Ouija Boards


Recently, one of my readers asked if I had heard of Tracy Twyman or the book she has been touting on podcasts, Clock Shavings. Honestly, I had not and I replied thusly but agreed to investigate a little. What I found, in the course of looking at Ms. Twyman’s blog and listening to one of her interviews, left me quite unsettled.

Listening to this interview, I heard the following declarations regarding her repeated communication with entities via the ouija board:

“I was way more impressed that it was just working . . .”

Ms. Twyman referred, on a couple of occasions to “dealing with evil . . .”

She stated at one point that she was “so busy talking to demons” that she did not have time for contact with other entities (even though she claims to have talked to Jesus once).

When discussing the suicide of her spouse (or ex-spouse, not certain from the context), Ms. Twyman was asked if she felt that her communications via the ouija board had anything to do with this man’s death. Her reply: “(it) went through my mind at the time . . .”

In addition, Ms. Twyman stated that she sometimes got contradictory information from the spirits that she communicated with. In addition to all this, my general impression of the entities that she was communicating with is that they presented themselves as sort of super-villains intent on toying with mankind.

Now, I have never used a ouija board and have no intention of ever doing so but I do know a thing or two about spirit communication, having some mediumistic tendencies, and evocation and this interview was, in my mind, a primer on how not to communicate with spirits.

One of my main concerns with the ouija board is not that people are talking to spirits. If you want to see if you can raise your dead grandfather or talk to a faery being that is your business. My concern is all those people out there who basically get onto the board, put out a call to anything in the vicinity and then wonder why they get chilling messages or even spirit interference in their lives. It is the equivalent of setting off up a beacon in the Otherworld and talking to whoever happens by. As I have noted repeatedly in this blog, most of the residents beyond the veil could care less about humans but those who are attracted to our energy can be quite beneficial, neutral, mischievous or downright malevolent.

If we look at this from the point of view of a medium, someone who is alleged to have concourse with spirits on a regular basis, basic training for this talent involves a stepped series of meditations that seek to introduce the medium to what some might call their gatekeeper. The gatekeeper is a spirit who, after long acquaintance and repeated testing, is entrusted with vetting the contacts that come to the medium and/or providing the medium with information about approaching spirits and warding off those that are not helpful.

In Harner style neo-shamanic training, one does not approach or deal with other spirits until one has developed a relationship with a power animal (Lower World) and a guiding being (Upper World) and one never travels shamanically without the accompaniment of an ally. The purpose, again, is to provide the shamanic practitioner with a vetting system for spirits and to get the practitioner to the spirits that he or she is seeking or may need for assistance.

Finally, a magician who is seeking to evoke a spirit works hard to make certain they get exactly the spirit that they are evoking. He or she will study the known characteristics of the spirit, try to find a sigil or other symbol that calls forth the presence of that spirit, make note of the sort of offering the spirit might accept and so forth. Once all the research is done, the magical worker puts together a ritual that puts out a call for that spirit, and that spirit alone unless he or she is seeking to summon forth more than one being – a tricksy proposition at most times.

The point of this rambling? In none of these traditions of spirit communication is it acceptable to simply throw the doors open and admit whoever or whatever shows up. Even in the possessory religions, since as Vodoun, where the spirits actually ‘ride’ their followers, there is a progressive induction of trance that is set in a strong cultural base that summons those spirits (the lwa) and those spirits alone and there are set methods for bringing the person out of trance if needed. The point is that the spirits do not control a spirit communication; the medium, shaman, magician etc is expected to know what they are about, to test any spirits they encounter and to be able to banish anything that does not belong. That seems a far cry from picking up the planchette and going to town, does it not?

Why is this important? Because, my good readers, like people, spirits lie. While there are many beneficial and powerful beings in the Otherworld, who are quite interested in assisting and informing humans, there are also any number of beings that hold humans in disdain or worse. Not all of these beings will resort to outright attack. Many of them will preen in the glow of the attention they are getting and will tell the person communicating with them anything to keep that person coming back. Spirits have access to knowledge that we do not and they can be quite good at pulling things out of a person’s consciousness stream, adding some information or pseudo-information and giving the person exactly what they want to hear in words that sound oh so reasonable and make the human feel just a little bit superior.

I am sure Ms. Twyman would disagree with me, vociferously, and that is her right. I am sure that she has had communications but I reserve the right to question the true nature of the spirits with which she has had concourse.


About stormeye60

A place for discussing the interface between magic and things that go bump in the night. View all posts by stormeye60

7 responses to “Ouija Boards

  • Stephanie Qich

    Thank you storm. You put into coherent words my much less well-formed gut thoughts on the matter. And of course you bring your long, pertinent experience to bear quite pointedly.

    I’ve done more reading and listening to Ms. Twyman’s work since my request, and a couple more points have come to light. In one interview, Ms. Twyman talked about how the spirits she was in communication with caused her to take actions which she now regrets (she did not state what those actions may have been). She also spoke of cutting off communication for a time as she felt ‘used’.

    My mouth literally hung open at this. Has she not heard of insinuation, or spirits aligning themselves with some weakness or vice in a target’s character, then working that weakness to the spirit’s advantage? (Very similar to what you outline in your second to last paragraph.) To name just one strategy.

    In another interview, the host asks Ms. Twyman if she isn’t worried about the dangers of communicating with demons (powerful, evil beings). Ms. Twyman said as she understands things, she only has to worry about full on possession and curses – and she feel in the clear on both these counts so no worries.

    All these statements were made in interviews for her book ‘Clock Shavings’, so they all occurred within the time space of a month or so. It’s disturbing and sad to see her seeing so clearly with part of herself and then within a short period of time denying that same insight.

    “… like people, spirits lie.” This is the nub of it. You wouldn’t open your house to every person walking by in the center of a busy city; so why do the same on the astral? At the same time, it’s hard to see how people can be manipulating you so i imagine it’s not easy with the non-corporeal either.

    Thank you again, stormeye! I hope you have a good rest of the week, steph

    • stormeye60

      Hi, Steph:

      Always good to hear from you. Next week’s post will go into more detail on this issue of communicating with spirits without adequate discernment. It is a cautionary tale about how deeply one can get involved with a manipulative spirit and I think that it really illustrates the point that I was trying to make here.

      • Stephanie Qich

        hi! of course i will read your next post with especial avidity šŸ™‚

        i was watching a bit of Ms. Twyman’s video posted of her sessions on the weej when a phrase came to me. It’s from Dion Fortune’s book ‘Cosmic Doctrine’, in the forward where it’s explained that it’s not a system of knowledge or logic but ‘a means of training the mind’. Years ago when i first read that phrase it struck me because i had no idea what it meant! But now i think i have a better grip on the concept. And i also think that spending hours and hours in a back in forth with another intelligence would be a wonderful opportunity for that intelligence to train your mind. steph

      • stormeye60

        Ms. Firth was, to my understanding, a quite gifted spirit communicator but she operated her ability within the protective structures of her order. I sincerely doubt that any entity that ‘came through’ got a pass simply because it claimed X name. The sorts of people that Violet Firth/Dion Fortune hung around with were the sorts of people who would look at a spirit and say “prove it”. This mindset is the essential equipment for spirit communication, in my view.

  • Stephanie Qich

    oh yeah! it kills me, with her use of astrologers, psychometry, tables of colors and planets and etc. still ms. firth was infinitely more skeptical than all the ELF-meter carrying ‘paranormal investigators’ of today. And one of her mottoes was “Do not open a door unless you know how to close and lock it.”

    I was just thinking that blindly deciding to spend hours communicating with whatever spirit sits down with you provides an excellent means for that spirit to start training you up – even if you *think* you are simply questioning that spirit as to it’s knowledge, identity and intentions.

    Like if you’re having small talk with a con man, you’re just passing the time but they are evaluating you as a mark and moulding your ownviewpoint of them as trustworthy. Seems much more sensible to just take protective measures from the beginning and avoid contact with unknown entities except under controlled conditions.

    Which is what you are saying here – i’m just taking the opportunity to sort my thoughts through, in hopes of becoming more likely to recognize something stupid before i do it in future! Have a great Friday! steph

  • Julia

    I would never use a Ouija it is plain risk, when I was 15 a friend and I set one up using lexicon letters and a small glass we were in in a oak wood panelled room that was in a large old house that had rumours about being haunted. We questioned and let the glass slide it kept spelling out random numbers and letters which made no sense, but we wrote them down. Later my friend met her 17yr old boyfriend, who left on his motorbike around 11 you may guess he never got home he crashed into a lamppost and died instantly on the road close to home. We checked the numbers and random letters which turn out to match his registration no.
    The Ouija is a portal for energies untapped to get through, at 15years old we were very naive and so shocked that we may be part responsible for this tragedy, by conducting the ouija.
    Ouija is especially dangerous when there is natural psychic energy or raw emotions of teenagers in the mix as I believe the enterties feed off.
    My friend was devastated and really never got over this awful loss, this article has made me remember him, so Loui bless you.

  • Psychedelics? | Monsters and Magic

    […] when one takes these drugs is the equivalent to the experience that I described when talking about the Ouija Board. There is a transitional time period where everything seems normal, then, as the chemical takes […]

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