The Three of Cups is a happy card. Just look at Robin Wood’s card:
You see? Just look at the pink-garbed blonde on the left! She’s thrilled! They all are so happy to see you!
The Three of Cups is all about celebration. This celebration may be a get-together with friends, a family reunion, a cast party after a great run…anything you can imagine. While the participants in the joyous occasion may be any gender, this card has a feminine feel to it.
The women are surrounded by green growing things, and flowers and fruit. This is a time of growth for the questioner, but this is a happy growth.
The three women traditionally associated with this card are the feminine triad of Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
Here, Barbara G. Walker shows the three iconic women, and titles the card “Grace.” The person for whom this card is drawn is graced. He or she is blessed with contentment, joy, and good company.
You may have noticed that both Barbara G. Walker and Robin Wood have drawn a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead. The blonde symbolizes the Maiden, the redhead the Wife or Mother, and the brunette the Wise Woman. On a deeper level, this card is one of feminine power–the potential and purity of the Maiden, the fertility of the Wife/Mother, and the experience of the Wise Woman. By ‘purity’ I don’t mean virginity, but something more like the mindset of the Fool. Our Maiden here is open, enthusiastic, and curious. By fertility, I don’t mean necessarily pregnancy, thought that is a possibility, but also the birth of new ideas and creativity. The Wife/Mother is self-assured. She is the symbolic Wife/Mother of her passions–represented by the color of her hair. She is generous, a trait that continues with the Wise Woman. The Wise Woman has dark hair, alluding to her knowledge of mysteries, and her intuition.
The Wise Women is normally seen as an old woman with silver hair. The Three of Cups shows three young women because this card is associated with new romances, new babies, and weddings (Cups are associated with romantic relationships and family), as well as coming-of-age ceremonies, particularly for young women.
Kris Waldherr includes an older women with silver hair in her Three of Cups. This card looks like it could be depicting the young woman’s initiation. There is a white gown, for purity, pink for love, and purple for royalty.
The Three of Cups for Julian De Burgh’s Celtic deck shows five people, the traditional three and a couple anticipating the birth of their baby. They have gone from the happy couple of the Two of Cups to the family of the Three.
Reversed, the Three of Cups may symbolize dashed hopes or disillusionment in the area of romance, a wedding, or the birth of a new baby. Metaphorically, it could also mean frustration in a creative pursuit. On a less depressing note, it could mean that there will be a postponement or rescheduling in one of these areas. You may have to wait a little longer for that wedding, or the fertility treatments may take longer than you thought. Perhaps that art gallery opening or performance got pushed back. Ask yourself if this, while frustrating, may actually turn out for the best.