Three of Cups


With favoring winds, o'er sunlit seas,
We sailed for the Hesperides,
The land where golden apples grow;
But that, ah! that was long ago.

How far, since then, the ocean streams
Have swept us from that land of dreams,
That land of fiction and of truth,
The lost Atlantis of our youth!

Whither, ah, whither? Are not these
The tempest-haunted Orcades,
Where sea-gulls scream, and breakers roar,
And wreck and sea-weed line the shore?

Ultima Thule! Utmost Isle!
Here in thy harbors for a while
We lower our sails; a while we rest
From the unending, endless quest.



ALTERNATE NAMES: Harmony, Abundance

RW DESCRIPTION: Three maidens dance and toast.
FIRST THING THAT STRUCK ME: The white, red and gold dresses. Seems alchemical.

UPRIGHT MEANINGS: The conclusion of any matter in plenty, perfection and merriment; happy issue, victory, fulfilment, solace, healing. (Waite) Abundance, pleasure, bliss, comfort, solace, healing, restoration by integrating the past into the present. Joyous exuberance, high spirits, dancing and singing, rejoicing, celebration, ceremonies and events of happiness and prosperity. Pleasant social gatherings, extending or receiving hospitality, sharing, friendship, camaraderie, finding companions, connecting, bonding, feeling loved and secure. Harmony, reunion, reconciliation, issues of trust and honor. Community, neighborhood, support group, team spirit, united effort, mergers. Commitment, promises, vows. The arts, especially the performing arts.

REVERSED MEANINGS: Expedition, dispatch, achievement, end. It signifies also the side of excess in physical enjoyment, and the pleasures of the senses. (Waite) Excessive pleasures, overabundance, overindulgence, inebriation, wanton behavior, promiscuity, wild abandon, unbridled passion, lack of self-control. Guilt, aftermath. Difficulties between friends, unproductive relationships, taking advantage of people, independence.

BIBLICAL: Psalm 133
MYTHOLOGICAL: Hesperides: mythical garden of trees of golden apples, located in the utmost west of the world.

PLANTS: grapes, apples
LOCATION: garden
MUSIC: "For he's a jolly good fellow"
FILM: First Wives' Club; Witches of Eastwick

SITUATIONS IN MY LIFE: Meeting the Secret Chiefs in Italy.
THIS CARD/PERSON IN MY LIFE: "Tarot Night" when I, my best friend, and her sister drink and exchange Tarot readings.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: I just love this card! I associate it with some wonderful times.


Description: Arthur looks worried, and Gwen and Lance look at him with concern.
This card has less of a party feel than RW, but perhaps better demonstrates the bond of friendship that endures through good and bad. The word that comes to mind is "confidante." People to whom you could say, "I fathered a son by my sister." We all need friends and lovers in which we can confide our deepest secrets and innermost concerns. And we need to be there for others, to LISTEN. It's one of the best, easiest, and most important things we can do for people. Logical Swords try to solve problems, but empathetic Cups know that for now, it's not about the problem, but the *concern* about the problem. And it's not about the harvest, it's the *joy* of the harvest. The Three of Cups is a bond not unlike the Two of Cups, but whereas the Two only have eyes for each other, Three's a crowd. And so they are friends, who celebrate or commiserate in common.
PAIR: Three of Cups and Two of Sacred Circles
The Two of Sacred Circles shows a young Native conjuring his spirit guide--in this case, Bear. The first thing that comes to mind as I view this with the Three of Cups is simply a reminder that not all confidantes, not all helpers, not all sharers of joy and blues, are human.
The LWB meaning of the Two of Sacred Circles is the balance between spiritual and physical. So one of the messages of this pair could be to look at one's relationships, and whether they help or hinder such balance. (Are your friends instigators? Do they lead you to excess?) Also, is each person holding up their end? Is everyone giving into and getting out of the relationship what they need? Physically or spiritually, or in what combination?
Then of course there's "choosing between lovers" again. Didn't I have 2C and 2P last month? Here is the infamous Pendragon Love Triangle, and each must balance their love for the other two, and their own spiritual and physical needs.
Description: Three greenish ghosts float above a pumpkin patch, raising purple chalices above themselves.
What makes this card unique is that the "tails" of the ghosts are braided, and they are using their free hands to embrace each other. They are as close as triplets from the same womb. They do seem to have a common source, as if their lives bound them together for their after-lives. The feeling I primarily get from the card is "reunion"--with family, friends, co-workers--anyone you have a history with.
I also get the impression they could be conspiring to bring joy, support a philanthropy, make the world a better place.
PAIR: Three of Ghosts and Judgment
The Judgment card also shows three figures, but rising above them is not three cups, but an undead vampire! The first thing that comes to mind is relationships based on a shared spiritual path. In the best sense, it brings love and companionship; in the worst sense, mass suicide. (Looking at this pair, I can't help but think of Jim Jones.) It's important that everyone look out for each other, and keep their eyes to the sky. Since my own path is Christian, the pair reflects the joy of reuniting with loved ones in the Resurrection. It could also indicate judging groups until you find one that resonates. (Fraternity rush.) Or a transformation or "awakening" of a group, such as when my sorority was "re-chaptered" at UF.




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