This week I’m working on Tarot and how a reading corresponds to time, as in “when will this occur”? Most of the time Tarot timing is based on something else happening, for example:

“When will I get that raise?” – 8 of Cups might mean (depending on surrounding cards) “Once you’d challenged yourself.” or perhaps “Once you’ve completed a large project on your own.”

“When will I find a partner?” – 5 of Cups might mean “Once you’ve given up mourning over your past love/s or disappointments.”

So the first kind of timing is in relation to you taking or completing some action. Be aware, however, that this may not mean that the event will happen! The future is always changing and while certain events are inevitable, most seem to have a quantum element to it. A future path doesn’t appear until you observe it (start on it, live it).

However, in some traditions the suits and elements can clue you in as to timing. Biddy Tarot says:

Wands – Days or Spring

Swords – Weeks or Autumn

Cups – Months or Summer

Pentacles – Years or Winter

Biddy Tarot

The numbered cards within each suit denote days or how much of the time. So a 3 of Wands may mean 3 days or spring. 3 of Cups, three months or in the Summer.

I tend to follow a more intuitive path and my suits don’t necessarily align with the above. For example, using my Modern Witches deck, pentacles denote summer, Winter is cups, Wands are fall, and Spring is Swords. I haven’t tried to get more specific with timing up until now, but I think I would rather read the card intuitively as to time. So the 4 of Swords feels like 4 days, while the 8 of cups feels like 8 months.

Biddy Tarot also suggests a 4-card spread:

The desired event will happen when…

  • Card 1 – You realise…
  • Card 2 – You accept…
  • Card 3 – You acknowledge…
  • Card 4 – You do…

An additional way to look at the suits is by relative pace. 78 Nights of Tarot suggests that Swords are the fastest, Wands next, then Cups, and Pentacles as the slowest. My own feelings validate this, and I’m going to using it as a guide going forward. The above link also shows correspondences between Astrology, the suits, and numbers. Astrology is out of my sphere, so I’m not going to cover it here.

In general, however, my thinking is in line with

I get uber “out there” when it comes to the concept of time because it’s a giant “blue pill” (to reference the Matrix movie), topic leading to endless and slippery implications.

Namely, time is not linear, so slapping down a Tarot card to nail down a time frame is, well, kind of absurd.

I’m going to play heretic here and say Tarot cannot accurately predict the timing of a specific event (*gasp*).

It is, according to quantum logic, impossible because the variables are stacked against the timely outcome of one prediction.

What are your feelings about Tarot and time?