A question that has longed plagued the Tarot community is whether or not Tarot Timing can really be used to predict the future with enough accuracy to pin down the month, week, or even day of an event. Tarot Timing is a technique that is used to predict when events will happens in the seekers life through the use of timing cards. In this post, I will be looking at 2 different methods for Tarot Timing, and how effective each of them are.
Tarot Timing Method #1: Timing With Suits (Traditional)
An older, more traditional Tarot Timing method is to use the suits in conjunction with their pip number to create a prediction of when an event would happen. In this method, an extra timing card would be added on to a spread. If the card was in the Minor Arcana and not a court card, the “speed” of the suit and the number of the card would be combined to produce a prediction for when the event would occur. The speeds of the suits are:
- Swords: Days
- Wands: Weeks
- Cups: Months
- Pentacles: Years
So, if the Two of Wands was drawn as the timing card, the event the seeker was asking about would occur in 2 weeks. Tradition varies on what the significance of a Major Arcana card or Court Card means in this position. Some say that any card that isn’t a pip indicates that the event will not happen. Others say that a Major Arcana card means the event will happen “very soon”.
Obviously, this method has some major shortfalls. Having the suit of Pentacles representing Years goes against the modern understanding of Tarot. Modern Tarot belief recognizes that the Tarot has a foresight of, at maximum, one year. The Tarot works by connecting with the current energies surrounding the situation; energies change all the time, and the Tarot cannot always predict how they will change in the course of a month, much less a year or more! Could you imagine a client asking you when they will next get a job and drawing the Ten of Pentacles as their timing card? This system of Tarot Timing is faulty by this point alone. Overall, this system is too determinative for serious Tarot Reading, and is better suited for parlor games and fortune-telling for fun.
Tarot Timing Method #2: Astrological Dignities
This is the method that I prefer to use. This method takes into account the Astrological dignities assigned to the 78 Tarot cards by the Golden Dawn. Each card was assigned either a planet, sign, or element from modern Astrology. Each of these can be traced back to a Sun Sign one way or another. Sun Signs govern periods of time throughout the year. By using these dignities for your timing cards, you can give the seeker a date range of about 1 month in which they can expect the event they are inquiring about to occur. The following is a simplified version of the Golden Dawn’s Astrological Dignities that works really well for Tarot Timing.
Aries Cards (March 21-April 19)
The Emperor, The Tower, Two of Wands, Three of Wands, Four of Wands, Queen of Wands
Taurus Cards (April 20-May 20)
The Hierophant, The Empress*, Five of Pentacles, Six of Pentacles, Seven of Pentacles, Knight of Pentacles
Gemini Cards (May 21-June 21)
The Lovers, The Magician*, Eight of Swords, Nine of Swords, Ten of Swords, King of Swords
Cancer Cards (June 22-July 22)
The Chariot, The High Priestess, Two of Cups, Three of Cups, Four of Cups, Queen of Cups
Leo Cards (July 23-August 22)
Strength, The Sun, Five of Wands, Six of Wands, Seven of Wands, Knight of Wands
Virgo Cards (August 23-September 23)
The Hermit, The Magician*, Eight of Pentacles, Nine of Pentacles, Ten of Pentacles, King of Pentacles
Libra Cards (September 24-October 23)
Justice, The Empress*, Two of Swords, Three of Swords, Four of Swords, Queen of Swords
Scorpio Cards (October 24-November 21)
Death, Judgement, Five of Cups, Six of Cups, Seven of Cups, Knight of Cups
Sagittarius Cards (November 22-December 21)
Temperance, Wheel of Fortune, Eight of Wands, Nine of Wands, Ten of Wands, King of Wands
Capricorn Cards (December 22-Janruary 19)
The Devil, The World, Two of Pentacles, Three of Pentacles, Four of Pentacles, Queen of Pentacles
Aquarius Cards (January 20-February 18)
The Star, The Fool, Five of Swords, Six of Swords, Seven of Swords, Knight of Swords
Pisces Cards (February 19-March 20)
The Moon, The Hanged Man, Eight of Cups, Nine of Cups, Ten of Cups, King of Cups
*The Magician and The Empress are connected with Mercury and Venus, which each rule 2 signs. This is why they are listed here twice.
The Aces and Pages of the Tarot Deck have no specific Sun Sign associated with them, and instead represent the entire element of their suit, and thus all three of the Sun Signs in that element. As Tarot Timing cards, they represent all three of the signs time periods.
Aries, Leo, Sagittarius: Ace of Wands, Page of Wands
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces: Ace of Cups, Page of Cups
Libra, Aquarius, Gemini: Ace of Swords, Page of Swords
Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo: Ace of Pentacles, Page of Pentacles
Want to learn more about how Tarot and Astrology work together? Check out these 2 amazing books on the subject: “Tarot and Astrology” and “Tarot Decoded“.
1. Try out Method #1 in your next Tarot reading for yourself. How accurate was the prediction?
2. Do the same for Method #2
3. Go through the deck and take out all the cards that are associated with your personal Sun Sign. Examine the images and try to find how they reflect you and your personality. Do the same for your Moon Sign and Rising Sign, if you know them.