Alchemical Study Group - Five of Vessels


On this card we see two shelves against a green wall. On the top shelf are two vessels standing upright. On the bottom shelf a vessel has fallen over with it's contents spilling. Another bottle is falling to the ground and a fifth bottle is on the ground broken in two with pieces shattered on the floor. Two birds fly upward from the broken bottle.

In the LWB Place calls this card 'The Quake' and says 'breaking of position, a sudden breakthrough, new possibilities'. In the book Place says that the birds represent things that were hidden but are now emerging from the unconscious.

I see this card as representing the inevitable pains and sufferings of life and a reminder that from all difficult times come the opportunity to learn and to grow. The birds remind us that without breaking the 'shell' we are unable to free the new life within. It kind of reminds me a little of the Wheel of Fortune in that life is cyclical. The vessels on the top shelf are upright and then we see vessels falling and smashed below. Nothing stays upright forever.


'All breakages must be paid for.'
And pay we do. Allowing these breakages to occur means that whatever is trapped is allowed to go free.

However we are reminded that destruction is not the only way to free what is inside, the disruption in the middle vessel allows some, but not all, of its contents to escape from the prison of the vesel.


(from the book)

Five egg-like vessels were arranged on shelves, but two have fallen. One has broken and has hatched two birds. The birds represent things that were hidden and are now emerging from the unconscious.

Tarot wisdom: You are experiencing commotion, chaos or a loss, but one that is accompanied by a happy discovery of something unexpected. The message here tells you to look past the loss to what is being gained. Or, it might relate to a sacrifice made or needed to be made in order to gain something better. The message also relates to giving birth, and expresses
the labor pains. The birth could be the emergence of an inspiration from the unconscious, perhaps one that seems to happen accidentally, or perhaps one that causes some turmoil in life.