Top Navigation

The Complex Story of Tarot and Timing

I’ve always had a knack for timing, at least when it comes to the smaller things. If I listen to the urgings of my intuition, I usually get to a restaurant or attraction just before a huge lineup forms, or I get the last one of something before it sells out.

When it comes to the bigger things, I see a pattern in my life of knowing when to do something, or travel somewhere, of getting a feeling that if I don’t do it now, that option will no longer exist. This also applies to the idea of getting out while the getting is good.

If a big opportunity comes up, and the timing is just right, it feels like hubris or a terrible lack of appreciation and gratitude to the universe if I don’t take advantage of the gift that is being offered. If you keep turning down the good things, the universe is going to stop offering them.

So, when I am in a situation where it feels like my timing was OFF, I always stop, step back, and take a breath. I don’t give up or lose faith in that knack. Sometimes we just don’t see the bigger picture. Even with the Tarot as our guide, we may not understand why things unfolded as they did, and it might not be beneficial at the time to have that knowledge at all.

That brings me to the idea of timing and Tarot.

Often times when people come for a Tarot reading, they want to know WHEN something will happen. When will I get a good job, when will I find love, when will this stressful situation resolve itself, when will I feel better.

This is indeed useful information to have. But, it raises all kinds of questions for me.

  • Fate vs Free Will vs Somewhere In Between
  • What is in our control and what isn’t
  • Predictive vs Empowering information

What are you really asking when you ask WHEN something will happen?

Are you assuming that the answer is already set in stone, and you want to know so that you can plan for it, or prepare for it, or stop worrying about it or anticipating it?

Or, can we shift the question slightly to ask HOW you can make something happen? Or, what other forces or details or aspects need to come into place before your desired outcome can occur? Or, how you can navigate the situation if it looks like the timing just isn’t right at this moment?

In my experience, we can certainly incorporate TIMING into our Tarot readings, as long as we are willing to be flexible, to look at the different aspects of the question, and to pay attention to where our intuition is guiding us.

Here are some timing techniques that have worked well for me in Tarot readings for myself and my clients.

  • Include the timing parameters in the question. For example, if you’re asking about getting new job or a promotion or finding love, pull cards for the potential this month, in the next three months, this year etc
  • Rather than trying to get an actual date, look at the speed (or lack there of) of something happening by paying attention to the image/situation/scene on the card. For example. The Hanged Man is delay and waiting until the time is right, Eight of Wands is something coming quickly.
  • Look at the actual image on the card for deeper information. Assume that the event isn’t set fatalistically in time, but will occur when you have done something, or when something else has happened, and the timing has fallen into place. For example, if someone asks, “When will I get a job?” and the Three of Pentacles appears, perhaps when you have built a supportive network or found the right team to work with or show that you are a good team player. Or the Magician, when you put yourself forward and show your talents to the world. Or the King of Pentacles, when the old boss retires. Or the Six of Pentacles, when some other source of funding comes through.
  • Work with the intention that each suit of the Minor Arcana represents a season or time of year. There are many thoughts on this in the Tarot world, but what works for me is:
    • Wands/Spring
    • Cups/Summer
    • Pentacles/Autumn
    • Swords/Winter
  • Work with the intention that each suit of the Minor Arcana and their assigned number represents the length of time when something may happen:
    • Wands – in X days
    • Swords – in X weeks
    • Cups – in X months
    • Pentacles – in X years
  • Work with a Tarot spread that incorporates elements of timing. Here’s one I created that works well for me:

As Dr. Who so elegantly said, “People assume that time is a strict progression from cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.”.

It isn’t so easy, or beneficial, to try to tie down TIME.

If you want to try, first of all, ask yourself what you really want to know, and why.

And, be open to the cards delivering your answer in a way that might not be as pin-point as you like, while trusting that the information is still useful and what you need right now.

May time always be on your side!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply