Here's a picture of a ouija board that is currently on show as part of the Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic exhibition at the Wellcome Collection. The board itself is on loan from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. This is what the label below it says:
Ouija boards were one way that people attempted to communicate with the dead without a medium. Users placed their fingers on the device with the hope of being guided by the spirits communicating messages. This homemade ouija board may have been a copy of boards that were commercially available in the late 19th century. These were often sold in toy and novelty shops, advertised as 'Never-failing amusement and recreation for the entire family'.I am not sure why the label is in the past tense, as ouija boards are still bought and frequently used. However, nowadays there seems to be a lot of controversy and varying opinions about them, even on pagan sites. I've blogged with my own thoughts in the past.
Smoke and Mirrors is mainly on the theme of what conjuring tells us about the human mind. It is about psychology and deception, so generally offers a sceptical view of things like seances as well as showing how stage illusions can fool us. I found it a very interesting exhibition and will be blogging more about it another day.
The Wellcome Collection is at 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE. Entry to the collection and to the Smoke and Mirrors exhibition is free, just turn up during open times before 15 September.
On each Pagan Eye post, I show a photo that I find interesting, with a few words about it. I'm not quite sure what I'll be including - it could be a seasonal image, a pagan site, an event, or just a pretty picture.
If you want to send me a photo for a Pagan Eye post, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org Let me know what the photo shows and whether you want your name mentioned or not. For copyright reasons, the photo must be one you have taken yourself and you must confirm that you are submitting it for A Bad Witch's Blog.
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