By Vincent Pitisci
Sometimes visualizing conversations with one of the cards can bring out a new insight into its essence. Here is a lighter side to one of the dark cards, number 13…Death.
Sitting at my computer, working on the last chapter of my book, I glanced at my deck of tarot cards. The Death card appeared to be looking right at me.
I needed to take a break. It was midnight already! As I rose and turned from my chair, I walked right into card number 13 standing tall and still. Death! “Uh! Aren’t you a little early?” I said in total shock.
“That’s what most people say when I drop by,” he answered.
Hoping to get on his good side, I said, “Uh, well, hello, Mr. Death card, uh. How are you? Uh, you look real good for yourself. Been working out? I wasn’t expecting to see you so soon. Uh, I’m gonna be 60, or I was.”
“Still afraid of dying? Why?”
“Because I don’t know what happens afterward. That’s why.”
“It’s not for me to tell you what happens after you leave here, but ask yourself this: What’s the worst that could happen? Nothing. That’s the worst that could happen. Nothing. You just go to sleep and never wake up again. Just nothing,” he snapped back. “If there is something more afterward, you’re in like Flynn. Correct?”
I just stared with a blank expression at the skeletal figure before me.
“You still don’t get it, do you?” he asked.
“I can’t die yet. I’m writing a book,” I said.
“Ah, don’t worry about that. I’m not going to be back until after your book is finished.”
“OK, then I’ll take my time to finish it. Maybe another 40 years!”
“I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” he answered.
“Oh, now Death is a comedian,” I said, rolling my eyes.
“Really, telling you would take all the fun out of living. People get too bent out of shape over dying. Yet the more you accept death as a reality of life, the more you live your life while here. It’s a natural process. People that know I’m coming soon will tell you that. They live each day and hour with eyes wide open, loving every minute. They become more alive. They realize how beautiful this wonderful gift of life is. Everyone else is busy thinking about trivial nonsense. People don’t realize the impact they could have while here. Life is a play, and each of you are in the leading role. Your performance can be good, or it can be lousy. Either way, at the end, you are going to say, ‘So, how did I do?’ Will others applaud your performance when it’s over, or will they just walk away thinking it was no big deal? This is your time to shine. Put your heart into your life. Savor every minute, and make a difference. Leave with a standing ovation!”
“Ah. Don’t get all excited; I’m not here for that. It’s not your time yet.” “Whew! Thank God.” I gasped, resting my forehead in both hands.
“I just heard you were writing about a few of the cards, so I thought I would drop by. I mean, I’m a pretty big name in the tarot, wouldn’t you agree?” He said as he scraped a bony finger over the edge of that sickle.
“Yeah, big, but not too welcome,” I replied.
“That’s what I mean. I wanted to get that straightened out. I think I’m being misrepresented. I mean, come on now. It’s not all that dramatic.”
What, dying?” I shouted.
“Yes, dying. You all must die at some time. So what’s the problem? Why don’t you just accept that simple and inevitable fact? It’s a transition, that’s all.”
“A transition to what?” I asked.
“Wow, that was a really good sales pitch,” I said. “But it still doesn’t make you a welcome sight. Sorry, but nooo thanks.”
“So you want to live to be 100, then?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I guess, yeah.”
“Really? Have you ever visited a nursing home, Vince? See those lucky 100 year old souls? Tell me if you feel they’re happy? Their bodies still work, yet it becomes difficult for the spirit to stay strong.”
“I tell you what, Death. You’re a real depressing pain in the ass, you know that? I was having a real good day until your bony ass came by.”
“See ya soon, Vince.”
“Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of. So take your time. Put me at the bottom of your to-do list, OK?”
“Finish your book, Vince.”
“It’s gonna take a looooong time to finish. It’s a 28 volume encyclopedia set on dental floss.”
“I know it’s a book on the tarot, Vince.”
“Hey, Death, I got a skeleton joke for you: a skeleton walks into a bar and orders a beer…and a mop. Get it?”
“Clock’s ticking, Vince.”
“OK, OK. Hey, really. I’m not going to be wearing a marble hat anytime soon, am I?”
“Tick tock, tick tock.”
“Ya know what? You should get some Neosporin. Might help clear up that bony skeletal condition and improve your appearance.”
“Vince, someday you will look just like me. Quit smoking those cigarettes. I don’t plan on being back here for a while, and I’d hate to make a special trip.”
With that, he froze back into the card.
Vincent Pitisci is the author of Genius of the Tarot: A Guide to Divination with the Tarot, and The Essential Tarot: Unlocking the Mystery (both available in paperback from Amazon). His contact information and services can be found at pitisci.com. Pitisci lives and maintains a private practice as an intuitive counselor in Chicago’s southwest suburb of Berwyn, Ill.