This is one card that most people automatically see as signifying issues such as pain, suffering and possibly death, although with the latter we have to be careful to remember that the tarot is symbolic in its approach.
Here we see 9 bloodied swords surrounding the victim (in this case we are led to believe it is Julius Caesar) with one final sword embedded in his chest. If we see this as indicating a pierced heart we can assume there is some emotional pain of some significance.
There is a strong feeling that he has been wronged, with the perpetrators long gone from the scene. He has accepted his fate and has pulled his robe over his eyes. Therefore we are spared the sight of seeing his anguish through his facial expression. As if to really drum home a point, we see his laurel wreath has also been pierced by a sword. Whoever was responsible were perhaps trying to make a point – the status of power has been removed and treated with disdain. This really does bring it home that even though he was a ruler of standing, when stripped of his power he is still as vulnerable as the next man. He is trying to maintain a sense of dignity with the way he is covering his eyes, but his vulnerability is laid bare for all to see.
Once the issue and background to an issue has been discussed, I always try to show the recipient that there is only one way from here, and that is upwards. Things have got as bad as they are likely to get. It also signifies that this may be the right time to lick your wounds so to speak. Animals do this in all realms of the animal kingdom, and it has proved to be a good healing technique. They have been through the wars and need to do nothing for a while whilst this healing is allowed to take place. Once the wounds have healed they are ready to then fight another day. This is signified in the background of the card. We may see a sun setting on an issue which has run its course, and possibly a difficult one at that. However, the sun will rise again. When it does it can bring about a new day and a new start, albeit at the time there may be a feeling that all is lost. We see running water in the background also. It would be worth seeing this as something that can cleanse and wash over his wounds. The water is calm – another positive sign to take solace in.
BLACK BOTTLE & CRAB
The crab is an interesting symbol to have in this particular card. Does the hardened exterior belie the fact there is still a soft interior? Does it show there may be a need to take on a form of protection or to ‘don a hard shell’ to prevent a similar fate occurring in the future?
It is also a Christian symbol for resurrection – could this give you an insight that there is the opportunity to come back from what has happened?
The black bottle is a little more difficult to understand. It appears to be empty, its stopper on the ground nearby. What would you want to put in the bottle and why? How significant is the colour of the bottle?