Time in the Tarot (II). Months, weeks and days.


In the previous article we saw some of the different ways that exist to calculate the years and seasons with the Tarot. In this second article, following the same guidelines of exposing the most frequent and associative ones, the methods of divination with the tarot of months, weeks and days will be analyzed.

For weeks and days, spreads such as the Celtic Cross or the Horseshoe Throw are much more effective, since by having specific positions dedicated to time, they allow months, weeks or days to be counted by number in a simpler way, thus how to link its meaning with the rest of the spread. However, it has already been mentioned that for temporary runs it is preferred to do them alone, so we present below the analyzes to interpret the times alone.


The example of the seasons in the previous article of the Major Arcana with the zodiac signs is closely related to another way of calculating time, months. The same distribution can be used to calculate with split months, for example, Aries-Emperor from March 21 to April 21, Taurus-Hierophant from April 22 to May 21, and so on.

The Minor Arcana are also related to the zodiac signs, as will be seen in a future article on Tarot and astrology. Their relationship has to do with the elements, the cast that made the Golden Dawn, and the zodiac signs. They are associated in groups of 3, from cards 2 to 10, starting with Aries, in the order of fire-earth-air-water. The sequence would begin at, 3, 4 of wands for Aries; 5, 6, 7 of pentacles in Taurus; 8, 9, 10 of swords in Gemini; and would start again with 2, 3, 4 of cups in Cancer; 5, 6, 7 of wands in Leo..., etc.

There is a summarized version, but much less accurate in timing:

Wands: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius (Fire)

Pentacles: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn (Earth)

Cups: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces (Water)

Swords: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius (Air)

Both methods are used almost exclusively in ritual magic and astrology, in divination it is somewhat tedious for calculations in spreads, especially when there are divisions by seasons, as seen in the previous article, which facilitate calculations by suits and not by numbers. Furthermore, by not counting aces or face cards, too many cards would have to be separated and the preparation would take too long.

Other schools prefer to focus on the number of the Major Arcana, from I to XII, and establish the twelve months in this way, because they consider it more visual. Likewise, these spreads can only contain these cards:

I-January-The Magician

II- February -The Priestess

III- March -The Empress

IV - April - The Emperor

V - May - The Hierophant

VI- June- The Lovers

VII- July - The Chariot

VIII- August- Justice

IX - September - The Hermit

X - October - The Wheel of Fortune

XI - November - The Force

XII - December - The Hanged Man

The other distribution of the Major Arcana is the one based on the "stable" arcana. As we have seen in the years section, for the months we also find many theories and models of arcane-months, but we prefer to follow the guideline of the "stable" ones and expose here the most repeated ones. The "stable" arcana indicate a pause point, a turning point, an obstacle, but also objectives that require time.

-The Force (from 3 to 6 months)

-The Star (from 3 to 6 months)

- The Devil (3 to 5 months; inverted, more than 5 months)

-The Lovers (from 1 to 3 months)

-The Emperor (1 to 3 months; inverted, more than 3 months)

-The Sun (before 1 month; inverted, more than 1 month)

-The Chariot (before 1 month; reversed, more than 1 month)

The Minor Arcana can be used for the months, also taking into account their numbers. But there are several problems with this system:

First problem:

In the minor arcana there is already a division of seasons, so some are guided by months/season of the year.

Second problem:

The minor arcana have numbers from 1 to 10, and then they have Jack, Horseman, Queen and King (and this can vary depending on the deck). The months of November and December are not clear. So they would always have to be questions like "in how many months...", and not about the month itself.

Third problem:

As already mentioned in the previous article, there is a division of the minor arcana into days (bastos), weeks (swords), months (cups) and years (pentacles). So only the number system could be used with the cups. For greater confusion, there are people who have another division, in which the cups and pentacles are exchanged, that is, the pentacles are the months and the cups are the weeks, so with these guidelines only pentacles should be used. It is left to the taste of the consumer.

The days and the weeks

We have put the days and weeks together because in most lists no distinction is made, even though logic tells us that from 8 days onwards we should talk in weeks.

We would have here the group of "fast" arcana, with the times that are most frequently associated with them:

-The Magician (2 days to 1 week)

-The Hierophant (2 days to 1 week)

- The Tower (3 days to 2 weeks; reversed 3 weeks)

- Death (1 week to 3 weeks; reversed, 4 weeks to 6 months)

- The Empress (1 week to 1 month)

- The Wheel of Fortune (1 week to 1 month)

- The Judgment (1 to 3 weeks; reversed, 1 month)

- The Fool (1 week)

The Magician is undoubtedly the fastest card, because it is direct action, in addition to being the first numbered arcana. As for the Fool, there are theories that place him in groups of slow cards, because the action of the Fool's journey is thought to be fast, but the journey itself will be a long process. Of course, as in all readings, you must take into account what you are asking about, and in this way identify the readings appropriately.

You can also use the Major Arcana guided by the number of the card, with a maximum of 21 days (3 weeks). The arcana without number, the Fool, according to some symbolizes that there will be a sudden event or change for which it is not the appropriate time to make calculations on the matter.

To use the minor arcana we have already seen previously that there is a division into days, weeks, months and years. Regarding what interests us now:

- The suit of Wands is associated with days, so the numbers of these minor arcana can indicate the days.

- The Swords indicate weeks, so you can follow the same procedure with these arcana, and use their numbers as the number of weeks.

To calculate the days and weeks you can also use the numbers of all the cards. It is enough to specify the question and be guided by the number of the major or minor arcana that appears. However, since from seven we already talk about weeks, this system can lead to confusion for both the cartomante and the consultant, and is not recommended.

With days and weeks there is a very curious method that we find interesting to explain, since it can be applied to time and other questions and tests. It seems like a modern system, which however already had some precursors in the first public Tarot books of the 19th century.

It consists of shuffling the cards, putting them in a fan face down and letting the consultant choose one. That card indicates whether the time of the question is days or weeks, depending on its meaning. Afterwards, the cards are collected and drawn one by one until one that is related comes out (for example, if an arcana is drawn, until another arcana comes out, or if swords are drawn, until another sword card comes out, etc. ). This system is only used with weeks and days because with months and years it can be totally daunting for the total amount.

Here are two variants:

In the first case, the cards that have come out in total are counted, for example, the consultant drew the Magician's arcana = days, then 4 more cards have come out until another arcana has appeared, therefore, in total it will be 5 days ).

In the second case, if you prefer, the results are added until the other card has come up, for example, the consultant drew the Magician's arcana = days, and then the 2 of cups, the 1 of swords, the 10 have come up. of cups and the 5 of Wands, until another arcana has emerged. So, according to these instructions, we would have to add 2+1+10+5+ the number of the arcana, and that would be the total number of days.

It is a system that, although it may seem rudimentary, has much more traditional basis than all the astrological and numerological calculations that have been made by expert analysts over time, because while some require deep knowledge, it not only involves the consultant with a method they can understand, but also maintains the popular essence of Tarot as a game.

Pietro V. Carracedo Ahumada - pietrocarracedo@gmail.com


-Connolly, Eillen. Tarot. A new Handbook for the apprentice. Red Wheel/Weiser, 2008. Massachusetts.

-Ngo, Phillipe. Time Prediction by Tarot. From Simple to Complex Timing Method Through Tarot. Createspace IPP, 2015. France.

-Place, R.M. The Fool's Journey: the History, Art, and Symbolism of the Tarot. Ed. Talarius, New York, 2010

-Tondriau, J. - Diccionario de las ciencias ocultas, La tabla de esmeralda, EDAF, 1985, Madrid

Related Posts:

> Time in the Tarot (I). The years and the seasons.

> The Four Elements in the Tarot

> Western astrology. Astrology notions (I)

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