3 of Cups

Alt names: Abundance, Celebration
Keywords: Celebration, expression, community, friendliness
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Range of meanings

Light: Celebrating your feelings or connections with others. Expressing joy through song, dance, or physical affection. Working together with others who share your feelings. Performing acts of service as a way of saying, “I love you.” Embracing unconventional romantic arrangements.

Shadow: Mistaking giddiness for true affection. Being dominated by manic emotions. Expecting everyone to always feel the same way you do. Demanding unreasonable support from friends or family. Partying to a dangerous or unhealthy extent.

Questions to ask

  1. What deserves to be celebrated, and what form of recognition would be appropriate?
  2. At what point do you cross the line from having fun... to having too much fun? How can you know when enough’s enough?
  3. What’s worth celebrating in your life?
  4. How can you demonstrate your feelings in ways that land well?
  5. What can I do to show my partner how I really feel?


Personal Growth: To have more friends, be one. Look for opportunities to serve others or aid them in their pursuits. Shared success is sweeter, and you’ll find your own success is multiplied when you’re helping others achieve their goals, too.

Work: For insight into what you really love to do, monitor how you spend your time. We make time for what delights us. If your schedule is dominated by things you don’t love doing, it’s time to realign your priorities. Ask others how they manage their time.

Relationships: Be open to unconventional relationships that defy your dearly-held expectations. Saying what you feel may not be enough; sometimes, actions speak louder than words. Think beyond sex. What service can you render as a way of showing your love?

Spirituality: Especially when walking a solitary path, it’s easy to neglect the rituals that are an integral part of living with Spirit. Become a part of a like-minded group. Celebrate the season. Seek outward, shared expressions of your inner faith.

Fortune-Telling: Unconventional romance is coming your way: a gay or lesbian relationship, or a love affair with someone you’ve always dismissed.


Astrological: Cancer

Planet: Mercury

Fool's Journey: The main character's actions show how he or she really feels.

The Number 3: Getting Results: expression, productivity, output.

Cups: One of the 4 suits of the tarot. Also sometimes called vessels, or chalices. Represents intuition, spirituality, affection, and motivation. As a suit marker, Cups suggest receptivity: they are vessels, waiting to be filled. Cups have long been associated with divination (remember the uproar caused when Benjamin stole King Joseph’s cup?) and, by extension, intuition.

Upraised Cups: Upraised cups suggest a toast, which, by extension, is associated with wine, and celebration, and appreciation.

Dancing Woman: In RWS-inspired decks, the 3 of Cups frequently depicts three dancing women. How in touch are you with your more feminine emotions and instincts?

Content generously licensed from Mark McElroy via TarotTools.com.