I believe, I really do, or at least I want to… most of the time
When I was a kid, my best friend and I got pulled into using a Ouija board at a sleepover party. We took the board home the next day and promptly became addicted to it over the course of the next week.
We were convinced we were talking to a spirit of a local girl recently deceased. Things took an ugly turn a few days later, and my bestie and I were scared off the Ouija board. We slept with the lights on for a week and each vowed never to touch one again.
Now that we are both grown and with children of our own, when we talk about that time, we laugh at our foolishness, but also admit that we won’t allow our sons to touch a Ouija board. Better to be safe than sorry, right?
People are divided on whether Ouija boards work. And for me, the possibility that it doesn’t work AND the possibility that it does are both damn good reasons to stay away from them.
Why you should avoid a Ouija board if you believe
I work with the Spirits. When you book a session and come to see me, I spend about an hour preparing for your arrival. That time is spent creating a structure for the healing session so that, while certain Spirits can enter – those that are invited – other spirits and ghosts are not allowed in.
We know that ghosts attach to us. I wrote a blog about it here. It’s critical that, when you come see me, I know exactly what’s in the room with us, and I can protect you from some rando ghost attaching to you and going home with you.
Now I say “I”, but really, it’s the Spirits who are doing this work. I am entreating them and honouring them so that they will protect us and doing what they say to ensure we (you and I, if you’re my client) are both safe.
When we open ourselves up to the Spirit world without training or knowledge, we can end up summoning helpful Spirits (yay!) OR ghosts (oh…wait…). The latter can be good, bad, and just like the humans they were when they were alive, most are probably right in-between.
But the reality is that earthbound ghosts are earthbound for a reason. They may be confused. They may be trying to fulfill earthy addictions, they may be waiting for a spouse to die and are rather bored, or they may be bitter about the life they led, the way they died, or anything really.
People are complex. People who die and don’t pass over are equally complex.
A lot of people can channel, it’s not rocket science. But it’s a dangerous activity until we know how to filter what comes through that channel.
To randomly open ourselves up to all the ghosts is problematic and can not only scare the bejeezus out of us, but these ghosts can attach to us and cause all sorts of stress and problems that can, in turn, lead to illness, depression, addiction, etc.
So, if you’re a believer on any scale, put the damn Ouija board away. Better yet, take it out of the house. Put it in the tip or the fireplace. Don’t give it away, dispose of it like you’d dispose of yesterday’s Chinese takeout (equally dangerous as far as I’m concerned, but I digress…)
Why Ouija Boards Are Useless For Nonbelievers
It is well-documented that Ouija boards run on the ideomotor effect.
The ideomotor effect is involuntary bodily movement. Think about when you’re about to fall asleep and your body jerks. When we’re conscious, the ideomotor can still happen, but it’s subtler.
Scientists did tests where they blindfolded Ouija board users and found out that, when blindfolded, the answers spelled out on the board dissolve into gibberish. It’s only when users can see the board that answers are spelled out properly and make sense.
Now, if it really were an external consciousness controlling the board – a spirit or a ghost – then whether the users were blindfolded or not would make no difference. But this is not the case, lending researchers to believe that it is, in fact, the ideomotor effect directing that planchette.
The theory is strengthened by the fact that, the more people using the planchette, the easier it moves. One subconscious is supporting another’s, and the more one believes that the planchette is being moved by external forces, the more they can surrender control to their subconscious, making the movement smoother and quicker.
This fact (and yes, I do see it as a fact) means that Ouija boards are, for all intents and purposes, fake. I live in a small apartment in Toronto’s east end, and with only so much storage space, items must lobby to earn a place on my shelves. If it comes down to storing a Ouija board or a game of Monopoly, I’m going with the latter. Monopoly is awesome.
A caveat: I have read that, because of the ideomotor effect, one could use Ouija boards to get in touch with their inner wisdom.
Here’s where I pause and frustratingly (for you) negate everything I’ve just written…
If I were truly a nonbeliever, I’d agree with the above wholeheartedly. Getting in touch with one’s inner wisdom is a powerful and positive thing to do! If I have no believe that a Ouija board is legit, I’d have no issues using one myself.
But here’s where that one percent of doubt factors in: I still can’t bring myself to use one, or even want one in my home.
I work with the Spirits all the time; I know what the darker entities of the Otherworld look like. I simply can’t feel confident about opening myself up to them in such a non-protected way, even if it’s only by the slightest chance.
The fact that Ouija boards don’t work, and the very slight possibility that they may, are two equally strong reasons to put them aside and focus our time on better, more productive activities like basket weaving, Netflix binging (don’t judge, people), or working out.
And if you really want to talk to the Spirits, my advice is to go to a place of worship, close your eyes and appreciate the silence, or go to a forest, close your eyes and allow yourself to become one with the nature around you. Or, of course, you could always reach out and see a practitioner like me, but if that practitioner pulls out a Ouija board, take my advice and high-tail it out of there. At best it’s a farce, at worst it’s a danger.
Image Credit: Braden Kowitz