An independent monthly bulletin for all who want good magic
Shice Cine Shitting.
I use this a-la " Just Chance " tray, to switch envelopes, cards, etc. In a previous effect an unprepared duplicate of the magazine has been audience handled, and at the conclusion of the effect the magazine is put by and apparently picked up later, in a subsequent effect, and held out tray-wise for the collection of a sealed envelope. In actual fact it is the switcher magazine that is picked up and held out for the collection of the envelope, the envelope being switched in due course. (I use it chiefly for a version of " The Grand National " in Fabian's " T.N.T.".)
Find a magazine which has advertising matter on the back cover, preferably with a printed line running across the middle. This line disguises the slit made in the back cover, through which the card or envelope to be switched falls. I use the " Scots Magazine ", which is eight and a half by five and a half inches in size. It contains 44 leaves (88 pages) and is about a quarter of an inch thick. This is the ideal size of magazine to use.
PASTE BO A HO
Cut a slit with a razor blade through the back cover of the magazine at the middle, using the line of print to disguise the slit. The slit should be about four and a half inches long.
Now, with the magazine face downwards on the table in front of you, open the back cover to the right.
Paste a thin but stiffish piece of pasteboard to the inside of the back cover, the top edge being flush with the slit.
Cut a piece of thin celluloid, slightly narrower than the pasteboard, and about two inches longer. Spread paste on the upper half of the inside cover, down to the slit (not on to the pasteboard), and lay the celluloid over this so that the extra two inches projects down over the pasteboard.
Paste the celluloid down on to the inside of the back cover, but leave the overlapping two inches free.
Now, spread paste over all this celluloid, the paper margin round the celluloid and in a quarter inch margin at the edges of the bottom half of the inner cover, but not over the entire pasteboard.
Paste the shaded portion in the accompanying drawing but not over the entire pasteboard; only about one eighth inch round its edge, and don't put paste under the projecting two inches of celluloid, but on top of it.
Assuming that the inside of the back cover is page No. 88, fold the page on the left, page 87, over it, or just close the magazine and put it under pressure to dry.
See what you've got? The pasteboard portion has formed a pocket with the unglued portion of the previous page, and the celluloid forms a slide into the slit which forms the mouth of this pocket.
If you hold the magazine at the top end, back cover upwards, in the right hand, with the right thumb on top and the fingers spread underneath, and then press downwards with your thumb, the
celluloid (and entire top part of the magazine) will bend downwards in the middle and, owing to the tension created, the cardboard part below the slit wjll buckle upwards in the middle,, thus opening the mouth of the pocket. Relax the pressure and the slit will close again.
The envelope or card to be switched for the other one, is just put inside the magazine, between the faked cover and the page facing it ; it is resting inside the magazine at the bottom end. The magazine lie = face downwards on the table.
The magazine is picked up in the left hand, at the cardboard (or bottom) end, and is held horizontally (back cover uppermost of course), for the spectator to drop the envelope, etc., on to. The envelope should rest on the outer half of the magazine.
The magazine is now transferred to the right hand, which takes it at the opposite end, and, as the magazine is tilted downwards, apparently letting the envelope slide down off the cover into the waiting left hand, the right thumb presses continued on page 63
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A long while back in the Jinx I published an effect under the title of " Pagan Papers." Though I know of a number of American conjurers who have used this effect, it seems to have been passed by over here. Perhaps the use of flash paper in the effect added to the difficulty. Anyhow, here is the effect as I first visualised it, and when you have read it I think you will agree that with the minimum of apparatus you have colour, action and mystery.
The magician shows three sheets of tissue paper, one red, one white and one blue. Qn the table rest two wine glasses. The piece of blue paper is crushed into a ball, and the piece of white paper rolled around it, the whole lot being dropped into glass on the right hand side of the table. The sheet of red tissue paper is now crushed into a ball and dropped into the glass on the left. A tap on the right hand glass with a muttered " Hocus pocus," the white bundle then being removed and the tissue unrolled to show that the blue paper has vanished. The white paper is then made into a ball again and replaced in the right hand glass, which in turn is covered with a silk. More " Hocus pocus." The s;lk is removed from the right hand glass, showing that the white paper has vanished. The ball of red paper is now removed from the left hand glass and unwrapped to show the white paper, which in turn is unwrapped to show the missing blue paper.
The requirements are few, and consist of four sheets of tissue paper approximately ten inches square. Two of the pieces are white, one is red and one is blue. Two wine glasses and an opaque eighteen-inch square silk handkerchief will also be needed.
To prepare for the presentation one of the sheets of white paper is rolled into a ball and is placed behind the silk handkerchief, which is loosely bunched up near the rear of the table.
The wine glasses, like lone sentinels, stand one at each front corner of the table. The three sheets of paper are placed together, folded and stood upright in one of the wine glasses.
The pieces of paper are removed and shown separately, after which they are placed in a line across the table. The two glasses are then picked up, clinked together, and replaced. " And this silk handkerchief." As he says this last the right hand takes hold of the silk and ball of paper, raises them together a matter of a few inches, and then releases his hold of the silk but retains the ball of paper in a finger-palm position. The sheet of blue paper is now picked up, crushed into a ball and then held by the left hand finger tips. The right hand with the white ball still finger-palmed takes the sheet of white paper. The ball of blue paper is now placed against the white, which is rolled around it. This is accomplished with both hands, and in the action of giving the paper a final crumple, the finger-palmed ball of white paper is pressed against the white and blue. Both are held at the fingertips as one.
In the action of dropping the white and blue papers into the glass, the two balls are disengaged, the ball of white being dropped and the blue and white ball being retained and held in a fingerpalm position. The right hand takes the sheet of red paper and in rolling this into a ball introduces the finger-palmed ball of blue and white paper. This surreptitious introduction calls for no skill, as the reader will find. The red ball is now dropped into the left hand glass. The first part of the effect is now complete, and only requires the performer's individual presentation. To effect the final envanishment of the white paper, this is accomplished by the time-honoured convention of reversing thé wineglass under the cover of the silk handkerchief.
Whilst one rather hesitates to place before readers yet another version of the rising cards, I feel that there are certain points about this variation that are worth placing on record.
The effect very briefly is that a mentally chosen card rises from a pack that is isolated in a glass placed on a plate and covered with a bell jar.
The means are possibly the oldest known in this effect, being none other than a length of hair and a dab of wax.
The requirements are as follows :—
1. A stemmed glass capable of accommodating a full pack of cards and at the same time allowing them to tilt at a slight angle.
3. A small dab of conjurer's wax.
4. A six-foot length of hair. (This is, of course, made up by knotting several smaller lengths together. Tying pieces of hair together is not too easy a matter owing to the natural resilience of the hair. The way to be described will help to make it easier for the inexperienced. Taking the two hairs that you wish to knot together fix a small dab of wax to one of the ends and then take one end of the other piece and press this against the wax, so that the two ends lying side by side are now held together by the wax. With matter thus, it will be found a comparatively easy matter to make a knot.)
6. Some cellotape and a matchstick.
7 A patterned china plate, the recessed part being capable of accommodating the base of the bell jar.
The preparation is straightforward. First of all the matchstick, or part of it, is placed on the plate at the point shown in the accompanying illustration, and it is kept in place by means of mat^H
SECT/OW OP PLATE
two small pieces of cellotape, one piece going lengthways over the match whilst the other goes across the width. The plate I use is of the willow pattern type, and the match and cellotape seem to disappear into the general pattern when the plate is handled in a casual manner. It will now be found that when the bell jar is placed upon the plate the matchstick raises the edge touching it about one-eighth of an inch.
One end of the hair is now fastened by means of a dab of wax to a rolled piece of paper, and then the hair is wound round it two or three times. The piece of rolled paper is now attached to the underside of a chair by means of a couple of drawing pins (see illustration), the length of
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hair being taken up and through the back (I am assuming an open-backed chair). The free end of the hair now has a small dab of wax fastened to it. This piece of wax is now stuck to the base of the stemmed glass (see illustration) and this in turn is placed upon the seat nf the chair.
During the effect, the magician will work on the left of his table, and consequently the plate with the matchstick part to the rear is placed on the left .hand side of the table, whilst the bell jar is placed on the right hand side. The pack of cards is placed upon the plate.
The pack of cards is picked up and the magician remarks that he wishes to try and show his audience a piece of magic in which the mind overcomes matter. " First of all,'1 he says, addressing a nearby spectator, " I wish you to think of any card in a normal pack of playing cards." The spectator signifies that he has thought of a card. " Now, sir, going a stage further I want you to remove that card from the pack—don't let me see it, and then autograph it on the face—here is a pencil." The spectator is now handed a pencil and also the pack of cards. After the spectator has taken his card, the performer retrieves the remainder of the pack, and waits, head averted, as the spectator writes his name across the face of the mentally selected card. After this card has been autographed, the performer has it returned to the pack, and in the way best suited to his own technique and presentation it is controlled to the top. At this point the audience is reminded that perhaps it might be as well to have the cards thoroughly shuffled. For this purpose the cards are handed to another spectator, and at the same time the top card is palmed off (personally, as many of my readers know, I use nothing but the single hand palm, a sleight which enables the card to be taken as the pack is actually handed to the spectator. Such a sleight needs no stalling, and allows for speedier presentation), and the remaining part of the pack handed to a nearby spectator.
When the pack has been shuffled it is taken back, the palmed card being added. The pack is held face down in the left hand, and moving across to the table and chair, take up the stemmed glass by the stem, tilt it showing that it is obviously empty, clink it against the side of the bell jar and then place it so that the foot goes on
1. Impromptu Changing Bag.
The intimate performer may use his innocent appearing pocket handkerchief with as much effect as the stage performer uses his ornate changing bag.
It's all in the folding.
Before you put the handkerchief in your breast pocket, open it out flat. Fold it in half, then in quarters. If you hold the handkerchief by its tips, you will find it ready for use as a changing medium.
For example, open the " bag " by holding three ends in your right hand, one in your left. A pocket is formed automatically into which a small object may be dropped. Once more hold all the ends in one hand, then open the bag by holding the three ends in your left hand, the fourth in your right. Another pocket is now available.
With your handkerchief folded as described and with the four corners uppermost, put it into your breast pocket.
Suppose you want to force a. name, card, number, etc. Have five tiny slips of paper in one " pocket " of the handkerchief. Take the handkerchief out by the upper ends. Open the other " pocket." Have spectators drop in slips on which they have written names. Bring your hands together. Open the " pocket " for selection, only this time it's the section with the prepared slips.
Have a folded bill (you have memorized its serial number) in the concealed section. Take out the handkerchief and have several borrowed bills folded and dropped in the other section. Allow a spectator to reach in quickly and pull out
3L % SitfivL on
I read with very great interest Franklin Taylor's " Double Stop ", given in the October Pentugrum, and wonder if readers would be interested in the inevitable improvement.
This consists of working the effect with a straight-forward red and black separation; the twenty-six reds followed by twenty-six blacks. This has the important advantage that now the set-up can be obtained by a genuine riffle-shuffle from a red-black, red-black stack.
The effect is worked just the same as before, except that to set the pack to reveal the first spectator's chosen card, the red cards left in the pack are subtracted from twenty-six instead of from twenty.
A further point is that the operator need not watch the cards as he shuffles, for provided he cuts the pack dead half-way in the usual fashion, a bill. He can only take the one you want because you have switched sections. Reveal the serial number, via mental impressions for the climax. When returning the bills remember to hold one back.
Rather than discover the selected card immediately, the magician has the deck torn in pieces and tossed in a felt hat. After the pieces have been mixed, the wizard reaches in and part by part withdraws the proper pastboard.
All you need for this later day miracle is a pack of cards and a felt hat.
Previous to your performance, remove a card —any card—tear it in quarters and put the four sections in one of the two inside creases of a felt hat.
Have a card selected and replaced. Bring it to the top by the Invisible Pass (take a bow, Mr. Braue) or any other method. Give the pack to a pleasant looking person.
' I want you to take the cards and tear them in four pieces and drop the pieces into this hat."
You demonstrate by taking off the top card (its back to the audience for it is the selected card you rember) and tearing it in four pieces and dropping it into the second crease of the felt hat.
" By the way," you add, picking up the hat, " this wasn't your card, was it ? " You take out the four pieces placed in the hat at the beginning. A denial, and you drop them back.
You hold the crease containing the selected card pinched between your fingers from the bottom, so that all the pieces dropped in by the spectator must go into the other section.
it doesn't matter if one or two red and black cards are mixed in the centre after shuffling. When you come to the dirty work and fan the cards in front of you, cut to the first red card from the face of the pack as before, and when counting back to find the card chosen by the first spectator, ignore completely any black cards passed on the way.
I'm afraid these notes must be read in conjunction with the effect described in the October issue, but I did not want to repeat the working of the whole effect, as it would take too long.
I have previously worked the similar effect where the twentieth card from the top is first noted, obtaining the information from a preceding effect, but now I consider " Double Stop," beginning with a genuine shuffle, as near perfect as a trick can be.
CL Wxwd a&out ffioo&ö, and StautineA,
THE CONCERT VENTRILOQUIST and Children's Entertainer, by Maurice Hurling (published by the Magic Wand Publishing Co., price 10/-).
Though there always seems to be a spate of books, pamphlets and manuscripts on magical effects, the ventriloquist seems less prone to the written word. Therefore this book is all the more welcome, for not only does it fill a want, but there must be many conjurers who add this form of vocal misdirection to their normal magical entertainment.
The Author is well known and experienced and this is shown in the way in which he gives details of routines that he has tried and found to be practicable. Humour predominates which is of course as it should be, and whilst the w riter assumes a working knowledge of the technique, he is careful to point out that a successful ventriloquist must have a good technique.
Tips on writing dialogue, pneumatic control of the dummy, novelty angles are all dealt within the first part of the book, whilst the second part tackles the matter of the children's ventriloquist. Age groups, child psychology and other matters are dealt with.
The book concludes with a# complete act called ' The Doctor '.
Altogether there are some fifty pages well printed and a number of (many of which we thought were unnecessary) illustrations. It is bound with semi-stiff covers.
AVEC UN JEU EMPRUNTE (Translation of Victor
Farelli's "Lend me your Pack") by Maurice Sardina.
Author's publication, price not known.
The original of the present translation is, in our own opinion, one of Mr. Farelli's best books and though in comparison with the technique described in many subsequent textbooks on cardwork, the methods described may seem more pedestrian to an advanced card worker; they have much to recommend them to those who have a limited time in which to perfect a worthwhile and workable technique. Of such subterfuges we should like to emphasise the practicability of the method of "culling" attributed to Lindahi. Such items as the Pencil force are more than worthwhile.
The book, as many readers will know, is divided into two main parts, the first part being devoted to tricks that can be performed when standing whilst the second deals with effects that can be performed when seated at a card table. The tricks are all effective and since the publication of the original book one is in position to state that they have stood the test of time.
M. Sardina's translation keeps faithfully to the original text. Whilst the last edition of this work in English ran to some forty-eight pages, the French edition uses larger type and goes into matter of some one hundred and twenty pages. Line drawings replace the photographs used in the original.
Our French friends should be grateful to M. Sardina for this translation, a translation of an excellent work long overdue. Thoroughly recommended.
HUGARD'S MAGIC MONTHLY. Volume 7 (published by the Fleming Book Co., price 30/-).
To say to readers of this paper that the contents of this volume are superlative is not only unnecessary but rather like preaching to the converted. Nevertheless as there may be a reader here and there that is unacquainted with Mr. Hugard's most excellent journal, we will repeat ' superlative '.
The Fleming Book Co., who in the past have produced this particular magazine in bound form incorporating twenty-four copies, have this time produced a volume containing twelve copies. The binding is excellent and unlike most English commercial bindings will stand up to fireside (a consideration in this climate) reading without buckling.
In the card section, two effects, to our own wav of thinking stand out above all others. These are Dai Vernon's ' All Backs ' routine and Clayton Rawson's ' Blankety Blank Deck ' (those who had the opportunity of seeing Mr. Clayton Rawson perform this in conjunction with ' Optical Illusion ' deck at the Magic Circle will know how good this effect looked). Besides these two particular card illusions there are twentv more all fine in quality. Among the miscellaneous items we find a gem, (and a gem noted at the time we first read it in the ordinary issue). This is the means for passing a borrowed ring on to a length of rope or string. Mr. Hugard describes this on page 603 and gives credit to Ken de Courcey for the original inspiration. Some day (just as George Blake did with his own ring on rope effect at the recent Unique One Day Convention) a magician will perform this effect and the multitude will remember where they saw it described and passed it by. We also like the ' Atomic Transposition '. Here again is an effect that will not only be liked by the lay audience but also conjurers.
Hand in hand with the tricks as tricks are the regular monthly features that include Milbourne Christopher's column (in which, in the manner of the rich scattering largesse, he gives the reader worthwhile idea after idea), Book Reviews by John J. Crimmins junior, and ' Backstage Notes ' by Frank Joglar.
One hundred and twenty pages make up this present volume and though we have not counted them we are quite certain that there must be a couple of hundred excellent illustrations to help out the text. If you have not purchased Hugard's Monthly in its more usual form, please get this copy to place (but not to leave) on your bookshelf. You will never regret the purchase and you will add quite a deal to your magical knowledge. Recommended without anv reservation whatsoever.
We spent a very pleasant Sunday at Bristol recently, and after our talk we had the opportunity for quite a long chat with Judge Wethered. During this conversation we were shown two very lovely ideas, one of which we hope to print in the near future. It takes the form of a revised version of Paul le Paul's " Aces in Envelope."
On the way back we thought of the number of effects that lack climax in the accepted sense. Production effects usually fall into such a category, and though much time, thought and labour is given to improving such productions, the effect becomes cumulative and at times almost monotonous. Take for example the production of a number of billiard balls. After the performer has produced two and still goes on wiggling his fingers they expect him to produce another, and so on. With this particular effect Conradi Hörster designed quite a stagey finish which seems to have been overlooked. On the stage was a metal stand, which in effect consisted of two lines of metal that formed a miniature railway. At
MAGIC GO ROUND—continued from previous page ^he finish of the production a ball at a time was placed at one end of the railway, and they rolled down an incline, described circles, and finally dropped into a top hat at the lower end. The hat was lifted, and it was shown that the balls had disappeared and small bouquets of flowers (these were thrown out into the audience) had taken their place. Cutting out the railway, we think that quite an effective finish might be obtained by dropping the balls into a hat and changing them into buttonholes of flowers..
On many an occasion we have commented on the fact that all too often the buyer of a trick places its measure of importance on the price, sometimes even upon its size ! Only the other evening, whilst speaking at the Women's Press Club, the truth of our own findings was brought home very much. We were talking about telekinesis as a branch of psychical phenomena, and as an illustration we used Bob Harbin's " Uncanny Match " effect. When you borrow a box of matches from a person seated near you and the impossible happens, such a thing is never forgotten.
We were with part of the gang the other evening, and we were shown the new newspaper to flowers fake, which incidentally is a very clean job. We thought the effect of a newspaper changing into a bunch of paper flowers completely illogical, and suggested that sheets of coloured paper (or coloured tissue) would look much better.
Ron Baillie, when submitting for your approval his " Finger of Fate," mentioned that he would like a good mechanical method for performing this effect, and thus eliminating the need for anything extraneous. Two of our readers came along with very similar ideas, and we shall print them in next month's issue.
One of the best things in " Magic as a Hobby " was Orson Welles' masterly introduction. In view of his international reputation we are still wondering why the English publishers cut this out.
Paper prices (and printing prices) are still rising, and though since the inception of this bulletin we have never raised the price by as much as a penny, it seems that increased cost to buyer will have to come. If it does, and good notice will be given, we shall endeavour to enlarge the bulletin at the same time, so that with extra price there will be extra contents.
SACK TO METHUSELAH—continued from page 60 top of the cards held in the right hand. The accompanying illustration now shows the position, and it should be noted, though the glass would have to be turned to be otherwise, tha: li e blob of wax is in a position furthest from the audience. The right hand thumb rests on the foot of the glass, keeping it against the backs of ti e cards. The left hand, relieved of its burden, now takes the bell jar by the knob at the top, lifts it casually from the table, and replaces it. The right hand now passes cards and glass to the left hand, both being- taken so that the ball of the left thumb comes on top of the wax blob, and in the passing action this is rolled off on to the back of the topmost card, i.e., the selected card, the extreme tip of the thumb still pressing down on the foot of the glass. The right hand, free, picks up the plate, shows the front casually, and then turns it over showing the underside. The plate is replaced so that the match portion is furthest from the audience. The right hand now takes the glass from the left hand and places it in a central position on the plate. The pack of cards, wax bottommost, is placed in the glass, and in doing so it is tilted towards the back. At this point the length of hair should be running in an almost straight line from the chair to the glass ; it is, in the best lighting conditions, completely invisible.
The bell jar is now taken and placed over the glass, and allowed to rest on the plate, and, of course, on the match. Therefore there is no pressure upon the hair. The magician steps behind the table and moves across until such time that therfc is tension on the hair, i.e., an inch more and the hair would actually pull the rearmost selected card up.
This action is now taken and the card rises. When it reaches the highest point that it will go the pressure against the hair is relaxed. Now because of the tilt of the cards towards the back of the glass, the card will not slip back but will remain in position, thus allowing the magician to move slightly left and at the same time address the chooser of the card, asking whether that is the card he thought of. After agreement, the bell jar is lifted and the cards are removed by the right hand. In the action of placing them n the left hand, the right-hand thumb nail scrapes "off the wax, allowing it to drop. The card is brought forward and handed out to the chooser, who confirms his signature across the face.
The main point to be brought home to the spectators is the fact that the card is thought of.
MAGAZINE SWITCHER—continued from page 58 down, opening the mouth of the pocket into which fie envelope slides. At the same time the duplicate envelope slides out of the magazine into the left hand. NOTE.
The " Scots Magazine " has glazed pages (art paper), thus the hidden envelope slides out easily. For a magazine with rough pages, paste some smooth paper inside, and coat it with fanning paper, to allow the envelope to slip out freely.
The magazine can be chucked down after switching, back uppermost if you wish, for the slit is never seen.
With the March issue, The Sphinx celebrates its Golden jubilee. Suitably to commemorate this auspicious event, we are publishing the Golden Jubilee Book of Magic, 75 of the best tricks printed in The Sphinx during its lifetime . . . Tricks to perform on the stage, platform, parlor or close-up Tricks with every conceivable object . . . Tricks by such famous magicians of the past and present as : A1 Baker, Birch, Blackstone, Christopher, Keith Clark, Dante, Devant, Downs, Dunninger, Fu Manchu, Goldin, Gwynne, Harbin, Haskell, Leon Herrmann, Houdini, Hugard, Jarrow, Kellar, Laurant, Leipzig, LePaul, Levante, Long Tack Sam, Mora, Reno, Tar-bell, Tenkai, Vernon, Victor.
Publication Date March First
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Bound in Bancroft buckram, gold-stamped on front and spine, 128 big pages (84 by 11 inches) which are equivalent to about 400 pages of usual size, 189 drawings by Rigney, American price 55.00, sold on our "money back" guarantee at our "share the lossi" price of 30/-
THE SPHINX GOLDEN JUBILEE BOOK OF MAGIC. A collection of 75 tricks and illusions selected from past issues of The Sphinx. Feats by Devant, Kellar, Goldin, Leipzig, Houdini, Blackstone, Dante, Victor, Dunninger, Harbin, and other celebrities. Gold stamped cloth, 128 pages, many illus., American price $5.00 35/-Current " Best Sellers " !
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THIS book does not teach the reader how to speak " without moving his lips", a subject that has been dealt with in all other books on the subject. It does, however, break new ground that has never before been covered in a book on ventriloquism.
Here the reader will find the result of years of hard and practical experience as a professional performer ; when and how to use the comedy movements for the greatest effect, how to write your own dialogue, a mass of ideas for new acts with script outlines, invaluable information on the psychology of children, entertaining children, etc., etc
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26 Living Si Dead Tests (Garrett) 5/3
Jamesosophy (Stewart James) 5/3
Year Book 48/49 (few only) 5/3
Stunts With Stage Money (Lamonte) . . 5/3
From the publishers
THE MAGIC WAND PUBLISHING CO., 11, Monastery Gardens, Enfield, Middlesex.
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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.