The Scythe can mean that events happen suddenly, or that danger, a shock, an accident, or a sharp break is at hand. It always warns us to be vigilant and alert. Other than that, it bears little meaning by itself and instead, brings the qualities of sharpness and suddenness to surrounding cards. So, while it’s typically negative, it can be positive, as in bringing a sudden opportunity or liberating us from a burdensome situation. Cards nearer the blade can be more negatively affected by the Scythe’s sharpness, whereas those on the side of the handle can have a gathering effect by allusion to harvesting, which is what the Scythe is traditionally used for.
IN THE PORTRAIT & GRAND TABLEAU
On the first or central card of the nine-card portrait, we must act swiftly. Cutting through, breaking out, and making radical changes are key with the Scythe. In the central position in particular, it can suggest a break, a breakdown, an accident, or things shattering and falling apart. In this sense, it’s typically negative unless brightly aspected by nearby cards, which then tells of a liberation.
The Scythe warns of danger whether near or far, though its meaning is heavily influenced by nearby cards. Positive cards can indicate a sudden opportunity, but negative cards warn of danger. Vigilance remains advised. Sometimes, the farther it is from the significator, the less it affects us and the more it affects our associates. And the closer it is to the significator, the more it affects us and the less it affects others. But nearby cards still influence its impact.
The Scythe asks us to be alert, assertive, decisive, and avoid hesitation at all costs. Making a choice and moving forward is better than stalling. Breaking out aggressively from any restrictions is also encouraged, but it can also mean that we need to seize an opportunity quickly.
THE COMBINATION MEANS...
Breaking out, removing shackles.
An alarm, shocking news, or a happy surprise.
Danger, fear, a fright.
A death, literal or metaphorical.
Financial risk or a lucky break depending on nearby cards.
A pleasant surprise, sudden invitation or honor.
Sharp ending or change, decisiveness.
A wish materializes unexpectedly.
Lenormand card images courtesy of Lenormand Reader's Silhouettes Deck and Titania's Fortune Cards.