3 Meaning & Angel Number 3 in Numerology, Love, Spirituality & More

Number 3

The number 3 is an auspicious number in many cultures around the world. It also holds special significance for people who notice the number 3 angel number in their daily lives and wonder what messages it has for them. In this post, we’ll explore all aspects of number 3 meanings, from spiritual and cultural meanings to what this sacred number can signify in your life.

What does the number 3 symbolize?

Here are some high-level meanings associated with the number 3. We’ll go into detail about these throughout this post.

  • Curiosity
  • Wholeness
  • Completion
  • Family
  • Life Stages
  • Spiritual Practice
  • Psychic Abilities
  • Enlightenment

We’ll go into more detail on these qualities and the number 3 is such a special number to so many people around the world below. But first…

Number 3 in Modern Symbology

Before we take a deeper dive into the myriad meanings of the number 3, I thought it would be fun to take a quick look at how this special number is used today as a modern symbol – notably as an emoticon. Here are some examples:


This is an emoticon that means love because it looks like a heart on its side.


In this emoticon, the 3 is like curved lips and the colon serves as semi-closed eyes. The emotion means a smile that is slightly mischievous like a Cheshire cat grin.


If you add a semicolon to the number 3, it means a wink and a smile. This is a flirty symbol!


This emoticon is a variation of the happy or joyful face. The ^ symbol represents eyes squinting into a smile, and the 3 is the mouth. This is a symbol for delight.


This last one is a not-so-delighted face, with the 3 being a mouth that is neither frowning nor smiling. This emoticon can convey indifference or even mild annoyance.

Ok, now onto the more classic and multi-faceted meanings of the number 3!

Number 3 in Nature

Flowers and Clover

The number three appears throughout nature in beautiful ways. For example, there are three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow, which make up the basis for all other colors.

Certain flowers and plants have three petals, including clovers, trilliums, orchids, mariposa lilies, wild irises, and others.

In addition, certain animals who have three fingers (or toes) include three-toed sloths, box turtles, woodpeckers, and skinks.

The number 3 is also associated with the planet Earth, which is the third planet from our sun. Earth supports diverse and complex lifeforms. Thus, symbolically, it represents abundance and paradise.

For us humans, the number 3 symbolizes life because pregnant women carry their baby for three trimesters.

Number 3 Spiritual Meanings

What does the number 3 mean spiritually? In a broad array of spiritual and religious belief systems, the number 3 is a sacred number. Here are some of those associations:

Number 3 in the Bible, Judaism, and Christianity

3 Wisemen

The number 3 is auspicious and Judaism and Christianity, and it appears in important ways throughout the Bible.

For example, in Judaism, there are three daily prayers: Shacharit, Mincha, and Maariv. As well, there are the three major pilgrimage festivals: Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Weeks or Pentecost), and Sukkot (Tabernacles, Tents or Booths.)1

In the Old Testament, Jonah spends three days and three nights in the belly of the whale (or the leviathan.)

In the New Testament, in the Book of Matthew, the Three Magi give the Baby Jesus three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

And in Corinthians, Jesus rises from the dead after three days.

Furthermore in Christianity, there is the Holy Trinity: the father, the son, and the holy spirit. As well, there is Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, who embody the nuclear family.


In the Jewish mystical tradition of the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life is composed of three pillars. In addition, Kabbalists believe there are three parts of the soul: Nefesh (instincts), Ruach (morality), and Neshamah (the superconscious.)2

Number 3 in Native American Beliefs

In Native American spiritual beliefs, the number 3 is also a sacred number. To begin, many tribes view the world as made up of three parts: the heavens (the upper world), the Earth (the middle world), and the underworld (or lower world.)

In addition, for tribes such as the Hopi, the number 3 (as well as 333) is honored in three ritual rituals for each of the three seasons: winter, summer, and autumn.

In addition, the Hopi honor three phases of the dawn:

1. “the purplish dawn-dusk when the shape of man is first outlined,”
2. “the yellow light of dawn, which reveals man’s breath,” and
3. “the red sunrise glow in which man stands proudly revealed in the fullness of his creation.”3


For Hindus, the number 3 is manifested in the three steps on the path to salvation:

  1. Karma-marga (ritual action or good works)
  2. Jnana-marga (knowledge through meditation and training)
  3. Nirvana-marga (selflessness and enlightenment.)4

The Hindus also have three primordial gods: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

3 Meaning in Buddhism

3 Wise Monkeys

In Buddhism, the number 3 is also a hallowed number. To begin, the Three Jewels, or pillars, of Buddhism are:

  1. The Buddha
  2. The Dharma, or Buddhas’ teachings)
  3. The Sangha, the community students who follow the Buddha’s teachings

In Tibetan Buddhism, the number 3 is used to symbolize the sun, the moon, and the stars. In addition, Tibetan Buddhists recognize Three Realms of existence: the
Desire Realm, the Form Realm, and the Formless realm.5

Tibetan Buddhists also honor the Three Buddhas of Longevity: Amitayus Buddha, Ushnisha Vijaya, and White Tara.

Finally, the three-fold Buddhist philosophy of good mind, good speech, and good action is embodied in the three wise monkeys who hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil.6


For Muslims, the number 3 is an important aspect of demonstrating their faith in and devotion to Allah. For example, to demonstrate Imam (or faith), the Prophet Muhammed said. “Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:

  • The one to whom Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than anything else.
  • Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake.
  • Who hates to revert to Atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire.”7

Number 3 in Sacred Geometry

Fibonacci Sequence

In addition to the world’s major religions, another school of thought that interprets the mystical aspects of numbers is called sacred geometry. Followers of sacred geometry view mathematical patterns, especially as they occur in nature, as evidence of intelligent design by a single creator.

For followers of sacred geometry, the Fibonacci sequence is just one more example of intelligent design by a divine creator. An example of this is fish scale patterns that appear not only on fish but also on peacock feathers, pinecones, and in other natural sources.

Another example of sacred geometry in nature is spiral patterns. Spiral patterns appear throughout nature, such as on sunflowers, nautilus shells, coiled snakes, a seahorse’s curling tail, hurricanes, and galaxies.

These types of patterns can be explained mathematically. In the case of spiral patterns, their mathematical explanation is called the Fibonacci number sequence. Named for the Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci (ca. 1170 –1250)8, the Fibonacci sequence follows a pattern that goes like this: Each number after 0 and 1 increases with the sum of the previous two numbers. The pattern looks like this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and so on. (In other words, 0 + 1 = 1, then 1 + 1 = 2, then 1 + 2 = 3, etc.)

Notably, the number 3 is one of the numbers in this sequence.

Followers of sacred geometry also view the number 3 as one of the building blocks of creation, or an atom of creation. This is because the number 3 is the smallest odd prime number.

Furthermore, the number 3 also signifies three dimensions, or 3D. Thus, it brings simple illustrations (in 2D) to life.


Long before Fibonacci’s time, other scholars were examining numbers and mathematical patterns and seeing divine implications. One such scholar was the 6th century BCE philosopher Pythagoras (father of the Pythagorean Theorem, which you probably learned about in geometry class.)

For Pythagoras, the number 3 was a special number. In fact, he described it as “the perfect number” as it denotes the idea of the beginning, the middle, and the end.

Pythagoras also saw the number 3 as a symbol of three primordial deities who ruled in ancient Greco-Roman times: Zeus (Jupiter), Poseidon (Neptune), and Hades (Pluto.) In ancient Greece, Zeus ruled the heavens; Poseidon the sea; and Hades, the underworld.

Furthermore, Pythagoras and his followers saw the number 3 as especially powerful because it was the sum of an even and an odd number. Thus is represents how two disparate things can come together to create a whole that is greater than their parts.9

The number 3 and what it symbolizes is important in New Age philosophies as well.

Number 3 in Numerology

In numerology, the number 3 indicates a person who is highly creative, curious, and socially outgoing.

Number 3 in Astrology: Gemini and the Tiger

Gemini and Tiger

In Western astrology, the number 3 is associated with Gemini, the third sign. Gemini is known as one of the most curious and communicative signs in the zodiac. In addition, the third house in western astrology rules communication.

In Chinese astrology, the third sign in the zodiac is the Tiger. The Tiger embodies the qualities of bravery, majesty, and power in Chinese astrology.

Tarot: The Empress Card

In the tarot, the number 3 is represented by the Empress card. The Empress signifies creativity, growth, abundance, and happiness. She is also a fertility and Earth goddess.

Number 3 in Mythology and Culture

In addition to its spiritual associations, the number 3 resonates with people around the world from a cultural perspective.

To begin, the number 3 embodies the concept of wholeness, or completion, as in the beginning, middle, and end. It also represents the family, as in a mother, father, and child.

In addition, in theater, there are often three acts – the beginning, middle, and finale. Furthermore, in many cultures, the number 3 represents the cycle of life, as in birth, life, and death; or life, death, and rebirth; or even the past, present, and future.

3 Meaning in China

In Chinese culture, the number 3 is associated with family as well as the idea of living a full life, which is represented by birth, marriage, and death.



For the ancient Egyptians, the number 3 symbolized completion or wholeness as it does in many cultures today. Indeed, the number 3 was a sacred number in ancient Egypt. Hence, the sides of the Egyptian pyramids are triangles.

In addition, just as practitioners of Kabbalistic mysticism believed, the Egyptians believed that the soul was comprised of three aspects: Ka (the person’s life force), Ba (the person’s spirit, which was like a little bird that could travel between the living world and the afterlife), and Ah (an aspect of the spirit that could be resurrected and which could exist among the gods.

Furthermore, like many other cultures, the Egyptians had three primordial deities: Osiris, Isis, and Horus.

Greek Mythology

As mentioned earlier, in Greek mythology, there were three main omnipotent gods: Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.

In addition, in Greek mythology, the three-headed dog Cerberus, who had the tail of a dragon, guarded the gates to the underworld.10

Celtic Mythology

The number 3 was also sacred to the Celts. For the Celts, the number 3 represented the cycle of life and eternal life. They also viewed the number 3 as a lucky number.

Celtic deities were often described as having three faces or three aspects. Notably, Morrigan, the goddess of war and death (who is often depicted with crows or ravens) was sometimes referred to as the three Morrigan because she had three aspects: Badb, Macha, and Nemain.11

Female goddesses, in particular, were also known to see the past, present, and future in the Celtic world. As well, they could embody three aspects of womanhood: the maiden, the mother, and the crone.


The Slavic death Triglav. Image: M. Hapon.

In Slavia mythology, the god Triglav is heavily associated with the number 3. To begin, he had three heads. The reasoning behind this was that Triglav ruled the three realms of Heaven, Earth, and the underworld.

In addition, the Slavs built a temple in honor of Triglav on top of the tallest of a trio of hills called the Three Hills of Szczecin.

Furthermore, for divination purposes, Slavic spiritual leaders would walk a black horse that was consecrated to Triglav across nine lances placed in front of the temple.12

Number 3 in Norse Mythology

As in the cosmologies of other ancient cultures, the Scandinavians also had three primordial deities: Odin, Thor, and Freyja.

The number 3 also appears in Norse mythology in the three Norns. Maidens who existed in the Well of Urd, the three Norns controlled the fate of all beings. The Norns would carve runes in the Norse Tree of Life, the Yggdrasil Tree, which grew out of the Well of Urd.

Envious of the power and wisdom that the Norns’ runes possessed, the god Odin underwent three trials to prove himself worthy of possessing such universal wisdom: He wounded himself with a spear, hanged himself from the Yggdrasil Tree, and commanded that no one help him by giving him water as he did so.13

3 in Folklore: Fairy Tales

The number 3 appears in a variety of children’s fairy tales too. For example, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, and Rumpelstiltskin’s three wishes. Furthermore, many stories have three main characters: a victim, a villain, and a hero.

Carl Jung

The philosopher and psychologist Carl Jung (1875 – 1961) also saw significant meaning in the number 3, which he viewed as a symbol of resolution. He wrote, “Every tension of opposites culminates in a release, out of which comes the ‘third.’ In the third, the tension is resolved and the lost unity is restored.”14

Number 3 Symbols

Three Hares Symbol
Three hares symbol, “Triple Hares” by Meraylah Allwood, In a Nutshell Art.

The number 3 appears in a wide variety of symbols too. Here are some examples:

  • Three-leafed clover: faith, hope, the Holy Trinity
  • Three hares running in a circle: eternity
  • Triple tomoe (or mitsu): Heaven, Earth, the Underworld in Shinto beliefs
  • Triangle: change, family, spiritual practice and ascension
  • Three-headed snake or dragon: power; intimidation; clairvoyance; past, present, and future
  • Triquetra: strength; eternity; birth, life, and death; life, death, and reincarnation; the Holy Trinity; mind, body, and spirit
  • Triskelion: earth, water, and sky (or air); interconnectedness; pregnancy; mind, body, and spirit

What does <3 mean?

In our era of using emojis and emoticons to express ourselves online, you might have seen the symbol <3, which is an arrow sign with the number 3 next to it. The symbol represents a heart on its side, and its meaning is love or a way of expressing “I love you.”

3 Angel Number Meaning

3 Angel Number

For those who believe in numbers as divine symbols, the number 3 can appear in your life as an angel number. As the name implies, angel numbers are signs that your guardian angels are sending you important messages.

Angel numbers will appear in your life in ways that grab your attention. Sometimes they will do this by showing up repeatedly or at times when you’re thinking about something important. In addition, you may have always liked a certain number and feel that it is one of your lucky numbers.

So, if you find that you keep noticing the number 3, such as on a street address or license plate, or even the time of 3:00, consider the important meanings that this special number can signify. For example, angel number 3 appearing in your life can relate to:

  • Creativity
  • Wholeness and completion
  • Rebirth and renewal
  • Manifestation
  • Abundance and good fortune
  • Eternity

6 Reasons Why You Keep Noticing the Number 3

Beautiful Path in Nature
Here are some hints as to why the number 3 might be appearing in your life:

1. Your angels may be reminding you of the gift of your imagination and creativity. You can use these powers to manifest what you want to materialize in the real world.

2. The number 3 might also be a sign that something you have been wishing for will be fulfilled.

3. In relationships, particularly romantic ones, you should complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. In this way, you can create something substantial that each of you would not accomplish on your own.

4. A loved one who has passed may be sending you a message of greeting and validation. The number 3 is a symbol for eternity. Thus, your loved one is validating to you that they are present and that their soul lives on.

5. The number 3 angel number is also a sign of good fortune coming your way. Keep the faith and keep moving in the direction of your goals.

6. You or someone you love will be going through a period of renewal and rejuvenation after a period of hardship.

3 Angel Number and Your Spiritual Path

In a number of spiritual practices, the number 3 represents three tenets that one must practice in order to reach enlightenment. Thus, when it comes to your spiritual path, the number 3 is as much about actions as it is intentions. It’s sort of like a yoga practice. You can read about yoga and understand the history and philosophy of yoga. But to truly understand yoga, you need to do yoga.

So, when the number 3 appears in your life, it can be your angels’ way of saying, “Practice what you preach.” Make sure your actions are in line with your thoughts, your intentions, and your words.

Opening Your Third Eye

Third Eye

The number 3 is also associated with your third eye. Your third eye is a symbolic term to describe your extra sensory perceptions and your superconscious. (You can read more about this in my post about the third eye.) As you become more spiritually conscious, your third eye opens. And when this happens, you start to take in more universal wisdom and a greater understanding of the metaphysical forces at work in the universe. So, as you navigate your life path, your spiritual practice will lead to a more enlightened state of consciousness.

3 Meaning in Love and Relationships

In love and relationships, the number 3 represents the blending of opposites to create a greater whole. So, when two people come together, their differences should blend in such a way that it creates something that is beneficial for both.

The number 3 also symbolizes family. So, it can indicate that two people could be expanding their family. This could mean having a child, adopting, or even blending two families. It might also mean getting a pet or even creating a cohabitation situation where friends or multi-generational families live under the same roof.

The number 3 when it comes to relationships represents the benefits that can come when individuals cooperate and pool resources together.


If you are single and feel that you’re still looking for your romantic soulmate, the number 3 can be a sign to expand your horizons as your soulmate might not be where you expect them to be!

This might mean that they live in another country, so it’s time to start traveling. Or it could simply mean they’re engaging in activities that are outside the scope of your typical day, so you should try some new activities. The key is to be open-minded. Your soulmate could appear out of the blue!

If you are in an established bond, the number 3 can indicate that you and your soulmate might be expanding your family in some way. It can also indicate that you and your partner will go through life’s stages together. So have faith that any hills you have to climb will have some easy sides too. Keep moving forward together and you will experience long-term happiness.

Number 3 and Your Twin Flame

Twin Flames

Your twin flame is a person with whom you will feel an immediate, deep connection. The nature of twin flame relationships is that they often come with heavy karma. So, it’s likely that when you connect with a twin flame in this lifetime, you will have to address your shared karma.

In twin flame relationships, the number 3 angel number indicates the attraction of opposites. You may feel a magnetic attraction to someone, which doesn’t make any sense to you. You might be intrigued by this person, even overwhelmed with curiosity. But whether or not you indulge that attraction should depend on whether that indulgence will create a healthy outcome for both of you. By showing you the number 3, your angels might be reminding you to look at a situation holistically vs. superficially or for short-term gratification!

Angel Number 3 and Money

In money and financial matters, the number 3 angel number represents the importance of diversifying your income streams and financial assets. In other words, 3 represents the idea of a diversified portfolio and looking at your finances holistically.

For example, if you work full time and want to make more money, consider a side hustle. You might also consider going in on an investment with friends or family members. Around the world, the people with the most money have more than one income stream. So, even if you feel like you don’t have a lot of extra money to invest, the number 3 indicates that starting small can lead to big gains down the road.

3 Meaning in Your Career

In career matters, the number 3 appearing in your life can be like a question mark that asks if you are answering your true calling in this lifetime. As it pertains to your work and career, when your angels show you the number 3, they can be nudging you to answer three questions:

  1. Are you doing what you’re naturally good at? (These are your aptitudes, or natural gifts.)
  2. Does your work fill you with a curiosity to learn more so that you’re driven to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to excel in your field?
  3. Is the work aligned with your goals and values?

In essence, the number 3 is a nudge from your angels to keep pursuing your purpose in this lifetime. Even if you have a job that pays the bills but is not your true calling, make sure you’re setting aside time and energy so that you can at least be on the path to your true calling. You angels want you to reach your full potential and to realize your true calling in this lifetime.

3 Meaning in the Law of Attraction and Manifestation


The number 3 is the symbol for one’s spiritual practice, so it lends itself well to a particular aspect of the Law and Attraction and manifestation. And this is that manifesting and optimizing the Law of Attraction takes practice.

The practice aspect can mean writing down your goals or creating a vision board. Or it can mean practicing visualization techniques or even watching training videos to get better at it. When it comes to achieving your hopes and dreams, angel number 3 says, “Practice makes perfect!”

Number 3 Meaning in Health and Wellness

The number 3 is a positive sign when it comes to health and wellness. It indicates the importance of viewing health matters holistically.

In addition, the 3 angel number reminds you to be a curious student in matters related to your own body and how you will thrive. Studies show that people who are proactive about learning about health challenges and healing options have the best outcomes. So, seek out information, programs, and guidance from experts that focuses on the mind, body, and spirit connection. In this way, you will create the best odds of bringing more vitality to your body and your life.

Number 3 Summary: Taking Action

The number 3 is a power number that has inspired people around the world for centuries. So, when the number 3 appears in your life, it’s a positive omen that the universe is working in your favor. Keep taking action and moving in the direction of your hopes and dreams!

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4 Responses

  1. Interestingly, I was talking to my husband earlier about how much the number “3” has been such a strong one in my life — it plays a part in my birthday, his birth year, my PA address & all of my NYC addresses (be it by the address or the cross streets) that surrounded it. This was a fascinating article, THANK YOU!!!

  2. “Tibetan Buddhists recognize Three Realms of existence: the
    Desire Realm, the Form Realm, and the Formless realm.” This is base on the teaching of Kalachakra Tandra. One of the highest form of practice in Tibetan Buddhism.

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Kristen M. Stanton

Hello. Thanks for visiting UniGuide. My name is Kristen and I started UniGuide as a tribute to nature, animals, and spiritual exploration. I hope you enjoy your experience here!