Three women hold a gay meeting in this card. They face each other so that two faces are visible and the third faces away from the viewer. They lift large chalices into the air over each other as if to cheer the occasion. Two of them have flowers in their hair. One is carries a bunch of grapes in her other hand. The sky is cloudless behind them. On the ground at their feet are fruiting plants and vines. There is an overall sense of gaiety.
“I passed my finals!” “We closed on the house!” “I got the job!” “He’s coming home!” “I made it!” Whatever the reason to celebrate and be joyous, the three women of the 3 of Cups will raise their chalices for it. Generally this is a happy, but somber, card. Whatever pains and burdens is borne the rest of the day, they will be put aside for this one joyous moment. It is not a permanent state of emotional intoxication, and the maidens will eventually have to leave the garden to return to the daily drudgeries of their lives. But when they leave, the joy will remain in their hearts for some time after.
In a single card reading, this announces to the Querent that what they had struggled to complete will be completed to satisfaction. On occasion I have had this card warn the Querent to “live in the moment” and to stop worrying about all that will come after “leaving the garden”. Leave tomorrow’s troubles for tomorrow. Right now, breathe and enjoy you are alive.
When ill-dignified, the card warns of overindulgence to intoxication, both emotional and liquid. It can warn of alcoholism and addiction, of avoiding the pains of everyday life by trying to immerse oneself in emotional fixes. It has warned one Querent of using online games as their means of self-medication, using the digital triumphs to avoid physical obligations. After all, anything that can give us pleasure can be used to numb us against pain.