I recently read an article (LINK) about scientists using a Ouija® board as a way to get information from the unconscious. Written by Clare Wilson, the medical features editor for NewScience, the article is actually a review and comment on a scientific paper entitled "Expression of nonconscious knowledge via ideomotor actions" by Hélène L. Gauchou, Ronald A. Rensink, and Sidney Fels. If you want to read the original article it costs $31.50. Since this post is going to comment on Ms. Wilson's article, I did not read the original.
Ms. Wilson writes, "Typically a group of users place their hands on a movable pointer , or 'planchette', and ask questions out loud." Actually, this is
For many years, calling the illusions presented by stage performers "magic" could get you in trouble for pretending to be supernatural, even if what you were doing was comedic tricks for kids. As a result, many performers, rather than calling themselves magicians, used other terms such as "conjuror," "juggler," or "prestidigitator."
Aleister Crowley came up with a different solution for making a written differentiation. He used an archaic spelling, magick with a final "k," to indicate the real practice and used "magic" to represent the entertainment. [The "k" also had another meaning for Crowley, indicating a reference to sex magick, but that's a different issue.] In my Modern Magick and
Popularized by astronomer Carl Sagan, the actual source of the quote I used to title this post may be from Marcello Truzzi, a co-founder of the debunking group called CISCOP. The concept, however, goes back to people such as the French astronomer Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace —usually just called "Laplace"— (""The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness") or even Scottish philosopher David Hume ("A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence"). It seems so reasonable. The question, however, is should we accept it as valid?
The people at SCEPCOP point out that no matter how reasonable it seems, the debunkers or
It is important for people who practice magick to be true skeptics. Too often I have seen people perform a ritual and then get swept away into a world where chance and mere happenstance are attributed to their magickal working. Such people constantly see magickal forces (often working against them) rather than more common explanations.
If you're feeling sick, assume flu first, magickal attack last.
As any person who regularly works with magick knows, most people don't believe in magick. Those who go around saying that every creaking sound in an old house is the sign of a ghost or the failure of a politician is due to their magickal ritual only make the doubters laugh more heartily. And