We are all wanderers on this earth. Our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's Only A Matter of Time, Part II
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.


  1. Anonymous2:36 PM

    Hi Sophia,

    Thank you for sharing this spread (and thanks to Chloe!)

    I've never tried to do a reading based on timing before so I'm quite intrigued to give this a go. I was thinking about doing a reading about when we're likely to move house, as that has been something we've been planning to do "soon" for about 4 or 5 years now!

    Looking at the spread, however, I'm wondering if I should tweak it a little. In the example you posted, the querent was waiting to hear about something happening and was in a mostly passive role (well, obviously he did play a part but you know what I mean!) ;-) If I wanted to do a reading about something that was more dependent on my own actions - such as moving house - would you recommend any changes to cards 2 and 3?

    Card 3 in particular seems like it could be made more relevant, maybe by changing that position slightly to mean "how will it happen?" That way, the "when, what, how, why" pattern is kept intact.

    I'm curious what you think to that or whether you would recommend something else?

    Loving the blog,

    Pip :-)

  2. Hi Pip!

    Of course you can tweak the spread to your own needs. And I agree, there is a passive sense to this spread, designed more for those occasions when you truly do not have control over when something will occur, or what will happen (such as, when will I hear about that job interview? Did I get the job?) but, yes, the HOW position would be an excellent advice position, if you change it a bit. And/Or, since you may already know what will happen, (i.e., moving house) you can ask "What do I need to do to make this happen?" in Position Two. As you can see, the Why position already reveals insight into underlying factors and can also shed light on attitudes and actions that may need to change in order for the desired event to occur.

    I like your ideas, Pip. It's always good to try and see where we can place the locus of control closer to our own hands.

  3. Anonymous3:34 PM

    Ah yes, of course! "What do I need to do to make this happen?" is an excellent question for that position. Duh, obvious! I'll try the reading this weekend.

    Thanks :-)

  4. Anonymous3:23 PM

    I've always had trouble with the issue of timing and tarot, but I thought you presented things in a very clear way, so I printed your entries on timing to try for myself.

    I did a reading last night and felt I had my answer, but I decided to do a second just in case. Mostly for myself, as I wasn't sure if my take on the timing issue was correct.

    The cards chosen for the second for the second reading were almost a mirror of the first. Even the art on the cards mirrored each other. I had to laugh, as my deck often does things like this to me, but this was a bit of a kicker!

    I also never thought much about seasons and suits, but I've been thinking about it, and I think I have the answers for what I feel they are for me personally. What I felt was also reflected in the cards chosen. I'll be thinking more about this and playing with it more. It's a good new level for me to be working on cards-wise.

    I've enjoyed your blog since finding out about it. It's given me much to think about, and I eat up each new entry eagerly. Keep up the great work!

  5. I'm so glad it all made sense to you! I read through my own post and was like, oy! That's a lot of stuff to mix in there! And it works...fairly well. Time is so elusive and it is a reading skill many of us have trouble with. But it's so often just what you or your querant want to know. So yeah, keep working on your system, I'll keep working on mine, getting it embedded in the subconscious and communicating with your cards are truly the essential keys.


  6. Anonymous3:23 PM

    Hi Ginny,

    I have a quick question. What would the answer be in your opinion if the first card is a Major Arcana one?

    Thanks! I'll try this spread out and see if it works for me.


  7. It depends on which Major, but ordinarily, the Majors indicate destined events or events that are already in progress, so they tend to be quicker. However, a card like Temperance or Hanged Man might indicate a slower timeframe and the Emperor tends to be rigid and not so fast either. So it's like saying yes, the event will happen, check the number of the Major, get a feel for the card itself then go with your gut feeling. Timing is soooo unstable and tricky with tarot, so don't worry if it doesn't pan out like you think it will. It takes a lot of practice and even then, lots of luck.

  8. Thank you for starting and keeping this blog. I always enjoy your insights. Thanks to Chloe, also, for sharing this spread!

    I find the spread very intriguing, but I think my deck is pulling my leg. On my first try, the When card was The Wheel of Fortune. Major Arcana it may be but I can't think of another card which could more clearly say to me "Who knows?" Does tarot ever say that? What would you think of this card in that position?

    ~ Melissa

  9. Well Melissa, the spread designer always said the NUMBER on that first card is most important. If it was a Major, then you know its in process. She said not to interpret the card in the 1st position, just use it to figure out the number...hour, days, etc. But like you, I can't help but interpret the card in question. It's hard not to! And I do use the suit in the pips to determine whether it's hours, days, weeks, months. My favorite is when the Fool comes up in Position One. WTF? That's ZERO! LOL


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