This article is part of a collection of blog posts dealing with “lenormand vs. tarot” issues. You can find a list to other relevant instalments >> here.
A while ago a friend asked me whether there was a difference between the Lenormand Coffin and the Tarot Death card, and if yes, what the difference was.
There are probably as many different answers to this question as there are card readers. My own answer is this:
The Lenormand Coffin refers rather narrowly to the experience of endings, losses, and grief. The Tarot Death includes these, but a much more important (and “looking at the bigger picture”) part of its meaning is that of the transformation of the old into something new. In other words, the Tarot Death explicitly encompasses transformation and (the chance for) a new beginning. The Lenormand Coffin does not. But there are at least two card combinations in Lenormand that point at something very similar as the Tarot Death: Coffin+Stork and Coffin+Child.
Coffin+Stork stresses the transformative aspect of an ending – it says that something old is “transformed” – it ends, dies, ceases to be what it has been, and it is in the process of becoming something else.
Coffin+Child stresses the “new beginning” aspect. It says that after or through or because of the end of something old, something new could or will definitely begin.
The similarity to the Tarot Death card becomes even stronger if we combine all three cards: Coffin+Stork+Child.
This combination encompasses the death/ending of the old in the form of a transformation process, and the (chance for a) new beginning that lies in the transformation. These three ingredients, as an inseparable compound, are the core meaning of the Tarot Death card!