I’ve been reading tarot cards since I was about 15 years old…so I guess that would make it 11 years now? (Yikes, I’m getting old) During this time I’ve developed closer relationships with certain cards more than others, and I’ve decided to share the interpretations of some of my favorites/ones that seem to “haunt” me on a regular basis.
Side note: Even though I’ve been using tarot as a means to collect my thoughts and gain advice for quite some time now, I still have trouble being completely confident in my interpretation of all of the cards. With amazing online resources like Biddy Tarot (if you are interested in learning tarot, I cannot recommend this site enough), it has only made my inclination to seek out quick answers even worse. So in an attempt to get my tarot game to ultimate standards, I’ve been doing daily card pulls and writing down their meanings and my personal interpretations. Writing things down has always been the best way for me to retain information, and I’ve gotta say it has helped me out tremendously.
Additional side note: Personally, I do not do “reverse” cards in my readings. I think that depending on where a card is placed in a spread, the placement can reflect the dual nature of a card’s interpretation. Also I have a goldfish brain and I find that reverse interpretations clouds a cards overall meaning. This is not to say that I think reading reverse cards is bad! Everyone has their own way of doing things and you should do whatever feels best for you.
OK, now that I’ve got that wall of text explanation out of the way, lets begin with one of my OG favorites: The three of cups.
Key words: female friendship, celebration, community, sisterhood, blossoming creativity
Imagery*: Three women dance under a grape-vine while raising their cups in the air in celebration. The three women are unique with no immediate resemblance to the others, implying these women are not related and are instead close friends. Although their cups are raised to the heavens, their eyes are lovingly locked to each other, forever linking themselves together through their compassion and loyalty towards one another. The wreaths they wear upon their heads as well as the blossoming crops and ripe fruit that surround them are representative of success, peace, protection, abundance, and happiness. This card reminds us to think on the happier moments in our lives, and to know that beauty can be found anywhere. All it takes is to let your heart be open to love and joy.
General Interpretation: Being a girl who has always been lucky enough to maintain strong female friendships throughout their life, this card is one that really speaks to me. The three of cups is also particularly special to me because in most illustrations of this card, the three women strongly resemble me and two of my closest friends who also are into tarot. For the past year we had been doing weekly tarot readings for each other at local bars while bitching about our lives and threatening to curse fuck-boys who try to use the situation as an opportunity to woo us (Surprise! It makes us hate you). Since first getting this card in one of our group readings, the three of cups became our mascot for “Women’s Wednesdays” (also known as “Therapy Thursdays” depending on the week).
The three of cups is all about celebrating not only personal triumphs, but the triumphs of the group as a whole. Because of their deep love for one another, the three women depicted on the card are able to fully celebrate the individual triumphs of others as if they are their own. It represents a time where your heart is pouring with love, therefore keeping you receptive to any positivity that may be directed your way.
You may find that turning to a tight-knit group of female friends is exactly what you need right now. Maybe things have been rough at work, or you just need someone to listen to your paranoid ramblings while also providing you with sound advice. Whatever it may be, the constant ups and downs of the world around you can take its toll, and the three of cups serves as a fantastic reminder that you can always take a break from reality in order to share in the company and comfort of friends.
The three of cups also appears in readings when reaching the end of any struggles you may have been facing, particularly those of a social nature. You’ve finally been able to find a middle ground, and because everyone’s opinions and feelings have been taken into account, harmony has been found. Always approach these situations with an open heart, as it is always easier to express concerns and find solutions when all parties feel heard.
Finally, the three of cups represents a community coming together to focus on a common goal. Because the three of cups is a creative card, generally these goals have an artistic nature about them. What better way to bond than over some good ol’ arts and crafts or a slightly cringey night of drunken karaoke?
Overall, the three of cups is is here to remind us that we are surrounded by the love and compassion of those we hold most dear. It is through this self-made family that we are able to push through the dark times and celebrate the small successes in life. For when you have close friendships, another’s triumphs feel like your own. What’s not to love?
*Keep in mind these are interpretations of my preferred deck, the Golden Universal Tarot Deck. Images in this deck are based on the Raider-Waite imagery. Even though many cards in this deck are extremely similar to Raider-Waite, they still contain some differences.