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swimming in tarot 
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Bohemian Gothic Tarot study - Three of Cups


At a waterfall that passes through a craggy chasm, a place of wild, romantic, untamed beauty--just a little threatening--three sisters pose. It is almost sunset, as is borne witness by the moon almost in first quarter, seen in the sliver of sky just visible. Standing with their backs to the pool on its rocky edge, the girls are dressed lightly and lacily in trailing pastel dresses, with white shoes, more suitable for a summer's day at a garden party than for a picnic, and no doubt getting a bit chilly in the damp and shade of the evening as they are. A bevy of bats flies down through the gap; creatures of the night, they are awakening from their hanging-spots on the cliffs. The eldest girl raises her left hand makes a perch of it, inviting a bat to alight, as if it were a bird. The girl standing before her in a mauve dress holds a large glass chalice, with an ornate brass base. An odd thing to bring on a day's outing. Is this a spa with healing waters, and is this chalice used for drinking them? The girl seated on the cold rocks is perhaps the most interesting figure. She wears the same hairband and bow as her young sister, but looks directly at us, sizing us up, with...shall we say...a rather "sophisticated" expression for one her age. She holds her left hand out as though she is holding an invisible cup, herself. She's already drunk this water, hasn't she? I'm not sure what's in the water, but somehow I don't think it's simply health-giving properties! Her dress is the same colour as the eldest sister's; aqua [water]. Will the girl in the mauve dress, holding the chalice, look at us with the same over-wise expression once she's had a few sips, and will her dress suddenly turn aqua? Let's all do something unwholesome together, girls!
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The Cups suit in this deck seems to focus a lot on Vampires (fitting for a suit about cups and "drinking") and I'm reminded of how, in Bram Stoker's Dracula our Vampire has three "wives." The little sisters are far too young, but that just reminds me of Interview with a Vampire where the vampire turns a little girl.

Their "vampirism" is reinforced by the way the eldest gazes up at the bats as if they're pretty birds or butterflies. Yet it certainly holds to the message of sisterhood, doesn't it? They look like they really love each other and are having a lovely time at the waterfall. I do wonder what it is they're picnicking on....
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My feeling is they are doing some sort of ritual. The first thing I thought of when I saw this card was the mother (I think) saying to the child: "Stay here honey, Mommy has to summon the Elder Gods now." (Yeah. I'm an H.P. Lovecraft fan. XP) The cup is way too fancy for just a picnic, it has to be some sort of ritual tool. Maybe the mother told her husband that she and the girls were going on a picnic, and instead went back to the waterfall to do something much more interesting. I find it also interesting that she takes the girls with her. She must really know what she is doing if she thinks that whatever she is doing won't harm the girls. Maybe the girls are witches (in the traditional sense? or something else?) in training.

Anyway, it's a really cool card.



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Thirteen 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen of Disks
Maybe the girls are witches (in the traditional sense? or something else?) in training.
I like the idea of it being a ritual. Maybe she summoned those bats? The 3/Cups has always had that feeling of a private party or special get-together and this imagine really captures this. The three getting away to a secret spot and doing something they can only do there, being what they can only be there.
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The image reminds me of the scene in O Brother, Where Art Thou where the heroes meet up with the river sirens. During that scene, there is a song sung by Allison Kraus, Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch called "Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby." It's eerie and seductive, just like the image in this card. Check it out on iTunes or Amazon.

"Go to sleep, little baby.
Go to sleep little baby.
You and me and the Devil makes three,
Don't need no other lovin' baby.

Go to sleep, little baby.
Go to sleep, little baby.
Come lay your bones
on the alabaster stones
and be my ever-lovin' baby."



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Last edited by ncefafn; 04-01-2010 at 14:51.
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Oh, Thirteen - I am loving your take on these cards! The theory of Cups and Vampires. Well it looks like the party is about to get started. I agree that it does look like a Ritual about to be performed and the way the seated girl is looking at us; as though she is inviting us to join her. The Cup the middle girl is holding is empty - and I am somehow reminded of the 7 of Cups when glass is full of blood; the glass in the 3 of Cups is empty but as we journey through the suit of cups it will become full. Also - like in The World card I am mesmerized by the water. Parties are usually noisy and I expect the sound of the water and the screeching of the bats are making this a noisy party scene. The feeling of the 3 "being in their element" comes to mind; there are no buildings in the scene and these three may be the 3 Fates or 3 Muses? There is something super natural about them . . . .
Alisa13



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Thirteen 
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Lightbulb Full pool vs. empty goblet


In the second edition, there seems to be only one extra to this card (if it is indeed an extra--it might not have been visible in the first edition)...the eldest "sister" has two red dots on her neck indicating bite marks. As all three are pale as, well, vampires and the traditional meaning of the 3/cups is very often about sisterhood, my take on this is that the little ones have brought in their big sister. That one or both of them bit her in order to maintain the sisterhood.

And there is big sister, still so recently "turned" that the marks are livid on her neck, gazing wonderingly at the bats, amazed at how lovely they are. Why was she ever afraid of them? She seems to be marveling in her new state while the little one basks in having her older sister with them at last.

And good point about the empty goblet. We are assuming it's empty and needs to be filled, but perhaps it was part of the ritual to turn the older sister? In order to turn someone into a vampire, they must be bitten, but they must also drink vampire blood. Maybe the goblet, now empty, was filled with blood from the little vampire sisters and shared so big sister could become like them? Maybe it's empty because what was in it was consumed.

Or maybe, as we suspect, that third sister has found a target to fill their "picnic basket" (aka, the goblet).

Visually, I love how the waterfall is filling a basin suggesting water pouring into a cup. That pool behind them is a full cup that keeps getting more, maybe representing sisterly love that never runs out, that is always more than enough? While in the little sister's hand is an empty goblet suggesting, a dark, otherworldly thirst that never can never be sated, that will always feel empty and thirst for more?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
Visually, I love how the waterfall is filling a basin suggesting water pouring into a cup. That pool behind them is a full cup that keeps getting more, maybe representing sisterly love that never runs out, that is always more than enough? While in the little sister's hand is an empty goblet suggesting, a dark, otherworldly thirst that never can never be sated, that will always feel empty and thirst for more?
Oh Ya! You put my feelings into words perfectly! A pool that is always being filled/ a cup that is never full. I love the imagery of the oldest turning and finding the bats beautiful when before she thought them repulsive. I'm staring very hard at my 1st edition and there are no bite marks there . . .
You thoughts do make the one sitting down a bit more sinister!
Alisam



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Anyone else see


The skulls on the rock in the background?



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