Even though I spent as much time with Death as with the previous twelve cards I have a distinct feeling that I’ve barely scratched the surface. Once I’ve gone through the cycle of all 22 I will want to come back to several of the cards and Death will be near the top of that list. There was a strange feeling of the spirit of this card being distant and aloof yet immediate and always present at the same time. I suppose feelings about one’s own mortality come to the fore when one is calling for Death to come and visit. My feeling was that the spirit I communicated with was not the Grim Reaper nor was he an Angel of Death. An emissary of Death perhaps but it is probably less than ideal to try and limit my experience with labels.
Early in the week, during the informal phase of the operation, I had a vision of the scythe of Death being analogous to the dawn as day breaks. I saw the light of the Sun sweeping over the land and it was the blade of the scythe mowing down all in its path. The blade was the dawn in its capacity to destroy as the first step of creation.
Time to myself was more brief this week than most and so I did the scrying in two relatively brief session. I lit my lantern, propped up the card and sat before it. I did my breathing exercise as usual and called to Death with the same words I have used for all the cards so far. I repeated the call a few times and soon a shiver ran across my body, standing the hairs on end. This was the arrival of the spirit.
I asked, “how can I use your energy in my life?” In response his eye becomes a keyhole and he says “see the other side,” in a whispering voice. Then he holds a rod between his hands and he says, “taking a measure”. Then his scythe becomes an oar and his is Charon on the Styx. He says, “crossing over”.
I ask, “what are the lessons you can teach me?” His arms and legs turn into architectural structures and he says, “keep going”. [I have no idea what this means.] Then his torso becomes an open cup and he says, “your body holds what you receive”.
I ask, “what is in your pocket?” He says, “it’s empty, I’m looking to fill it”. So I ask, “what do you want to fill your pocket with?” He hesitates and then says, “ask me again later”.
I ask, “are you a shadow?” He doesn’t answer me. I am getting distracted by the time. I can tell this annoys Death so I thank him and close the session.
The next morning I try again, same candle, same call. This time I get the shiver again but not as strongly. This time Death looks less skeletal and more like an emaciated man, bone thin. So I ask him, “are you hungry?” He looks at me and smiles widely, not so much with humor but almost more predatory. The candle flame in the lantern suddenly grows larger and brighter. Death turns away and says, “disinterested”. [Wait, did he just think that was an invitation?]
I ask, “what are you looking for?” In response I receive a vision of roots burrowing in the soil.
I ask, “are you a killer?” He looks shocked at my question. Then he looks away and says, “no,” with a determined look on his face.
I ask, “what is your connection to the Underworld?” He says, “I know the path. I hold the charms of passage.”
I ask, “how can I visit the Underworld and come back home?” [I worded it this way because I know of one sure way to visit the Underworld and that was not the answer I was looking for.] In response to my question the image in the card changes. The eye becomes a keyhole again and his ribs look like stairs. I see that the card is a doorway.
I ask, “what is your message to me?” He says, “keep at your labor. It lasts forever”.
I ask, “do you know the secret of immortality?” His head becomes a dark tunnel leading into the distance in front of me. Death smiles and says, “the answer lies in sleep”.
I ask, “who is your master?” He hesitates and before he can answer I am interrupted so I close the session, thanking him for coming and speaking with me. I ask him to be my ally and to help me to use his energy in my life.