"We are not of the physical world, but we know your physical world better than you do, for our vantage point is one that spans the physical and spiritual."
So starts A Book of Insight, written by the spiritual guides belonging to Coquitlam's Tilde Cameron and Tina Fiorda of Burnaby - sisters who, over a three-month period, channelled 16 chapters about "wisdom from the other side" via a Ouija board.
They are the first to admit how bizarre the notion sounds but, after an hour-long interview with the pair, they'll make a believer out of any skeptic.
Both women say their metaphysical experiences started as children in Toronto: apparitions were not out of the ordinary for either.
When their family moved to Vancouver and into their grandparents' home, which was shared with their uncle and aunt, Fiorda found a Ouija board tucked away in a closet. At first, she and Cameron played with it, asking silly questions about boy crushes, for example, but, as they matured, they began to respect the planchette and board for what it had to offer. They posed questions like, "Am I on the right path in life?" and it responded.
Soon, their spiritual guides - or guardian angels - revealed themselves. Cameron had Melanie looking over her; Tina had two: Em and Demna. All three, they said, "are articulate and eloquent."
One night in 2004, the guides led the sisters on a journey and delivered a message via their sacred board: You will write our book and Chapter One will be about meditation. They spelled out their message - letter by letter - and the sisters realized the power of their words.
Still, Cameron and Fiorda put the book project aside, not thinking about their assignment until July 2007, when they prompted their guides again "and they picked up just where they left off," Cameron said. "We didn't know what the book was about. They would say, 'This is Chapter Two: Belief Systems' and away they went. This was how the book was delivered."
For a few hours a night, Cameron held the planchette while the guides spelled out the words and Fiorda read them into a digital recorder. Later, when the sisters transcribed the chapter and read it back, "We would say, 'Holy smokes! Where is this coming from? This is crazy!'" said Cameron, who used to work as an audio specialist for Electronic Arts and now lectures with Fiorda.
A second book is now on its way, tentatively titled Awakening of Mankind, a work also channelled via their guides through the Ouija board and has the same theme as their first book, which is similar to The Secret, a recent popular self-help publication about learning to follow your intuition and receiving unconditional love.
Fiorda, a costume designer for films, said she's proud to tell people she has a book but, she said, she sometimes covers her mouth when she reveals the source of it.
"We're not witches," she said, laughing.
"I still shake my head about it," Cameron added. "We are not authors. Neither one of us could have written this book. We joke about that all the time."
However, the Ouija board "has given a lot of comfort to me," Cameron reflected, staring at their William Fuld, Baltimore, MD, USA, edition. "It helps me make sense of my life and so many things have happened to us because of it."
The book's readers have also spoken positively about its missive, telling the sisters it has changed their lives in a good way.
"That, in itself, is a gift to us," Fiorda said.
Hear them at PechaKucha
Angela Crocker (author)
Andrew Mackey and Shae Hadden (Older to Elder)
David Blair (singer/songwriter)
Nareeta Stephenson (chiropractor)
Elaine Willis (advocate)
Lucia Lorenzi (artist)
Keith Freeman (photographer)
Rick Glumac and Scott Winlaw (Rainmaker Entertainment)
Sonia Vaz Mais (artist)
Tilde Cameron and Tina Fiorda (authors)