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Thanatos – O Death

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“Thanatos” by William Briar created with modified stock art from Pixabay.

While I did spend time with my Lenormand deck today and even completed my Month of Spreads reading, I spent far more time contemplating my Death Daemonic card of the day: Thanatos. In Greek mythology, he is the personification if death, but rarely appears in any stories. When he does appear, he can occasionally be outwitted—a good thing, since Death was originally meant to be feared by both god and mortal alike in the Greek mindset. Over time, however, Thanatos became associated with gentle passing.

When depicted in art, it is typically with his twin brother Hypnos, better known as Sleep. Thanatos is sometimes shown as winged and bearing an inverted torch, symbolized life snuffed out. He carries a sword at his side. Other symbols include butterflies and poppies.

An Orphic hymn to death begins:

“Hear me, O Death, whose empire unconfin’d
extends to mortal tribes of ev’ry kind.
On thee, the portion of our time depends,
whose absence lengthens life, whose presence ends.”

Not the similarity to “O Death,” a traditional American folk song. Jen Titus made this track famous through its association with the show Supernatural, where it became the theme song for the character Death. It also featured in the video game “Until Dawn.”