Princess of Alembics
Planetary: Mars (Above) / Earth (Below)
Diamond Path: Gevurah, Severity (Above) / Malkuth, Kingdom (Below)
Geomantic Figure: Rubeus
Tetragram: Earth (Above) / Water (Below)
Keywords: A Dreamy Person, Sensuality, Renewal, Rain, Inspiration, Strange Thoughts, Subconscious, Intuition, Dreams Becoming Reality, Emotional Magic
Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Listlessness, Scattered, Unfinished Work, Lack of Discipline, Hoarder, Irrationality leading to darkness and pain
Historical: With one red and one white stocking, the Pierpont Morgan-Bergamo Visconti-Sforza Page of Cups, alludes to the Knight of Swords and Staves as well as the Ace of Coins, in that pack. He wears no hat, and is in a sumptuous, fur-trimmed coat. Mountains are in the background and he faces left, into the past. The large, ornately gilt cup, is held from beneath.
The white color continues to be important later on, and many Pages and Princesses of Cups alike are wearing white.
Golden Dawn: Called The Princess of Cups, Princess of the Palace of the Floods, The Princess of Cups card corresponds to the terrestrial North Pole and places at Sephira #10 (Malkuth,) in the Golden Dawn system.
She is accompanied by a turtle, a swan and a dolphin, the symbols of wisdom, grace and love, and she is often surrounded by water and lotuses. In many packs she is a mermaid, such as in The Hermetic Tarot of the Golden Dawn, by Godfrey Dowson, who features all of the traditional animals and the princess is bare breasted, also.
That farce of The Golden Dawn – the Rider-Waite, has a boy looking into a cup, in which a fish is poking his head out. Then, there is the Wang Golden Dawn tarot, where a turtle is poking out of the cup. This is all very obvious symbology, that is constantly overlooked. Here, we have a girl contemplating the act of coitus. It represents sexual union with the All-Father, as in the story of Leto and the Swan, among countless others. Another that comes to mind is the never-used God as the Serpent in the Garden of Eden which leads to Eve bearing the so-called “Serpent Seed,” which transmutes Man into another step of the Alchemical Process. These symbologies, are all wadded up so tightly, it’s astonishing any sense can be made of them at all. The Golden Dawn was in its decline when we hear most of a “revival,” being made of them, and so, it’s best to look to the elements themselves when resolving disparaged cards like this one.
Thoth: Another passive pigeon of a Princess, no surprise here, the fully clothed zombie-like creature is holding onto a turtle and giant cup, so large, that it would appear that she is a woman of gargantuan proportions and muscle. The scene does nothing to hide the sexual undertones, but presents it all in the most grotesque and self-loathing way possible. There is no delicacy here, save for the neatly scalloped edges of the troll’s semen-like dress. Overall, the attempt at creating a heavenly sexual scene du jour fails even more utterly than the boys diddling with the fish in their cups.
Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: Make no mistake, the Princess of Alembics is all about sensuality and sexuality. She is primed for sex and this in no earthly terms. She is having a love affair with God, the divine father and will bring forth the fruits of her labors as the creation of great ideas. This as well as any other royal Court Card illustrates why the Cups were renamed to Alembics. The vessel of creation in Alchemy symbolizes the womb – either physical or mental, with much great acuity.
First off, we have the very important descent of Binah, to Malkuth, the longest descent seen in the tarot. Hence the reason she seems to get lost in her dreams and visions. The way down is dark at times and unknown. One may see in the tetragram that she carries Earth above Water: here we have the Goddess born into the earthly realm for the salvation of man. She has divided herself to become woman, and it is a painful rebirth. But all is not lost, for Logos is there with her, ever watchful and personified in the masculine principle. Her eggs represent the seed of ideas, the only thing real in this universe at all.
Her enormous collection of grails, goblets, chalices and cups, represents old universes, old ideas, some of which may bubble up to the surface to become new again if the time is right. She is a collector of sorts, of dreams and wishes.
The cityscape is full of phallic objects, a nod to the traditional iconography that doesn’t include old aeon fish or swans or turtles. She is fully acclimated with these things and has moved on to better and brighter things.
The nuclears in the tetragram are K’an the Abyssmal and Ken the Mountain. This indicates a deep and abiding strength and a kind of prosperity which forms ideas, but she won’t chase mundane currency, nor will Logos. She will be dedicated however, and hard working, in her own worlds and wisdom-ways. This will lead to beauty. She is hypersexual, but only for the right person – they will be intellectual and logical. Others will try in vain to win her hand and they’ll fail utterly. To take her by force will only cause her to drift away silently and her spirit may never return.
The Scene: Earth of Water, The Water Faerie Melusine is a lady who embodies the primal feminine nature of water in a mortal, the goddess made flesh, It is an appropriate image for the union of earth and water, in this case, The Princess of Alembics. Sometimes she is depicted winged, a nod to the very ancient Greek titan Tethys. Dreamy, mysterious and capable of manifesting her dreams fully into reality, she is a powerful, but often overlooked royal personage. She is not one to stand out from the crowd deliberately and half of the time, she may not be able to convince others of her potential. It’s her loss, and theirs, but she makes friends easily, with lucky others who would give her a chance. Her ability to manifest dreams from the world of ideas, into the world of manifestation and physical matter is drawn from her perfect alignment with the laws of Karma on earth. Break a universal law, and you’ll be sure to drive her away. This is exactly what happened in the story of Melusine from Medieval France.
The story dates back to at least the 1300’s. Melusine was a Faerie Queen of a forest in France, called Colombiers, in the Poitou region. There was a sacred fountain she and her companions guarded. A young man approached the fountain one day and found Melusine there. They fell in love and agreed to marry, on the condition that she must never be observed on a Saturday. She brought him luck and incredible power and strength – bringing prosperity to the kingdom and building magnificent architectural marvels, such as the fortress of Lusignan. Her husband broke her rule of course, and did not mention to her when he caught her bathing on a Saturday – displaying her serpentine form. When their son attacked a monastery, he accused her of cursing the family line with her serpent blood. She left immediately, after learning of the broken promise and only returned to visit her children.
The tale is significant in that the archetype was merged with Christian symbology of the time. The Jewish belief in the doctrine of the Serpent Seed is possibly at play here, though the tale is shrouded in the mists of time and not much more is known of its origins. As mentioned before she does share a striking resemblance to Tethys, who is both a serpent and, depicted with wings, generally a benevolent major goddess.
Geomantic: Called Rubeus, (Latin for *Red*,) in its medieval interpretation, the correct Elemental association should define it as a (Youthful) Feminine/Emotional character, corresponding to the qabbalistic Briah (Creation,) in the Four Celestial (or Elemental,) Worlds.
Jungian Type: Artisans Class / ISFP (Composer) Type
The ISFJ focuses their effort on maintaining balance in their sphere, by honoring the needs of the beings and the environment around them, to which they are keenly aware of at all times. They are soft spoken, meticulous and dedicated. Sympathetic and kind, they derive satisfaction from serving others.