Card: 3 of Cups
Section: Minor Arcana
Esoteric Title: Lord of Abundance
Card Name: Abundance
Astrological Attribution: Mercury in Cancer
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Qabalistic Attribution: Binah
Dates: July 2 to July 11
Three cups made out of (or adorned with) bright red pomegranates are overflowing with water. Eight bright yellow lotus blossoms each attached to a skinny brown stem fill the chalices. The upper half of the card is light blue which is intermingled with white, suggesting a partly cloudy sky. The lower half of the card (the body of water) is dark blue. The light blue and dark blue sections may represent the upper world (light blue) and the underworld (dark blue).
- Pomegranates – Crowley says that the cups represents the myth of Demeter and Persephone and he calls this card “the fulfillment of Will of Love in abounding joy”. Pomegranates also represent fertility
- Overflowing Chalices – Love, joy, outpouring of emotion.
- Eight Lotus Blossoms – Spiritual awakening, cosmic harmony and abundance; it is also a reference to the god Mercury, who carries Persephone back from the underworld in his chariot (Cancer). Persephone spends 8 months out of the year above with Demeter.
- Yellow – Happiness, Joy, Spirituality.
- Blue – Peace, calmness
- Water from which the Lotus springs – Source of fertility
While this card represents joy and abundance, there is a darker side to it or as Crowley states, “This card requires great subtlety of interpretation.” Persephone ate the pomegranates in the Underworld and as a result, has to spend part of the year there with Hades, The Lord of the Dead. Thus, abundance has a price or as Crowley states “the good things in life, although enjoyed, should be distrusted.”
I remember reading once that the Lotus blossom symbolizes rising from a dark place into beauty and rebirth (it rises from the dark waters to blossom), which certainly can be applicable to the Persephone and Demeter tale.
Love, joy, abundance, pleasure, sensuality, merriment, good fortune, gifts, celebration, overflowing love, excess of emotion, hospitality, social gathering, joy, reunion, harmony, success, happiness, having fun, renewed health, bliss, united effort.
Overindulgence, harmful excess, loss of harmony, too much of a good thing, disappointment, gossip, reversal of good fortune, lack of intimacy, unproductive relationships, lack of cooperation.