Ouija Boards

The Mystifying Oracle
Rev Sharon Gill, PhD

The purpose of this article is to enlighten people about the use of the Ouija board and identify its meaning. We are asked often how we feel about using the Ouija as a tool in ghost hunting, I felt the time had come to describe a little bit of the background of it and let you know what our feelings are regarding its use.

The Ouija Board is an instrument used for divining information from disembodied spirits. A combination of the French (oui) and German (ja) meaning 'yes'. It is a commercial product presented as half game and half seance instrument.

Professional mediums and psychics tend to frown on the use of the Ouija, regarding them as being too likely to be controlled by "low spirits" more intent on something other than providing accurate information.

Critics of the Ouija, who include authorities in most denominations of Christianity, say it is dangerous and a tool of the Devil. Those who advocate the use of the Ouija, say the like other forms of divination, it is a legitimate way to discover insight, wisdom and self-truths and to communicate with spirits of the dead.

It is thought that most often, answers given probably rise from the subconscious of the users, even when "spirits" identify themselves and give messages. Yet the pointer, or planchette, used with an Ouija, has been known, at times, to fly off the board and spin out of control, as though being directed by unseen forces. Some users claim after using an Ouija, they have been harassed by external agents contacted through the board.

Precursors to the Ouija date back to ancient times. Before the birth of Confucius, around 551 B.C., similar devices were used to communicate with the dead. In Greece, during the time of Pythagoras, 540 B.C., a table on wheels to point to signs, interpreted as being revelations from an unseen world, were used for divination. The rolling table was used through the nineteenth century.

Ancient Romans used similar devices as early as the third century A.D., and in the thirteenth century by the Mongol's. Some Native Americans used a "squdilate board" for the purposes of locating missing objects and people and to obtain spiritual information.

The planchette came into uses in 1853 in Europe. Planchette means, "little board" in French. Invention of the device is generally credited to a Spiritualist by the same name, M. Planchette. It consisted of a triangular, or heart-shaped platform on three legs, one of which was a pencil. The user, usually a medium, would move the device over paper to draw pictures and spell out messages.

The modern Ouija is marketed as a game. Elijah J. Bond invented the Ouija in 1892. He sold his patent to William Field who has been considered the father of the Ouija. Mr. Field founded the Southern Novelty Company in Baltimore, Maryland that later became known as the Talking Board Co., and marketed the Ouija.

During and after World War I, the Ouija became extremely popular as many people desperately wanted to communicate with loved ones killed in the war. Spiritualism was in a revival period so interest was growing and the Ouija Board was readily available. In 1966 William Field sold his patent to Parker Brothers Game Company of Beverly, Massachusetts. With renewed interest in the occult and supernatural in the 1960's and 1970's, the Ouija once again grew in popularity. Parker Brothers stresses the Ouija Board is for entertainment purposes only!

In the field of parapsychology, use of the Ouija is considered a form of automatism or unconscious activity that picks up and amplifies information from the subconscious mind. Critics of the Ouija say that users have no control over repressed material that might be released, the result being the user can suffer a psychosis. Edgar Cayce called it a "dangerous toy." Users have no control if the Ouija Board is used to contact spirits.

Some professional Psychics say there is no danger in using the Ouija, only superstitious fears that produce negative results. On the other hand, even some demonologists say it is a means of accessing the gates of hell, opening the portal for demons to cross over to this plane of existence. There seem to be varying opinions concerning the use of the Ouija Board, because of this, the decision really has to be left up to the person considering using it. We do not incorporate the use of the Ouija in our research or investigations just as on a normal basis we do not use the services of a Psychic. The information we gather is done with our own senses and the use of electronic equipment that gives us the physical evidence of unseen presences. If we tend to rely on items such as Ouija Boards, we are not enhancing our own natural abilities to discern the spirits present and we are not growing to the level of awareness where we need to be. By the use of artificial means of contacting the spirit realm, with which there is no guarantee the information is accurate, we limit ourselves to being dependent on something, outside of ourselves, we cannot control. Using our own abilities, heightening our sense and increasing our own awareness, we grow as the spiritual beings that we were intended to be.

The use of such a tool for the sole purpose of spirit communication does not belong in the hands of children. Until people, of sound mind, take the time to learn about the seriousness of understanding the spirit realm, coming to an awareness of what it means to discipline the mind, focus and discern the spirits, they are as children. The Ouija Board, though sold as a toy, is not a toy by any definition and there are those who have suffered the consequences of their own ignorance by using it.

It has been explained that the dangers of using an Ouija Board come from the ease of contacting the "lower spirits" or the more malevolent spirits that remain earthbound. These are said to be the criminal element while in life and those who retain angry and hostile emotions at death, not having good intentions. You have no control over who responds when you evoke spirits by means of an Ouija Board. That seems to be the one point everyone agrees upon be they pro or con to its use. Responding entities have been known to lie and deceive by the answers they give, being very convincing by using the name of the one the user intends to contact. Unless you know the right questions to ask, you may never know the difference.

We are all born with the abilities that Psychics such as James Van Praagh and Sylvia Brown demonstrate, just to mention two of the most popular Psychics getting media attention right now. Yet as adults, we use only about half our brain. Haven't you ever wondered why that is? As we grow and develop as children, beginning our education, the focus of what we are being taught is logic, reason and analyze which are functions of the left hemisphere of the brain. The right brain instinctively knows the answers while the left brain theorizes the answers. Still, we spend years training the left brain to learn the things, we hold most valuably for use in our adult lives. You know, stuff like 'readin, 'ritin and 'rithmatic or the"three r's" as they called it many years ago. But what happens in the meantime to our intuitive and psychic abilities? For the most part, they wither away or fall into the background of our awareness as there is no growth or development there. We readily accept the term of "women's intuition" but almost in a laughing manner. That, in fact, is a part of the natural abilities we have that for the most part, die away as we age and enter the mainstream of life.

People who have young children at home often tell us they hear the children talking and laughing with someone who is not there. They see things we adults do no see and hear things we no longer have the ability to hear. They talk of invisible playmates, visible only to them but could they be real, in a spiritual sense after all?

As adults, we do have a capacity for developing those talents to a usable state. There are many self-help, instructional books and audio tapes available to teach us how to develop and use our natural talents, should we desire. More and more respected authors and psychics are revealing this as being true and they give us the ways to develop the skills we were all born with. The world moves at such a high tech, fast pace, we have forgotten what it means to find ourselves, embrace who we are inside and stop to smell the roses!

Developing the ability to focus, to become sensitive to others and to our environment, to heighten our awareness and to find a peace and a balance within ourselves, are all attributes worth striving toward. These are necessary qualities that provide a means of being open to all of our senses, even the extrasensory ones. It means knowing and loving ourselves enough to open the doors to allow a higher understanding of what the idle half our minds are capable of doing, disciplining ourselves to use the gifts accurately, for worthy purposes. By using talents that have lay dormant, not having been developed and accessed before, suddenly we will find we have no need for Ouija Boards or any other tool that we actually have no control over. We might also come to a point where we find we understand each other better, because we understand ourselves and the abilities we have.

It is not as difficult a task as it sounds. It is just a matter of taking the time to concentrate and learn how to use the half of the brain we've been given to use, that most often having little value. Most don't ever realize that this is the case. It could be compared to having a serious housing shortage, yet there is a beautiful big apartment complex downtown, half of it being closed off and unused. The owner sees no value in doing the necessary preparation and opening it up to rent out individual apartments, making it fully functional. Instead, the unused half sits deteriorating to a state where it will never hold any value to anyone, particularly the owner. What purpose was there in having such a big building if only half of it was ever to be used. It's the same with our minds. We don't have to go through life using only half of a whole mind we have been given to use. Consider this the next time you reach for an Ouija Board or wonder about the mysteries of life after life. The answers are there, within us all, we have but just to reach out to access them.

Copyrighted 1997 - 2014 by Dave Oester, All Rights Reserved