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Topic: Ouyja Board
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (May 24, 2010 11:14AM)
Yes, the mis spelling of ouija was intentional. An attempt to draw your attention and possible interest; begin a conversation perhaps.

Since Ouija boards are supposed to be so ancient, why are most if not all; Printed with modern letters of the alphabet and words? What if the letters were Hebrew or some other ancient text. Or possibly even foriegn languages. Symbols such asa on rune stones? I think not only the look of the board could be seen as even more mystical. A board such as this with a different language on each side would allow the performer to use it to a targeted group or nationality.
Have I made one? No I haven't, but I could. You could too if the idea strikes you as even slughtly useful or valuable.
For now, just a thought I felt like sharing.


Kotah
Message: Posted by: DrTodd (May 24, 2010 11:41AM)
Nice idea Kotah....
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (May 24, 2010 12:09PM)
Yes, I agree. A lot of things could be done with this idea. How about ancient Egyptian as one example? You could have a list of phonetic equivalents of the hieroglyphs.

(Contact Min-ne-auf-Khons instead of Aunt Minnie ;) )
Message: Posted by: PSYSHADOW (May 24, 2010 02:17PM)
Or you could have a Scouse one, which would be water based after their conversation !!!

Sorry guy's, but it's likely that only those from the U.K. will get that one.
Message: Posted by: docsteve (May 24, 2010 02:25PM)
A board to contact the dead souls of children could use phonetics, or even picture cards to signal intent/messages.
Combine with Konxari cards arranged like alphabet cards on polished table - no need for board per se. Very dark.
Message: Posted by: Yannou (May 24, 2010 02:35PM)
If I were to make an 'ancient' one, I'd go for the version from ancienct Greece - a plaque with the letters (in Greek of course) using a pendulum in stead of a planchette. It would be historically correct.
Message: Posted by: jambo666 (May 24, 2010 02:46PM)
I like the idea of originality. But don't forget your audience. They are not experts. They are there to be entertained. Part of the fun for them is reading the words etc as they are spelled out and the messages when selected. Words they don't understand could besically mean anything. Not so convincing for the audience.
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (May 24, 2010 03:33PM)
Jabbo 666, I did say for possible use with a targeted group or nationality.
I have read here many times that performers often fear their audience or at least one member of it may BE an expert. That wasn't the point of this post. Expanding the use of presentations for the woard was. I love Dr. Steves suggestion. And yes use a pendulum, why not! Bizarre as well the thought that a Ouija board night be combined with a board game such as chess or checkers. The pieces taken and the letters they covered used to create an anagram or message from beyond. View things from outside the box to discover different sides.

Kotah
Message: Posted by: William Draven (May 24, 2010 04:11PM)
Actually I've seen some beautifully hand crafted boards at wicca and new age stores here in So-cal.

Next time I visit one I'll take some pictures for you. It's a good idea. Frankly when I figure out how to use a ouija effect in my show I know for a fact I will be taking the commercial element out of it.
Message: Posted by: seadog93 (May 24, 2010 04:29PM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-24 15:35, Yannou wrote:
If I were to make an 'ancient' one, I'd go for the version from ancienct Greece - a plaque with the letters (in Greek of course) using a pendulum in stead of a planchette. It would be historically correct.
[/quote]

I think that's a great idea.
How about hanging the pendulum from a tripod (delphic oracle style) and either having two other people hold it, or make it swing on it's own.
Message: Posted by: Roni (May 24, 2010 05:31PM)
Steve,
I like your idea about the board to contact dead souls of children. I am going to play with that if you don't mind?
Roni
Message: Posted by: chmara (May 24, 2010 06:15PM)
Spirit boards have really only been in use as Oracles since the 1830s systems of raps, bells and even paper letter choices were slow.

The idea of Ouija and spirit boards is antithetical to true "reading" systems which allow the medium to interpret the arcane symbol for the sitter. The spelling board is to deliver a very direct message -- without a medium of interpreter.

Rune Readers and Tarot readers must use some talent and BS to put together a cogent reading and can make adjustments as they go along. Other than "short-speak" abbreviations (much like twitter-speak) a spelled word usually has a specific meaning.

But, that said -- the Ouija game and spirit board is powerful and intimate and should not be discounted as part of the medium's (magician's) arsenal.
Message: Posted by: dmkraig (May 24, 2010 09:52PM)
Gregg is right. Whoever told you that Ouija boards are "ancient" don't know what he or she is talking about. They are based on earlier practices including placing a bunch of cards on a table and inverting a stemmed glass and using it like a planchette. That was an advance on the earlier version known as table tipping. if you're looking for something ancient, try Cephalonomancy. That was a way to determine the name of a guilty person. The head of an ass was broiled, and when a guilty person's name was called out, the ass' jaws supposedly move.
Message: Posted by: seadog93 (May 24, 2010 11:39PM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-24 22:52, dmkraig wrote:
Gregg is right. Whoever told you that Ouija boards are "ancient" don't know what he or she is talking about. They are based on earlier practices including placing a bunch of cards on a table and inverting a stemmed glass and using it like a planchette. That was an advance on the earlier version known as table tipping. if you're looking for something ancient, try Cephalonomancy. That was a way to determine the name of a guilty person. The head of an ass was broiled, and when a guilty person's name was called out, the ass' jaws supposedly move.
[/quote]

In terms of finding guilty people you could have you spectators take turns licking a red hot ladle and interpret the burns. I think this could be a great way to find a card! :)
Message: Posted by: seadog93 (May 24, 2010 11:47PM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-25 00:39, seadog93 wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-05-24 22:52, dmkraig wrote:
Gregg is right. Whoever told you that Ouija boards are "ancient" don't know what he or she is talking about. They are based on earlier practices including placing a bunch of cards on a table and inverting a stemmed glass and using it like a planchette. That was an advance on the earlier version known as table tipping. if you're looking for something ancient, try Cephalonomancy. That was a way to determine the name of a guilty person. The head of an ass was broiled, and when a guilty person's name was called out, the ass' jaws supposedly move.
[/quote]

In terms of finding guilty people you could have you spectators take turns licking a red hot ladle and interpret the burns. I think this could be a great way to find a card! :)
[/quote]

Actually, if you wanted to play it funny, I think that really could be a great way to find a card!
Message: Posted by: docsteve (May 25, 2010 01:34AM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-24 18:31, Roni wrote:
Steve,
I like your idea about the board to contact dead souls of children. I am going to play with that if you don't mind?
Roni
[/quote]
Be my guest. And indeed, anyone else.
I think this may be too dark even for me!
Thanks to Brother Kotah for sparking off the idea.
S
Message: Posted by: aquariusmagic (May 25, 2010 01:52AM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-24 18:31, Roni wrote:
Steve,
I like your idea about the board to contact dead souls of children. I am going to play with that if you don't mind?
Roni
[/quote]
Hi, Look up Reculver in Kent (U.K.) It is a Roman Fort where the skeletons of hundreds of dead children have been found (possibly sacrificial). Great for a background story.
regards
Francis
Message: Posted by: aquariusmagic (May 25, 2010 02:00AM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-24 18:31, Roni wrote:
Steve,
I like your idea about the board to contact dead souls of children. I am going to play with that if you don't mind?
Roni
[/quote]
Hi, Look up Reculver in Kent (U.K.) It is a Roman Fort where the skeletons of hundreds of dead children have been found (possibly sacrificial). Great for a background story.
regards
Francis
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (May 25, 2010 07:07AM)
For those wanting ancient ouija takes on this thread. THis ties in with Bills idea od using egyptian glyphs. I watched a special on PBS the other day, about the breaking of the code and reading of Myan glyphs as well,

Maybe even a medical approach could be taken on things, OLd pictures of the human body studies under a sheet of glass could become an impromptu ouijaboard.

Tarot cards could be laid out face up,coved with a sheet of glass/plexiglass and selections made and read via the planchette.

Still just mulling the ideas around in my mind.

I enjoy the interaction of talking and thinking about ideas. It can be energizing. Why always rush to buy the latest and the greatest when we can create our own?

Kotah
Message: Posted by: chmara (May 25, 2010 01:10PM)
Thinking twice on this -- the ancients did use pendulums a lot -- but the addition of spellng words is definitely 19th & 20th Century. Maybe Morse code was an influence?

A good thinker along these lines who I rarely if ever see here -- is Ed Solomon -- better known as DeNomolos. His penchant is to set things in Egyptian Style -- which is both colorful and arcane to most folks.Also remember that in the early to mid 20th century there was an "Egyptian" revival movement along with art deco. It can supply ideas and props.

I use a place called Tuscano to acquire support props (non magical) one line and catalog.
Message: Posted by: Dreadnought (May 25, 2010 04:16PM)
I agree with Gregg in that, the Ouija board is not arcane. It only dates the spiritualism movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. Most people will not know this so you can weave a fantastic tale around it, but be careful of those who do know.

To each his or her own but I will also agree with what was said earlier, and this strictly goes for me and my style, I wouldn't use any language outside of what is normal for the audience. I have an MA in Archaeology and I have a working knowledge of Eqyptian and Indo-American heiroglyphs but to formulate a Ouija board around them would only invite scepticism on the part of the people observing. If one uses some sort of glyphs then one had better have a bit more than a basic understanding of them that goes beyond something found on the internet or a book. I actually have an illusion that I built and I have decorated with Egyptian heiroglyphics citing a passage from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. If asked what it means I can readily read it and, more often than not, have to pause and think what is this glyph again.

If one constructs an Ouija board in this manner, some audience members will be impressed but it will become lost on others because they can't read it which means they have to rely on the performer and BELIEVE he or she knows, which to me would leave me thinking, "Phhht yeah right, if you say so."


Peace and Godspeed
Message: Posted by: Dreadnought (May 25, 2010 04:19PM)
And by the way Tuscano is cool by the way, we have their stuff all over our house and garden. Their stuff would be cool as magic props or even stage props. Here is their link:

http://www.designtoscano.com/
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (May 25, 2010 09:36PM)
Gregg, you are right about Ed Solomon. He and I have recently discussed this notion of other takes on a Ouija board. Since posting it, several new ideas have been shared with me in PMs. DReadnaught and other can and most likely will follow their own path on this, as they are free to do. Dr. Steve accepted this post in the spirit it was intended. IT was just a suggestion brothers.
An attempt to open the doors to sharing and brainstorming here on the Café'
I am not attempting to change your opinions or thoughts, just share my owm.
Still I always seem to be on the offensive here. I have ideas for several other variations on Ouija boards. Some will embrace them, others never will.


Kotah
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (May 25, 2010 11:26PM)
"if you're looking for something ancient, try Cephalonomancy. That was a way to determine the name of a guilty person. The head of an ass was broiled, and when a guilty person's name was called out, the ass' jaws supposedly move."

Where in the world are you going to find an ass on the Magic Café? :rolleyes:
Message: Posted by: aquariusmagic (May 26, 2010 01:13AM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-25 17:16, Dreadnought wrote:
I agree with Gregg in that, the Ouija board is not arcane. It only dates the spiritualism movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. Most people will not know this so you can weave a fantastic tale around it, but be careful of those who do know.
[/quote]
Things are being discovered all the time, there is no reason why a hitherto undiscovered and extremely early ouija board could not be found. So early and important that it has changed historians knowledge about when they first appeared.:_)
regards
Francis
Message: Posted by: skc417 (May 26, 2010 01:28AM)
I am not sure about an actual "board", but Chinese have had similar practices that I am certain predates the spiritual movement. There are special parchements that are sold arrange in a circular pattern with various chinese characters. The planchette used is usually a small dish that is inverted.
Message: Posted by: Balaram (May 26, 2010 08:33AM)
I like the idea of a non-traditional "reading board", call it a "Relik" rather than "relic" if you like. I recently saw a Chinese paper-cut, folk art Zodiac, under glass with a pendulum or planchette, could be fun for a natal divination.
Or the famous John Dee's mystic chart, read the findings as you like. After all, it is a Ouyja, different rules to a Ouija...
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (May 26, 2010 09:51AM)
For the dyed in wool Bizarrists, have your local monument stone worker etch a Ouija Board layout into the top of your tombstone. Visitors will be right at the 'source' should they desire to make contact. Ouija boards could be in the form of a table cloth to,. Any table becomes your board. Even more fun. T- shirt ouija boards.


Bill Z and others will think further on this subject I am hopeful.


Kotah
Message: Posted by: dmkraig (May 26, 2010 09:55AM)
Kotah, the problem with using something made of cloth for a Ouija is that planchettes won't easily move over them.

On the other hand, a T-shirt printed front and back could make and interesting living Hot Rod.
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (May 26, 2010 10:47AM)
Ouija does not necessarily imply a planchette. The pendulum has already been discussed, and there are other options. An inverted drinking glass would work, perhaps. A smooth cloth could be found, I am sure, that would allow a glass or even a traditional planchette move easily. I like the tablecloth idea. It need not be a full-sized table cloth. It could even be weighted at the edges so that it would it would tend to remain in place.

A small, ouija board sized, smooth cloth with weighted hems can be rolled up and easily carried.
Message: Posted by: Balaram (May 26, 2010 10:51AM)
Table cloth under glass, no problem for a planchette.
Living Hot Rod--somewhere, a birthday clown is jumping up and down, thanking you!
Message: Posted by: Tokyo Williams (May 26, 2010 12:50PM)
I've always wondered why the talking board didn't evolve more toward what seems like a natural conclusion. As many of you have pointed out, its purpose was to bypass 'interpretive mediumship,' if you will, and put a simple means of communicating to the Summerland in the hands of laypeople. However, it's obviously created with an incredible Anglo-centric bias. Not only can you only commune with English-speaking spirits, but only those in the yet smaller demographic (historically speaking, at least) that could actually read and write.

I often explain to my occasional audiences that receiving a message from beyond is taxing, confusing, and complicated procedure. It isn't like listening to someone tell you a story. It's more like hearing someone tell you a dream...but with a combination of images, emotions, aural/tactile sensations, etc. used instead of words. Often this montage makes its message clear, but sometimes you have to put it together yourself (occasionally incorrectly. I use a tweaked version of this explanation on telepathy/divination/etc for a more mentalism-oriented program.

It seems perfectly plausible that some innovative ghost-hunter would put together a talking board that uses some form of universal symbols instead of words or letters. Something not unlike, say, the symbols found on an alethiometer in Pullman's Dark Materials works. The sitters can use a glass/planchette like a traditional board (or a pendulum, if that's your thing), and you would explain the results. As a result, you're covered no matter what direction the ideomotor fairies take the sitters; the prescience and accuracy of your spirit rests solely on your ability as a cold reader and/or storyteller. Houdini's mom can talk to you about her boy no matter what language you speak and you finish clean. Of course, those of you who want a bit more insurance or expanded material have probably already figured out a few ways to set the symbols up for a force or two.
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (May 26, 2010 05:22PM)
What an incredibly well thought out and written post by Tokyo Williams,

Thank you sir for doing so. Most illuminating.

Kotah
Message: Posted by: Tokyo Williams (May 26, 2010 09:22PM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-26 18:22, KOTAH wrote:
What an incredibly well thought out and written post by Tokyo Williams,

Thank you sir for doing so. Most illuminating.

Kotah
[/quote]

Why, thank you kindly. I'm glad this particular set of ramblings remained relatively coherent.
Message: Posted by: aquariusmagic (May 27, 2010 01:53AM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-26 10:55, dmkraig wrote:
Kotah, the problem with using something made of cloth for a Ouija is that planchettes won't easily move over them.

[/quote]
One could always put a sheet of glass over the cloth . Albeit a little cumbersome.
regards Francis
Message: Posted by: docsteve (May 27, 2010 06:29AM)
After watching Paul "Voodini" Bell perform his gimmickless glass-moving at Doomsday, there is more merit in using symbols rather than alphabet cards.
Now I'm not necessarily saying that all Ouija experiences work this way, BUT ;-) if ideomotor signals are being utilised, then getting coherent messages out of single letters is unlikely to yield meaningful results (unless the sitters have been primed about the 'spirit' being contacted).
Specific-sounding, yet in reality vague, terms of reference/images would work very well [Eriksonian's take note!]. And where might one find such images? Konxari cards anyone??

As for a Ouija card into one's own tombstone? Why not combine with the old ruse of carrying a card in one's wallet, saying "I predict today is the day I will die; please contact me via my headstone in exactly 30 days time at midnight!" You final effect!
S
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (May 27, 2010 07:26AM)
Dr Steve, returning for a moment to an egyptia based Ouija take. Framed Papryus prints, paired with a Scarb used as the planchette might well have a nice esthetic and theatrical feel to it, Asian themed approach could use a larger oriental coin as the planchette, What other alternate planchettes might be applicable to a Ouija presentation? Objects suoopsedly once owned or in the possession of the one we wish to contact, a pocket watch for instance? A CW watch could reveal the time of death for the finale'. The issue of language barriers might be handled by using one of the recent translation phones as your planchette, High tech penetrates the spirit world. These are all possibilities. What harm in giving it all a bit more thought. I am convinced there are treasures to be found.

Kotah
Message: Posted by: chmara (May 27, 2010 11:35AM)
Scarab as planchette is a great idea and making a suitable "Egyptian" board (under glass) could be an oooh-aah prop, especiall if one treaqts the materials as museum quality -- the glass possibly from the display case.

Adding a time piece to the routine would be great -- but the pieces George at Viking/Collectors has been offering all seem to indicate they are "quartz" watches -- -not from the era from whichin I work.

Using the Scarab as planchette -- you can also "prove" its motivation with telekinetic timber -- crediting the scarab with the movement to topple the timber.

And since the sitters' vision is directed to the board and panchette during operations -- and light is often full -- any ideas on adding apports?
Message: Posted by: Balaram (May 27, 2010 07:32PM)
Translation phone as planchette! Very cool idea!

Another possible board: A child's school desktop, the type that was hinged, and lifted up to allow you to put your papers inside. They already had an alphabet printed across the top-and several generations of doodles, scrawls, and carvings shoud allow as many interesting symbols for interpretation as your story-telling, or reading skills desire.
An inkwell planchette--?
Kotah thanks for starting the thread-
Message: Posted by: handa (May 27, 2010 08:58PM)
I've always wanted to use a hornbook in a magic routine. I even have a reproduction of a sewing hornbook that I bought at a local living history center.

http://www.founderspatriots.org/images/hornbook.jpg

Chris
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (May 29, 2010 07:43PM)
Chris, your idea of a hornbook used as a planchette is excellent, Definitely out side the box.
I am thinking a flass top shadow box with items provided by spectators in each of its compartments, could be used in a combination of a Quija oard bledded with Psychometry. The articles themselves are speaking to you in their own way.

Is that too far over the top, or something worth considering?

Kotah