I LOVE this card - especially following both the Priestess and the Moon - and the novel I am reading has a lot of alchemical goodness in it too - synchronicity!
Looking closely at the symbolism here, Art and Death are closely intertwined. The cauldron is the Death card - the raven/skull is the caput mortuum and shows the alchemical process of putrefaction, taking place inside. ..
It is also the consummation of the Royal Marriage that happened back in The Lovers. Art is the coagula to the Lovers solve. The White Tincture of the Empress unites with The Red Tincture of the Emperor. So, now we have from The Magus, The Empress and The Emperor - mercury, salt and sulfur. Combined and balanced creates the Universal solvent, Vitriol. ..
So, what does Vitriol dissolve? Old life - to create new. Behind the figures on the card is the Orphic Egg. Everything we see on this card is actually happening inside the Egg -everything is combining together - all the alchemical trumps before this are merging into one being and creating a new one.
I know this is a lot of alchemical information that can be confusing, but it comes down to this: combining, dissolving, creating something new. Everything that we were, that we are, that we have learned gets combined within us and makes something more. This is where we decide what it is we want and don't want and shape the life we want. This is our Great Work
My Tarot Card Practice. I have been studying Tarot for over 20 years now and am still learning new things daily.