so begins the initiation. if you feel the collapsing of familiar comforts and things you were once attached to start to transform out of your grasp, this is the sinking ground that comes with the meeting of Death and the Fool. to put it most simply, these cards together are signaling rapid change, specifically new endings followed almost immediately by new beginnings. of course, this affirms a linear sequence that doesn’t fully apply to the messages in these cards. It’s difficult to compartmentalize our endings and our opportunities, because to do so would mean that we are not fully honoring our pain. when we experience sadness or disruption due to change, we tend to wallow in what is lost. then, we may find happiness in gaining something new, and we can begin to feel complete again. Death and the Fool ask us to consider our endings as blessings, not to separate our experiences so harshly, and instead begin to see how life is constantly unfolding in front of us.
I recently watched Princess Mononoke again. In the movie, various Japanese tribes try to understand, suppress and kill the almighty Deer God. this deity is responsible for life and death, and is repeatedly shown as bringing a trail of blooming flowers that wilt as they walk. one of the final lines in the movie is, “I didn’t know Deer God made flowers bloom.”
too often are we focused on the terrifying discomfort and out of place energy that comes with a major life change. many might be fearful of the uncertainty lying ahead right now, and are afraid of reaching this liminal state. if we think of death like a staircase at the end of a winding hallway, I’m definitely a little unsettled. I have been accustomed to choosing left, right, left, right, and making decisions to get me where I need to go next. now I’ve arrived at a staircase that clearly does not lead to a left or a right, and I am afraid. I am afraid of what is next, but more profoundly, I think I am afraid of being free of what I was once attached to. and in this way, fear of death says more about fear of control, fear of possibility, and fear of limitless, eternal power. a lot of my personal growing pains have been rooted in a fear of my own nature, a disbelief in my resilience and ability to withstand situations I was sure would end me.
and still, there is more. there is more than loss, being without, being unworthy of change or unequipped to welcome it. there are new horizons awaiting those who are finding themselves confronted with the staircase, and with each death to comforts and attachments, we experience a leveling up. when we walk up those stairs, we are showing ourselves that our decisions are unrestricted, that we are free to shed unconscious patterns and step into realities that support us. that we can choose to act in alignment every day. that our abundance is here.
the flowers are blooming; the old plant matter is decaying. nature mourns nothing when the balance is harmonious and fair. I’m beginning to see how disrespectful it is to my spirit when I resist the flow of the universe, when I fear the giving-and-taking balancing act that is karma, consequence, and cause and effect. Death and the Fool are asking us to get in alignment with the ease that the universe exhibits, and to trust that when we are more welcoming of change, we will experience the freedom we crave when we participate in resistance.