Editor’s Note: If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article tells you how to use the spread. You can visit Sarah’s website here. –efc
By Sarah Taylor
Following on from the article two weeks ago on the Twos, this week we take a look at the Threes in tarot.
I find the Threes an interesting bunch. Collectively, they bring up an initial reaction for me that’s hard to define. Perhaps it is ambivalence, and perhaps that comes from the fact that they appear contradictory: two of them seem relatively mundane, while the other two seem less so. Two are outwardly harmonious; one is a study in expectancy, action suspended; while the imagery in the fourth is uncompromisingly violent.
Or can each be summed up quite so straightforwardly? Is there perhaps more to the Threes than first meets the eye?
If we view the cards in a suit as a progression from the suit’s potential (Ace) to its balanced expression in humanity (King and Queen), it follows that the Threes are a logical progression from the Twos. In the Twos, we saw potential incarnate in the balance of opposites: duality — although there was already the indication that the notion of true balance is subject to compromise. After all, we may strive for an ideal, but life is such that we rarely, if ever, attain it.
In the Threes, we bear witness to what happens when a third element enters the picture. Each suit shows us a different result of that. This is in keeping with the Threes’ major arcana equivalent, The Empress. Contrary to the notion that The Empress is simply about creation in its life-giving sense, the card is concerned with all aspects of the cycle of life, from birth and beginnings, to consolidation and endings. Joy, sorrow, movement, stasis — the things we can encounter when we choose to strike out in a particular direction. You want the human experience? Welcome to the Threes. Pick a card, any card.
Three of Wands
As the least ‘physical’ of the suits (Wands being associated with spirit and creativity), it seems apt that the Three of Wands is also the least concrete in terms of the experience it is portraying. There is a feeling of things being ‘up in the air’ here.
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