Three of Cups

Upright/Well Dignified: With the esoteric title of this card being Abundance, it’s not difficult to see this card as being one of the more pleasant cards to appear in a reading. The card is one that seems to be all about the bounty which you have either received or are about to and how that’s going to affect you. Make no mistake though, this is a celebratory card if ever there was one. The Rider-Waite-Smith deck has three women, surrounded by fruit and with their cups raised in celebration. For whatever reason this is, there is a party happening in the card.

Another common meaning applied to this card is that of bonding. Although there are usually women shown having a celebration, there is no reason why this card can’t also refer to male bonding or for that matter, reconnecting with old friends. This is often a card about how celebration can be used to strengthen both individuals and communities.  The celebration taking place isn’t just an average party though. This is the result of previous work and the groundwork being placed leading to the fruitfulness in this card.

There are certain circumstances when, if surrounded by Cups cards and the Empress also making an appearance, this card can be hinting at a pregnancy. It’s not a common occurrence, but the energy in this card is that which, for want of a better phrase, keeps on giving. This card is also a reminder that nothing happens in a vacuum and there are always consequences to actions.

Reversed/Ill Dignified: This cup, reversed, can often be best described as uncontrolled growth. Cancer is a good symbol for this as this particular growth will not exactly make your life better. Things may very well be spinning out of control in a way that may be very difficult to stop, let alone reverse. Foolish mistakes that have been made will need to be rectified as soon as possible, or they will create unexpected and possibly even dangerous results, both in the short term and in the long term.

There are times when the Three of Cups reversed is a reference to growth that has, for some reason, cut off completely. This lack of growth means that whatever was fuelling things has been removed, or that a key component in something is no longer there. This means that in order for things to go the way that they were meant to go, somebody needs to pull their finger out and figure what exactly is missing.

There is another aspect to this reversed card. That aspect is that of isolation. While the upright card talks about the strength drawn from being part of a community, the reversed Three of Cups talks about the emotional drain that comes from being isolated from others. This is a sign that in order to right this card, it’s necessary to pull yourself out of wherever you’ve been hiding and find your way back into the sun. There is a strong sense of desolation that comes with this card reversed, as while isolation in many circumstances is a good thing, the circumstance talked about by the reversed Three of Cups is not one of them. This desolation is best broken by familiar friends and good times. If these things aren’t available, just do something that will bring you into contact with people.


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