Albrecht Dürer – 13 Death
Type of Spiritual Experience
“Anyone who studies tarot (or has at least had enough readings to know) knows that the Death tarot card almost always indicates a form of transformation”
In Greek mythology, Cronus, Cronos, or Kronos, from Greek: Κρόνος, Krónos, was the leader and youngest of the first generation of Titans, the divine descendants of Uranus, the sky, and Gaia, the earth. He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus. Cronus was usually depicted with a harpe, scythe or a sickle, which was the instrument he used to castrate and depose Uranus, his father. Cronus was identified in classical antiquity with the Roman deity Saturn. His bird was the crow.
Outside of perceptions there is ‘no time’, our conception of time only exists via Perceptions which are often represented symbolically as a thread connecting a person with their bodies. Thus there is a link between the ability of Cronos to cut the thread – death in other words. Although not mentioned a great deal, the reverse is also true, birth then recreates the thread again. If we look at the Map of the Egg, Saturn symbolically guards the entrance to the Stars and the Unmoving mover – the area of no time.
During antiquity, Cronus was occasionally interpreted as Chronos, the personification of time. The Greek historian and biographer Plutarch (1st century CE) asserted that the Greeks believed that Cronus was an allegorical name for χρόνος (time).
Astrologically Saturn’s glyph, or symbol, shows the cross of matter (reality) over the soul. Note that the symbol of Saturn is the symbol of Jupiter inverted. In other words, on birth matter engulfs the soul, on death the soul is released.
During the Renaissance, the identification of Cronus and Chronos gave rise to "Father Time" wielding the harvesting scythe.
Janda (2010) provided an Indo-European etymology of "the cutter", from the root *(s)ker- "to cut" (Greek κείρω (keirō), cf. English shear). The Indo-Iranian reflex of the root is kar, generally meaning "to make, create" (whence karma), but Janda argues that the original meaning "to cut" in a cosmogonic sense is still preserved in some verses of the Rigveda pertaining to Indra's heroic "cutting", like that of Cronus resulting in creation:
RV 10.104.10 ārdayad vṛtram akṛṇod ulokaṃ he hit Vrtra fatally, cutting [> creating] a free path.
RV 6.47.4 varṣmāṇaṃ divo akṛṇod he cut [> created] the loftiness of the sky.
A description of the experience