You can read an introduction to the light & shadow series and find links to its other installments >> here!
The Coffin is among those cards I suspect many people think are exclusively negative. And at first glance, this certainly seems to be the case.
At first glance the Coffin indeed suggests only negative and unproductive issues and goings-on. Losses are defined by the decidedly and painfully negative feelings that accompany the experience that something or someone we would like to be there isn’t anymore. The death of loved ones (and our own death) is not something we look forward to, is often something we fear a lot. We usually view death, and even endings in general, as something extremely negative. And it is definitely unproductive and unhealthy to suppress or bury things out of fear or shame or because regressive norms force us to. So this card, one might be tempted to think, could never represent anything productive and positive. But that’s not true.
The Coffin can very well represent productive, positive, issues and goings-on if we consider that sometimes what makes us most unhappy, most unhealthy, is holding on to something which isn’t good for us. In such cases the Coffin represents the decidedly positive, productive, liberating ability to let go that subsequently enables us to move on to something new, to something healthier. Even the grief this card can represent could be read as something productive – even if it doesn’t feel that way. For the grieving process, if we don’t lose ourselves in it completely, is a natural and necessary process for eventually coming to terms with a loss. The Coffin can be saying, very affirmatively, that we should allow ourselves to grieve; that we needn’t pretend that everything is okay. And finally, if the Coffin turns up in a reading context in which the querent is exceedingly fed up with a situation, the card represents the dearly desired end of that situation.