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Category:Spirit Board Divination

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A spirit board
A spirit board

Spirit Board reading, also known as Ouija Board reading or Talking Board reading, is a widely practiced form of divination in which predictions for the future, revelations about hidden matters, and seances with spirits of the dead are disclosed by means of the words spelled out or otherwise indicated to the reader through the movement of a planchette across a prepared alphabetic or alphanumeric board.

Although often used at home by people for their own works of fortune-telling and Category:Mediumship, the talking board is rarely consulted at an altar, and many seekers prefer to engage in seance sessions with a qualified reader in a protected spiritual and social environment.

Contents

The History of Spirit Boards

For more information, see Spiritualism

The planchette is a tool used to aid communication with spirits through automatic writing
The planchette is a tool used to aid communication with spirits through automatic writing
A blindfolded psychic using a planchette-like device
A blindfolded psychic using a planchette-like device
A vintage spirit board of days gone by
A vintage spirit board of days gone by
A ghostly spirit guides the planchette on a spirit board
A ghostly spirit guides the planchette on a spirit board
An old-time advertisement in which talking boards are viewed as a tool of domestic mediumship
An old-time advertisement in which talking boards are viewed as a tool of domestic mediumship

Mid-19th century Europeans and North Americans were fascinated with the idea of communicating with the dead. The doctrines of Spiritualism, which stated that the dead could and were inclined to communicate with the living, had captured the imagination of war torn Europe, and on March 31, 1848 found fertile soil in Hydesville, New York. It was there that the Fox sisters, Kate and Margaret, claimed to communicate with the dead through a series of rapping noises. Their table rapping inspired a culture that drew in many adherents who would soon find themselves struggling from the casualties and losses of Civil War.

Associated with political movements like abolition, female suffrage, and temperance, Spiritualism gained popularity throughout the latter 19th century until its peak in the 1920s. This period was also a time for great inventions, when new tools such as the telegraph and telephone first permitted communication from great distances. With the advent of these devices, it was not hard to imagine that other innovations, such as the Ouija board, might allow for communication between the living and the dead.

Spirit communication was at first cumbersome, as it relied on someone announcing the letters of the alphabet while others engaged in table tipping, whereby the rapping of the table leg chose letter after letter. Improvement came in the form of a planchette, a heart shaped plank of wood supported by two rear casters and a pencil at its narrow end. The scribbling of the planchette was sometimes indecipherable, which eventually led to the idea of the planchette serving as a pointer. Various alphanumeric platforms were developed, such as printed disks that turned in relation a fixed pointer. Not until 1886 do we first read a description resembling the talking boards and spirit boards which we now recognize, for which the pointer — still referred to as a planchette — moves independently across a board.

Spirit boards come in many forms and styles, from the hand-made to the mass-produced.

In 1890 Elijah Bond, Charles Kennard, and their associate patented a spirit board and planchette combination that we recognize as the modern Ouija board. The name OUIJA was spelled out by the board when Kennard and Bond’s sister-in-law, Helen Peters, asked what it ought to be called. Kennard believed Ouija to mean “good luck.” Years later, William Fuld, who took over production of the Ouija board, claimed that the name meant “yes, yes,” combined from the French word “Oui” and German “Ja.” If the word "Ouija" is taken to be a combination of the French and German words for "yes," it should logically be pronounced "Wee-Yah", but in America it is generally sounded as "Wee-Jah" or "Wee-Jee." Although the term "Ouija" is not generic, many people call all types of talking boards "wee-jee boards" due to the popularity of this particular brand.

For an instrument so focused on language, it is little wonder that its own proper name must be stressed. Hasbro, Inc. currently holds the trademark for the name “Ouija.” While all manner of alphabet boards are commonly referred to by the name Ouija, they are more accurately referred to as talking boards or spirit boards.

However you refer to them, spirit boards remain an iconic fixture in North American culture, where even today being spooked by the uncanny powers of mediumship serves as a rite of passage for many young people.

How It Works

For some Ouija is just a game, and for others it is a valued spiritual tool. Much depends on approach, and whether one attributes a scientific or supernatural reason for its functioning.

Secular thinkers define the talking board's successes to the so-called ideomotor response (something they also attribute to [[Category:Pendulum Divination|pendulum divination}. They suggest that the mind of the person who manipulates the planchette controls hand movements through subconscious muscular reflexes. These enthusiasts are able to successfully use the Ouija without relying on occult powers, using it instead to uncover their own inner truths, such as their desires, fears, and motivations.

Spiritually inclined thinkers believe that spirit boards open a portal between our physical world and the ineffible world of spirit. If they believe in the persistence of consciousness after death, they may use the spirit board as a form of mediumship, to establish communication between the living and the dead, allowing the ghostly hands of spirit to vibrate the planchette, pushing it to spell messages from beyond the grave. If they do not believe in the persistance of consciousness after death, they may utilize the spirit board to establish contact with discarnate entities, such as angels and archangels.

The marriage of these two paradigms suggests that spirits communicate through an individual’s mind and body, expressing themselves by manipulating the hands positioned upon the planchette.

Talking with the Dead

For more information, see Mediumship

The first step in starting a conversation is deciding who you wish to talk with. This is where many folk find trouble. Rather than contacting one of their ancestors, loved ones, or someone they have researched, they may instead begin by inquiring if there is a spirit nearby who wishes to speak. This is like texting a random stranger and expecting them to tell you the secrets of the universe. This practice is not entirely discouraged, and it can sometimes lead to very productive relationships with spirit helpers. Nevertheless, your personal hoodoo rootworker, conjure doctor, or spirit medium will very likely advise starting out your reading session by connecting you with known ancestors or spirit guides.

Choosing your setting is important, particularly with regard to time and place. The veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is thinnest at certain times, such as twilight and midnight, and harsh daylight is uncomfortable for spirits. your reader may wish to pay attention to the mood being set, as this will influence the experience. Ideally you should feel secure in the divination environment, whether the reading is conducted in person, via telephone, or by means of video consultation.

Some readers set protective boundaries to work in, such as a circle of salt. This is often done to protect against evil spirits. I am more concerned with the meddling of unwanted mortals than with bothersome spirits, but for many, protection against evil spirits is a concern. Leaving your Bible open to Psalms 91 is a simple way to avoid trouble. A silver coin placed on the board is also said to protect against bad spirits. The board may be set on the floor or on a table, as the reader prefers.

Like the living, spirits appreciate hospitality. If you plan to call on your grandpa and you know that he enjoyed chicory coffee and cornbread, then those would make a splendid offering and you can give this information to your reader. If you are lacking specifics, the reader may suggest common hoodoo offerings, such as coins, flowers, incense, candies, tobacco, coffee, tea, or whiskey.

Offerings are often placed beyond the top of the board where will not get knocked over, especially if the session is attended by a group of people. Some old-school readers use an upside-down shot glass in place of a pointer on the board, then fill it with whiskey as a thank you after the session is completed.

Along with offerings, if you have a personal concern belonging to the spirit being called upon, then it wuld be placed among the offerings. Additionally, some readers always set out a glass of water, which is said to draw spirits of the dead and help them manifest in the realm of the living.

Once the space is prepared and everything is in place, the reader will verbally call the name of the spirit you wish to contact. When the spirit is ready to speak, the pointer will waver and begin spelling messages. Some readers find it useful to keep a recording device turned on and to speak aloud each letter, as this helps later to decipher longer messages.

See Also

  • Divination and Fortune Telling by Spirit Board

AIRR Readers & Rootworkers Who Perform This Work for Clients

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The Association of Independent Readers & Rootworkers (AIRR) is here to help you find gifted, sincere, and honest spiritual guidance, successful counseling, and professional magical spell casting and ritual conjuration. Every independent member of AIRR has been certified for psychic ability, magical skill, and ethical reliability. Every AIRR psychic, reader, seer, diviner, scryer, root doctor, and spiritual practitioner has completed a year-long program of training in conjure, hoodoo, witchcraft, rootwork, making mojo hands, and casting powerful magick spells. All of our psychics have served the public professionally for a minimum of two years -- and in many cases, significantly longer. Certified AIRR Readers & Rootworkers who will perform this type of work to help you find love, money, protection, and luck are listed below.
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