“Mom, mom, can we please get the Ouija board set, please?” I could hear the child’s voice from two rows of books away.
“I’ll think about it.” The tone suggested that the answer would be no. I hope it was no. Not to begrudge the store the income, but I do not like Ouija boards, tarot card sets, rune tile sets, and other things as gifts, especially not for children. Although perhaps they might be safer there, because the kids are not looking for answers or trying to open doors.
I believe in a lot of what people call “supernatural,” just not the way most people probably do. I devoured a lot of books about things strange and unexplained when I was a kid, watched Eric van Dannekan’s TV programs and Arthur C. Clark’s program (more science, less woo), plus Battlestar Galactica and other shows that caught the ideas. There were times as a teen that I poked things that looking back, really ought not have been poked. And I saw someone in college go a step too far and hurt herself and others.
The Second Sight runs in my mother’s family, probably because we are the sort to go poking our noses into places and things that really ought to be left alone, if not walled up in that cave and left to fade away. Having a little something that flashes a Master Caution Light at us probably explains why we’re here today. That and knowing when to leave town, county, state, or country before the neighbors/law-enforcers/king’s men caught up with us.
Things exist that really should be left alone. Call them spirits, call then doors into other parts of the multiverse, call them energy fragments that are attracted to certain emotional outbursts, whatever they are, they are not good for people to play with. I also believe that intense emotions can imprint themselves on places and possibly things, as I have described at the Kalkreise Battlefield and a few other spots. When my gut starts screaming “Get away from that and move into the open,” it probably is a good idea to do just that, preferably at flank speed. There’s a reason I am not going to Auschwitz this summer, but to something else. I’ve been to one camp, and it still gives me chills. That much concentrated terror and sadism and evil… No.
Ouija boards and tarot cards and rune tiles… It’s not the predicting the future that bothers me, although in some faiths that is a sin because you are trying to challenge the will of the Most High. Me, I’d probably see the Powerball numbers but in reverse order or something, and the Lord would point and giggle. No, what bothers me is the idea of seeking out things the seeker has no way to understand or to judge if they are good or, ah, less than good. My faith teaches that the forces of Good do not need cards or a planchette to contact us, although on occasion a talking donkey has been required to get someone’s attention. Opening a door into the unknown and yelling, “Hey, anybody home? I got some questions!” has never been smart. Og the caveman at least took a torch or two into the cave so he could look for eye-shine and holes, not necessarily in that order.
This time of year, as we are between All Hallows Eve and the Winter Solstice, Halloween and Christmas… No. Not a good time to open doors. There are a lot of reasons my ancestors did not like this time of year and why they looked forward to spring and the return of the sun.
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