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Three of Cups Tarot Card Meanings
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UPRIGHT: Celebration, friendship, creativity, collaborations.
REVERSED: Independence, alone time, hardcore partying, ‘three’s a crowd’.
In the Three of Cups, three young women are dancing with each other in a circle, raising their cups high in the air in a toast of joy and celebration. They look to one another with appreciation, honour and respect, and are bound by their emotional connection and friendship. There is a sense of lifting each other up and celebrating each woman’s unique contribution to the group. The ground is layered with flowers, fruit and a pumpkin, symbolising the celebration of an abundant harvest and the goodness in life.
NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.
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The Three of Cups is a card of celebration, friendship, sisterhood, and creative collaborations. Your friends and family are here to support you and lift you up to even higher levels of success. Celebrate with them and enjoy their camaraderie.
This card reminds me of the wonderful connection shared by the four female characters in Sex and the City—Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda. They stand by each other through thick and thin, and they are always there for one another as they make their way through relationships, careers and different life journeys. Nearly every episode shows them enjoying each other’s company, often over a cosmopolitan at a swanky Manhattan restaurant. You get the feeling that these girls will be friends forever and know they can always count on each other for support and compassion.
When the Three of Cups appears in a Tarot reading, you are encouraged to gather with your closest friends and have a good time together, talking, laughing, sharing and creating. Together, you give and receive the love, support and compassion each of you needs from one another. You may be inspired to host a girls’ night out, a weekend away, or start a women’s circle so you can join forces with like-minded people. The energy is high, and you’re here to do amazing things together.
The Three of Cups often indicates a very sociable period – perhaps a birthday, a wedding, the holiday season or a vacation with friends. See it as your opportunity to let your hair down and forget about your day-to-day commitments and obligations for a while. Instead, spend quality time with friends and family and enjoy yourself!
This card also invites you to collaborate with others on a creative project and inspire one another to reach new heights. Collectively, you are working towards a common goal for the greater good of others, and by reaching out to others and banding together, you can achieve a great deal by sharing your positive energy and passion with the wider community. The Three of Cups is a very creative card, suggesting that you may pursue a creative outlet within a group environment, such as an art class or a dance class. This is a great way to connect with others and to access your creative abilities.
While the upright Three of Cups is a card of friendship and social events, the reversal of this card suggests that you would prefer to go it alone right now. You may have recently spent a lot of time with others and now just need some alone time. Or perhaps you are no longer ‘clicking’ with some of your friends or a social group and are ready to move on. Or sometimes, you might find yourself on the ‘outer’, excluded from other people’s circles and feeling isolated and alone. Honour your desire to step out of the social scene for a while and enjoy this time by yourself so you can get clear on who you most want to connect with in the future.
If you are involved in a creative project, now may be the time to work independently rather than in a group. The reversed Three of Cups can show that your creativity is being stifled, or you are being forced to conform to the group. You may be part of a tight-knit club that does things a certain way and is not open to innovation or alternative approaches. You need to consider whether you are willing to sacrifice your creative abilities in favour of the group’s desires.
If you are experiencing high levels of stress or you’ve been working hard, the reversed Three of Cups appears as a message to take some time off to recuperate and gain the support of friends before returning to reality. You may have been working so hard that you’ve lost your connection with your friends and family. Now is the time to reconnect and reprioritise their love and support. See this card as a reminder to reconnect with the people you care about, let loose and have a good time, without worrying too much about the consequences.
On the other hand, the Three of Cups reversed may signify overindulgence. You may be out most nights partying, doing drugs or drinking heavily when what you need is balance in your life. Be mindful about the longer-term consequences of your actions and ask yourself whether this lifestyle is sustainable. Take a break from the social scene to regroup and get some much-needed sleep.
When it comes to relationship readings, the reversed Three of Cups can sometimes appear when a third person is involved. You may be involved with someone who is already in a relationship with someone else, whether you know it or not. Look to the other cards for more detail. The Seven of Swords signals a betrayal of trust and possible cheating. If you see the Five of Swords, you likely already know about the other relationship, but you are trying to ignore that it exists. If you see the Devil, consider the nature of the relationship as it is likely to be hedonistic and unhealthy to those involved. It is unlikely that this situation is sustainable as ‘three’s a crowd,’ and something has to give.