Reading #18: The Realm of Water

Posted in Tarot on October 24th, 2010 by Kristine Gazel

This time the two cards in the Little Cross don’t seem to opposite each other. On the contrary they point in the same direction. Actually what I asked was something like how can I keep and nurture my energy? So one should think, that this is all about Fire. But No. The answer is Water.

So we have the Knight of Vessels standing in the lake, gathering¬† water in his vessel. According to the LWB he is collecting information from the unconsciousness, which is of course exactly what the water symbolizes. But there is always the danger of getting more than bargained for or to get in too deep. I don’t need to be foolish and just take the plunge.

I need to be awake and aware, I’ve already gotten the message, I just have to take notice. The fish is the message – according to the Alchemical Study Group – the Knight just have to be aware of it:

“[You] may be getting a message “out of the blue,” perhaps in the form of a synchronicity. It is an unexpected emotional satisfaction. Maybe you’ve already gotten it, and like the knight, need to take notice. Open your eyes to what is around you.”

And what is the fish then? A BIG fish. The Ace of Vessels, no less. An extremely interesting card, I think. A fish carrying a vessel on it’s back, wherein floats a heart shaped vessel in blood (?) from where grows a vine with two bunches of blue grapes.

The vessel symbolizes the alchemical retort, wherein the philosophers stone can be transformed, and everything about the card indicates that Love is the agent or catalysator of this process:

“The card points out that both the goal and the source of emotions, represented by the heart in the vessel, is the need to give and receive love. Love is the very source of life, and the goal of love is to be fruitful. Rejoice and release an out-flowing of love, and allow its returning bounty into your soul, for then the alchemical vessel of the heart shall sustain new life.”

This card is also about finding one’s purpose in life, according to the LWB. And since it is about transformation by Love, there seems to be here an intertwining of meanings; that the purpose of life, any life, is Love.

Where the Staffs are about passionate love, Eros, the Vessels are about empathic love, or Agape. This is what this out-flowing of love seems to be about, when we are in the Realm of Water. But maybe this difference may not be that important – after all, love is love is love – like; a rose is a rose is a rose.

Images from The Alchemical Tarot, copyright Robert M. Place, are used with kind permission. Visit the Alchemical Tarot website.

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