The scene is of a barren desert. The desert suggests that which is not fertile, is bleak or is left unattended. It could represent abandonment, desertion or failure. It corresponds to that which is lacking insight or spirit (a lack of water). It symbolizes hopelessness or pessimism and might correspond to a dry spell in one's own life.

In the distance wild dogs worry a tethered cow. The cow's restricted state represents a lack of nourishment, productivity, fertility or nurturing. It can also suggest dearth and that to which one is tied.

Storm clouds gather above, blanking out the blue sky. The approaching storm represents challenges or difficulties and reflects the man's emotional and/or mental state. It suggests an environmental upheaval, outbreak or disturbance of some kind. It can also represent arguments and disagreements.

In the foreground a man sits with his head bowed, too preoccupied to notice what's happening around him. Hanging one's head symbolizes feelings or remorse or shame.

He is surrounded by five clay dishes whose arrangement suggests a downward-pointing pentagram or pentacle, which both represent a reversal of man's true nature.

Just behind the man, a red serpent is coiled around a branch of the dead tree. The serpent represents death, destruction, darkness and evil. It may also symbolize one who is treacherous or deceitful.