=1 "How to Play"
How to Play
The game has sixty-four numbered cards. The name at the top of each card identifies the psychological or cosmic power symbolized by the drawing in the centre.
Each power or entity naturally has a home ground, a psychological base, a seat or throne within us. You will find it named at the bottom of the card. This special kingdom is like a room in the house of our soul which belongs to us but of which we are usually not aware.
The name and the house frequently indicate opposite poles. For example, the name of one card is ‘Cosmos’, but the seat or foundation of the cosmos in us is the ‘Microcosmos’. Between them is a psychological tension field which we in our ignorance call ‘I’ or ‘me’.
The word on the left-hand side of the card represents the advice of the card, the attitude you need to take or the way of knowledge or of work or of love which can lead you into a new freedom or a new possession, perhaps a new kingdom. This way or path you may call a yoga, a special discipline, a pilgrimage, which one follows in order to possess the perfection or the blessings, the realisation as one says in yoga, or the virtue as the old Greeks called it, which the card offers you as a gift.
As the gift, the special psychological capacity which comes to you through the power of the card, appears on the right-hand side.
Before starting to play, it is a good idea to be quiet for a few minutes. Look into yourself and see what it is that you really want to know, to do, to be or to become. What do you want to ask the cards? Their answer will not be glib or irrelevant if you play the game frankly, sincerely, and with an aspiration for guidance or wisdom.
Approach it with trust and expectancy. Handle the cards gently.
Mixing is not done as one shuffles a deck of ordinary playing cards, but by laying them all face down on the table and sliding them round and round so they are thoroughly turned about and mixed together. In the process touch each card lightly to establish a contact, so that it can call you.
The one-card game
The simplest and in many ways the most rewarding game is the one-card game. One person alone or several close friends choose one card each. What you find on your card will be a personal message, for you alone, perhaps an interpretation of your aspiration, or a promise of future achievement.
The word on the numbered edge of the card, above the drawing, is the name of the card, and it is your answer. It may startle you by its simplicity, its directness, or by the paradox it presents, and you may need to take it into your inner being for understanding of its significance. No one else needs to explain it to you; its meaning can unfold itself to you naturally and spontaneously. Remember that the word at the bottom is its seat or base in you, the word on the left is the path by which the gift on the right is attained. As you study the card day after day you will learn how to live it. It represents a power in you, and by following the way of this power you establish yourself on its foundation and become ready for its gift.
If the card does not speak to you directly, then from its number and name you can find its meaning in the list, “What to do, in short”.
For example, you want to overcome a certain difficulty and the card answering your quest is ‘Dwarf’ (49) or, briefly: Advance, take the next step. If you want to receive more complete advice, you have to notice which word of the card is at the top when you pick it up. If it is ‘Intelligence’, then the answer becomes more precise: You have to consider and decide with your intelligence, reasonably and logically, which step to take next.
Let us suppose now that the following day or week or month, after long reflection and before taking the next step, you want to know from a higher level if you are still right in your decision. The card you receive is ‘Bliss’ (6). Does that not tell you something deeply, fundamentally? You can now consult the list “What to do, in short” which explains: Realise your uniqueness and be joy. This second card was turned to show ‘Individuality’ at the top. That means that your choice should not depend on anyone else. As a unique being, you alone should not make that decision. It may also be a good opportunity to know more about who you are, and to rejoice.
Of course if you want to know yet more about the card which came as an answer to your search, you can read the detailed descriptions given for each card.
A more complex one-card game is used here in an interview with the game about itself.
- Q: From where do you come?
- A: Urania (the force fields of creative nature).
- Q: What do you bring to mankind?
- A: Mercury (their inner programme).
- Q: What else?
- A: Purity (that is, the purity of determination).
- Q: Where will you lead mankind?
- A: Health.
- Q: What do you understand by health?
- A: Truth (the health which comes through truth).
- Q: How can truth heal?
- A: Identification (that is, by identification with the truth).
- Q: Will men understand that?
- A: Miracle (this miracle is a possibility).
- Q: When will that miracle take place?
- A: Unexpected.
- Q: Do you have anything to add to this conversation?
- A: The One (Concentrate on the One, and everything else will be given to you).
You can see how rich even the one-card game can be. But many more insights are offered to you by...
The 5-card game
After concentrating on your question and mixing the cards carefully and gently, choose five of them.
Naturally your questions do not have to be limited to yourself or your own problems; you may ask about the powers surrounding someone familiar to you or about whatever concerns you on earth and in the universe.
Because our inner being is in much more intimate relationship with everything around us than is our waking consciousness, it is aware of many things which that surface consciousness, absorbed as it is in its little daily problems, habitually overlooks.
Let us suppose this question was yours:
- “How to face and overcome the difficulties I meet in my work?”
The first card you turn up is the one in the centre.
You find it to be ‘Humour’ (47), which tells you immediately that you should not take your problem too seriously. You realize by studying the card that humour depends on optimism, and optimism, always showing a serene attitude towards difficulties, usually meets with success.
This is a sufficient answer, but if you want to know more, to play a fuller game, you may use the other four cards, each one of which will help to explain the words around the four sides of your original card.
You might ask now what in your past has prepared you to receive your first card. For the answer you turn over your left-hand card:
‘Heroism’ (14). This is an attitude which has always helped mankind surmount the obstacles to the realisation of its great dreams, dreams which come down from the stars to take root here on earth.
Below your first ‘Humour’ card you find:
‘Equanimity’ (34), a seat or foundation from which you can really look at things and happenings with humour and choose the golden middle way.
Above it is the higher force you can count on as the source of your inspiration and strength:
‘Child’ (57). What characterizes the child archetype is his freedom from the past with its traditions and fixations, its old superstitions and convenient prejudices. His whole existence is a play in the house of freedom, the wondrous harmony of a being vividly alive as it discovers it universe.
Now if you ask, “What will I gain in the immediate future if I follow the advice of the cards?” the answer is given by:
‘Paradox’ (64), which lies at the right of the central card and completes the cross formation. ‘Paradox’ means that you will enter the tension field between fullness and emptiness in which the secret of the universe resides and which is not comprehensible to a rational understanding but is a happy playground for the child in you.
We can see just how important the position of a card can be, and how the interpretation changes with the place.
Past Present Future
These must confirm each other and can fulfill themselves and one another only if they are in the right relationship. If the significance of a card is not clear, you can complement it by drawing another card and placing it near the one to be clarified.
While interpreting the symbols of the different cards, you will discover that all the cards have different hierarchical values. The hierarchies we speak about have nothing to do with the old concepts of superiority and inferiority. They rather indicate a capacity to include, to encompass, the embrace. Card no. 1, for example, ‘One’, which is immanent in all things, can naturally not be surpassed, for it contains everything and is contained in everything. In the same way the great mothers or the great meditations, the cosmos or the sun, when they enter your game illuminate all the other cards and lift all significances to their own level.
Naturally the planets rule the signs of the zodiac, just as the higher chakras rule the lower. Truth implies word and heart, vitality and fire. You will discover these and many other perspectives while playing and studying the accompanying list of hierarchies.
The 7-card game
With the help of the cards you can make a full personality study, asking for separate advice for each level of consciousness. This is done by building the psychological house from the ground up, in a column. The first card at the bottom will tell you about the forces dominating the physical being; the second and third cards, above it, correspond to the lower and higher vital levels; the fourth card will tell you about the mental being; and finally you may go beyond mind inquiring about the psychic and spiritual entities rounding out the personality from above.
You may play the game also in an entirely impersonal way, choosing two, three or more cards, putting them side by side, and then discovering their inner relation and formulating an aphorism out of their top significances. Thus eternity itself will give you an aionogramme, ‘eternity hieroglyph’, which you may, or may not, translate into your own language.