Alchemical Study Group - Lady of Vessels


In this card we see a lady in a green dress standing on top of the water. On her head she balances a vessel with the symbol for water on it.

In this card we have the personification of the element according to Place. She rises out of the water and stands upon it. What is also interesting is that she is the missing caryatid (column sculpted like a woman) from the three of vessels. In the three of vessels the three women have vessels on their heads with the symbols for earth, air and fire and here in this card we have the symbol for water. In this card she doesn't not need the support of others, she stands alone and confident.

Because she stands upon the water she may have mastered the unconscious, or be confident with her intuition or psychic powers. I see this as a card of confidence. She is not afraid she will sink into the water. Also there is an element of balance, represented by the vessel on her head. Perhaps she needs to balance her emotions and intuition with the world around her.

Another way of looking at the card could be to see her as someone who is beginning the journey into the unconscious. She is new to the world of emotions and intuition and is taking her first tentative steps trying not to let her vessel (emotions) overflow.


Another way to look at this card is a lady who wants to be alone because she find others too tiring.

Air of Water.
She has found a balance between thinking and emotions, this thinking though has caused her slight problems and she is not as easy on the water as the Queen or King of Vessels, however she is more balanced that the Knight.


(from the book)

A lone, poised woman bears a vessel atop her head. She is like a caryatid--a column sculpted like a woman. She stands atop frothy water. She is the feminine embodiment of the suit, an archetype manifested. The lady is at one with the undifferentiated Unus Mundus, but rises above it personified.

Tarot wisdom: You have poise, grace and self-control. Your inner beauty shines out. You have an inner appreciation of how you handle yourself. You are mastering what you have.


A young lady stands barefoot on the surface of a vast ocean. She is calm in her green dress with the water vessel balanced on her head. Her dress is green like the Lady of Coins because of the wealth of knowledge that is being made available to her. The water is the unconscious mind. It is her perfect trust that allows her such serenity, alone, without her friends on the Three of Vessels, poised on this shifting element. The unconscious is no burden to her; she wears it like a crown.


Remember that in the alchemical tarot, the kings symbolize mastery of the elements. Consequently, there must be another way that the lady relates to the subconscious. She is not a beginner, and she is not a master. She moves across the subconscious by faith (or trust) alone. She has experienced enough to trust what's below, even though she cannot see what is there.

This card is artistically simple, yet deliciously complex in meaning.

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