What Tarot Cards Mean Death? | A Complete Guide

  • By: Reece
  • Date: 20 February 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.

When you’re performing a tarot card reading, you already know that you have to be truthful with your clients, which means that even if you pull a negative card, you have to share it with them. Perhaps the most dreaded card to pull is the Death card, and while death is a very sensitive subject, keep in mind that some cards sometimes represent not a physical death but the death of a habit or something that is negative in the client’s life.

What Tarot Cards Mean Death

The thing is that tarot cards can indeed predict all types of death, including physical death, and it is your responsibility to share the information you’ve received with your client every time.

What Tarot Cards Mean Death? There are ten main cards that symbolize death: Death, 4 of Swords, 5 of Swords, Knight of Swords, Queen of Swords, 9 of Swords, 10 of Swords, 5 of Wands, 5 of Cups, and the Ace of Pentacles. In many cases, you should look for a series of cards — not just one card — that symbolize death.

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This card is not very common and doesn’t always signal that a physical death will happen soon. Still, it is a simple card to read even for beginner readers.

The card can symbolize a metaphorical death when combined with relatively positive cards or a real death if the future seems to be filled with loss, pain, and mourning.

4 of Swords

The traditional interpretation of this card is indicative of mourning after a physical death, but it can also mean that the client needs to look after themselves and take good care of themselves just like they would following a death in the family.

If you’re recovering from an illness but taking good care of yourself, this card can also come up.

5 of Swords

According to many tarot card readers, the 5 of Swords symbolizes that the client will soon attend a funeral. In short, this is the reason why the card can predict a physical death, although it isn’t usually the death of the client.

Knight of Swords

The Knight of Swords card usually represents a death that will come suddenly and quickly. It doesn’t usually symbolize a death from an illness or old age. Some readers replace this card with the Tower card for the same meaning, but in many ways the Knight of Swords card is a lot more accurate.

Queen of Swords

Some readers don’t consider this a death card but it often symbolizes the death of a woman’s partner or husband. The Queen of Swords card can symbolize widowhood and is often associated with women who have terrible luck when it comes to the men in their lives. Some of these men will also die very young.

9 of Swords

This card doesn’t necessarily represent approaching death but instead can mean anxiety, worry, and even a serious illness. It can symbolize worry over dying for people who think about dying too much. It is commonly meant to symbolize the period of mourning for people who have just lost someone they love.

10 of Swords

Similar to the Death card, the 10 of Swords card can symbolize either physical death or a negative event in the person’s life. Possibilities include a major illness that the client will recover from, which proves that looking at the whole reading and not just that one tarot card is so important. You certainly don’t want to scare the client when it isn’t necessary.

5 of Wands

Many readers believe that this is a card of inheritance, which means that somebody is going to die. It can also predict competition and even conflict, which can happen when family members argue after a loved one’s death. It can even indicate that arguments over inheritances will soon occur.

5 of Cups

The 5 of Cups long ago predicted riches from an inheritance, and it can also represent pain and heartache.

The card is usually about the loss of any type of relationship, which means that it may also symbolize that someone is going to die.

Ace of Pentacles

Here is another inheritance card, although it is a very positive card, which means that some people don’t consider it a death card. Still, the gist of the card is an inheritance, and someone has to die before a person gets an inheritance. Jewelry is sometimes specifically symbolized in these cards, which means the inheritance may be some type of jewelry.


The most important tip to remember with tarot cards that symbolize death is that the entire reading, meaning all of the cards, have to be taken together in order to get a proper reading in the end.

The last thing you want to do is scare the client with a death card when together, the cards don’t symbolize a physical death but the death of something negative in the client’s life. Learn to improve your intuitive skills and practice frequently in order to read these cards properly every time.

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