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Whether this card is known by the name of Temperance or Art, the concept of Alchemy pictured is the same. The RWS version has an angel with a symbol of alchemy on his robe. It’s not really a “he” though, but an androgynous figure. He has one foot on the ground and the other in the water as as he symbolically mixes diametrically opposed substances. Ordinary alchemy has to do with chemistry, while spiritual alchemy is concerned with how this works on a spiritual level.
As this card represents the formula of each deck, by definition this card has to stay well within the guidelines of its deck’s style. In a way this card sets the guidelines. Langustl of course shows 2 banks of a river behind the 2 large cups that you would expect to see on this card. A higher consciousness watches from above, watching over the mysteries of the heavenly interactions of angels.
bifrost clearly shows creation taking place by the merging of opposites. Union of alchemy’s lion and eagle symbols gives birth to the Griffen, a creature obsessed with gold. In spiritual alchemy gold is a symbol of the refinement and perfection of the spirit, so we see that the creator essentially creates himself.
As Diary’s cards often show an insider’s perspective, this card exemplifies that concept. Diary’s figure takes the hands on approach, being immersed in the mixture she is manipulating. In a circle of fire, her creation which symbolically contains her is coming to life. Surrealist, which often seems to strangely continue where Diary left off, does precisely that here. The weird gooey substance that appeared in the Norn and Hanged Man cards has come taken form, and in life it finds a lot of barriers and separations.