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.
the Unitarian Universalist Doxology, adapted by Curtis W. Reese
What a beautiful gift for us during this last week of August, as the Moon wanes and the harvest season deepens. For the first visit in four years, let us gladly welcome 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 (Northern Hemisphere) season of first harvests, 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 R-W-S Tarot artist Pamela Colman (Pixie) Smith’s interpretation, 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 (“Ah-GLY-ah” – Splendor, Radiance), Euphrosyne (“You-FRAHZ-uh-nee” – Festivity, Cheerfulness), and Thalia (“THAHL-yah” – 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.
For many years, I have given thanks to them at every meal, and especially at festive celebrations. I highly recommend this unique way of blessing your bounty.
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 as we in the U.S. prepare to celebrate the unofficial end of Summer this coming Labor Day weekend. But even if you are not in America, this seems a fine directive for the week ahead.
These dancing women 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.
As if reiterating the messages from last week’s Page of Pentacles, this card offers a glimpse of the joys given and received when our hearts overflow with the recognition of enoughness.
Aligning ourselves with the holy Earth’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?
Yes, there are many injustices, crimes, 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 encourage you 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.
On a personal note: In fact, my loves, this is exactly what I intend to do this week. Some of you may know that I am facing a new round of health challenges and September will involve two separate surgeries. So I am heeding this lovely message from the Graces and taking this week off as a time of quiet repose.
If I do not see your emails, or engage much with social media, please understand that I am on a much-needed holiday of Spirit.
I hope you, too, can gather with loved ones over the holiday weekend, or take a mini time-out for the grace-filled things that nurture your spirit, and fill your heart.
This week, invite the Graces to your gatherings and then raise a glass in Their honor. Be glad of your alliances with all the beloveds in your circles, who understand and support you, as you do them.
Sing out your part in the great Song of Life, and may beauty, joy, and truth ring throughout the land.