The modern Ouija board
developed from the 19th Century with the rise in popularity of
mediumship and spiritualism. Spectators would be entertained by mediums
who would appear to communicate with the dead by either entering a
trance-like state or by using certain specialist apparatus.
method of communicating with the spirit world was the use of a round
table with the alphabet printed on it and a piece of polished wood.
Sitters would ask questions and place their fingers on the wood which
would glide from letter to letter to spell out answers. This method was
particularly efficient as not only were communications from spirit both
quick and accurate, but also provided the possibility for anyone to
make contact with the dead without the need of mediumship skills or the
service of a professional spiritualist.
Businesses saw the
potential for such items and manufacturing evolved from the mass
productions of planchettes to the standard Ouija boards we know today.
The Ouija Board and its use:
modern board consists of a material such as wood, hardboard or
cardboard. The alphabet is printed across it, as well as numbers 0-9
and the words "yes," "no" and "goodbye." The board also includes a
planchette which is usually a smooth, heart shaped object.
board is used by placing it on an even surface with all the
participants sitting around it. The ideal number of participants is
three to four and it is not recommended that just one person use the
Ouija board. The planchette is placed in the middle of the board and
each participant puts a finger on the planchette. Questions should then
be directed at the board and the planchette may move and give a
response. The planchette may move very slowly or the letters spelt out
may not make any sense. When the session is finished, the planchette is
moved to "goodbye".
How the Ouija Board Works:
There are a number of theories as to how the Ouija board works:
Spiritualists believe that the Ouija board provides spirits with a way
to communicate. Spirit is channelled through the board and uses the
collective energies of the participants to push the planchette to spell
out its communications.
- Parapsychologists believe that the
collective subconsciousness of the Ouija board participants is what
effectively moves the planchette. Participants are tapping into their
subconscious and the planchette is moving without there conscious
- Sceptics and non believers of course argue that
there is no paranormal activity involved and that one or more of the
participant purposely moves the planchette.
Good v. Evil:
do not have black or white answer to whether a Ouija board is a good
tool for mediumship or the tool of the Devil as some would claim! I can
only judge from past experience and stories told to me by others.
Personally, I have never had a bad experience with a Ouija board and I
look upon this tool as you would any other.
If someone is killed
in a car accident, you would not blame the car and call it evil, you
would blame the recklessness of the person driving the car. The same
can be said about a Ouija board. Silliness and irresponsibleness will
only attract malevolent spirits. Saying that, I am incredibly cautious
if using a board and make sure I use cleansing and protection rituals
before and during any Ouija sessions. I also work closely with my
spirit guide to ensure further protection.
In my seven years of
retailing experience, I have never recommended to anyone to use a board
as I believe this is a personal choice and inevitably, your
responsibility. Only you can decide whether you are fully prepared to
safely use a Ouija board and if you have any doubts at all about using
the Ouija board you shouldn't.
With over seven years experience, I have been running the online store Spirit Adventures.co.uk which specializes in new age supplies and Witchcraft & Wiccan items. Orders can be made online at http://www.spiritadventures.co.uk. The store is based in Kent (UK).