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HP Tarot – 13 Death


HP Tarot – 13 Death

“In movies, if the Tarot is featured, someone invariably pulls out the Death card, there is horrified silence and then the hero usually gets into horrible trouble and folks die left, right and center.

In real life this tends to be far less dramatic, though it can be a profound experience. For example this year Death is my annual card, and it sure has been an interesting ride so far – though as you can see I am still among the living!

Typically the card will indicate a natural transformation. While the Tower can land on you like a ton of bricks knocking you silly and out of your path, Death usually changes you from the inside out, and it tends to feel more organic, even though it may be painful and scary at times. To me the best symbol for the card is a sloughing snake.

One day she’ll look like death, with pale and withered skin and dull, blind eyes, and the next she’ll be sleek and glossy and beautiful after having shed her now useless old skin.

For the image for the Death card I chose the arch at the Department of Mysteries. And though the ancient-looking stone arch in the movie looked fine and dramatic, it would have made for something of a rather dull card, so I went with something more ornate and elaborate.

For the curtain I actually chose an image of rippling sand tilted to an odd angle to give a feeling of disorientation, as if there truly was an entirely different dimension behind the confines of the doorway.”

HP Tarot – 13 Death
Artist Elly Pieper
Copyright © 2008


The artist explains in the commentary that the Death card actually represents (sometimes painful) change in one's life, like a snake shedding its skin or a phoenix reborn. When Harry is "killed" by Voldemort in Deathly Hallows, he does not actually die, but is reborn.

Image title supplied by the artist.


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