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Barbara Walker Tarot - 13: Death


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13: Death


The classic Grim Reaper, a skeleton with a scythe, mows a field of human heads. “Grim” used to mean a mask. The masked and costumed Death figure, also called Macabre, performed the danse macabre as a stock character in medieval mystery plays. His tarot card was often unlabeled, due to a superstitious belief that to speak or write Death’s name was to invoke him. His “unlucky” number 13 refers to the last lunar month, which leads to a new cycle of rebirth. His card means an end leading to another beginning, transformation, change, or destruction.


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