The Back in Time Tarot Book by Janet Boyer (Hampton Roads Publishing)
The Back in Time Tarot Book (BIT for short) offers a new approach to making the tarot cards more familiar and personal.
Boyer's BIT method encourages the reader to connect with the cards by recreating a memory or experience from the past. Deliberately selecting cards which, when viewed together, serve as a "snapshot" of the memory will make the cards more meaningful and relevant. When creating a BIT snapshot, you select cards that capture the essence of the experience as you experienced it. After having done so, you will then have a personal reference when each of those cards come up in future readings.
Using a very obvious example, if I were to create a BIT snapshot of giving my cat meds, I would undoubtedly use Strength as one of my cards, as it illustrates a woman opening the mouth of a feline. What's interesting about this method is that the cards you choose for each experience will vary depending on what deck you are using, as the artwork and interpretations are different in each deck. As the selection of the cards is so personal, even two people who had experienced the same situation together would probably not select the same exact cards, even if using the same deck.
The method is simple, and its explanation takes up only a small portion of the book's pages. The bulk and beauty of the book consists of examples of BIT snapshots, contributed not only by the author, but also from other seasoned tarot professionals, many of whom will be familiar to readers, as they are tarot deck and book authors, artists and editors.
Boyer also uses the BIT method to capture scenes from books, TV, movies, historical events, famous personalities, states, songs and holidays. She shares many detailed and interesting examples of all of the above. In short, if you can experience it in some manner, you can apply the BIT method to it.
In addition to the many examples given, the book is also sprinkled with a plethora of exercise prompts, encouraging you to use the BIT method for yourself in various ways.
I can definitely see the advantage of doing these snapshots, whether you are a beginner or experienced reader. Making emotional connections with the cards and experiencing their essences first hand can only be beneficial to a reader. And with the inspiration in this book, you will have no shortage of material to practice with!
I really enjoyed seeing how the different tarot readers arranged their individual BIT snaphots. If you enjoy peeking into the inner workings of other tarot readers' applications of the cards, and are interested in seeing the BIT method in action, The Back in Time Tarot Book is an entertaining and thought-provoking read that will have you looking at situations in your life through a new tarot lens.
This book review was originally published on my previous blog (Tarot Dame) on 11/6/10.