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.

Gods Behaving Badly

It’s been quiet on the blog front, although I must admit that although the writing bug hasn’t bit me, the reading bug sure has.

I just finished reading “Gods Behaving Badly” by Marie Phillips. If you haven’t read this gem, I would suggest you quickly place it on your ‘must-read’ list. Without giving too much away (although, if you truly want to explore the book without prejudice, come back to this blog entry after you’ve read it), ‘Gods Behaving Badly’ is a modern tale of the Greek gods as they plug their way through mundane life in modern-day London.

One of the aspects I found utterly fascinating in this book was the range of activities attributed to each god. Phillips stays true to the archetype each god represents. She attaches both desirable and questionable character traits to her pantheon. Like the gods of ancient times, these representations have a truly mortal appeal. Aphrodite possesses beauty beyond imagination and has the ability to make mortals fall in love with her on sight. She also runs a phone sex line from her mobile. Apollo’s ego is plentiful and is occasionally blind-sided when others don’t feel about Apollo the way he feels about himself. He is also the star of his own psychic television show.

These characters immediately made me connect the text to the Tarot. How often do we forget that card meanings have a range of possibilities?  We often get stuck on the idea that some cards are favourable and some are not. I would argue profusely that all cards have a continuum of possibilities, and all can be looked at favourably or unflatteringly.    I partook in an online webinar with James Ricklef earlier this year that explores that same concept. You can read more about it in his blog entry entitled, Good Cards, Bad Cards.

Here are a few examples. Feel free to add your own.

Apollo and the Sun card: The Sun card can often signify joy. It can also represent our creative self. But what happens when the joyous light that our sun gives off is blinding to us or to others?

Hermes and the Magician: The Magician can indicate strong communication.  But what if the message is garbled? The Magician is also often seen as the tool master. But what if we are using the wrong tools for the task at hand? You can’t build a house with a butter knife.

Demeter and the Empress: The Empress is a card of harvest, fertility and abundance. At times, we lose sight of the work that is essential to the harvest. We forget that fertility often requires planting, nurturing and waiting and are then surprised when our yield is diminished. Can we see the Empress there, too?

I am packing my knight`s tunic, my cards and my desire to learn in my suitcase and heading off to NYC for a weekend of Tarot at the Readers` Studio. This is my first visit to the RS and I am excited to be getting the chance to meet and work with a world-wide collection of Tarot enthusiasts.

Readers’ Studio 2010

Page of Water - Understanding
Page of Water - Understanding

It’s official! My registration is paid, my flight is booked and my room is confirmed. I am heading off to New York for Readers Studio 2010, a weekend ensemble of some of the best Tarot minds around. To say I am excited is an understatement! I am looking forward to a weekend focused exclusively on the Tarot. Kelly and I visited New York last summer with family and it quickly became one of my favourite cities. You can read more about the Tarot School’s readers’ Studio at http://www.tarotschool.com/ReadersStudio.html

In anticipation of my experience at the Readers’ Studio, I drew the Page of Water (Understanding) from my study deck, the Osho Zen Tarot. The card portrays a bird, perched on the open of its cage, ready to soar. The card appears to be an invitation to leave the cage, to set my sights on the open skies ahead and soar!  The RS weekend in NY feels like its full of possibilities.  I can hardly wait!