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   When you refuse to give up negative things in your life, outdated attitudes or negative  patterns, the Universe will eventually do it for you.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


12 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?



  4. Hallo
    I pulled
    Judgment death reversed 4 of swords reversed 6 of cups reversed and tower asking what should I do to fix the terrible situation I’m living now. It’s about therelationship I’m in, we live together but I don’t know if I can trust him and if he can hurt me somehow or/and give me covid since he goes out drinking and never wear a mask ( in Sweden nobody does). Since death RV and 4 of swords RV are also a near death experience can it be interpreted like” I’ll be awaken by a nearly death experience and I’ll lose the connection with him and everything will be destroyed”?
    Death is coming too often lately. Also he’s an alcoholic and he came out as king of cups RV followed by death as last card when I’ve asked how the situation of him going out drinking and me asking to keep distance from me will end up? Here I wanted to interpret like an end of his stupid behavior but the bottom card was the knight of wands so I’m worried. Definitely.

    Thanks for your time


    • Oh Victoria,

      I am so sorry. It all sounds very out of control for you and your cards paint a worrying picture. I think this situation is out of your control and beyond you being able to resolve it. Both the cards you have pulled and the I, as a person suggest you get help. You really need to get out of your situation as it is no life to be living. However, you are there because you love him no doubt, even if you can’t trust him and this is what holds you. Why do you stay? You must work hard to break this connection and save yourself as you are important. Your partner is battling his own demons with alcohol. Alcohol will be his priority I am afraid and not protecting you from Covid. You need to reach out to some helplines in Sweden which I am sure there are many of. You are living in a very toxic situation and need professional help in this. I do hope you take action. Your cards need no interpretation as it is plain to see what message they contain. Yes, you need to wake up now and take action. Please let me know that you have made contact with professional help. Forget relying on tarot cards for answers as you know what you have to do. Things won’t get better by wishing or praying they will. You don’t need tarot in this instance.

      Much loving energy on its way.



  5. Hi, I just pulled this card as a one-card “quick read” to give me insight into a vision I had as a child that has been resurfacing lately. The vision was of a woman with a face like the sun, but she scared me and my child self felt very convinced that she wasn’t to be trusted.

    Lately the vision has been resurfacing as I have been inviting the spirit of Green Man into my home.

    Your insight above about Death Reversed has me wondering if the vision I had was of a deceased person who visited me… I used to be very receptive to it (and lived next door to a cemetery).

    I wonder if there’s any wisdom or guidance you might have that I can’t see.


    • Hi Zessa,

      I too had such strange occurrences when I was studying many esoteric arts. I remember being half asleep half awake one night and seeing the shimmering image of a woman’s face float into my line of vision. She was smiling but there was nothing nice about the smile. She unnerved me. Something about her eyes was unsettling too. She vanished but I was let with an uncomfortable feeling. If you have been inviting the spirit of Green Man into your home, you may be psychically opening and this in turn will create a portal to other realms allowing spirits to enter back and forth. You are probably a beacon for them. I do hope you are doing it right and protecting your home from unwanted visitors by erecting grids of psychic protection around you and your home and being clear that only spirits of the light are welcome. Otherwise the floodgate will open and your house could get quite busy and noisy with disturbances. If you are feeling tired, headachy, irritable or slightly depressed you may have unwanted energy in your home. Be sure to clear it with whatever method you use and do it regularly . Be scrupulous about your psychic protection and cleansing. Believe me, you have to be. It’s very, very important.



  6. Hi, I was wondering if I could get advice, I pulled the lovers card followed by death reversed when I asked about my love life. What would be your interpretation of this? I am at a cross road. Thank you for the help.


    • Hi. Are you by any chance holding onto a relationship that may have run its course? Death reversed is often associated with refusing to let go of something that is gone or over. However, it also can represent the revival of a relationship that was all but dead. Resuscitated and alive once more.


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