|Universal Waite Tarot
The Three of Cups is linked to Mercury in Cancer – and to the middle ten days of Cancer (approximately the 1st-11th July). We’re still looking at the Cancerian ideals here, so it’s Mercury that gives the Three a different ‘flavour’ from the Two. We’ve moved from the duality of the Two, the giving and receiving of love in the relationship to the communicating of our emotions. Mercury relates to communication, the mind, and language, as well as learning and acquiring the basic information we need in order to survive. It is associated with siblings, young relatives, neighbours – and friends!
The Three of Cups often symbolizes the sharing of good times with friends. A common image shows three dancing figures, all communicating and sharing that joy, celebrating the moment. ‘The moment of culmination and the period of transition from euphoria to the resumption of ordinary life’, as Juliet Sharman-Burke puts it, in her Beginner’s Guide to Tarot. ‘The moment’ – that’s another Mercurical link; Mercury is another name for quicksilver, so the planetary associations also include quickness, a fleeting moment in time... Don’t you just love those dancing cranes of the Wildwood?! It's such a joyful image - in fact, that's the word that the deck's creators chose for this card.
In the Haindl Tarot, we see that overflowing of love in the natural flow of water, filling up the cups and overflowing, symbolizing the love and joy - the outpouring of emotions - to be shared (or in more Mercurical terms – communicated) with the important people in our lives. True joy...and definitely something to be celebrated!
Haindl Tarot created by Hermann Haindl, published by US Games Systems, Inc.
Universal Waite Tarot created by Mary Hanson-Roberts & Pamela Colman-Smith, published by US Games Systems, Inc.
Wildwood Tarot created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections