Loss. This sad card seems to continue the saga of our Boatman of the 6 of Swords, having to pick up and move on.
On this card is a person dressed in black, his back to us, head bowed in sorrow. His posture is limp, he is defeated. He is on a shore and looks back over the water he has just crossed to a crumbling castle on a hill in the distance. He is consumed by regret, and would do it all differently if he could, but it’s too late now. The castle is crumbled, already growing over, there is nothing left to go back to.
He turns his eyes (yes, he just did that) to 3 cups laying on the beach, their blood-red contents spilling out all over the ground, wasted. This card is typically called ‘crying over spilt milk’, and that’s exactly what he’s doing. But if he would turn around, he’d see that he has 2 perfectly lovely gold cups within reach – something does remain, but he’s so overwhelmed with grief and disappointment and so broken after what he’s been through he doesn’t notice them and isn’t even interested. This #5 of the Minor Arcana is associated with both angry Mars and violent Scorpio – not my favorite combination to say the least.
It’s the end of the world, as far as he’s concerned. Morbidly, he’s going to stand there and watch until that castle in the distance is completely grown over and gone. He’s going to stand there watching those cups drain until the last drop has seeped into the sand, which will take some time.
When it ‘sinks in’ that what’s done is done, he’ll have to turn around and realize there’s something left with which to start again.