The Death Card: Like a Snake Sheds Its Skin…

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The Death card is one of a very small handful that seems to provoke immediate, visible unease for a lot of querents.  And that’s not too surprising: Death comes suddenly, and without warning, often with a lot of attendant suffering, and it steals away people and things whose departures we hadn’t necessarily signed off on beforehand.  Unless you’re Wednesday Addams, death is usually regarded as something that’s scary and/or sad.

But the Death card doesn’t have to be limited to fear and sorrow as its only sensible responses.  Try thinking about the Death card process as being like that of a snake shedding its skin.  Unlike many organisms, snakes continue to grow throughout their lives…but their outer layers of skin don’t grow with them like yours and mine would.  So it’s incumbent upon the snake to cast off its outer layers every month or so in order to continue growing.  If it fails to undergo this shedding process – called ecdysis, by the way – it will suffer, and become stunted.  Buildup of old, dead skin tissue will bind their bodies, and it also frequently occurs around the eyes, so without proper shedding, snakes can even go blind.

And metaphorically speaking, some of this does sound applicable to us humans.  We don’t shed our literal skins, but we do have the ability to shed many things in our lives.  Some are tangible: clothing, furniture, other belongings.  Some are intangible…and we often tend to shed things in this latter group way less than we should.  Think here about concepts like old programming, self-defeating beliefs, unhelpful behavior patterns.  If we don’t shed these things once we’ve outgrown them, they can trap us and make us go blind.

But just as a snake can rub itself against rocks and other rough surfaces during a shed to help speed the process along, we can do the figurative version.  When the Death card appears, it can actually be an empowering force.  When you leave Death’s logistics up to the Universe to determine, you will probably not enjoy the results…but what if you take an active hand in sorting through the detritus of your life?  What if *you* decide what gets stripped away?  Embrace ecdysis, and GROW…

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