GLENDOWER: I can call spirits from the vasty deep!
HOTSPUR: Why so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?
— William Shakespeare (Henry IV, Part I, act III)
In 1890, Elijah Bond introduced his Talking Board to the world. At the very top of the board, was the word, Ouija. In one marketing campaign, this is what was written about it:
What is it? “Ouija” prophesies, forewarns and advises, as well as prefigures one’s destiny. “Ouija’s” revelation of what was, what is, and what is to come, rival the Delphic Oracles. The curtain is lifted, revealing the secrets of that debatable land between matter and spirit, and nature’s laws have no control over this marvelous instrument. The Unknown Land seems almost within our grasp, and the scientific mind strives to comprehend just where this borderland lies. The “Ouija” is without a doubt the most interesting, remarkable and mysterious production of the 20th century. Its operations are always interesting and frequently invaluable, answering, as it does, questions concerning the past, present and future with marvelous accuracy. The English Journal, “Light,” says: “It certainly seems a readier method of communication than the planchette.”
While Talking Boards have been around for a relatively long time, Hasbro’s version of the William Fuld Ouija Board is what people know about today. Most of the time, carrying around a full-sized Talking Board is impractical (and, let’s admit it, looks a little strange). Here’s a method for using The Deck of Shadows as a standby or rough-and-ready (and very portable) Talking Board.
Most Talking Boards are marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0 through 9, and the words Yes, No, and Goodbye. You will be creating a similar layout using the cards from The Deck of Shadows.
STEP 1: Take out the cards and remove the following three cards:
1. Thummin (Start/Innocent/Yes)
2. Urim (Finish/Guilty/No)
3. The Void (Infinite/Nonattachment/Darknesss)
The Thummin and Urim cards represent yes and no, respectively. These are placed in the upper left (yes) and right (no) corners of your spread.
You will be using The Void card to represent the concept of goodbye. This is placed at the bottom, center of your layout.
STEP 2: Shuffle and cut the balance of the cards. Now deal out two curved rows of 13 face-up cards, each.
When you are finished, your layout should look like this:
STEP 3: Hold one of your hands out over the cards, palm-down. You are not touching the cards or the table. With some practice, you can determine how best to use one of your fingers as a pointer and which is more comfortable to use. Also, you will need to trust your intuition and start to know which card or cards to which your hand is being directed.
STEP 4: Have one or more of the people who are with you, lightly but firmly, place the fingers of both their hands on the back of your hand. In other words, you are becoming a human planchette.
STEP 5: Only one person, at a time, should ask a question. You might simply want to begin with, Is there a message for me?
STEP 6: After a short amount of time, you will feel your hand drawn in different directions and to different cards. Allow yourself to be the conduit – not the prime mover. If, for some reason, your hand does not feel drawn or moved anywhere, slowly move your hand around (with the other person keeping her fingers on the back of your hand) to get the juices and energy flowing. Remember, you’re an observer! Also, this isn’t an endurance test. If your hand becomes tired, rest for a few moments. (Oh, one more thing, pay attention to any patterns that your hand is making as it moves about – these patterns might also prove important to the message that is being received.)
STEP 7: The Deck of Shadows Talking Board provides you complete words and concepts to work with. Pay attention to the words, figures, images, and letters your hand is being drawn to. With practice, you will learn to interpret these easily and quickly. Don’t forget that each card from The Deck of Shadows has small images at the bottom of each card, a capital letter that stands out with each keyword, and numbers at the top of each card. Naturally, it’s easier if someone else is taking notes!
The beauty of using The Deck of Shadows as a Talking Board is the uniqueness of each sitting. There will be a different combination of 26 cards for each sitting . . . obviously leading to one-of-a-kind and personalized experiences.
OPENING AND CLOSING EACH SESSION: As a side note, feel free to add any opening and closing statements, rituals, or recitations you feel appropriate. There are no rules. It all depends on how you and the others wish to set the tone for the event.
ALTERNATIVE HANDLING: For those of you who prefer using a pendulum over your own hand, you can hand a pendulum to someone and use the pendulum as a modified planchette. Once the question is asked aloud, watch the movements of the pendulum. Take the person’s hand who is asking the questions and move it in the direction of the pendulum’s actions until the pendulum clearly indicates the appropriate cards to be read.
If you’re interested in finding out more about The Deck of Shadows, you can go to my website at the following link:
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