The Three of Cups is a joyful tarot card full of images of celebration and abundance. In general, it is seen as a card symbolizing bounty and abundance, as well as socialization and casual friendships. Most tarot readers associate the Three of Cups with general harmony and bounty, although in some contexts it may symbolize fertility, and even pregancy.
In the Rider-Waite tarot deck, the most popular tarot deck in the English-speaking world, the Three of Cups displays three women, each holding a golden chalice, dancing in a circle and lifting their cups together in the center. The Three of Cups gives the general appearance of a party or celebration, and the ground is covered with fruit and flowering vines. Many tarot enthusiasts interpret the scene as a harvest festival.
In general, tarot readers interpret the Three of Cups as a symbol of celebration and bounty, indicating the fruits of hard labor– a bountiful harvest. The union of the three women may indicate the joys of community and an abundance of mutual care and happiness. It is a card of harmony and prosperity, especially including social situations and new friendships.
Depending on the context of the tarot reading, the Three of Cups may also indicate a lack of maturity, or an overindulgence in socialization at the expense of important priorities. While the Three of Cups card symbolizes joy through friendship, it might also communicate a need for an end to the ongoing party. The subject of the tarot reading should consider whether or not he has been indulging in leisure activities to an excess.
When reversed, the Three of Cups is seen to have the polar opposite meaning that it ordinarily exudes. It indicates a barren social landscape or a person who feels lonely, troubled, and isolated. Often, tarot readers view the reversed Three of Cups as a symbol of someone who is in desperate need of community support during a time of trouble, but has no access to friends or family to help. The tarot reader should encourage the subject to seek help from support groups, if necessary.
While the reversed meaning is quite unfortunate, the general meaning of the Three of Cups remains quite positive. The tarot reading’s subject should enjoy the time of bounty, friendship, and abundance, but should also maintain groundedness in professional, creative, and non-social endeavors. A state of balance must be maintained.
Source: Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
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