While there is no specific structure or one standardized way in calculating the timeframe of an event, each reader that uses Tarot in prediction readings usually has developed their own technique. If timing is something you are often asked for by clients or if it is something that you have a personal interest in for yourself, then I encourage you to create your own process because it will ultimately benefit your clients and lend clarity to your predictions. There are a few ways of using the cards as a tool for predictions. The first way is to contemplate the suit of each card, this will aid in determining the season in which an event will occur as well as the number of days it will most likely happen in the future, but not every reader will agree with the correspondences so there is a variety to consider before finding the correspondences that you align with the best. The suit of Swords is suggested to be either Spring, Autumn, or Winter, but it doesn’t appear that many readers associate Swords with Summer. Wands are usually associated with Summer or Spring. The suit of Cups is generally Spring, Summer, or Autumn, but not Winter and Pentacles generally are categorized as Winter and occasionally Autumn.
In regards to the number of days; the suit of Swords is days, weeks, months, but not usually years. Wands are usually days or weeks. The suit of Cups is generally days or months, and Pentacles are categorized to indicate years. The number of the card would indicated the number of the measure of time specified for the suit and if a Major Arcana is pulled then the indication is that no timeframe is specified and instead the issues indicated by that specific card must first be resolved.
An example of this type of prediction reading might go like this; Anne would like to know how soon she and her boyfriend will conceive. The Tarot reader lays out the nine of Swords, the two of Chalices, and The Tower and tells Anne, “Within the first two months of Winter, but be prepared that the relationship with your boyfriend will first go through a dramatic event pulling the two of you apart before you are reunited and able to conceive this child.”
Astrology is a common approach to use when considering predictions. The standardized approach is to associate each astrological sign with a suit. Swords are generally considered a representation of Air and would correspond with Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Wands represent Fire and would correspond with Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. The suit of Cups represents Water and aligns with Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces, while the suit of Pentacles represents Earth and aligns with Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Using these astrological correspondences the Tarot reader can narrow the timeframe of a future event. The application of this method has numerous possibilities and is dependent on the depth of understanding the individual Tarot reader has with astrology and the relationship with his or her cards.
The practice of numerology can be used to aid with predicting the timeframe of a future event. When using numerology the core numbers are considered to be one through nine, while eleven and twenty-two are considered to be the master numbers; all other numbers are added together until either a core number or master number is achieved. These numbers then determine the meaning or in a prediction reading the final timeframe of the event being considered.
An example of this type of prediction reading might unfold in this way; Mike would like to know how soon he will find a job within his chosen career path. The Tarot reader pulls the nine of Wands, three of Pentacles, and The Moon, which bears the number eighteen. The reader then does a quick calculation (9 + 3 + 18 = 30. This number is then added together because it is neither a core nor a master number; 3 + 0 = 3). The reader informs Mike, “You will find a job within your chosen career path within three days / weeks / months / years.” The timeframe of days, weeks, and years is something that specific reader would need to determine, which could be done by using the suits as an indication of season. Within this example Wands are either days or weeks and Pentacles are years, so the reader could determine that nine weeks, which could be calculated as two months and one week, three of Pentacles would be three years so the ultimate time frame might be considered to be three years two months and one week from that day.
Another way to determine time is by counting the number of passive cards and to compare that number with the number of active cards. To determine which cards are passive and which are active look to each card to determine the elemental association whether the card corresponds with Water, Fire, Air, or Earth. For this method Water and Earth cards are considered passive cards as the energy of these elements tend to be receptive, while Fire and Air are considered active cards as the energy of these elements tend to be projective. Major Arcana cards tend to have their own correspondences, which is usually determined by the traditional retelling of The Fool’s Journey or may be determined by the individual reader. Once the associations are made consider the ratio of passive cards to active cards as this will indicate as to what sort of time span is being predicted; if seventy-five percent of the cards laid out on the table are active, then the event will occur within days, if seventy-five to fifty percent of the cards are active, then the event will occur within weeks, if fifty to twenty-five percent of the cards are active, the event will occur within months, and if less than twenty-five percent of the laid out cards are active, then the event will occur within years. Considering the numerology of the laid out cards can aid in the number of days, weeks, months, or years being indicated within the layout or spread.
An example of this type of prediction reading could manifest in this way; Jane would like to know when she will find her soulmate. The Tarot reader has already done a reading about her current love life and the cards are still lying in their original position on the table; three of Cups, Page of Swords, Two of Wands, six of Cups, four of Swords, and Strength. He considers each card’s association; passive, active, passive, passive, active, and active, because he has determined that fifty percent of the cards are active. He considers the number of each card; 3 + 11 + 2 + 6 + 4 + 8 = 7 and tells Jane, “You will find your soulmate within the next seven weeks.”
Comparing the number of upright to reversed cards can aid in determining the timeframe of an event much like is done with the above method of passive and active cards. Once the cards are laid out consider the ratio of upright cards to reversed cards as this will indicates as to what sort of time span is being predicted; if seventy-five percent of the cards are upright, then the event will occur within days, if seventy-five to fifty percent of the cards are upright, then the event will occur within weeks, if fifty to twenty-five percent of the cards are upright, the event will occur within months, and if less than twenty-five percent of the laid out cards are upright, then the event will occur within years. The reader can use numerology to determine the number of days, weeks, months, or years being predicted.
The last method is the most intuitive of all the suggestions mentioned within this article. The Tarot reader can contemplate the image of each card pulled or laid out on the table and determine the season that is being illustrated. Some cards clearly indicate a specific climate or time of year, which provide clues to the reader and can indicate a specific timeframe of the event or circumstance.
Regardless of what method you chose or whether you combined a few of them to create your own, the most important key in prediction readings is to be consistent with your method so that you are able to build momentum with your readings. Once that momentum is established your relationship with your cards and your method will strengthen and provide clear accurate predictions.