Wind & Wings
Friday, August 29, 1997
© Copyright 1997 by NewHeavenNewEarth
of the extraordinary times in which we live."
A REMARKABLE GAME
By David Sunfellow
-- A Brief History
-- What Makes the Game Work
-- Playing the Game
-- Helpful Tips
-- A Special Note to Counselors
-- VQ Game Board
-- VQ Decks
-- VQ Beads & Dice
By Linda O'Keefe & Lance Botthof
HOW TO BUY A COPY OF THE GAME
By Linda O'Keefe & Lance Botthof
A REMARKABLE GAME
By David Sunfellow
All of us are familiar with inspirations that seem to come from nowhere: an offhanded
remark from a stranger that answers a prayer; a powerful dream that solves a
nagging problem; an intuition that leads us to the perfect job, house, or mate.
While most of these inspirations are meant for us and have little meaning for
others, every once and a while an inspiration strikes that seems to have a mind,
and will, of its own: Before we even realize what is happening, our inspiration
is finding its way from one friend to another, working its magic on everyone
This issue of WIND & WINGS is dedicated to an inspiration like this: a remarkable
game that made its first appearance over ten years ago in a small spiritual community
in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. I decided to dedicate an entire issue
of WIND & WINGS to this game because it has proven itself to be a powerful
tool for personal and planetary transformation.
What follows is a brief history of how this game came to be, as well as how to
make, play, and/or buy your own copy.
A BRIEF HISTORY
The idea for the game originated with Robert Foote, the co-founder of ASSOCIATIONS
OF THE LIGHT MORNING (A.L.M.), a small spiritual community in Virginia. Robert's
daughter, Lauren, wistfully picked up a deck of index cards with quotes from
a Seth/Jane Roberts book, shuffled it, and asked the several community members
to "pick a card, any card." They obliged and as each person read their
cards, they were all struck by how each card seemed to speak directly to the
person who pulled it -- and also address issues related to the group as a whole.
The following morning, an image of a game unfolded "as though it had a life
of its own" in Robert's mind. Significantly, Robert had been feeling dissatisfied
with his community's weekly study group. Concerned that the meeting had become
too cerebral, that a few people always seemed to claim the lion's share of the "talking
space", and that focusing primarily on one spiritual path wasn't able to
incorporate everyone's needs and orientations, Robert sensed that the game might
provide a remedy. Before long six decks of cards -- quotes from the Seth material,
pictures from old National Geographic magazines, miscellaneous quotes, a Tarot
deck, a "touch-feely" deck that included instructions for such things
as hand or face rubs with the person sitting next to you, and a notebook containing
A.L.M. Work Readings -- were created and the first version of the game, "The
Tuesday Night Game" was born. While this version of the game eventually
evolved to include many interesting nuances (see http://www.nhne.com/vqgroberthistory.html
for details), essentially those who played the game took turns throwing a die
to determine which deck to draw from -- and then spent time trying to understand
what the selected card might mean or, in the case of the touchy-feely deck, acting
on what they were told to do.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, my brother Wesley Ray
Wyatt, and his wife, Shara, visited the spiritual community I helped
co-found (THE NEW JERUSALEM
COMMUNITY). At the time, half of us were living in California, while the other
half of us (including me) were living in Sedona, Arizona. Wes and Shara visited
the California half and told them about "The Tuesday Night Game". Knowing
a good thing when they heard it, two members of our community, Bruce Fraser and
Robert Perry, decided to create a version of the game that our community could
play. The two of them put together a few original decks and also added a few
store-bought ones. Bruce also had the inspiration to use a twelve-side die, instead
of a six-sided die, and they began drawing from twelve decks, instead of six.
This new version of the game eventually became known as "The Guidance Game".
When news of the game reached me, I added more decks and created a game board.
Because we were using a 12-sided die, and because the number 12 is a universal
archetype (the 12 disciples of Christ, 12 Tribes of Israel, 12 signs of the Zodiac,
12 positions on the Medicine Wheel), I created a board with spaces for 12 decks.
Don Giacobbe, another long time friend and community member, also helped create
two fabulous decks that were an interesting mix of thought-provoking pictures
Although glorious, this version of the game was a hodge-podge of sorts. Some
decks were large, slippery and unwieldy, while others were small, and easy to
loose. It also took three boxes and one large map case to keep everything together.
In addition, since community members were located in various parts of Sedona
(by now the California half of the community had moved to Sedona), it was difficult
to keep track of the game (it roamed from house to house) and sometimes there
were scheduling problems -- different people wanted to play the game at the same
time with different groups of people.
All of these problems were finally resolved when we began talking about
who owned the game -- the four individuals who created the current
version (Bruce, Robert,
myself and Don), the NJ Community as a whole that helped play and refine it,
or Robert Foote and the A.L.M. Community who had received the original inspiration.
We started talking about who owned the game because many of us wanted to market
it. Some of us wanted our community to market it, while others of us wanted anyone
who was interested to be able to market their own versions. In the end, this
issue was settled by Robert Foote who said as far as he was concerned "anyone
should be allowed to use the idea any way they want to." Robert also felt, "Mass
marketing seems to present an inherent problem; namely, that much of the power
of the game comes from its indigenous nature. The quotes in the various decks,
the pictures, and the nature of the decks themselves, have all grown out of who
we are, just as I'm sure that the decks and cards that you use have grown out
of who you are. Any 'prefabricated' decks, no matter how much care and insight
and artistry went into their creation, would, it seems, lose a vitally important
feature that makes the game so numinous. They wouldn't be home grown and home
owned. Perhaps there's a way around this, but it's certainly a challenge."
With Robert Foote giving his blessings for the game to be used anyway anyone
wanted to, and with it becoming increasingly clear that any attempt to copyright
and mass produce the game would be frought with problems, the doors were opened
for each of us to do whatever we wanted to with the game.
A couple months before we resolved these issues, Lance Botthoff and
entered the picture. I introduced Lance and Linda to "The Guidance Game" at
an NHNE vision quest I was facilitating. Upon seeing the magical things that
could happen when a group of people played the game, Lance and Linda asked if
they could use it during one of their retreats (they regularly host men and women's
retreats in Sedona). I said, "Sure. Go for it. But remember the game is
something akin to the 'ark of the covenant' in the NJ Community."
The first time Lance and Linda borrowed the game, it was returned on time. The
next time, sick conferees, desperate airline schedules, and other factors conspired
to get the game back late -- which made us all realize we needed another copy.
So Lance and Linda, with my help and encouragement, decided to make their own
version. At the same time, I decided to make another copy for myself (so I could
play it and/or loan it out to whomever I wanted to without inciting a civil war
if something happened to it).
Lance and Linda called their new game, "Inner Guidance", and I called
mine, "The NHNE VisionQuest Game." Lance and Linda designed their game
so they could sell it to others who might be interested (you can find out how
to order a copy of their game at the end of this article). I designed my version
to encourage others to make their own. In the future there may be other versions
that are available for sale, as well as specific parts to the game (like decks,
beads and dice). But for now, Lance and Linda are the only ones selling a complete
WHAT MAKES THE GAME WORK
OK, now that we've got the game's history out of the way, let's talk about what
makes the game work.
First of all, the basic divination principles used in the game have been used
for centuries: the I-Ching, Tarot, Runes, they are all based on the idea that
our Higher Selves can speak to us by influencing us to draw a card, throw a coin,
or place our finger on a passage in a book that answers our question. In order
for this process to really work, though, we have to make a sincere effort to
set aside our preconceived ideas and honestly surrender to the Divine. We have
to be willing, in other words, to receive whatever answer is in our best interest
(and in the best interest of others), even if it is something we don't want to
Being open and receptive to Spirit has been a central part of all divination
tools. What makes this particular guidance tool different from other age-old
systems is that it embodies three principles that are unique to our particular
time period: It combines the strength, wisdom and power of multiple spiritual
paths (past ages stressed singular spiritual paths instead of synergetic composites);
it taps the power of a group of people (past ages emphasized the role of specially
chosen counselors and wise people, instead of groups of equals); and it encourages
people to infuse the game with deeper meanings by creating their own game decks
and rituals (past ages emphasized rote, routine and conformity rather than individual
initiative and inspiration).
PLAYING THE GAME
At present, there are four different versions of this game, all of which have
slight variations in the way they are played. I'm going to spend a little time
now describing how the NHNE VisionQuest version is played. You can use these
guidelines for your game or come up with an entirely new set of rules.
Since there are only 12 decks in the current version of "The NHNE VisionQuest
Game", all 12 decks are set out on the game board. It doesn't matter where
they are placed. (If you have more than 12 decks, you will need to figure out
a way to select which decks you are going to use -- we've sometimes let people
take turns picking the decks they liked until all 12 had been picked, or lined
all the decks up, given them each a number, and rolled the dice to decide which
decks were picked.)
Once the decks have been selected, everyone spends a few minutes praying and
meditating together. During this quiet time, the players do their best to open
their minds and hearts to God, one another, and the game they are about to share.
Then the game begins.
Sometimes we pick someone to go first, while other times we all draw a bead ("The
VisionQuest Game" is played with 13 beads instead of a 12-sided die) and
the person that picks the highest number goes first. Once we've determined who
goes first, the person on that person's left goes next.
When we first started playing "The Guidance Game", we understood that
it was helpful to spend a little time deeply thinking about our questions before
we asked them. We discovered, in other words, that questions that were asked
more carefully, and prayerfully, tended to produce more helpful answers than
questions that were asked quickly and haphazardly. With "The VisionQuest
Game", I've been encouraging people to probe even more deeply; to really
explore the ins and out of a given question before asking it. Not only has this
process helped people understand their problems/concerns more deeply, but in
some cases the exploration itself was all that was necessary. On one occasion,
the initial probing was so effective that we ended up not using the game at all!
More likely though, a person will get clear about what they need help with and
then ask a question. While we may sometimes decide to keep our question to ourselves,
it is almost always best to share it with everyone in the group. This helps the
group tune into the same question and prayerfully support us. Sharing questions
(and struggles) also helps build a feeling a group consciousness, which, in turns,
helps answers flow more easily.
After prayerfully asking our question aloud, we then choose a bead. Then we go
to the appropriate deck and feel our way through the cards until we come across
one that feels right for us to draw. After we've picked our card, we study it
for a moment and try to get a sense about what it might mean for us. We share
our thoughts with the rest of the group and then the rest of the group shares
any thoughts they might have with us. Almost always, someone in the group will
see something about our card that we've overlooked. Discussing the various ideas
that come up, is often very inspiring, especially when the meaning of the card
On the other hand, a person will sometimes draw a card that no one can make sense
of. In this case, the person who drew the card is usually encouraged to rephrase
their question, and draw again.
And so it goes. Everyone takes turns probing and asking questions, and supporting
one another in finding answers.
Significantly, strange things sometimes happen during the course of a game. An
important phone call might interrupt the game. Something may fall off the table.
Perhaps a song will catch someone's attention that is playing in the background.
Maybe a neighbor will yell something outside. Once the game begins, it is important
to pay attention to whatever signs and synchronistic events might unfold. You
may also notice that certain kinds of group themes, or messages begin to emerge
in the game itself and that specific decks end up being picked from again and
All game times tend to have their own cycles and at a certain point people will
start feeling like it is time to wrap things up. It's important to be sure that
everyone leaves the game with some practical ideas about how they can apply the
answers they've received. And then the game ends, like it began, with a few moments
Here are a few helpful tips to be sure the game runs smoothly, and produces helpful,
sometimes even life-changing, insights:
1. Choose a quiet place where you won't be interrupted to play the game.
2. Create a special environment for the game -- and for your friends; light candles,
play soft music, fill the air with aromatic oils.
3. Play the game with people who are really serious about getting answers, rather
than just curious about an unusual game.
4. Keep the group small (no more than 5 or 6 people). Small groups provide greater
intimacy and offer everyone more time to really explore their questions and answers.
5. If you get into time problems (which is less likely to happen with small groups
than large groups), you may find it helpful to allow each person a set amount
of time to ask and answer their questions. Personally, I have found time keeping
to be counterproductive though, as it tends to encourage a goal-oriented atmosphere
of rushing along, rather than a process-oriented atmosphere aimed at helping
people feel really loved, supported and understood.
6. It has been said "The first duty of love is to listen." And this
is especially true when playing the game. In order to foster a loving atmosphere,
it is very important to encourage everyone to "really" listen to one
another. Along with whatever insight and knowledge we bring to the game, our
greatest gift will always be helping each other feel loved and listened to. Indeed,
since all of us already possess all the answers we need deep down inside, the
only real task is to find a way to allow this inner wisdom (and strength) to
7. Bring something to write down the questions you ask, as well as the answers
you receive. Later, after the game is over and you are pondering the guidance
you received, you will often discover insights that everyone overlooked while
playing the game.
8. And, finally, before we show up to play the game, it is a good idea to spend
a little time envisioning the kind of atmosphere and results you would like to
achieve. Imagine everyone coming and receiving the help they need. See everyone,
including yourself, leaving the game feeling more empowered and hopeful about
A SPECIAL NOTE TO COUNSELORS
While "The VisionQuest Game" (and all earlier versions of the game)
have been primarily used as a tool to help individuals and/or groups sort things
out, it is also proving to be a surprisingly powerful tool for counseling situations.
Like a normal counseling session, an individual or couple begins by exploring
their particular hurts, needs, desires, concerns, and perspectives with a trusted
friend or counselor. If an impasse or particularly muddy area is reached, the
game can be used to help break the log jam.
VQ GAME BOARD
The game board used for "The VisionQuest Game" is the second canvass
game board I have made. The first one is still being used for "The Guidance
Game". I went to the local arts and crafts store and bought a large piece
of canvass that artists use for canvass paintings, and fabric paints (the kind
used to paint designs on tee-shirts). When I got the piece of canvass home, I
measured it and cut it into a circle measuring about 36 inches in diameter. I
wanted to make it big enough to fit 12 decks of cards on and small enough to
roll up into a large tubular map case. After I finished cutting the canvass into
a circle, I drew an outline of the design on it and then started painting. My
three daughters insisted on helping me with everything -- especially the painting.
Once the canvass has been painted, and the paint has thoroughly dried, it is
remarkably durable. You can roll it up with no problem and the paint won't peal
off. 12 small circles have been painted on this game board, each a different
color. The colored circles also have little white dots in the center of them
that are numbered. The colors and numbers match the beads (you will be reading
more about the beads in the "VQ Beads & Dice" section). You can
also visit "The VisionQuest Game" Web site and see a picture of this
game board: http://www.nhne.com/vqgboard.html
A game board is, of course, not necessary to play the game. You could simply
stack your game decks in a circle and number them so you know which deck to draw
from. A game board does, however, help organize the game and create a feeling
A picture of all the pieces that make up "The VisionQuest Game" also
appears on the VQ Game Web site: http://www.nhne.com/vqgdecks.html. If you look
carefully at this picture, you will see how I have put together the current "NHNE
VisionQuest Game". The upper left hand corner of the picture contains a
storage box that houses all the homemade decks. Each deck begins with blank,
white, 4 x 6 inch index cards. On one side of the card, I have written (or printed)
the name of a deck, while the other side of the card contains information and/or
pictures. For instance, the Headline Deck has "Headlines" written on
one side, while the other side has an interesting headline pasted on it. The
upper right hand corner of this picture contains the decks and information I
couldn't squeeze in the index card box. There is a three-ring binder that contains
quotes from the Pathwork Lectures of Eva Pierrakos, and also a collection a meaningful
short stories. Both the quotes from the lectures, and the stories are numbered.
When someone draws a card from the "Myths, Legends & Stories" Deck
with a number on it, the player simply flips open the notebook and reads the
story the number belongs to. The same thing with the Pathwork quotes. There is
a Medicine Wheel Book, a deck of Rune Cards, and a small I-Ching book sitting
on top of the notebook. Each of these also has decks in the game. I will explain
more about some of these in a minute. Here is a list of the decks I currently
use -- and a few that you can buy in your local bookstore:
This is one of my favorite decks. In order to make this deck, all you have to
do is go through newspapers and magazines looking for headlines that are especially
interesting. Be sure to pick out headlines that have clear messages. Then cut
them out and paste them on your deck of cards.
Myths, Legends & Stories Deck:
This is another one of my favorite decks. On some cards, you simply
write the title of famous myths, legends and stories. You might, for
instance, write "The
Trojan Horse," and "David and Goliath." Generally, it is a good
idea to stick with stories that are familiar to everyone, but, if you want to,
you can also sneak in stories that only you know (if you do sneak in obscure
stories, you will need to be sure you are playing the game so you can explain
what these stories mean). You may also come across some fabulous short stories
and want to stick them in a notebook. I have many stories like this. I have typed
them out, and numbered them. They are all stories that have very strong, clear
messages. I also have all of these stories on my computer, so I can print out
copies for people who happen to pick them.
Famous People Deck:
This is a deck of famous people. Whenever possible, I have tracked down pictures
and pasted them on the decks. Pictures aren't always easy to find though, so
many of these cards simply have the name of a famous person written on it.
This is a deck of quotes I have gathered from all over. Earlier versions of this
deck included quotes I took from old calendars. Kathleen Blake-Frankel helped
me gather many of the quotes in this deck and a complete copy of this deck is
presently available on the VQ Game Web site for people to use to create their
own quotables deck: http://www.nhne.com/vqgdeckquotables.html
Bible Quotes Deck:
This is a deck that James Gregory put together. A Bible lover, James went through
both the Old and New Testament and made a deck of many of the Bible's most interesting
and meaningful quotes. (A complete copy of this deck will be available on the
VQ Game Web site in the near future.)
This deck consists of thought-provoking pictures.
I found a great pocket-size I-Ching book that lists all 64 hexagrams, including
the change lines, and condenses the typically long commentary to short sentences.
This little pocket-size book is called "I Ching: Discover the Ancient Art
of Prophecy," by Lauren David Pedan. A regular size I-Ching book will also
work fine (although the commentary is quite a bit longer). I use this small book
by creating a deck of cards with all 64 hexagrams written on them. Once a person
has chosen this deck, and pulled a particular hexegram, I have another deck of
6 cards that they pull from to draw a change line.
Virtues & Vices Deck:
This is a deck of virtues and vices and their dictionary definitions. This deck
is presently available on the VQ Game Web site for people to use to create their
own quotables deck: http://www.nhne.com/vqgdeckvirtues.html
I don't have this deck in the current "VisionQuest Game", but I made
one for "The Guidance Game". It consists of cartoons I cut or photocopied
from OMNI and other magazines and newspapers. This was a fairly time-consuming
deck to create, since cartoons are often in short supply. A deck made out of
some of the FAR SIDE cartoons might be really good!
Spiritual Path Decks:
There are a growing number of inspirational decks published by various spiritual
teachers and organizations. "The VQ Game" contains decks I created
from the Pathwork lectures and the Abraham material. "The Guidance Game" includes
store-bought decks from the psychic readings of Edgar Cayce and "A Course
Finally, there are a growing number of fabulous cards appearing in bookstores
and catalogs these days. Here are a few I've seen and sometimes use:
-- Medicine Wheel Cards
-- Rune Decks and/or Stones
-- Findhorn Angel Cards
-- Tarot Decks
-- Angel Sayings Decks
-- Prosperity Affirmation Decks
-- Cards of Destiny Decks
-- Gems & Stones Decks
VQ BEADS & DICE
"The VisionQuest Game" is played with beads. I decided to use beads,
instead of dice, because I liked the feeling of rolling wooden beads in my hand
before picking one. Beads seem more soothing than dice, and also encourage a
little more thoughtfulness before choosing one (dice make some people feel like
they are in Las Vegas or playing a children's game).
The beads I use are wooden beads that come with a 1/4 inch hole drilled through
them. I bought a 1/4 inch dowel rod, cut it up into pieces that would fit exactly
in the bead holes, painted them the same color as the 12 circles on the game
board, shoved them (and in some cases, glued them) into their holes, and finally
stuck a number on one end. When you pick up one of these little beads, one end
is colored, and the other end is colored with a number stuck on it. All the circles
on the game board are colored and numbered, too. At first, I didn't want to use
numbers. I hoped that the colors would be easy to match. But they weren't, especially
when the room is darkened, so I had to resort to numbers.
In all, there are 13 beads: 12 beads match the colors and numbers on
board, while the 13th bead is "The Hopping Stone Bead". When a person
draws this bead they can pick whatever deck they want to.
Dice, obviously, are a lot easier to come up with than handmade beads.
The original "Tuesday
Night Game" required one 6-sided die to choose one of the original six decks.
I encourage you to use 12 decks though (because you have more options for answers).
If you do decide to use 12 decks, you can use either a 12-sided die to play with,
or a pair of sixes. Normally, you can't roll a one using a pair of sixes. We
found a way around this by making doubles a one.
By Linda O'Keefe & Lance Botthof
My experiences with the game have been from the perspectives of both participant
and facilitator. In an enlightening weekend of friendship and vision quest, I
asked the ever provocative question, "Where will the following of my purpose
take me?" The response was a photo of a man flying among the stars with
the headline "Reach for the Stars." The image was so powerful for me
that I could not return it to the game, but kept it under my pillow for months!
As a facilitator of a women's retreat, I got to see the game "in action" with
participants open to the powerful guidance that the combination of their intuition
and the game provided. The first woman asked her question, picked her card, and
was so moved that the group needed to help her process the experience for the
next hour. Another participant asked what the next stop in her growth would be
and she drew a picture of a very pregnant woman, lovingly caressing her rounded
abdomen. She was so shocked that this response "tapped into" her secret
yearning for a child. She hadn't even yet spoken to her husband about it. Interestingly
enough, after group input, it occurred to her that the picture may symbolize
her caring for her "inner child" as opposed to a physical one. That
was a whole new level of realization.
My first exposure to the game was at the same vision quest gathering attended
by many of the NewHeavenNewEarth "family." My question centered around
how I would best fulfill my purpose after our move from Sedona to Tucson. I was,
at the time, struggling with returning to where my ex-wife lived with my two
sons and all that goes along with blending children from two families. The card
I chose simply said, "stand aside and watch self pass by." This was
a wonderful help to me in realizing that I couldn't control the outcome of how
this new situation was to unfold. We have since come to create a very happy home
in Tucson with the result of Linda's children and mine living under the same
roof. I hope I have learned to stay out of trying to control events that are
really out of my control.
I later introduced "Inner Guidance," the version of the game
that my wife and I created, to a group of men in a men's group that
I facilitate. One
of the participants wanted some assurance that he could take the steps he needed
to in order for his career to become more fulfilling. He chose a card showing
the Statue of Liberty showered in fireworks and proceeded to tell us that this
is how he has always seen himself creating his physical reality (strong, explosive
and with the single-minded purpose that the graceful lady depicts).
We have also used the game as an extended part of our family meetings. The level
of intimacy and sharing that emerges between the children has been very moving
to witness. I would highly recommend this exercise for families who are looking
to deepen their relationships with each other and promote meaningful conversation
HOW TO BUY A COPY OF THE GAME
By Linda O'Keefe & Lance Botthof
As mentioned earlier, if you are interested in ordering a copy of the game, Lance
and Linda are the only ones presently producing complete copies. You can write
them for more details at "firstname.lastname@example.org" and/or swing by the
VQ Game Web site, which contains a fuller description of their particular version:
EDITOR & PUBLISHER:
Linda O'Keefe & Lance Botthof
MISSION STATEMENT, CREDITS & CONTACT INFORMATION
mission of NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE) is to answer humankind's oldest,
most perplexing questions: Who are we? Where are we from? What is
the origin and purpose of life? Instead of relying on ancient or
contemporary wisdom, or the knowledge of isolated experts, we are
building a global network of seekers from all walks of life, from
all parts of the world, lay people and professionals alike, that
can pool talents, experience, and resources to unravel life's great
also believe that our planet is passing through a time of profound
change and are seeking to create a global community of like-minded
people that can safely pass through whatever changes may come our
way and help give birth to a new way of life on our planet.
a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
P.O. Box 2242
Sedona, AZ USA 86339
NHNE Website: http://www.nhne.com/
Phone: (928) 282-6120
Fax: (815) 346-1492
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