If you read the title and started freaking out, raise your hand!
Truth be told, I had a nice-size article written up about an experiment I’ve been doing and some realizations I’ve made concerning the planetary hours, but it feels like feeding a goldfish cracker to a whale (would a whale even recognize a goldfish cracker as edible?). That, and some new information has come my way so that blog post can keep for another time.
That said, I’m nine months into a massive experiment where I’m basically relearning magic from scratch. If you want an idea of the scope of what’s going on, just imagine synthesis of the medieval and renaissance conjuration Manuals, assembly-level programming, removal of right-brained content to the furthest extent possible, Italian folk notions of “reward and punishment” based on entity performance, ruthless examination of every angle/process/vector of manifestation, implementation of the “gear-wheels of the universe” epiphany I had 11 years ago, and hard-line empiricism expressed as an absolute emphasis on physical results.
The experiment’s scope means it may take upwards of five to ten years before completion, as it involves literally every area of magic. As one of the foundational skills for successful magic is spirit communication, this is where the board comes in.
Where I Stand with Spirit Communication
Now my own ability with spirit communication is kind of funny. I can “hear” better than I can “see,” though I can sometimes “see” an entity – or at least an outline – if it’s either fighting me or talking to me (this came in very handy when I was an exorcist!).
Generally when an entity is interacting with me, I can “feel” its presence and “hear” its speech in-my-head-but-not-in-my-head. Sometimes the difference is so subtle I have to question whether it’s my own thinking, but experience has taught me that if I ever have to question it, then that means it ain’t real.
This seems to be a concern among other magicians too, and a common “workaround” for clarity in spirit communication is to use some form of divination such as Tarot or a pendulum. The way this generally works is that you ask the question, and then do a divination to determine the entity’s response. A good explanation of this can be found on the Voodou Sorcerer blog entry titled “Communicating with Spirits.”
Do I Hate the Board?
This almost brings us full circle, to the subject of Ouija boards. In general, I have never been a fan of Ouija or other “talking boards” because it’s pretty legendary what havoc spirits can wreak through those boards in untrained hands. Among exorcists they’re known as the number one cause of preternatural obsessions, oppressions, possessions, or infestations, and I know one exorcist who says “8 out of 10” of his cases are connected to these boards. On the same vein, most serious occultists are either wary of talking boards or just outright hostile to the notion of having anything to do with one.
So what changed my mind? Well nothing changed my mind, and two things got me to look into the board a little closer. The first thing was reading Jenny Tyson’s Spiritual Alchemy, where she mentions making spiritual contact with a board she and Donald had made, and dedicates an entire chapter to its construction and use. This was the first thing to give me pause, as it’s the first time I’d heard of a practicing occultist taking a non-hostile attitude toward one.
The second thing was the materialist viewpoint that all talking board phenomena has nothing to do with spirits but is based solely on the ideomotor effect, meaning that when the conscious mind no longer controls our body’s motions, the unconscious takes over and controls our muscles instead (a commonly-mentioned example of this is “jerking awake” after a particularly intense dream).
While none of this changed my opinion 180 degrees, it was enough to get me to think about incorporating a board into my experiment, to see if it could give an objective means of measuring responses.
What Did I Do?
Finally, we get to the actual experience!
This past Thursday (October 22, 2020), I went to a nearby store and purchased a Ouija board, then brought it home into my operatorium.
It was warm, so I turned on the window air conditioning unit, then took the box in which the board came and placed it bottom-up on the floor, in easy reach of the bookshelf where I keep my copies of the Rituale Romanum. I then placed the board over the box, sat on the floor in front of it with my hands on my knees, and began meditating on the subject matter at hand.
Usually meditation doesn’t take me anywhere, but I think that’s because my subconscious doesn’t like training exercises (there’s a distinction of “doing it just to do it” versus “doing it for real,” where my subconscious performs better). When I got deep enough, I did some visualizations – clearer than usual – delineating certain areas; I don’t want anybody to try repeating this experiment, so I’m not going to tell you what those visualizations were.
Out loud, I began the Declaratio Intensionis: “I do this to communicate with the spirit (not telling you the name, but an entity associated with work I’ve been doing lately). Be this spirit’s answers to me true and without the slightest falsehood, evasion, manipulation, or deception. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. Amen.”
Next, the sign of the cross followed by the Invocatio Nominis Domini, for authority over any entity or entities evoked.
Next, the Ave Maria to open the door. (This is a part of my personal practice I’ve not talked about publicly yet, but it’s easy enough to figure out.)
After this, I traced the sigil of the spirit over the board with my right hand, followed by the Conjuratio Generalis (another part of my practice created during the course of these experiments; I’ve not yet shared it publicly).
This conjuration is always followed by the Conjuratio Peculiaris. While the Generalis is a general citation and binding to obey, the Peculiaris is tailored to each operation, may contain one or several conjurations addressing the spirit(s) evoked individually and giving each one specific instructions to carry out. In this case the Peculiaris delineated the limits of the entities influence – the board and planchette only: not my body, not the bodies of any other persons or animals, nor anything vegetable, mineral, spiritual, or alive, or dead.
Finally once the safety protocols and conjurations were finished, I would use the board for the sake of communication, concluded by an Ave Maria to close the door, then a Gratulatio and Dimissio. But that isn’t how it turned out.
Instead, when I got to the Ave Maria to open the doorway, the air conditioner started making noises as though something were stuck in the fan blades. I got up and turned it off, then on “fan,” and the noise was gone. I went back to the board and had to start from scratch.
The second time, during the Conjuratio, I heard a cat on the carpet slightly behind me and to my right (like a foot away). Now anybody who’s had cats will know the phenomena of “ghost cats” jumping on their bed and running through the house on occasion, but this was a lot more physical and more “real” than any ghost cat I’ve ever encountered. (And before anybody asks: no, this wasn’t Gray Lady. I know her too well to confuse another cat for her!)
Fortunately, I was able to ignore the cat sound and pushed through to the Negotium, or the part where the spirit’s identity is verified and the actual communication takes place. After the sounds and physical disturbances leading up to this point, I’ve gotta say the actual communication part was anti-climactic. The planchette worked but took too long to come to an answer, while the answer hit my brain long before that thing even started moving.
At long last, I gave up, finished the Ave, Gratulatio, and Dimissio, then put the board back in the box and put it away. My biggest conclusion was I wasted money!
Any Other Conclusions?
Before I talk about conclusions, I want to say this is what happened with me, and it’s only the first time out. I do not expect everybody to have the same conclusions as I, nor do I uphold them to be a universal and binding truth. Rather, my results are likely linked to my level of experience and the paranoid level of safety protocols I routinely use.
That said, my first conclusion is that the board was too slow and inefficient for use when too much information is being conveyed. My second conclusion is that it’s possible my safety protocols may have been responsible for the slow speed (i.e. “you can control the planchette but no influence on my body or any other part of me”). However, those protocols exist for a reason and I’m not loosening up on them anytime soon.
My third conclusion is that the board may become a useful too with more practice, and my fourth conclusion was that it seems better to stick to my current methodology or work with a pendulum or something with a more immediate and definite result.
Again, these are solely my own conclusions – preliminary conclusions at that – and I recognize a lot of flaws may exist in logistics, setup, and execution. In any case, I do not intend on messing around with the board again in the foreseeable future.