Change & the Death Card
Hello, reader. Welcome to the first of many New Moon Musings.
I’m Emily—poet, Muse enthusiast, and author of the Dark Days Tarot Guidebook. To deepen my collaboration with Dark Days, I’ll be sharing my process of chasing/finding/looking for/talking with/listening to
the Muse through the lens of the tarot and in congruence with the reflective, introspective, restorative dark days of the moon.
Sharing my writing in this fashion is entirely new for me, so
thanks for being here, for being a part of Dark Days, and for your support. Onto musing.
Change and the Death Card
there is a season)
It’s everywhere these days—the black armored pale pile of bones on a white horse waving a black flag, regally riding toward, ominously undiscerning, unabashedly invincible: Death.
Our autumnal walks are filled with it. All of summer’s little leaves wilting off their mother trees and rejoining the thick, damp, dark soil. The fade of blue to charcoal skies. Nighttime creeping
closer, longer, colder. I’ve been fixated on Death.
Struck frozen in an uncanny trance half meditating on all this dying that’s happening. I’ve been obsessed with tracking the vibrant rusting of a favorite tree and fussing over an ever-accumulating collection of dead flowers and cutting back the flurry of socializing; I’m wrought with ruminating on a string of weird ideas about the afterlife; I’m compulsively trying to kill these engrained habits and behaviors and modes of thinking that don’t serve me, that suppress me, that keep me stuck.
Illustration by Wren McMurdo for Emily Mundy's in-progress poetry series, Funeral Fauna, due to release in Spring of 2019.
After a few weeks of sitting with these strange preoccupations, I realized—I’m craving Death. I want it. Just like the fauna knows it has to wilt and sluff and hibernate to regenerate come spring, there are roots in me that want to rot. After wrestling with the skin of my summer ghost, I’m giving in—I want to let go, cast off, shed skin, burn up, lights out. I invite this unavoidable thing. I rip the door open and say come in.
Because Death is the purest Change. And Change is essential.
I unearth an austere beauty in the purification of dying and rebirthing, resigning and reinventing ourselves, recognizing and respecting the cyclicality of literally. every. thing. And the Muse is tucked in these perpetual deaths; the Muse is perpetually dying and rebirthing itself, which is essential to the life of the Muse itself, so that it never dries up, gets stale, or grows old.
Death is essential. I say yes, then, to this obscure invitation, this cosmic ritual, this oxymoronic ending. I am neither fixed nor finite and neither are you and neither is anything. I ask Death to heal my wounds, to unfreeze and unstick me from old pain. I ask Death to help me clear a little corner in the shrine of my soul so my Muse has a place to sit. I ask Death to talk me through letting go of one or some of my selves, because I can’t be one self forever, and I can’t be too
many selves at once.
I get to know Death. I listen to Death. I thank Death for listening back, for letting me be all the selves I’ve been and for asking me to become all the selves I’ll be. I wake up and I ask Death like I would a lover—who are you, today? Who am I, today?
Emily is the author of the Dark Days Tarot Guidebook. Purchase the Dark Days Tarot deck and guidebook set here. Here is her website, where you can learn more about her work.
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