"What makes me feel like celebrating?" That's the question asked by the THREE OF CUPS / THREE BOTTLES / OVERFLOWING cards. What follows is a comparison of the imagery and interpretation of the Rider-Waite, The Haindl, and the Collective Tarot decks' respective 3rd of the water suit cards.
Rider-Waite shows three intertwined figures dancing with raised glasses. This is about as close as the Rider Waite and the Collective Tarot get in imagery. The main difference is that in the Collective deck, this seems to be a new community, and in Rider-Waite, pumpkins show that harvest is imminent, the figures are celebrating the end of a summer of working together. Rachel Pollack, in The New Tarot Handbook, points out the shape of the top of the tree of life made by the cups, with the pillars embodied by the dancing people. Pollack concludes that "the spiritual underlies daily life", and in this card, it seems as though the spiritual is lifted up by celebrations of daily life.
Haindl names this card Overflowing, then renames it Overflowing Emotion. The I Ching pictured is 28, or "Preponderance of the Great", which reverses to the same hexagram. Another title of this hexagram is "Critical Mass", which I personally find more accessible. Haindl, rather than highlighting the exuberance and joyfulness of the 3 of water, looks at the excessiveness of the emotional outburst. Here, Rachel Pollack diverts from her interpretation of the triangle shape as the tree of life, and in her book The Haindl Tarot, The Minor Arcana, she points out that the triangle is a wedge pushing to get out of what appears to be a cave, indicating inner experience that needs action for balance. The sharp rocks below, she notes, are an ancient danger. I see this as hidden riches- a secret treasure overflowing within a hidden cave. Modern society does not value the imbalance of excessive emotion, but creativity does- the red droplet falling into the top cup is passionate emotional creativity, ready to be spilled into the deep waters of the soul's cavernous lakes.
Collective Tarot features one of the few cards with text on it, which in the three bottles card says "sing into my mouth". The three figures sign together, raising their bottles and letting their voices and inebriation float up and intertwine in the form of ribbons and bubbles. Cooperation, celebration, and fresh budding community abound in this card, which embodies the feeling of excitement when everybody is getting along.
Thanks to @inthe78cards and @thetruthinstory for hosting this month's awesome challenge on Instagram!
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