The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Friday, December 31, 2010

Ouija Boards/ Oracle Boards/ Speaking boards

 Good Evening,

I was watching a documentary the other night concerning the Catholic Church and their history and perceptions in regards to exorcisms.  I found it interesting that they teach that you should not use Ouija boards and other oracle or speaking boards. They warn against them as if press board and paint can be inherently evil.

Actually, it surprises me how many magickally inclined people are unsure or afraid of using oracle boards.  These boards are flat, painted with letters and or symbols and use a 'planchette' or movable indicator which points to the word or letter. The first recorded history of using a planchette to allow spirits to write messages dates to 12th century China. Also called mediumistic spirit writing, a planchette was used with a pencil or lead attached and the user would hold his hands on the planchette and questions were asked. The planchette would move, seemingly of its own accord and write out messages. There have been examples of such spirit writing from ancient India, Greece, Rome and medieval Europe.

The placement of the planchette on a board with letters and numerals for the spirits to spell out answers, rather than a lead attached actually writing the answers,  was first invented by E.J. Bond who applied for and received a patent from the United States patent office on February 10, 1891 Patent number 446,054.  As he was the one who received the patent, regardless of claims made by others, this author regards Mr. Bond as the inventor and first person to commercially introduce this parlor game.   The talking board of Mr. Bond was considered harmless and simple entertainment when it was patented as a 'toy or game' as designated by the U.S. patent office, and wasn't considered for its occult properties until World War I.

Today the patent and all rights are owned by Parker Brothers,  a board game manufacturer, who interestingly enough, sell the board with no information included on its use.  Now that you have a bit of the background lets talk of the reputation this game has received over the years.

Many people it seems have scary, incredible and fantastic examples of the power of the Ouija board. Yes, I do believe it can be a medium's tool for communication with those who have passed over but I do not believe it can be evil, or a portal or in anyway allow evil entities to come in and take possession of a person, etc. etc. I know, I know!! And you might rightfully say, "Well, that doesn't make for a good Hollywood movie"!!  No, it doesn't.

Well, the Ouija board's reputation started when teenagers started to use this game to communicate with spirits, and the Catholic church along with other Christian organizations, fearing that young people might continue on a path of self discovery and knowledge, proclaimed the board to be evil. Much as the church has dealt with all in its path, that it is not able to control with typical bible verses and parables, it in turn gives such things great power by declaring them capable of all sorts of evil and dark abilities.

If one can communicate with spirits on the other side, why could we not learn to communicate directly with God/Goddess. Well, that is the greatest fear of the church, in this authors humble opinion. I mean really, if we can communicate directly with God, why would we need the priests, rabbi's and ministers except for their real role in offering human comfort and aid?  They would no longer be considered a conduit to the divine. No everyone would be able to access it. That is what the witch knows. We not only can touch the divine, we are 'of the divine'.

But nonetheless the talking boards have received incredible negative publicity.  I've met magickal people who have used the example of Edgar Cayce, a noted channeller and medium of the last century, who spoke out publicly against using the Ouija board saying it would bring evil spirits and harm to those who used it.  What most people, even in the magickal world, don't realize is Edgar Cayce was a devout Christian and prided himself on having read the bible, cover to cover, once for every year he had been alive. Without question he was a medium and had very enhanced psychic abilities but he was also completely Christian and believed all the teachings of the church. I'm sorry dear, but I have a hard time using as evidence the beliefs of someone whose basic fundamental understanding is very different from mine and the world as it really is, not as the church wants us to believe it is.

Most people I have spoken with who feel spirit boards are dangerous or can possibly bring harm to you, are also people who believe in spirit guides, angels and other positive, protective spirits which are always around us. Think about this logically. If we have protective, loving spirits surrounding us, like a dear departed grandmother or parent why would the use of a simple piece of press board, mass produced in a factory be able to wreak such havoc in someones life?

I personally have used oracle boards for years and nothing terrible or evil has emanated from such use. Nor am I foolish enough to attribute the next thing that goes awry in my life to having just used some form of divination. Oh my goodness! Doing readings with tarot cards, crystal balls and runes, and occasionally using the oracle board one would think my life would be in utter shambles!! It's not. When things happen I also don't blame them on something as innocuous as a form of divination. Remember, there are no victims in the world of the witch. 

The talking/ oracle boards whether Ouija or any of the others available today are fun to use and help you become better aware of the energies around you.  When working with any divination system that utilizes the spirit energies around us, be sure to follow a few simple rules.  Before you start, light a candle. A white candle is appropriate. Ask, aloud, for any spirits of the highest, most loving energies to come and work with you. If you have a loved one that has passed on, ask that individual to come and sit with you for a while and speak to you through the board.  Be aware of asking questions that you know the answers to. Spirits do not like to play games. Don't test your spirit either. Asking if your a girl, or other question when you obviously know the answer will cause the planchette to either not move or to give a confusing answer. Spirits can become unwilling to work with you if you treat them with suspicion and doubt.

Also, and I found this out during a seance we conducted one Samhain at Enchantments, if working with others in the same room, ask one question and have everyone be quiet while the board answers.  A quietly voiced question, or comment from other conversations in the room will be heard and answered making the answer confusing to the person who asked the original question.

Of course, if you really do have a fear inside of using this device, then don't. But realize its only because of your own fears and please don't fall into the group mentality that has perpetrated over the years. Trust me, the weirdness and unusual things that happen day to day would happen regardless of the use of a spirit board. By the way the legend that the Ouija board was involved with the Exorcist story and the Hollywood version has been dis-proven as false. But, it makes for a great story and the movie was pretty cool, actually one of my favorites!

In the Life and Times of this New England Witch I find the gentle and wondrous magicks of this life so much more gratifying and fulfilling and you will too if you stop looking for the unbelievable and fantastical  and really see the magickal in the world and universe around us.


Have a blessed, safe and healthy New Year's Eve,

Peace and Happiness





© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

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1 comment:

  1. I have used the board with some success over the years and found that of my three children one is better at it than the others. Interestingly it is the one who was once told, while still very young, that he knows all this he just needs to remember by a stranger in a book store. He also did very well at the "I am thinking of a color" game.
    My husband on the other hand, also a pagan, swears he has stories of people becoming possessed after using the board. I just roll my eyes.

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