Tarot and Timing: How to Predict When Something Will Happen

When will my finances improve? When will I meet my soul-mate? When will I get a better job? When will I know my life-purpose?

These are the questions many people, including myself, ask when they approach the Tarot cards. Everyone wants to know when!

But can our Tarot cards even give us this kind of information?

Yes and No. Let me explain…

Because the future is not set in stone, determining when something will happen is tricky. We create our lives and the world around us by our thoughts, feelings and actions which gives each of us an immense amount of power!

Sometimes we get scared of our own creative power and revert to the belief that the future is already pre-determined and we have no real effect on what happens.

When we take this view, we get to absolve all responsibility for our lives. Life just becomes this thing that happens to us – and our only real power is in knowing when certain things will occur, so we can either relax or plan ahead.

I firmly believe that the idea of a pre-determined destiny is a load of crap!

Therefore, I do not believe the Tarot is a tool that can be used to accurately predict the timing of events (I know many readers will disagree with me here), but rather a tool to help you understand how you can manifest what you desire.

If you want to know when you will meet the right romantic partner, a Tarot reading can suggest how to meet this person and what could possibly be standing in your way. However, the reading probably won’t reveal the the month or day that you will find true love.

Let me show you what this theory looks like in action:

3 card tarot reading
Hanson-Roberts Tarot

These are the Tarot cards that came up when I asked for insight into when I would find the right house to buy.

I think most of us have asked our Tarot cards when something will happen, only to get a confusing answer. But here is a little secret:

If you just slightly change the wording of your question, you can gain a wealth of clarity and insight!

Instead of asking when will _______ happen? 


what do I need to do in order to make _______ happen?


how can I manifest ________ more quickly?

So going back to the Tarot cards above, If I were to ask how can I find the right home quickly and easily? The Six of Rods would suggest that I focus on moving forward and visualize success, while the Ace of Wands encourages me to prepare for a new beginning. The Two of Cups emphasizes the importance of keeping my relationship strong and being on the same page with my partner when it comes to home-hunting.

So now I have a wealth of helpful information at my fingertips! The Tarot is wonderful for showing us the steps on our path toward a particular event of goal, but not so great at providing specific time-frames of when that event/goal will materialize.

However, there are some exceptions…

 Aces almost always suggest that positive change will happen very soon.

 Notice if the cards suggest a particular season. For example, Nine of Pentacles seems very summery, as does the Three of Cups. This can suggest that what you are asking about will likely come to pass during the Summer months.

 The number on the card can also indicate the number of days, weeks or months that will pass before something occurs. This is especially true if you get more than one card with the same number on it.

Now its your turn! I want you to ask your Tarot cards about the timing of something, using the suggested questions above and share your insights in the comments below. How did re-phrasing your question help you get deeper understanding?

31 thoughts on “Tarot and Timing: How to Predict When Something Will Happen”

  1. I did a reading for getting a place to live. The question I asked was: When will I move into my own place? The 6 card that I pulled were 2 of swords, 3 of cups, 2 of coins, page of wands, page of coins, and 2 of wands.

  2. hello.
    today the cards were calling me. I am out of practice I have not touched my cards in a long time. But for some reason today they were on my mind hard so I got them out, just did a simple 1 card reading for a simple question “what do I need to know” I pulled the Knight of wands, unexpected change surrounds me. The images, colors and words instantly made me feel as if there is a wicked battle ahead of me. Then I read this page, and it made sense so I asked “how can I bring this change I face sooner?'” I then pulled the Wheel of Fortune – (my deck has the meanings of past present and future on the cards) the meaning of present and future slapped me in the face they spoke to me so hard.. (present) the universe opens to you and (future) Destiny strikes without warning! So all in all I would say yes asking how instead of when is the right way to phrase to get a better answer!

  3. I did what you suggested. My question was ” what is standing in the way of me finding a job. ”

    My cards were 8 of wands ,10 of swords and 9 of pentacles.

    8 of wands says speedy news or situation coming,arrows of love. Which tells me that my fear is that by me finding a job my partner will be jealous (she’s also looking) and shell feel bad and that is what’s blocking me.

    10 of swords says- death or ending of a situation or relation ship – which tells me that if I continue to allow how I feel about the situation ,if I allow the obstacle to block me,that when I do get a job itl end our relationship.

    9 of pentacles is peace of mind and contentment which tells me that only after my relationship ends will I find one.

    So what I basically need to do is stop worrying about what my partner thinks regarding getting jobs. That if I do worry ill lose her. And if I don’t worry and trust that shell be accepting of it then I can change the outcome of that obstacle.

    Would this be correct?

  4. One of the ways I learned for timing was that Swords are minutes to days, Wands are days to weeks, Cups are weeks to months, and Pentacles are months to years. Since I read reversals, I also use that as an indicator; basically, reversed means that things would be moving slower. EG, Pentacle card reversed would most likely be years. I don’t usually look at it in that specific of a timeframe, but instead I look at it in the general sense of Wands and Swords are faster-moving and Cups and Pentacles are slower-moving, and that if it’s reversed, things will manifest slower than usual.

    That being said, I think I’ll try the things you suggested in your post! I did learn that the numbers on the cards could indicate the amount of days/weeks/months/whatever, but I never thought of looking at the type of season depicted in the cards. I take it swords would be very wintery! 😉

    1. Hi Emmelia,
      I really like your method of determining timing in a reading! I am going to give that a try – that’s actually the best one I’ve heard.
      Thanks for sharing it here 🙂

      Kate (daily tarot girl)

  5. I really loved your perspectives on timing of events. It gave me a really good outlook on predicting and other ways to to time events or outcomes for my clients. Thant you so much for you insight on this!


  6. Have just caught up with some older posts – liked Deniz’s concept of timing. Really interesting. I often am asked about timing as well, and have used the astrology links to cards which are also interesting but an awful lot to remember. Simple is easier.
    Perhaps in Wands you could also ask ‘are you ready to accept the challenge? [of whatever] and for Pentacles maybe you could say ‘make sure you do your homework on this matter, get all the right information together before you make a decision or act on something… etc.
    Deniz’s suggestions have got the creative juices flowing ( a cups reaction for sure).

  7. Totally the same sentiments here. When people started to ask “when” i always tell them that its better that we focus on what we can to to make things happen instead of focusing on the time.

    Thanks to all the suggestions in the comments sections as well. Truly helpful.

    But for years that I have been practicing tarot.. Only one suit that always hit a spot for me in terms of timing. It’s the wands/rods… I always relate it to months and I usually got it right on spot (but of course I tell the querent to observe and not expect much.. This is where the disclaimer would come in. )

    Thanks for sharing the great article.

    1. Hi Francis – thanks for reading this and commenting here 🙂 That’s cool you use the Wands suit as your timing indicator – I hadn’t thought of trying that before.

  8. Hi Kate,

    I am a new learner of tarot and I am also going to meet a tarot reader tomorrow. This is my first time to come to this website. It not only let me learn precious tips in giving tarot reading, but also inspires me in asking questions ^^

    Thank you so much!

    1. You are so welcome! I hope you return to my site many times 🙂
      Best of luck with your journey in Tarot,
      Warm Regards,

  9. Kate, enjoyed your post and the video. Wonderful comments also. I haven’t had much luck on timing with the tarot, but I will definitely pay more attention to your suggestions. It’s not unusual lately for me to pull an ace or multiple number cards. Need to go back through the last few readings I’ve done for myself. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Cher,
      Yeah, timing is a tricky one – but that is wonderful if you record your readings in a journal, then you can go back and look for clues!

  10. Dear Kate–

    I enjoyed this topic and the video so much. I always appreciate your thoughtful approach–and your humor!–when opening up the Crayola-colorful box of concepts that is the tarot.

    For me, I tend to avoid prediction, as I don’t seem particularly gifted in that skill. I’m better at unfolding the present via the cards and my intuition.

    But sometimes, I’ll get a bit of a “feeling” about the general time-period in which certain experiences or events are unfolding. But what’s funny is that I usually don’t even realize I’m feeling that until the words come tumbling out of my mouth–and there seems to be no rhyme or reason, nothing I can point to in the cards to say, “This is why I feel this way.”

    Also, to be even less helpful (LOL), I have to say I never get any feedback on even these scant inklings of timing! While I do get great feedback on the more “What’s going on here and what’s a good course of action in response” types of tarot-centered information.

    With this post of yours, though, I’ll put to bed any notion that I should be able to give time frames more often. Let’s leave that to the astrologers!

    And Happy Easter/Passover/Spring to you and all your readers.

    1. Jamie, I totally agree! – Tarot is better for showing us what’s going on now, in the present, rather than what’s going to happen. I have sometimes had similar experiences where I just get a feeling about timing, but it rarely happens. Happy Easter to you too! 🙂

      1. Kate! I’m going out on a limb . . . (Can you hear the branch creaking?)

        Today, I drew three cards for my daily draw. They were very sweet and talked about the Loan Officer’s kindness and the fact that she is really sympathetic and helpful in my refi.

        Also, there were two cards that repeated from the last time I drew about the refi, both very positive and showing that it’s going to get done. (In fact, the final card shows a Knight with a rolled parchment in his hand, which I take as him delivering me a contract!)

        When I added the numerical value of the cards, I got 14, and immediately thought that we’d close on April 14th, which would be j-u-s-t squeaking under the deadline.

        Okay. I’m out on the limb. I’ll let you know if it’s the 14th!

      2. I disagree – it depends on the reader and what their psychic abilities are, or aren’t. I don’t believe in free will when it comes to my readings and a lot of my predictions have come to pass with Tarot. I only use Tarot to make future predictions and have been about 85% right especially with not incorporating the free will excuse into my readings.

  11. Rayla Sun Gazer

    Thank you Kate. This was really insightful. As you know I have been thinking on this subject. I had some strange beliefs concerning tarot and readings and didn’t even realize I had them until I started wrestling with this issue of timing and the issue of the accuracy of the cards. I recently realized that Tarot is a projection rather than what people refer to as a prediction. I used to think a prediction was something that was revealed that would come to pass no matter what. But the dictionary says that the word prediction means “an estimate”.
    Project means to estimate or forecast (something) on the basis of present data.
    Having given this much thought recently, here is what I’m thinking now:
    1- Reading Tarot is similar to the weather man forecasting (estimating) what the weather will be in the future (only hopefully tarot is more accurate than the weather man LOL).
    2- Free will is a factor with everyone involved. IF EVERYONE stays on their present course and there are no energy shifts then the outcome shown in the cards is likely.
    3- Tarot is similar to the money market in that data is analyzed and it is estimated what may take place in the future.
    Projection is a line of probability from how you are living your life in the present moment to where that could place you in the future.
    Ho’oponopono says we are 100% responsible for what comes into our life. We are always manifesting weather it’s the life we want or the thing we fear.
    If a reading says something we don’t like/want then it’s up to us to shift our energy to place us on a new path.
    The purpose of EVERYTHING is
    to bring us back
    to awareness of our ONENESS
    ♥ڿڰڿ✿ॐ✿ڿڰڿ♥♥ڿڰڿ✿ॐ✿ڿڰڿ♥ ♥ڿڰڿ✿ॐ✿ڿڰڿ♥♥ڿ

    1. Beautifully said, Rayla ~ I love your comparisons to the weather, I couldn’t agree more! In many ways, Tarot is there to show us what the energy around a given situation is like and, as you mention, its up to us to decide if we want to shift that energy or keep things as they are.
      Thanks for your comment- it adds nicely to the discussion! 🙂

  12. Thank you for this article and video Kate, I share your opinion! Tarot is a tool that helps us connect with a realm that is beyond time and space, also the collective unconscious. Because it mirrors the energies and life force and psyches, it won’t provide dates and times that don’t mean a thing on that level in my opinion. However many intuitive people seem to make predictions, I believe it is more about their psychic skills. People generally misunderstand this aspect and demand timing…

    Re-phrasing questions is the greatest way to gain insight and information related to the core of the quesion! 🙂 I have tried asking times and dates while reading the Tarot before, only to find that the cards always show how-to’s and blocks-to-clear’s and watch-out’s. If I insisted on demanding timing, I would have never understood the real help.

    However, like you said, some aspects of the Tarot can offer hints of timing. The imagery, elemental correspondences and actions really give clues. These are my hints:

    Swords always feel like there is a rush and quickness: “Things will take place on a fast pace!” or “Actions and cautions should be taken immediately!”.

    Wands definitely show the nature of fire: “Yes! Bring it on!” or “Are you sure you really want this? Make sure this isn’t a temporary flame first, then go!”.

    Pentacles are “you reap what you sow” cards in a gardening attitude: “Your effort will blossom on its’ natural pace” or “You first need to do the necessary work and be patient”.

    Cups are fluid: Go with the flow and eventually you will reach there” and “If there is a delay, it’s because something’s blocking the flow”.

    It really depends on the core reason of the reading, to know what is meant. They work pretty well for me when I relate all of your suggestions to these hints to have an idea. But I don’t do this with an expectation, this is my rule of thumb I guess. 🙂


    1. Deniz, I love your suggestions – this is a wonderful way to get a sense of timing – I am going to incorporate them into my own readings 🙂 Thanks for your comment – these are awesome tips!!

      1. I realize that I’m really having a blast on ideas and creativity after getting inspired from your tutorials and articles, Kate. And I love the brainstorm here on comments, so thank you for making this possible! 🙂

  13. Thank you, Kate.
    Actually, I have a tip how to predict time. It happened to me several times that I meditated on different issues, just silently without urging to have an answer. Then suddenly I got an intuition from above, with an exact date. It wasn’t my mind creating this date, but a real stroke of lightning. Then I asked my cards, got an answer and waited. And it worked each time. It doesn’t come up every day, of course, if such a stroke hits me, I try to take advantage of it. Cheers.

    1. That’s an excellent suggestion, EG – isn’t it amazing how when we get our minds out of the way, true insight and knowledge come forth? I will try your method next time I am really wanted to know the timing of something. Thank you!

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