BloomO! The Soulful Flower Card Game

Start Date:29-Mar-2024

End Date:29-Mar-2024

Location:Society House


“Flowers speak to us when we know how to listen to them; it is a subtle and fragrant language.” - The Mother

On March 29, 2024, the BhāratShakti and Renaissance Journal team organised a special programme as part of their two-month-long exploration of the theme 'Divine in Nature' (see first issue on this theme). The programme featured “Bloom O! – The Soulful Flower Game”, inspired by the Mother's work on the spiritual significance of flowers.

The Mother has given spiritual names to nearly 898 flowers revealing their deepest aspiration. Flowers have been an intrinsic part of life in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Tara Jauhar has documented this experience extensively, including “The Game of Flowers” that the Mother took great interest in developing and also played regularly with the sadhaks and students at the Ashram to gently teach them the significance of each flower and facilitate how to naturally love flowers and understand them.

Inspired by all this beautiful history and with a passion to make this experience accessible to all, Jyoti Khare and Chetana Deorah from Auroville have created BloomO! – a Flower Card Game which has brought together Jyoti’s soulful paintings of flowers and Chetana’s deep design sensibilities.

On March 29th, the artist-designer duo were invited by the BhāratShakti team to present their work and also facilitate a demonstration of the game. About 60 people attended the 1.5-hour-long programme held at Sri Aurobindo Society. Chairman Shri Pradeep Narang also attended the programme and stayed for the entire duration of the game play.

A box of BloomO! contains two decks of 80 cards – one big and one small. The cards were designed by Chetana Deorah and illustrated with the soulful paintings of Jyoti Khare. For illustration purposes, a deck of 40 cards was used and the participants were divided into several groups where each group had an individual facilitator. These facilitators were given brief initial training by Chetana and Jyoti, prior to the start of the programme.

The bigger cards contained a painting of a certain flower and a soul quality or a spiritual message from the Mother.  The smaller cards contained the matching soul quality/message with the common and botanical names of the flowers that appeared in the picture of the bigger cards.

The basic idea was to distribute the bigger cards amongst the members of the group and to draw the matching small card from a stack. Once the big and small cards are matched, the person who had the matching pair would read the common and botanical name of the flower along with the spiritual message contained in the bigger card.

Once all the name cards and flower cards have been matched, all players look closely at their sets and draw one large flower that signifies a BloomO! moment for them – sharing why that particular card, that flower and its message resonates strongly with them.

It was an inspiring and learning experience for all the 60 participants who played the game with lot of joy and enthusiasm. It was also a wonderful experience to see how soul qualities and inspiring messages were conveyed to the participants through a joyful and group game.

After the game play, Jyoti Khare shared briefly about her artistic process and what working with flowers as a painter taught her. It was enlightening to hear from an artist for whom working with colours and brushes is an individual approach to sadhana.

This was followed by a brief sharing by Chetana Deorah who spoke about the design process of BloomO! She also shared some interesting insights on how design can also become a means to discover one’s deepest truth and potential, hence suggesting that all life and work can indeed be yoga!

The BloomO card game box and accompanying book with Jyoti’s paintings were made available for purchase at the venue through Aura Experience Store, and several participants procured the game at a discounted price.

The joyful afternoon was followed by tea and snacks, which allowed everyone to mingle.