Welcome to the Real Life Lessons from the Major Arcana series. We've gathered together 22 of the best Tarot readers to share their personal stories and interpretations of the Major Arcana cards.
Discover new meanings and spiritual lessons behind the Major Arcana cards, through real-life experiences and stories. And watch as the Tarot cards truly come to life!
Gina Jean shares with us how the Death card connects her to her favourite deity, who guides her readings to clear and profound conclusions. Read on…
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The Death card evokes so many feelings when first viewed. Fear and apprehension are usually at the top of the list. My favorite reaction when the card comes up is “Does this mean I’m going to die? Well, not necessarily.
For me the Death card has played so many roles, it’s almost difficult to begin. When I first started to learn the tarot the Death card seemed to be the easiest. Death means death — or so I thought. So many people fear this card, that in some decks, the card becomes the “card with no name” or “transformation.” The sheer impact of the word Death seems to bring up different feelings that not all tarot decks want to put forth.
My journey with the Death card has been quite a “unique” one. When I started reading the cards, I realized that my mediumship abilities were getting stronger and stronger. Spirits of deceased family members were coming through in the readings to pass on messages to loved ones and significant others. I thought it was normal, as I was used to talking to the dead ever since I can remember. It was a gift passed down in my family.
In Haiti, which is the country where my family stems from, we believe in the spirits or “lwa“ which reside all around us and help us in various areas of our lives. They live through a practice called Voodoo, or Vodoun, and each spirit plays a different role. I respect my ancestors and spirits and feel them around me all the time.
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One of the most prominent spirits I work with is a spirit called Baron Samedi. His image is a male skeleton adorned in a black top hat. He is the guardian of the cemeteries and is the main reason why the dead come to me so frequently in my readings. As I was meditating on the Death Card one day, he came to me and said: “I embody the spirit of this card. When it is pulled, think of me and I will show you the way.” I literally wrote his name on the Death card to channel the energy through.
Ever since that meditation I started listening to that message, and it has proven to be a very powerful tool. The most memorable instance came in the form of a reading with a young lady. She sat down with me and started shuffling the cards. Mid-shuffle, two cards fell out: the Death card and the 10 of swords. She said “Oh my god, does that mean something?” My response was, “ Don’t worry, it just seems like someone wants to talk to you.”
Immediately the Baron came to me and said, “There is deeper business that she needs help with which will be revealed soon enough.” So I put the two cards aside and began the reading. The first card I pulled was the Hermit card, an image of an older man with a beard holding a lantern.
My first question to her was “Did you lose an older man in your life?” She immediately started crying and said “ My father just died yesterday! That is why I am in town!” Her tears confirmed for me that the Death card signaled a true death. Baron Samedi helped me to administer a message directly from her father to her, and reassure her that everything was going to be ok. It felt surreal to communicate this powerful message so soon after connecting this spirit to the Death card. The Death card actually meant Death, and when I first started learning this card, that was exactly what I thought the card meant.
I now use the Death card as a “portal card” that connects the conscious world to the realm of the unconscious, the spirits of the dead, the unknown. When this card appears I know that there is a deeper message from The Baron to the querent and it might just be from someone who has passed on. Ironically (or maybe not), in my search for different tarot cards I stumbled upon an image of Baron Samedi in the Death Card. He fit in perfectly and really exemplified his message to me. So while others might fear this card or look at from a place of despair, I transform the message of this card into a direct connection with spirit. Here lies my own personal open door to the veil of unconscious: the Dead. I welcome you.
About Gina Jean
Gina Jean is a professional tarot reader based in NYC.
She has been reading cards for over 15 years and her gift is passed down from her grandmother from Haiti. She is an empath, clairvoyant , intuitive, and medium who uses the tarot as her tool. She reads for clients all over the world and speaks French fluently. She currently reads in NYC part time as well as being a staple in the fashion industry with over 17 years of experience. Her innate gift as an intuitive counselor has connected her with clients such as Louis Vuitton, American Express and Teen Vogue.
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