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Difference between 3 of Cups and 4 of Wands?

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Hedera  Hedera is offline
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Question Difference between 3 of Cups and 4 of Wands?


I just realized that my general impression of these two cards is awfully similar: joy, celebration, festivities, a group of people having a party....
The party feels a bit more organized in the 4 of Wands than it usually does in the 3 of Cups, but that's about the only real difference I can come up with.

Also, I have a hard time integrating the suits' qualities with the meanings of the cards.

Any thoughts?
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The 3/cups is rather like the bridal shower (or baby shower for that matter)--in traditional RW it can be emblematic of sisterhood, or of familys getting together. It celebrates family unity, if you will.

4/Wands, however, is the actual wedding--that's a ritual indicating a foundation laid, a step taken, transforming two seperate individuals into a new family.
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I agree, the celebrations are a little different, and the 4 of Wands indicates something deeper and more long term--the community is here & we're celebrating something serious & happy, everyoen witness the grand times coming towards us.

The 3 of cups is a general 'now' feeling with a lot of surface implications--we're happy, things are great, friends are all around us, today is fabulous.
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Well I like how Thirteen put it; the four of wands is a completion of sorts, a rite of passage.

The three of cups could be the bridal shower before the wedding, and perhaps it could also be the toasts, feasting, and general mayhem after the wedding ceremony.
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3 cups is more of an organised event, like a wedding, baptism, birthday...
Something that brings the family and friends together, what you consider your intimate circle, although I would put more emphasis in blood ties.

This card makes a lot of emphasis not only in celebration, but in the importance of group, belonging to a clan and so on... part of your "earthly identity" to put it some way

Whereas the 4 of wands is more of your "spiritual identity". As someone says, it's like a rite of passage. An event where u have received guidance. And it can happen whether you are aware of it or not.
What I'm trying to say is that it need not be an "organised social event" as the 3 of cups tends to be. It is a more formal, better said it carries more *seriousness*...
But not in an attire, location or venue, but in the emotional/spiritual weight it can carry, in the significance and importance it has in your personal development, in your quest for evolving...
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Everyone has already mentioned most of what I see as the differences between these two cards. What I would add is that, to me, the 3 of Cups has more of a feeling of spontaneity. This is the unplanned meeting of three friends that turns into a celebration, a night on the town. This is the husband coming home and surprising his wife with a big boquet of flowers and a night out dancing and dining, for no particular reason other than to surprise and delight his wife.

The 4 of Wands is the party or event which has been months in the planning. The big family reunion to celebrate great-granddad's 95th birthday. Or the long-planned wedding, or anniversary, or whatever.

Both cards, to me, represent fun times and happiness but in different venues so to speak. The 3 of Cups represents events which involve the emotions to a great degree - hence the spontaneity, the surprise, the love. Whereas the 4 of Wands brings to mind events which have taken energy to put together, have required work and creativity to have been pulled off so successfully. That is the difference I see in these two similar cards.
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Thank you, that makes it a lot clearer!

(although Indigo_Lady, I have to admit your post confused me even further.... )
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I see the 3 of cups as a celebration of love, and expression of love, sisterhood, friendhips, marriage or what have you, either spontaneous or within an organized event.

The 4 of wands to me does not exactly indicate a celebration as much as it indicates success. The plans you've made became manifest. You've achieved a certain amount of stability and strength. This can be within your career, marriage, spiritual journey or even travel plans. Here you can rest and appreciate all the hard work that got you here, and get ready for the next step.
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3 of Cups signify the feeling, the happiness and the pleasure. It is an emotion that indicate how happy you are feeling with the crowd without contributing what you feel. It is the atmosphere that makes you soak you in it and not vice versa. The presence of relaxation is there.

Whereas 4 of Wands indicates the passion and the way you indulge in the fun and laughter. The feeling which is so high that makes one berserk and it is the excitement that makes the heart pump. Not comparable to 3 of Cups as it brings out the laughter in you. You are affected by it as you will enjoy the pleasure which really change your entire actions.

I used the suits to magnify the meanings. If you don't think it's right go ahead and pinpoint me.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Trogon
The 3 of Cups represents events which involve the emotions to a great degree - hence the spontaneity, the surprise, the love. Whereas the 4 of Wands brings to mind events which have taken energy to put together, have required work and creativity to have been pulled off so successfully.
That's an excellent way to distinguish them! If I may elaborate on what Trogon said:

3/Cups is any loving family gathering--the big potluck, reunion dinner , or the girls night out, or the family picnic. It's to establish FAMILY BONDS. Love, clan, unity, brotherhood/sisterhood, tribal celebration around the campfire. It's enjoying each other's company.

4/Wands, as so many have pointed out here, is a CEREMONY to establish something. So I would say that this is the wedding because it involves NOT just a party, but RITUAL. Thus, as was pointed out, the wedding party might be 3/Cups, but the actual WEDDING ceremony is most definately the 4/Wands. Another apt celebration for 4/Wands would be an old-fashioned barn-building party, or a dinner to raise money for something. The celebration has a purpose to it other than to just party. A magical, practical, creative and future-looking purpose. People are there to witness, participate in and celebrate this change, this new beginning or grand transformation!

But 3/Cups, as Trogon pointed out, is completely in the moment. It celebrates things as they are, now, and people, as they are, as you love them, now. No transformations, no barns built, no money raised. Just unity and the delight we all take in being with those we love.
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