Card Manipulation has always been very popular with conjurors. You can be a good magician without these sleights, but I am sure you will want to add them to your repertoire so that you can use them from time to time. To be an expert card manipulator, is of course, a great accomplishment, and if it is your desire to become one, this lesson will prove invaluable to you.
To become an expert in Sleight of Hand with Cards requires:
First: A careful analysis of the sleights.
You cannot hope to become an expert card manipulator over night, nor in a week. The muscles of your hands must be trained gradually. At first your fingers will feel stiff and clumsy; but each time you practice, the moves become easier, more natural, and finally you find yourself doing them gracefully and well. It will give you keen pleasure to see the wonderful progress you make each time you practice these sleights.
Some performers use Hind's "Honey and Almond Cream" or some other good skin lotion on their hands just before doing manipulative work. You will find that it will help you, too.
The best cards to use are soft, uncalendered ones as they are more pliable than the enameled cards. Steamboat cards are most satisfactory. Cards with red and black plaid backs are popular because they are less visible in sleights than others.
All the sleights taught to you in this lesson are done with unprepared cards. Many of the sleights are not tricks in themselves, but are used in conjunction with tricks. They are all an important part of your magical education whether you perfect yourself in them or not.
Back and Front Hand Palming
Performer takes a card or several cards between his thumb and fingers. With a slight wave of the hand, cards disappear. Magician turns his hand over and shows that they are not on the back. He continues to show back and front of hand empty, then suddenly produces the cards at his finger-tips.
Start with a single card. After you have become proficient with one, try two, three, and as many as you can handle.
Turn left side toward audience. Hold right hand out from body. Place a card in right hand between thumb and finger-tips.
Bring first finger over upper edge of card and little finger over lower edge.
Curl second and third fingers under back of card and release thumb from card.
Straighten second and third fingers and card is brought automatically to back of hand.
Figure 5 shows view away from audience. Card is held on back of hand, clipped between first and second fingers and between third and fourth fingers at about the first joints.
To bring card back to front of hand, curl fingers in toward palm and place thumb on front of card.
Hold card securely gripped and move fourth and first fingers along the edges almost up to the corners.
Straighten second and third fingers and with tips of these fingers push card down well into palm of hand.
Figure 9 shows how card is held in palm. It is pressed against base of thumb and is clipped at outer corners between first and second and between third and fourth fingers.
To get card from this position to back of hand again, push up on card with base of thumb.
Curl fingers inward toward palm, keeping fourth and first fingers well over the card.
Straighten hand out and card is pivoted to back of hand again.
PRACTICE THE MOVES UP TO HERE UNTIL YOU HAVE THEM MASTERED BEFORE YOU GO FURTHER. WHEN YOU CAN GET CARD FROM FRONT TO BACK OF HAND AND BACK AGAIN EASILY, THEN CONTINUE WITH NEXT STEP.
Now, you must learn how to turn your hand in Back and Front Hand Palming to show it empty. The card must be concealed as you turn your hand, and this is the way you do it:
You have turned the card over onto the back of your hand, and you show empty palm.
Turn hand toward the front, bending fingers slightly in toward palm.
Continue turning hand. As it comes to position shown in Figure 15, card comes into horizontal position and is thus screened from audience.
Figure 16 shows how card is held as hand turns. Audience does not see card at all as back of hand is toward them as in Figure 15.
Grasp card with thumb, push it down into palm with second and third fingers and clip edges between fingers as taught to you in Figures 6, 7, 8, 9.
When card is in position with fingers straight, hold hand out with back toward audience. You have now shown front and back of hand with nothing apparently concealed.
To bring card to back of hand again, reverse movements. Turn hand upward and backward while you get card to back of hand again as taught to you in Figures 10, 11, 12. When turning hand to show palm empty, start with Figure 17 and work back to Figure 13.
You may continue this Back and Front Palming two or three times. Study your ANGLES OF VISIBILITY very carefully so as not to expose the card.
TO PRODUCE CARD:
Have card on back of hand and palm toward audience. Curl fingers inward as in Figure 3. Grasp card between tip of second finger and thumb. Release bottom corner of card from little finger and allow card to spring up. Place first finger at rear of card also and produce as shown in Figure 18.
When you have mastered your lesson this far and your mirror shows you that you are getting along well, begin to practice Back and Front Hand Palming with more cards. First use two, then three, four, and five cards as you progress.
It is a pretty effect to start with a fan of five cards in right hand. Square them up with one hand by pushing up with your little finger and down with first finger.
When cards are all squared up, Back Palm them as one card and show palm of hand empty. Then turn hand and Front Palm the cards as one and show back of hand empty. Continue this two or three times.
TO PRODUCE CARDS IN A FAN:
Have cards on back of hand and palm toward audience. Follow method for producing one card, as taught above. When cards are at finger-tips, move thumb upward and fingers downward and cards will fan.
REMEMBER, THAT MOST SLEIGHTS ARE DONE RATHER
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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.