The first thing almost every sitter wants to know from a reading is whether something will happen. But right on the heels of that objective is usually an anxious “If so, when?” The timing of a projected event is one of the thorniest questions facing any diviner, and numerous attempts have been made by spread designers to crack that particular nut. I’ve created several “temporal nutcrackers” myself, from elaborately complex to deceptively simple. This one is perhaps my most evolved effort yet, since it strives to address the dilemma of “reasonableness:” if an event can be expected to happen within the next week or two (for example, hearing back on the outcome of a job interview) but the timing spread delivers a forecast of “months” or “years,” this pretty much invalidates the whole approach. I like to say in these cases that the answer might as well be “never.”
I solved this by creating three ranges (short, medium and long) that can be applied separately when using the spread, to the exclusion of the more “unreasonable” options. The idea is to pre-select the range that seems the most probable and use only those positions. “Short-range” covers a likely outcome within days or weeks; “medium-range” accommodates results within months or quarters; and “long-range” addresses those situations that may take years to resolve, or for which the forecast is completely uncertain. In addition, when using the minor cards (Ace through Ten) to show “units” of time within the indicated range, I decided that they would reflect the maximum or “outside estimate” for completion of the matter. This deals with the fluidity of situations where there may be a firm “not-to-exceed” deadline within which anticipated events must transpire, but an exact date within the range can’t be pinned down. (Before anyone asks, if your Ace shows up in the “Uncertain” pack and you choose not to terminate the reading in that event, the “Timing Pack” will yield a certain number of “somethings” and you will have to go into SWAG (“Scientific Wild-Ass Guess”) mode to choose the most plausible time-frame. Or you could simply default to “never.”)
Finally, I made a stab at factoring in the influence of other people (shown by court cards) in the matter who might be in a position to either accelerate or delay the outcome, and the role that external forces (expressed by trump cards) may play in the situation. These should be considered as “modifiers” to the straightforward testimony provided by the more exact techniques given.