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The Death card suggests a way to live a happier life

March 19, 2017

Death -- Tarot of the MastersThere are many ways to use Tarot cards beyond the well-known process of doing a traditional reading. Here’s a way to create a happier life today using a bit of advice from the Death card.

The Death card exemplifies the concept of impermanence, which is something that we tend to fear and hate. But we should not let the impermanence of something blind us to its beauty and rob us of our appreciation of it. Indeed, the impermanence of a thing should heighten our appreciation for it. So let’s start with an examination of this concept of impermanence.

Here is one perspective on it from a famous piece of literature:

“The Gods envy us.  They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last.  Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed.” — Homer, The Iliad

As I note in my book, The Soul’s Journey:

This quote from the Iliad may not seem very comforting, but its advice is truly powerful.  It urges us to appreciate the beauty of everything in our lives because everything is transient, ourselves included.  A tender moment with a loved one, a delicate flower in the garden, a crimson sunset—they all change and become something else, which we call “ending.”  They all are beautifully and exquisitely transient. 

For another perspective, let me tell you about a lovely little movie from 1971 called Harold and Maude. (Spoiler alert!) This film has a very poignant scene near the end when Maude has just turned 80, which she thinks is the proper age to die. In light of that, she has taken an overdose of sleeping pills. Harold is terribly distraught when he finds out, and he rushes her to the hospital. As Maude lies dying on a gurney, he vainly pleads with her not to die, and the following short interchange ensues[1]:

Harold: “But Maude, I love you!”
Maude: “That’s wonderful! Now go and love some more.”

The point here is that Harold has learned to truly live and love through to his relationship with Maude, so rather than be sad about its ending, he should remember that lesson and keep living it.

Finally, a few years ago, I noted the following pithy meaning for the Death card:

Don’t let your last mortal thought be: “Why did I take so many days for granted?”

Now let me put this all together and suggest something you can do today to make your life happier:

Very consciously experience and appreciate something you know is fleeting, such as a flower or a sunset. Immerse yourself in the beauty of it knowing that this bit of beauty is impermanent. Of course, you know there will be another flower or another sunset, but this one is uniquely beautiful and there is only this moment in time to appreciate it. So spend a little time with it in focused attention and appreciation.

Once you’ve done this, let this small exercise be a lesson for everything in your life. Don’t take things for granted. Appreciate things in all their impermanence, and then go and appreciate some more.

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Many of these suggestions from the cards about how to live a happier, more fulfilled life were inspired by my pithy Tarot meanings and others by material in my book, The Soul’s Journey. So if you like them, you might also like my books, The Soul’s Journey and Pithy Tarot.

Also, for more Tarot messages, LIKE my Tarot Facebook page.

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[1] This is taken from memory, so it might not be accurate verbatim.

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