“Beyond the cyclical return of existences, palingenesis – meaning rebirth following death – provides access to a superior life, the ultimate stage of terrestrial evolution. Accordingly, during successive existences, man must recognise, accept and overcome a series of trials so as to reach the perfection through which the soul, liberated from the bonds of reincarnation, can contemplate pure essence”. (Fredric Lionel; The Magic Tarot, Vehicle of Eternal Wisdom; Chapter 8, The Mysticism of Numbers; page 55)
“La petite mort” – the French expression for “little death” –, on the other hand, means the brief loss of consciousness and in modern usage refers specifically to the sensation of post-orgasm as likened to death. However, “little death” does not always or exclusively apply to sexual experiences. More widely, it can refer to the spiritual release that comes with orgasm or to a short period of unconsciousness or transcendence as the result of some intense experience of emotional or spiritual nature.
“Accordingly, death – physical as well as initiatory – was considered the threshold leading from one state of consciousness to another. On the physical level, death dissolves what is dense and polarises what is immortal. On the initiatory level, it requires a letting go of everything which has seemingly been acquired: opinions, habits, justifications and beliefs. The awakened man, the reborn man, animated by great fervour, can then freely associate himself in the transparency of his nature with the Great Work, attuning his words and deeds to requirements of superior levels”. ((Fredric Lionel; The Magic Tarot, Vehicle of Eternal Wisdom; Chapter 8, The Mysticism of Numbers; page 56)
The Death card of the Tarot deck does not refer to physical death, but this emotional and spiritual experiences, respectively to the cyclicity of life and those experiences which allows someone to transcend from one state of consciousness to another, from one level of existence to another. Therefore, Death is not a symbol for tragic ends but spiritual liberation.
Find guidance, inspiration and knowledge with the Tarot of Cyclicity.