Moving On: Endings as New Beginnings
There’s this card in the tarot deck that gets a lot of hate. I can see why; it looks very dramatic, and if you’ve ever seen a tarot reading in a movie or read about it in a book, chances are a fortune teller has drawn this card, gasped, and said something vague and menacing. That card is “Death.”
(Before I go any further, I should clarify that this is not a blog about my dad! His treatments are going well so far. Okay read on, without anxiety. )
I’ve been thinking a lot about this card, because I’m in the process of moving from a beloved old job to a very exciting new job. While it’s a huge opportunity and I feel good about my choice, it’s somewhat bittersweet as well, and has had me thinking about other times when I moved on from something I loved, and how complicated the emotions can feel.
I have a very old tarot book that I used years ago, when first cementing my understanding of each card. Here are some highlights of the entry for the death card:
“This card suggests clearing the way for transformation. Alteration. Sudden change. Great change. Death of the old self, though not necessarily physical death…The ending of a familiar situation…Beginning of a new era.”
Another thing about tarot cards is that they mean something else if the card shows up upside down in a reading. In this case, the meaning of the reversed death card isn’t life. It’s stagnation. Immobility. Being stuck.
I found this immensely helpful in making my transition. Sometimes a change, whether you want it or not, means freedom, learning, and experiencing exciting new things. Sometimes not making a change means being stuck. Sometimes you need to make a change in order to start the next chapter of your life, whether it is a welcome and expected change or not! Sometimes something that feels scary and negative, like that death card, is actually beautiful, or at least paving the way for something beautiful.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about life changes I have made, from moving out of my first apartment, to leaving my undergraduate campus for the last time, to ending relationships with people I loved but wasn’t right for. These decisions have never been easy, but they have ultimately been positive, and have led me to amazing new friends, experiences, and places to call home. So, for anyone who’s going through changes, no matter how scary they might be, take a breath. That ending is just the beginning of something new.