Every couple of months I get this question “are Ouija boards dangerous?”. The answer, in short, is no. Not any more than any other tool at least. Then I get a whole slue of questions on how to use a Ouija board safely or properly. If you’ve ever asked those questions yourself, this is the post for you.
I use Ouija boards on occasion. I find they’re tools and that they are no more dangerous than anything else and like anything else they may become dangerous when used improperly or foolishly.
Ouija boards were originally designed as a toy, a game. (Not that something being a game originally means anything. Tarot it based off the game tarrochi after all.) And I find that the excessive fear of Ouija comes from the media or passed along stories rather than first hand accounts. And I do mean fear. People are afraid of these things which seems silly as most buy them in the toy section of Wal-Mart. I’ve come into possession of several Ouija boards simply by the previous owners being too scared of the boards and worried that they couldn’t get rid of it properly or that it wouldn’t burn or would come back if thrown away. (And these are learned individuals in the science and medical field). It’s fear-mongering, pushed by people who prefer to see tools as evil or to continue to parrot information without thinking on what that tool could mean or actually do. I often find people who say such things have never even touched a Ouija board in their life so I question their information and fear or demonizing of something they’ve never used or touched.
Honestly though. What the fuck makes people think Ouija boards are dangerous? What? Do you think Hasbro has spirits locked in a room somewhere that influenced the creation? Or they sandwich the spirits in between the paper and the cardboard?
Any tool can be used to contact a spirit. Any tool has the danger of being used to contact a “negative” or “bad” spirit. Any tool.
The whole idea that the board can be possessed by a spirit is legitimate, as spirits can possess things, but why bother with a piece of cardboard instead of say, a doll which had the capability to be mobile? I think the fear of Ouija stems from the very point of the board – to pass messages along from the spirit world. And to that I have to ask why anyone who claims or wants to work with spirits would fear such a thing. Isn’t that the point? If you get guidance from a spirit or deity, this is the exact same thing. The only difference is that there is no visual representation for you to converse with – which may actually work in your favor because there is no reason a spirit can’t fool your eyes and appear as something else, as this is traditionally an ability many spirits possess in folklore and mythology.
Realistically speaking, pendulums are more dangerous than Ouija boards. One method of using pendulums is to have spirits influence the pendulum and follow where that leads (if using it as a searching device) which is infinitely more dangerous than sitting in your living room with another person and sliding a plachette across a piece of cardboard. The implied information here is that a spirit would be more powerful to physically push or influence the pendulum (or the human hand holding the pendulum) than one influencing two humans to push the plachette around (and humans are, as science has proven, incredibly susceptible to suggestion).
It the end it comes to this: Ouija boards are misunderstood and demonized for truly bewildering and contrary reasons that makes me instantly suspect the speaker, especially if said speaker claims to or has worked with or is working with spirits. Claims that the boards aren’t useful in witchcraft, are extraordinarily dangerous, or evil are often employed by the uneducated or fearmongers.
Now that we have that covered, let’s move onto actually using an Ouija board!
Ouija boards spells out things by have a plachette (pointer) move around the letters. Each person participating should lay a hand or at least a finger on the plachette and focus during the moment the question is being asked on the question itself. In theory, the plachette spells out the answers to the questions.
Make no mistake: the plachette is moved around by people. Each person slightly moves the plachette around without noticing and another person responds. It’s OK to totally admit this. In fact, I find going into the procedure knowing that actually helps determine whether someone’s just messing around or if they’re channeling something. It also helps because it can calm you down when you start to get worked up (because groups of people can get worked up very easily when scared or excited.) Now, the question that should be asked is this: are they moving the plachette that way because a spirit suggests it or they intuitively know the answer? That’s something you’ll have to determine for yourself.
Here’s some tips to get the best enjoyment out of your Ouija board session:
Take breaks often. A lot of getting spooked happens when people build on experiences – it all rolls together and excitement builds to a point that anything’s possible. It especially happens when using it with other people and I believe is related to mob mentality – which creates a us vs them dichotomy, paranoia, and is often aggressive (which will chase away milder spirits). Taking breaks gives you a moment to pause and consider what’s happened before starting up again.
Eat and drink something but avoid excessive amounts of refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol, or stimulating drugs as these substances can create a sense of paranoia and in extreme amounts, hallucinations. Foods like bread and pasta are good but whatever works best for you is good.
Keep notes and write down information and responses given. Go back through those notes and repeat those same questions at a later date to help verification. Asking questions where you think you already know the answer will help from getting too excited because nothing new’s been added.
Atmosphere is fun and all but can create a sense of false importance of a situation. So lighting the candles and holding session in a darkened room may be part of your process but shake it up sometimes if you feel like that might be contributing to getting spooked.
Put some music on. I’d recommend music without lyrics as lyrics may be able to subconsciously influence your answers and create interference.
Putting out an offering, even just a glass of water, may add a sobering effect to your sessions but that depends on your particular perspective. An offering is polite though so it may attract more of whom you’re looking to speak to.
Time your sessions. If something goes on for a long time, it can build until you’re spooked out. Maybe only ask five questions at a time or ask questions for twenty minutes then take a break.
To end a session, go ahead and thank anyone that showed up (both humans and spirits alike), even if some scary stuff happened. It’s only polite. You may wish to cleanse the room and check protection wards afterward.
As mentioned above, eat something after the session and chat among yourself. Give everyone time to calm down before they go home or whatever. Again, it reduces the fear factor.
There you go! A quick 101 on ouija boards. Have fun!