The name OUIJA is pronounced as WEE-JA. The meaning of the word OUIJA is a combination of the French and German words for “yes”.The more common Ouija board usually consists of the entire alphabet, the words yes, no, goodbye and a pointer known as the “planchette”. Other boards sometimes contain more detail including colours, star signs and other information. It does not matter what any Ouija Board contains on it, what matters is making it work.
The idea of the Ouija board (as we know it today) allegedly came about in 1848 when two sisters in the USA believed they could talk to a spirit and started up a simple form of communicating with it by tapping on a table or the wall, each tap or knock represented a letter of the alphabet. Pretty much like Morse code.
There are however traces of Ouija board history that goes back to 1100AD China. This was discovered in the historical Song Dynasty documents. However it was referred to as Planchette Writing. It is believed that that under strict ritual this practiced was the central practice of the Quanzhen School until it was forbidden by the Qing Dynasty. Similar forms of writing existed throughout the world. How ever none of these was the exact same concept as the Ouija board.
Close to the beginning of the 1900’s, an early prototype of Ouija board was developed and it was common for people to participate in regular séances and attempts to contact the spirit world. Although many of these earlier séances were often hosted by fraudulent mediums who were after money and would resort to all sorts of trickery. Contacting the spirit world, for whatever reason, has after all been one of the greatest human obsessions since the dawn of time.
A useful and different board design was thought up by 2 Americans, Elijah Bond and Charles Kennard. Kennard claimed that through using the board he got the name ‘Ouija’ which according to him was derived from an old Egyptian word, meaning ‘Good Luck’. However it is only in 1901 when an employee, Willaim Fuld, took over the talking board business that it was patented as ‘Ouija Board’. Fuld passed into Spirit in 1927 and it is in 1966 that his estate sold the board to Parker brothers, who in 1991 sold it to Hasbro.
In 1973 a horror movie was released which was to have a profound impact on the Ouija board and it’s use which still carries through to this day. The film was “The Exorcist”.The Ouija board then suffered a great decline – people believed the Exorcist was real. They believed that if they touched or played with this board that they would suffer Demonic possession or bring in bad spirits. This was the first of many films to bring forward the idea in people that he use of the Ouija is wicked and evil. Matters weren’t helped when it was widely publicized that The Exorcist was based on a supposedly true story. The media never told the truth behind the real story about a young boy who was more than likely subjected to physical abuse and suffered severe mental torment from it, no demons or evil was ever involved in the case.
Since then the board and it’s use has suffered much bad publicity and all sorts of religious damning. People are scared of the board. There is nothing evil about an Ouija board!
What actually happens with an Ouija board is still very much controversial. It had been widely explored by paranormal experts and to this day there are still experiments being carried out to try to further our knowledge of what these boards actually do. The greatest and most common theory is that somehow the participants of the séance are creating the planchette or pointer to move with their own minds, albeit unknowingly.
Teenagers seem to suffer the greatest reactions; this is thought to be in alignment with current and past cases of known poltergeist activity being attributed to young persons within a household. Teenagers and persons of a younger age seem to get the most violent actions, including table movement, movement of objects around the house, the board being thrown or moved, the planchette (pointer) being thrown or moved, strange feelings of cold and other various incidents.
However, the fact is that nobody can prove what really does happen during a séance, so I advise caution and care if you plan on using a Ouija board.
Important Things about Ouija Boards
* It is not evil – it’s merely a board with some black letters and a planchette.
* If you go purposely looking for evil or demons you might possibly get something unwanted such as that, even if its just negative energy from your own mind or your friends around you, we don’t know how the movement of the planchette is created – but please take care. My mother used to say: :if you are looking to find a devil behind every corner, then you will”.
* Nothing will come from a board if you leave it lying around. You do not need to burn it or throw it away if you have a bad experience. It cannot work without people making it work.
* They say that never let anyone be involved in a séance who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Famous author, Konstantinos, says that you should never waste a trance induced state, no matter how it was induced. He is also an expert on Spirit communication. So you decide on this one.
* Tiredness will stop the board from working properly. Make sure all members of the séance are fully awake and not overly tired.
* Non believers and overly skeptical people can also sometimes ruin a séance, it’s a good idea to approach a board with an open mind.
* Don’t all start arguing about who’s moving the planchette, trust me, everyone does it!. It upsets the mood and some people get very angry and ruin the entire thing. If you feel that someone is pushing the planchette ask them to remove their hands for a short time.
* You Are Not Bringing Spirits Into This World By Merely Talking To Them Through A Board, as has been previously stated, we don’t know 100% what exactly is creating the planchette to move, so please remain open minded to the whole experience and don’t believe other information that is commonly told of bringing spirits into the world, opening doorways you cannot close.
Getting Started – How Do I Work A Ouija Board?
* 2 or more people are recommended for using the Ouija board – more than three can be a bit two crowded – the general feeling is that three is just about the right amount for a séance. But I have attended many that were up to 6 people. It does cramped sometimes and the information may come through as jumbled due there being something for everyone.
* Form a circle around the board with all participating members. In my opinion this is no needed, but if it will make everyone feel better then please do so.
* Link hands left on top of right. Sit like this for a while just to create a calm atmosphere and to get everyone’s energy to be in sync.
* Place 2 fingers of each person upon the Planchette. One will do, if you are six people.
* Have someone standing by with a pen and paper to write everything down as you wont remember everything after it is done.
* Ask questions such as “Would anyone like to come forth and talk”?
* Make sure only one person asks questions at a time which avoids confusion.
* Never EVER ask for anything you do not wish to deal with – do not do the typical stupid teenage thing of asking for a “sign” that the spirit is really there. We have just about all done it, and since we do not really know how the board works I do not know what triggered my lights to all switch off only at the wall switches, but it happened.
* If the board does not work try swapping participants around and taking some participants hands off the Planchette, especially the those of the skeptics.
* The planchette should start off by spinning circles – some say that this is the spirit trying to gain energy to communicate – some say it is the spirit finding it’s way around the board. Who knows for sure. Also this does not always happen.
* If you do not understand what the spirit is trying to communicate to you ask it to either repeat it or ask questions that will clearly define what you would like to know.
* If a spirit appears to be having trouble communicating ask what you can do to improve the communication
* If a spirit points to “good bye” let it go
* If you want to finish the séance, place the planchette on “Good Bye” and say that you are now leaving. Everyone should then remove their hands from the board and the table. The board will be closed.
Zeo Frost is Arch-Priest of the Notrenlim Phoenix Tradition, Cape Town, South Africa.