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Top 10 Tarot Cards for Delays and Waiting

by Brigit on September 25, 2013 in Top 10 Tarot Cards

18 Blog-20130925-Top10Delays&Waiting

You know the feeling. You’re eager for something to happen – maybe the sale of your house, the start of a new job, a marriage proposal. But it hasn’t happened yet. Worse, you’ve already been waiting for what feels like an eternity.

“C’mon Universe! Make it happen!” you say.

But no. The Universe wants you to wait.

You turn to your Tarot cards, wanting to see if there will be further delays. So what Tarot cards should you look for? Here are my top 10 Tarot cards for delays and waiting.


Hanged Man – The Hanged Man hangs in suspension, waiting and contemplating. He isn’t frustrated by the need to wait and instead uses it for introspection and illumination on the situation. This card is a wonderful reminder that even those delays which are outside of our control can be blessings in disguise, offering an opportunity to see the situation from a different perspective before moving forward.


Eight of Wands reversed – Just when you thought everything was flying along, suddenly it feels like it has gone in reverse and all that progress and development is being undone. The reversed Eight of Wands often speaks of delays that can be very frustrating because it feels like everything is coming undone at the seams.


Four of Swords – The Four of Swords shows the potential in waiting and restoring one’s energy before moving forward. Instead of going full steam ahead, it pays to take a ‘time out’ and to ground oneself. Again, a delay can be a blessing because it gives you that opportunity to rest and relax before the next series of challenges.


Four of Cups – Oftentimes, the Four of Cups speaks of delays that are self-initiated. You might not feel the ‘spark’ with a particular project or opportunity, so rather than taking it up straight away, you pause to reflect on what it is you really want.


Ace of Wands reversed – You thought you had the greatest idea out there, but before you even begin, it starts to fall apart and you’re finding your plans are delayed. The reversed Ace of Wands reflects a period where you are struggling to get an idea off the ground and make it happen, invariably resulting in unexpected delays. But, it may be a blessing in disguise. These setbacks may be designed to help you revisit your plans and reassess what is most important to you.


Two of Swords – With the Two of Swords, delays arise because of indecision and not knowing which direction to take. Both directions seem just as good as (or as bad as) the other. When you fail to choose your path, everything inevitably becomes delayed.


Hermit reversed – The reversed Hermit is a sign that you may be making a conscious choice to put your plans on hold while you bring your attention within you for greater insight. You may have momentarily lost your path and become disconnected from your soul purpose. So rather than continuing on, you choose to pause a moment and re-assess your priorities.


Seven of Pentacles – The Seven of Pentacles is unique in a way because things are moving forward, it’s just at a very slow pace. For some, it’s sustainable progress, but for others, it’s a painfully drawn out process and can be a source of frustration. The key to remember is that slow and steady wins the race, and if you want results that will last for the long-term, you’re going to have to wait it out.


Three of Wands reversed – With the reversed Three of Wands, you’re waiting and waiting for your ships to come in, but nothing is happening. You have put your intentions out there and you’re hoping to see results soon, but you’re getting zilch, nada. You may need to realign your expectations and set about a new path to create the outcomes you desire.


Chariot reversed – The reversed Chariot often indicates a time when you are charging forth along your path but other people get in your way and steer you off-course. You have your schedule, but you are also relying on others to get you there and they’re not always dependable. So, you’re left waiting or delayed because someone else has let the schedule slip.

What Tarot cards do you associate with Delays and Waiting? Leave your comments below.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Amit September 25, 2013 at 12:53 am

This is cliche, but yet another excellent post. Thank you for it. Btw I guess even Page of Pentacles & wheel of fortune reversed fit the bill &.


Brigit September 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm

*smile* Yes, somewhat on the cliche side! But these posts are always a hit :-)


Amit September 25, 2013 at 12:54 am

Sorry Knight of Pentacles (not Page)


Christine September 25, 2013 at 1:34 am

Yes knight of pentacles definitely. I ‘d like to add :The high priestess,strength,the of swords,knight of cups. :-)


Scott September 25, 2013 at 1:43 am

Nice list, Brigit!

I must admit, I don’t think I’d have thought of the Seven of Pentacles as a wait or delay card – for me it’s more a time of evaluation, taking stock and assessing your next step to success, rather than being delayed or made to wait on that path :-) I suppose it’s how you see those activities though, whether they’re constructive in themselves, or a point of frustration on the way to more ‘active’ tasks…:-)

I probably would have identified the Nine of Rods- watch and wait – and the Eight of Swords – restriction and a feeling of being trapped…


Aasheesh Kumar September 25, 2013 at 2:22 am

Four of Swords ,and the Hanged Man really are the picks to denote waiting and delays.Often we see them pop up in career /job readings. Very informative post.Thanks Biddy.


Martha September 25, 2013 at 2:32 am

Knight of Pentacles, absolutely–I concur.
I see the Eights as “waiting” cards, as well, but how one perceives the delay is subjective. If there are lots of wands around, then someone might feel impatient. Otherwise, the “rest” is welcome.


robert garrett September 25, 2013 at 3:37 am

Four of Swords, is definitely a waiting or “time out” card.

The other relevant card I have found is the Two of Swords and this, as stated, is usually due to some form of indecision or two roughly equal paths. In this case I would carry out a four card “Decision Spread” – Pro and Cons of Path A; Pro and Con of Path B.

Not really deep enough into the Tarot to be familiar with reversed cards as yet. Slightly off topic but – Which version of the Rider Waite Deck was used for the illustrations as they seem a lot more vibrant in colour than mine! Thanks Rob.


Brigit September 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm

It’s the Radiant Rider Waite deck – my favourite!


robert garrett September 25, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Thanks Brigit,

I will look out for a deck at my local “Tarot Shop”.

Great idea to group the cards like this, keep up the good work!

Rob G.


Barbara September 25, 2013 at 4:16 am

Great article – I drew the hanged man for a situation and thought darn I really don’t want to wait on this but of course I am. Thanks!


Jeanne September 25, 2013 at 10:10 am

Wow! I learned a lot this one. I should buy your book, I have 25 different books abt tarot reading, this one might be just the one I would need call it my bible!



Deborah September 25, 2013 at 11:06 am

It’s nice how you group cards by topic. I liked the post on the top 10 tarot cards for Mental Health issues as well. Thank you.


Zachary - Gemini Tarot September 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Another excellent “Top 10″ post! I love these so much, it makes it easier to bring the “mystical” aspects of the Tarot down closer to earth. Other cards I see a lot when delays are expected are Death Reversed or The Tower reversed, usually when the client (or myself!) want big, sweeping, and sometimes unrealistic changes to happen faster than they really can.


ScoTT SenaTe September 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I was surprised to not see a Mercury Retrograde reference, such as The Magician reversed.


Richa September 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm

I believe….Three of Swords is one card which indicates delay often also leading to “disappointment OR damage”!!!!


Richa September 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm

The other card which in my opinion depicts “Delay and Waiting’ is The World card “reversed”….it tells you that some very important & a big task was at the verge of getting finished…However,got DELAYED due to destiny not in your favor,though it still would come to a successful end very soon!!


Brigit September 25, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Really enjoying reading all of your suggestions on other cards you would consider as delays or waiting cards. Thanks all for sharing so far!


Linda September 25, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Good to see so many options for delays and waiting! As one who doesn’t use reversed cards, I could see just about every card reversed as a delay! 10 of Cups Rx — delayed happiness! 3 of Pents Rx — delays on a project; WOF Rx — not just delayed, but going in reverse! ;-)

The one card I name “Patience & Planning” hasn’t been mentioned yet — 2 of Wands. In R-W imaged decks, he is standing behind a (short) wall — that says to me “being held back” from getting out there in the world with your great plans.

As an aside, exploring delay & waiting cards is very applicable to me today. I am beginning a (hopefully) collaborative project with another remote person I have never spoken to yet (only email). I have been waiting to hear back from them on a task they were (hopefully!) working on.

Curious to see if I get any delay or waiting cards after reading this blog post, I drew 4 cards about the project (using Universal Waite). The card layout L to R is:

King Wands (how I help or hinder) — Empress (project in the present) — Queen of Cups (how the other helps or hinders). It’s interesting that a delay/waiting card did come up — just not where I expected it!

Going just by the imagery, I laid the Empress in the middle first, and that bodes very well for this creative endeavor. It’s even got 2 symbolic elements in the picture that speak directly to this project.

I, as KW (often my significator) to the left, am facing away from the project! One hand holds a wand, the other passively resting in my lap. Yes, I sheepishly admit, I have been spending considerable creative energy on another project of mine and have done no real work on this collaborative project in the last few weeks!

The other, as QC (they are a water sign, too), not only faces the project, they are holding it in their hand and intently focused on it! BUT, for the 4th card — how can we kick start this project — I drew 4 of Swords! My focus immediately went to his hands raised in prayer — so I said a prayer of intention. But I also saw it as “stop lying down on the job”!

I really delve into imagery, so I was just now caught by the fact that 3 swords hang down above him, and his prayer hands are under the first sword. If I look at these 3 swords as the 3 cards in the layout, he is “pointing” to “my” position in the spread. And there is one sword laying horizontally below him – am I the “underlying” problem?!

To bring this back to interpreting delay/waiting cards, it would be interesting to hear any others’ ideas for what this 4S card in the “how to kick start” position means!



Richa September 25, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Well…I think…4S is suggesting you to dedicate your time & attention very calmly to the upcoming project rather than take a hasty step! Focus on strategising your next move first! Even if you have to “wait” for some time for doing so….please do that!


Emmy September 26, 2013 at 11:39 am

Hey I really love a good top ten post.
Nothing much to add but three of wands doesn’t speak to me as much as I would like. (Not just this topic, but in general.) It doesn’t speak to me the way many of the cards do. I wonder if you could give me advice. Like more insight into that particle card. Thank you!


Brigit September 26, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Hi Emmy,

I would definitely recommend meditating with this card to find out what its deeper meaning is for you. Try this method here –


Merrilyn September 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Another great post. I usually read them but don’t usually comment, however my husband was waiting on a job offer, it was all but done just waiting on some final decisions. As nothing was happening I consulted the cards, he drew eight of wands. Huh? this usually means fast action not delayed action but my” Tarot voice” said things were up in the air! It turned out that things were up in the air, he did get the job but there were massive delays none of which he had any control over.


Brigit September 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Nicely done! It’s great when you connect with your cards on a truly intuitive level.


Amit September 30, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Brigit!! I meant that it is cliche to compliment you,as every post of yours is just awesome. I didnt mean the topic of the post. Infact it has not been done. Sorry I didnt mention it well above and it got misinterpreted.


Brigit September 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Hehe, no worries! Now I know what you mean! Although, I will admit, the Top 10 Tarot Cards are a tiny bit cliched too :-) But well loved!


Amit September 30, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Hi! Thanks. :)


Johnny October 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Great blog post Biddy. Mostly your list and everyone else have mentioned other tarot delay cards that are really useful. I want to share the Reversed Death card because I see it as one who is not letting the necessary transformation stage do its part in one’s life. Therefore, causing one’s own delays by not letting the angel of death free one from the old and/or useless things that can delay one’s growth in life.


Brigit October 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Great idea – thanks for suggesting.


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