4 min read

three of wands // the number three

three of wands from the fountain tarot

hello again, friends. we've taken a general look at the three of wands already, and today we're going to dig into the number three specifically. breaking down the cards this way can be so helpful in getting back to basics, but it can also help to open up card interpretations that we may never have seen otherwise.

three of wands from the lumina tarot
three of wands from the lumina tarot

when i think about the number three, the very first thing i think about is expression. three is a number that is doing something, and wants to be witnessed in the doing of that thing.

in other words, three is a number that does not want to be in solitude. it's really about the group and the collective, and the energy that comes when we have multiple entities, sharing energy and ideas, responding to one another in a way that creates something bigger. it's the building up and out, the taking up of space, the discoveries we make when we let ourselves been seen.

in the first piece on the three of wands, i talked about a little kid excitedly showing off a drawing or creative project — and in part, that's because i think children who are supported and loved demonstrate such a beautiful and bountiful relationship with the world itself. they have a kind of unfiltered eagerness and sense of ego that is inspiring. they aren't afraid to blurt out their ideas or dreams, aren't worried about taking up space or being "too much." if they have something they want to say, they fucking say it. if they want to dance or yell or run in circles or laugh until they pee their pants, they do it.

and what's especially fun is that if they trust and like you, those kids will not let you stop them. they're a runaway train of enthusiasm. you are going to hear their story, damn it. you're going to look at that drawing and admire it. you're going to play with that toy or read that book or throw that ball. you're going to look at them, and hear them, and talk to them, whether you like it or not.

three, being ignored

am i intentionally reducing kids to tiny hilarious tyrants to prove a numerological point? i sure am. but i think that this sort of unbridled, unrestrained ability to express and demand attention really gets at the heart of the number three's need to share and be seen, to collaborate and connect, to witness and be witnessed.

and does this mean that three can sometimes be a little childish, a little demanding, a little selfish at times? absolutely. but we can learn from that too. what does it mean when we are so in need of attention, care, devotion, respect, admiration, that we want to kick and scream until we receive it?

because here's the thing about three: this is a number that understands how important collaboration, witnessing, and expression is. three is not just the energy of a shared interaction — it's also the product of that interaction. three is an idea, becoming tangible and being seen and witnessed and also deeply appreciated. three is the thing that is born out of the conversation, the sharing, the enjoyment.

three of wands from the fountain tarot
three of wands from the fountain tarot

in the three of wands, we see this expressive, playful, demanding energy amplified by crackling, passionate fire. it's a heady combination, one that does not move quietly or subtly. it's the empress' abundant growth, the hanged one's perception and inception, the world's satisfaction and perfect imperfection.

frankly, i think we can all use more of this energy. sometimes we need to shout and scream, to shriek with unholy laughter, to wail and gnash teeth, to demand that our art be appreciated or our work be celebrated or our ideas be acknowledged. sometimes we know that if someone will just pay attention to us, our visions, our creations, it will be worth their time and energy.

how often do you know that your work, your vision, your effort, has value? even if it isn't finished yet, how do you let your drafts and sketches and earliest notions be celebrated? and what would it feel like to demand the attention that you know you deserve, instead of berating yourself for taking up space?

we'll look more closely at the element of fire again next week. i'll also be sending out a brand new tarot spread on the three of wands tomorrow, so if you're enjoying this series, want to support my work, and love exclusive tarot spreads, please consider joining the bronze or gold tiers.

more soon, friends. thanks for reading.