The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards upon which are printed symbolic pictures used in the practice of divination, however they have additional applications as well. A standard deck consist of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana typically relate to matters of a high significance or a deep purpose whereas the Minor Arcana concerns itself with matters of mundane, every-day living. The Minor Arcana can be divided into four suits which correspond to the four elements. They are: Wands, which relate to fire. Cups, which relate to water. Swords, which relate to air. Pentacles, which relate to earth. Similar to Playing Cards, each suit consists of ten cards numbered from Ace to 10 and then four court cards which are named as King, Queen, Knight, and Page of each suit. To operate the cards, they are often laid out in a Tarot Spread. A Spread is a term used to describe the pattern in which Tarot-Cards are laid out after shuffling them and prior to reading them. Usually, but not always, each position in a spread signifies an area of life, a feeling, one's thoughts, or a specific time period such as the past, present, or future. The meaning of a tarot card is read according to its position in the spread. A good reader is able to utilize the Tarot to analyze the past and present in order to determine the probability a future event. The more accurate readers are able to focus on the most probable alternate-futures. The accuracy of a reader’s ability to foresee a future event decreases in direct proportions to the distance those future events lie ahead in time. Tarot teaches that by active participation in the events occurring in the life of a person, he or she can shift the probabilities towards their desired ends. Learning to Read the Tarot Many people are intimated by the Tarot due to the mystery surrounding the cards. Some people may be interested in the Tarot but the only thing they know about it is what they have seen in movies or on television shows. They may be confused by the lack of clear history of the Tarot, the multitude of meanings assigned to the various cards, or they may not understand how the Tarot works. This section is my effort to answer some of the questions a student of the Tarot may have based on my experiences. I hope that it will serve as a start for those interested in reading Tarot Cards. How I Learned to Read the Tarot I was fascinated and intrigued by the mystique of the Tarot from an early age. I have vivid memories of Candice Bergen reading the cards as Morgan Le Fay in the 1985 movie Arthur the King. However, I think my biggest inspiration for wanting to learn to read the Tarot was Jane Seymour's portrayal of Solitaire in the 1973 film Live and Let Die. Within the movie, Seymour plays a tarot reader in the employ of a gangster who retains her prophetic powers so long as she remains a virgin. Throughout the late 80's to mid 90's TBS annually had a James Bond Movie Marathon and I always made a point to watch Live and Let Die. However, it wasn't until the summer of 1991 that I was given by first deck of Tarot Cards, the Rider-Waite deck. The deck came with the Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite and The Mystical Tarot by Rosemary Ellen Guiley. I spent the entire summer of that year memorizing all the meanings of each card (upright and reversed). I would study one card per day, memorizing its meaning and making notes in a notebook about the various colors found on the card, symbols, body positions of the figures on the cards, etc... Several times a day I would take my tarot deck and turn over the cards one by one reciting the meanings for each card for its upright and reversed positions that I had already learned, skipping those I had not yet learned. I did this every day for months as I continued to study the cards, until the various meanings were ingrained in my mind. The main problem with this strategy is that I tended to lock myself into using only those meanings which I had memorized and sometimes I found it difficult to interpret a card in relation to the spread or question asked with only those meanings that I had memorized. Once I learned to relax and let go of interpreting the cards within the rigid confines of the meanings I had memorized the information began to flow more easily. I began reading the cards for myself using spreads such as the Three Card Spread (past, present, future) the Clock of Horoscope and the Celtic Cross. To gain more practice I would do absent-readings for public figures and make notes of my 'predictions' for that person. There was a Presidential election in November of 1991 and I vividly recall predicting that Bill Clinton (the King of Cups) would win the three-way race. Once I got comfortable reading for myself, I began reading for family and close friends before moving on to strangers. How I Suggest You Learn Tarot Cards First, I suggest that you find a Tarot Deck with which you feel you have a close connection (see "Choosing a Deck" below). For me, that deck was the Rider Waite---however not everyone will feel called to work with this deck. The right deck should speak to your spirit on some level. The artwork will be pleasing to your eye and should not make you feel uneasy or uncomfortable. The deck will feel right in your hand and emanate a positive energy. While there are "traditional meanings" associated with each of the Tarot cards that are generally accepted by the Tarot community, they are not necessarily the correct ones. These meanings are simply associations that previous writers have assigned to them and later writers simply repeated them. Therefore, I do not suggest that you go out of your way to memorize these traditional meanings however it would probably be a good idea to familiarize yourself with them. I have provided two links on the bottom of this page that will assist you. Since the tarot is a largely visual medium that speaks in the language of symbols, their various meanings are often subjective to the individual. Therefore, rather than learning what someone else thinks a cards means, I would suggest the new student of the tarot begin their education by taking the Fool's Journey. The Fool's Journey The Fool's Journey is a metaphor for the journey of the individual through life. However it is also an allegorical story found in the 22 cards of the Major Arcana. It begins with 0 The Fool and each successive card represents a stop along that journey ending with 21 The World. In the study of the Kabalah, this is known as the Path of the Serpent and each card represents one of the 22 paths on the Tree of Life. The serpent (the seeker) sheds his skin (transformation) as it travels these 22 paths towards enlightenment. The Fool's Journey also refers to an individual's study of the tarot. To take this journey you will need 1) a deck of tarot cards and 2) a notebook. Beginning with 0 The Fool and progressing through the Major Arcana and then the Minor Arcana, contemplate one card per day. In your notebook, you will want to take notes about the following things: Picture of the Card Description of the Card Symbols on the Card (animals, trees, mountains, etc.) Dominant Colors Body Language Facial Expressions Activities being done You can also make note of anything else that you notice or want to remember. Save room to add more information later. Whenever you're having trouble trying to decide what a card means for you, you may want to imagine yourself as one of the people in the cards. Put yourself in their place and imagine what you might be feeling and thinking if you were in their position. In other instances I've told students to imagine the specific card as a work of art hanging in a museum and think about what they believe the artist was trying to convey with the imagery of the card. I do not suggest that you contemplate more than one card per day. If you find yourself getting frustrated or overwhelmed with the study, it is perfectly all-right to skip a day here and there. However, once you start the journey I believe that it is important that you finish. Once you have contemplated the entire deck, you can begin to do small readings for yourself. Keep your notebook near you for reference and write down anything new that you learn about a card during the course of your readings. Once you get comfortable reading for yourself, you can begin to try more advanced Tarot Spreads as you move on to read for family and close friends.
Choosing a Tarot Deck Purchasing a Tarot Deck is a lot like purchasing a car. It is not something that you do without certain considerations. They are: Your Level of Study Type of Deck Size & Shape Purpose of Deck Price Your Level of Study My first Tarot Deck was the Rider-Waite. As you may know the RW deck is arguably the most popular deck on the market, due to the fact that each card has a representative image in contradiction to older decks at that time. Because of this the RW deck has spawned many ‘clones’ such as the Herbal Tarot and it is often the first deck that students learn from continuing their study with other decks. The downside to learning from the RW deck is that it colored all the decks I would own/use thereafter. There are still many decks that don't have representative images on every card. For example, take a look at the two cards below representing the three of cups. The 'plain' versions don't really give you a lot of imagery to draw upon so instead of allowing the image on the card to be a springboard for your intuition, you have to focus your logical mind on remembering the given meaning of the card. Type of Deck Not all decks contain the same number of cards or are divided in the same manner as the Rider Waite. Therefore, I am not particularly fond of any deck that deviates from the RW mold. Here's an example from the Elemental Tarot. There are also decks that are tailored to a specific demographic or based on a specific philosophy. For example, as a gay man I purchased and liked the Gay Tarot. However, I didn't care for the Witches Tarot which is based on the teachings of the Kabbalah. If you are a beginner there are decks in circulation with the meanings printed directly on the card! Sometimes you will find a deck that is labeled as a Tarot deck, but which is actually an oracle deck. Size and Shape In addition, there are also aesthetic reasons to choose or reject a certain tarot deck. For me, if I don't like the artwork I will not buy the deck. The Miss Cleo Power Deck is an example of art that I dislike. In my opinion, the art work looks cheap and unoriginal. I have rather small hands for a man and a wrist injury that is aggravated by handling larger decks. I prefer to buy smaller-sized decks and steer clear of the jumbo sized one. The more popular a deck is, the more likely that it will be offered in various sizes. The RW is available from very small to playing card size to standard and even jumbo! When I lived in South Carolina, there was a store over the border into NC that had hundreds of tarot decks. What made this store so great is that every deck they sold they had a sample deck for you to look through hanging on a wall. Today, when I'm interested in a deck I try to see as many images as I can online. One of my favorite websites for reviewing decks is Aeclectic Tarot. They even have a forum where you can discuss Tarot related topics with others. If you have friends who are tarot readers/collectors ask to see their cards and get their opinions on decks that you are interested in. Purpose of Deck Not all those who purchase tarot cards use them, many people collect them for their artistic or monetary value. However, I think it is safe to say that the majority of people who purchase tarot cards intend to use them. Some people have more than one deck. They may have one or more decks for personal use and one (or more) for performing readings for others. Some decks may be used strictly for meditation and path-working. I’ve known some people to purchase decks for the express purpose of casting spells. Sometimes such spells may require the individual to burn a card in the flame of a candle, or bury two or more cards together. When deciding to purchase a tarot deck, consider what you will be using it for. Price Finally, a very important consideration is price. How much do you have to spend on a deck and are you willing to spend that amount? I have about 30 decks in my collection and there are still decks that I want but are too expensive due to their rarity and availability. For many years I wanted the James Bond Deck with 007 backs on it but it was always too expensive. Then, last year someone graciously gave me the deck for my birthday. I'm still on the look out for an affordable Salvador Dali tarot deck. So shop around and get the best deal that you can. Summation Although there are many factors to consider when purchasing a tarot deck, ultimately I believe that you will know when you have found the right deck for you. The right deck should speak to your spirit on some level. The artwork will be pleasing to your eye and should not make you feel uneasy or uncomfortable. The deck will feel right in your hand and emanate a positive energy. Understanding Court Cards Many students who are new to the Tarot often have a difficult time in learning exactly how to read Court Cards. The Court Cards are the Kings, Queens, Knights, and Pages of any given suit. With four suits and four court cards to a suit there are sixteen court cards in a standard deck of Tarot Cards.The four suits are said to relate to specific professions associated with them. For example:
Wands represent merchants. Cups represent the clergy. Pentacles represent businessmen. Swords represent the military. Court Cards are often used as a signifier in a reading. A signifier is a card that is meant to represent a person who is either posing the question or who is the subject of the reading. There are many different methods which have been used to determine a person's signifier, or calling card, the most traditional of which concerns itself with matching the individual's age and temperament to the Court Cards. For example, adult males are Kings, adult females are Queens, whereas young adults and teenagers are Knights and children of either gender are pages. Other Methods of determining a person's signifier include, but are not limited to, the following:
Some readers determine the suit to use for a person's signifier by using the element associated with the person's Sun Sign. Using this methods Wands represent the fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), Cups represent water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), Swords represent air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) and Pentacles represent earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn). Some readers determine the suit by considering the person's temperament. Wands are driven, over achievers, Cups are emotional and empathetic, Swords are the intellectual types, and Pentacles are earthy and creative. Finally, some readers take into account the individual's coloring. For example, Wands represent blonds, Cups represent dark blond to light brown, Swords represent Red heads, and Pentacles represent dark brown to black hair Another method of determining a person's signifier utilizes the Magician for a Man, the High Priestess for a woman, or the Fool for anyone. In other instances, you may wish to take a more literal approach and use the Empress for a pregnant woman, the Emperor for a male authority figure, The Hierophant for a Priest or member of clergy, the Chariot for a race car driver, The Moon for a psychic, the Sun for a person with a "sunny disposition", The Death Card for a mortician, etc...However, keep in mind that you are not limited to the Major Arcana when choosing a signifier. The same creative vision can be applied to the Minor Arcana for this purpose. For example, the Six of Swords can represent a sailor, or ferry worker. The Nine of Pentacles can represent someone with a green thumb and a love for animals. In addition, depending on the deck you have, there may be cards that are not in a traditional deck. In my personal practices, I simply have the person cut the cards before the reading. The card which is on the top of the deck after they are cut is drawn and used as that person's signifier. Generally speaking, the numbered cards (Ace through 10) represent day to day events and actions (the what), while the court cards represent the people who participate in these events and actions (the who). The Major Arcana concerns itself with the deeper meaning, or the why, behind the who and the what. In my experience, court cards can represent any of three things in a reading. They are An aspect of the seeker's personality Another individual in the seeker's life. Events or Movement Aspect of the Personality Either for better or for worse, people often change. Change can come quickly, or slowly over time as a person matures. The truth is a person's personality and temperament can change from day to day or situation to situation. We all probably know someone who is a wall-flower around strangers but who becomes the life of the party once he or she gets to know the crowd. Then there are those who are very outgoing online, but very shy and reserved in person. In certain instances, it is entirely possible that two or more court cards can represent aspects of one personality. Some readers apply astrological archetypes to the cards. In the Golden Dawn System the Kings, Queens, and Knights of each suit are assigned to specific Astrological Signs and given their attributes. Such as The King of Wands represents Aries, the Leader. The King of Pentacles represents Taurus, the Provider. The King of Swords represents Gemini, the Judge The King of Cups represent Cancer, the Adviser. The Queen of Wands represent Leo, the Achiever The Queen of Pentacles represents Virgo, the Supporter The Queen of Swords represent Libra, the Worrier The Queen of Cups represents Scorpio, the Healer The Knight of Wands represent Sagittarius, the Adventurer The Knight of Pentacles represents Capricorn, the Gambler The Knight of Swords represents Aquarius, the Trouble-Maker The Knight of Cups represents Pisces, the Lover Page of Wands represents Chiron the Wounded Healer Page of Cups represents Juno, the Visionary Page of Swords represents Pallas Athena, the Strategist Page of Pentacles Represents Ceres, the Nurturer In these instances the Pages are not given any astrological attributes. Other Individuals More often than not, court cards represent other individuals in the life of the seeker. These can be people that we presently know, people from our past, or a person who will be coming into our life--depending on the position of the card in the reading. In these cases the same astrological attributes as given for the individual can apply to other individuals in the seeker's life. Events or Movement Sometimes a court card can represent an event or movement concerning the issue being asked about. Traditionally, Pages are said to represent messages while Knights represent some type of movement or lack thereof. Kings are read as logical, fixed, and sometimes stagnant. Queens are read as emotional, fluid, and wishy-washy. Knights are read as being in a state of flux. Pages are read as potential, influences not fully formed.Whenever you are unsure, you can always refer to surrounding cards for more information. A W.O.R.D. About Tarot Reversals What is a Tarot-Reversal? A tarot reversal refers to when a card appears upside down during the course of a tarot- reading. There has been much discussion among tarot-readers concerning reversals which has divided the tarot-community. The Argument For Using Reversals The Big Picture. Utilizing reversed cards allows you to access the deeper meaning of the card(s) and helps you to get a clearer picture of the story the cards are trying to communicate to you.
A Red Flag. When a reversed-card appears in a reading, it indicates an area which requires attention. The Argument Against Using Reversals Reversals are redundant. Some readers feel that there are plenty of meanings for all 78 cards in a standard tarot deck in their upright positions that to use reversed meanings would be excessive. Reversals are Inconsistent. There seems to be a great deal of confusion among some readers as to exactly what a reversed card means. Three Examples Examined Historically, reversals have been read quite literally. For example, if The Lovers upright means love, then reversed it would indicate hate. However, even the neophyte tarot-reader understands that this is not always the case. Many prominent authors have attempted to bring clarity to this subject and have offered several methods of reading reversals. In her book, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, Mary K. Greer gives no less than 12 examples of how a reversed card can be read. Some of these include: Blocked- The energy or condition represented by the card is being blocked either consciously or subconsciously by the querent or an outside force such as another individual. Projected- The subject of the reading is attributing what is seen in the cards onto someone else.
Delayed- The energy or condition represented by the card will be delayed. For example, the 8 of Pentacles reversed could indicate a new job that will come after delays. Joan Bunning, author of Learning Tarot Reversals, writes that a reversed card doesn’t take on opposing meanings but rather keeps its essential nature, however in different phases. These phases are described as Absent- The energy or condition represented by the card is absent.
Early Phase- The energy of condition represented by the card is coming into being.
Late Phase- The energy or condition represented by the card is on the decline, or going out of being. A good-friend of mine and great tarot reader 53rd Spirit uses the acronym W.O.R.D to interpret reversals. It stands for Weak. Opposite. Resistant. Delayed. Weak- The meaning of the card remains the same, however it is weakened or on the decline.
Opposite- The meaning of the card is the opposite of the upright meaning.
Resistant- The energy or condition represented by the card is being blocked or resisted in some way.
Delayed/Drained- The energy or condition represented by the card will be delayed. How I View Reversals When I began studying and reading tarot-cards in 1991, I did read reversed cards. I later met a more experienced tarot-reader who, to my surprise, did not read reversals. After having her perform several readings for me, I decided to try only reading the cards in their upright positions. I found that I did enjoy reading only upright cards and did not feel that my readings suffered in any way. My cards are oriented to that they all face upright, however, occasionally a reversed card will come up in a reading. Over the years I have slowly begun to take these reversed cards into consideration. I agree with Mary K. Greer that a reversed card in a reading represents an area that needs attention. However, the question remains why does it need attention. Is there a blockage? Will there be a delay? Is there resistance? In this case you can do two things: Look at the card itself for more information. For example, traditionally the Ace of Cups represents abundance. However, if you look at the reversed card itself it appears that the cup is being drained and someone or something is holding it down. This could mean that an outside force is draining your abundance, holding your down and keeping you back. Look at the surrounding cards. Depending on the actual tarot spread you are using the cards immediately beside the reversed card can give you more information about its overall meaning and/or affect on the querent’s life. In Summation The question of whether or not to use tarot-reversals has been a subject which has divided the tarot-community. There are valid arguments both for and against their use. Modern authors have attempted to give students of the tarot a reliable method of interpreting tarot reversals. However it is ultimately up to you, the reader, to decide if and how you utilize tarot-reversals in your readings.
Reading the Cards Before the Reading I start the session by telling the seeker a little about the Tarot, what it will and will not tell them. I explain that the Tarot is simply a tool and that it has no power in and of itself. A reading is like a roadmap, it provides information so that you can make the best possible choices for yourself. I explain that the future is not fixed or fated and that the power to make positive changes in life is within the power of the individual through the choices that they make. Pre-Reading Ritual My pre-reading ritual consists of my spreading out a cloth to lay the cards upon. In addition I light a candle and set out a clear glass of water. As I do this, I silently ask for guidance in order to give the individual the best possible reading. I take out my cards and pass them over the water to cleanse them. Then I ask the client to cut the cards and put them back together. This card usually gives me an indication of the persons current mood, outlook, the issue they are dealing with, etc and I use this as the persons calling card (see below). Formulating the Question I talk to the seeker about asking the right questions and this is often the most difficult part of any reading. I tell the person to avoid asking such questions as Will I ever get married? Will I lose weight? Will I find a soul mate? Will I get pregnant? Instead of asking questions such as the above, I usually advise the seeker to restate them like such: My partner seems to lack a sense of commitment, can you tell me if I am making the right choice by being with him/her? I am on a weight loss program, can you tell me if I am making wish choices that will help me reach my goal? I can seem to meet a compatible mate, can you tell me what I am doing wrong? I am trying to get pregnant, do you have any advice for me? If the person has never had a Tarot reading before, and are unsure about what they want to talk about, I usually do a general reading and then if they have further questions address them in a separate reading. Choosing a Calling Card A calling card is a card that is meant to represent a person who is either posing the question or who is the subject of the reading. Before reading the cards, remove the card from the deck that represents the individual, or subject of the reading. There are many different methodswhich have been used to determine a person's signifier, or calling card, the most traditional of which concerns itself with matching the individual's age and temperament to the pip, or face, cards in a tarot deck. For example, adult males are Kings, adult females are Queens, whereas young adults and teenagers are Knights and children are pages. Some readers determine the suit to use for a person's signifier by using the element associated with the person's Sun Sign. Using this methods Wands represent the fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagitarrius), Cups represent water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), Swords represent air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) and Pentacles represent earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn). Using this method, I would be represented by the King of Pentacles. Some readers determine the suit by considering the person's temperament. Wands are driven, over achievers, Cups are emotional and empathetic, Swords are the intellectual types, and Pentacles are earthy and creative. Using this methods, I would be represented by the King of Cups. Finally, some readers take into account the individual's coloring. For example, Wands represent blonds, Cups represent dark blonde to light brown, Swords represent Red heads, and Pentacles represent dark brown to black hair. Again, using this methods I would be represented by the King of Pentacles. The simplest method of determining a person's signifier which I know utilizes the Magician for a Man, the High Priestess for a woman, or the Fool for anyone. In other instances, you may wish to take a more literal approach and use the Empress for a pregnant woman, the Emperor for a male authority figure, The Hierophant for a Priest or member of clergy, the Chariot for a race car driver, The Moon for a psychic, the Sun for a person with a "sunny disposition", The Death Card for a mortician, etc... Using this method, which I prefer, I am represented by the Hanged Man (someone gifted with the powers of foresight and perception and who has an unconventional view of life) However, keep in mind that you are not limited to the Major Arcana when choosing signifiers. The same creative vision can be applied to the Minor Arcana for this purpose. For example, the Six of Swords can represent a sailor, or ferry worker. The Nine of Pentacles can represent someone with a green thumb and a love for animals. In addition, depending on the deck you have, there may be cards that are not in a traditional deck. Shuffling and Cutting The cards are to be shuffled in the most comfortable manner either by riffling them or shuffling them hand over hand. If you are reading for yourself, you shuffle your own cards, but if you are reading for another, they are to shuffle the cards. Some readers prefer to have the client hold their calling card while shuffling the cards themselves, however, this is not my person practice. While the cards are being shuffled, the person shuffling them should concentrate on the specific question or issue that they wish to know more about. A reader may or may not ask if the person has a specific question in order to determine the type of card spread he or she will use. If while you are shuffling the cards, any cards which fly out of the deck are collected and places aside face down. After the reading, these cards can be consulted for extra information. There is no certain number of times the cards are to be shuffled, just shuffle them until they feel right to you. Once you are done shuffling the cards they are cut into three stacks to the right and then placed back together again to the right, or some prefer to do this at random The Reading The cards are then collected by the reader and arranged according to a spread. Each position in a spread has its own sphere of influence (i.e. the past, the present, how you feel, etc.) The cards are read in relation to the position it occupies within the spread. As you read the cards, you attempt to weave the reading into a cohesive story, being specific as you possibly can. If after all the cards have been read, and the person needs more clarification on the matter that I usually take a card from the bottom of the deck and read it as I would any outcome card. Alternatively, I also collect all the cards used in that particular reading and have the client shuffle and cut just these cards and read them using another spread. After the Reading Often after the reading, the person will want to discuss some of the things that you have said during the reading, giving you confirmation on your insights. When given such information it may help you to further guide the individual and set them on the right path. However, if the person does not offer you any feedback, don't pressure them. Often during the reading, the person may not be able to connect what you are telling them with the question asked, but later, after much thought, it may make sense. Payment for Readings I never charge brother or sister witches for readings, or even close friends or family members. However, when reading for the general public, I advise them to pay me what they feel the reading is worth. The reasons for this is not that I do not have confidence in my abilities, but simply to get around the fortune-telling laws in many states which forbid charging for fortune-telling. When I read for a paying client, I normally have a plate on the table for the person to leave their offering as I prefer no to touch the money until they have gone.
Timing Techniques with Divination Using divination to determine the length of time before something begins, ends, or manifest is a difficult skill to learn and even experienced readers still have difficulty in timing events even after years of practice. Knowing if and when a desired event will likely happen is a valuable piece of information that allows the individual to Determine if a certain goal is worthy of pursuit. Helps develop short-term and long-term strategies for successful completion. Predicting events through the art of divination has often largely depended upon the intuition/ability of the reader and the tool that he or she uses (if any). In my experience reading Tarot/Playing Cards I have often based questions of timing on the final, or outcome, card in a reading. For example if the outcome card is the 3 of Pentacles, I would automatically think that the outcome will occur within 3 Days...3 Months...or 3 Years. The answer I give would then be based on three things. They are: The question that was asked. For example, if the client comes in wanting to know the outcome of a job promotion for which s/he is being considered. Using the 3 of Diamonds as an example, logic would dictate that she should get an answer within 3 days or 3 months depending on circumstances. The over-all reading. If the reading indicates many obstacles or delays, I would answer 3 months. However if the cards were more positive in nature, I may answer 3 days. My own intuition. As you contemplate the reading a certain time period may simply feel more 'right' that another option. There will also be time when specific dates or time-periods will just come to you. In these instances I forgo any logic and lead with what my intuition is telling me. If the final card was a Court Card I would base my answer on other visual cues found on the card. If the final card was the Knight of Wands, I may notice that the horse has two legs "in the air " (delays) and predict that the desired event will take place in two months or even two years. Alternately, I may notice that there are five branches (growth) on the wand and predict 5 days. If the final card was the Knight of Pentacles, my eyes may be drawn to the yellow-pentacle on a yellow background in the Knight's hand which reminds me of the Sun. Taking into account the horse seems to not be moving, and the fertile fields in the background I may predict that the event may take as long as a year to take place. Again, my answer would depend on the question asked, the other cards in the reading, and my own intuition.