Three of Cups

Number: 38/3

Element: Water

Astrological Association: Mercury in Cancer

Key Meaning: Celebration, abundance, family, and friendships

The Three of Cups in Tarot stands for exuberance, friendship, and community. The Three of Cups meaning in a Tarot reading is coming together in love. It comes from the viewpoint of emotions, such as feelings you have when joining with others, whether that’s a friendship or a community. The image shows three women dancing with their arms reaching out to connect their feelings and emotions, as symbolized by the cups. The women represent the social glue that binds everyone together. The card stands for emotions and experiences that make you feel like dancing, singing, and rejoicing.

Upright Meaning: It’s time to celebrate! The Three shows parties and reunions—from anniversaries, christenings, weddings, and birthdays to a great night out or weekend away with friends and family. This is a time for indulgence and reward, to enjoy other’s company, be carefree, and have simple fun. There’s also a flirtatious air about this Three, so if you’re looking for a relationship, you’ll soon be in the perfect situation and mood for lighthearted love.
The cups on the card are raised in a toast: There’s a feeling of abundance, but if you’re a wine-rather than water-drinker, or you’ve got a sweet tooth, you may be tempted to overindulge. However, whatever your pleasure, the Three ultimately reveals emotional and/or physical healing. Spending time with people who make you feel good raises your vibration and energy levels. This positive influence can also soothe physical ailments that are triggered or exacerbated by stress.

As three is the number of creation, this shows a creative time—literally, with a pregnancy or birth, or in your creative goals. Turn your focus to new ideas and share them, as whatever you do will be enjoyable and well received, and even rewarded, by others. It’s time to let your talent shine.

Reversed Meaning: When reversed, the Three of Cups can indicate a flirtation or indulgence gone too far, with affairs and heated emotions. In established relationships, there may be distance and a lack of cohesion and understanding. Someone close may be overly opinionated and egotistical, and the dynamics of a close relationship—romantic or friendship—become skewed. Emotional betrayal in friendships is also a common meaning of the Three of Cups.

Creativity takes a nosedive, too, as creative blocks abound; it may be hard to get started as you suffer a lack of motivation and support. If so, take a break and return to your projects when you feel more grounded and less affected by others’ emotional demands.

About the Deck: “Ciro Marchetti’s Tarot of Dreams” from