[Marianas Variety] Health in the CNMI: The supernatural


Years ago, I was in college visiting some friends, Janet and Jeffrey, when Jeffrey pulled out a Ouija board and suggested we give it a try. I didn’t know anything about Ouija boards, but I thought what the heck?

A Ouija board is a flat board 18 inches long and 12 inches wide. On the smooth top are the letters of the alphabet, numbers from one to ten, yes, no, and goodbye. What makes the Ouija board work is something called a planchette, a slightly triangular-shaped piece of plastic on three legs. In the center of the planchette is a round plastic window with a pointer. That way, if the planchette moves over a letter, you can see it.

Janet and I gently rested the fingers of our right hands on each side of the planchette, while Jeffrey sat across the room, ready to write down whatever the board revealed.The Ouija board works best with two people, sitting close enough so that they are touching. Janet and I sat cross-legged on the couch with our feet touching, the Ouija board resting between our knees.

When the planchette began to move and circle around the board, Janet and I accused each other of secretly moving it. But, after a while, it was clear that something else was moving the little plastic triangle.

Jeffrey asked a question, “Who are you?” The planchette moved around in a circle before settling on a series of letters. “EDDIE” the board said. We found this amusing, but Jeffrey continued to ask questions, and the deeper we got into it, the more the planchette would zip around the board, spelling out words so quickly that Jeffrey could barely keep up. It was unusual to say the least; some unseen hand was moving the planchette and we had no idea what would it would say next.

After an hour or so, we learned that the “spirit” moving the planchette was named Eddie Essex, and he lived in Elizabethan England. When Jeffrey asked if Eddie was a loyal subject, Eddie replied, “Unto my Liz.” Eddie also cracked some lame jokes. I have forgotten all but one: “A penny is a nickel but a dime is ten cents.”

Was it real? The experience with Janet and the board certainly was, but there is no way to know what was really moving the planchette. Many speculate that our subconscious mind really moves the thing, but others have said that discarnate spirits can influence a Ouija board. (“Ouija” is actually two words, Oui and Ja, French and German for yes. Still most people pronounce it “Weegee.”)

William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist, once said that he got his inspiration for writing his famous book by fooling around with a Ouija board. Usually one person cannot work the planchette on his own; it generally takes two. But highly psychic people can probably get it to work; Blatty certainly did. The experience not only freaked him out, it was a prime motivator for his writing The Exorcist.

At one point I lived in Northern Ireland with some friends, Roma and Colin Carnegie. Roma was quite psychic and, although we had no Ouija board, Roma said that the same results could be achieved with an upturned glass on a table, and the letters and number arranged around the glass in a circle.

Roma and I tried it one evening, and the glass moved around all right, but we didn’t get anything we could understand. Roma said that she had used “the glass” many times in the past, but with me as her partner all we got was gibberish. This is probably just as well.

Similar to the Ouija board, where the subconscious can manifest information, is by using a pendulum.

I wrote about this some months ago, when I first got one and was trying it out. Unlike the Ouija board, the pendulum is limited to three answers: Yes, No and Uncertain. For me, if it swings back and forth the answer is yes; if it swings side to side, the answer is no. If it goes in a little circle, either there is no answer or it’s not readily available.

It’s a very odd experience because you are not consciously doing anything to influence the swinging. You just hold the end between your fingertips and let the pendulum dangle over the table. Then you think of a question and the pendulum will start to move.

Over the months since I first wrote about the pendulum I have been asking it all sorts of questions. Sometimes I get right answers, other times the answers are off. It’s not very good at predicting the future, but answers about more tangible questions tend to be correct.

For example, I asked the pendulum about various foods that I should eat. When I asked about processed meat (which I love) such as sausages, salami and baloney, the pendulum was adamant: I should not eat these things. The pendulum swung forcefully, something it didn’t often do. However, when I asked about tunafish, the pendulum was supportive, but not of mayonnaise.

It seems that if the questions are of the future the responses are either mixed or contradictory. For example, when I asked if Donald Trump would be the next president it would sometimes say yes, other times no.

But if I asked questions about my daily life, about my health or immediate circumstances, the answers were forceful and consistent.

If nothing else, using a pendulum provides a fascinating glimpse into the workings of the subconscious, which seems to be the controlling influence and a bridge to psychic abilities.

I have had the pleasure to meet some real-life psychics and they are fascinating people. One individual, Joseph McMoneagle, does something called “remote viewing,” which is a form of seeing people and events outside the five physical senses. For many years Joe was part of the U.S. military and was part of a top secret group of psychic spies. The program was jointly sponsored by the CIA, the Department of Defense, and Stanford Research Institute.

I had dinner with Joe and his wife Nancy some years ago and the conversation was lively and fascinating.

At one point I said Joe, “If you’re psychic, then you could probably win the lottery.” His reply: “What makes you think we haven’t?”

Opinions expressed by Marianas Variety contributors are their own.



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