Abundant Life Tarot did a video in September of last year about timing in the tarot and how she works with timing in relation to doing a reading. I found her methods really interesting, and ended up doing a bunch of research on this. I find it fascinating all the different ways that people deal with the timing issue in their readings and I thought I would share mine here.
First and foremost, in my day to day readings with no intention of seeking beyond this time period, the majority of my predictive readings lie within a three month span. So in day to day readings, I can dependably expect anything predictive in my cards is going to be within that span. I can then sometimes use intuition to narrow that down even further.
Aside from that understanding, my main method of working with timing in tarot readings is through “landmark cards”. It’s not about having prior warning that “three months from now this will happen” so much as it’s about identifying when you have arrived at the time when the reading is relevant.
How this works is that you pull a “timing card” and that card indicates a “landmark” of sorts. ie: “Start looking for what’s going on in this reading when this (the timing card) happens.” or “Start looking for what’s going on in this reading when you find yourself feeling like this (the timing card).”
This is my most common method of establishing when something will happen. It allows for timing adjustments due to the choices of others and the fluidity of the future, as instead of the querent stuck focusing on a specific week or month or date, they are looking for the “landmark” that has been established, providing flexibility for timing shifts and outside influences.
The second way in which I use timing is by specifying timing in the reading itself. This is how Year Ahead spreads are done and can be used for any type of predictive reading.
In this method, you specify as you do the reading that “next week” (any time period can be used) is what the reading is about. Alternately, you can specify that each card is for a different time period such as… Card 1 Next Week, Card 2 Next Month, Card 3 Next Year, etc.
So for example if doing a Year Ahead reading, you would pull one or two cards for each month in the year ahead, and those cards apply specifically to the month they were pulled for.
The third way in that I have worked with timing in tarot (and sometimes still do, although far less often than the other two methods already mentioned), is through the suits and their corresponding seasons.
Earth – North – Autumn – Touch
Air – East – Winter – Scent
Fire – South – Summer – Sight
Water – West – Spring – Taste
In this method, like the “landmark” method, you specifically pull cards with the intention of timing, and the cards indicate to you the upcoming season that the reading is for. I rarely use this method as I find that the others mentioned above work better for me personally.
There are methods that can be used to chart days, weeks, months, and even specific dates through the cards that come up, but they are not methods I use. Because the future is fluid and ever-changing, getting down to the brass tacks of hours and days can sometimes be tricky, as there are so many variables that can cause timing (or even the reading’s results itself) to shift.