The 3 of Cups is a gorgeous card to have turn up in any spread. Cups, being emblematic of the element of water, represent emotions, feminine will power, gentleness, persuasion and deep-seated spiritual motivations. The number 3 is representative of completion, creation, fertile expression, and artistic endeavors. When we merge the suit of Cups with the number 3, what we get is a beautiful, powerful outpouring of energy; a culmination of creativity, fecundity, and emotional expression.
Traditional depictions of the 3 of Cups show three women in brightly colored dresses, holding wine glasses aloft while they dance upon a lush green turf, smiling and laughing, their cheeks flushed with wine. Are they friends who have come together for a reunion of sorts, or strangers who have discovered each other at a party and are celebrating all the wonderful things they have in common? Both interpretations apply, as the 3 of Cups suggests a meeting of minds, bodies and souls in a celebration of good ties, harmonious relationships, and camaraderie.
Astrological association: Mercury in Cancer
The message here is one of emotional abundance. When this card turns up in a spread, expect fun evenings out with your girlfriends, dinner parties and social gatherings with those nearest and dearest to you, as well as reconciliations and the repairing of estranged relationships. Anniversaries, engagements and weddings are also indicated, as are any other occasions in life that have a cause to be celebrated. Because of this card’s connection with celebration, important holidays and festivities are indicated as well.
As a ‘timing’ card, the 3 of Cups can be used to determine the length of time between a predicted outcome and the date of the reading, by using the next approaching festival (for example, Christmas if the reading was done sometime in late November) as a gauge of how long to wait before the prediction becomes true. Traditionally, this card can be used to represent a time-frame spanning from anywhere between 3 weeks to 3 months. Sometimes, this card can also signify pregnancy because of its association with the suit of Cups and the number 3 (think of it as another version of The Empress).
In the Thoth tarot, the 3 of Cups is titled Abundance, and its astrological correspondence to Mercury in Cancer highlights the ability to communicate and express the more nurturing, positive, light-hearted emotions we feel. In the card, the golden lotus blossoms and pomegranate fruit are indicative of a richness of mind, body and spirit, and the generous outpouring of light shows the myriad blessings that await discovery. This card promises that emotional abundance awaits if you choose to seek it out, and encourages the communication of feelings that will ultimately elevate the relationships in our life to places of joy and fulfillment.
In the context of a romance or love reading, the 3 of Cups can be indicative of an ‘open relationship’, one in which partners are not mutually exclusive to each other. Look to the surrounding cards to gauge if both parties are aware and accepting of this fact. If accompanied by the 5 of Wands (Strife), the 3 of Swords (Heartbreak) or the 7 of Swords (Deception), then it is possible that an affair is in the works. If single, meeting someone at a social gathering is indicated.
In the context of work, this card advises collaboration and teamwork with like-minded people to bring about the successful completion of a project. If asking about a change in career, the 3 of Cups can signify a move into an entertainment-related field or event management. Group interactions can lead to spiritual epiphanies and herald a time of emotional rebirth and rejuvenation.
Because of this card’s association with fun, social activities and parties, it is all too easy to overindulge. The 3 of Cups can be quite Jupiterian in nature, meaning there can be too much of a good thing happening all at once. Guard against extravagant purchases and too much food or drink, more so because this card predicts a dramatic improvement in your social life. Dinner out with a group of friends? Try an organic food joint instead of a steakhouse. You can still have a great time without piling on the calories. Late night out with the girls? Ease up on those Cosmopolitans. With this card, you can rest assured that you won’t be needing alcohol to find pleasure in the company you’re with.
Let the good times roll!