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Ouija Boards...Dangerous, or Not?

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Ouija Boards...Dangerous, or Not?

Postby Eretik » Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:27 pm

OUIJA BOARDS/IDEOMOTOR EFFECTS



Whether or not it is advisable to purchase or fashion a version of the Ouija Board in order to try it is a matter of great debate. The Ouija Board has its history firmly rooted among the popularisation of spirit communications and conversations with the dead. As a result, it could hardly fail to become shrouded in mystery and superstition. Some of the more popular myths and superstitions surrounding the board include:

1). Never play the board alone.

2). Should the planchette move to the four corners of the board then an evil spirit has been invoked.

3). Should the planchette fall from the board a spirit will get loose.

4). A Ouija Board will scream on attempts to burn it, and if it is heard the unfortunate listener will have a mere thirty six hours to live.

5). Never ask about the following: potential death dates (when might I die?), God or buried gold and treasure.

These are to name only a few. However even though the board has quite a formidable reputation as a tool to be avoided, it would appear that two distinct camps have arisen over the years. There are those who vehemently oppose and warn against the use of the Ouija Board and those that are arch sceptics. The latter or more sceptical tend to cite a variety of wholly interesting but very down to earth phenomena to explain away the seemingly inexplicable movements of the planchette. The former and more superstitious camp tend to use words like, demon, possession, evil spirits etc. Some even go as far as to quote passages from the bible. Regardless of opinion, passions about this subject tend to run exceptionally high.

During the 1930's an American researcher called J B Rhine took the whole area of psychical research into the laboratory. On doing this he managed to ascertain the existence of psychic ability, but this served only to widen the growing split between Spiritualism and the scientific study of psychic phenomena. This meant that for the sceptics the spirits were beginning to lose their grip. Demons, evil spirits and communication from beyond the grave, were now being replaced by terms like Ideomotor Effect or action, automatism theory, autosuggestion, facilitated communication, self delusion, telekinesis and telepathy.
The ideomotor action was a phrase coined by William Carpenter in 1882 and it was an umbrella term for a variety of 'involuntary or unconscious motor behaviour' which he used to explain away a wide variety of paranormal phenomena. This included the seemingly involuntary movements of dowsing rods, pendulums, pointers on ouija boards and tilting tables. Carpenter believed that muscular movement could in fact be initiated by the mind, independently of 'volition or emotions'. In other words a person may in fact be moving something, but even though it is them doing it, they are not actually consciously aware of the fact, thus giving rise to a feeling of paranormality. Automatism theory, autosuggestion, facilitated communication and self delusion are all variations of this theme, i.e. the individual is responsible for board movements, but for whatever reason is not aware of the fact. Telepathy and telekinesis have also been cited as possible candidates to help explain the ouija board, but conclusive proof of their existence also remains debatable.

Despite the apparently mundane psychological explanations for the workings of the ouija board, a recent poll conducted by the http://www.about.paranormal.com website revealed some interesting results. It was shown that sixty five percent of respondents still believed that the ouija board was a dangerous tool. Only forty one percent believed that the board was controlled by the users' subconscious, a staggering thirty seven percent believed that it was controlled by spirits and fourteen percent 'feared that it was under the influence of demonic spirits.' It is certainly hard to take a wholly sceptical approach when so many stories abound of previously unknown or unheard of information being revealed to users, that is verified at a later date. It is at this point that the ideomotor response falls somewhat short and once again the ouija board moves from the hands of the sceptics back into the realms of the unknown; and for many into the to the darker side of the paranormal.

One person who takes the warning of others about the dangers of the Ouija Board very seriously is Dr Jimmy Lowery. He has even gone as far as to publish a copyright free article proclaiming the dangers of opening up what he perceives as 'the playground of Satan'. In his article he provides biblical quotes from the New International Version. Some of the examples given include:

"Leviticus 19:31 Do not turn to mediums or seek out spirits, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God"

"Leviticus 20:6 I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spirits to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people."

"Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry."

Despite all of the warnings either biblical or superstitious there remains advocates of the Ouija Board. The author Keith Morgan argues in his book titled "How to Use a Ouija Board", that the Ouija Board:

"like the use of the Tarot for a method of divination that has been used for millennia, has been seen by many people to be a gateway to danger, this is an inaccurate superstition."

He goes on to suggest that the much maligned Ouija Board:

"Does not bring bad luck or harm, it is just an object with letters and numbers printed upon it, it is just an object with no power of its own, its use and any effect that occurs comes directly from you and our use of it, no spirits flow into the board, or the glass. No bogeyman sits on your shoulder to deceive you as regards any answers you get."

Morgan's account of the board is interesting in so far that his theory about the how the board works is a combination of both the ideomotor effect and a communication between the spirit world. Instead of the board's movements coming from the subconscious of the sitter he suggests that:

"The board acts as an indicator for your subconscious linking your physical body in with the world of spirit."

Using the board is a relatively simple affair, although its use is certainly not recommended if you are of a superstitious or nervous disposition.
In order to use the board it is recommended that you find someone who is willing to sit with you, usually at night. A quiet candlelit, atmospheric room can be conducive to a session. It is also thought useful to remove any distractions such as clicks, watches, radios, televisions etc. Arrange all of the persons present around a table within easy reach of the board or glass. Everyone should place their fingers lightly on the pointer or glass. One person who was previously selected to act as the medium for the session should then issue a simple question requiring only a yes or no answer. A frequently used question popularised by the movies is: "Is there anybody there?" It may be necessary to repeat the question a number of times before receiving any response. However once the glass or pointer moves ensure that someone is present to take notes. Should any vulgar, rude or obscene comments arise simply end the session by closing the board. It is not advisable to ask silly questions such as "When will I die?" if an answer of three months is indicated then this is highly likely to be false and cause a great deal of unnecessary anxiety. When the session is drawing to a close, slide the planchette to goodbye and remove all hands from the apparatus. Some literature advocates the use of elaborate cleansing rituals, both before and after a session, although this will have very little bearing upon whether or not the board actually works. These rituals are possibly more useful as reassurance to nervous sitters and those that are susceptible to greater levels of superstition. However it is still prudent to add a cautionary note. Quotations from the online Sceptic Dictionary, by a sceptical Robert T Carroll, point out that:

"Suzy Smith in 'Confessions of a Psychic' in 1971 claims that using a Ouija Board caused her to become mentally disturbed. In 'Thirty Years Among the Dead' (1924), American psychiatrist Dr Carl Wickland claims that using the Ouija Board 'resulted in such wild insanity that commitment to asylums was necessitated."

Indeed ghost researcher Dale Kaczmarek of the Ghost Research Society in his article 'Ouija, Not a Game' cites Rev Morris Cerullo, president of World Evangelism and author. 'The Black Side of Satan', Illinois, 1973:

"Many people have related to me weird tales of answers given by the Ouija Board. This and other occult games may seem intriguing but the implications are serious and not to be tampered with, it can lead to dangerous waters indeed".

The latest serious study of the Ouija, as an attempt to help solve some of the mystery surrounding the board, was documented in the Daily Mail, Friday 15th Aug 2003, and written by the medical correspondent Jenny Hope. The report found that suggestible men and women were much more likely to believe paranormal events had occurred even when they had not. The article stated that:

"Researchers found that one in three of those taking part in fake séances claimed to have seen a table levitate - even when it remained still. Around one in five believed they were witnessing paranormal phenomena when they saw candlesticks moved by trickery and balls lifted up into the air using hidden pales. The experiments by Dr Richard Wiseman, a leading investigator of the paranormal - confirmed that suggestible men and women were more likely to be fooled.

He found that believers in the paranormal had a greater tendency to report strange happenings than sceptics, who assumed they were being hoaxed. 'Suggestible people remained convinced even after they were told it was a fake séance,' he added. Dr Wiseman went on to say of his experiments, 'It shows eyewitness accounts are unreliable and we need better evidence."

I thought this was relevant as there seems to be a lot of interest in/fear of Ouija boards.If you look at the above article,there is much sense in it.Especially from Keith Morgan.
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Postby hedge* » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:56 am

Excellent post Eretik.

My take on the ouija board is similar in some respects to the ideomotor action, except people experienced enough to use it realise that they are not unconsciously causing the planchette to move but rather subconsciously guiding it.
As a divination tool a ouija board works in the same way as tarot, runes etc etc.
The sitter subconsciously guides the planchette.

No ghosts, no dead people, no demons.
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Postby Ithilgore » Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:31 pm

Merry meet all

I once attended a seance when I was very young, about 10 years of age. The seance was run by my aunt, and I was invited but only once. Present at the meeting was my aunt and three other elderly women. My aunt was a christian as was all the other women present. I was given a small glass of sherry at the start of it which I enjoyed.

On an old oak table, lettered cards were spread around in a large circle and a glass placed in the centre. We all put our fingers on the glass and my aunt began asking questions. She called quite a few spirits to the room, all of them relatives long gone. She asked the spirits for messages to those present in the room.

My view at the time was that these seances were just a way for my aunt to make some extra pennies. And that she did not really believe in what she was doing.

At one point I was asked to put a question to be answered, I told the glass to go to the ugliest person in the room (I was only ten). The glass spun around a few times then stopped at one of the old ladies, whose appearance would make Nora Battie look like a pin up girl. She said "its clearly wrong this time".

Towards the end of the seance I told the glass to destroy itself. The glass began to spin wildly, in circles. I lost my finger contact with the glass but the others still had contact with it. The glass then flew off the table crashing into the wall, falling onto the carpet. It did not break, but came close to breaking.

I remember the look on the face of my aunt, it was one of shock. She said that she felt something present within the circle, something that was not a human spirit. For the first time in my life I became aware that spirits do not have to be human or even sentient.

Although I have never taken part in a seance since then, in coven rituals we do often call spirits to the circle, but usually the none human ones.

Merry part and brightest blessings
Ithilgore (Philip) :D
But this was a night like no other
as the wood's wild eyes did stare
for this was the night of the witches
and the witches, were now there
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Postby Rob899 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:11 am

Great post Eretik :D

Some would say its a gateway to the other side, and so on.
But i dont believe that anything (becouse of the board) Can "cross over" or be "released" just by simply removing the pointer.

The first historical mention (according to wiki) Of anything resembeling an Ouija board is found in china around 1200 B.C a divination method called fuji. Something similar was also found in greece 540 B.C.where a mystic table, moving on wheels, moved towards symbols.

Now theres not any mention of anything crossing over or being dangerous. Infact, Some claim that the word "ouija" is an ancient egyptian word meaning "good luck".


Thats some of my thoughts on the subject.
:)
Robert
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Postby elicit » Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:32 pm

Sorry my modem been bust thats why me not been on till lately.

I'm hoping that someone will be able to answer a qestion that I've got.

I've been thinking of getting a black Ouija Board for a while now, but my carer goes to one of these spiritualists churchs.

One night, they came to her and asked if they could speak to her. A lot of what she said was true for carer and mentioned names, events etc. They asked her who has been thinking of getting a ouija board and she she her friend. They were not happy and said the spirits know a lot more than what we ever could and only bad will come of it. Needless to say I am now banned from having it in the house!!! :( :(

Anyone experienced anything - good or bad - lets hear it........

btw, if anyone has any doubts about genuiness of spiritualists, they told carer that the dog (who we had put to sleep 4 days before was fine, happy and loved her, even described her to a tee - medium was sh*t scared of dogs and Tara was a BIIIIIG german shepherd.
Never Let Your Past Rule Your Future
Be who you are not what others want to see
Every action has a reaction
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Postby dandilion heart » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:59 am

my advice when contacting the dead would just be tread with caution... you cannot always be sure that it is youre loved one thats speaking to you. a lot of spirits out there are "hungry" for contact... so they sometimes pretend to be the person you are trying to call. alot of them arent evil, just very mischevious! :lol:
take care, love and light..
pip
"Sometimes, Ive believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast" -Lewis Caroll
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Postby elicit » Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:15 am

so in a sense their just like a wood nymph then?,the ones ive seen or tried to talk to have been sad and very lonely and confussed,the last time i used one all the mirrors in the house i was in broke. its not that i don't think your telling the truth its just that when i use my runes or tarot cards or when i AP it feels like their are physical doors that open in frount of my eyes yet these spiritual people (i don't mean to disrespect any that are here).
the only place i do see spirts is were their has been mass death or were someone has been taken before their time.but these spriual chruchs im not sure about yet. forgive me its just i still dought these people as I've seen or herd of many fakes and have
Never Let Your Past Rule Your Future
Be who you are not what others want to see
Every action has a reaction
elicit
 
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Postby dandilion heart » Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:48 am

thats good :)
im sure ur careful then :wink:
"Sometimes, Ive believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast" -Lewis Caroll
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Postby elicit » Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:39 am

you have to be careful,you have to be in control and not the other way round other wise bad things can happen
Never Let Your Past Rule Your Future
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Postby idnami » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:50 pm

you have to be careful,you have to be in control and not the other way round other wise bad things can happen

Bad things most certainly can happen. I began experimenting with ouija, runes and tarot at the same time in my life. I was very young and inexperienced and failed to take what I now realize were the necessary precautions.
While I believe that it is certainly possible to use a ouija board safely and that for many it is a viable divination tool, I strongly disagree that works the same way as runes or tarot. To begin with, unlike tarot and runes which are drawn blind and thus "randomly" (not that I believe it is actually random but the conscious mind can have nothing at all to do with the choice) the letters and numbers are in full view of all participants. So if it is accessing a part of the subconscious it is a totally different part than tarot speaks to. I also feel that even if there is NO outside influence and it is "only" the subconscious, that doesn't necessarily make it safe. Some peoples subconscious is a damn scary place. It is quite possible for part of the subconscious to detach and operate from the outside. Splinters happen. People reject and displace parts of themselves all the time. Were Jekyll and Hyde the same person? Yes they were technically but doctor Jekyll had spent such a long time denying his dark side any expression that when he finally found away to separate that side of his mind from the side of himself that he found acceptable, the dark side gradually took over. By creating that separation he lost any control over that part of himself.
I am not going into detail about the truly terrifying events in my own life that were a direct result of using the ouija without sufficient knowledge and protection. The details are way too personal. I will say that it was the single scariest thing that has ever happened to me in 15 years of exploring magick and divination and that the psychologically and emotionally devastating effects continued for some time. It changed my life in ways I truly wish it had not, even now. I consider myself to be a healthy skeptic and fairly realistic about the limits of the spirit world, but my experience has led me to feel strongly that it is not like the tarot. It is like a gate. It is absolutely possible to wind up contacting and then releasing something you never expected or wanted. Whether that is a demon or a splintered part of your own mind it can cause great damage.
I have tried ouija twice since these events occurred, with a different partner each time. I have also been in the room without my hands on the planchette while others were using it once. On each occasion the board spelled out one word repeatedly and only that word. It was the last word my original board spelled out to me before I burned it.
I am not trying to be a sensationalist or a fearmonger here you guys. I am quite sure that some people use them with excellent results, but I happen to feel that tarot is way safer for general divination purposes. I have NEVER had anything happen with the tarot that made me feel even remotely unsafe, except direct warnings that I was in danger and forewarned is forearmed. the tarot does not play headgames, but whatever it is coming through the ouija, ghost demon, or subconscious self, is quite capable of messing up your head. Please everyone be cautious. That's all I am saying.
idnami
 

Postby boo » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:11 am

I have a hard time believing that any badness can come from a ouiji board. I don't believe the dead can be contacted on a daily basis, just out of the blue, because some human is calling them, using a board manufactured as a toy no less! (that was a bit of a joke. I know one can buy serious boards from witch shops, but why? I just don't get it.) The real power comes from within the person, so they don't need the board to contact spirits, or whatever they want to do. If that is the case, then any resulting badness is the result of the person doing it, not the board itself.
Like Tarot, since that example has been brought up before. They are just cards until used by someone. It's the intent that is important, not the instrument used.
So, if your intent is to conjour up some spirits who will be mean and cause you damage, I guess you will accomplish that in the end. No board can do that sort of thing for you.

PS...is it really spelled ouija? My bad, I thought it was ouiji.
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Postby Amazonite » Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:37 pm

boo wrote:I have a hard time believing that any badness can come from a ouiji board. I don't believe the dead can be contacted on a daily basis, just out of the blue, because some human is calling them, using a board manufactured as a toy no less! (that was a bit of a joke. I know one can buy serious boards from witch shops, but why? I just don't get it.) The real power comes from within the person, so they don't need the board to contact spirits, or whatever they want to do. If that is the case, then any resulting badness is the result of the person doing it, not the board itself.
Like Tarot, since that example has been brought up before. They are just cards until used by someone. It's the intent that is important, not the instrument used.
So, if your intent is to conjour up some spirits who will be mean and cause you damage, I guess you will accomplish that in the end. No board can do that sort of thing for you.

PS...is it really spelled ouija? My bad, I thought it was ouiji.


I guess you have a limited experience of ouija boards? Yes, I can see what you are saying about the people who use the instruments not just the instruments at work. However, there are cursed boards (cursed by previous owners etc) and only bad will come of even having it in the house let alone using it.

It is more to do with the connection the user has with the instrument and how they both connect with the spirit world.
Amazonite
 

Postby LorriePaige » Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:45 pm

I love the Ouija Board. Since I studied on it, I use it often. I have a bought one and recently made one of my own. Actually, it's best to make one of your own. I made mine with a raw piece of wood i found in the woods. I left it in its raw state. I just added the letters, numbers and drawings with a Sharpie.

I do correspond to spirits--very easy way of testing that. It's not the subconscious, at least not with me.

It's an excellent source of finding answers, and it's my favorite divination tool. I only use the board alone; I haven't found a friend to use it with. But using it alone works fine.
LorriePaige
 

Postby Ginger Faith! » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:46 pm

Lorrie,
anything bad happen with the ouija board?
Because i want to get on of my own, but. Ive been very sceptic of it.
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Postby LorriePaige » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:22 pm

Ginger Faith! wrote:Lorrie,
anything bad happen with the ouija board?
Because i want to get on of my own, but. Ive been very sceptic of it.


No, nothing bad. It helps to follow a few things:

1. Be strong in your spiritual faith and in your God/Goddess.

2. Pray for only positive energy/Spirits to come and correspond with you, before using the board. I would even avoid boards with creepy looking demons/darkness on them. My bought board is pink!

3. In your life in general--daily living--live in a positive way. I don't deal with the "dark side" of majick. I don't even watch entertainment about demons and being wickedly possessed. I think it helps to dwell only on the positive. What you think is what can come to you. If you're positive, that's what you will attract. If you're dwelling on the dark side, that is what you'll attract.
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