Avia Venefica


Three of Cups
Tarot Card Meaning

Three Of Cups. (Aquarian deck published by US Games) Three Of Cups. (Morgan-Greer deck published by US Games) Three Of Cups. (Universal Waite deck published by US Games)

Keywords to the Three of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:

  • Joy
  • Bliss
  • Elation
  • Festivity
  • Reunion
  • Freedom
  • Fecundity
  • Indulgence
  • Abundance
  • Partnership
  • Celebration
  • Cheerfulness
  • Complimentary
  • Fulfillment of Senses

Undoubtedly you will find your own harmonic resonance and personal meanings for the Three of Cups, but for me this card consistently draws comparison to the Three Graces in Greek myth.

Indeed, Botticelli's artistic rendition of the Three Graces and Pamela Colman Smith's illustration Similarities between Botticelli's Three Graces and the Three of Cups (in conjunction with Arthur Waite's influence) are undeniable in similarities upon comparison. We can see these similarities and marvel at the richness in sensuality, and human elation housed in these illustrations. I invite you to take a closer look by clicking here or on the thumbnail image.

As cups are the emotion keys, we are that much further pulled into the intoxicating heights of celebration this card proposes. When the Three of Cups shows up in our readings it's time to dance in the footsteps of the lithe and lively Graces, and heed their hypnotic songs of vitality and elation.

You may even want to incorporate an archetypal meditation and visualization with this Tarot card. Consider each archetypal quality the Three Graces embody:

  • Aglaia: Splendor
  • Euphrosyne: Good Cheer
  • Thalia: Joviality

Contemplating the Three of Cups in the comparative light of the Graces, and overlaying these three archetypal qualities onto our daily behaviors can garner incredible inflow of joy and elation. Give it a try by keeping these symbolic images and the meanings foremost in your mind.

A few symbol meaning for the Three of Cups:

click for a larger view of all cards with the Flowers symbol

Flowers: As we would guess, flowers possess symbol meanings of joy, beauty, growth, sensitivity and unfolding. They are predominant features on the six of cups and four of rods, but they are seen sprinkled throughout many deck renditions (see also the Sunflower symbol meanings entry). Flowers are all about opening up and receiving the light of love, joy and compassion into our lives. They remind us of the better things in life, the good times, the sweet smell of success, and the beauty that surrounds us if only we open up to its presence. Click here other flowers in the cards.

click for a larger view of all cards with the Wreath symbol

Wreath: Typically wreaths of laurel are depicted on the various feature cards (listed below). Wreaths of this type have long been a symbol of victory ever since the first ancient games upon mount Olympus where the victor was crowned in laurels (hence the term "resting on his laurels" comes when one relies on his/her credentials rather than further drive/action). A sweet smelling laurel wreath is also a symbol of protection, peace and purification and is associated with the god Apollo. It is a message that the favor of the Gods is upon us, and that we shall be the victor in this stage of our lives. Click here for other wreath symbols in the cards.

Some questions the Three of Cups asks of us:

  • How much joy can I stand?
  • Can I release myself to such an extent that I may succumb to total elation?
  • How can I more fully enjoy celebrations and parties?
  • What can I do to incorporate a sense of playfulness in my daily life?
  • Can I accept that joy is my natural state, and that I do not have to earn it?

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