Ouija boards are a fairly common symbol of occult magic, to the point that those even fleetingly familiar with the subject will recognize them right away. Many fear them and refuse to keep them in their homes. Others see them as a silly novelty. But what are they, really?
Ouija boards rely on a technique called "automatic writing," in which the participant forms a sentence from the letters, numbers and simple statements on the board by telepathically guiding a planchette, or heart-shaped piece of wood.
The earliest record we have of automatic writing as an occult practice comes from China in 1100 AD, where it was known as "fuji" (or "planchette writing.") It was banned in China during the Qing Dynasty, but was used in Greece, Rome, India and medieval Europe to communicate with the deceased.
Today, most people recognize ouija boards as a trademarked product of Hasbro Inc., who started producing them en-masse alongside their other board games during the early nineteenth century. (It's during this time that they took on the name "ouija"; until then, they were referred to as simply "planchettes.") These are the boards most commonly used and sold today.
In occult magic, ouija boards are an open portal inviting anyone (or anything) listening to respond, and herein lies their danger - ANYTHING can respond, whether it's the spirit you've requested or not. While most other-worldly beings are content to ignore and be ignored by the physical plane, some are constantly in search of open portals, and they are rarely benignly motivated. Due to the simplistic communication possible via a ouija board (complex sentences and thoughts take a long time to articulate), deception on the part of the spirit is VERY easy.
However, before you can determine what you're talking to, you must be sure you're being spoken to at all.
To conduct a thorough ouija board discussion, you should be in a room by yourself (or with your participants seated in a circle around the board). All of the lights must be turned off, with the exception of candlelight. White candles are preferred.
Once you have the lights out, your candles lit, your board presented and your planchette placed at the center of the board, you have only to request the spirit's presence and await a reply.
Spirits who have established a strong enough connection to the physical plane will be able to manipulate the planchette to speak with you. Some spirits lack the 'presence' to manipulate objects on the physical plane in such an obvious way, and may attempt to communicate through other means. These include, but are not limited to:
- wildly flickering candlelight
- knocks on doors or walls
- objects being displaced, knocked over, or even thrown across rooms
- touches from unknown sources; a stroke on the arm or cheek, a cold shudder down the spine, etc.
- the sensation of being 'watched' by an unseen observer
Especially perceptive mediums may hear whispers, mutters or echoes, or may even see the spirit physically manifest somewhere in the room. Usually they take the form of amorphous balls of light, but particularly fortunate mediums report having seen full-body apparitions.
If it's your first time, consider yourself grateful your candles were disturbed!
Now that you know you're being spoken to, it's time to discern to whom you are speaking. Introduce yourself and anyone else who may be present. Announce your intentions clearly. Once you have done so, you should begin with simple yes or no questions until the psychic bond is strong enough to facilitate deeper inquiries.
The course of the conversation can help determine who's on the other end of the line. If the being you are speaking to:
- talks in riddles
- is stand-offish, pushy or rude
- propositions you; makes deals, bets, offers, etc.
- avoids giving you its name
- makes you feel unsafe, intruded upon, violated
... they probably mean you harm.
If you suspect this is the case, cease communication immediately. Sprinkle some salt over the board to purify the latent energy, then sweep the remnants off with a besom (the witch's term for 'broom.') Bury the ouija board and the candle remainder in nature where it won't be found, and never dig it up or seek it out again. The malicious spirit, having successfully contacted you, now has your 'scent' - so to speak - and finding you again is made all the easier if you use the same board.
If, however, you'd like to take your chances with a second go, sprinkle the salt, wrap the board in a white cloth that's been properly consecrated, and put it somewhere secret and safe for no less than three days (or a full lunar cycle, if you're really thorough).
Some especially strong malicious spirits need only to talk to you once before they can pass over at will. If you suspect a spirit you spoke to via a ouija board has overstayed their welcome, you should burn sage (in its dried form or in incense form - whichever works best for you) in your home twice a day; sage has powerful cleansing and purgative qualities that malicious spirits despise. A consecrated bottle of sage (combined with other herbs to ward off negativity, such as fennel, garlic, rosemary or barley) can retain a protective ward over your home for long periods of time, ensuring anything that came through the portal won't want to return.
Used properly, ouija boards can help individuals get in touch with spirits in need of assistance before passing over, thereby lifting meddlesome 'hauntings' or 'visitations' that, while benign, are disruptive and frightening to the still-living residents of a home. Used improperly, ouija boards can invite profound negativity, some of which can continue manifesting after just one successful communication attempt for years following.
Good luck, and blessed be.