The Rider-Waite THREE OF CUPS illustrates the THREE Dancing GRACES, an image popularized during the Renaissance. Again, more of a mundane representation than the Thoth Deck; however faithful to the meaning of the Four Threes, as they generally mean the realization of an action. The Action here is dancing in a circle implying the spiraling energy of flow. In the Thoth Tarot- 3 of Cups, we have a card of Persephone and/or Demeter. This is Binah, Great Mother Ocean, and her suit Water, united. This is shown by the Pomegranate Cups Overflowing from the Lotus (Wombs) blooms that sprout from the single Lotus of Binah on her Great calm Sea.
The Will and the Word of the 2 of Cups, is now the abounding joy of Love in the 3, that only the sensual experience of Union can produce. In a hidden sense, this is the Spiritual basis of fertility.
In the 3 of Cups, we have the influence of Mercury in Cancer which exemplifies the truth of this card, as Mercury is the Will or Word of the All Father fertilizing Cancer, the most receptive of all Signs.
Emotional Abundance, may sound frightening to someone whose emotion basis for operation is fear. But to those of us who Know the Will and the Word, E-motion, is Energy-in-movement, and such abundance, applied with Loving Will, is the most fertile way to create.
Now, astrologers know that when Mercury and Cancer are combined, there is a possibility of bringing forth the most Arcane, or Mysterious Ideas. For instance, Binah, The Great Sea of the Universal Unconscious, is the Moon in one aspect, and Saturn in another; Mercury, as a demiurge who is the Word or Will of the All One, is also the guide of the Souls of the Dead. Thus, this card requires a subtle interpretation.
First, the pomegranate is the fruit that Persephone ate in the garden/realms of Pluto, allowing him to hold her in the lower world. His hold on her resisted the most powerful influences, so there she staid, coming to the surface of the Earth once a year bring her fertility to earth, known as Spring.
This sounds familiar to all of us who have experienced the joyful pleasure of Love, for it rises and recedes, from the Inner Self who is in the inner dark of Pluto/Hades where we also store our "inner demons". Imagination, our "Creatrix Mind" who is the Great Sea of Emoted Self-Identity, carries the paradox of equal and opposite.
The lesson represented by the 3 of Cups, seems to be that the good things in life, while being enjoyed, should also be distrusted. There is a catch to Joy, and it is the opposite of joy. This our Souls must remember when enjoying the Sensual Domain of Assiah, by operating a human body, our Spirit becomes action/reaction, beginning and end, dark and light, hot and cold, etc. Sometimes we forget and then launch ourselves into a depressive mental state because we have only memories of yesterday's fiery joy, while we bath our identity in today's cold sorrow. Just remember, that Joy makes you laugh, dance, and seems to fog all reason, which is good, but it is also mercifully temporary, as creation needs focus to continue evolving. For life depends on us going back into the lower world of labor and loss, so that we can arise, fertile and productive, becoming the next Spring of fruitfulness.
When the 3 of Cups is thrown during a reading, the querent will be experiencing:
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