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Love and Number 3


The number 3 is featured predominantly in Tarot readings about infidelity. Here is a simple ‘status’ pre-reading for a couple suffering negative consequences of engaging in a threesome, the wife being the questioner....


KING of SWORDS - the wife
THREE of WANDS - her husband
THREE of CUPS - marriage status


The wife is in proactive damage control of a situation that has gotten out of hand—the husband initiated the first threesome meeting and surely is inclined to continue the connection. Third-party energy has permeated this relationship—the 3 Cups appearing suggests an emotional component is present; the 3 Pentacles would have been a more positive indication that the marriage could recover (that the energy at play was more physically-motivated than emotionally-returned). 


This was only a definitive pre-reading. The main reading which followed showed domestic disconnection was happening and impulsive emotional energy on the husband’s part was being directed at the other woman. Intense Sword and Cup cards in the upper range 8-9-10 hover around this marriage, primarily for the wife. It does not bode well. This marriage already had problems and is leading to separation/divorce (and not just due to the consequences of the threesome, but prior issues as well).



I recommend studying the interaction of the number 3 cards in relationship readings. This number does tend to reflect focus is being given to an immediate person/thing outside the partnership; the Suit of the 3 can help determine what this is and what it might mean. Surrounding cards and their contexts can define motivations and trajectories.


In the reading above, the Client had stated that another person was influencing the marriage, but if she had not revealed this ahead of time, and only asked to identify some conflict she perceived in her marriage, the cards still clearly showed an immediate threat/influence of ‘someone else’ to that partnership.


Infidelity or third-party influence in love as a subject of Tarot is a specialized genre, with some cards appearing so commonly in such readings that they are a near-guarantee that someone is unfaithful (or thinking of being so), or that a relationship is actively at risk of greater conflict.


There are, however, other things a number 3 can refer to in a love reading, so it’s important to be able to identify the nuances and not implicitly state the possibility of cheating if we are unsure. Typically, obvious other cards indicating stealth, deceit, shifting affection, illusory behavior, etc. will confirm that something is afoot….but without some of these other cards to validate this, the number 3 might only reflect a partner being distracted by a less harmful outside influence.


(Note—an interesting cultural shift I’ve noticed since computers became a way of life is that the 3 Swords appearing as a relationship conflict can be an indication of one’s partner having a texting/sexting relationship with another—I believe this is due to Swords being the modern equivalent of ‘communication by air’, as in, digitally/in the ether).


The topic of possible infidelity in a marriage/relationship is a tricky thing to communicate in a reading and—I believe—is usually best left unsaid—unless the Client already has suspicions, or is pointedly seeking to define a conflict in their relationship.


It’s important to have a lot of practice in Tarot in many different circumstances (not just infidelity, but other areas of discomfort) in order to determine the manner in which we as a reader relay unpleasant interpretations, for ‘bad news’ can have a negative impact upon a person’s life. It’s certainly worth figuring out ahead of time, before you encounter these types of readings for the first time.


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