PARANORMAL SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT: ON SPIRIT BOARDS

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Though mankind has likely attempted contact with its passed ancestors since time began, no method of spirit communication has been as prolific or direct as the spirit board.
The development of this tool is likely traced back to the Victorian Era. At the time, Spiritualism had begun to take hold, first as a thing of parlor games and later growing into a philosophical movement.
By the 1860’s, when the harsh, short lives of the American population and the ravages of the Civil War lead to a fervent interest in contacting the deceased, the movement began growing in America, possibly due in part to popular stage mediums including Anna Eva Fay and the Fox Sisters, and high-profile adherents such as former First Couple Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The first patent for the spirit board design is credited to Elijah Jefferson Bond, a veteran of the Confederate Army and 1872 Maryland Law School graduate.

Before the advent of the spirit board, the foremost method of spiritual contact were Seances, Automatic Writing, Scrying and Table-Turning (a somewhat reversed version of the spirit board).
But the thought a simple and effective device for contacting spirits without the need of a Medium was appealing to many.
The launch of the spirit board into popular consciousness was precipitated by the atrocities of the first World War, with many Americans losing family members to the horrors brewing in Europe.
By the mid 1920’s, the spirit board was a household tool, and has only been growing in popularity throughout the world since.

However, as with all things metaphysical, misunderstandings and the occasional intentional obfuscation are known to permeate popular culture.
Hollywood depictions and tales of spirit boards leading to demonic possession are well known, and the relegation of the most common brands of board to toy store shelves has stirred the ire of many a moralist.
It must be kept in mind, however, that a board itself is merely a tool, and in and of itself has no more intrinsic power than a pen or hammer – the power all lies with the operator.
The way in which this power is manifested, however, continues to be subject of contention. The two presiding theories currently are:

1. Spirits.
Of course, most who experience the spirit board firsthand are given to attribute its phenomenal properties to the spirit world.
There is much validity to this statement – many messages relayed from the board are messages which either seem so cryptic or so specific that the operator would be unlikely to compose them, no matter how creative.

2. The Ideomotor Effect.
The Ideomotor Effect (also known as the Carpenter Effect, named for W. B. Carpenter who proposed the theory) is the scientific term for the operator unknowingly controlling the planchette.
Those exhibiting the Ideomotor Effect are theorized to be acting from subconscious and unintended muscle movements, thus exhibiting a response that the operator would want to see.
Though Carpenter intended the theory to debunk the popular theories of Spiritualist Phenomena, its validity in the Paranormal sphere can be interpreted towards more Clairvoyant abilities such as ESP.

No matter which theory is correct, we at Paranormal Supplies would never discourage spiritual and physical safety when using a spirit board.
If, as many purport, the phenomena is indeed enacted by spirits, one should of course take necessary precautions to protect oneself.
It must be kept in mind, however, that the spirit board is not dangerous in and of itself, and the ownership of one will almost certainly not open one up to hauntings.
The board is simply a gateway – no more an ambassador of the spirit world than your door is an ambassador of your house – but caution should always be exercised regarding whom you invite in for the evening.

Witch Bottles: An Unbottling

Today, dear readers, we have for your consideration a sort of Paranormal Supplies PSA (Paranormal Safety Announcement). Enjoy!
A concept known since ancient times, Witch Bottles have been historically viewed as charms of protection against witches. But, since modernity marches on, the term (and charm itself) seems to be more frequently used by witches (and those in the metaphysical circle) as a ward against negative energies in general.
Considering that, to outsiders, a typical Witch Bottle is nothing more than a simple glass jar filled to the brim with garbage, it’s far from a glamorous topic. But, if you’re worried about your supernatural safety, this may be just the answer you’ve been looking for!

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The most important, and obvious ingredient of a Witch Bottle is, of course, the bottle. The shape, color, and size of bottle is unimportant, but generally something around the size of a medium-sized mason jar is considered ideal. Glass is the preferred material, since it will not biodegrade and is sturdy enough to withstand burial (this is crucial).

Now that we’ve obtained our bottle, we can focus on the interior and protective properties therein.

The layout of a witch bottle is intended to somewhat resemble a magic circle. Therefore, the first layer of the jar is usually devoted to a salt circle. These are, of course, a recognized ward against malevolent energies. Simply pour some sea salt into the bottom of the bottle, enough to thoroughly cover the base and heel, providing a flat and purified foundation for the rest of your bottle.

The second layer of your jar will consist of a bunch of rusty nails. They don’t necessarily have to be nails per se, just a pile of any rusted, dangerous, sharp metal objects. The purpose behind these objects is to “impale” the negative energies, to shred them and protect the owner from any ill intent. This is probably going to be the widest band of the bottle, fill it about halfway with these objects. But be sure not to cut yourself. Obviously.

The third layer of the bottle is meant to symbolize the bottle’s owner. There are a few ways you can do this, but almost all of them involve a piece of the owner’s body. The most commonly used of these would be the owner’s own urine (we told you this wasn’t glamorous). However, for the more squeamish among our readers (believe us, we understand), anything from finger/toenails to strands of hair to spit to blood can be used as a substitute. This ingredient will essentially act as an identifier, telling the bottle who it’s meant to work to protect. Some have foregone this step, using a tied-up piece of cloth or paper with the owner’s name written on it, but it is not recommended, as in the magic sphere, names have immense power and should not be given out freely (especially in a ward).

The final component of the Bottle itself is the seal. Take the lid the bottle came with and affix it as normal, and seal it with melted wax from a black candle. This will serve as the final layer of banishment, and in effect activates the ward.

After you’ve completed your Witch Bottle, the final step of protecting yourself is storing it. Most practitioners agree that a Witch Bottle is ideally buried, either near your most-used home entrance or the farthest corner of your property. Some prefer keeping their bottles inside of their homes or near the hearth, but this would keep the ward from working until after negative energies have entered your home, so it is not recommended.

In the ever-evolving world of paranormal investigation, sometimes one can forget to look out for their own wellbeing. Perhaps today’s article has opened some minds to some protection methods a little beyond the norm.

So, dear readers, have you any stories or suggestions involving paranormal safety? We’d love to hear from you!