In the Three of Cups we see three females holding their cups in the air, almost as if toasting or celebrating an event. They dance in a circle. Behind them is vegetation rich in fruit while what resembles a smashed pumpkin is on the ground. One of the females holds some of the vegetation in her free hand. Upon their head they each wear wreaths.
The three of cups is a positive card to receive, denoting happy times, enjoyment and pleasure. Cups are aligned to emotions in the tarot. Threes on the Tree of Life denote realisation, the grounding of a project compared to the initial stages of ideas and planning. The three of cups therefore denotes pleasurable emotions centered around social contacts or relationships.
On a more basic level, the card may signify a gathering which will be enjoyable. The presence of three females is significant, hinting that it is not so much a love relationship (man-woman) that is signified but relationships centered around friendships. The card may portend happy times with friends and family.
A celebration of an event is also possible. Re-unions, births, celebrating life”s phases are also possible.
There is certainly an air of witches depicted in the card. Pumpkins are of course an autumn fruit and are synonymous with Halloween. Halloween or Samhain is the start of the pagan new year, when the old is seen out and the new welcomed in. That the females could be celebrating the new leads to suggestions of fertility, birth, beginnings or transitions – all with a heavy theme of happiness. The passing of the old or past is not causing sadness in the image but thoughts are instead on celebrating the new.
Threes, being the realization or bringing to fruition the creative energy of twos, suggest a temporary success. That the females wear wreaths upon their head supports this theme, wreaths long having been a symbol of success. Threes are by no means the end result of a path in the tarot, but they do signify success of a sort. In this case, the success of plans made, reunions sought, friendships confirmed or renewed.
Now is the time to ensure that we support our friends and family. It is a time to make that special effort to ensure our friendships have a solid base on which to grow and in turn, support us through the bad times.
Reversed: The three of cups reversed signals delayed reunions, difficult gatherings or social occasions that do not live up to expectations. We may have trouble contacting friends or find that our best laid plans for occasions do not come to fruition in the manner we planned them.
Frustrations in friendships, arguments and disagreements are all possible. Instead of celebrating new beginnings, we find ourselves focused on the past. In a sense, the past may be controlling our lives instead of being guided by future possibilities. The three of cups reversed therefore warns us to let go of the past and look to the future.