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GoddessArtemis
11-11-2005, 07:35
There are always a lot of questions about tarot and timing in readings. I've done some research on the topic and am sharing them below. Hope this helps some of you. Please feel free to add your own feedback/methods so that we may all improve our readings by using tarot to tell time!

Some pointers on timing:

Swords: days
Wands: weeks
Cups: months
Pentacles: years

Courts: the timeframe depends entirely on the decisions or actions of the querent or another person, which have not been taken yet.
Trumps: will happen once the issues presented by the Trump is dealt with no timeframe specified. These cards represent major life issues that may take anywhere from days to decades to resolve.

Cups: Spring (water spring rains, new growth, creativity)
Wands: Summer (fire fullness of life, sunny, hot)
Swords: Autumn (air cutting back, harvesting, planning for the winter)
Pentacles: Winter (earth dormancy, putting down roots, quiet)

Alternatives on the above and ones I personally rely on most:

Suit of Cups

Element: Water
Direction: West
Astrological Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Season: Summer
Vices: Moodiness, excesses and addiction, psychic drains
Virtues: Serenity, love, creative visualization, imagination

Suit of Wands

Element: Fire
Direction: South
Astrological Signs: Aries, Leo, Saggitarius
Season: Spring, sometimes summer
Vices: Pride, restlessness, willfulness
Virtues: Inspiration, creativity, enterprise, drive, exploding, activating
Images: Candles, flames, volcanos, sunflowers, phallic objects, lions and all cats, rams, all forms of new growing life, babies, spring blossoms, plants.

Suit of Swords

Element: Air
Direction: East
Astrological Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Season: Fall
Vices: Judgmentalism, sharp-tounged, fear or confusion
Virtues: Penetration, courage, strength, truth and justice, organization

Suit of Pentacles

Element: Earth
Direction: North
Astrological Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Season: Winter
Vices: Stress and anxiety, stubbornness, inability to change, greed
Virtues: Knowledge and ability, endurance, stability.

Websites that offer other options/insights on timing:

**(updated May 31, 2006)**

http://www.supertarot.co.uk/astro/timing.htm
http://www.bewitchingways.com/tarot/timing.htm
http://tarotcanada.tripod.com/TarotTimeFrameReferenceSystem.html
http://www.ata-tarot.com/reflections/03-01-03/TarotForum.htm
http://www.ata-tarot.com/reflections/01-01-04/timing.htm

Best way to tell time with the tarot is to use your own intuition. Sometimes I go by the guidance stated above; other times, by gut instinct. But this is a start...

GA :)

Emeraldgirl
11-11-2005, 15:32
Thanks for that. i have always had a problem with timing and tend to associate positions in the spread with times rather than any cards cause I have never seen a card time system before. Thanks for a great refernce :)

GoddessArtemis
10-01-2006, 06:56
Figuring out tarot and timing is like searching for the Holy Grail!

But I'm still seeking answers and will update this thread as I come across useful info. Below is another good website; not to say I agree/disagree with the information, but it's helpful. In the end, though, you are the only one who can determine what "feels" right to you--time-wise.

I'm passing the info on here, in case the link goes b'bye...but the link will also be included at the bottom. Please feel free to add any references you may come across on this topic as well!

GA :)

----------------------------------------------
The Tarot and Time--Some Suggestions
by Eva Yaa Asantewaa
1994, 2000 Eva Yaa Asantewaa

Using Time/Energy Factors in Tarot:

If you are looking for indicators of time period, timing of action, or pacing of energy in a spread, here are my suggestion for some ways that the cards may give you helpful clues. Of course, remember to interpret everything creatively and intuitively within the context of the specific question and reading.

Swords (air) can mean fast, airborne energy; something happening very quickly; can also be any time period governed by the air signs of the zodiac (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius).

Wands (fire) can mean fast, fireborne energy; something happening soon. Relationship to Sun means happening within a day or days. The number of wands could indicate number of days. Can also be any time period governed by the fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius).

Cups (water) can mean slow, gradual, deep movement. Relationship to Moon means happening within a month or months. Takes a little time to develop. The number of cups could indicate number of months. Can also be any time period governed by the water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces).

Pentacles (earth) can mean extremely slow; year or years. The number of pentacles could indicate number of years. Can also be any time period governed by the earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn).

Aces--the beginning, new cycle Nines or Tens--process coming to fruition, prelude to a new cycle

Kings--the past; long development of experience; maturing Queens--the status quo present; Pages and Knights--the new, the active present, what's potential

The Fool--impulsive; things happening very quickly; unplanned.

Magician--things may happen quickly but only after skillful arrangement, effort, willpower.

High Priestess--slow energy; things happen only after something is revealed or discovered; may take time and effort.

The Empress--gradual, steady, natural; things may take time to develop.

The Emperor--things may take a long time to manifest but then will move rapidly.

Heirophant--things happen easily only after appropriate connections are made, then movement flows steadily.

The Lovers--things happen only after a decision has been reached or a change in thinking has occurred, then movement is quick.

The Chariot--things may happen, facilitated by internal and/or external momentum. Some care should be taken in one's movement.

Strength--things happen only after something is brought into sharp focus. It would be best to proceed in a careful, moderate way.

The Hermit--things happen in a fairly slow, careful manner or after a period of careful thought, planning, meditation, and/or solitude. The pace of events is determined by one's inner processes and needs, not by the outside world.

The Wheel of Fortune--things happen in cycles; things happen again; necessity to know where you are in a certain external or internal cycle and to act or make your decisions from that awareness.

Justice--things happen only when there is balance or when a decision has been reached, then can proceed swiftly.

The Hanged Man--very slow, gradual, steady development; natural time; nothing forced. It is advised to stop action and wait. This card can also indicate a period of looking into the past, regressing or having a sense of being regressed, or feeling stuck.

Death--dramatic change; beginning of new cycle.

Temperance--gradual, moderate development; things happen only as a result of healing or balancing process.

The Devil--regression; sense that time has stopped or moved backwards; inertia; things happen only when lessons have been learned and you've moved on from the past--or--challenging things happen again and again until awareness changes them.

The Tower--rapid, dramatic change; break with the past; usually unplanned, unexpected.

The Star--things can happen after a period of cleansing or after something has been communicated; then they happen with ease; can be unusual, unexpected.

The Moon--gradual, natural change; observe and follow the lunar cycle.

The Sun--daily occurences; natural cycles of highs and lows in life.

Judgement--things happen only after different things are each acknowledged and drawn together; things happen only after awareness is heightened.

The World--holistic sense of time--timelessness; past, present, and future as one an all equally valuable and accessible.

Remember: These are suggestions. What works for you

from: http://www.planetauthority.com/TarotWorld/february-00.html

P.S. Please report dead links..either to me, via PM, or to a moderator.

GoddessArtemis
10-01-2006, 07:10
Oops...posted twice. Weird.

Arania
11-01-2006, 11:23
For my partner, Air is winter and Pentacles are autumn... for me, it's sometimes like that, too. The other stuff, like days and weeks etc, I don't think I could see in a card. I truly think it all depends on the context.

calligirl
13-01-2006, 12:28
My biggest problem with the timing is...trying to remember what the cups, wands, etc are! My poor little brain is barely grasping the basics without remembering whether wands are summer or winter or was that weeks? Maybe days?

What's the best way to REMEMBER all these (since I'm trying really hard to NOT look them up in a book)? Maybe a journal to see how long before an event takes place?

In one book I read (didn't pertain to Tarot), the opinion of the author was that, life being ever changing, it was difficult to foretell anything much past three months since anything further out would be subject to actions taken in the interim.

Having said that, I'm attempting to do a horoscope spread for the upcoming year so I guess I'll have to cheat and look at the notes!

Looking forward to more comments on this topic.

namesoftrees
13-01-2006, 18:16
I'm also avidly watching this thread for more and more, but I suspect a lot is in the questions we ask and how they're re-cognized.
A card in wands might pertain to the finality of an impetus in the reading as much as it does to the initiation of that impetus.

This is a guess. Are even numbers more likely to show an out come and odd numbers a new urge or instigation?

Are there timing readings on the site that we could look at as an example? Anyone?

namesoftrees
13-01-2006, 18:18
thankyou Rtemis, -straight into my study book.

augursWell
20-01-2006, 14:46
We're also discussing this question on this thread:
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=53149

pogo
30-01-2006, 07:37
hullo,
some cards are assigned astrological qualities and have dates associated with them

a good place to find such assignments is at
Tarot Journey
http://tarotjourney.net/tarot-cards/

and if you look through the cards, you'll see that she has given the astrological associations as well as dates.

3 Swords is Libra
http://tarotjourney.net/tarot-cards/minor-arcana/swords/3-of-swords/
3Oct-12Oct

figures
you might want to mark a calendar.

Ludivine
30-01-2006, 07:48
Thank you for this interesting information.

Does it apply to all spreads ? Or only to questions with cross or other spreads ?

the_surfacer
30-01-2006, 08:39
For my partner, Air is winter and Pentacles are autumn... for me, it's sometimes like that, too. The other stuff, like days and weeks etc, I don't think I could see in a card. I truly think it all depends on the context.
Yes, those are my correspondences, too, and you're also absolutely right about context being the most important thing. (I suspect many of my posts on these forums could be condensed down to "the_surfacer harps on the importance of context." :P)

abella
06-02-2006, 09:31
What does "active" cards mean? Upright, cards with images that are in movement? :-)

arachnophobia
07-02-2006, 19:20
I realise this equates to the 'holy grail' question in Tarot readings, and each and every one will have his or her own way/s of approaching it, and - whatever works for you! However, more similar to http://www.bewitchingways.com/tarot/timing.htm -

I feel that Wands indicates the shortest timeframe: fire seems most quickly ignited and also extinguished, imho; particularly the 8 of Wands seems to bring a sudden flurry of communications (emails, etc!), usually that very day...These would also relate to sudden, impulsive actions, on the spur of the moment, very much individualistic, and down, or up to, to the individual ;-))

I feel Cups to equate to the second-shortest, i.e. a matter of weeks, up to a month and/or lunar cycle? Actions generally occurring within the context of a relationship, and therefore needing some interaction between both/all parties to develop.

Swords could equal months, or however long you feel preoccupied by those particular thoughts. Actions possibly influenced by the thoughts and communications, advice, suggestions etc. of others.

Pentacles I would relate to a time-frame of years. Actions take place within an extended family and/or community context, of commitments and obligations?

Interesting associations of the Majors with timing, i.e. showing the influence of a particular state of mind in accelerating, slowing down, stopping or even regressing (in the case of the Devil!) the action...

My 2.5c worth? ;-))

GoddessArtemis
01-06-2006, 04:11
I just added more timing links to my first post in this thread (at bottom of post). I'm still searching for answers!! I still say that intuition is a HUGE part of timing with tarot, and when my intuition is on, I'm HOT and getting timing right on. But...since my intuition has been lagging in the past month or so, I'm looking for more straightforward information..though it's definitely hard to come by!

Hope some of this helps...I'll keep looking.

GA :)

Crowqueen
01-06-2006, 07:56
That figures.

Found quite by accident the Eight of Cups on the floor where I'd obviously either left it out of the deck (Goddess Tarot) or my ever busy spirit guide had put it.

Eight months have passed since the beginning of the stage of the journey that I feel I've been on and I/we am looking for more substance, just like the woman in the card; not in my own life but possibly in other ways. I found a completed/expired bus season ticket on the bus this evening...a few months ago I was telling my boyfriend I felt I was coming to the end of a journey but wasn't quite there yet.

Or it could just have been a fluke, but I've got to keep reminding myself there are no flukes in tarot.

Crowqueen
01-06-2006, 08:01
I feel that Wands indicates the shortest timeframe: fire seems most quickly ignited and also extinguished, imho;


Ace of Wands=joss stick!!! No questions asked! Light a candle and it'll come...!!!

Seriously, aces are the "pennies from heaven" (Ace of Pentacles) card in my book. That is, it'll happen when it happens, and it'll happen suddenly, like a coup-de-grace (well, OK, that's the Ace of Swords) or a sudden spillage (Ace of Cups)...or something like that.

Crowqueen
04-06-2006, 03:02
Just to add: personally I've detected a more codified structure, after experimenting with the question last night in my "impatient left-brain" mode.

In answer to (2) when will I get my sign that my spell has worked and (1) who will it be from: (I asked for increased corvid activity, similar to a previous omen I got when a huge number of corvidae - ie relatives of the crow - decided to use our garden as a place for an orgy; and something relevant to politics with the number 47 on, which is my sign number)

(1) Hierophant - rational member of the party/someone not easily swayed by feelings
(2) Eight of Wands - misremembering the thread, "ah, eight hours"

(2) didn't seem to make sense, except I did the reading at just gone midnight, and in the post (usually comes around 8am) was a letter from (1)! (with the right numbering on it too: my local membership number is 1408, ie 4 then (8-1) = 47.) It's so long since I've had anything from them that I'd forgotten my number...but it makes sense in more ways than one.

So I would say:
Wands - hours (a joss-stick tends to burn that long, or a long thin candle)
Swords - days (fast, but not as fast as the above)
Cups - months (as explained in posts above)
Pentacles - years (as in posts above)

Although of course I suppose you could make your own designation based on astrology, but since that's not my forte I'm not inclined to absorb it into my readings just yet.

WinterRose
25-02-2009, 10:55
I've been developing my own system. Fairly simplified, and yet to be put to the test, but here's how I see it.

Swords - hours. I see swords as sharp and fast, like a blade cutting through air.
Wands - days. I see a proper fire with wands, not a candle, one whose embers still glow long after it's been its been put out. A fire, even once put out, can still be warm the following day.
Cups- weeks. I see the cups as slowly filling to the brim.
Pentacles - months. It can take months for the hard labour and work for the pentacles to amass into a tangible outcome.

For years I look to the major arcana, and the number that the card equates to. So for instance, the Magician would be 1 year.

(The Fool basically means an unknown period of time)

Martina
25-02-2009, 11:45
Thanks for bumping this up!! Timing is one thing I do have difficulty in when I read. I will definantly be reading this over and developing my own time frame system based on what feels best to me.

Sad Gurl
26-02-2009, 07:00
For me cups are days, rods are weeks, pentacles are months and swords are up to you to determine.
That method works for me. I have done some timing for others as well as myself and anytime there was a question about how soon something would happen, if the 8 of cups was there, it happened 8 days later, or if it was the 5 of rods it happened within a 5 week period. So like I said that works for me.
The Major Aracana cards were always immediate situations in my readings. But this was insightful.

nisaba
26-02-2009, 08:15
For me cups are days, rods are weeks, pentacles are months and swords are up to you to determine.
That method works for me. I have done some timing for others as well as myself and anytime there was a question about how soon something would happen, if the 8 of cups was there, it happened 8 days later, or if it was the 5 of rods it happened within a 5 week period. So like I said that works for me.
The Major Aracana cards were always immediate situations in my readings. But this was insightful.
And for me, Pentacles are years, Cups are months, Swords are weeks and Wands are days. And I don't use the deck I'm using for the rest of the reading - I have a copy of the Ancient Tarots of Bologna that has specifically been trained to do nothing but timings, and it is phenomenal. When it draws a Major Arcana card, it indicates that the timing is up in the air, but it is totally dependant on when the querent resolves the issue illustrated by the nature of the card.

If you have a deck set up just for timings with a firm system, and it does nothing else, and it's always at hand when you're reading, getting the querent to shuffle and cut whenever tehy need a timing starts producing very exact results indeed.

shadowmon
27-03-2009, 13:59
bump

also trying to get some clarification, i am wondering, i pulled a 2 of wands for timing on when someone will contact me, according to 90% of the posts here it will be fairly quikly (ie. within the next few days/couple weeks) i pulled a clarifier and got the page of swords.. again quick and fast so i would assume very soon they will be in contact with me? maybe under 2 weeks ?

thanks :)

nisaba
27-03-2009, 14:25
Two days. If your deck has been trained up.

shadowmon
27-03-2009, 14:37
Two days. If your deck has been trained up.

that was my initial reaction i thought 2 days, but i was reading up more into the thread and found it could potentially mean weeks wow well ill let everyone know :) thnks

nisaba
27-03-2009, 14:47
that was my initial reaction i thought 2 days, but i was reading up more into the thread and found it could potentially mean weeks wow well ill let everyone know :) thnks
See? My system was confirmed by your intuition! Damn, I'm good!

magenta
27-03-2009, 14:47
How do you train a deck?

Queen of the moon
29-03-2009, 08:05
I am just a newbie in the tarot world so have patience with me ;) Would not be an idea to draw a card for the situation in let's see, 1 month, other for the situacion in let's say 1year, other for the situation in 2 years.... to try to get an idea of how the situation will develop? Just a try ;)

Aurelious
29-03-2009, 08:51
I personally go by:

Swords = hours to days
Wands = days to weeks
Cups= weeks to months
Pentacles= Months to Years

Works well for me. When major Arcana appear,it's that number along with it's RWS element interp (Star being Air, Death being Water, etc)

I would like to hear more on this deck training. Sounds interesting.

WinterRose
29-03-2009, 10:45
Two days. If your deck has been trained up.

Yip, that's what I'd say too.

nisaba
29-03-2009, 11:31
How do you train a deck?
I have one particular deck that I *only* use for timings. It's never been used to anythign else. So it doesn't consider the Minor Arcana to have any other meaning at all than time-intervals: Wands are days, Swords are weeks, Cups are months, Pentacles are years. Ace through to tens are one to ten, and court cards go upwards through the numbers still, page=11, knight=12, queen=13, king=14. That way you get a bit of overlap.

In the very, very rare event that you draw a Major, it tell you that the timing is still up in the air but it depends on the querent dealing with the kinds of issues represented by the card.

If you have a deck which you like to use as a Majors-only deck, you can use its minor Arcana cards as a separate timing, deck, but then you'd have no cards for those occasions when you really need to tell them that the timing is dependent on yadda yadda, and you'll get a few inaccurate timings as a result.

Actually training the deck to do this is easy, like training a deck to produce its usual meanings. Simply do ONLY THAT with it, and assume it's going to work. Be consistent.

moonlitkim
29-03-2009, 11:36
What has worked for me so far, is looking at the Outcome card of a spread, and looking at the tone of the card for timing. For example, the 7 of Pentacles is a card of assessment, and that can take some time before seeing results. 3 of Wands is also waiting for your ship to come in, but results may be much sooner. If the outcome one doesn't seem to have a good "timing" feel to it, I draw a clarifier to get a better idea of the timing.

~MoonlitKim

magenta
29-03-2009, 14:57
I have one particular deck that I *only* use for timings. It's never been used to anythign else. So it doesn't consider the Minor Arcana to have any other meaning at all than time-intervals: Wands are days, Swords are weeks, Cups are months, Pentacles are years. Ace through to tens are one to ten, and court cards go upwards through the numbers still, page=11, knight=12, queen=13, king=14. That way you get a bit of overlap.

In the very, very rare event that you draw a Major, it tell you that the timing is still up in the air but it depends on the querent dealing with the kinds of issues represented by the card.

If you have a deck which you like to use as a Majors-only deck, you can use its minor Arcana cards as a separate timing, deck, but then you'd have no cards for those occasions when you really need to tell them that the timing is dependent on yadda yadda, and you'll get a few inaccurate timings as a result.

Actually training the deck to do this is easy, like training a deck to produce its usual meanings. Simply do ONLY THAT with it, and assume it's going to work. Be consistent.

nisaba, thank you for explaining...I had an idea but I was interested in your experience...I have never done that and I will try to find a deck to keep just for timing.
Do you have any way to tell seasons? like Cups are summer or Pentacles Fall sort of thing?
For me it Swords are Winter, Cups Summer, Pentacles Fall and Wands Spring...

So in your system, if you pull the page of swords it will mean 11 weeks?


I just asked when something will happen and got the...Fool ! :laugh:

nisaba
29-03-2009, 15:49
Yep, Page Swords would be 11 weeks, give or take a small margin (I always say "around eleven weeks").

I don't do seasons, although if my memory serves, Ellen Reed's deck has almost identical Court Cards, except that they're in seasonal backgrounds! She associates Earth with Winter, which I would have thought was odd, because in many regions including where she was living at the time, the earth is dormant in Winter. Never made sense to me. <shrug>

shadowmon
31-03-2009, 11:39
said person hasnt contacted me yet, im gonna give it 2 weeks!

shadowmon
05-04-2009, 03:12
bump

also trying to get some clarification, i am wondering, i pulled a 2 of wands for timing on when someone will contact me, according to 90% of the posts here it will be fairly quikly (ie. within the next few days/couple weeks) i pulled a clarifier and got the page of swords.. again quick and fast so i would assume very soon they will be in contact with me? maybe under 2 weeks ?

thanks :)

ok well it seemed somewhat accurate as far as a couple weeks goes.. it took 1 week 1 day for them to contact me, now as far as timing goes, i would say that as far as i was concerned when i pulled these, the "under 2 weeks" was right, so as long as you can predict the time of when they may contact you, mine was a guess of either 2 days or 2 weeks or by the page of swords fairly quickly! which a week is pretty quick considering my situation... so in conclusion find the time and get to when they may contact you, from the reading point to the time point of contact, i guess it will be anytime in between :)

Maggiemay
05-04-2009, 03:15
Thank you for the information.

Maggie :)

nisaba
05-04-2009, 10:02
I just asked when something will happen and got the...Fool ! :laugh:
In my system, if you pulled the Fool it could mean that whatever you asked about won't happen until you've dealt with fool-ish issues (an all their traditional glory). Tarot cards have a nasty habit of being ironic, though, so if you have asked the same question several times, it's probably telling you you're a fool not to believe it on previous occasions!