As promised, I wanted to share this Timing Spread a friend of mine created. However, without your own developed and tested system of determining timeframes from your tarot deck, the spread alone will only yield so much. But even for tarot novices without a well developed timing system, the first card, which asks, "When will the event in question occur?" is still helpful as it might tell you what needs to happen first before the event in question can happen. So how about we take a look at my example: (Click on the image to enlarge)
The question for this reading was from a man who wanted to know when he and his wife would conceive their first child, or, put more simply, "When will I hear that my wife is knocked up?"
The first position: When will the event in question occur? Three of Pentacles. Ok...there are several ways you could approach this. First, you could simply read the card and suggest that he will hear of his wife's pregnancy when he gets a raise at work, or when he is at work, maybe in the middle of a meeting. While this gives the querant clues, it doesn't tell him what he really wants to know. He goes to work almost every day, which day will this occur? So let's look first at the number. Three. Does this mean in three hours? Three days? At three o'clock? Well, consider the suit. Pentacles. In my own system, pentacles are the slowest suit and often represent months. They are round, cyclical, and so they tell me that she will likely go through three more menstrual cycles before she will conceive. Also, I place Pentacles in the fall season, so three months from now will put the event in November, autumn, rather than saying the third month, which would be March, the springtime. So, I would say that he will likely hear about his wife's pregnancy while he's at work in about 3 months time.
The second position: What will I be told, or what will actually happen? The Empress. Honey, I'm preggers! The Empress is the Mother of all Mothers, so here tarot is being very in-your-face blunt. In many decks The Empress is shown as pregnant, even, so hi, there's your answer. Enough said.
The third position: How will I be told about this or in what manner will I be told? Ten of Pentacles. This card is all about family ties and wealth. It's about achieving a material goal that allows you to be able to share the wealth, the inheritance, your resources, your self. Once again, I see tarot is being very direct, as this card can also indicate marriage. How he will hear about this is a very tangible message (pentacles are usually something quite tangible that you can see, hear, touch) from his family, particularly his marriage partner. She may purchase something, a card, send flowers, balloons, a teddy bear, something to that effect, and send them to his workplace to announce her pregnancy.
Fourth and final position: Why will this event occur? This card can reveal motivating factors behind this event. The Star. Lovely. This baby has been planned and hoped for for quite some time. They are still in that hopeful place, because the Star indicates the coming event is still a way's off. Three months by my lights. The Star also bodes well for any wished for, hoped for event, it is a wonderful omen, a delightful outcome. The time it takes before the event happens is spent healing and preparing. The card also indicates woman-stuff, fluids, cycles, and this man's wife has been paying a lot of attention to her rhythms and cycles in order to conceive. This attention will continue and will be key in the conception of their child.
Isn't this a great spread? Thanks to Chloe. She rocks.