In honour of World Goth Day, which falls today, May 22, let’s take a look at the darker, spookier, morbid side of the tarot.

The deck is full of messages and signals, not all of them happy. The esoteric art of tarot holds magic and mystery, and some omens are worse than others.

Are there really cards which should send a shiver up your spine? Can some cards predict a death? Which cards signal to eerie or otherworldly forces at play?

Ready to see? Let’s take a look at the tarot cards which are considered the most dark and dangerous!

The Tower

Generally considered the worst card to pull, and probably the only one I myself wince at when I draw it.

The Tower is a collapse, a disaster, a dramatic revelation or event which rocks your world and seeks to bring down a structure, situation, role, or relationship in your life. It can be painful, unexpected and tough to handle. Yes, it could mean a death.

I guess not all endings are nice or predictable, in fact many are not. But what doesn’t kill you can make you stronger. There is always a tomorrow. There is always a new choice. There is always wisdom, insight, and growth to be found in all experiences. We all go through it, we are not alone in our suffering, and we can survive, heal, and go on to thrive again.

The Tower’s silver lining is that it only targets the things which are fading, false, or negative in your life. It destroys that which needs to be removed. It clears the way so you can rebuild on firmer foundations. Don’t fear The Tower. Welcome its cleansing, purifying power.

Three of Swords

The whole Swords suit has an edge to it, but the Three of Swords is probably the most dangerous, as it points to relationship turmoil, betrayal, backstabbing, brutality or cruelty.

Someone has done you wrong. Someone has hurt you, maybe even deliberately. Either way, the wound is real and you will have to deal with it and heal from it as best you can.

No one wants to hear this kind of news. But is forewarned equals forearmed? Can it be helpful to get a nudge to watch those with the ability to hurt us a little more closely? Most relationship woes have a root cause and perhaps if we talked and worked on things at that level then unnecessary game-playing, spite, and lying might be avoided.

If it’s too late and the damage is done, then this card grants full permission for you to surgically remove the source of pain from your life. If they’ve shown you their true colours, then believe them, and act on what you’ve seen. Once bitten…

Ten of Swords

Personally, and I have not shared this before, I have come to associate this card with death in my own personal readings about my life. It has proven to be a signal of impending deaths.

It can be interpreted as that, on a wider scale, as its root is about sudden, necessary, severe end points. Something in your life is toxic or already over and you just need to make that final cut, mentally detach, accept the ending, and move on.

There is no room for arguing or bargaining with this card, it’s the end of the road (whatever road that is) and you need to leave, exit, quit, move, withdraw, or finish.

Endings are hard so this card gets a tough reputation. However, sometimes it’s a relief to be told it’s time to go. When things have been failing, fading, or getting worse, you hope for the best but, maybe, secretly, wish it were over and you could just go. Well, with this card, you should, you can, and you will!

The Devil

A total goth symbol! The Devil is the ultimate libertine, the anything-goes, do-what-thou-wilt vibe of most historical gothic movements and philosophies.

People fear the card because of the imagery, but its meaning is actually more about living your life as you wish, taking full responsibility for your actions, facing your demons and hugging them, being authentic (warts and all).

We all have 100% freedom to do what we want, but it comes with a price tag: consequences. And, often, we find we don’t like the consequences of certain things (especially bad habits, unhealthy choices, secretive behaviours, or illicit temptations – they look good in the moment but not the morning after).

The Devil holds you to account for the consequences you face. The Devil asks us to grow up, make better choices, live with them, and strive to be free of things which overpower us.


The most feared card, I think, amongst people who don’t know anything about the meanings. It often appears on the movies or on TV as a ‘dread moment’ in a reading.

Actually, Death is about transformation, life cycles, beginnings and endings. Yes, it can mean Death if death is an imminent thing on the table, a destination already in sight… but, otherwise, this is more about personal growth, development, progress, and rebirth.

Death is a card you can use as an ally if you’re looking to revamp or redesign something in your life. The first stage of most change is release, letting an old idea or activity or role die off, so that you can replace it with something more future-facing and aligned with who you’re becoming.

Kerry King, the tarot queen, uses tarot and star sign wisdom to create inspiring forecasts and insights, with over 25 years fortune telling experience, and many happy clients all over the world. You can book a personal, written reading, which comes as a beautifully illustrated brochure, through Etsy or join her new Tarot Club and get weekly forecasts and more for £5 a month.

Your daily horoscope is here every morning, seven days a week (yes, including weekends!). To check your forecast, head to our dedicated horoscopes page.

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