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(For a list of all card articles, open March 2008 on the sidebar).

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Three Of Cups

and we all come from the same place
the same rope, unravelled, reknotting
caught in the same stream
running to the same sea
and twisting together
and dancing,
with arms stretched to the same sky
hoping to catch the same water
we are not one
but we are three.

I've never thought of it like this before, but as I wrote that I distinctly thought of the Unholy Triumvirate. For those who do not know us; we are three, give or take, and we have a place and a togetherness, and most of all, we have stories. Some are about summertimes; some are about tramping around in the mud in Epping Forest; some are about warm afternoons in town, or weekends flomped at home with videogames and endless cups of tea; some are about coping with disasters, or arguing with each other; many only exist in the space between us - making birthday cakes for imaginary friends, sharing writing, and riffing off years of built-up injokes. We come and go with each other - but I just moved across an ocean, and that's a difficult spot to work back from.

And this picture - three abstract figures, weaving about each other, in the sky, before the waters.

It's traditionally a card of celebration, often formal celebration - right now I'm feeling the force of that threeness, with its containedness, its shape. The Three of Cups has intent - they're never figures thrown together at random, or in conflict, as in many other cards; they have decided to dance together as one, and raise their chalices together. The figures are usually all female, and the card often hints at the purpose of the gathering, but neither of these things are fixed in stone; they flow in water, and may take any route to reach the sea.

This card is a reminder that it is party time if someone says it is party time. That's all it takes.

Images of the Three of Cups:

The RWS ladies (image from the Universal Waite). They're arranged in a formal-looking dance; judging from the fruits on the ground, they dance for the harvest. Each has a different hair colour - knowing the RWS, that probably hints that the people who come together to make the Three of Cups the happy place that it is are and have to be of a great variety of elements. If they were all the same, it'd be more of a circle jerk than a dance.

Celebration from the Osho Zen. It's raining, and there is cherry blossom falling, and they are happy and dancing; it's a deliberate talkback to the RWS image, saying that there doesn't have to be a fixed celebration, a collection of balanced ingredients, a laid-out set of steps or even a sunny day; celebration is wherever you make it, in any weather, with whoever is there.

A pip card from the Scapinis - bountiful, varied and overflowing.

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