The Birth of the Game of Transformation

A Modern I Ching

In this blog, Joy Drake, the originator of the Game of Transformation, shares how she gave birth to this incredible tool for self-discovery.

Joy Drake in the Planetary Game in 1970’s

The Beginning

When I was at university in the early 60’s I heard about the Theosophical Society. I was intrigued by the phrase, ‘Soul-Infused Personality’ that appeared in a series of works by Alice Bailey. This statement touched me, and I was eager to know what a soul-filled personality looked like. It sounded so lofty, unavailable, unattainable, unreachable. How could I know whether my personality was soul-infused?

On reflection I realize that such musings were probably a silent prayer, and I imagine that my inner being, always willing to help out, responded to my question by saying, ‘Okay, I will show you, and I will teach you so you can help other people learn this as well’. My inner life began to hum, and this question about soul infusion, along with my desire to be of service, turned out to be the prayer thread that has run through my life. Unknowingly I began a slow gradual process of spiritual awakening.

A turning point was when a serious illness intervened during which I had an  incandescent experience of indescribable grace. I felt as if I’d been swallowed by an all-consuming radiant love, and within this experience I let go and totally surrendered – I had nothing left to exchange, or to give, so I said take me – I’m yours – my life is yours – thy will be done – and I meant it. I made a promise there and then to be the love and to share the light that I had just been graced with and, unwittingly, I signed on as a spiritual alchemist and began the shift from belief to experience and embodiment. My life became the crucible for learning and transformation, and I signed on to serve in my unique fashion, and to nurture and honor my uniqueness along the way.

A Persistant Inner Nudge

This commitment set in motion events that led me to Findhorn. At that time there were no guest programs, no brochures, no online courses about the community. I didn’t know where I was going or what I was getting into. I was simply called within, soul light to soul light, drawing me home and widening my capacity to reclaim my deeply buried innocence.

I was a willing worker and held many jobs in the community including cleaning, crafts, personnel, core group, and internal education where I designed and facilitated orientation programs, support and study groups for new members and guests. I also explored counseling techniques that strengthened mind body spirit connections and released trapped emotions. Integrative processes which were not mainstream at that time. Gradually an idea for the Game came to me. It was difficult to get people’s time and support, so it never got off the ground. But the Game wouldn’t let me go. I loved working on it. It seemed to be the obvious next step. I gave it energy and attention, and it gave me energy right back. I felt happy working on the Game. I knew I was discovering new land and it felt exhilarating and exciting.

In the mid 1970’s I moved to Cluny Hill to run the personnel department, and then managed the dining room, which I loved. It epitomized for me the entire transformational process that we go through. Create as best as you can, as lovingly as you can, as carefully as you can – set up, clear up, wash up, then set up again, clear up again, wash up again rinse and repeat ad infinitum. It was a magnificent setting for mindful practice, for reuniting one’s daily mundane consciousness with that of your soul so that everything you do is informed and guided by your soul’s intent.

In this way the Game of Transformation began to gently ‘kick’ inside me and make its presence felt. At first it was a quiet, soft but insistent nudge, letting me know that something was about to be born. While working in the dining room, inspiration began pouring through me as fast as I could grab notebooks to record it. I simply followed the trail of energetic breadcrumbs, listening to snatches of conversations in community meetings and in the shop and at meals, and then going to my bedroom and writing them down. What for? I didn’t know. They simply held my interest, my attention and energized me.

Spiritual Craftwork

At the same time, leading inspirational Sanctuary entrance meditations for eighteen months gave me the seed points for the Game’s Insights and Setbacks, Blessing Cards, and Angel connections – looking at life, seeing all the challenges as lifting us up to a new perspective. I was riveted by the words I was hearing and by the intricate designs I was seeing; cutting and painting and writing was always healing, calming and uplifting. I loved my spiritual craftwork. I felt excited whenever I sat down to work on it. I didn’t mind that I didn’t know what I wanted the finished product to look like; I was simply enjoying the creative process. I ate, slept and dreamed about it.

All these experiences reinforced the love from my incandescent experience, and I began a gradual shift from Seeker to Light Bearer widening my heart and mind so that the Game could reflect ever more light, will and purpose. Paul Solomon, on a visit to Findhorn, told me: “This game you are creating is a tool of Initiation. Get schooling.” Peter Caddy offered his support, and I did extensive metaphysical study, weaving many esoteric subjects and personal processes together.

Also in the early years, and I mean years, there was no form, nothing to show for it. I wrote all the cards and colored in blessing during community meetings and I think people thought I was doodling. It was a combo of wordsmithing, which I love, and Celtic-like mandala patterns, which I always thought were fabulous. What will help us see clearly what is really going on and respond accordingly? No wonder that is an Insight card that has been in the deck since the beginning – it has been one of my living prayers.

So in the beginning I had no idea what I was doing except that I liked doing it; it gave me energy, and I felt happy working on the Game. I had no grand visions or special talents except my inner innocence and willingness to serve, which I see now were born out of my intention in hospital in my 20’s to tether my actions to soul purposes. It catalyzed my personal change process. I stopped arguing and tumbled, stumbled and fumbled forward in the ever-changing landscape and began to share my vision.

Extra-ordinary Transformation through Ordinary People

My soul flowered. Gradually I discovered a partnership with devas I had never dreamed of, limitations simply evaporated and there was no other way to go but forward. The way was natural, organic and obvious. I created a tool, a way of learning more about myself and helping others to do so also. I had no idea that my spiritual ‘hobby’ would become woven into the fabric of the Findhorn community and become the major thread in my life’s work and passion. But once I tethered my intention to my soul’s wisdom and said YES! to my work with the Game, my connection to the divine clicked in and has never gone away. Now it’s never not there; the Game Deva is embossed on my cells. It has danced with me faithfully and vice versa for almost 50 years, and I’m still learning new steps so I can bring a graceful, unifying presence wherever I go!

As I have learned to love the players in my Games, I’ve expanded the space in and around me, and my willingness to be my authentic self with all its accompanying risks and rewards has become the backdrop for the Game’s evolution. I grew the Game, but the Game also grew me. One of my ongoing intentions is to continue to make my life a clear and colourful stained-glass window. I want my soul to shine cleanly through my flaws and failings, my flows and strengths, my whole personality.

I want to build a life and leave a trail that illustrates the wonderfulness of love, and the living miracle of extra-ordinary transformation coming through ordinary people just like you and me as we show up, step up, stretch, reveal, trust, risk and dive into the unknown, allowing the currents of spirit to guide us into deep waters of life – trusting love to support us and maintain our built-in buoyancy and stability as we navigate the wild water rapids of these times, seeing ourselves as players standing on Blessing squares in a Really Big Game, viewing the events that happen through the eyes of Angels, following our intuitive, tangible, practical and mystical soul promptings, and having fun doing it.

Copyright © 2023 Joy Drake