Source 2 comes in at the combo device where the hot and neutral wires are connected to their corresponding terminals on the receptacle half of the device.
In this diagram the source for the circuit is at the light fixture and the two switches come after. Two-wire cable runs from the light, to SW1 and 3-wire cable runs between SW1 and SW2. The hot source is spliced to the white cable-wire, which is wrapped with black tape to mark it as hot and run through to SW1 where it is spliced to the black wire running to the common terminal on SW2. The hot terminal on the light fixture is connected to the common terminal on SW1. The red wire and marked white wire travelers connect the traveler terminals between the two switches.
Three-way switches allow for controlling a light fixture from two separate locations, these are usually used at the top and bottom of a flight of stairs or at two different entrances to a room. On this page are several wiring diagrams that can be used to map 3 way lighting circuits depending on the location of the source with relation to the lights.
The common terminals will always be connected to a hot wire, either from the source or on the light fixture. These connections can be reversed if it’s more convenient, as long as one of the 3 way common terminals connects to the hot source and the other one connects to the hot on the load, these circuits will work properly.
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