Exploring the BIT method

Back in Time Tarot

BIT is a method of Tarot exploration outlined in Janet Boyer’s book “Back in Time Tarot”. When you use the BIT method, you explore your past through the Tarot. It is an excellent way to reflect on past events. It involves self-selecting Tarot cards and briefly considering  how they relate to past events. The selection can be based on a variety of elements: the meaning of the card, its number or value, a symbol contained on the card or the images contained in the chosen card.  The reflections need not be long or elaborate. This selection process can be a very powerful reflection tool.

I started my process chronologically. I also selected two cards for each event; the first often leading into the second. Most examples provided in Janet Boyer’s book use only one card. For this exercise, I used Joanna Powell Colbert’s Gaian Tarot.  I am in love with the images of this deck and cherish my limited edition. (I cringed a little as it was passed around at our housewarming party this weekend.) 🙂 In the past, I have drawn from many decks to complete a BIT exercise. Also, I have kept my reflections brief.  Feel free to use the BIT method any way you see fit. And please, use this forum to share you experience.

May-June in Sydney, Australia:  The Explorer of Water and the Three of Water – For me, the Explorer of Water is often “he-who-I-seek-to-be” but I selected this card for this exercise because of the literal meaning of ‘explorer’ and ‘water’. My trip involved a lot of visiting for two weeks on a large island continent in a major coastal city. The Three of Water symbolized the joyful sharing that went on as I spent time with my partner’s friends and extended family.

End of the school year and the preparation for 2010-2011: Eight of Earth and the Teacher – I finished the school year ready to embrace my role as both ‘master’ teacher and mentor. Several prominent staff moved on and will play different roles next school year and I was pleased to have played a role, however small, in their respective profession growth. I will devote time each week over the summer honing my skills in this area, something I haven’t done for quite some time.

The move and the purchase of our new home: The Five of Air and the Four of Air – Initially, the focus of ‘the move’ was, funny enough, the movement. It felt like everything was moving, often in multiple directions at once. The eagles in the Five of Air appear to be in ‘reckless’ movement. However, as symbolized in the Four of Air, keeping the goal of stability, safety and security in mind throughout the process was extremely helpful. After all, our purpose was not to buy a house but to create a home. This card from this deck was also prominent in a reading I received from Bev Haskins while at the Readers Studio in New York this past April. She pointed out the four robin eggs safely contained in their next and paralleled them to my own family of four.  

Ride to Conquer Cancer: Death and the Ace of Air – Taking part in a 200-kilometre (120 mile) bike ride was an incredible experience. The loss of my father and the toll that cancer takes in the lives of many remained front and centre all weekend.  The ride also gave me a sense of new beginning. I will complete this ride again and will expand my role in the future. Like the butterfly in the Ace of Air, I emerged from this experience transformed. I also met some amazing people during my journey.

Biopsy: The Five of Water and The Sun – It took everything I had (and was more draining than I expected it would be) to focus on what I held in my hand instead of focusing on the potentially bleak surroundings a negative result would bring. The Sun represents the inexplicable JOY of hearing the word “benign”.

 My children – Child of Fire and Explorer of Fire –  They are not the last BIP selection because they are least important (anyone who knows me personally knows how important my children are to me) but because, chronologically, spending time with my children is the most recent ‘issue’ upon which to reflect. Instead of focusing on the guilt of not having been able to be as available this week because of a busy work schedule (and they have headed off to their mother’s for a two-week holiday stint), I selected two cards that best represent my children’s potential. One child is discovering her creativity: writing diary entries, developing characters for her book and painting in her studio. She is not unlike the Child of Fire, who learns by doing. Like the Explorer of Fire, the other feels the heat of creativity and is often torn between taming his creative fire or unleashing it. Should he choose the latter; look out, World!

Intention setting: The final two cards I chose were the Ace of Water and the Star. I drew these two cards not as part of a BIT process but as part of willful intention setting. This process is particularly relevant during the time of the New Moon. For more information on this concept, see Kelly Surtees’ recent blog at http://kellysurteesastrology.wordpress.com.  The Ace of Water represents the flowing waters of new emotional realities. I’m looking at spending my next few quieter weeks re-connecting and re-kindling those relationships that are most meaningful.  The Star represents the hope and optimism brought about by this action.

Feel free to share your BIT experience here. Or, if you feel more astrologically inclined :), select a card or two and use your creativity to set your own willful intentions.

Taking stock, then ‘Letting Go’

In a previous post, I mentioned that my partner gave me the ‘Osho Zen Tarot’ for my birthday. I am still using this deck for my morning card ‘draw’, although, I have to admit that this month work has caused my morning Tarot routine to, more often than not, take a back seat. This morning, since I am at the start of a two-week respite from my main working world, I took a few moments to reflect on the cards I have drawn over the past few weeks.

Prior to my free Tarot Talk on November 26th, I drew the 3 of Water (Celebrations) and the 6 of Fire (Success). The night was definitely one of success and celebration. From this point on, the cards shift focus and, since December 1st, the cards I’ve drawn are as follows: the Seven (Stress) and Eight (Travelling) of Fire, the Two (Moment to Moment) and Knight (Slowing Down) of Rainbows, the Five (Clinging to the Past), King (Healing) and Queen (Receptivity) of Water and the fourth card from the Major Arcana (The Rebel). I can trace and reflect my month so far by looking back. I don’t dwell; I just look.

If you work with the Tarot, take some time to review the recurring themes over a week or a month. If you’re interested in studying the Tarot, this is a great way to familiarize yourself with the Tarot or to learn a new deck. Look and see if any cards repeat themselves. See if the cards link to any major themes that have occurred over a particular period of time. For example, I look back and see that the idea of taking time to enjoy the moment was prevalent in my morning cards. Upon reflection, I could have taken more time to enjoy the ‘busy-ness’ for what it was instead of ‘stressing about the stress’.

After you look back, note your observations, take a little time to celebrate and embrace the experiences you’ve had and then, in the words of the Osho Zen’s Eight of Water, begin ‘Letting Go’.

Upcoming Free Tarot Talk

I’m beginning preparations for a Free Beginner’s Tarot Talk on Thursday, November 26th. What could be better than starting a learning experience with the Tarot by using my current study deck, the ‘Osho Zen Tarot’.  This beautiful deck was a birthday present from my partner earlier this month. This morning, while focusing on the question: ‘What do I need to know about my upcoming Tarot talk?’, I drew the 5 of waters. The card is entitled ‘Clinging to the Past”. This answer to my question reminds me to enjoy the experience for what it is and not to dwell on it or cling to it. It will soon be upon me and then gone. I also need to know that I must ‘think outside the box’. What I’ve been clinging to as far as expectations for this talk may not come to fruition. The feelings that emerge may be new or unexpected.  

If you’re interested in attending a Tarot Talk for Beginners, please contact me at whitesagetarot@gmail.com or at 519-217-7243. The talk is on Thursday, November 26th from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in my space in Orangeville, Ontario. R.S.V.P. is required.