From all who dwell below the skies,
Let faith and hope with joy arise,
Let beauty, truth, and good be sung
Through every land, by every tongue.
~ Earth Prayers
What a beautiful gift for us during this Autumn week as the Moon wanes, the harvest season deepens, and the barriers against marriage equality fall. Welcome to the Three of Cups!
The Tarot suit of Cups is concerned with love, friendship, dreams, and heart connections. And the Threes are the fertile result of making creative combinations, echoing the greatest three in the Major Arcana, The Empress.
In this season of giving thanks, we are urged to be aware that plenitude lies right at our feet, like the pumpkins and fruited vines these women dance among. We are invited to taste the wine of true abundance – that of heart connection and gratitude.
In the card’s interpretation by artist Pamela Colman (Pixie) Smith, these three are none other than the Three Graces. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that I dedicated all of 2008 to these important Goddesses.
Known as the Gratiae by the Romans (from which we derive our word, “gratitude”) and as the Kharites in Greek mythology, the attendance of the Graces, Aglaia (Splendor, Radiance), Euphrosyne (Festivity, Cheerfulness), and Thalia (Blooming, Flowering, Joy), brought the assurance of happiness and harmony.
Therefore, They were always the first Deities to be invoked at every important gathering. At every banquet, the ancient Greeks always offered Them a libation of the first cup of wine. This is what the saying of grace actually is.
Giving Thanks for the Harvest
The Graces were classically depicted as three beautiful women, holding hands and dancing in a circle, crowned with and holding sprigs of myrtle, just as Pixie has drawn them here.
They are Goddesses of beauty, mirth, festivity, dance and song. They preside over the pleasures of life, including play, amusement, banqueting, beauty, happiness, rest, and relaxation.
Sounds like the perfect affirmation for our friends in Canada who are celebrating Thanksgiving this Monday, and a fine directive for all in the week ahead, doesn’t it?
They also represent the strength and sacredness of community, friendship, and the joyfulness we feel when we are a part of something larger than just ourselves alone.
Although we certainly face unprecedented global troubles, the Three of Cups reminds us to celebrate what is good and true and nourishing for us.
The only real solutions to our problems will be found in cooperation, sharing, fairness, and love. The answer to a world of suffering and war is offered in the loving Cups held by these three Goddess of Gratitude.
Aligning ourselves with Mama Gaia’s rhythms and natural cycles is the revolutionary act that brings healing and abundance.
Who Shall You Dance With?
This card is such a beautiful affirmation of love and friendship. Which companions of your heart would you wish to celebrate with? To whom will you offer the loving cup of honor?
Here in North Carolina, a giant step to remedy bigotry and injustice has just been completed. Our state’s hate-filled law preventing same sex marriage has been declared unconstitutional, and these unions can no longer be denied. Many of my friends are finally able to be joined in marriage with their beloved partners of many years.
Surely this week’s card offers a blessing upon their weddings, so long awaited, and so hard won.
And yes, there are still many other injustices, difficulties, and even terrors that need our urgent attention.
But the Tarot taught me long ago that it is an act of poor faith to fail to pause and observe our victories, large and small. It is an insult to the Deities if we do not celebrate the gifts we are given with heartfelt thanks, before we complain about all that still is wrong.
So let us express with tender gladness our great gratitude. Let the Three of Cups be an invitation to connect with your dearest friends and favorite family members.
Slow down and step away from the workaday world if you can. Allow yourself a true celebration. Every day is Thanksgiving.
Building and strengthening a network of happiness is the source for a prosperous harvest and true wealth in a changing world.
Come, ye thankful people come,
Raise the song of harvest home
All be safely gathered in
Ere the winter storms begin.
The Earth our maker doth provide
For our wants to be supplied
Come, ye thankful people come
Raise the song of harvest home.