Here comes Death – the Beauty of Transformation

Ukemochi - Goddess tarot

I’ve been reading tarot for about half my life, when my hippie aunt gave me my first deck. One of the cards I find most fascinating is one that usually elicits extreme anxiety in other people – The Death card. Now, if you’ve ever had your cards read, I’d hope the reader would’ve told you that Death is Not Literal – despite what the tv psychics tell you. It’s symbolic – as are most things in Tarot. It simply means a transformation.

The best description I’ve heard of this card comes from my Goddess Tarot deck. This deck is awesome because all the major arcana cards are goddesses from various world cultures. The goddess on the Death card (in this deck appropriately called “Transformation”) is the Japanese goddess – Ukemochi.

The little guide book reads:

“After her death, the Japanese food goddess Ukemochi’s body transformed to supply food to humanity. Her head turned into cows; grain sprouted from her forehead; rice plants sprouted from the goddess’s belly—and so, life was transformed from death.”

Ok, so this is a little bit more intense of a transformation than we usually deal with in life. In my latest transformation, I recently quit my 9-5 job in order to build up my coaching business. This was a definitely a death of sorts. For the first time ever, I was leaving a job but I wasn’t moving anywhere. Which is usually the reason I quit a job. My last day was very strange as it was a “goodbye, see you around”, rather than a “goodbye, come back and visit some time”. I haven’t even moved to a new apartment. Same place, different work. That’s a transition in itself.

Beyond that, the whole structure of my day has changed. Now I do have time to work out in the mornings before work – because I decide when work starts! I can also run errands or take a longer lunch, or work past 5 without worrying about overtime. It’s a whole new world for me. And though it’s a welcome change, it’s still really rather difficult to wrap my head around sometimes. I keep thinking – I should be working more hours… shouldn’t I? Because the world of 9-5 was all I knew for a long time. Redefining anything is a mind-bender. Redefining your life while everyone else is going about their usual routines is seriously trippy stuff!

Whenever there’s a major adjustment to your life, whether it is new work, a new home or relationship, or even especially a literal death, you need to remember to be patient and kind to yourself. It will take time to adjust to the new situation, and inevitably there will be some kind of grieving. For me, it was leaving the friends I’d made at my former workplace. I know that no matter how much we stay in touch, it won’t be the same as seeing them every day and bonding over that annoying client or the latest crisis to be dealt with.

So remember that transformation, although often welcome, comes with a great deal of shifting, both mentally and sometimes physically. Rather than just being frustrated or angry at these changes, try to embrace them, while acknowledging how you feel. You can be angry if you get laid off, for sure! But don’t let that blind you to the new opportunities out there for you. Even Ukemochi, through her death, was able to feed her people and thus gave her sacrifice meaning.

What transformations are you going through now? What helps you to keep perspective during the transition? Let me know in the comments below!

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