3 of Cups | Weekly Tarot Card Pt 5: Divinatory Meaning

This is the fifth and last installment in this Weekly Tarot Card series. The next series will begin on Monday. However, if you’d like to get caught up on the rest of the week, you can use the following links:

Throughout the week we’ve slowly been working towards developing personal understanding and adding to it with the more ‘universal’ symbolism associated with the 3 of Cups. Through regular practices of observing, journaling, meditation and consideration of each card, you’ll enrich your connection with the card, which will enhance your Tarot reading skills.

Each question and client and card combination calls on different understandings of any given card. By regularly exploring and expanding the knowledge of these cards through personal experience, you’ll be able to address these infinite situations in which these cards appear. With this in mind, I hope you’ll take the time to reflect on the exercises this week, and consider how they all come together to create your personal definition of the 3 of Cups before you go on to read mine below.

Defining the 3 of Cups

The suit of Cups is about emotion. The number three is about expanding and building. What happens when your cup is so overflowing that you can expand? You end up sharing it. Consider the times you’ve been invited out to a friends house for dinner, out dancing, to a gathering at the lake, etc., but you weren’t feeling well in yourself, and so you declined. Your cup wasn’t full. When your cup is brimming, you want to share it with people.

The symbolism in the 3 of Cups indicates harvest. The implication of a harvest is that the work has been put in, and now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. These fruits are internal. They’re to do with your emotional wellbeing. This generally implies joy, even if it’s short lived. This card is calling to celebrate that joy, or at least, do things which encourage celebration of self with those who enjoy celebrating you.

The correlation of Air (Mercury) and Water also indicate a social situation. While Air generally represents communication and thought, it also indicates social or communal situations.

3 of Cups Divinatory Meaning

This is a card for celebration. The harvest has arrived and the fruits of labor can be enjoyed. The three women call for the subject to raise a toast to work well done, and to the joys of life.


Celebration, joy, friendship, community.

Take the time to journal what you think about this card. How does my definition differ from yours? What do you agree with? What do you disagree with? Examine your thoughts related to defining the 3 of Cups. And please feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments.

Next week we’ll begin looking at the 3 of Swords. This card gets a bad wrap, but as we delve further into the Tarot, we’ll see that all ‘bad’ cards are simply just how you look at them.

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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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