The Four Threes – Wands, Cups, Sword and Pentacles
The Kabbalistic Tree Of Life
On the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the Four Threes reside in the Third Sephira, Binah (Understanding/Womb, Supernal Mother) Primal Feminine energy. Binah is receptive and gives shape and form to the creation of energy released as it manifests. The Four Queens of the Court Cards also reside here. This is a fitting residence as the Queens being feminine, and the number Three related to creation, growth and development, they provide the necessary energy to facilitate manifestation. The raw Masculine Primal Energy of Chokmah (2nd Sephira) now joins with its Primal Feminine Counterpart in Binah to create life. However, the energy released by both is still abstract at this stage but the first stirrings of creation have been initiated.
The Empress (III) of the Major Arcana is also a III. The Empress embodies the energies of Mother Earth and is responsible for the incubation, growth, development and birthing of all creation. It is through The Empress that Chokmah and Binah will be expressed as she gives birth to the their combined energies. The Hanged Man (XII) is also a number III when its digits are added together 1+2=3. The Hanged Man shows us that we can grow spiritually even when we feel trapped or tied up by our circumstances and when great sacrifice is asked of us. The World (XXI) is another III card 2+1=3. The World is the ultimate representation of growth, development, manifestation and ascension. The Empress facilitates creation, development and birth. The Hanged Man grows spiritually while The World acquires growth and development in the Physical. Both are required for ultimate attainment. The Fool must not neglect his spiritual development in favour of progress in the physical or material plane.
Three In Tarot
Threes in The Minor Arcana generally refer to creativity, growth, expansion and development. It is a very busy, energetic number. Three in numerology represents the upright triangle. By adding an extra number, Two has been forced out of its inertia and moved forward. An extra direction or path is there for the taking. A decision has been made and momentum builds. Three is keen to get moving. The Upright triangle encourages energy into ascension. The Fool now has a strong sense of purpose. He is able to progress steadily in a certain direction. The apex of the triangle formed by Three becomes his focus, his goal, his destination.
Therefore, we see them individually act on the decisions that were taken in the Two. After deliberating over whether to stay or go in the Two of Wands, a decision has been arrived at and definite action is taken in the Three. The loving couple so drawn to each other in the Two of Cups are celebrated and congratulated by all in the Three, as their relationship strengthens and grows. The stressful decisions or dilemma in the Two of Swords leads to deep pain and despair as the hurt intensifies in the Three. The financial balancing act in the Two of Pentacles begins to stabilise as the correct action is taken in the Three to develop and maintain financial growth.
Three needs to stay on course, otherwise it is prone to distraction and diversion. It can dissipate its energy by chasing too many dreams at the one time (three apexes), or by changing preference from one day to the next. Three has the potential to achieve greatness, even fame and acclaim, but it will amount to nothing if it begins to drift or lose concentration. It may need the encouragement and guidance of its formative parents, the Ace (Magician) and Two (High Priestess) and the loving support and benevolence of its birth mother (Empress) who will want it to be happy and fulfilled. Life opens with endless potential and possibilities for the Three as everyone cheers its progress. Three brings sweeping energy which must be acted upon. It is heart-warming, positive, and optimistic. It is in Three we lay the third cornerstone for the future. We now have something to work with. Life is becoming structured. The Fool has unified any opposing forces in The Two. Out of the Ace and Two the Three is birthed. Three is such a popular energy. It is naturally extrovert, charismatic, sociable, witty and charming. Three is blessed with good luck, finding itself in the right place at the right time on numerous occasions. However, because of Three’s nature, it may be spoiled and over-indulged.
The Two, the unifying of two Individual units of energy, now share an agreed vision and are happy to traverse the same path together. In the Three, compromise has been made and an understanding arrived at. The individual energy units from the Ace and Two may still hold their individuality, independence and identity, but something else has been added to the mix. There is a sense of greater power in numbers. The energy of the Ace begins to mushroom and multiply. More can be achieved through collaboration and joint effort than going it alone. There is a desire to expand outside the territory of the Ace and Two, to conquer the world and learn through direct experience. Three is ambitious. Once it is released from the linear constraints of the Two and gets its first taste of ascension, it wants to climb higher and higher. There is no holding it back. Three stands in awe of the endless possibilities around it. It is versatile and flexible so will be keen to act on as many opportunities as possible. The whole is greater then the sum of its parts is seen in action in the Three.
Three seeks to move forwards, not backwards. It seeks expression. When Upright we see the raised cone of energy and the power of potential. Three is positively going somewhere and overcoming any obstacles or challenges in its way. It turns its face to the sun and thinks only of multiplying its success. The Upward Triangle symbolically represents the Element of Fire. Fire when not bound by restriction will seek to expand and travel. Fire will shoot up that which it consumes, its flames rising high into the sky. It is a mighty force to behold. However, when Three Reverses, the apex is turned on its head. Fire becomes tame, passive and controlled. Progress is halted or slowed down by setbacks. Three is going nowhere and may become negative or pessimistic with inertia. Reversed Three can also become self-important with a sense of entitlement. It can display narcissist traits, and cares little for the concerns or needs of others. It is overly-pampered. The Reversed Triangle can also signal a rapid spread of Fire as it loses patience, breaks free, and makes a dash for it. It becomes overly-excited and impulsive leading to recklessness and haste. It travels fast, refusing to check its pace. In its rush, it can overlook important aspects as it flits from one thing to another. Its energy shoots out in all directions bouncing off the apexes of the triangle, getting nowhere in the process.
In Reverse, Three has a problem finishing that which it starts. It lacks discipline and endurance. It procrastinates and dithers, is all talk and no action. When Upright it laughs in the face of challenge and competition, but when Reversed, it becomes weak, ineffective, fearful and paralysed. It may need others to fight its battles or come to its rescue. Reversed Three may have very little to show for itself, lacks ambition and expression. Reversed Three can be introverted and unsociable. It’s Upright good humour and charm turns to cynicism. If Upright Three draws luck to it, it may appear dogged with bad luck when Reversed.
*When only one Three appears in a reading it would suggest that any growth or development is slow and lacks momentum. New ideas and plans may only be in their infancy and will need time to mature. When Three or more Threes appear in a reading there is definite growth and development surrounding the issue. It can represent a time of productivity and abundance. It can be an exciting, active and busy time but depending on the issue involved it may be a painful situation that is coming to a head. Regardless of the situation, things are getting done and action is being taken when several Threes appear as the Universe moves everything forward. Without the energy the Threes provide, decisions arrived at in the Twos would never get off the ground.
The appearance of one Reversed Three in a reading suggests that there are only minor blocks to growth and with a bit of effort they can be overcome. The more reversed Threes in a reading will find a querant who feels powerless and blocked. Much effort and help will be needed to move their situation forward. When three or more Threes appear reversed there is bound to be lack of growth surrounding the situation . There may be external delays and blocks that are hindering forward movement. It can suggest lack of productivity and abundance.
Reversed Threes often are a sign that you are unhappy with decisions made in the Twos or that the exciting ideas and plans you had back in the Ace have failed to materialise for one reason or another.
Now Click onto The Three of Wands, The Three of Cups, The Three of Swords and The Three of Pentacles in the Sub Menu where you will find their Descriptions, Meanings both Upright and Reversed along with all their relevant Keywords.