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HP Tarot - 13 Death

By Ellygator
274 Favourites
(2008) 5 1/2" x 10 1/2" Pencil on Paper. Processed and framed in Photoshop.

In movies, if the Tarot is featured, someone invariably pulls out the Death card, there is horrified silence and then the hero usually gets into horrible trouble and folks die left, right and center.

In real life this tends to be far less dramatic, though it can be a profound experience. For example this year Death is my annual card, and it sure has been an interesting ride so far - though as you can see I am still among the living!

Typically the card will indicate a natural transformation. While the Tower can land on you like a ton of bricks knocking you silly and out of your path, Death usually changes you from the inside out, and it tends to feel more organic, even though it may be painful and scary at times. To me the best symbol for the card is a sloughing snake.

One day she'll look like death, with pale and withered skin and dull, blind eyes, and the next she'll be sleek and glossy and beautiful after having shed her now useless old skin.

For the image for the Death card I chose the arch at the Department of Mysteries. And though the ancient-looking stone arch in the movie looked fine and dramatic, it would have made for something of a rather dull card, so I went with something more ornate and elaborate.

For the curtain I actually chose an image of rippling sand tilted to an odd angle to give a feeling of disorientation, as if there truly was an entirely different dimension behind the confines of the doorway.
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© 2008 - 2021 Ellygator
anonymous's avatar
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AnimeHearts03's avatar
It's so amazing! I can suddenly hear Nyx in my head saying "Beyond the beaten path of despair, lies the absolute end, it does not who or what you are, Death will await for you beyond that path"
Ellygator's avatar
Thank you! I am glad the card speaks to you that way.
Shixam's avatar
It took me a minute to get what this one was at first. It looked like a tomb at first with the skull up top, then all the ripples clicked and I had an "Oh! The veil! Sirius!" moment. Very nice job on this one. =)
Ellygator's avatar
I'm glad you like it. I really did a departure from the movie set, because even though the very primal looking arch was effective there, it would have made for a bit of a dull card...
magpie-poet's avatar
Dramatic and ornate indeed! And as ever wonderful detail on the shadows depth.
Ellygator's avatar
Thank you! I must say, I do enjoy the cards that are just depicting objects rather than persons.
theblackwillow's avatar
Amazing work! The curtain looks like it's moving.
pootoo's avatar
That is one bad @$$ door! bad door! boooo!!! you did a lovely job on it though, love the main icon of death on it that we all relate to death ;) you are one wicked artist
Alzirr's avatar
Siiigh. Noes. Sirius. :cries:
ZomaS-M's avatar
I wonder about the symbol at the top of the arch and if you might be able to offer an interesting explanation. That's the symbol for the zodiac Scorpio, isn't it?
Ellygator's avatar
Yes, each of the major arcana is corresponding to either a planet, a sign of the zodiac and air, water and fire to even out to 22 in total. Death is associated with Scorpio, the sign of endings and rebirths.
ZomaS-M's avatar
I have so little experience with tarot and astrology, but it's always good to learn more! :giggle: How interesting! Thanks! The whole deck so far is lovely, just like the rest of your gallery, and I wish you luck in creating more. And I look forward to seeing the rest.
Ellygator's avatar
Thanks so much! I've been fascinated by the Tarot for many years, ever since a good friend put me up to it in college.
ZomaS-M's avatar
The whole concept and even the history of tarot and astrology are both really interesting. Needless to say, these gorgeous cards are a great way draw attention to it! :giggle:
Windestaenzerin's avatar
wytherwing's avatar
wow that's some beautiifully detailed work Elly... very nicely done! :thumbsup:
ErilisVampyre's avatar
I always liked the feel of that room and the death arch in the Department of Mysteries. The feel in there, so peaceful and calm, almost draws you in through deaths door...it is so inviting for those who live connected and close to it.

It is frightful for those who are not ready...but for others...it is a most welcome change and rebirth.

Well done.
Ellygator's avatar
Wonderful interpretation. I could not agree more.
ErilisVampyre's avatar
unseeliefaery's avatar
that's really cool
foureyes's avatar
Sorazblack's avatar
Aaaahh, the stone arch:omg: That is a really scary thing they've made:nod: And it suites the theme. Good drawing:)
amalym's avatar
on a personal level this is my favourite card. I too pulled the death card to signify my life this year and am happy I did. Although it is taking a lot of work I am again finding myself maybe even in ways I never knew myself. I am particularly pleased with your choice of the sand curtain. Perhaps your intent was not what I feel but when I think of sand I think of the shine and shape sand can wear into an ordinary old piece of glass. Giving it new life. Death is infact life and should never strike fear into the receiver of this card.
Ellygator's avatar
I really like your interpretation of the sand curtain. It adds a dimension I had not thought of but that I love a lot. I think I chose sand, because one of the most spiritual things I can think of to do is walk alone by the side of the sea at sunset. Lost between the four elements in their starkest forms and just a traveller between the worlds of air, earth, fire and water...
anonymous's avatar
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