The Tarot of the Old Path, names key 13, THE CLOSE, rather than DEATH. Yet the Grim Reaper or Lord Dread, is still present in this card. The zodiacal sign is Scorpio and the ruling element is Water.
Death, with its endless shadow, is shown on the left, carrying his scythe that he uses to clear away the outworn and unproductive things. The baby watching death pass by, is heralding a major change, a harvest of rebirth. Following death is a barn owl that is bird in Egyptian mythology use as the symbol of the dead sun that has crossed the waters of darkness. As the owl is a creature of the night, it is associated with the dead in many mythologies.
In the magic language of birds, Owls may represent death but the Heron seen standing in the river, represents the morning and the regeneration of life, thus both birds represent a cycle of death and rebirth.
The ever flowing and irreversible river of time is depicted as a serpentine and calm river.
The Primroses near the baby, imply early youth and the borage in the foreground warns of a change that is yet to come. The misty fir trees suggest the mystery of the unconscious mind, and the aptly named Death's Head Hawk Moth represents the soul's journey through life and the veil or barrier of death which is an energy membrane into another dimension of the Everlasting Self. As one can understand, the primal message of this card is of transformation and/or of change yet to come. Death is seen as a renewal of life rather than a end. Energy can't be destroyed, nor created, only transformed and transferred. So Death is a journey of the immortal soul, towards ever expanding self concepts. This ever expanding self, started the process in the Lone Man Card of The Old Path Tarot (Hanged Man in Thoth Deck), sacrificing the Old way of thinking to gain greater awareness and here in The Close Card, the Soul continues the process of change in its Life building journey.
THE THOTH DECK ATU-13-DEATH:
Refers to the sign of Scorpio which is ruled by Mars The Hebrew letter Nun-meaning Fish, a symbol of life traveling through the waters as seen on the card. The motion, to swim or for any impulse, is supplied by the Fiery force of Mars. However, the Fish is also sacred to Mercury (Mars) because of its silvery shinning self and it's cold bloodlessness. The Fish is also a symbol for the "first matter", the ancient god Dagon, Oannes and the Christ: the Greek work Ixthus-means-Fish and was used as a notariqon , the initials meaning "Jesus Christ Son of God, Savior."
The Alchemical process of putrefaction is explain in this card. To Alchemist, the putrefaction process is a series of chemical changes which develops the final form of life from the original latent seed in the Orphic egg.
The Two most powerful signs in the Zodiac are Leo and Scorpio, However the latter is not as simple and intense as the former. Scorpio is so complex and occult that it is described in three signs, the Scorpion, the Serpent and the Eagle. The Scorpion, is seen as the lowest representation, for according to the ancients, when ringed with fire or in some other untenable situation, the Scorpion will commit suicide. This represents putrefaction in its lowest chemical form as the strain of its environment has become intolerable, and the attacked element willingly subjects itself to change. This can be illustrated by throwing potassium on water, causing ignition and acceptance of the hydroxide radical.
The Mid range of Scorpio is described by the Serpent, the major theme of the Death card, is not only the sacred symbol of the Lord of Life and Death, but is also seen as the movement of undulation that is life and death. The Male energy symbol is also the Serpentine Flow (lightning) of light. This serpent force, is seen as the "sexual force" of the Scorpio sign, and is seen on the lower right of the card, around the fish.
The Highest aspect of Scorpio is illustrated as an eagle, for it flies above the world of matter and soars in the higher arcane places of the Mind. Thus the purest elements, in certain experiments, are given off as a gas or vapor which "flies above the world of matter". So we now have represented in this card and in the sign of Scorpio, the three essential types of putrefaction.
The Dance of Death (undulation) is done as a skeleton holding and swinging a scythe, both of which are important Saturian symbols. Yet Saturn has no discernible connection to Scorpio; However, Saturn does represent that elemental nature of living things which is not destroyed in the operational changes that ordinarily occur in Nature---such as bones. His boniness wears the crown of Osiris because he represents Osiris in the Waters of Amennti; the secret male creative god of the Egyptians. Through traditional propaganda campaigns, he has become confused with Set, and the Cult of the Dying gods and turned into a senile corrupt and fiendish symbol.
From Wikipedia-The Free Encyclopedia:
Khenti-Amentiu, also Khentiamentiu, Khenti-Amenti, Kenti-Amentiu and many other spellings, is an ancient Egyptian deity whose name was also used as a title for Osiris and Anubis. The name means "Foremost of the Westerners" or "Chief of the Westerners", where "Westerners" refers to the dead.
Khenti-Amentiu was depicted as a jackal-headed deity at Abydos in Upper Egypt, who stood guard over the city of the dead. Khenti-Amentiu is attested early at Abydos, perhaps even earlier than the unification of Egypt at the start of the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3100–2686 BC). The name appears on the necropolis cylinder seals for the First Dynasty pharaohs Den and Qa'a, naming each of their predecessors with the title "Horus Khenti-Amentiu", starting with "Horus Khenti-Amentiu Narmer". A temple dating to predynastic times was also founded in Abydos for this god. Toby Wilkinson suggests that, even at this early stage, Khenti-Amentiu's name may have been simply an epithet of Osiris.
The roles of Khenti-Amentiu, Osiris, and Anubis underwent considerable changes in the late Old Kingdom (c. 2686–2181 BC). Originally, only Anubis' name appeared in the offering formula that was believed to allow the dead to partake of the offerings they were given to sustain them in the afterlife. In the Fifth Dynasty (c. 2494–2345 BC), many gods started to appear in the formula, including Osiris, whose name does not appear in any texts before the start of the dynasty, and Khenti-Amentiu. In the course of the late Old Kingdom, the Khenti-Amentiu title becomes more clearly connected with Osiris.
The jackal hieroglyph that appears in Khenti-Amentiu's name in the Early Dynastic Period is traditionally seen as a determinative to indicate the god's form, but Terence DuQuesne argued that the jackal glyph represents the name of Anubis and that Khenti-Amentiu was originally an epithet or manifestation of Anubis. If this is the case, Khenti-Amentiu would have only begun to be treated as an independent deity in the Fifth Dynasty, around the same time that Osiris' name first appears. Most inscriptions from that time show Osiris and Khenti-Amentiu were already closely connected. Harold M. Hays asserted that the Pyramid Texts, whose earliest known copy only dates to the end of the Fifth Dynasty, apply the title Khenti-Amentiu to Anubis and not to Osiris, and that the Pyramid Texts reflect the beliefs of an earlier era, when Khenti-Amentiu was not fully independent of Anubis.
As you can see in the Thoth Tarot Card, the sweep of Death's scythe, produces bubbles that are filled with new dancing forms taking shape. The Motion of Mercury is implied here, as life really is a form of animation. Thus this card is a compendium of universal energy in its most secret form, i.e. the Vital force or Sex energy.
To be noted: If the Adept, "dies daily"; that is changes, transforms or modifies Self, by constant diligent, inner Tree of Life Path Travel, or Tantric Yoga meditation practices, they shall not "experience death" as the mundane, but leave one body for another knowingly and/or lucidly, with name, parents and form already intended. Thus not forgetting, not fearing,and always experiencing the progress of Self Awareness That is the Divine Experience. This is not doing "one thing" but all the Things of the 78 Tarot cards, as they equal the Total Self. Keep skrying and investigating! It's worth the effort!
WHEN THE THOTH DECK DEATH AND TAROT OF THE OLD PATH- THE CLOSE, ARE THROWN DURING A DIVINATION, THEY IMPLY:
- Clearing out the old to make the new.
- The end of a emotional relationship .
- Renewal .
- The possibility of a physical death when thrown with other death cards-such as 10 of Swords-Ruin .
- Being involved in a great transformation.
- Rebirth out of old conditions.
- Vital force, the realization of the Life power.usually concurring when giving up your sense of self to a feeling of merging with another and/or the cosmos.
- There may be areas of personal tension and inner conflict that can only be resolved by true change.
- The natural transit of mankind to a new stage of being.
If ill defined or in the Old Path a reversal.
- Avoiding a mishap or a physical death
- Stagnation or immobility
- Lack of change
Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper!