In the past two posts, I have focused on the phenomenon of spirit communication and some of the dangers inherent in opening to the Unseen without proper preparation and focus. In particular, I have been critical of the ouija board as a method of spirit communication and, just this morning, I happened to read the account of another young woman who felt that she had called something through that would not leave her be as the result of ‘playing around’ with a ouija board. In this post on Phantoms and Monsters, the writer states that, while in college, she and some dorm friends attempted spirit contact using a ouija board. Here is how they went about it:
We all placed our fingertips on the planchette while I asked if any spirit was with us, to let it’s presence be known to us. I continue this for another 15 minutes. Nothing happened.
As I have noted in my other posts, such actions are the equivalent to lighting a beacon on the astral and then waiting for something, anything to show up. Would you walk out into a city street and randomly hand out invitations to your home to perfect strangers? Why then, would you issue an open invite to any spirit that was around to come tromp around your house?
Given all the above, I have heard of ritual magicians using these boards with good success in evocation rites. As I have said, I have never tried this and really have no desire to since my own communications with the spirit world are far more personal. However, not everyone who assays the magical path has mediumistic tendencies and, for some mages, spirit communication is very hard work. If you read some of the texts from the Golden Dawn or Crowley, you will note that often a spirit evocation requires two people, the operator of the ritual and a sensitive or medium who actually does the spirit communication and relays that information to the operator. In some ritual magic texts, the magician is even encouraged to use a child for this purpose, the assumption being that children are more open to spirit presence than hardened, materialist adults.
Of course, the two person operation is the ideal. As you can imagine, given the native secrecy of most magicians, it is difficult to find people who are not only willing but able to participate in such rites. If the magician is forced to do an evocation on his or her own, then he or she has to either a) have some mediumistic talent of their own, b) use a tool such as a ouija board to aid the communication, or, c) be able to summon the spirit to physical appearance. Yes, it is possible to summon a spirit to physical appearance (or at least the perception of same) in order to have a chat.
If one is going to use a ouija board then I think that it is quite important, for safety’s sake, to follow the basic principles of evocation when doing so. By following those principles, the operator can save him or herself a lot of fussing around and interference from ‘trash’ spirits.
1) Know what you wish to evoke. No throwing the door open to the locals and hoping for the best. If you do not know who you wish to talk to then put the damned board away and wait until you do. Research the spirit, know what it likes and does not like, if possible. Find out if it has a symbol or sigil or mantra that it favors. If you are trying to contact a dead relative, then know as much about that person as you can.
2) Use of a specific magical system. If you are not conversant with magic, then take the time to do some research on how to effectively set up a protected space to work in. If you’re something of an anarchist, study Andrieh Vitimus’ Hands On Chaos Magic for loads of good ideas for learning how to do this.
3) Learn to enter what ritualist E A Koetting calls the Theta/Gamma sync. Koetting is known as a “dark” magician and is quite the salesman but he knows what he is talking about when it comes to evocation. Theta/Gamma is the brainwave state where, for example, one is dreaming but can move so you might think of it as the place you enter right before going into deep sleep.
4) Gather your contact material – symbols, mantras, sigils associated with a spirit or, if you are doing an ancestor, pictures, clothing, personal effects.
5) Set your ouija board up in the work area where it can be easily manipulated while you are in trance and use the ritual that you have learned in # 2 to open protected space and consecrate the board to your intended purpose. Use your magical system and the contact material to do an evocation of the spirit you are seeking and ask it to speak with you directly through the board.
6) Let yourself go into deep meditation as you perform your ritual and seek to communicate directly with that spirit by the medium of the board. Do not be discouraged if nothing happens the first few times you try this. It may take time to tune to that specific spirit’s frequency.
7) Once contact is established, ask questions and do not accept the answers at face value. Remember the concept of testing the spirits. Ask the being for proof that it is who it says it is. Using a protected space helps cut way down on trash but it may take time to get your tuning just right.
8) Keep initial sessions short – this work is a lot harder than it sounds and your body needs time to assimilate the energies it is being exposed to.
9) Thank the spirit for its aid, close out your ritual space as prescribed by your tradition and then eat something so that you can ground back into the physical world.
Does this sound like a huge amount of work just to play with a ouija board? You are correct; it is. But, if you are not willing to put in the time and effort to train yourself, at least somewhat, to communicate with spirits then you should leave the ouija board to those who are willing to do the training. Simply put, if you don’t want to put out this kind of effort, then cease your dabbling so that those of us who have put in the time do not have to spend our time rescuing you!