King of Vessels

Element: AETHER / FIRE

Upright: Self-Awared, Straightforward, Strong Willed, Intuitive
Reversed: Self-Absorbed, Irascible, Self-Centered


The King of Vessels represents the fourth and final stage of the alchemical Great Work.

As the Fire of the court, this figure embodies the active principles assigned to the masculine side. Following that concept, the King of Vessels appears as the Sun and the alchemical sulphur, a metaphor for the Soul.

The message previously sent from the White Queen was warmly received by the Red King who agreed with a peaceful meeting. As we can see, they both look at each other, defining a harmonious rendezvous.

The long-waited alchemical wedding is about to happen. Sol and Luna (King and Queen) have finally reconciled, and they are ready for their symbolic conjunction, forming a perfected whole.

The merging King and Queen enable the balance of our elements occurring in our inner selves, that exceeds external manifestation. As an example, in both figures we can see an enlightened shape that shines outside of hermetic vases.

Dressed in Red, the Solar King gradually transforms the White Queen. This operation is usually called Rubedo, a phase that establishes a spiritual apotheosis; the matter turning into light and the achievement of the Philosopher’s Stone. This mythical substance is not the final and perfected material, it is more like the formula to turn base materials into gold.

Knowing the common association of the Queen with the base metals (as the receptive properties) and assuming that the King is the miraculous Philosopher’s Stone, we can understand the importance of this union of them.

Symbolically, they generate a child, the alchemical gold that represents the perfected being, the rebirth of a new whole self.

The King can be you or a person that helps you achieve the alchemical Rubedo.

Upright Meaning and Interpretation

Self-Awared, Straightforward, Strong Willed, Intuitive.

The King of Vessels reflects an amazing moment of inspiration. Being the formula for your splendorous transformation, he opens to you a book of countless possibilities. 
The successful formula (that he allows to achieve) needs, however, a base ingredient. That ingredient is your prime matter, the potential which is about to be refined.

He signs a moment where your four elements are about to become harmoniously unified, opening you the great door of the spiritual senses.
His clear vision provides good advice, teaching you how to direct your potential and make faster progress in your life.

The King of Vessels is generally a depiction of someone very independent, too focused on his personal development and individual power. 

As a Fire dominant card, he shows a very strong will plus a sense of self-awareness, which enabled him to understand that his spiritual ascension may benefit from a symbolic partnership. His spiritual connection gives him, like no other King, a trustful intuition, staying in touch with himself and evolving his psychic abilities.

His raw force demands an opposite energy to balance it and moderate it, that way he motivates others in their own spiritual liberation. 

Reversed Meaning and Interpretation

Self-Absorbed, Irascible, Self-Centered.

In reverse, this King is also very independent and focused, but he denies any kind of help/union or a different perspective, so he does not accomplish the greatest step in his spirituality.

The Fire that dominates the card tends to incite his impulsive temper that only delays the progress of his own higher tasks.

This fire that is not tamed can be responsible for some other obstinate attitudes and postures. He needs to release himself from these chains that prevent him from hearing the call.

On a different spiritual level, some can call him a cult-leader. His way to inspire people may reveal some egoistical interests in the process, dragging others to his own abyss.