The Magic Circle

President : His Grace the Duke of Somenet,

D.S.O., O.B.E., J.P.. M.I.M.C. Vice-President: Douglu Craggs, Esq., M.I.M.C. Clnbroom and Library and Museum :

Hearts of Oak Buildings,

Euston Road, London, N.W.I.

Magical Theatre :

King George's Hall, W.C.

Nov. 16—Concert

20—Dealers' Day

Particulars from Hon. Secretary :

Peter Newcombe 38 Overdale Avenue New Malde Surrey



is published on the 24th of each month and can be obtained direct from the publishers for 117 per tingle copy. Annual Subscription 18/-post free.

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'J1 HE FOLLOWING has been conceived and written as a sincere tribute to Theo Annemann. Whilst it is doubtful if anyone could ever recapture the unusual angle he had on Mentalism and Magic, continued perusal of the Jinx and Annemann's writings will conjure up many a new slant on magic in the Annemann manner.


There has been a tremendous amount of material published on the " long distance telepathy " theme and the version that follows, whilst involving a certain small amount of preparation, gives yet another workable method. EFFECT—

The medium is led away under escort to another part of the building.

A pack of playing cards, borrowed if desired, is shuffled by a spectator who then removes cards singly from the pack and drops them face up on a table until requested to stop. The face up removed cards are then gathered together and picked up by the spectator who places the balance of the pack aside. The cards held by the spectator are then mixed and one card is freely selected. This card is shown to the performer and to the audience. The chosen card is now placed face down on the table. The remainder of the chosen group are again mixed and sent out to the medium.

A few moments later a slip of paper is brought back by the spectator who took the cards out. The paper has the name of the selected card written on it. Climax Number One !

The usual E.S.P. symbol cards are now shown, a circle, a cross, three wavy lines, a square and a five pointed star.

One symbol is selected by a member of the audience and held up so that all present may know the chosen design.

The performer now asks a spectator to bring back the medium, but requests him to thoroughly blindfold his Dartner before they enter the room.

The performer can be led out of the room before the medium enters or can be concealed with in the same room.

The medium now makes a dramatic, if somewhat stumbling entry, guided by the escort, who places the medium facing the audience.

Asking the audience to concentrate on the chosen design, it is slowly and correctly named. REQUIREMENTS—

A pack of playing cards and five large cards each bearing an E.S.P. symbol heavily outlined in Indian Ink. The size of these cards will depend upon where the effect is being performed.

Four coloured rubber bands which will be described later. Blindfold material, also described later.


The medium is introduced and then led away by two volunteer spectators. The pack of cards is then shuffled by a member of the audience who now draws cards, one at a time, and drops them face up on a table. The performer is quietly adding, mentally, the denominational values of the cards, ignoring suits. Both medium and performer have a key total of 70. Jacks count as 11, Queens as 12 and Kings as 13. Casually stop the assisting spectator before he reaches the key total of 70 and then remark, as you remove the pack from his hands that: " Perhaps one more card will do." The performer himself adds a card of a value that will bring the total of face up cards on the table to the required number of 70. For examDle, cards on the table may be, ignoring suits as follows. Ace, seven, jack, nine, three, queen, ten, four and nine. This assortment equals 66.

The performer would then add a four spot of any suit to make a total of 70.

There should be no difficulty over the above as up till this point there is no cause for suspicion as no-one as yet knows the card to be selected. The balance of the pack is placed aside and the cards on the table are mixed and then spread out face down.

The assistant is asked to select one card, show it to the audience and also to the performer. The card is now placed in the spectator's pocket or laid down, back uppermost on table.

The remainder of the face down cards are now re-mixed by the spectator and the performer gives him a rubber band to place around the group of cards. The cards are now taken out by a spectator to the medium.

The medium can tell the value of the chosen card bv auickly totalling the values of each card in the group and deducting, from 70. For example if the king of hearts is the chosen card then the medium will find that the total of the cards brought out by the spectator equals 57. This deducted from 70 equals 13, the value of a king.

The suit is known by the colour of the rubber band around the cards. The performer has a small holder in his pocket containing four different coloured rubber bands. Red equals hearts, yellow equals clubs, blue equals diamonds and green is for spades.

The name of the chosen card is written down by the medium on a piece of paper arid sent back for verification.

The five E.S.P. cards are exhibited and one is freely chosen. The remainder can be hidden wherever the audience desires. Explain that you wish the medium to be thoroughly blindfolded before being brought back. Whilst a member of the audience leaves the room to bring the medium back the performer states that he can either be concealed in the same room or can be taken to another part of the building. It is, naturally, better for presentation if he remains somewhere in the same room in order that he may be present to take his final bow with the medium.

The method for passing the diagram chosen to the medium is as follows. Depending on the blindfold sent out, the medium can tell the symbol chosen. White handkerchief equals circle. White handkerchief and a wad of cotton wool equals cross. Coloured handkerchief equals three wavy lines. Coloured handkerchief and wad of cotton wool equals square and two white handkerchiefs equal five pointed star. These materials are in the performer's pockets in a known order. The symbols are memorized in the usual manner.

Circle =1 being 1 line.

3 wavy lines = 3 being 3 lines.

Square = 4 being 4 lines.

5 pointed star =5 being 5 lines.

Immediately on seeing the spectator with the blindfold material the medium knows instantly the chosen diagram. This can be written down as an extra check point before the medium's return. Throughout this routine the performer can make the most of the fact that he very seldom handles any of the items. The presentation point of the medium's blindfold entry can be made very dramatic and should hold an audience's attention.

With a little improvisation the entire routine can be performed under any conditions and is entirely self contained.

" Do you like card tricks,"

he asked.

I said " No."

He showed me five.

Somerset Maugham.


The following close up effect is on a subject that was dear to Annemann's heart—the Weird and Uncanny.

The method is fairly well-known, having been used by Ron Baillie in the March, 1951, Pentagram and also by Will Goldston in his " Tricks of the Masters."

The story theme that follows, however, should build this effect into an unusual presentation that will be remembered.

The magician states that for some time now he has been extremely interested in the Occult and all matters appertaining to the Supernatural. After a great deal of research he has discovered a rather peculiar effect dealing with sympathetic magic.

" If a native witch doctor wishes to produce rain he goes through the following ritual.

" A drummer beats a roll on the drums to resemble thunder. The witchdoctor slashes the air with a blazing brand to imitate a flash of lightning and then he sprinkles a few drops of water from a gourd on to the ground. He firmly believes that what he has done on a small scale will now happen on a larger scale."

As he finishes speaking the magician withdraws a thin black plastic rod from a leather case and says.

" I am not going to inconvenience you by making something happen on a large scale but will perform certain actions and as a result of the Law of Natural Magic some peculiar result will occur, but on this occasion—in miniature."

The magician has by this time lighted a cigarette and is holding it in his left hand. Slowly he passes the end of the black rod through the thin swirl of smoke. Once, twice and a third time.

Laying the cigarette in a receptacle he allows his hands to be seen empty with the exception of the rod.

Suddenly he passes his right hand over the end of the rod and a thin spiral of smoke issues, apparently from the tip of the rod. The rod can now be handed for examination.

SECRET—The abrasive side of a safety box of matches is burned in a glass or metal receptacle until an oily residue is left. This residue can be carried as Ron Baillie suggested in his effect in a metal ink bottle top in your pocket. A little applied to the right forefinger and thumb and under cover of passing the hand over the rod the normal rubbing motion will produce the smoke.

If anyone wishes to go to the trouble of fixing the little head of Skullocation to the end of the rod he will have a really attractive close up " prop." A miniature wand as sold by the dealers will easily take the place of a plastic rod or even a thin piece of wood carved into a rough totem pole would do.

" Lucre and applause are not necessary to him. If he were set down with the materials of his art on a desert island he would be quite happy. He would not cease to produce the barber's pole from the mouth. To the indifferent winds he would still speak his patter and even in the last throes of starvation would not eat his live rabbit or goldfish." " Zuleika Dobson "—Max Beerbohm.


Remember Annemann's excellent " force " of one book from amongst several. The following is an adaptation of this principle but by using coins and by varying the presentation slightly it has been made into a close up effect.

Three different valued coins are lying on a table, say, £d. Id. and 3d. piece. The wizard extends his clenched fist and asks a spectator to hold his wrist very tightly saying nothing at the moment about the fact that in his clenched hand lies a duplicate of one of the three coins, say, the penny.

The assisting spectator is asked to pick up any two of the coins on the table. If he leaves the penny, point out that he lifted the two he chose of his own free will, at the same time opening your clenched hand and letting the duplicate coin clink on to the coin on the table. COINCIDENCE OR?

If, however, he picks up the penny and the then ask him to hand you one coin. If he gives you the penny, receive same in the empty hand, again mentioning that he gave you that coin quite freely. As you say this you slowly open the clenched hand and reveal the duplicate penny.

Should he, however, hand you the -|d. take it and drop it beside the coin remaining on the table. State that he has retained one coin of his own free will, open your hand and again display your matching coin.

An unnecessarily long explanation for a simple effect but experience has shown this to be a worthwhile routine for lay audiences. Naturally it is done once and once only.

Co-incidence effects are legion but the next routine is submitted because the conditions governing it seem to be so fair and above board that the final result is guaranteed to make the onlookers wonder whether the old witchcraft law should have been repealed.

The work of the conjuror is so subtle that to the enthusiast it will have as much fascination as the unravelling of a mysterv has for a great detective, and although all my readers may not become brilliant performers, they will at least be «tudents of conjuring ..." " Magic Made Easy "—David Devant.


Two spectators assist you, they stand one on either side; in front of you is a small table.

Two packs of cards lie on the table and the spectator on your right picks up one pack, the second spectator picks up the other pack. Both thoroughly mix their respective packs and you explain what you want them to do. Spectator A is to deal cards, one at a time, face down, and to stop whenever he wishes.

Spectator B is to deal cards in the same manner and in unison with spectator A. He must deal as many as spectator A but once the first spectator has ceased to deal, then he can stop whenever he wishes.

Spectator A deals, say, 10 cards and then stops; spectator B also deals 10 cards and perhaps another 5 cards. Both are requested to lay the balance of their packs aside.

The performer states that they themselves thoroughly mixed the cards, they had a perfectly fair choice as regards the number they dealt, they were not in any way influenced and that from start to finish he himself has not touched the cards, and yet. . when they turn over their top cards they are both the same.

The conditions governing this effect are so fair that the result appears to be a miracle.

Requirements : Two packs of cards, one red backed and one blue backed. The red backed pack is marked, in your own system for preference. A set of card indexes containing a duplicate blue backed pack in your pockets. I know that the fact that you require to use a marked pack of cards and card indexes may tend to scare many away, but I assure you that there is no speed required to extract the required card from the index and the misdirection is more than sufficient to allow even a non-sleight of hand performer to palm out and add one card to the spectator's pile.

Presentation: Request two spectators to assist you. Place them one on either side. The table stands in front with the marked red pack and normal blue pack. Request the spectator on your right to select a pack. If he chooses the red marked pack he becomes spectator A, if he takes the blue pack he becomes spectator B. Whoever has the marked pack becomes spectator A.

Saying that one trained mind can influence two untrained minds and that their thoughts merely become a reflection of your own, you request them to thoroughly mix their cards, and tell spectator A to deal as many as he wishes, face down, one at a time. He is to stop dealing whenever he wishes.

Spectator B is told to deal as many as spectator A, but once A has stopped dealing then he can stop any time after that.

When A has stopped you read the back of the top marked card. Pay no attention to the cards that B deals. Find and palm out the required card. When B has stopped dealing emphasize the fairness of the procedure, etc.

Also the fact that you have not touched the cards, as you say this casually, and this must be done absolutely casually, push B's cards towards him, adding the extra palmed card. As you do this, say, "Will you pick up and square your cards." Turn and look at A and request him to do the same, at the same time indicating his cards with your hand but not touching them. Request them to turn their top cards over.

Of all the tricks performed by amateurs, the most effective to a small audience are those which he does apparently on the spur of the moment. " Magic Made Easy "—David Devant.

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