When contemplating the use of a Swami Gimmick, the first essential is to discover the type of writer that suits you best. You should examine each variety and test it for your own requirements ; assess the value of any particular model according to the ease with which you can use it— that is the governing factor. Then concern yourself with the other important considerations ; does it fit comfortably ? does it write legibly ? can you get it on and off inconspicuously ? is it firmly held when on the nail or in position? can the lead be replaced? will the lead break in use? and so on. The only really satisfactory way to find out is to try each model, and for what it costs to buy one of each type at the start—is nothing compared with the value of what you get for your pains. The following list gives examples of all the major types of writers ; any that have been omitted are regarded as 44 special " models that have been the particular fancy of a single performer and not accepted as a standard item :—
This variety has been appended the title 44 The " as it is one of the very early models which was used extensively by 44 Swamfs " and Mediums. In general, Mediums made use of writers far more than magicians ; it was quite a common thing for a writer to be the only apparatus used to earn a substantial income as a medium. Slade, the famous fraudulent medium worked a great deal with 44 spirit writing " produced by trick methods with chalk, and by
^ billet switching and use of a writer. Some examples of his technique were, in our opinion, classics of mentalism. The Swami Gjmmick is the smallest type of lead holder you can get. It can be used on the thumbnail or first finger—but usually the first. It is a very small square shaped metal holder which has the lead held in a metal tube ^ mounted on the holder or clamp. It has a leading and important; advantage over all other types—its size. Being the smallest it is the type which is least visible, but, unfortunately, it also has a strong disadvantage ; due to its' compactness, it is easily pulled off the thumbnail and may fall off accidentally. Moreover, the absence of44 wings " (see later types) make it unsteady when writing. Provided that you have a fairly long nail upon which it may be fixed firmly, this type will be found practical. The leads can be replaced when used.
Otherwise, and more commonly called 44 the undernail writer This title is not strictly correct as it is, if you consider, misleading. . The lead fits on the holder which jams on the thumb. Part of the x 5 holder goes under the finger nail but the lead stays on top. Hence ^ the term given should only be applied to the variety of writers that project the lead actually under the nail—such as do exist. We would prefer to call it 44 C " type because it is shaped like the letter 4' C n —or, as you might say in modern times, this is the 44 Delta Wing Swami Gimmick It appears very much like a delta wing aircraft— though not as large . . . !
The 44 C " Type is probably the most used variety. It features reliability when working, fits comfortably and rigidly by virtue o i i i c x. n its two wings which project outwards from the main holder, and, running under the thumbnail lock the gimmick firmly on. The addition of wings has to a large extent improved the old type of gimmick. They spread the strain over a wider 44 gripping area " of thumbnail and in consequence, cut out practically all unwanted movement of the gimmick when in use. Most 44 C " types are designed to take new leads for refilling but not all. The best are made of a fairly pliable metal which allows you to bend the gimmick to fit your thumbnail with exactness. They should be flesh coloured or made of dull metal—not because they are liable to be seen by * the audience, but because they will make you feel happier. The *44 C " Type is made in several sizes allowing for both short and wide nails. It also comes in two types of lead (disregarding colour) as we have the ordinary medium-soft lead and then a rather extra-special class with thick heavy black lead which has, as an additional improvement, a machined tip-carefully rounded to give thick letters or numbers in use. The difficulty with this type is making new leads.
In reply to the question, 44 Do you use a Swami Gimmick " I have frequently received the answer,441 can't my nails are too short It is somewhat surprising how many magicians and mentalists are unaware that several writers exist that do not fit on the nail at all. The Band Writer is an example. This is a pliable metal clip or band that fits on the ball of the thumb or any finger. The band is designed to hold a small tube into which fits the lead. This type suffers from lead breakage in use if you do not take care. It would not be dangerous if you were proficient. The size is much larger than models already mentioned, but being flesh-coloured as it must be it is no more visible than a common thumbtip. It does feature one asset over the rest of the family ; because of the clip arrangement, it may be fixed to all sorts of odd positions on the thumb and fingers. Occasionally this may be of use as we shall see. This type is best for fixing on a toe to write on a card in your shoe—as may be done for several good effects, and, funny as it may seem, is quite easy and very practical. Band Writers rarely have facility for replacement of the lead and whilst on this subject, be warned—never use a band-writer that has the lead simply stuck to the clip. Examine it and be sure it is mounted in a tube which goes through the clip holding same firmly in position.
This model is not widely known but has been in existence for about twenty years. It really is a 44 C " Type plus a clamp which gives just a bit more 4 lock ' to the nail. It fits only the thumbnail— and is very firm in use as it features three wings as supports. Two go under the nail and one comes out over the top of the nail. It has a slight draw-back in that it cannot be quickly got into position or removed without considerable force. The leads can usually be replaced when exhausted.
Described as an 44 Adhesive writer".
This variety invented by my good friend Eric Mason and sold under the name of BOON " is a later innovation in the family of
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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.