Table of Contents


Tarot Reflections


  January 1, 2004

Timing It!
DenElder, CTGM

DenElder is a wife and mother; psychic-intuitive; inter-faith minister, Eclipsian magician, private tarot consultant; avid student of biblical writings from a feminist viewpoint; loves gardening, genealogy, and bird watching... but foremost she is a writer and teacher. Almost all of her work can be found on her non-commercial website, free of charge...

She first learned to use playing cards for divining c.1961 but switched to tarot about 1971. Her use-decks are Tarot of the Old Path and Universal Waite. She is also into astrology, color magick, crystal magick, runes, tasseography, and wortcrafting.

She was CompuServe's "Tarot Section Leader" 1997-1999, when she resigned to work exclusively for the ATA mailing lists as a Moderator and as a Mentor. She joined the old ATA Oct/Nov 1995 as a CTM 12/10/1995, was promoted to CTGM 11/20/1997, participated in the "ATA Mentor Manual" version written the summer of 1999. She began association with the Canadian Tarot Network as of 11/02/1999 until present... as well as worked behind the scenes to help several small tarot groups get 'up & running' since about 1996.

She is the founder and "DenElder" (highest rank) of... "OOTLB" (Oracle of the Lazy Butterfly) a worldwide pagan/magician organization; "Church of Tarot Ministries"; "World Tarot Day" (May 25th); and most recently, "I-S-H-T-A-R" (International Society Helping Tarot Associates & Readers). Her next big projects will include finishing up on a "Tarot School" project for on her site, as well as a return to her "Tarot Sermons".

Her "Out of the Dragon's Den" column and articles have appeared for years in numerous tarot, pagan, and magician related newsletters and e-zines. Her once privately published OOTLB series of books can now be found on her website, broken down into easier to print 'chapters'... including "Book #7: Tarot Scrying".


How do you time events using the Tarot?

Do various Suit keys mean certain times?

Do you rely on instinct? Guides? or what?

To answer the above questions, let me give my own system first. I simply rely on instinct and a feeling of weight in my chest area. I can't explain it very well, other than as I work with a layout, it just slowly comes over me how the timing of this interpretation is going to work out. Kind of a disappointing answer I know, but that's just me.

When we first studied the Court Cards, we learned how they have human attributes - how the Page is child-like, the Knight asks questions, how the Queen is maternal and the King is paternal. Now I would like to talk about various ways of using these same Court keys to time a reading's manifestation.

I believe the most popular Timing method is to deal the keys until they come to a Court key, then consider it as:

Year King
Month Queen
Week Knight
Day Page

Some Readers would then deal again until getting a Suit key, to tell them how many days, weeks, months, or years before interpretation manifestation.

Some readers prefer to ask the question aloud, "Show me the timing," then pull a key and interpret it from the next Suit key that is pulled. However, it is important to first know your own ordering system - how you prefer to place your Suits in order. In this method, the number on the Suit key can be how many days, weeks, etc. until the event manifests, or in the next coming Season indicated.

Wands Days Spring
Cups Weeks Summer
Swords Months Autumn
Pentacles Years Winter

The reason ordering is important comes in when a person does not follow the above order of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. So if yours is different, just list the order you prefer... then match to days, weeks, months, years... which stay in that order because of graduated timing.

Similar to the above is an exercise which I believe Sasha Fenton writes of in her Tarot In Action and was shared with me by my friend Kym. Here when you go to lay down the Outcome Position key... if it is a Suit key keep it, if not you count backwards through the deck until you do deal a suit key... the Suit then indicates the Time Period. Although you probably want to check out this book yourself if using this method, as I believe it used a bit different correspondences.

Now my friend Michelle shared this method using Aces. You ask your question of time, then after doing the Reading, the Querent shuffles the deck and cuts it. At that point they would begin to deal the keys face-up until they find an Ace, this then indicates the Season of manifestation. One could easily adjust this to shorter spans as well and this works out the same as above in correspondence, only now we just use the Aces.

Several friends and visitors to this site have shared the following timing correspondences that work for them. I actually saw this method almost 10 years ago on Prodigy BBS when Corinne shared it, but it just never worked for me and I thus forgot all about it.

I don't know the original source, if there is one, but think there must be and will keep trying to find that to give such their due credit. If you know this source/author, please let me know.

  • The Suit of Pentacles is Winter.
    • Two: December
    • Three: January
    • Four: February
  • The Suit of Swords is Spring.
    • Two: March
    • Three: April
    • Four: May
  • The Suit of Wands is Summer.
    • Two: June
    • Three: July
    • Four: August
  • The Suit of Cups is Autumn.
    • Two: September
    • Three: October
    • Four: November
It seems that if one carried this thought further you could try the next cards (5, 6, 7 and 8) as the first, second, third, and fourth weeks of that month indicated by the 2, 3, & 4. Yes? No? Maybe? Or perhaps use the Courts?

This article is only to give you an idea of what other readers have found to be working solutions to timing. Now what each person will have to do from here is experiment! And that trusty Reading Journal is a fine place to start. Ask timing questions, record your answers, then record the true timing when the answer manifests.

Through trial and error, and intuition, you will soon discover which system is going to work with your own Self. And as always remember, no system is wrong as long as it works for your individual Self!

Alia iacta est!

Keep those cards SCRYING!


This article first appeared on the CompuServe BBS, May 1998
and was updated March 2001
DenElder 1998, 2001 All rights reserved


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