The Threes are about new growth, a time of stability, of something finally finding a direction and moving in that direction. They are the baby or birth of a baby, if you will, a third added to the two to create a very solid triangle. Reversed....
Three of Swords Reversed
Upright is one of those dreaded cards as it speaks of betrayal, of hurtful things said. In this case, our third is a third wheel and the other two are not being nice to it. Often a card suggesting that the querent is being cheated on--and will find out about it. Painfully. So is it better reversed?
Alas, no. This is a good card for the "upside-down" interpretation. Right side up, the blood (or poison) drains out of the pierced heart. But turn it over and there is no draining out. The Heart sinks down on those swords, firmly embedded, no relief.
What's important about the Three of Swords is not just the pain - but that something is finally out in the open. Those other two swords are not your friends, the card tells you. But turn it upside-down and the friendship continues. The querent suffers and suffers, but gets no relief. What has come out into the open, what has been said, changes nothing. I liken this to "Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf" type-people who keep hurting each other. They yell and insult and humiliate and nothing is ever resolved. They just inflict pain.
Three of Wands Reversed
Waiting for ships to come in, this card promises the payoff for that initial investment of energy. Your good choice brings rewards. Reversed, however, and you get, I think, a blocked interpretation. A delay in the pay off, or, if really opposite, the ships have sunk. The anticipated reward is not or cannot come your way.
Three of Cups Reversed
Celebration, sisterhood, joy. Reverse this and our dancing ladies loose all the liquid in their cups. I read this as a celebration gone sour. Sisters bitching at each other, jealous or hurtful rather than loving.vRemember also that one of the most negative things about cups is that they can stand for indulgence in sloth, food, liquor or drugs. So this could suggest a party where things go wrong because people drink too much or take drugs.
Three of Pentacles Reversed
The craftsman shows off his work to an interested patron. Hard work, craftsmanship, creating an interest in a business, investments. Reversed however, the card would indicate that there is a block - no one is interested, or the economy is such that none can afford to invest.
The reversed card might also be a warning to the craftsman himself, a suggestion that his work has been sloppy, not up to the high standards that would win him investors. There might be some question as to whether he is putting a true effort into this business. Likewise, if the card stands for health - this could indicate a person who is not giving a real effort to an exercise program and this is why he's not seeing any real results.
Curious about this card when upright? Go to our Tarot Card Meanings.