I chuckled and smacked my lips as I read these words, written in sky-blue ink on an index card. I attempted a translation:
"When the bear gathers and tastes with pleasure the cherries from the Tree of Life, with delight, like a child."
We were playing my coincidence card game, during my last workshop in southern France, in a big, sunny room in a restored farm house in the Ardèche. In its simplest form, used as an impromptu oracle, the game works like this.
- Everyone in the group is asked to write something on one side of an index card. You write whatever comes to you: a memory, something you observed in the world around you, a summary of a dream, a thought that is in your mind.
- The cards are collected and turned into a deck. We are getting ready to play a card game. We have made a one-time deck that will now become a divination tool.
- Next, the players are asked to formulate a theme for guidance. To get this clear and simple, they are encouraged to fill in the blank in the following sentence: "I would like guidance on -----"
- Now the deck is shuffled and each player is invited to draw a card at random.
- When the players read what is written on their cards, they are invited to receive this as a response from the oracle to their questions. The message might be vague or ambiguous; that is how oracles stay in business long-term. If a player can't fathom the message, others might make some suggestions ("if it were my card").
When we play this game in my groups, I am often content to set a modest theme, like guidance on the week ahead, or on the workshop I am currently leading. My intention that day was simply, "I would like guidance on my next travels."
I smiled again, remembering the taste of the early-ripe cherries I had been plucking from a tree in front of the farm house before breakfast.
"I was watching you," laughed Emmanuelle, who identified herself as the author of the card I had drawn. "I saw the bear and the child in you."
Lovely encouragement for the travels before me. I promised to feed and play with the bear and the child in me.
For more on the coincidence card game, and other synchronicity games, please see The Three "Only" Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence and Imagination (New World Library)