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Timing events -- any specific Cards?

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 24 Feb 2003, and now archived in the Forum Library.

Kundalika  24 Feb 2003 
Is there a way that we can time events using Tarot?

I don't mean a specific date like astrology does, but just a time-frame of sorts? Can we know that an event is to happen quickly (in a few days) or after some time (in a few months) or will happen only after a long time (years)?

What Cards give a hint of timing? 

cheekyminx  24 Feb 2003 
I too often wonder which cards predict timing. I normally go by what I feel & the position of cards. E.g in the celtic spread I use;

pos 2: whats crossing you - I give this a time frame of 2 - 4 weeks
pos 6: near future - 3 - 6 months
pos 8: environment - whats around you now, say 1 - 2 weeks

but it always depends on the question being asked. I do my reading without knowing a question, if I'm way off then I ask the person what they've asked for. Then explain to them, that my reading is answering what's most important to you now.

But I could be wrong on this matter. Experienced Tarot readers please speak up!!!

Thanks :) 

HudsonGray  24 Feb 2003 
The large book that goes with the Ancestral Tarot deck has each card broken down into a specific number of days, that's the first deck I've seen that done to. I've never tried using it for a timed reading so I don't know if it works well, but just thought I'd mention it.

"We are such stuff as dreams are made of where thy final exams commence without thy knowledge and thou lookest down to find thyself bereft of pantaloons." 

Trogon  24 Feb 2003 
Hi Kundalika, and welcome!

I usually find that setting the time frame, in an approximate manner, before I deal the cards works best for me. In other words, if I'm doing a 5-card past - present - future, I figure that the ends (past & future) are looking, at most, a couple of months into the past & future. The "recent past" and "near future" cards would then represent something, usually, a few weeks past & future.

For other spreads which have past and/or future aspects to them, I basically do the same thing. Also, sometimes it helps a lot to find out from the querrent what kind of time frame they wish to examine. In any case, I have been finding that this works out pretty well for me. 

Karenwhe  24 Feb 2003 
I hope my reply is not going to be disappointing but I see timing in the card details intuitively. I will try to rationalize this and explain.

When I read a specific question, I see for example the number two in various cards in the spread (like two leaves, two trees, or objects or whatever) that jump out at me. According to the question I know if that is a question of 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months of 2 years.

In other cases I see various numbers that jump at me from the cards like 3 hills, 5 leaves etc., in these cases I sometimes add the numbers up and it gives me the result. However it is all intuitive so I have no procedure here and I am finding it hard to explain.

This has worked wonders for me, with extensive numerical details such as one would move home on the 15th of February this year. or, one would start working on date Wednesday but will actually finalize contract 8 days later.

I hope this helped, this is what works for me, but I am not sure I know how to explain this properly.

I am also looking for some logical system as not always I see these things in the cards, and then I need a logical alternative (I haven't found one yet that works). 

Kundalika  24 Feb 2003 
Thanx to all of you nice people who replied.....but I'm not convinced.

I guess its a personal thing, each one comes up with his/her own method of timing.

Thing is, intuition plays a bigger role in Tarot than in astrology or its more upto the reader to "divine" an answer, than any specific set of rules.

I wish there was some rational explanation as well though. 

jamesriouxctm  24 Feb 2003 
Hello all,

FYI, I have an article on this subject on my website at:

Actually most of the techniques I use are similar to those that Karenwhe described, based either on an abundance of certain numbers or elements in the reading. I also use the astrological correspondences for the cards whenever they help, which is more often than you might think.

I agree that this method does not always provide an answer but I think that it (or something very much like it) is about as close as you're going to get to a "rational" system for doing time frames. As I remark in the article, sometimes timing information isn't necessary, and in those cases it may simply not manifest in the spread.

(For the technically minded among us, I look at this method of timing as something akin to a Fourier transform in mathematics. When applied to the right kind of signal it yields all kinds of useful information, but when applied to a different kind of signal it might yield garbage. That doesn't mean the Fourier transform itself is "invalid", just that in the second case it shouldn't have been used at all.) 

january  24 Feb 2003 
I've pretty much maintained that the outcomes of readings occur when something in the reading is accomplished. For example, the 8 of pentacles may indicate hard work, diligence and attention to the project at hand. So if the querant was wondering about a promotion, then it would occur when they've put ample energy into their work and to look at the other cards as a how-to.

However, a calculated timing system may not be so invalid in the fact that the querant knows deep inside when they would be able to accomplish this for themselves. Therefore, stating that its feasible that such and such can be accomplished in 2 months or 4 weeks or whatever would become the timeframe. I've very rarely had a timed outcome that was out of the querant's control, i.e., "Jack will propose to you on May 4, 2003." Making such predictions can lead to disappointment, or in rare cases, a push for the querant to do something to make it happen by then.

For timing, when I want to use it, I use method of adding the numbers and getting percentages of the elements from James Rioux: Paul Hughes Barlow also has another system that is based on Crowley:

Either way, I look at timing as secondary or even tertiary to a reading. Afterall, if we just wanted to know when something was going to happen as opposed to the experience and lessons involved then what's the sense of consulting the cards in the first place? 

Kundalika  25 Feb 2003 
Thanx jamesriouxctm, january.

The links were very helpful.

The points you've both made are relevant, they've set me thinking. 

Ruby Red Slippers  25 Feb 2003 
WHen will it happen???
There are various methods, all discussed so far...
Perhaps you could also consider 2 methods used by my mentors,
one is to "see" a calendar then flip the pages, what you see it the answer. The other mentor, has the questioner pick a number betwen 1 and 12.....let's say the person says 7. Then she pulls the next 6 cards and turns the 7th one over and that is the answer. it's worth a try, until you see what fits. 

Kundalika  26 Feb 2003 
Hi Ruby Red Slippers,

The first method you have mentioned sounds like a lottery, how is it any different from flipping a coin?

The second method brings us back to my original question, what card signifies what time-frame?

When you pick the 7th card, and suppose it turns out to be King of Wands, what kind of time-frame does it give you?

I can understand that some immediate event is to occur, if you pick Wheel of Fortune or Eight of Wands or even Tower. I see quick movement in these cards , except in Tower, where I see quick fall-flat-on-the-face-from-high-horse:)

Do Cups stagnate events? Do Swords push them to a conclusion? Are Pages quicker than Knights?

Too many questions, I know, but confusion prevails in my mind:( 

Alex  12 Mar 2003 
about timing: if you ask the cards "when is it going to happen?" you are assuming, it is going to happen, and in case, JUST IN CASE, it is not going to happen, the cards won't be able to tell you.

As far as I am concerned, the only thing I am sure is going to happen is my death. And this one I am not the least curious to know, when.


Rusty Neon  13 Mar 2003 
(1) Lon Milo Duquette's deck (Tarot of Ceremonial Magick) has the Golden Dawn date correspondences indicated on the very face of the small cards and court cards of the minor arcana. This could be useful in timing, without having to consult GD written materials on the fly. For example, the 4 of Disks indicates Jan. 10 to Jan. 19 (20 to 30 degrees Capricorn), Prince of Wands July 12 to Aug. 11 (20 degrees Cancer to 20 degrees Leo). It also has the GD's planetary and zodiac info on the small cards and the major arcana.

Incidentally, there's nothing to stop you from writing the GD date and astrological info on a tarot deck of your choice. (This is especially so if the Duquette deck isn't your cup of tea, which is my situtation as well.) You can get much of this info from sources such as the supertarot website referred to in one of the posts above.

(2) There's a book that's recently been published called _Time Tarot_. I've only quickly perused this book at the store, so can't tell how good it is and as to whether it uses GD. Take a look at it at the store to see if it interests you. 

The Timing events -- any specific Cards? thread was originally posted on 24 Feb 2003 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

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