~ Discovering the Wild Unknown Death ~
Today’s card draw in the Discovering the Wild Unknown series is Death.
I want to start off by providing an important notice, which will be included in all of this series. However, other things that will be included that you can skip to are:
- Card Description
- Considering the Card, where I look at how I would interpret certain imagery used
- Traditional Rider-Waite definition
I only include the latter as a comparison, to show how wandering down your own understanding of images and symbols can bring you to a similar meaning, though along a different path with different experiences. This is to help expand knowledge of the card.
I will not, however, be including the definitions from the guidebook, as that is not the point of this. Also, I don’t have rights to that material.
I started this series because I had read that people struggled with the deck purely because the definitions in the Little White Book were very Rider-Waite-based, and that there wasn’t much wisdom regarding the animals and symbolism chosen.
This series is to help you to decipher the meanings yourselves. I am by no means saying what I have to say about the cards are correct for anyone outside myself. However, I am providing my daily journal entries regarding the deck to act as a guide so that you can begin your own journey.
When I started tarot, I had no idea what to write in my journal, and thus didn’t. Instead I obsessively read and re-read the Little White Book belonging to the Spiral Tarot (which is why today I can completely quote the book). I didn’t trust myself to know the cards, even when I could recite the definitions. I was afraid to put the book down.
To this fear of lack of knowledge, Kim Krans, creator of The Wild Unknown, writes:
You do know enough. You’ve been a person on earth every day since you were born. You’ve experienced all the emotions and situations these cards depict. Quiet the naysayer…don’t let it prevent you from sitting down with a friend (or yourself) and using these cards to help talk about what’s going on in your life. It will be positive. It will be radical. You’ll find things start to reveal themselves through the cards that have been hidden away, covered with dust.pp. 10-11, The Wild Unknown Guidebook
Description of Death
The Wild Unknown Death shows the skeleton of a bird having been rotting for some time. It is just the skeleton and some feathers that remain. Only the skeleton of a dead bird is on the image of death with a black background.
Traditional Meaning of Death
The Death card really has only one meaning: transformation. It’s a card of transition and releasing in order to make way for something new. Change is on the horizon when Death is drawn.
What I derive from The Wild Unknown Death
It took me a long time to figure out this card, and what I got from it. I couldn’t see feathers still attached to the bird, but I saw small bits of tree, new growth tips of trees that had muddled their way in with the skeleton. I’ve actually been meditating over this card for a few days, trying to understand how a skeleton entangled with the forest floor could represent change.
It wasn’t until this morning when something shifted my perspective, and I realized they were bits of brush, but remaining feathers. This is another example of considering how we read the card. I had to change the way I looked at it to gain the full picture of what the card was. The very essence of death is transformation, or change.
However, if they are actually the new bits of tree branches—you know, those soft tips that grow on fir trees—then it would still contribute to the meaning. They look like they’re coming through the bird, almost working to grow through it and push it apart, to dissolve it in order to allow for new growth.
The skeleton is of no use to the forest, or the bird which once used it. It must be taken apart, dismantled, decomposed and put back into the earth again so that it can become of use again. In its place, more birds will hatch, new life will come about. Change will happen.
About the Deck
The Wild Unknown Tarot is a 2016 Harper One publication, created by Kim Krans. The deck is widely available at most bookstores who carry Tarot cards, but also on Amazon. Kim Krans always wrote The Wild Unknown Guidebook.