This is the 21st review column I have written for this magazine, and I feel like I'm beginning to get the hang of it. I want to thank all of you who have voiced support. This can be a fairly thankless job, and your kind words mean a lot. I also want to thank those of you who have received less than favorable reviews and have handled it with class and panache. I have mentioned before that I review product, not people, but I know that it's easy to forget this when it's your baby that's getting trashed.

I have discovered one big problem, however. It's easy to review something which is very good or very bad, but it's tough to review something that is just average. I don't know what to say about it: the product isn't good, and it isn't really bad.. .it's just there. I think I've hit on a solution. In the Foreword to his fine book Cardshark, Darwin Ortiz writes:

I think it's a magical author's responsibility to publish not only good card tricks, but better card tricks than the ones that already exist...To justify its existence, I feel a new trick should be different from what has come before. And, to the extent that it resembles any previous tricks, it should be superior to them in either plot, method, or presentation (or in more than one of those categories).

Obviously, we can replace the phrase "card tricks" with "all tricks" and we now have a yardstick by which to judge the material which is offered for sale. I'm going to refer to this as Darwin's First Law, and when I hit those products which fall somewhere between good and bad, I will invoke it. Evolution is not kind to those who do not advance the species. From now on I'm going to look at magical products the same way.

Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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