I have to admit, when I saw this card, I had to consult my book to remember who this scared guy in the middle was. I recognized Apollo (that sun-crown was a dead giveaway) and the three scary females could only be the Furies. But to figure out who the guy in the middle was, I pulled out my mythology book for a bit of refresher.
So, you remember the Trojan War, right? Paris, beautiful Helen, the Trojan Horse, poor Achilles, blah-blah-blah, right? One of the kings who converged on Troy to lay siege was King Agamemnon of Mycenae. Before Aggie sailed away from his Queen Clytemnestra and kids, he sacrificed one of his daughters to Artemis, the goddess of war, to ensure his ship would arrive safely at Troy. Fast forward, and Agamemnon returns victorious only to have his wife and her lover murder him. (Can’t say I blame her. Killing a daughter would’ve done it for me, too.) Clytemnestra’s new man is now king. Her daughter Electra fears for her brother, Orestes, and secrets him away to a neighboring kingdom, where he is raised to adulthood.
Then of course, he has to seek revenge. He goes to the Oracle at Delphi (Apollo’s oracle) to ask what he has to do to avenge his father, and naturally, the oracle tells him to kill his mother and her lover. He does, but then because he’s committed the sin of matricide, he is hounded by the three Furies. There’s so much more to the story, but that’s all you need to know, for now, about this card.
Here, you see Orestes, after he’s killed his mother and her lover. He’s caged in by eight swords. The three snake-haired Furies are on his left, ready to punish him for his sin, but on his right is Apollo, ready to defend him.
What does that mean for me? Well, it does not look good. It tells me I have a problem (likely one of my own making—Orestes got himself into his predicament!) but I am held in place, unable to decide what to do, with fear on one side and resolution on the other.
When I consult the book, it says I’m “unable to act” because of a fear of consequences. And I’m clueless because I can’t think of anything right now that has me afraid. Hmmm. Hopefully, this isn’t about something in the near future, because I’m going to my sister’s place for a visit this coming weekend!!!
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