This purpose of this article is to explain what timing in Tarot is and why it is one of the most difficult things when reading the cards. I use a very recent personal real-life example to show what I mean.
What is timing in Tarot
Timing in Tarot refers to when exactly a predicted event will happen, as shown by the cards, and converting this to earth time. It is tricky and complex. It is good to use Astrology, especially when cards from the Minor Arcana are involved. However, as I have written, there are several thousand Tarot decks in the world. This gives significant differences in the system of correspondences in the different decks, which may distort the result in determining the timing. And yet, this would happen if one relied first on Astrology and second on Tarot, which I think would be a mistake. That is, as long as the Tarot reader trusts the system he/she uses, while being flexible and able to fine-tune it when needed, in the vast majority of cases the Tarot will show the correct timing. Whether the practitioner will see it or not is another question. Which takes me to the next point.
Why determining when exactly events will happen is difficult in Tarot
We live in the physical world with human bodies. Like Astrology, Tarot originated from the finer worlds and works with its own time system. This time must be converted into earth time by the card reader. The problem is that the time in Tarot is not single-layered, but multi-layered. I mean, time in Tarot, as in Astrology, runs in different streams / layers that happen at the same time. This is a natural consequence of the origin and environment of this higher knowledge. Like Yi Jing, it is designed to be flexible and to cover the main options at any time.
Simply put, there are always several options for timing in Tarot and the tarot reader is the one who has to choose the right one. That is, the Tarot indicates when the events will occur, but the practitioner must work to extract the exact stream / layer of time. Alas, no matter how much he / she wants to do it on a regular basis, it is extremely difficult to achieve.
Different types of timing techniques in Tarot
Since timing events in Tarot on a consistent basis is difficult to achieve, there are many systems for this. These timing systems depend on both common sense and the context and nature of the divination/reading itself. I will give a few of them before I illustrate with an example. I would like to point out that I do not claim to be exhaustive in any way.
Timing within a spread based on the nature of the question
Here, the approximate duration for resolving the question is estimated to determine the unit of time. This unit of time can be years, months, weeks, days or hours. The longer the nature of the question, the greater the unit of time used. For example, it usually takes several years, not months, from the beginning of a relationship to entering into marriage. Finding a buyer for a property often takes months, not weeks, and so on.
Timing based on certain cards showing longer and shorter periods of time
The aces show the seasons. Again, different Tarot decks have different systems of correspondences, but the principle is as follows: the first Ace is the first card and indicates the beginning, life. From there, the first Ace points to spring, the second Ace points to summer, the third Ace points to autumn, and the fourth Ace points to winter. Of course, these seasons mean the tropical Zodiac. That is, astrologers using the sidereal Zodiac and Tarot will have to use another system, or tweak this one.
In the Tarot deck which I use and for which I have written in detail why I chose it, in terms of seasons:
Ace Scepters is Aries / Fire / Spring;
Ace of Cups is Cancer / Water / Summer;
Ace Coins is Libra / Air / Autumn;
Ace of Swords is Capricorn / Earth / Winter.
Accordingly, if the question concerns 6-12 months or more, if Ace of Scepters comes up, the event will take place in the spring. Some Tarot readers look at whether the card falls straight or reversed. If it is straight, then the event will happen in the first half of spring, if it is reversed – then the event will take place in the second half of the Ace in question.
If the events of the reading will occur within a month, then the tens are used. In the Brotherhood of Light Egyptian Tarot deck I use, they indicate change and / or cycle, as they originate from Arcana 10 – the Wheel (of Fortune). Respectively:
10 of Scepters indicates the first week;
10 of Cups indicates the second one;
10 of Coins indicates the third one;
10 of Swords indicates the fourth one.
Another option is go by the nature of the 4 main lunar phases: New Moon, 1st quarter, Full Moon, last quarter.
The New Moon is warm and moist / Air / 10 Coins;
The first quarter is hot and dry / Fire / 10 Scepters;
The Full Moon is cold and dry / Earth / 10 Swords;
The last quarter is cold and moist / Water / 10 Cups.
A third option is to go by the transiting Sun. This option differs from the other two in that it is dynamic, i.e. each time the position of the Sun is taken into account during the Tarot reading.
If the Sun is in a fiery-like image = 10 of Scepters = 1st week;
If the Sun is in an earth-like image = 10 of Swords = 2nd week;
If the Sun is in an airy-like image = 10 of Coins = 3rd week;
If the Sun is in a watery-like image = 10 cups = 4th week.
In the above versions, the reader looks for whether there is a 10 in the spread and what colour it is and judges when the event in question will occur.
If you want to time the day of the event, then look for the most important card (s) and / or for a Great Arcana and look at which planet rules it:
The Moon rules Cancer and Monday;
Mars rules Scorpio and Aries and Tuesday;
Mercury rules Virgo and Gemini and Wednesday;
Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces and Thursday;
Venus rules Taurus and Libra and Friday;
Saturn rules Aquarius and Capricorn and Saturday;
The Sun rules Leo and Sunday.
If you need to determine in which part of the day the event will take place, then look at the images of the cards from the spread and judge according to the confluence of the indications. If you need to determine at what hour the event will take place, then we look for the most important card / cards and / or for a Great Arcana card and look at which planet rules it. The check the 12 day and 12 night planetary hours for that day and night. Please note that they depend on the latitude of the geographical location and vary in length according to the season, depending on the length of the day and night at that location. Such accuracy is excessive and, in my opinion, unnecessary. If the tarot reader is able to predict within a day of a given week, within a week of a given month or within a month of a given year, this is sufficient in most cases.
I would like to add that some practitioners advise drawing additional cards to the spread if the client wants to know the details, be it about the timing or the question itself. I personally do not use this approach, as it assumes that the Tarot cannot reveal what we need to know through the spread the native himself/herself has selected.
Timing events with Tarot through card drawing without using a spread
Here the client or practitioner draws 1 card and asks the central question, placing it in a time frame. For example: “Will I get a boyfriend/girlfriend within 3 months?”
If the card comes out straight, the answer is “Yes”; if it comes out reversed, the answer is “No”.
Then one asks: “Will I get a boyfriend/girlfriend in 4 months?” If the card is reversed again, one may ask for the third and last time: “Will I get a boyfriend/girlfriend within 5 months?”
Another option is to look at the card number. Here, however, the reader must convert the Tarot time to earth time. For example: if 5 of Cups falls, the answer is the event will occur in 5 units. However, are these units months, weeks or days? Another option, within the same card, is to look at the decan and astrologically determine the timing according to the transit of the Sun through the decan in question.
Another option is to use only the Great Arcana for timing. I personally do not recommend this option.
Cards from the Great Arcana that show that the timing is difficult to determine
Creation is a mysterious and complex thing. It is not always possible to know the Tarot timing with great accuracy. Tarot tells us this when some of the following cards fall on key positions:
The Materialist / Spiritual Man / Arcana 22/0;
The Hanging Man / Arcana 12;
The Sarcophagus / Arcana 20;
I also pay attention to the Lightning / Arcana 16.
A real example of telling time with Tarot
Last month I decided to buy a nice mattress and pillow. Because the ones I picked had to be customized orders, they couldn’t be ordered over the phone. I went to the place to order them and pay. They said it would take up to 2 weeks to manufacture them. After 10 days, I felt the desire to know exactly when my mattress and pillow would arrive.
Since I was only interested in this, I decided to use Tarot to determine only the timing of their arrival. And here comes an important issue. As I explained, determining the timing of an event is difficult in Tarot. For this reason, I try not to use only 1 card for this, as it limits the possibilities a lot. I mentioned above about Tarot readers who draw cards when an Ace falls to shorten the timing even more. Most often they suggest that one should draw 3 cards, to add their numbers, and so on. But here, too, there are differences, namely how the face cards are counted, as those from the Minor Arcana are unambiguous. Some count the Youths / Jacks, Queens, and Kings for 10 each. I personally count them for 11, 12 and 13 respectively.
My point is that the number 3 is very powerful because it encompasses Heaven, Man, and Earth. Not that the numbers 4 and 5 aren’t even more powerful, but with so many cards the variations increase even more. Anyway, on the afternoon of November 23, after concentrating on my question, shuffling and cutting the cards, the following 3 came up:
7 of Cups / (constellation) Cepheus / Pisces / Pisces
Arcana 11 The Enchantress / Neptune
9 of Scepters / Sagitta (constellation Arrow) / Leo decan of Sagittarius / the Sun
It was immediately obvious that my order would be delayed – whichever option to use. I mean, obviously, the unit of time is days, not hours. That is, from Tarot we have the numbers 7, 11, 9 days. If we combine them, we have
7 + 9 = 16;
7 + 11 = 18;
9 + 11 = 20;
7 + 11 + 9 + = 27.
The Enchantress has subdued a lion, and 9 Scepters are astrologically ruled by the Leo decan of Sagittarius. In other words, we have Leo twice.
7 of Cups is Pisces / Pisces, and on the day of reading (November 23rd) the Moon was in Pisces and the Sun in Sagittarius. Because of the double Leo, and that the transiting Moon would ingress in Leo 11 days after the reading, my prediction was that I would get my mattress and pillow in 11 days – December 4th – Friday. (the store is open 7 days a week).
Another option is 18 days, obtained from 11 + 7 = 18.
The third option of 20 days and the last option is 27 days are too long. In the first case, the Moon ingresses into Sagittarius, but it is the Leo decan which is emphasized. In the second, the Moon ingresses Pisces and conjuncts Neptune, but I stopped using the trans-Saturn planets many years ago.
16 and 18 days do not contain astrological symbolism from the Moon to activate any of the cards.
11 days passed and no one phoned me. There were 16 and 18 days left, respectively. I called the store’s 3 phone numbers a dozen times and couldn’t get through. Strange how one line was busy and the other + mobile one were not.
During this Tarot reading, I wanted to buy a new router. It so happened that they quoted me a price and told me they had it in stock close my home. When I went to purchase it, not only did they not have it at the address in question, but the price was over 30% higher. I gave up getting this router and called the man who has been servicing my computer. He told me that he would check, choose a good router for me, set it up for me, and disable the wireless network – as he knew I wanted. This man is very sought after and busy, and he forgot about me over the next days. I called him 12 days later. He apologized to me and called me later that day to tell me that he had chosen a router and would come and pick me up with his car to go buy it.
It turned out that of all the stores in Ruse, Bulgaria the store that offers the router in question is right next to the store that sells my chosen mattress and pillow. After we bought the router, I went to the store to ask what was going on with my order and to let them know that 26 days had passed since then. People at the store apologized and told me that because it was evening, they would contact the manufacturer the next day and call me.
Why am I telling you all this? To show that fate has its own ways of making things happen. I had no control over the situation. I had paid and left my phone and was waiting for a call. So it happened that 26 days after the order = 16 days after the Tarot reading I found myself in the store without planning it. See above 7 + 9 = 16 in days.
The next day they phoned me to tell me they had written to the manufacturer and were waiting for an answer. On the day after that / yesterday they called me to tell me that they had received an answer. It turned out that not only was the manufacturer not ready with the mattress and pillow, but he had not even started manufacturing them! The material had not arrived, they said, and offered me a minimal discount when choosing another, cheaper material. I told them that I was cancelling the mattress and wanted to talk to the manufacturer in person to explain to me what pillow they were offering so that I could decide if I would take it.
In other words, after they called me yesterday, I went to resolve the issue, namely on December 11th = 18 days from November 23rd – the day of Tarot reading and 28 days from the order – November 13th. 11 + 7 = 18.
It turned out that there was a delay due to the current situation the world has been put in, and the fabric arrived only yesterday. I don’t know how true this is, but I cancelled the mattress (I still had to wait another 14 days to have it manufactured) and said I was still going with the same pillow of my initial order. The man apologized over the phone, but that didn’t help me, and I told him not only that they should have written on their website that they didn’t have this material available and were waiting for delivery, but that they should have called me to tell me they could be such a big delay. Because what happened was that first they didn’t pick up the phone, then I called another phone – the one at the store – the order couldn’t be placed on the phone, the store is far away and it took me a while to get there, I paid, I gave my personal data and nobody called me. This is not how a client is served, especially if you have claims of quality, the company is certified, works with Western standards, materials and more.
Anyway, the important thing is that the Tarot showed WHEN the issue will be resolved.
Note also that yesterday the Sun ingressed into the Leo decan of Sagittarius. In other words, yesterday, December 11th, the Sun ingressed into 20.00 Sagittarius. Otherwise, the Moon was in Scorpio yesterday, which is not connected with any of the cards.
Conclusion on timing in Tarot and why one should be careful with making assumptions
I made the assumption that things would be fine with the order and just asked when I would take it home. Well, it’s not good to make assumptions, because you see how it turned out. The problem is with me in this case. I got the prediction wrong and made an assumption.
My point is that if I had used horary Astrology, it would have shown that there would be a problem with the order, there would be a delay and so on. Tarot could have also shown this if I had used a spread rather than wanting to know only the timing. The thing is that if one has to use more cards to learn about something as trivial as an order, what would one use for the complex questions in life?
I believe that the article will be useful and will help you maintain flexibility in your practice, as well as rely primarily on Tarot, rather than Astrology in timing and reading.