Reviewing The ‘Apocalypse of John’ Cards Set

A set of 64 cards based on the Book of Revelation – the Apocalypse of John – with 64 cards, 2 Handbooks, a Games Booklet.

Produced by Spiritual Wisdom with artwork by G Roland Smith

The 64 cards are 24 full colour illustrations of events and visions in the Apocalypse and 40 images of single images to be used in the process of taking part.

The invitation given is to “enter the exciting world of the biblical Apocalypse; discover the mysteries revealed in the breaking open of the seals of the Book of Life; ride the winds of change with the four horsemen and rejoice in the collapse of the evil city Babylon; be amazed at how John’s Apocalypse mirrors the more disturbing events in your inner life, while enabling you to understand their purpose; feel the welcoming light of the Holy City and take in the healing energies of the River and Tree of Life.”

The 24 coloured Illustrations (15x10cm) each have a personalised spiritual theme and paragraph about it on the reverse side. The 40 image cards, playing card size, have a graphic, title, and a reference from Revelation. These are identically colour illustrated on the back.

Handbook One introduces the Cards, and how the Deck follows a pattern in John’s visions. After brief spiritual reflections inspired by the major cards it leads the reader into ways of getting to know the Biblical Apocalypse.

Handbook Two suggests ways of working with the Cards for personal spiritual growth, including a synopsis of each card, its context in the Apocalypse, its spiritual significance and personal application.

The Card Games booklet contains the ‘rules’ for eight card games for 2-5 players, and one game of Patience using The Throne Scene. These games can be played for fun, and used as a means of becoming familiar with the structure and pattern of the Card Deck.

Each game covers a simple spiritual dynamic indicated at the start. The invitation is to enjoy playing the games, and of finding your interest in the Apocalypse being stimulated by them.

The various games are outlined and very clearly explained from start to finish, along with variations depending on the number of players.

In reviewing this boxed set for The New Age, I must first congratulate the people involved in producing this, a process which has been taking place now for many years. This card set is only one of several outcomes, another one being full-sized mounted art illustrations of the 24 scenes done by Roland Smith along with spiritual commentary.

The Card Set is professionally produced and I like the two levels it sets out to provide – knowledge of what is in the book of Revelation, and knowledge about what these mean spiritually. The point of the several games goes beyond this level of ‘knowing’ and aims to get those playing to discover the Apocalypse’s relevance to and within the individual person.

The games look moderately simple to play and are based for the most part on card distribution and then seeing what you have been given. I have not yet played any of the games so I can’t yet describe their effect on my spiritual state, but I can imagine that they bring up new insights and awarenesses of both our experience of things in us that may be selfish or holding us back along with ways in which the Lord’s light and love can lead us to find help and transformation.

The production is published under the copyright of the General Conference of the New Church in Britain.

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