I love it when I get sent board games to review as I get to play! The Guided Journey to Self Mastery arrived in my post box just as we were about to take off to celebrate the Solstice at a Faerie and Elementals Festival in South Wales. We were due to stay with open-minded friends so the game got bundled into the car with everything else.
Our trial of the game was possibly influenced by prior consumption of a good meal and a glass of wine or two…so we were all feeling rather relaxed before we started. Opening the package my first impression was good. The board folds down neatly into quarter size for storage, which is handy as board games can be bulky, and everything fits into a snazzy purple envelope-style carrier fastened by a silky ribbon.
The board design itself is very attractive with symbolic pictures on many of the spaces. The main game play happens on a series of four circular paths, each inside the previous one. You start on the outer ring which represents the Physical Plane. On completion of this circuit you move into the next ring, the Emotional Plane. You then move into the Mental Plane and finally the Intuitive Plane before reaching the Centre at which point you receive an in depth Self Mastery card.
There are rather a lot of different packs of cards with different kinds of messages, all neatly done up with ribbons and colour coded. At first glance I feared that this would make the game complicated to set up and play but all becomes quite self-explanatory and clear.
If I were to make any criticisms it would be that the game pieces, the tumble stones, were of mediocre quality and of wildly different sizes- some really small & others much larger. It is a small point, but I felt it could be easily remedied by the manufacturers.
Essentially the game is designed to help you explore possibilities in your life and can be used alone as a divinatory tool. You first pose a question you’d like to explore. The quality of your question to a certain extent will influence the usefulness of the game. By roll of the die synchronicity is brought into play and you receive cards and messages which illuminate the question you posed at the start.
Each of the Planes has its own set of messages contained in booklets. These are especially divinatory in nature as they depend on the roll of the die and the picture symbol on the board. For example if you land on the picture of the butterfly and have thrown a 3 the message is:
You are coming out of a dark passage into the sunlight. Beautiful things await you. Don’t fritter away your money or your talents
Most of the decks of cards contain positive messages intended both to inspire and encourage you and give illumination for your question. For example each of the Gift cards has a special quality outlined as a gift to you. I found these to be quite poetic. For example:
This pause in your life is cleansing as it gives you time to think clearly and to realign. Stillness creates peace. Gift-Relaxation
I liked the Dream cards the most as they seemed to have the more thought provoking and searching questions. For some reason I drew three of these & had to look much more deeply into myself than the others. My partner felt it was a form of poetic justice- my students are always being challenged in this way by my teaching and so perhaps it really was my turn! Here’s an example Dream card:
It is in the blossoming of the flower that the nature of growth takes place. To stay too long wrapped in bud restricts and depletes. In what area do you need to unfold?
Although the game is full of cards with positive affirmations and encouraging statements it avoids being sickly sweet. There is a challenge pack of cards which urges you to look at the less sparkly side of your nature. It was good to see this as to dwell only on the positive denies much of our nature that needs to be examined. Here’s an example Challenge Card:
Criticism of others is only a reflection of how it is for you inside. Look at the shadow within, confront it, befriend it and integrate it.
At the end you receive a Spirit Light card and then a Self Mastery Card with a much longer message on it. These made sense to us, although just the Self Mastery card would have been plenty for me as there is so much information to absorb in these.
Mostly the game made sense and there were only a few cards or messages that seemed incongruous given the questions posed. You are meant to write down the messages you receive over the course of game play and date them for later reference. We girls were very obedient and ended up with a sheet of answers each, the boys were more rebellious and couldn’t be bothered to make notes. Does this say anything about the sexes I wonder or just our own partners? In any case they did get some answers.
This game isn’t meant to be competitive, but we found we were racing to the Centre a little in old-fashioned 'first past the post is the winner' style. Perhaps that is just ingrained conditioning from childhood, but we had a giggle and at one point were creased with laughter, which is therapeutic in itself. We did all finish the game in the end and the benefits were not really dependent on who got there first!
In the UK you can find the Guided Journey to Self Mastery here
Elsewhere go through the originator, Sally Gibb-Cummings's site Self Mastery Source