Thursday, July 18, 2013

Methods of Timing in Tarot

Methods of Timing in Tarot
When a client comes for a reading they inevitably want to know 1) what ever it is that they're there for, if it will manifest, and 2) when will it manifest. This can be more than tricky, because the cards don't always give a clear "time". But quite often it will give a general time frame. It's rarely absolutely specific as to an exact date.

If the cards do give a general, or even specific time frame, it's good to know a few methods from which to see this. There are several methods for figuring out timing in a Tarot reading.

There are specific spreads for timing, such as the Clock or Wheel of the Year ~ each of which is a circle of 12 cards with one in the center (there are several variations, but this is how I was taught). 

For the Wheel of the Year the cards are read clockwise, starting at the top and continuing around, until reading the center card last. Each card represents a month of the year, with the center card being the querent's overall influence on that year.

The Clock spread is also read clockwise, but beginning with the card at the 1 o'clock position and continuing around, until reading the center card last. In this spread the time frame is decided up before laying out the spread. The 12 cards can represent 12 days, 12 weeks, 12 months, 12 years, even 12 hours, if you really want to get extremely specific. This latter one though, I would reserve for emergency situations only. To do a 12 hour reading every day would be excessive and, honestly ridiculous in most circumstances. Oh, and again, the center, 13th card represents the querent's overall influence on the time frame.

But what about when doing a "regular" spread, such as the Celtic Cross? It is also possible here as well, but with certain cards having to be in specific locations in the spread. These positions are 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of the Celtic Cross:

          5              10        

4    1 & 2    6         8

The timing card is an Ace. If an Ace falls into any of these positions (5, 6, 7, 8, and 9), then Card #10 is also looked for the final piece to the time frame involved.

Each Ace represents a season:

Ace of Cups = Spring (beginning March 21st)
Ace of Wands = Summer (beginning June22nd)
Ace of Swords = Autumn (beginning September 22nd)
Ace of Pentacles = Winter (beginning December 21st)

The card in the 10th position gives the number of weeks into that season. For example, as you can see in the picture above, the Ace is in position #6, and the 7 of Cups is in position #10.

Ace of Swords = Autumn
7 of Cups = 7 weeks into Autumn
Thus putting the date time frame in mid November.

So, that's one method. Personally, I find it a bit too limiting, because unless you get an Ace in the right position, then you have to use another method. Not a problem for those that know other methods, but for a novice reader it can be frustrating.

The next method I'll present is actually my favorite, and I rarely don't get a time frame when doing a spread, regardless of the spread style. So I could get a picture for this part of this post, I did a quick 5-card Pentagram Spread. And, as almost without fail, I get a timing set up in the spread. This layout is:


4                   3

     2          5

Here is that spread:

In this method of timing there are what are referred to as "Conjunctions". These are when timing cards fall immediately before or after a Major Arcana. The timing cards are any 2, 3, 7, or 9. A Minor Conjunction is when a timing card falls before a Major Arcana, and means that a new cycle is beginning (determined by the timing card itself and the underlying aspects of the Major Arcana). A Major Conjunction then, refers to when a timing card falls after a Major Arcana, and means that a cycle is ending (also determined by the timing card itself and the underlying aspects of the Major Arcana). What's really fun is when a timing card falls between 2 Major Arcanas!

As you can see in the spread above card #1 is a Major Arcana, the Wheel of Fortune. The next card in the spread (following the form of a pentagram, this is then the bottom left card, as shown in the diagram above) is the 9 of Wands.

Before I go into determining the timing in the reading, I'll first explain how this method of timing works. First note that the timing conjunctions are read separately from the rest of the reading, so do the reading first, then interpret the timing cards, which in all probability will refer to completely separate events.

Here then is how this method of timing works: 

Minor Conjunction:
If a number 2, 3, 7, or 9 card from the Minor Arcana appears immediately before a card from the Major Arcana, a minor conjunction occurs that indicates that the querent is beginning to embark on a new cycle. The energies inherent in this cycle are determined by the energies specified in the cards.

Major Conjunction:
A major conjunction occurs when a card from the Major Arcana appears before a timing card. This indicates that the major event has already appeared in the querent’s life and the influences of the card impact the native first, as she or he then experiences the energies represented by the Minor Arcana timing card to complete the conjunctions.

The difference between these two types of conjunctions is that the major conjunction signifies the end of a cycle, while the minor conjunction depicts the beginning of one. For the purpose of the timing descriptions, they are written as if the event has not happened. If it is a Major Conjunction, then that event has already occurred in about the time period that is shown.

The number two generally refers to challenges in partnerships, which almost always refer to couples, partnerships, duality, and pairs. Two as one more than one refers to our need to extend our level of awareness beyond our egocentric concerns to those of our partner or friend.

2 of Wands = 2 Days:
An event is likely to occur within 2 days that may concern business partnerships or creative endeavors. The nature of the beginning cycle will be indicated by the Major Arcana card, which follows the 2 of Wands. Because the suit of Wands is so active, the cycle should begin shortly after the reading.

2 of Cups = 2 Weeks:
An event is likely to occur within 2 weeks that concerns relationships involving attachments of a highly emotional nature.

2 of Swords = 4 Weeks:
An event is likely to occur within 4 weeks concerning communications with a friend or partner. Contracts, phone calls, and other forms of communication will figure prominently.

2 of Pentacles = 2 Months:
An event is likely to occur within 2 months. During this period, the querent needs to focus on property, money, and financial matters. These financial concerns may be the result of an agreement with another person.

Threes refer to expansion and growth, and signify a need for independence because they are one more than the coupling two.

3 of Wands = 3 Days:
In approximately 3 days the querent will receive further guidance concerning issues relating to the card depicted in the Major Arcana. These concerns will deal with a creative endeavor or business pursuit.

3 of Cups = 3 Weeks:
In approximately 3 weeks the querent will find that a part of his or her destiny is coming into effect, which could represent the beginning, continuation, or change of plans. This could be a very emotional time with expectations of much happiness. The card drawn from the Major Arcana will give further clues to the situation.

3 of Swords = 6 Weeks
During the upcoming 6-week period the querent is likely to feel a sense of loss. Although he or she may feel a bit melancholy, the worst of this difficult time will be over soon with the resulting outcome reflected in the card from the Major Arcana.

3 of Pentacles = 3 Months
During the upcoming 3 month period the querent will be preparing for awards and recognition. Success is likely but he or she will need to persevere and develop their skills in order to assure a positive outcome. The Major Arcana card following the 3 of Pentacles will show the querent the area in which they will achieve.

When a 7 precedes a Major Arcana card, a choice needs to be made. The querent has reached a crossroad in her or his life and must make a choice before continuing on their journey. The 7 deviates from the general pattern of the previous conjunctive cards because each suit of 7 will be activated in approximately 7 days.

7 of Wands = 7 Days:
The upcoming week may be rather tense for the querent as his or her concerns center on business or creative matters. They may be required to stand up for themselves or defend their area of expertise. The following Major Arcana card will reflect the nature of this situation.

7 of Cups = 7 Days:
In the upcoming week the querent needs to expand his or her level of awareness and look closely at the opportunities available to them, because some of the alternatives may not deliver hoped-for outcomes. Although things may not be readily apparent, the querent will soon begin to see with greater clarity.

7 of Swords = 7 Days:
During the upcoming week, the querent needs to reevaluate his or her current situation. They may have been influenced by a proposition that seemed too good to be true; they will realize that they have been deceived. Because of this, they may be inclined toward self-pity, but instead should concentrate their efforts on future prospects provided by the card drawn from the Major Arcana.

7 of Pentacles = 7 Days:
During the upcoming week, the querent needs to arrive at a decision regarding his or her career, possessions, or finances. It seems that they have put in a great deal of effort and are now entering into a period of gestation. It is important to know that if this preparation was of a solid foundation, the outcome will be stable, but if the querent failed to properly prepare, then the outcome may not be what they desire. Nevertheless, the situation will come to fruition during the upcoming week and the associated card pulled from the Major Arcana will indicate the nature of the outcome.

Nine represents the end of a cycle in traditional numerology and is considered one before the end in the Tarot, with the 10 representing completion. Nines generally have a lot of power, which is cultivated through the previous eight cards. With 9, the querent feels the need to go back and reflect, reevaluate, and release that which he or she no longer needs. Each 9 is stimulated in two stages comprised of 28 days. The first stage is composed of 9 days and all existing forces will be broken down during this period. The second stage lasts for a duration of 19 days and during this period the new cycle begins.

9 of Wands = 9 Days Followed by 19 Days = 28 Days:
During this period, the querent needs to finish what he or she has started. It is not the time to give up because with a little extra effort they can reach their goal. The associated card from the Major Arcana reflects what they are likely to encounter during this new cycle.

9 of Cups = 9 Days Followed by 19 Days = 28 Days:
During this period, the querent is likely to experience a lot of joy and happiness. He or she should experience their first element of joy within the first nine days, and the remaining days will strengthen the initial peak.

9 of Swords = 9 Days Followed by 19 Days = 28 Days:
During this time, the querent will find that he or she is letting go of a lot of unpleasant thoughts. They may be reluctant to release these opinions that have been with them for such a long time, but in order for them to enter into the next cycle it is important to let go of these memories.

9 of Pentacles = 9 Days followed by 19 Days = 28 Days:
During this time the querent is likely to experience significant events relating to money or material possessions. He or she may feel that their life is at an impasse because nothing is right, yet nothing is wrong either.

Now, back to my layout above. The Wheel of Fortune is before the 9 of Wands. So referring to the information above, the timing here is that in the next 28 days an event will occur. I won't go into interpreting what it means, suffice it to say that I will be keeping an eye on the next month! ;)

Here's a simple timing method. You can do a Tarot timing through the elemental astrology process.

Fire = Wands:
Because Fire is so swift, in terms of time, it relates to days. Therefore, each numbered card in the suit of Wands will equate to the number on the card multiplied by one day.

Earth = Pentacles:
Because Earth is somewhat slower than the other elements, in terms of time each numbers card in the suit of Pentacles will equate to the number on the card multiplied by one month.

Air = Swords:
In terms of time, this element relates to the fortnight. Therefore each numbered card in the suit of Swords will equate to the number on the card multiplied by one fortnight. **note: a fortnight is 14 days or two weeks.**

Water = Cups:
In terms of time, this element relates to the week. Therefore, each numbered card in the suit of cups will equate to the number on the card multiplied by one week.

Spirit = Major Arcana
Because matters of the spirit as a general rule tend to transcend time and space, they affect our lives in such a transformative way that in terms of time it equates to one year. Therefore, the duration of each card in the Major Arcana will equate to the number on the card multiplied by one year.

So get out your cards and play around to get an idea of how each one works. Find the method you like and enjoy!

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