I’m Death. Is Anyone Surprised?


I was reading James Ricklef’s blog the other day, and he mentioned his birth cards are Justice and the High Priestess. I’ve been aware of  ‘life’ cards, and ‘life numbers’ (add up your birthdate and reduce it down to a single digit. For instance someone born February 1, 1970 would add 2+1+1+9+7+0 which adds up to 16, then add 1+6, and the birth number would be 7). In this birth card system, though, you do it slightly differently, and you end up with two cards. The method is shown on The Tarot School’s Web site, and if you can’t be bothered with all that mathy stuff, you can just plunk in your date of birth and their little program will do the dirty work for you and show you your two birth cards.

So guess which two I am? Oh wait, I already told you one. So here’s an interesting mash-up, Death from Sarah Bartlett’s Love Tarot, and the Emperor from my beloved Bohemian Gothic. The Death thing I get, Scorpio is my ascendant in my birth chart, so this seems right.

Death - Love Tarot Emperor

The other one is my life number, 4 (13, 1+3, you get the idea), The Emperor.

I’ve known my life number since I was a wee lass, and was vaguely disappointed when I started studying Tarot to discover that meant life card was the Emperor. All that Mars and Aries stuff never seemed to speak to me, I’ve never felt much connection to the Emperor. But, there are Emperors, and then there are Emperors.

Emperor Vampire Tarot (Hertz)

On one hand, I am constantly seeking new things, starting over. On the other, I can be a creature of habit, and like order and predictability. Wow, talk about embodying a contradiction. Actually the breakdown of this pair on the Tarot School’s site is pretty good, calling them polar absolutes. Anarchy versus order. If I didn’t have that whole Death thing going on, things could stagnate. It forces me to kick things to the curb that run their natural course, and start fresh. I think it’s good to know when to throw in the towel, cut your losses, so to speak. I guess it could be a little schizophrenic, maybe it accounts for my tendency toward ADD.

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30 thoughts on “I’m Death. Is Anyone Surprised?

  1. I’m the Hanged Man and the Empress . You tarot aficionados will know better than I what that means – I looked over the analysis at the Tarot School website, but they were so flattering they reminded me of those happy horoscopes that make everybody sound good, noble & successful. Based on my lifelong reader’s analysis of imagery, I can relate to the Hanged Man – I’m always looking at things cockeyed upside down, seeking a perspective different than the ordinary one. The Empress – well, it seems like I’ve spent a lot of my life being one of the few women in the room. When you’re the only one, sometimes you can approximate a little authority. Does that make any sense?

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  2. What an interesting combination. The Hanged Man generally indicates a sacrifice, stasis. The Empress is the quintessential motherly type, earth mother, practical, loving, bursting with creativity (not necessarily meaning children, but it can). I can’t say I agree with much of what they said about the HM, but the final summation was pretty good, really. I can see a lot of those qualities in you, you little creative genius 🙂

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    1. Thanx, doll 😉 Is there much difference and/or relationship between your Emperor and my Empress? One thing I did relate to was the fact that one of my life cards has a masculine component, and the other a very feminine one. Any time I read those little faux-science studies that say “the majority of women tend to do/say/think/behave XXXXXXXXXX, whereas the majority of men polled do/say/think/behave YYYYYYYYYYY, my tendencies always lean toward the masculine, but I don’t feel very butch, and I don’t believe I look it.

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      1. Oh, those “studies” drive me nuts. It’s the same with those, “women want blah blah blah…”. Please don’t speak for me. That’s one thing to get my Scorpio rising. 😉

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  3. Well, the relationship between Empress and Emperor is more a progression in the journey that the 22 Major Arcana are. The Empress signifies the subconscious, where ideas and dreams take root and form, creating our psychological projection of who we are. This is where ideas, plans, projects grow and gestate, before manifesting in the physical world. Her ruling planet is Venus.

    The Emperor is the next step, when the plans and projects materialize. He’s more of the material world, the conscious mind. He’s ruled by Mars, lots of aggression and passion, more of a warrior. Plans that the Empress initiated come to pass with the Emperor.

    If anything it’s your Hanged Man that kind of removes you from the sphere where other people’s opinions matter. You’re on a greater path, you’re not playing by the rules that most others are. I could go on, let me know when you’ve heard enough! 🙂

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  4. Ah, see , that’s the diff between your Emperor and my Empress – you’re the warrior and I’m the dreamer, but we get along b/c we both like to extend the limits of convention & make our own rules..

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      1. oh, absolutely! Where else would I get my weekly fix of tarot-goth metal-Jane Austen-tattoo art-environmental information 🙂

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  5. p.s. this makes me think that we are both due to treat ourselves to some good recordings of Holst’s “The Planets”

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  6. I loved this post. Thanks for the link, DD.

    I’m Moon/Hermit. This struck a chord with me since I’ve always been fascinated with dreams and inner-states: “Shape-shifting unconsciousness and identity offer multiple realities that reflect inner rather than outer landscapes.”

    I can see you being Death, DD. And I mean that in a good way. 🙂
    And there is something Empress about Mary J. Or at least from what I can gleam over the internet! 🙂

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    1. Aaaw, thanx Gypsy! My mother, the original Empress of our family, always taught me & my sibs that not everyone can be born wealthy, but nice posture and a good vocabulary go a long long way. I try not to “posture” too much here at Filling spaces, but I like to think the vocabulary has made a good impression.

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  7. Moon/Hermit, that’s awesome 🙂 I’ve always sort of disagreed with the generally accepted interp of the Moon being about delusions, illusions and mostly negative connotations. Then again, we have to confront our fears and anxieties if we are to conquer them. We are the wiser for it, when we do (Hermit).

    Oh I’m happy about my Death card, suits me to a ‘t’! 😉

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  8. Here’s my favorite part from the analysis of Death:
    “His job and responsibility is to make sense of things, to bring order out of chaos, to refute the bogus”
    You’ve been refuting the bogus since the first time I met you, back in the fifth grade, DD !

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  9. Dear me that is odd! >.>
    Not only am I DEATH and The EMPEROR but my rising is also Scorpio (and my Moon). I always knew I was the Emperor but I didn’t know I was Death…I am very Yang it has to be said, being a Fire Horse. Yang of Yang.

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  10. Another one! 🙂 My moon is in Aquarius, but dang we are very similar. I don’t know much about astrology, so I’m not sure what that last bit means, really… Is the Fire Horse from Chinese astrology? I’m a wood rat (IIRC), whatever that means 😀

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    1. DD,

      I thought your moon was Sagittarius? Don’t tell me that we’re not truly Astro Sisters! *gasp*

      Although, if we don’t have all three in common, we will still be Astro Sisters in spirit. 🙂

      And I love that another Rising Scorpio came to visit. 🙂

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    2. Yes Chinese Astrology. The signs are either Yin or Yang (feminine or masculine) and the elements too. So a Horse is masculine and so is fire, which is why the Chinese and Japanese feared women of that sign to the point of ostracizing and murdering them…google Hinoeuma Onna if you are interested. We are famous ball breakers. XD

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      1. A long time ago I was filling out a job application, and the guy processing the paperwork took a look @ my DOB, noticed the way I was signing my name and exclaimed “oh no, a left handed Aquarius!
        (I’m afraid of you)”

        Fun to keep people a little off-balance, no?

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      2. No, it was kind of a brief exchange. I know some people who are really old-skool think lefties can’t get into heaven; maybe he thought I could put a hex on him or something. As for what the Aquarian thing adds to it, I’m not certain – all I really know about my sign is we’re said to be loyal and non-conformist to the point of occasionally eccentric.

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  11. Ack! I just re-ran my chart at astrodienst, it is in Aquarius. I must have gotten confused the first time we talked about this. Well, astrology was never my forte 😦 Bummer. My ascendant is still Scorpio (phew! I like that).

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