Studying Life with “Death Cards”

Are you missing a loved one? Can you feel their presence in your life, even though they have passed into Spirit world?

This is the time of year when many of us in the Northern Hemisphere turn our attention to our ancestors, as well as family and friends who have passed. We know the veil is thinnest between realms, now, and communication can flow more easily. As a Tarot professional, hypnotherapist, and Sentient Clearing™ facilitator, I’ve utilized a variety of ways to bridge this chasm between life and death.

In my various and diverse weblog posts you may have come across my introduction and explanation of “Tarot Numerology“, a card reading system that often includes Life Cards, also known as Birth Cards or Soul Cards, as a “Personal Profile” technique. Tarot readers use your birthdate and add the numbers of that date to reach a sum (1 – 22) which corresponds with numbers from the Major Arcana cards.

I’ve studied Tarot Numerology for about 40 years and have had the honor of working with thousands of clients, most who say this is their favorite reading. This experience has continued to expand my understanding of the power of this approach to reflecting on life.

Your unique Life Cards represent the journey you are on in this lifetime, and the pathway you follow each year in your Year Cards. A primary significance of this style of reading is that it shines a spotlight on your purpose and potential in life…what you are here to learn and share. Realizing this information can save you a great deal of time and heartache, if embraced and expanded in a life-affirming way.

But, what happens when one reaches the end of life? When looking at others’ lives, is there a way to ascertain whether they reached their life goal or fulfilled their deepest potential? I’ve been asking this question for about 10 years, prompted by looking at the death of my family members and comparing their birthdate numerology to their deathdate, and wrote a weblog post on this topic in 2015…”Death Day Card” (link here).

When examining my mother’s journey, the cards were very clear about what she came into this life to unfold, and as someone who followed her journey, I could see that, sadly, she did not reach her potential. I talk about this in some detail in my 2015 recorded online class titled “Pathworking with Tarot Numerology” (link here).

So, using someone most of us may recognize, I’d like to create a brief case study here…

Mahatma Gandhi Born: October 2, 1869 = 18 / 9 ~ Died: January 30, 1948 = 8

  • Life Cards:
    • Major Arcana card “IX The Hermit” as a Life Card speaks to the rich inner life that Gandhi experienced as a child. He was described by family as being “shy”, which is a classic Hermit card trait.
    • His second Life Card is “XVIII The Moon” which, in my understanding, represents his life-long mission to bring the depths of collective and individual unconscious and karmic patterns to the surface. I think it is fair to say that challenging Imperialism in South Africa and in his home country of India qualifies as cleaning up old collective unconsciousness.
  • Death Card:
    • Major Arcana card “VIII” can be either the Strength card, and/or the Justice card. I believe that Gandhi’s life work encompasses both of these “virtues”, for his training as an attorney was used to fight for social justice, while his Hindu values of Truth and Love touched the world through his nonviolent actions. For me, the Strength card is all about the power of love and the courage to stand in one’s truth. Please see my weblog post on this topic…link here.

To sum this example up, in its most simplistic terms, I would say that Mahatma Gandhi did indeed complete his mission in life, while my mother, who started her journey with the same Life Cards as Gandhi, ended with only the Hermit card, her Death Day Card, for she had not cleared old karma and was stuck with her lonely life.

This is only one example of many various ways of connecting with ancestors for our own clearing work. An excellent book I’d like to recommend that brings Tarot tools into these kinds of explorations is Ancestral Tarot (2021), by Nancy Henderickson.

Just added… I will be teaching an online workshop on “Ancestral Clearing and Healing with Tarot (and other oracles)” in February 2022. Please join my “Global Meetup Circle” to be on the email list for this and other wonderful event…link here.


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