Night Forest is a ritual game where you and your friends play memories on a journey of self-discovery; moving through the forest by candlelight and forming new connections with each encounter.
Night Forest is a tool that brings people together through the interplay of histories and present experiences, weaving a beautiful web. As we play we cultivate skills of listening, sharing and creating safe community.
Night Forest is played by a group of 5 or more more people, and can be played anywhere with enough room for your group to spread out and wander; such as a park, the woods, a field, or even a large parking lot.
To play, each player receives a candle, a book of matches, and a card. The game begins as each player wanders to a spot where they find themselves alone. At this time, each player lights their candle, looks at their card, and allows the word and image to evoke a memory. The memory can be real or imagined, and may change and grow as you continue to wander and move through space.
When you come into contact with another player wandering with their card, you come together to take turns sharing your memories. While each player shares, the other witnesses in silence. When the sharing is finished, players exchange cards.
The process of wandering and sharing memories is repeated, until eventually you receive a card that you’ve seen before. When this happens, you blow out our candle and become a forgotten memory. Once forgotten, you follow the memories that remain, witnessing in silence outside of their circle of light.
Mo Golden is an artist, intercultural trainer, and curriculum designer. She holds a certification in Person-Centered Expressive Arts Therapy from PCETI Argentina and an M.A. in Education & Human Development from The George Washington University. She is the creator of Art Shul and co-founder of SABI Learning.
Ross Cowman is the award-winning designer of Fall of Magic, Life on Mars, and Serpent’s Tooth. He is the creative director and general manager of Heart of the Deernicorn in Olympia, Washington.