Are you excited about your friendships? Is a group welcoming you with open arms? Are there new life lessons that are bringing you great insight that involve collaboration? Are you getting ahead with the help of some acquaintances who are “in the know”? A Tarot reading that features the Three of Cups is a reading that is reflecting your joy in finding the right group of friends in life.
Three women dressed in robes are toasting their golden cups high in the air. The one in the center is turned away from us, face obscured, but the other two are smiling. The have flowers in their hair and stand on fertile ground with foliage and vegetation growing all about. Behind them is a cloudless, peaceful blue sky. We can look at their shoes and see that they are almost dancing in this circle. There are few depictions of joy as succinct as the Three of Cups.
It is important to note that these three women are happy because they are with each other. There is a complete equality illustrated here, there is no dominant character, which is the usual case in many Tarot card depictions. The suit of Cups represents love and emotions. The Cups here are raised quite high and the fact that they are raised over the heads of each of these three revelers might be a small warning. Emotions often get the better of us and we submit to them even when we can logically determine that the emotional choice might not be the best thing. Often we are weakened when emotions come into the picture; when feelings are put in a higher position than the common sense of our heads. The joy of belonging to a group or bonding with some friends is so intense that we mindlessly conform in order to maintain our status in that clique. Amidst the joy of the celebration in the Three of Cups, a lack of thought and planning may be present despite such a good time being had by all.
Meaning in Past, Present and Future Positions
Every Tarot reading is divided into three sections. Cards are dealt into your past position, your present position and your future position. When the Three of Cups is in the past position, you can look back fondly on a wonderful time in your life when you felt secure and part of a group of friends going places. If you are depressed presently, perhaps you can use the fact that you have experienced this type of joy before to understand that it could come around again in your life. If you are doing well right now, there is a good chance that the Three of Cups in the past position is the foundation of your present comfort. It could illustrate a blissful childhood or underscore your elation at a successful stint in a sorority back in your college years. If the Three of Cups appears in the present position in your Tarot reading, you are running with a good crowd, and any stress in your life is likely to dissipate when you spend time with your close friends. A new club, church or other social organization could be dominating your life and making you feel like you finally have a place to belong. When the Three of Cups is dealt into the future position in your Tarot reading, good times are coming your way. If you can get past any trust issues, there are people who will truly warm up to you and include you in their way of life.
Your Tarot reading is not a set of cards that mean things alone. The cards near each other in a reading combine to illustrate more complex visions of your life and your potential. The cards around the Three of Cups will let you know what kind of friendships the card is illustrating and whether they will be as deep and joyous as possible.
When cards of other suits that are also numbered Three appear alongside the Three of Cups, your reading is definitely about groups and friendships. The Three of Pentacles indicates in-laws or other family will have sway over your life. The Three of Swords confirms that a tragic event will unite you with some people with whom a strong bond can form. The Three of Wands indicates that a good business or creative climate is impending and that a few other people with whom you are working will help get a project right and make it profitable.
These Minor Arcana cards are all lower echoes of the Major Arcana cards that carry the number Three with them: The Empress (Tarot Card #3) and Death (Tarot Card #13). The Empress represents the self-fulfillment aspect that the Three of Cups finds in groups. Meanwhile Death represents the power of transformation to completely alter one’s existence. The Three of Cups echoes this in the ecstasy of the three women in joyous abandon, transformed in spite of any demands of the real world.
When there are many Cups cards in your reading accompanying the Three of Cups, the emotional connection that you make with your new friends will be deeper and more satisfying, although you will also be risking more of revealing the real you. When a reading featuring the Three of Cups also has many cards revealed from the suit of Swords, the issue of commitment and following a strict philosophy begins to take shape. Are your new friends followers of a particular guru whose guidance has made them better and happier people? Be careful not to give blind obedience in exchange for friendship and acceptance.
When the suit of Wands is featured prominently in a reading with this card, look to find creative inspiration from the people around you. This is a card combination that one might see when starting a class in art or business. The Three of Cups is in a treacherous Tarot reading when there are many cards from the suit of Pentacles present. Pentacles represent material reality and create a multitude of reasons for people to be around you. Friendship for the sake of friendship should be the case and the lust for wealth is the thing that most clouds and corrupts this simple truth.