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Reflections on Death

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  • Reflections on Death

    (Looking at the Rider-Waite).

    Death has taken the king. He approaches the others gracefully on horseback. He is smiling as though he knows something the others don't know: perhaps about the joys behind the sorrow, or the true meaning behind the transformation. All are facing Death; none have their backs turned to him. The priest is praying, and the girl seems to have resigned herself to death; both seem to have their eyes closed. The little boy seems to be the only one with his eyes open. He is kneeling well in front of the others, almost curious rather than fearful, simply wondering what will come next. They all in one sense or another resign themselves to fate, and none take actions to escape death. Behind his black armour he looks friendly enough.

    The mood of this card may be somewhat uneasy, but it is not one of despair, and the calm surroundings suggest hope. The ship sails down the river, resigning itself to the water flow and the wind to take it to its destination. The sun is setting (or rising) and will inevitably take its course. Death approaches just as inevitably.

    Death comes in the light of day. There is a puddle, not of blood, but of water, next to the king, and he holds his hand over his heart (a sort of emotional death?) On closer inspection this puddle could be a lake, and in fact, we can see far into the distance, from what looks like desert to semi-arid planes, to a river, and a plateau covered with green vegetation... and the sun on the horizon beyond. We get the sense that no matter how far we can see, behind that is still an unknown, and that unknown is not to be feared, but brings its own beauty.

    The card shows many ways of approaching transformation. There is Death himself who seems to know that what is about to befall the others is nothing to be feared. The priest takes solace in God. The woman seems to find comfort in herself. My favourite is the child who approaches death head on, curious and inquisitive. He is a manifestation of the Fool. I wonder if the others understood the wisdom of Death, would they be just as eager about the encounter?
    It's up to you now if you sink or swim
    Just keep the faith and your ship will come in
    It's not so bad

    Hey hey hey it's just an ordianary day
    And it's all your state of mind
    At the end of the day
    You just have to say
    it's alright

    -- Great Big Sea

  • #2
    very poetic... excellent writing
    Betrayal is Forever
    :idea: inverse retrograde karma by proxy! but... but... what does it mean? :D

    "It's entirely possible that, in the great play we call life, you aren't the main character." -Little Billy
    You shall know the truth, and it shall make you odd.

    "We are not pacifists. Allowing harm to continue is not harming none; it is harming all."-Doreen