Dreams about death and Tarot symbolism

What do dreams about death or dead people mean? Yes, those are rather disturbing dreams, but, as we shall see, they contain no harmful messages. Quite the contrary: they help us to focus on the present and the “here and now”.

Let us first consider that it is unwise to generalize in dream interpretation. The same dream, though recurrent, can have different meanings depending on the personal context and the dreamer’s attitudes.

First of all, we should distinguish between:

  • dreams about people actually dead;
  • dreams of living people who, within the dream, appear to be dead

There are a few slight differences between the two categories, but the general meaning remains the same.

Dreams about death meaning

There are three questions you should ask yourself following a dream with dead people:

  1. What have I lost in my life with the death of that person?
  2. What characteristics did that person have when he was alive?
  3. How these characteristics appear to be “inactive” in me?

If the dream is about people who are actually alive, try to rephrase the three questions like this:

  1. What would I lose if that person died?
  2. What characteristics does that person have in real life?
  3. How these characteristics risk to be “inactivated” in me?

As you can see, the dead person we dream of is a stimulus to find in ourselves those energies that are metaphorically “dead”, no longer active.

Mourning dreams

Another important case study concerns dreams about recently deceased people. In this case our unconscious seems to suggest us that death does not really exist and that dead people continue to live, albeit in a different form.

For those who do not have a spiritual vision of life, or otherwise do not believe in any form of afterlife, the teaching is that the “psychic” energy of those people continues to live: it is up to you to try to recover and integrate it in our conscious life!

The Nameless Arcanum and dreams about death

The symbolism of the infamous Death Tarot card can be related to dreams about death:

Dreams about death and the Death Tarot card
Arcanum XIII

In a positive view of this Tarot card, the meaning is not really about “Death”, but rather “transformation”. The intuition behind this vision is that death is not “the end”; if it was, the Death Tarot card would be placed at the end of the Tarot sequence, while with the XIII we are about halfway.

Furthermore, the Death Tarot card is followed by the Temperance, whose symbolism concerns rebirth, healing, reactivation of physical and psychic energies. This reinforces the purely symbolic idea of “Death”. It also brings us back to the practical advice given previously:

  1. try to understand which parts of your personality are truncated, severed, inactive, “dead”, in relation to the characteristics of the person dreamed of;
  2. make these stumps flourish again, thanks to the healing vessels of Temperance. In other words: donate time, awareness and care in mending these parts of you that appear to be dismembered.
The Temperance Tarot card

Click here to learn more about OniroTarology: interpreting dreams with Tarot according to Carl Gustav Jung‘s teaching.

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