Death (XIII) Reversed

(Card Descriptions Based On Original Rider-Waite Colors – Still Under US Games Inc. Copyright)



When Death reverses we see the outcome of what happens when we refuse to accept change, or the refusal to move on when change has taken place. It is a sign that all faith in life has been lost.  Death Reversed suggests that you may be continuing to grieve and mourn for a past that will not come back. You may get stuck in the past, or prefer to live in the past, which brings stagnation and a limited approach to life and the sheer experience of living.  Change in all forms is feared and avoided.  You might be stuck in your ways with narrow beliefs and attitudes colouring your thoughts and approach to life. You may fear anything or anybody who operates outside your belief system. Death Reversed can turn you negative and depressing to be around as you seek to instill the same fear in others.

Death Reversed can have you deluding yourself to stay in a relationship that is well past its sell-by-date, miserable and depressed, too afraid to do anything about it.  You may be staying in a relationship that is dead out of duty and obligation.  Look for the presence of The Heirophant in such a situation.  On the other hand, a relationship once thought dead and gone may be re-ignited.  You may be getting remarried to the same person you divorced.  Other cards would need to support this.

Something or someone you thought dead and gone in your past may have resurfaced, making you fearful and uneasy as your past comes back to haunt you.  Death Reversed can suggest negative patterns in your life that repeat themselves endlessly, leaving you feeling powerless and pessimistic.

Death Reversed suggests that you are resisting change, and so, only operate on old energy that does not sustain or enrich you.  You need new energy in your life, but must be prepared to make some sacrifices first. Nothing positive can happen, and nothing new can be initiated, until you let go the old.   When you refuse to give up negative things in your life, outdated attitudes or negative  patterns, the Universe will eventually do it for you.  It may take you completely unawares as it approaches from your blind side, or  from a different angle.  The changes may be shocking, traumatic or even catastrophic. If you initiate the changes yourself you will feel more in control. Tiredness, exhaustion, depression and physical ailments are common when Death Reverses as you are starved of new energy or positive chi.

On the other hand you may be coming out of an apparent Dead Time in your life, or recovering from a near fatal illness or condition. Near Death experiences can be suggested with someone literally coming back from the dead. You may be coming out of a time of mourning and finding meaning and light in your life again.  Maybe you are consulting the services of a medium or psychic in an attempt to make contact with the spirit world.  You might be a medium yourself.

Back To Death Upright

Back to Lesson 6

The Fool Upright  The Fool Reversed

The Magician Upright  The Magician Reversed

The High Priestess Upright   The High Priestess Reversed

The Empress Upright   The Empress Reversed

The Emperor Upright    The Emperor Reversed

The Heirophant Upright    The Heirophant Reversed

The Lovers Upright     The Lovers Reversed

The Chariot Upright   The Chariot Reversed

Strength Upright     Strength Reversed

The Hermit Upright   The Hermit Reversed

The Wheel of Fortune Upright   The Wheel of Fortune Reversed

Justice Upright   Justice Reversed

The Hanged Man Upright   The Hanged Man Reversed

Death Upright     Death Reversed

Temperence Upright     Temperence Reversed

The Devil Upright   The Devil Reversed

The Tower Upright     The Tower Reversed

The Star Upright     The Star Reversed

The Moon Upright    The Moon Reversed

The Sun Upright     The Sun Reversed

Judgement Upright      Judgement Reversed

The World Upright     The World Reversed


Lesson 1   Lesson 2    Lesson 3   Lesson 4  Lesson 5


6 replies »

  1. I pulled this card (in the reverse position) right after The Lovers in a reading I did about me and my first love. He came back into my life after 20 years. Last week he had a sudden heart-attack and had to have emergency open-heart surgery. He’s recuperating right now. I’m still in shock and a bit numb.


    • Hi Nicoleh,

      Ah, that is incredible. I think you have had these experiences before if I am not mistaken? The Lovers suggests a connection that has remained over the years. I wonder was it a very special or intense relationship. Death Reversed, brought a close call with the heart-attack. Did he have a near death experience, as in was the heart attack bad enough to require CPR? He has escaped death and am sure feels lucky to be alive. I presume he will have to radically overhaul his life to ensure continued health. Death speaks of many changes that must be implemented. Maybe you are to help and advise in this manner.

      I do hope you are well.

      XXX Vivien


  2. I pulled the death card in reverse- as an outcome, and a 4 of wands in reverse as a indication of my partners feelings. no signs of visible distress has shown in the relationship. Could this signify an ending that is up and coming?


    • Hi Sade,

      Can I ask why you were asking the cards about your partner’s feelings for you? Do you sense something is up or is it something you do on a regular basis. The Reverse Death can suggest a near death episode in your relationship or resisting it. The Four of Wands in Reverse suggests a disturbance or restlessness. How do you feel about these cards? The Two Cards together suggest a disturbance in the force. The original relationship has changed either internally or externally such as the birth of a child, house move, something major. Sometimes change is good and we should embrace it. Impermanence is key here. Keep your relationship moving and evolving over time. Go with the flow instead of resisting it.

      I hope this helps,





  3. Hi tarot teacher, I pulled this card in a love spread next to reverse The Heirophant in a love spread. The order was – the page of knights reersed (past) , temperance (lesson learned from relationship), knight of wands (present), reersed The Heirophant (current blockages), devil reversed (future) with 6 of pentacles reversed.

    The person in question is actually sagittarius so the knight of wands and temperance I found very interesting.

    Could you please shed light on this reading. Thank you so much 🤗


    • Hi,

      Can you let me know what Page it is as you have called it the Page of Knights Reversed (past). Also you mention ‘I pulled this card in a love spread next to reverse The Heirophant in a love spread’. You have listed The Heirophant further down beside the Reversed Devil. However, you sent the comment from the Death Reversed page. Did you mean Death Reversed instead of Devil Reversed. What exactly was the love question about? What were you seeking guidance on?



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