Let me start this blog by telling you a story. Many moons ago, I worked as a veterinary technician for a small clinic. One of the veterinarians came in one morning with an incredible story to tell. A client had come in with one of her dogs, who was critically ill. An x-ray showed a massive blockage in the dog’s intestine, and surgery was recommended immediately to save the animal’s life. The client refused. According to the veterinarian, she told him he had to wait until the following day because the astrology wasn’t right for surgery that day.

Well, the vet was completely gobsmacked, but without the client’s permission, his hands were tied. There was nothing he could do except give the dog fluids and try to keep it alive overnight until the next morning.

The next day, the client called and gave us permission to perform the lifesaving surgery. All in all, we had to remove several feet of infected intestine, but miraculously, the dog pulled through. When the client came in a few days later to pick up her dog, the veterinarian told her how lucky that dog was. The client, however, shook her head and said, “No. If I had given you permission to do surgery that day, the dog would have died. You see? I waited until the energy was right, and the dog made it through just fine!”

*insert just a wee bit of headdesk here*

This is one of the reasons why I’ve always held back from doing any kind of predictive timing with Tarot. It’s this kind of stuff that always turned me off when it came to the idea of using Tarot to predict when something would happen. I always go back to this story, and the line of thinking that tells us we can’t take action until everything is just absolutely positively perfectly aligned in the Universe.

The truth is that there will never be a “perfect” time for anything. Certainly, there are times that are more advantageous than others, but I’m just way too wary of relying on these things as a crutch without using your logical, rational mind.

I’m also wary of asking questions like, “When will I [get a new job, sell my house, sell my car, meet a new boyfriend/girlfriend]…???” Because I’ve seen the tendency in people when they ask these questions and get an answer go on to do…nothing. They take no action, and then say, well, the Tarot cards were wrong, because [insert desired outcome here] didn’t happen when the cards said it would!

So I go into the rest of this blog with a few cautions. First of all, if something comes up and it’s a dire emergency, take action. Don’t wait for the cards to tell you to do something. Just fucking do it. Need to go to the doctor? Go. Don’t wait.

Second of all, if the cards give you a general idea of when something will happen, it’s still up to YOU to make it happen! The Universe doesn’t just hand you shit when you want it – you still have to put the energy and the intention and the action out there to make stuff happen.

Get it?

So, okay, here we go. With these cautions in mind, let’s talk about timing and Tarot.

Formulating Your Question

Just like any good Tarot reading, formulating your question is half the battle. How specific do you want to get here? Do you need a specific day? Or can you be more general and ask for weeks, months, seasons, etc.? Before you pick a method for telling time with Tarot, get very clear on your intention.

Now for the fun stuff. Seriously, just give it a try.

Using the Images on the Cards As Your Timing

This is one of my favorite ways to do predictive Tarot. Use the images on the cards! If you’ve got a more general question, like, when is the best time to start looking for a new job? If you pull a card with a river on it, the next time you see a river, you can start your job search. Get it? Make it fun!

Counting Cards

This one seems a little heavy duty for me, but…if you want to try some exact timing, pick a card in the Tarot that represents your question. Like the Ace of Pentacles for a new job, or the Ace of Cups for a new relationship. Shuffle it back into the deck, and then start turning over cards. When you turn over the card you chose, count how many cards you’ve turned over – and there’s the number of days, weeks, months, years, etc. until your event! Honestly, this methods intrigues me the most and I’ve some really interesting outcomes using it.

Numbers and Numerology

Using the numbers on the Tarot cards is, I believe, one of the most underestimated aspects of reading Tarot. I’ve always been big into numbers, and indeed, I find that I see a lot of those “angel” numbers throughout my day – 11:11, 12:12, 1:11, 2:22, 3:33, 4:44, and 5:55. (Seriously. Ask my kid. This happens to me A LOT.) So whenever I’m reading Tarot for myself or someone else, I always try to incorporate the numbers and their meanings into my readings.

You can use numbers in your predictive Tarot readings in lots of different ways, but the easiest is to just ask the question, “How many days/weeks/months until…???” You can use the numbers on the Major Arcana as your answer, or if you pull a court card, you can assign the following numbers to each one:

  • Page – 11
  • Knight – 12
  • Queen – 13
  • King – 14

Suits and Seasons

Each suit has a corresponding season. These associations vary from reader to reader, so use the season that feels right to you. I like to use the seasons with the suits like this:

  • Swords – Spring (Air)
  • Cups – Summer (Water)
  • Wands – Fall (Fire)
  • Pentacles – Winter (Earth)

If you want to get really specific with timing and asking “when?” in Tarot, you can use each of the minor cards to designate a specific week throughout the year. Starting with the Ace of Swords for the first week of spring (beginning March 20), Ace of Cups for the first week of summer (June 19), Ace of Wands for the first week of autumn (September 20), and Ace of Pentacles for the first week of December (December 21), then moving on. So the 5 of Pentacles would mean the 5th week of winter, or around the last week of January.

Personally? I find this system to be a tad cumbersome. But if you or the querant are looking for really specific answers, this is about as good as it gets.

Majors and Astrology

Oh, and more astrology! I hate astrology. I mean, I hate it when I have to do it for myself because I just can’t get a good grasp on it. The most difficult part of my training in Ayurveda was Vedic astrology. (I still need to look shit up in the book when I’m looking at a chart.) That said, each of the Major Arcana has an astrological association that can be used for timing in Tarot:

  • The Fool – Aquarius (January 21 – February 20)
  • The Magician – Gemini and Virgo (May 21 – June 20 and August 21 – September 20)
  • The High Priestess – Cancer (June 21 – July 20)
  • The Empress – Taurus and Libra (April 21 – May 20 and September 21 – October 20)
  • The Emperor – Aries (March 21 – April 20)
  • The Hierophant – Taurus (April 21 – May 20)
  • The Lovers – Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
  • The Chariot – Cancer (June 21 – July 20)
  • Strength – Leo (July 21 – August 20)
  • The Hermit – Virgo (August 21 – September 20)
  • Wheel Of Fortune – Sagittarius (November 21 – December 20)
  • Justice – Libra (September 21 – October 20)
  • The Hanged Man – Pisces (February 21 – March 20)
  • Death – Scorpio (October 21 – November 20)
  • Temperance – Sagittarius (November 21 – December 20)
  • The Devil – Capricorn (December 21 – January 20)
  • The Tower – Aries (March 21 – April 20)
  • The Star – Aquarius (January 21 – February 20)
  • The Moon – Pisces (February 21 – March 20)
  • The Sun – Leo (July 21 – August 20)
  • Judgement – Scorpio (October 21 – November 20)
  • The World – Capricorn (December 21 – January 20)


One Last Thought About Timing and Tarot

If this all seems a bit overwhelming, don’t fret – write it all down and make a cheat sheet! (And stay tuned for my upcoming Find Your Voice Through Tarot online course that will include a couple of my own personal cheat sheets for helping to learn how to read Tarot!)

As always, don’t forget: Tarot is always what you make it. The future isn’t written in stone – Tarot is just the lens through which we can focus the energy we feel surrounding a given situation. Tarot doesn’t predict the future, but it can certainly help us create the future that’s in our highest good!

Got a question about Tarot and timing? Go ahead and ask me here! Or if you want a personal, one-on-one reading, check out my Tarot services and book an appointment!