Three of Cups
Function: Emotions, love, spirituality, imagination
Three young women dance in a circle like muses, holding their cups up in celebration. They have laurel wreaths in their hair, signifying success and protection from harm. Ripe fruits surround them, and the sky is clear and bright. Everything is wonderful, and these women couldn’t be happier. One wears yellow, the color of intellect, white, the color of innocence and purity, and red the color of passion and magic. The sky behind them is blue, the color of the mind and spirit. They have every skill and talent at their disposal so long as the three of them are together.
They stand close and have their arms around each other and their arms intertwined. They’re close, like friends or sisters. They’re not a couple, but a community, a group of friends who come together because they want to be together, not because they have to be together. In this card, there is no indication that they have to be together to do anything, or that they even need each other. And we’re not sure what they’re celebrating. Perhaps it’s a holiday, or an accomplishment, or simply the good fortune of one of them, which makes them all happy.
The Three of Cups has people coming together out of choice for the benefit of being together, simply because they want it and enjoying it. It’s about unbridled joy, not concerned with who sees them, or if they’re being ladies and behaving as expected. No one is around to get in the way of their good time with the rule of social convention.
The Three of Cups reminds the reader of the sweetness of friendships. It is about union in a group, but about choosing to become part of a union and knowing that the you all operating together is more effective, pleasurable, or powerful than operating alone. And it’s far more fun to share a good time with others whom you like and who accept you as you are than to celebrate life alone. Even if one has a life partner, it’s good to be part of a larger community, especially those who are like you in some way. The Three of Cups definitely says “the more the merrier,” of those who make life merry. The team is important.
When the Three of Cups is Reversed:
The Three of Cups reversed is a sign that the querent feels left out in some way. Either they feel like a third- or fifth-wheel. There may be someone intervening in their relationships and edging them out, or they’re unable to enjoy being part of the group, as they feel forced to compete. The querent feels that they have to endure it or leave it.
This card reversed can also indicate a querent who feels left out because they’re without friends or don’t feel accepted in their community. They may also feel that they get lost in the shuffle, or that they’re forced to conform and disappear as one face among many, no better or important than others.
In a three-card reading, this card means…
Past: In the past, the querent was happily a part of a community in which they played an important role and were appreciated.
Present: Currently, the querent feels wanted in their community and enjoys a place among a large group of friends.
Future: In the future, the querent will feel as if they belong and have much to celebrate with their community or friends.