By Jake Cordero
Similar to the more common Ouija Board, the Wilbur board falls broadly into the talking board category of spiritualist devices. Typically, these are devices fashioned from wood, covered in figures, and that employ an extra accessory such as a sliding planchette. Mediums or other seekers of esoteric knowledge direct questions to talking boards and, through them, can derive answers. In this sense, talking boards are considered divinatory devices. Ask them a question. Receive an answer.
But unlike their Ouija cousin and other talking boards, Wilbur Boards draw from the separate spiritualist practice known as automatic writing. And this is what makes Wilbur Boards unique. In the automatic writing process, the medium or other seeking person will go into a trancelike state and then — while in that state — generate words, figures and phrases. A typical Wilbur Board may contain scores of such automatic writing-inspired words, figures and phrases.
To create your own Wilbur Board you will need to spend time alone in meditation. Focus your mind on someone who has died or an important life question. Turn the thought or question around in your mind while taking deep, cleansing breaths. After a short while words or phrases may come to you as if revealed by an outside presence. Write these down on paper as fast as they come, trying to amass 20 or more. Repeat a word or phrase on your paper if they come to you repeatedly while in this meditative state. After you become satisfied that you have a sufficient number of words or feel that no more will emerge from your subconscious, re-transcribe them helter-skelter on a separate blank piece of paper. Prioritize those words you find most compelling by copying them down first and feel free to write down the same word multiple times if that word came to you more than once while meditating. Don’t concern yourself with running out of space on your paper. Simply leave off those words for which you have no more room.
This paper, in essence, serves as your simple Wilbur Board. Some people like to place the paper beneath a glass pane, although that step is not absolutely necessary. To use your Wilbur Board, spin a coin on the surface of the paper or glass while focusing on a question. Watch the coin’s path and wait to see where it lands. It may land cleanly on top of a single word, or it may land on several words at once. It may fall off the board completely. Repeat this process and watch as a message emerges. By falling on multiple words, the coin may indicate nuanced meanings. By going off the board, the coin may indicate a lack of focus on your part, or an inability or unwillingness for the board to respond.
Advantages and Disadvantages of The Wilbur Board
The Wilbur Board differs from the Ouija Board and other talking boards in significant ways. These differences offer both advantages and disadvantages for sitters.
As far as advantages: the spinning-coin scrying process with a Wilbur Board is much more efficient than the sliding-planchette process common with other traditional talking boards. Consider that it may take hours to parse together a message using a Ouija board, but only minutes using a completed Wilbur Board. Ouija Board planchettes also can be inappropriately manipulated by unscrupulous sitters or mediums. This is not the case with a spinning coin. A single medium or seeker working alone can create and employ a Wilbur Board, while Ouija boards typically require more than one person.
A disadvantage of the Wilbur Board is that in some ways it is more limited as a scrying tool than a traditional Ouija Board. That’s because the Wilbur Board contains whole words gleaned during an automatic writing session, whereas traditional talking boards contain individual letters and numbers that — given sufficient time — can reveal specific names, addresses or broad ideas.
But whether you employ a traditional talking board, a Wilbur Board or even table turning (as described separately in The Austin Séance Book), it is always a good idea to put yourself in an appropriate frame of mind. Deep breathing meditation is recommended. If you have harsh, florescent lights in your room, consider extinguishing them and light a candle instead. Relaxing music can be helpful, but it should be wordless music — especially during the automatic writing process. We often burn incense during our séance sittings, and we believe that incense is also useful during the scrying process.
And remember: patience is a virtue. If you attempt to create your own Wilbur Board, keep in mind that the automatic writing process can take an hour or more. Also, some words may make no sense at all as you transcribe them, but then their meaning may become clear later on, as you spin your coin and ask questions.
Combined Ouija-Wilbur Hybrid
You can create a Ouija-Wilbur Board hybrid by positioning your automatic writing-transcribed paper beneath smooth plexiglass. Then, while joining with friends, employ a planchette on the plexiglass to identify important words and phrases. To ensure the planchette slides properly, you may need to steady the plexiglass by taping it to a table or other flat surface. Alternatively you can sandwich your paper between a sheet of plexiglass and a wooden board that have been fastened together with screws, glue or tape.
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