The Cups suit on the whole indicate positive, happy experiences of mutual reception and free-flowing emotional expression, and no card does this more immediately and viscerally than the Three of Cups. The image of three women raising their overflowing goblets in unison dancing around the fruits of a feast and horns of plenty, speaks louder than words. This card symbolizes a time of revelry, joy, celebration and happy socializing. People rally together around a common cause about which they feel excited, enthusiastic and joyful. This card may signify a literal event, feast or celebration, or simply a general spirit of (possibly intoxicated) playfulness.

Cups, which correspond the element of Water, represent the force of life which binds everything together in unity. The robes of the women blend their bodies together in the image, suggesting freedom from the limits of the personal ego. Alcohol, music and dance facilitate this loosening of individual boundaries which usually separate us from one another, making it easier for us to recognize the shared qualities of all people and the triviality of the differences that we sometimes cling to for self-preservation or a firm sense of identity.

Certain celebrations like weddings, birthdays, graduations or rites of passage are also shared across cultures, and even celebrated in similar ways. Food, for instance, like that which the three women are surrounded by, is a part of every culture and celebration, and the sight of it gives all of us the happy feeling of good times and memories of being surrounded by our closest and dearest. We all have the same basic needs, and the same things excite and please our five senses, no matter how different we may be in our personalities. Thus the Three of Cups represents a truly unified, undifferentiated group of people, who bask in the warmth of that unity and for the moment feel unlimited in their capacity for love, compassion and trust.

This card symbolizes happy teamwork yielding great success, release from a difficult time into a celebratory one, or simply a shared experience of joy and excitement.

Astrological Association:

The Three of Cups card is connected to Mercury (Magician) in Cancer (Chariot).

Card meanings upright:

The Three of Cups card can represent celebration and fun in your friendships or communities. You are likely to experience much happiness and abundance, and you or someone you know is likely to get engaged or married.

Card meanings reversed:

When the Three of Cups card is reversed, it can indicate a celebration gone wrong. You may experience jealousy or unhealthy competition in some aspect of your life during this time.

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The Three of Cups card can represent a pleasant time in your work life. You likely have good money coming in, and could be positioned well for a promotion or a new job. If you are looking for work, your search could soon be very successful. Don’t give up, and you will likely be pleasantly surprised with how things turn out for you.

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The Three of Cups card sometimes represents a reunion with a long lost love in your life. If you are single, it is likely you will meet a love who embodies all the qualities you’re looking for in a partner. This will likely be a brand new love, not an old love reignited.

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The Three of Cups card may signify a time of decreased attachment to money in your financial life. You may have money coming in, but are likely feeling that is goes out just as fast as you bring it in. Now is a good time to focus on the abundance in your life and the universe and know that your needs will likely always be met as long as you remain positive.

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The Three of Cups card can represent a spiritual awakening in your life through a mentor or discussion group. If you typically pursue your spirituality in private, you may experience immense spiritual benefits through seeking out mentor or teacher.

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The Gilded Tarot Deck by Ciro Marchetti © 2004 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125.  All rights reserved, used by permission.

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