Sunday, November 1, 2009
I'm writing this post so that all who have asked how my attempt to contact Percy Shelley went can have a summary. I'm not trying to tout this as some sort of awakening or experience to be shared with just anyone.
One of my dear friends, Tara, has a mother who is a medium. Her mother taught her how to properly use a Ouija board to contact "spirits." The instructions are simple -- make your own board, find a lid to use as a dial, and before you begin, close your eyes and visualize a force field around you that will keep out all malicious spirits. Then you ask for your spirit guides to come forward.
You hear all kinds of horror stories about Ouija boards about "possession" and such. In reality, they are just a tool, and if you use them and ask something like, "is anyone out there?" who the heck knows who/what will respond? You're opening yourself up to hearing from all kinds of people/energies. And more often than not, people are vocal when they're pissed, not when they're content.
To be clear, though -- I am not sold on the idea of a Oujia board being a means of communicating with the dead. I was raised by scientists, and I find it perfectly plausible that the motion of the dial is caused by subconscious impulses in our minds. But what is causing those impulses? There's a theory that the energy of the "spirit" (whatever you want to call the entity that you are communicating with) will use you and your senses (your eyes) as a medium -- energy bonding to energy -- then communicate through the board.
I am reminded of the time Tara and I used the board and spoke with my spirit guide (who identifies himself as a male named Grey Eyes). He told me about two of my past lives (as an ancient Egyptian priest who died with unrequited love, and a privateer who sailed for England who was killed on the decks of his own ship at the age of 27) which was great fun. But then I said to Tara, "If it's us controlling the dial, then it made up my past lives as a privateer and an Egyptian because those are two parts of history I'm really interested in."
"Yes, but where did your interest come from?" She asked. Hmm. I felt stupid. Here I was trying to debunk this thing and she wisely pointed out that the basis of my debunking is inexplicable.
Anyway! All this to say that I have never taken this all to be 100% true, and that I've had no problem with it being an expression of the subconscious, because even so, how cool is that? If it helps, then it helps!
I have been reading everything about Percy Shelley that I can get my hands on. According to one of his biographies, he spent lots of time as a youth attempting to raise the dead (and the devil) through ceremonies and such. So I figured, if ghosts are real, then he'll recognize what we're doing. So I decided that on Halloween night (since legend has it that it is the day the dead can again walk the earth) I would try to contact him. Sitting in my room with candles, talking to the walls didn't sound all that fun, so my sister and I made a Ouija board.
Here is what happened.
We started at 11:30 pm. We visualized the "force field" then asked for our spirit guides to come forth, and one did. It identified itself but was weak (the dial moved slow and mostly wrote what was nonsense to us) so I asked for Grey Eyes. He spelled his name and then wrote out a word that he knows will identify him to us (it's always the same word). He can understand and write in modern English because in his most recent life, he was a Navajo code talker in WWII. We told him of our desire to contact the writer Percy Shelley, and he said he could help.
To be clear, you only ask yes or no questions when you can. You have to be careful and make sure you're not leading the discussion/results into a fabricated direction. When we require a written answer, we say, "can you please tell us in modern English? Thank you." For issues of brevity, I am giving our account in summary rather than play-by-play form.
Grey Eyes told us that we needed to contact an entity called "Tauwnacawa." We asked him if that was safe, and he said yes, and then he "left." When an entity leaves, the dial goes to the middle of the board. Then the dial moved and spelled out "WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS?" We asked if it could put us in direct contact with the writer Percy Shelley and it said yes.
The dial went to the center, sat there, then went to the question mark then the happy face. We asked the entity to identify itself and it spelled out: PERCY SHELLEY.
Us: Were you once alive?
US: Were you an Atheist?
Us: Do you mind us talking to you?
Me: I am writing all this down.
Me: To remember what you say.
Us: How are you?
Percy: You being (I'm not sure what to make of this)
Alex then stated that she was cold.
Percy: ALEX (as if he was listening to our conversations that wasn't directed at him. Alex had sprained her ankle earlier in the night and we were discussing it. When we explained to him that it happened when she was skipping in a pirate costume, he went to the happy face, as if amused.)
We then asked him if he knew what Halloween was, and since he didn't, we explained it to him as best we could (he had a misunderstood love of the macabre all his life) and before I was even doe with my explanation, he wrote: A BEAUTIFUL DAY!
We then proceeded to tell him how much society has changed -- how people now often embrace the Gothic -- we explained movies as well as we could, then told him the basic plot of The Nightmare Before Christmas. The whole time the dial darted back and forth, saying "Yes? Yes? Yes?" as if he was fascinated and wanted us to continue.
Alex then burped and we laughed, and he said ALEX. We asked if he knew my name, and he said KELLIE. I asked how he knew our names and he said: YOU TOLD ME. I'm pretty sure I introduced us when he first arrived, so he was right and I looked kinda stupid there.
Then I asked: Where do you exist right now.
Alex: Your spirit leaves?
Percy: No. WHERE ALL PEOPLE LEAVE.
Alex: Can you choose to leave?
Percy: Yes. WHERE ALL PEOPLE KNOW CARRY TALK UNIVERSALLY.
Me: Is that a good thing?
Me: Where all people know universally?
Me: You must enjoy that.
Alex: People who are alive?
Alex: Another sort of alive?
Me: Do you consider yourself alive right now?
Alex: A different type of alive than us right now?
Me: You died when you were 30.
Me: That's young.
Me: That's so sad.
Me: You could've written so much more.
Me: You're famous now.
Percy: Yes? (at this point, he kept rapidly saying "yes?" over and over, and going to the exclamation mark, as if shocked. He said he did not know of his fame. I told him that's why I wanted to talk to him. I read his poem "Ozymanidas" in school, then his "Defence of Poetry" and was very moved and inspired).
Alex: Frankenstein, by your wife Mary, is also very popular. Everyone in my school reads it. (He kept going to the exclamation mark, as if shocked/surprised).
Us: It's a very good book.
Percy: Yes. :)
Me: Were you friends with John Keats?
Me: He's really famous now, too. As is Lord Byron.
Percy: BYRON WAS ODD.
Percy: HE MADE TALK THAT WAS NOT VERY DARING.
Me: He wasn't a very good conversationalist?
Percy: Yes. SAT ALL DAY.
Me: All talk and no action?
Alex: Was he fat?
We then asked if he had a lot of energy, which he said he did, and if he could somehow physically show himself to be here as proof. He said he could make a sound. We listened and listened and could only hear the TV in the other room. After several seconds, he would drift to the "?" as if to ask if we heard him. He then said he could knock on the wall in answer to one of our knocks, so we knocked, and listened, and... nothing.
Me: Can you tell us what you'll do to let us know you're here?
Percy: I WILL OMIT A LOUD LAUGH. (after several seconds) ?
We couldn't hear anything.
Alex: What would be easiest for you to do?
Percy: MOVE A PAPER.
We then set a kleenex down and asked him to move it. It dimpled once but that was more than likely just it settling/gravity. He then asked"?" Nope. It seemed like everything he was trying wasn't working. Several times I said to Alex "This is frustrating" and he would say "Yes!"
I didn't write down all of the resulting conversation, but in an attempt to explain he said: LEAVE HAPPY. He said that he had left happy. This is complete inference, but it brought to mind the theory that the spirits that "linger" are those who left with negativity. We were also far from the space of Shelley's actual death, and upon further questioning, he said that he knew where we were, but didn't know where we were in physical space. Interesting.
We asked what we should try next and he said: TALK DEATH.
Us: When we die we can talk?
Me: I'm not anxious to have any of us die soon.
Then, as a last resort (because we knew that if it worked it would scare the crap out of us) we asked him if he could try to physically show himself. He said yes. We then looked about the room. Movement caught my eye behind my bed, then by the dresser. I blinked, thinking it was my tired eyes, and I mumbled what I had seen to Alex, and the dial moved to the"?" We asked where he had been and he said: DRESSER. (Yes, I know how strongly my just saying that, etc. could be influencing the results, however they're brought about). He tried again, and that time I unmistakably saw motion.
The odd thing is that I could look directly at it. By one drawer and then by the other, low to the ground, was what I can best describe as water shadows -- when light bounces off water and reflects the rippling, transparent movement on the wall -- only the movement was dark -- not solid or black -- but dark enough to be seen in front of the cream-colored dresser, and rippling downwards, like smoke. Almost as if I were seeing the dresser through gray heat waves that moved down instead of up. I watched it for a few heartbeats then it faded away and the dial went to the "?" On the third try, Alex saw enough movement in the same spot that her heart jumped, and I also caught the same image (more like interference) for a second or two.
When Percy asked "?" we said that we may have seen something, but that it was also late and our eyes were tired. We talked a little more about things that probably won't interest others. He said we could contact him again by the same means (and that no one else ever had), then he left. We briefly spoke to Grey Eyes, then, and thanked him. We told him he could go, but he hesitated, and kept going ":) ?" I admitted that we were a little shaken but assured him that we were fine, and he left.
The experience was way more than I expected. As I've previously stated (probably overtly revealing my desire not to be seen as an airy fairy, whimsical idiot), I'm still not sold on the Ouija board being a means of communicating with entities. But after seeing what I did -- which I couldn't replicate again last night or this morning, no matter how much I stared or how unfocused my eyes became -- I was unsettled and a little afraid to sleep alone in my room (my cell phone buzzing at 5am with a warning from the police that there had been a shooting near campus didn't much help, either).
I am still baffled. Maybe we had a fruitful, entertaining conversation with our subconsciouses (of just as much value as with an entity!) and our eyes were tired and saw things... or maybe our energy forms do carry over into another level of existence, and we can communicate with like energies if we have the means of doing so. Maybe we really did see a disturbance in the fabric of our "reality" due to the presence of a form of energy that is not commonly here.
For what it's worth, the dial moved and "felt" very differently when Percy was in control. It darted about the board and spelled words so rapidly that there was an occasional letter missing and sometimes a few extra letters that we thought he was picking, but really he was running over them to get to the real letters. When he would think, the dial would zoom in circles before darting to spell another word. And he seemed to have limited knowledge of modernity and felt fascinated as we explained technologies and such to him. All of which are characteristic of the man's ingenious mind. All of which are traits I also already knew he possessed, which could've been inferred from my own subconscious.
But given that I saw something, or that I thought I saw something, has made me stop and think. At any rate, I thought the experience was insightful and amusing enough to share.
I hope you all had a lovely Halloween!