Three people sit relaxing by the side of an ornamental pool. They are all naked and appear comfortable with both their own and everyone else's nudity. Nakedness suggests being exposed with nothing to hide, being uninhibited, showing one's true nature, being open and candid, and possessing innocence. Being nude is indicative of one's fleshly nature or desires and can symbolize seduction and lust. To be naked is to be without the social or hierarchical markers that clothing constitutes.

They are surrounded by an abundance of fruit, which suggests a cornucopia (an endless bounty or fertility) or a harvest (a symbol of fulfillment). Fruit is a symbol of ripeness and completed development. It represents the culmination and result of one state and the seed of the next state.

The man holds a pomegranate in his hand. Pomegranates represent immortality, perennial fertility and plenty. Opening the pomegranate is sometimes seen as symbolizing the deflowering of a virgin.

The pool is decorated with ankhs and blue triangles. The symbol of life, the ankh also represented reproduction and sexual union since it's formed of the combined male and female symbols of Osiris and Isis. The downward pointing triangle is a symbol for water. Its juxtaposition with the ankh and actual superposition over the ankh suggests the importance of water to life.

The water in the pool reflects back part of the image of the black chalice. Reflections in water can symbolize both truth and that which is ephemeral.

The other two cups are both red and remind me of urns, in which case they can symbolize the womb.

In the background against the starry sky are a pyramid and an obelisk, both of which are phallic symbols.

There's a nefarious undertone to the imagery and symbolism in this card. The man's cup is way out of his reach and instead he holds a pomegranate. The women's cups are within reach. The man appears to be looking with anticipation at the woman to his right. The women might both be just relaxing and enjoying the night. By their postures, they also might be drugged. Each woman wears a snake bracelet that coils up their forearms. The snake is associated with temptation, sex and physical desires. So there's a lot of phallic and womb imagery, imagery concerning the union of male and female, and imagery concerning deflowering....



Love Triangles...

The AET 3 of cups absolutely SCREAMS love triangles.

An out of state friend of mine was once dating a woman whose behavior left him perplexed. He asked me via email, one Monday morning, to do a reading on the situation. Since the both of them were out of state, I had no contact with them, nor any idea of what was going on between the two of them. Sure enough, the 3 of cups came up in the reading. Along with the other cards, it indicated this woman was involved with someone else, who didn't really care too much about her.

Little did I know, the friend who requested the reading had actually gotten the REAL story from someone else on Sunday evening, which was the night before he requested I do the reading. He emailed me back, being stunned at the accuracy of the reading. It was the 3 of cups that let me know this love triangle did, in fact, exist.