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3 of Cups | Weekly Tarot Card Pt 3: Element and Number

This is the third installment of the Weekly Tarot Card. You can read the first two installments in the following links:

Hopefully in yesterday’s meditation, you spent some time examining what your overflowing cup might look like, and who you invite to take from the overflow in celebration. Today we begin dissecting the 3 of Cups into parts: the suit/element and number—or rather, Water and the number 3.

Water

The element of Water has three associations: emotion, the subconscious, and intuition. Emption is generally what people see from others. We express our emotions, in one way or another. They are our outlets for our inner workings, and while they can be deep seeded, they are generally just on the surface.

What roots the emotion is what’s going on in the subconscious. When there’s something rough and deep we’re working on, it can cause depression, anxiety, irritability, etc. We feel sad, on edge, angry. The latter is our emotions which surface as a result of the former. What causes it is something within the subconscious, the deeper self. Therapy is generally aimed at getting to the root cause of these conditions, to dig out the root and work through it.

This is how emotions and the subconscious are related.

Intuition helps to navigate both of these things. It is the vessel with which the subconscious speaks to the conscious.

What does this have to do with Water?

Water has many levels—the shallow waters of the beach that are crystal clear and is usually added into descriptions of paradise. Likewise, it has deep levels that can have reduced visibility.

However, with the pull of the Moon, the tides change, and this can stir up some of what’s lying beneath the surface.

The Moon generally corresponds to intuition and the element of Water because of its influence on Water. It has an influence on behavior in animals and people (many police stations in cities can attest to this), most likely because we contain so much water in us.

3

The number 3 is the number of creation. While the number 2 and 1 have many different definitions that are all tied together, 3 is simply creativity/creation. It is the fist number with which a shape can be formed.

When we consider that 1 is a point, and two 1’s (2) create two points between which a line can be drawn, then three 1’s (3) then create a shape. This is the first shape created, and with it, building can commence.

With creation is expansion. 3 is the result of 1 and 2 added together, expanding beyond themselves. When there is one person, and another joins, they have the potential to create something together. That something is neither of them as it is separate of them, yet it is both of them, since it was created of them. Thus, the number 3 is an expansion.

When considering the 3 of Cups, consider how the number 3 actually corresponds to the element of Water. As I mentioned before, there are three aspects associated with Water: emotion, subconscious, and intention. Consider in your own 3 of Cups card, are these three individuals coming together and celebrating an actual gathering of people, or are they the accumulation of the three aspects of Water?

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Decks Used

The Aquarian Tarot in a Tin by Italian-born, American-raised David Palladini, was published originally in 1970 by U.S. Games Systems Inc, and then republished again in 2016 in a smaller size. Named after the Age of Aquarius, the Aquarian Tarot is a midieval depiction of the Rider-Waite Tarot system. The images are closer, and thus might give the impression of being more character-based rather than relying on symbolism. This intimate deck provides a stark reflection of the human condition in it’s journey through the tarot.

Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’

Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.

Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.

Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.

The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.

Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.

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