Rubedo is considered a form of coagulatio. It is a fixation of the volatile, or a state called fixity. These cards show us two different processes to reach a rubedo state of consciousness. In one we manage to integrate the lost parts of our soul in a Conjunctio that transcends our being. Unfortunately, this image tends to translate into trying to find the ideal soul mate. How many people spend their lives looking for a soul mate? Why do we need to project the ideal Self unto another? In fact, this card above often signals the integration of opposites within one individual and alludes to that process that allows us to find the lost parts of our Self.
The III of Swords below is usually the way we actually reach a rubedo stage of self realization. It is hard soul work indeed.
Two of Vessels and Three of Swords copyright 1995 Robert M. Place