Tarot Time Frames
The interpretation of tarot time frames is not a straightforward matter! Whether you are pulling a card to answer a question or whether you are looking at a specific card within a specific spread it is a difficult discipline to master.
It does get easier with experience because your intuition starts to kick in and point you in the right direction, but for someone starting out it can be a very difficult proposition.
Being realistic we can ignore seconds, minutes, and hours but even so that still leaves us with days, weeks, months, and years. Without intuition to help you then as a beginner it is hard to know which unit is the correct one.
Now some readers I know don’t read more than a year ahead and so effectively they only ever work in weeks and months. So if they pull a card in relation to a timeline and it is (for the sake of argument) the 3 of Cups they would treat the timeline as being between 3 weeks and 3 months.
Some readers don’t limit their look ahead to a finite time and so they will allow their intuition to point them in the right direction and so they might go with 3 months to 3 years, or simply 3 months or 3 years.
Allowing your intuition to guide you is a great way to do it but only once your intuition has been finely tuned and that takes time. For some it might only be a relatively short period of a year, but others may take much longer to really get a handle on their intuition and their tarot reading and that makes timelines much more problematic. Time is such an important element in so many readings for so many people that it can’t simply be ignored while you wait for intuition to kick in. So what to do?
Suggestions for Learning to Use Tarot Time Frames in Readings
The following are a few suggestions for how you can try and quantify time within a tarot reading while you are learning. No way of doing something is sacrosanct as far as I am concerned so if a suggestion doesn’t work well for you don’t be afraid to try and adapt to something that does. The idea is to correctly interpret tarot time frames and the destination is m ore important than the journey here.
If you are pulling a single card for clarification or simply pulling a card to determine a period you can get round the problem to an extent by first asking the tarot itself what the period is. Ask the Tarot “Am I looking at days?” and pull a card. If the card is overwhelmingly positive then the unit in question is likely to be days.
It is still advisable to then go on and ask “Am I looking at weeks?” because the days in question although a much shorter period than months might still run into several weeks. If the answer is “no.” then you have a fairly clear determination that the correct unit for answering your question is days. Now that you have that determination you can go ahead and pull your card that determines quantity or if it is a specific card in a spread that deals with time you can set about interpreting it.
If you don’t get a positive answer to days and/or weeks, then obviously you need to move on to months and possibly even to years. Sometimes you might not get a clearly affirmative answer to any one unit and that means you have to approach your question for units in a slightly different way.
Nothing is set in stone. Always remember that by association no tarot time frames are set in stone either. And sometimes the variation in timeline possibilities can be quite large, e.g. five months to five years. If you are not given a clear answer then you need to be looking at the most positive of the negative answers you have been given. Eventually you won’t need to do this process of elimination very often because you will have developed your reading to the point that the cards and your intuition are in sync.
For the sake of argument let’s say that you had a fairly positive answer for months. Now you can look at the card in a spread or pull a card if you are not using a spread to determine the most probable timeline that is relevant to your question.
Major and Minor Arcana Cards
If you pull or pulled a pip card (ace through ten) then it is a very straightforward process. Whatever the pip card is will be the number of months in question. Again though do not make the mistake of thinking that it is a sacrosanct or set in stone time. The future is constantly changing and so it is an approximation and even when it is a fairly accurate approximation you should still allow for leeway either side. If the card in question is one of the court cards, then you simply treat that as being eleven through fourteen.
It becomes a little more problematic if the card in question is one of the major arcana. The simplest starting point is to remember that all the major arcana have a number within the Tarot and you can try using that number (zero through twenty-one) and see how that fits in with your expectations.
The reason I say that is that I have found on quite a few occasions that adding the individual numbers of the major arcana card together (let’s say the number is 19, then that becomes 1+9 which equals 10 in just the same way that numbers are added together in numerology and 10 is the answer you are looking for) gives a more accurate result.
The reason this is sometimes so is that the major arcana card that would answer your timeline accurately may already be in use and so the Tarot has to find another way of telling you.
There is no hard and fast rule where the major arcana are concerned you will simply have to experiment through trial and error and see which method is the most accurate for you as an individual.
Similarly there is no hard and fast rule that you must use any of the methods available. It really doesn’t matter so long as whatever method you choose works and works consistently well for you.
It Can Take Time to Use Time in the Tarot
If you are really lucky as a new reader then your intuition will kick in very quickly and you can short circuit most, if not all, of the somewhat long winded steps mentioned above. For most people though it takes a lot of time and patience before they are comfortable enough to trust their intuition to guide them correctly when it comes to tarot time frames and their interpretation.
Even though the above steps are indeed long winded they will hopefully give you a starting point rather than leaving you staring blankly at a card with no idea as to how to equate it with time.
Article by Paul (Admin)