As I mentioned at the beginning of this whole decanic stroll thing, I’ve been using T. Susan Chang’s book 36 Secrets as my sourcebook. At the start of each decan I read the appropriate chapter from 36 Secrets, do some of my own research, and then keep those themes and the associated tarot cards in mind through that 10 day cycle. Anyway, there was something in this chapter on Leo III that made me literally LOL. Quoting from the book: “Standing on a high prominence, she faces opposition, protests, rebellion. She’s a hot mess–she can’t even find a matching pair of shoes!”
And it’s true! I’ve never noticed this detail about this card, but it’s an important one. We are dealing with Mars in Leo and Mars has the associated major of The Tower. This is a sudden turn of events. You thought the towering glory of your conquest would stand forever, then WHAM lightning strike. One minute you are riding high on your fancy horse with throngs of followers, the next you are defending your life from those exact same followers. It has the feel of running out of the house so fast you couldn’t find matching shoes.
I always assumed that the right shoe of the character on this card was just a tattered and torn version of the left shoe. However, looking more closely, those are very intentionally different shoes. One has a buckle or lace, and the other is a boot. Sometimes with the small details in Smith’s art (of which there are tons) I wonder if the detail was intentional. Like the arrow on Death’s boot pointing to a cave in the mountains. In this case though, there is no question.
This also reminds me of something out of Mad Max: Fury Road. Slit ends up pulling off one of Max’s boots during a fight on the back of Nux’s car. After Nux’s car crashes, Max steals one of Nux’s boots while he’s passed out to replace the one Slit ripped off. Max later balances the scales by bringing Nux a replacement boot from one of the Bullet Farmer’s men he presumably kills (we can’t really say because it all happens off-screen). Maybe the figure in the VII of Wands was prepared for this fight, but the long battle up the hill resulted in loosing a boot which they resourcefully replaced with the shoe of a fallen foe.
Stay ready. Stay resourceful.