“The Victory of Mercy, The Mercy of Victory” The Witches Tarot Ellen Cannon Reed

Transition is difficult, under the best of circumstances. Even the most desirable change that leads to the best possible results can be painful, frightening, and trying. Telling yourself that the process is necessary doesn’t always make it any easier.

In the symbolism of the tarot, death virtually never signifies an actual physical passing. Instead it is meant to exemplify the need for one of these transitions to occur. Usually the message of this archetype is that change is coming, and to fight it will only make the process more difficult and traumatic. It is meant to try and gentle the experience, but we are so often deeply committed to our patterns, even if they are awful and ugly, that we will resist to the end of our strength, and in defiance of our own best interests.

And so the mercy we must show, is often toward ourselves. The kindness to allow the change to happen, and thus to grow and move toward what serves us and away from what does not. The victory is in the reward for doing so; growth, progress, and hopefully greater wisdom to take with us going forward.