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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: ouija

DEFINITIONS

Ouija: Now the trademark of a “game” owned by Parker Brothers, it is simply a board that has letters, numbers, and perhaps a few words printed on it. In use, people put their fingers on a pointer known as a planchette, ask a question, and allow their minds to calm. Soon, the planchette starts to move, seemingly on its own, pointing to the symbols on the board to respond to the questions. Answers may come from spirits or from the participant’s unconscious minds.

The use of this type of spirit communication using a “talking board” was popular in the late 1800s, often using an overturned goblet to point to the letters. In the 1890s, two businessmen patented the planchette with a board and sold them as a novelty. Their employee, William Fuld, eventually started to market his own version which he called the Ouija (from the French Oui, and German Ja, both meaning “yes”) and claimed to have invented it.

Although Fuld’s version is the best known, others have marketed similar board and planchette combinations that have different appearances to about trademark disputes.Donald Michael Kraig

Also See: ouija board

ARTICLES

Ouija Boards
Dabblers in "occult toys" such as Ouija boards and planchettes sometimes complain that the disembodied entities with which they believe they are communicating will not let them alone, even when they are not using the boards. The entities may try to ...
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Carl Llewellyn Weschcke—Father of the New Age
The New Age has been defined as the "Name for a movement covering a wide variety of practices that were alternative to traditional Western practices, although many have become normative. Included concepts are holistic thinking, mysticism, ...
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Divinatory Practices
There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different forms of divination and clairvoyant practice. The following lists organize some of the more familiar by the major styles. It is a preliminary effort. Analytical Tables of Clairvoyant & ...
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Of the many esoteric subjects studied by ceremonial magicians, alchemy is often considered one of the hardest and most arcane, while the tarot is thought to be one of the most accessible and "hands-on." Historically the language of alchemy, with its inscrutable riddles and metaphor, has baffled many students, while the images of the tarot are more... read this article
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