i got my first tattoo when i was twenty, deep in research mode for my thesis, obsessed with snakes to the point that my dreams were filled with them. (my adviser, trickster that he was, told me this was a good sign.) it was an ourobouros, a snake eating its own tail, hidden away on my body, a reminder that life is cyclical.
it is also, however, a reminder of a sentence that has been rattling around in my brain for the decade-plus since then: snakes shed their skin to grow and heal from injury. the sentence became a mantra, a way out of old patterns of thinking. it became a metaphor: like a snake, i could rub myself against the roughness of my problems and shed my old skin, become something new.
this is what the death card means: something needs to end. transformation needs to occur. it is less about actual, literal death and more about the way that death leads to something new.
i think now of eve, too, and of her serpent. i think of the line that the serpent used to tempt eve, ye shall be as gods (gen 3:5, king james version). i love eve and i love that this line works on her, because it would also work on me. i love that knowledge and death are tied up in each other in this story. eve and her husband could have had eternity, eating from the tree of life, but eve chose knowledge when it was offered to her and she was thus transformed.
it’s not an easy thing, ending and beginning again. transformation is often violent or difficult. but oh, also how necessary. be kind to yourselves this week, darlings, especially if you are in the midst of this process.
this week’s deck: personal space tarot