Tree of Life Game Board


   In mystery school traditions, initiates are required to make their own tools. Since one of the main goals of this work is to help you learn the paths of the Tree of Life--and internalize the Tree in your aura--before you play the games you must draw or paint the Tree of Life on cardboard or wood, a process that in itself is very instructive. Then you can use the board for the games included here and for ritual invocation, using five spheres as points of a pentagram.
   If you are using regular Tarot cards, the board should be at least 24 inches wide and 36 inches long. If you plan to use miniature Tarot cards, you should strive to obtain a board of at least twenty inches wide by twenty-six inches long. Before you draw the Tree of Life on the board, however, you should practice drawing it at least once on regular paper, remembering the following:

*The Tree of Life has three pillars and ten visible spheres.
*The two side pillars each have three spheres.
*The middle pillar has four visible spheres (and a space for an unseen sphere known as Daath).
*The Tree of Life can also be pictured as three triangles, with one sphere at each point of all three triangles. The top triangle points upward, and the middle and bottom triangles point downwards. One sphere, which is not part of any triangle, stands alone at the bottom.

   If you donít have a compass and a protractor, a ruler and a glass or cup for drawing the circles should suffice. First, remembering that you will probably have to erase at some point, lightly draw the three pillars, with the outside pillars both the same length and the middle pillar longer on the top and bottom. Also, the spheres extend beyond the triangles, so leave enough room on both sides for the circles.
   Draw the triangles, which should all be the same size, with the triangle at the top pointing upwards and the other two pointing down. The right and left angles of each triangle should connect with the outside pillars and the middle angle of each triangle should connect with the middle pillar.
   Remember that the point of each triangle is the center of a sphere, so the triangle points on each of the side pillars should be an equal distance from each other.
   The middle pillar has space for five spheres, but only four are shown. The three bottom triangles on the middle pillar are equidistant. The unseen sphere is exactly halfway between the top sphere and the one below it, so initially measure for five spheres equidistant from each other on the middle sphere and do not draw in the second sphere from the top.
   Remember that the bottom sphere of the middle pillar is not part of any triangle.
   Paths connect each sphere with other nearby spheres with two exceptions: No visible path connects the fourth sphere with the third, and no path connects the second sphere with the fifth.
   When you have finished drawing the Tree with pencil, use a black marker to darken the lines. As you practice, strive for exactness. Any lines that are a little off can ruin the design.
   Drawing the Tree is a challenge, and you may need to try several times to get it right. Remember that learning anything new requires concentration and discipline as you develop new skills. All attempts to visualize the spatial relationships of the Tree will help you later on to visualize the living images in the Tarot cards, which is a crucial aspect of invocation. Just like everything else, the harder you try the better youíll get at it--even if it doesnít seem so at the beginning.
   Once you have created the game board, you need to scavenge for game tokens. These can be anything, buttons, coins, paperclips, plastic army men, nails, sunflower seeds--as long as you end up with two distinct sets of thirty-two items each.
   You can play the game by yourself, which requires only one deck of Tarot cards, but you can also play with another person or in teams, which requires two decks. Most people that I know who are interested in Tarot have more than one deck because Tarot can be used for different purposes. You will find that owning more than one deck is invaluable if you continue to mine all the possibilities of the Tarot. You will also find that the game board can also be used as an aid in ritual and divination. For instance, you can use the five top spheres of the Tree of Life to form a layout for the Ritual Pentagram Spread, with the top sphere, The Crown, or "Kether," as the apex of the Pentagram and the four spheres below it representing the four lower points of the pentagram. The more you use the game board, the more you will discover different uses for it.

Paths and Thrones.
Learn the basics of the Ritual Pentagram Spread.
The Experimental Range Spread.
The Hero's Journey.
Begin the journey.
Simple invocation.
Living Images.