Most forms of divination fall into one of two broad categories:
1. attempting to visually see future events (crystal balls, scrying, etc.) , or
2. interpreting symbols pertaining to the future (tarot, tea leaves, runes, etc).
In these forms of divination contact with the “Beyond” is mediated and indirect. With cards, bibliomancy, ogham staves, rune stones, etc. the contact is mediated by having to come thru’ your Higher Self/guide/whathaveyou and then guiding you to pull whatever card, land on whatever page with your hand, and further mediated by your interpretation. Inspiration to pull the card, not moving your hand and picking the card for you, and inspiration to help you interpret what you see or the symbols you pull, not spelling things out for you.
Ouija boards, on the other hand, are a different category – it’s far more direct contact with Some Thing Out There. Some thing that has enough access to you to communicate in the language you read and write in. Some thing that you are inviting into your room and allowing to move things around. But, seriously, moving things around is less a problem than it getting into your head enough to pick up the English language.
When using a ouija board, you use the board/planchette as a communication gateway to ‘Beyond’. Whether whatever you contact is moving the planchette or moving your hands on it, the being is there with you in the space. And at the very least it listens to your questions … or, if you expect it to answer unstated questions, the being has to access your mind. You throw open a gate, and invite Whatever Is Out There in to chat with you.
While ALL spiritual and magical activity increases your visibility on The Other Side, opening a gate and loudly announcing that you ready for visitors is similar to using Craig’s List to announce you are throwing a party Saturday night and including your address for everyone in the area to come. In short – it’s not the best approach to using this tool.
Some folks I’ve talked to have said “oh, I’ll be fine, I’m doing this in a magical circle”. Consecrated circles are great for many things – this is not one of them. They CAN keep things out – but they are using this WITHIN the circle, inviting Whoever INTO the circle. An open gate in a circle, you inviting What Ever in, makes the circle useless.
Some I’ve talked to have said “If your intent is pure, you need fear nothing”. I will note that those folks still avoid certain parts of town especially after dark, still lock their doors, and still have life/health/homeowners/car insurance. As above so below, folks. INTENDING to pay a bill is not the same as PAYING one. Magic, all types, is dangerous stuff, the stuff of change and transformation. Magic is about responsibility. This is not a time to slack on that.
Some have said to keep a talisman with you. They did not say a talisman aimed at what. Protection from something you’ve invited? Nor did they give any ideas on how to make one. “Just an idea”.
So, what am I saying? Not to use a ouija board? No, not really. I’m saying that you should treat it like the gateway that it is. Respect what you are doing.
Call upon some gatekeeping deity that you already work with (remember my “Intimacy with the Gods” blog post?) and ask that God/dess to guard the gate, letting only beings who will help you and tell you the truth through. Since you’re working with a Divinity that you know well, after you make the request you should be able to tell the change in energy when S/He arrives to ward. Then go ahead and use the board.
Now, not only do you have protection actually in place, you have some hope of getting the truth told to you. For, just asking some Being off the street for answers, how would you know if they were telling you the truth or messing with you? You wouldn’t even know it’s name, let alone be in a position to compel the truth. Even in this case you probably won’t get the full truth. You might get only part of the truth because of some agenda the spirit you’re talking to has, or because the gatekeeper has a reason to keep some things from you, or for other reasons.
By the way, there is some kicking information on divination at www.cantrap.net. You might want to check out the site, for many great things.