If you're new to reading the tarot, this post should help you predict timing and timeframes on events or situations when doing readings.
Reading the tarot relies on using your intuition, general knowledge of the tarot and connection with spirit. It can be a confusing practice when you first pick up a tarot deck and read the included instruction manual, but just like learning a new language you'll get used to it over time.
One particularly important question I get asked when reading and teaching the tarot is how to determine the timing of when an event will happen. It's not an exact science and there's no definite set of instructions that can help but with a little know-how, combined with your intuition, the tarot can give us some clues when it comes to timing.
When looking at timing you have options: you can determine a day, week, month or year in which an event will take place, a celebration or holiday period in which the event will take place, or the season in which something will happen. This is why using your intuition alongside the tarot is important as you'll never be quite sure which type of timing you are going to get given until you start asking the questions.
For days, weeks, months and years the numbers on the cards can give us clues. Generally speaking in the minor arcana the suit of swords represents hours-days (or very fast!), the wands represent days-weeks, the cups represent weeks-months and the pentacles represent months-years. For example the 4 of cups might mean that an event will take place in 4 weeks or 4 months (depending on what your intuition tells you). The court cards can also be used for timing with the pages representing the number 11, the knights representing the number 12, the queens representing the number 13 and the kings number 14.
The major arcana can also give timing on events in this way but it's a bit vaguer since the major arcana represents life lessons rather than day-to-day events. You could use the major arcana card's governing number to help with timing. For example, The Hierophant is represented by the number 5 which could mean 5 days, weeks, months or years.
When using timing with the tarot in the day, week, month, year format you might get told a particular week or month, for example, the 7 of cups might be pointing you to the seventh month which is July, otherwise, the 7 of cups might be telling you that the event is 7 months away from the time that you are doing the reading. Going with your intuition is going to help you determine which format is correct.
When using the celebration/ holiday period format some cards may point you to one of these times. For me, The Hanged Man usually points me towards Christmas time and the 10 of Cups towards Easter. This format is dependant on which cards are personally linked to a different celebration and holiday periods.
The last format is the most simple format to use but it is also a bit vaguer. Each season of the year runs for three months at a time so when someone you are reading for wants a more specific timeframe it isn't the best option to go with. Again, as a general guideline, in the major arcana the suit of swords represents springtime, the wands represent summer, the cups represent autumn and the pentacles represent winter. In some cases, the only timing answer you will get will be a seasonal answer such as these.
Sometimes you won't get a timing answer to some questions. It's a fairly common occurrence as life events aren't set in stone and circumstances can change quickly due to free will. At other times your guides won't want the person that you're reading for to know the timing of a situation so you'll be blocked from getting a timeframe answer.
Most important of all when reading the tarot and seeking answers on timing, you must go with your intuition and the answers that your guides are giving you. A lot of the time when I'm doing a reading I'll get a certain card/number come out in a spread that doesn't correlate at all with the messages that my guides are giving. I had a 6 of wands appear in a reading recently that had nothing to do with the number 6 when it came to timing as I was getting told 3 days instead! So, be sure to remain fluid and open with the messages you get.
I hope that helps on your tarot journey!