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June 2019 Tarot Card Astrology: Three of Cups

Over the course of a week from Monday, June 10, 2019, through Monday, June 17, Mercury enacts the Three of Cups: Mercury in Cancer, traveling through the middle section of that sign. Although the primary meanings of this card are abundance, friendship, and socializing, the astrological association deepens these connections, to produce a precisely tuned-in psychic connection shared with those you love. Please visit all the articles in this series on tarot card astrology.

Three of Cups: Mercury in Cancer

  • The Three of Cups is titled “Abundance.” This card suggests friendship, enjoyment, fun, entertainment, and socializing.
  • Mercury rules intelligence, communication, travel, commerce, and magic. He can also be a trickster. Mercury represents how we think and learn. The related god, Hermes, crosses borders that others cannot traverse, exemplified in his ability to lead the dead into the underworld. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo and is also exalted in Virgo.
  • Cancer is a cardinal water sign ruled by the moon. It is considered to be nurturing, compassionate, and a homebody. Its symbol is the Crab and its glyph looks like two eggs in a nest.
  • Three of Cups: Mercury ruling the second decan of Cancer
  • The calendar dates, when the Sun passes through this decan each year, are approximately July 2-11.
  • Mercury will move through the middle portion of the sign of Cancer this year for a week starting Monday, June 10, 2019, at 8:15 a.m. through Monday, June 17 at 5 a.m.
  • Best times for ritual work: Because frustrated and frustrating Mars is so close to Mercury during this time frame, this is not a good time for ritual work. However, the most positive opportunity would be the grand water trine, in which Mercury and Mars in Cancer, Moon in Scorpio, and Neptune in Pisces come together in an easy relationship. The best time is after Mars is separating from, but while the Moon is still applying to, Neptune. This starts fifteen minutes past midnight up until 7 a.m. on Friday, June 14, 2019. Although we lose the grand trine, Mercury continues to move towards its trine with Neptune up until dawn on Sunday, June 16, so any time that weekend will be especially useful for meditation, intuitive work, imaginative or poetic writing, or any form of art or creativity.

Mercury in Cancer

The Three of Cups from, left to right, The Mary-El Tarot, Mythic Tarot, Victorian Romantic Tarot, Shadowscapes Tarot, and The Wickwillow Tarot.

When the planet of communication is in a water sign, emotions and intuition spur our thinking and speaking. Cancer is deeply and expressively emotional. It feels everything and Mercury can give voice to those ineffable sensations. However, this capacity for expression is not concurrent with a compulsion for expression. Usually glib Mercury rests, comfortably observant, fully receiving what it hears, but not necessarily needing to keep the volley of conversation in the air.

Mercury in Cancer in the birth chart is a Mercury at the whim of the Moon. Although the speaking style will respond rather than initiate, the resulting communication will reflect the light of the Moon. It can be bold and aggressive with Luna in the fire signs, slow and thoughtful in earth, innovative and eloquent in air, dreamy and poetic in water. Mercury transits through Cancer will likewise be dependent on the location of the Moon for any given day of the transit.

Mercury in Cancer can leave you wordless. Here, Mercury paints a picture. When Mercury is moving through Cancer, if the words seem to ebb, work with non-verbal arts. Draw, paint, sketch, design, lay out. Play music. When words are needed, rely on things you’ve said a million times and have learned by heart. Or splash around in your stream of consciousness. You can edit later.

Image of the Three of Cups

Three of Cups from the Rider Waite Smith Tarot by A. E. Waite and Pamela Colman Smith, Pamela-A edition.

Three women lift their golden chalices high in a toast, arms overlapping as they step in to each other. Piled on the ground at their feet is evidence of abundance, the title of the card. Fruit, grapes, a pumpkin, green leaves, and curling tendrils of vines adorn this harvest dance. This simple image suggests ease, gratification, and gratitude.

Title of the Three of Cups: Abundance

Three of Cups from Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley, Frieda Harris, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., 1978.

The Latin root of “abundance” is “unda,” wave. Abundance overflows, appropriate for the water correspondence of the Suit of Cups. And, especially in parts of the world where droughts result in annual damage and loss, cascades of water are indicative of prosperity and the exuberance of invulnerability.

The Astrology of the Three of Cups

Mercury is sociable, conversational, and outgoing. Cancer is reserved, quiet, and shy. Mercury in Cancer is an introvert who babbles pleasantly when surrounded by those she loves and who love her. The Three of Cups: Mercury in Cancer embodies the basic meaning of this correspondence. The women’s relationship and demeanor express closeness, friendship, and loyalty. The grace of generosity flows between them.

When the planet of communication floats in the placid waters of the sign of the crab, you find your deepest expression in silence. This placement is very intuitive. Insights bubble to the surface, released out of quiet stillness. With the Three of Cups: Mercury in Cancer, no words need to be spoken. Every thought easily drifts from one to the others. The three women in this card are friends who can just glance at each other and burst out laughing.

Mythology of the Three of Cups

Detail of the Three Graces from Primavera by Sandro Botticelli. These classical goddesses express the pleasure and mirth, as well as the unspoken intuitive connection, of the Three of Cups: Mercury in Cancer.

The Three Graces, or the Kharites, were goddesses of grace, beauty, refinement, joy, mirth, festivity, play, dance, song, and relaxation. They often were shown in attendance to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Most classical depictions of the three Kharites portrayed them as naked or diaphanously clad women, holding hands, and dancing in a circle. They sometimes wore myrtle in their hair or carried roses, both sacred to Aphrodite. They grant gracefulness and beauty in social intercourse to those who invoke them. As lovers of art, poetry, music, and eloquence, they assist the Muses. They symbolize gratitude and benevolence.

Ritual for Three of Cups: Mercury in the Second Decan of Cancer

If you would like to engage the qualities of Mercury in Cancer, such as abundance, friendship, and intuition, consider doing ritual work with the Three of Cups. Develop your own ritual using the correspondences below, or consider adapting the one I outlined in this previous Mercury post. Below are the correspondences for you to work with.

An appropriate Three of Cups: Mercury in Cancer meditation to try would be the Three Cauldrons meditation. This practice, used in Druidry, is designed to balance the three primary energy centers of the body. Examples include this attunement (the comments are also helpful) and this meditation.

Statement of Intention for Three of Cups: Mercury in Cancer

Use the following suggested magical intentions in your planetary workings for the Three of Cups: Mercury in Cancer. Or let these inspire your own unique affirmations or petitions.

  • May I have friends who love to listen to my story
  • Grant me a network of pleasant connections that will guide me to the ease of prosperity.
  • Let my harvest overflow
  • May I connect with my intuition and inner wisdom through silence and stillness
  • Let me share unspoken thoughts with those I love
  • May my day be filled with relaxation, pleasure, mirth, and joy.
  • I ask the Muses to inspire me and the Graces to elevate my art and creativity.

Mercury Correspondences

  • Orphic Hymn to Hermes, or any of the Homeric Hymns to Hermes.
  • Color: orange
  • Number: 8
  • Incense: storax, frankincense, lavendar, cinnamon, clove, or gum mastic
  • Stones and Metals: opal, fire opal, orange stones such as carnelian, quicksilver is the metal, but more useful for ritual work is aluminum or any type of mixture, i.e., an alloy
  • Symbols: Caduceus, winged helmet, winged shoes, messenger bag, signposts, pen, paper or scroll
  • Beverage: Lavender or cinnamon tea
  • Food and Flavors: Anything spiced or flavored with Mercury-ruled plants, herbs, or spices, or expressing Mercurial attributes, such as combining, mixing, or crossing borders–“fusion” styles of food, etc. Wheat, honey, olives, strawberries, cinnamon.
  • Clothing and accessories: wear orange and/or wear jewelry made of Mercury-ruled metals and stones, or dress like a notary or scribe, alternately as a messenger, traveler, or schoolmaster

Upcoming Tarot Card Astrology

The Sun will move into the last decan of Gemini on the same day as Mercury moves into the middle section of Cancer, Monday, June 10. So watch next week for a post on the Ten of Swords: Sun in Gemini.

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Joy Vernon
Joy Vernon

Joy Vernon is widely recognized as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty-five years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup grew into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Now Joy runs the Greater Seattle Tarot Meetup. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher in Burien, Washington. To learn more, please visit

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