Before we get into Ouija Etiquette, let’s discuss a little history. Whether you are a full on witch or you just dabble here and there, there’s a good chance you’ve come across a Ouija Board-sometimes referred to as, Spirit Board, Witch Board, Talking Board, or Planchette. Let’s face it–they are probably the most mainstream tool of witchcraft out there, and have become a centerpiece of sleep overs all across the country.
But where did these boards even come from? The history is more interesting than you might think! Before Ouija boards were branded in the U.S., “talking boards” or planchettes were used around the world in medieval cultures to channel spiritual wisdom and information from ghosts, deities, or earth-based spirits.
In the late 19th century, the spiritualist movement in the United States re-popularized the boards. Eventually, in true American style, the entrepreneur Elijah Bond developed and patented the Ouija board, and the Ouija Board we know and love today was born. Eventually the board was bought by Parker Brothers, and later by Hasbro, who currently owns and produces the brand.
By the 1920’s, Ouija Boards were everywhere and truly captured the imagination of the nation. Many claimed that they could contact those that had passed or other spirits to receive divinations, predictions about the future, and much more. Over the years, many strange and unusual events have been tied to Ouija Boards. Musicians have claimed they wrote songs from the boards, and master magicians like Aleister Crowley have used the tool for all kinds of divinations. And, of course, there have been many Christian groups who have denounced the boards and proclaimed them the tools of Satan.
A Ouija Board is, quite simply, a divinatory tool. Its purpose is to answer a question by inviting spirits to speak to the people using the board.
Unfortunately, due to the mass market, anyone can use them and allow sprits to come in contact. There’s a potential for some trouble this way.
How do they work?
Ouija boards answer a questions by inviting spirits to speak to the people using the board. The spirit isn’t moving the planchette, but it’s causing you to move it with your hands by way of possession. Once you’ve opened up the Ouija board, unless your a medium, there’s no telling what messages will come through.
Basic method to use a Ouija Board:
- Cleanse your space.
- Create a magick circle of protection.
- Ground and shield (optional).
- Focus on calling specific spirits (otherwise you won’t know what or who has come in).
- Once finished, thank the spirit for coming.
- Close your circle.
Use your own judgement when using a Ouija board. I believe they are a great magickal tool for divination.
Ghost researcher Dale Kaczmarek, of the Ghost Research Society, reveals some pretty interesting information about Ouija boards in his article, Ouija: Not a Game:
“The board itself is not dangerous, but the form of communication that you are attempting often is. Most often, the spirits who are contacted through the Ouija are those who reside on ‘the lower astral plane.’ These spirits are often very confused and may have died a violent or sudden death; murder, suicide, etc. Therefore, many violent, negative and potentially dangerous conditions are present to those using the board. Often times, several spirits will attempt to come through at the same time, but the real danger lies when you ask for physical proof of their existence. You might say, ‘Well, if you’re really a spirit, then put out this light or move that object.’ What you have just done is simple, you have ‘opened a doorway’ and allowed them to enter into the physical world, and future problems can and often do arise.”
Do’s and Don’ts of using a Ouija Board:
- Do protect yourself.
- Do place quartz crystals in the room.
- Do create a circle of protection.
- Do darken the room and light candles.
- Do avoid possible distractions by turning off the television, cell phones, etc.
- Do go into the session with the highest intentions.
- Do be specific on who you wish to contact.
- Do burn sage, sweet grass, and/or incense.
- Do write down the messages.
- Do not consume alcohol or drugs.
- Do not use the Ouija board by yourself.
- Do not ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to.
- Do not allow the invited spirit guest to control the session.
- Do not do the board when tired or fatigued.
- Do not do the board when you are sad or mad.
- Do not use the board to pry into other’s privacy.
- Do not use the board in any way to affect someone else’s free will.
- Do not use the board for financial gain.
For more about spirit contact and communication, download our October issue of Witchology Magazine!