Just when you thought that tarot has become rather ho-hum, along comes an innovation that makes it fun again. I love to play games - especially Boggle because I have never lost a game yet! (This is important to an admitted "sore loser" like myself.) So I was pretty excited to get a copy of Jude Alexander's "The Tarot Game". I wasn't sure what to expect but I will say for the record: this game rocks!
There are many ways that one could use this game: learning tarot, storytelling, meditation, problem solving, intuition building, fortune telling, personal sharing with loved ones or just plain fun.
The game comes in a handsome, sturdy box with a magnet closure. There are many pieces and parts to the game including:
Major Arcana question sheet
Reading sheets (Novice, Enthusiast, Adept)
36 Activity Cards
90 Blessing Coins
9 Game Pieces (all beautiful tumbled stones!)
It also includes a Keyword Tarot Deck for beginners but you can use your own deck insead. Everything is high quality and made from premium materials - from the box right down to the stone game pieces. The board is especially stunning - it is bright and colorful and features a winding snake as the path the playing pieces move along. Alexander put a lot of effort into making this game appealing to the eye and built to last.
The object of the game is to roll the dice, moving your piece along the snake and as you land on a segment, you act according to the rules provided on that space. For example: if you land on a Star, you pick a card from the activity card with the star on the back. Then you simply follow the instructions provided (ex: Shuffle your deck and draw a card. Spontaneously create a story inspired by the imagery on the card. Record this card on reading sheet.).
If you land on a Major Arcana, you will need to pull out the card that matches the space on which you've landed. You will then pick a number from 1 to 5 and the player on your right will ask you a question that corresponds with the number you have chosen on the Major Arcana question sheet. And then you answer this question as completely as you can. (Insights and ah-ha moments often come during this part!)
Land on an Infinity symbol and you can pretty much do whatever you feel like: stretch, dance, chill out, eat a snack, group hug, hand out a blessing coin - basically whatever you want to do. This imbues the game with creativity and invites playfulness.
The first time I played the game, it took a little time to set up and figure out the rules. But once I got the hang of it, I realized it was actually simple to set up and play along. All you need to do is divide your tarot deck into Major Arcana, Suits and Court cards and put them on the designated places (the Majors need to be in numerical order). Place the activity cards in their spots. Select your game piece and pick a reading sheet for each player (you must choose according to the player's experience level). Then, each player will choose 5 Blessing Coins (The Blessing Coins have words on them such as "fun", "loyalty", "gratitude"; these can be handed out throughout the game to each other - and this creates lots of bonding!). Next, one person will read the simple grounding meditation and then the game begins!
While playing with a group is fun, I also find this to be a lovely meditative tool for any questions you may be pondering or for those who want a fun way to explore the tarot. I can't say enough good about my experiences with this game. It's educational, inspirational, emotional, entertaining and thought provoking all at once. All ages can find great pleasure in The Tarot Game and I feel this also helps to give tarot a friendlier face to those who may be unfamiliar with it.
I heartily recommend this game and give it an enthusiastic 2 Swords Up! My Boggle has been officially retired to the back of the game closet in favor of The Tarot Game.
My days as a sore loser have also been retired as everyone who plays this game walks away a winner!