was there before. When our environment or circumstances do not allow us to exist as we are, we subject ourselves to change to accommodate. Death levels the playing field, especially when your opponents are higher or lower than you are, Death can give you a clean slate, or an improved set of tools.
Death can be traumatic or painful because the foundational-core of your being is experiencing change and/or the effects of change. Attributed to this card is Scorpio, ruler of the 8th house in Astrology, signifying the events that change us as people. It has the potential to change our beliefs, spirituality, and attitudes about life or the way we live our lives.
Everyone experiences death, this is why RWS decks picture the decapitated head of a king and peasant because no matter how good or bad you have it in life, we all die. We can experience Death in a variety of ways everyday, because life is full of change.
“Transformation, change, voluntary or involuntary, in either case logical development of existing conditions, yet perhaps sudden and unexpected. Apparent death or destruction, but such interpretation is illusion.” 6
“Transformation. Change voluntary or involuntary, perhaps sudden and unexpected. Apparent death or destruction that is illusory when viewed from a higher perspective.” 5
“The alchemical sense of Death i not so much destruction as change. Thus we have, in this card, the Scorpion, representing primitive energy always ready to commit suicide (according to the legend) when heavily beset, but prepared to undergo any transformation which will permit its continued existence in a different form. Thus potassium, thrown upon water, becomes ignited and accepts the embrace of the hydroxyl radicle. The fish and serpent, here represented, have been objects of worship in cults which taught the doctrines of resurrection or re-incarnation. The central figure is executing the Dance of Death (skeleton and scythe are both Saturnian figures), and on his head he wears the crown of Osiris. The influence of Saturn is expressed in the negative aspect of Death as representing those essential forms which are not destroyed by the ordinary changes of nature; the positive and creative side is seen in the sweep of the scythe, which calls into being bubbles, symbolising new lives. The highest aspect of the card is the Eagle, which represents exaltation above solid matter.” 5
“Scorpio. Nun. This card means redemption through putrefaction, the seed in the ground decays, but rises again to new life. Death, crowned with the headdress of Osiris, is raising from his scythe the reincarnating bubbles of life. Behind him is the eagle, symbol of immortality, and below him are the embryonic amoeba.” 5
Axank’s Dream Recall
May 04-05, 2015
I was saying goodbye to my friend/co-worker (who’s appearance would change to a child-hood friend of mine intermittently) as he was in line to board a plane to Utah. An artist I apprenticed for was remodeling the back room of a coffee shop to become an art gallery, and he said I could feature my work there.