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Ouija Boards: Debunking the Hype and Embracing the Mystery

Date 10/13/2023
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Introduction - My Moment of Metaphysical Insight 

There is much lore around Ouija boards, their origins, uses, and whether they work. Much of this lore we receive from horror movies or childhood tales is meant to scare us. But what is the real deal when it comes to Ouija boards? Ever wonder what the word “Ouija” even means? Ouija boards come with much mystery, from the historical origins of the board, to how we presently use Ouija boards today. Join me as we explore the lore behind Ouija boards and the safe way to use this powerful tool of divination.

My first experience using an Ouija board was at a friend’s sleepover when I was just in elementary school. We played many magical games that night which included “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” as well as holding a seance and telling spooky stories – you know, typical elementary school sleepover games – ha-ha.

When it came to using the Ouija board, I have a distinct recollection of not believing it was working as one of the older girls at the sleepover was jokingly moving it at first. Then suddenly, we all got serious when we realized no one was moving it as we were giggling. That is when we immediately stopped. This only led me on a journey of using divination tools of all sorts to find answers and connect with spirits. 

Ouija Board

Are Ouija Boards Safe to Use?

Ouija boards are as safe to use as the users' intended purpose. In other words, Ouija boards, as with any divination tool, from pendulums to tarot cards, should be approached with good intentions and respect for the spiritual world.

What I find most interesting is the age suggestion on the originally patented Ouija board. The suggested age is as young as 8 years as the Ouija board is considered a “family-friendly” toy. While I feel that Ouija boards are safe and certainly easy enough for an 8-year-old to use with successful and fun results, I would not recommend this tool for children under the age of 18.

Although Ouija boards are safe to use in concept, we cannot forget the fact that this is an actual divination board. I would imagine most parents do not want their children to communicate with spirits as a game. When it comes to adult use, it is considered entirely safe to use, however, there are some considerations to keep in mind. 

What are the Dangers of Using an Ouija Board?

One of the dangers when working with an Ouija board is a lack of spiritual protection. Because this is a divination tool, sometimes we can access portals or angry spirits that can make life, let’s just say, more interesting than you’d like. Adding a layer of spiritual protection can be in the form of a prayer, a salt circle, or just envisioning a circle around you. Using a means of spiritual protection helps to banish negative energy that may attempt to come through.

Another danger when it comes to the use of Ouija boards is creating a dependency upon them for answers. From a psychological standpoint, the overuse of Ouija boards can cause disconnection from the real world creating unhealthy dependencies on external factors to provide truth. One final danger when it comes to the use of Ouija boards is being sure to spiritually cleanse your space after its use. This helps with the prevention of any lingering energies that are unwanted or have attached themselves to you.


What Are Ouija Boards? Demystifying the Mystical Ouija


Ouija boards have a longer history than you may consider. First emerging as early as 1891, Ouija boards were first patented and produced by the Kennard Novelty Company. Charles Kennard and E.C. Reiche were two small-town businessmen and residents of Chestertown, Maryland, where together, they created and designed the first original Ouija board. There is much speculation still around whose idea it was originally, Kennard claims to be the person who came up with the idea while Reiche, a coffin-maker, designed the board. The patent for this item did not come until Kennard met a Baltimore attorney, Elijah Bond, whose sister, Helen Peters, was a powerful medium. After Bond and his sister tested the validity of the item, Bond quickly supported the patented along with four additional businessmen to create what we now call the Ouija board. 

During the 19th century, spiritualism, and new age teachers such as Florence Scovel Shinn, Dion Fortune, Napoleon Hill, and H.P. Blavatsky, to name a few, were becoming prominent in helping humanity explore our relationship with the spirit world. During this time, the life expectancy rate was no more than the average age of 50. With this, many people sought ways to get closure when losing their loved ones. Turning to spiritualism through means such as psychic readings, hosting seances, or reading tarot, helped to bridge a gap between those grieving and those in need. 

How the Ouija Board Got Its Design

Outside of the claims made by Charles Kennard and E.C. Reiche, the origin of the Ouija board is not entirely clear, so it is also not clear how the placement of letters, numbers, or other symbols words got placed in the position they are in. Even when it comes to the name of the Ouija board, many believe its origin comes from the French word “oui” and the German word “ja”, both translate into “yes”. This is not correct. The actual meaning of Ouija was inspired during the testing divination session hosted by Helen Peters.  

“The makers of the first talking board asked the board what they should call it; the name “Ouija” came through and, when they asked what that meant, the board replied, “Good luck.” Robert Murch

This is a bit of an eerie prospect to consider, which is why we suggest protecting your energy during and after its usage because you never know. The presentation of the board is designed in a way to support multiple questions a person may want to ask the spirit world. The layout supports answers to be provided in a few ways:

- First through spelling out a name or word. Usually, you will not receive a full sentence or paragraph being spelled out. If so, nudge your friend and tell them to “quit it.”

- In the form of numbers for number-related questions such as dates, birthdates, quantities

- “Yes” or “No” responses for simple questions such as “True” or “False”

Some newer Ouija boards offer other symbols and have their meanings. When using non-traditional Ouija boards, carefully read how to use them and the meaning of the symbols so that you can interpret your answers.

spirit of a lost loved one

Ouija Board Ritual Tips to Access Other Realms

The Ouija board is a divination tool that can be used as a part of your rituals to connect with the deceased and the spiritual world. Approaching this tool with respect is highly recommended as you are using this ritualistic tool to access other realms. To do this effectively, when working with Ouija boards, what is most important to keep in mind is your conscious intent. What is the purpose of using the board?

  • Do you have a particular question you need guidance with?
  • Would you just like to open the channel of communication to the spiritual world?
  • Are you looking to contact a deceased loved one?
  • Would you like to connect with the spirits that exist within your premises?
  • Are you looking to contact an old pet?

Using a Ouija board just for smiles and giggles, solo or with a gang of friends, can also be fun, but remember, what is the group’s conscious intent? If all users are in alignment, a clearer answer can be delivered through the board. 


Understanding the Board's Spiritual Reputation - Understanding Mystical Power

You may find mixed reviews about what spiritual practitioners’ opinions are regarding the use of Ouija boards. Some will recommend it as a tool for the experienced only (warning novices and beginners to get more experience before diving into its use), while other practitioners feel it is safe and easy for many to enjoy. There are a handful of mediums who will advise against its use altogether. Because Ouija boards are divination tools, this means they are also portals. Knowing how to close and open portals safely is important when using one. 

Accessing Cosmic Wisdom Through the Unconscious Mind

When considering the Ouija board from a parapsychology perspective, it is believed that the messages come through the connection that we share between the conscious, subconscious, super-conscious, and preconscious mind. Many scholars view the Ouija board as a gateway to our shadow or higher self. Through this angle, the Ouija board can be just a tool for reflection on one's inner thoughts. Similar methods such as scrying or gazing into a crystal ball grant a similar effect, allowing its practitioner to access deep pockets of their subconscious mind and sometimes even the spirit realm.  

It may be hard at first to believe that we possess the power to access such infinite intelligence. What is even harder to believe is that access to infinite intelligence resides inside all of us. Some refer to this database of celestial knowledge as the Akashic records. Inspiring artists and thinkers from history have used various forms of divination methods to receive guidance from spirits. Influential artists and thinkers, such as Michelangelo, retreated into caves for months before receiving revelations from “spiritual beings”. Bob Marley is known for his spiritual connection to music and his ability to heal and lift others. Nostradamus used scrying methods such as water bowl gazing to predict some of the world’s most accurate predictions that are still talked about today!

 cosmic mind

Why Society Fears the Mystic Unknown

The world of mysticism has always been feared because it is a natural part of human nature to fear the unknown. One of the best ways to move past these fears is through education. As we become more spiritually enlightened as a universal people, we will begin to step more towards a spiritual versus religious path. The path of spirituality is freeing and can often conflict with some of the ideologies, rules, or restrictions found in many religions.

Religions reject mediums as “evil” or “fake” because they often do not understand how the medium is gaining their knowledge. In religious frameworks, mediums and psychics are often called prophets. Through religion, mediumship and divination can be better monitored and controlled if the message is ordained through a representative of God. Society fears us losing rational control once we learn we can receive messages directly from the spirit world without needing a religious or ordained source.

There is one practical reason behind the fears—trickster energies. These trickster spirits can provide us with misleading information if we are not able to differentiate between a benevolent and a malevolent entity. When using a Ouija board, it is possible that you may come into contact with a trickster spirit that would like to convey misleading information. This is why it is important to know the dangers of Ouija Boards.

Do Ouija Boards Open Portals to Evil Spirits?

Ouija boards are not direct portals to evil spirits. This does not mean it’s impossible to use a Ouija board to access evil spirits. This is why it is important to have clear conscious intent before using one at any time. Having a clear intent gives you as the user more control over the type of energies you are willing to welcome through. Using a Ouija board when you are in a very low vibrational spirit or in a location where negative energy exists can give you an unfavorable outcome. If you intentionally want to contact evil spirits, there is a small possibility that you may just get what you wish for.

 Ouija board

Embracing the Mystery 

Like many tools used for divination, one of the mysteries that lies between its validity and human projection is the belief that only psychics or mediums can use these devices. A common belief we must all start to formulate is that everyone is psychic. While some of our psychic powers lie dormant until we decide to them on, in others, powers are more active naturally. This means that anyone can use a Ouija board, not just psychics.

Can Using a Ouija Board Improve Your Psychic Abilities?

Ouija boards can support the development of your psychic abilities. It does so by connecting you to your subconscious mind to channel answers. Similar to using tarot cards or a pendulum, strengthening your psychic abilities while using a Ouija board can be beneficial.

Start slow and use the board to provide answers to smaller questions that are easy to confirm can help solidify your intuitive thoughts. Such a question could be, “What will my day look like tomorrow?” Before allowing the Ouija board to provide you with an answer, reach into your intuition and make some notes on what you feel is correct. Next, ask the Ouija board the same question and see what response you get. The next day see how your messages align. Which was more accurate, the Ouija board or your notes? Practice with simple questions that are confirmable at first, gradually working your way to more complex predictions.

Communication With Spirits

Communication with spirits is also possible when using Ouija boards. Spirits from all realms residing in the underworld, celestial, ancestral, animal, and angelic realms are accessible through Ouija. Connecting with dead celebrities, world leaders, and famous figures is also a possibility using Ouija, however, it is very difficult to prove that you are contacting these spirits if you do not know personal questions to identify validity against trickster spirits. This is why communicating with any spirit can be tricky to make sure you are not reflecting your thoughts.

It is not so unusual to contact spirits using Ouija boards, and often we cannot control which spirit we are meeting. Hence the meaning of the name “Ouija”, is “good luck”. As early as 1915, one of the earliest documented cases regarding spirit contact using an Ouija board was recorded. 

“As Ouija's popularity grew in the wake of World War I, newspaper coverage spread about Pearl Curran, a St. Louis housewife who used Ouija to talk with the spirit of a 17th-century woman named Patience Worth,” (Library of Congress).

While there are many stories of positive spiritual contact using Ouija boards, there are a lot of not-so-pleasant stories, which is why we express the following cautions when using. Take a look at these tips for using Ouija boards with openness but caution.


Conclusion – Accessing & Having Faith in Your Inner Wisdom 

Ouija is simply a divination tool that supports your ability to connect with the intuitive messages that reside inside of you. It can serve as an opener to your inner wisdom and divine intuitive abilities. It allows you to see the truth around you with more clarity as it presents answers to us in a written form. Each message received when using Ouija or any divination tool deserves understanding, not fear, and certainly not worship.

To best understand the purpose, potential, and power of the Ouija board, you must remember it is a mirror reflecting your beliefs, insights, and creativity. This is what channeling is all about, the ability to discuss with your inner self by using Ouija as a tool to assist.

How to Get the Best Results Using a Ouija Board 

It's not always easy to discern spiritual truth from projection, no matter which tool you use. But using the following guidelines can help you get a more spiritually enriching experience:

  • Never use of a Ouija board when your emotions are running high. This will only cloud your judgment when you receive your response from the board.
  • If you have your mind made up about a situation, then there's no need to consult the board. You will only project what it is that you already believe, and will only misinterpret the spiritual truth.
  • Do not continue to ask the same question over and over once you've already received an answer just because you do not like the answer you received. Instead, pause, walk away, and come back another day to ask this question again, perhaps something in the energy has changed.
  • There is power in a name. Give the name of the spirit you are connecting with while using the board.
  • Cast a protection circle before you work with a Ouija board and remember to close your circle at the end of each use.

Ouija boards can predict the future, and asking future questions is a great way to test the validity of the spiritual energy you are channeling during use. Keep in mind that you can be channeling a different entity each time. So getting the name of the energy can help you build a stronger bond with it as well as give you power over it in the physical (not spiritual) realm. Asking questions that will test the validity of answers only you would know is a good way to determine if the Ouija board is giving true messages. You can ask questions such as:

  • “What will happen in the news tomorrow?”
  • “What happened to me on my 10th birthday?”
  • “Who was my first kiss and where were we when it happened?”
  • “What is my bank safe box number?”

Overall, Ouija requires an intuitive mindset, emotional intelligence, and trust in one’s psychic abilities. As stated at the start of this article, you are the true source of information. Approaching Ouija with humility supports your ability to have the courage to follow the wisdom you receive, because, after all, it is you, who is the true divination device.



Author's Photo Get a Reading with Spring x4779

Spring is a Shadow-Work Shaman, Intuitive-Empath, and Certified Usui Reiki Master Practitioner. She comes from an ancient line of healers, preachers, & witches and is a Priestess in the ancient arts of Mysticism, Alchemy, Divination, and Energy Healing. She holds a BA in History and is pursuing her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She loves traveling to historical sites where she can wander aimlessly and indulge in a delicious meal paired with the best glass of Malbec. Spring enjoys reading, daydreaming, and watching fantasy movies for fun.


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