Sometimes it's not enough to know that something is going to happen; you need to know when. Tarot can help you with this.
There are many systems of Tarot/time correspondences so let's start with the basics. This post will focus on Aces through 10 of each suit (I'll look at court cards and the Majors in a future post). Each suit represents a season or a unit of time.
- Swords=fall or days
- Wands=spring or weeks
- Cups=summer or months
- Pentacles=winter or years
When it comes to timing, how you phrase the question means everything. For example, if you want to know a specific unit of time (days, weeks, etc.), ask "How long from now will I find out about X" rather than "When will I find out about X". If you pull the Ace of pentacles your answer is "1 year". If you want to know a general time period (season), set this expectation in the question (writing it down is best).
For longer spreads (like the 10 card Celtic Cross), if the majority of cards are weighted heavily towards one or two suits you can still get an idea how quickly (or slowly) something will happen. Lots of pentacles mean a drawn out situation. Heavy on the swords and/or wands suggests a quick resolution (or lots of changes). Many cups can indicate steady movement. Pay attention to the position of the cards because this will tell you (especially if it's a timeline spread) where a sudden change (swords) or slowdown (pentacles) will happen. If you pull swords and wands with one pentacle card you should be alerted to a point of stabilized or stagnated energy.
Here's a quick timing spread. I've used it many times over the years and it's accurate. It works best within a one year time frame.
Ask (or write your question), shuffle the whole deck, then deal out your cards one by one. Stop if you get a 2, 3 or 4 (Majors and court cards don't count). If you deal 13 cards but don't get a 2, 3 or 4 the answer is unavailable for now or the event you're asking about will not come to pass. Using the correspondences below, pick the month that matches the card.
Swords Wands Cups Pentacles
2=September 2=March 2=June 2=December
3=October 3=April 3=July 3=January
4=November 4=May 4=August 4=February
If you're wondering when your partner will propose and you get the 4 of Wands, your answer is May.
Try to ignore the meaning of the cards. I know, I know. It's alarming if you pull the 3 of Swords. But since this is a timing spread only, the card means it will happen in October and that's it. It does not necessarily mean it will be a painful event (if you followed that logic, everything that happened in October would hurt).