To me, anytime "equivoque" is mentioned, several things pop to mind. One is how to label objects, actions, and choices. A second aspect is the use of suggestion. As I am known for these sorts of things, that is what I will try to address.
There is not space here to get into all the details, but the thinking student will contemplate these notions and be well rewarded for the effort. That has certainly been my experience at least, and those of my students and readers. I hope you THINK about these brief clues.
Let's begin with some simple applications. A client chooses an object, which is not the one you intend to force. You need another shot at the force. Labeling the first choice as something different gives you another chance.
You may say "Yes, good - consciously. Now choose another object subconsciously. Just quickly, pick up another object without too much thought. Now!" The spectator is thrown off guard at this stage. They are told to do something they cannot do with conscious thought. Yet, they still have to "choose" which is, oddly, a conscious thought. As you are hurrying the spectator along, they must choose quickly and without much thought. That just means their defenses are down. Chances are high now that they will choose the force object.
If they do hit this second time, you can point out how you were attempting to influence the spectator "subliminally" - unconsciously. While people believe they make choices based on their conscious choices, while they are distracted, their subconscious mind can be easily influenced. Prove you have done just this as you show the object you had written down ahead of time. This doesn't look like a trick - it looks real.
If they still choose something other than the force object, that is fine too. "Good, you have now made two choices in the world of the mind as commonly considered. You have made both conscious and subconscious choices. Some claim there is a third type of consciousness. Let us put aside the common notions of the mind. Set those objects aside. Good. We shall now attempt to access the third type of mind as some claim. This is the mind that is said to be only One Mind - that holds us all within It and holds our every idea and thought. This is the 'third aspect of the mind' that some claim accounts for telepathy. Let us see. Two objects remain. Let's imagine there is a third type of mind and that you can now be guided by it to make the right and most comfortable choice'.
Of course, you are now home free in a most interesting way. If they choose the force object, it proves there is a "One Mind" that accounts for how you knew they would do this ahead of time.
If they leave the force object, you may explain that you believe that all three states of mind lead to the creation of a fourth type. This is what you might call "fourth dimensional consciousness". "It is the place in mind where all time is now. You may not believe that, but I can prove it. I went into my own fourth dimensional consciousness and saw what you would choose, and what you would ultimately leave behind in the fourth dimension. Read what I wrote down days ago... Welcome to the Twilight Zone"!
The principle to be aware of behind all of this is simply one of labeling. Instead of labeling an incorrect choice as what it is, you label it as a success. In this example, each choice is labeled a success in an aspect or dimension of mind. This also makes for much conversation and fascination, far more than a clever trick.
Another interesting set-up with which I have had much success is the notion of objects generating or absorbing energy. "Which object seems to be radiating more energy than others? Good! And which object seems to be colder than the rest? Yes"! Your written prediction may then display the "object I was placing my energy upon, which you yourself noticed" or "And this will also send a chill... down your spine... I wrote that very object down ahead of time".
I often combine such labels with suggestion. This can get a bit tricky, but I will attempt to at least give you a basic feel for it here. Much of my work has such elements involved in it. Let's say we would like to force the suit of hearts from a deck of playing cards. We might begin saying, "Let's try a little, gentle, experiment... nothing at all harsh or tricky.
This is just about radiating positive energy - energy you can FEEL. Gentle energy. Everything holds and releases energy, but some things are more obvious and work better. You may not think for instance that playing cards have their own energy, but they do. I have the deck separated into reds and blacks. Dear lady, which suit do you feel an affinity for? By that I mean which symbols seem to radiate energy outwards - that may actually be radiating energy that can be felt? The black cards or the red cards''?
Naturally, most people say "red cards", as black suits rarely seem to be thought of as "radiating" energy or anything else. The label "energy" seems to suggest bright and active notions. Red is a bright and active color, and black is generally not considered that way.
If you read the opening few paragraphs, you will also notice how we are almost implanting the suit of hearts into the minds of the audience. I try and say "heart" in every way I can without using the exact word. So I make statements such as "gentle energy, kind, feel, positive energy," and so on. I also choose a lady, as a woman is more symbolic of "hearts" in most cultures.
What happens if the spectator says "Black cards"? Easy. I remark "Yes, consciously. But let's see what your subconscious' choice would be ... Let's turn the deck faces down so you cannot be consciously influenced at all. Now, you must go with your feelings..." Now they not only get the suit, they get the exact card I want. How? I do a simple card force! You may not think that very elegant, but given the words as outlined, it is very subtle and amazing indeed.
The point again is to consider how the labels you assign to what happens, and the suggestions you make, play important roles in the forcing of choices. In fact, I often look at five objects or more and think to myself "Which of these would I say seems to radiate energy -just by the look of them ?" or feel of the items for that matter. Then I know the odds are already far in my favor.
You can play the odds like this as long as you have the "outs" and that is what is in this book, so feel free to experiment. If you have a blue deck and a red deck and you need to force the red one, ask a spectator to pick up the deck that seems to be radiating the most energy. Ask them to place their palms hovering over the two and just quickly name the deck that obviously has more alive and awake energy than the other - not the deck they like best. They almost have to choose the red one, now don't they?
Often I like spectators to hover their hands over objects and then touch an object. They tend to choose the higher objects in such cases. But I also add in a verbal suggestion as follows. As the spectator moves their hand along slowly I say, "Touch any object that just feels right to you". I time my words so I say, ".that just feels right." over the intended force object. If I pause a half a beat before I say "that just feels right" in helps emphasis this even more, without making it too obvious. Try it a few times. I have taught people who could not do a classic force how to do it by adding in these words alone. Just say the magic phrase at the proper point, and your odds increase outrageously.
Your rate of speech and the inflection of your voice also play significant roles. Strange that so few people talk about that when they mention verbal influence and control. Speaking slightly slower places emphasis, and thereby attention, to that which is being addressed. So if I am speaking at one rate, then slow down a little, then pick my rate of speech back up again, the slower speech will draw attention to thing I was speaking about at that point. If I want spectators to ignore consciously certain things, I may speak of them a little faster, so they go by more quickly. Surely you have noticed others do this in sales and advertising. Even when you know other things were said, you still focus on what was said more slowly. Unless you are ridiculously obvious. Any form of influence and suggestion should be suggestion. A suggestion is a subtle command, not an obvious blow over the spectator's head. Well, okay, not usually.
Perhaps you have heard that if you smile when speaking to someone over the phone, the person on the other end senses that you are friendly in some way. That is a fine way to book a show and influence clients. The same principle of subtle vocal inflection may be used to influence the selection of objects. Never be too obvious of course. But if you smile slightly as you mention or touch the force object, it can make a difference. I have said at times, "Touch the object you like BEST and smile as I say "best". I also slightly emphasize the word "best" with my voice. This is a form of triggering, and somewhat similar to what NLP calls "anchoring". It isn't precisely that, but there are similarities.
Try as you speak to make your voice sound just a little more pleasant as you or the spectator touch or speak about the force object. Remember not to be too obvious. I know some people who sound as if they are having an orgasm when they mean to subtly influence others to feel better. That may help them fool themselves, but mostly to listeners, it just sounds silly and obvious. Try to be subtle and use suggestion.
All of these things help increase your odds at mentally hitting the force in the first place. If you fail, you go on with your planned on phase to force the object. But why not do everything you can to hit more?
I also incorporate what I think of as restarts. It might be called the "do overs" ploy. One way I do this is to begin my opening remarks and touch all the objects except for the force object and one other. Then I ask the spectator to choose one. Chances are very high that they will not want to touch the same three objects I touched. Since I left them a "choice" - only two - of objects that I did not touch, they usually pick the middle force object. If they touch one that I touched, I say, "Yes - Obviously that would be it, as it is one of the objects I touched too. Don't let me influence you THIS time - pick another object".
Or perhaps I do not touch one at all. I still may use the ploy if they select anything but the force obj ect. "Yes, that is the one I attempted to influence you to pick. Don't let me do that! Don't let me influence you this time - pick any one you LIKE..."
My most blatant start over move is just that: A call to start over. In fact, I just used it again last night in a performance. I was doing a force that was purely psychological. Part of it she got, part of it she missed. While I had my intended optional ending, I felt like trying again. She had answered, and then was slightly distracted and began coughing a little after she answered in an undesired manner. I replied "You said circle, but you may have said that under duress... there were distractions and this may have influenced you in some way, which we do not want! Chose another symbol -1 don't want you to be distracted this time. Choose another symbol, one you like most of all". She did and chose the force symbol. Please note I sneaked in the word "another" symbol a couple of times. That is a subtle way to make them pick something new.
You can of course create your own distractions when needed. I might stub my toe, accidentally tip the table, or let my hand hit the table on "accident" noisily. One could do any number of things, and then say " I am sorry. That may have distracted you and influenced you in some way. Let's start over and pick another". Don't laugh out loud while you say, " I don't want to influence or distract you", as you influence, and distract them.
Other comments along these lines are "I distracted you - forget that one - let's start again" and "I don't want to influence you THIS time" suggest very indirectly that you influenced them the first time.
The basic theory is one of breaking a rhythm or pattern, so that you can change the pace to where you wish to go. It is a form of stopping people in their tracks. When you throw people off guard, they are more likely to follow where you suggest. Here is another interruption I use, with some nice presentational angles built in:
I do this for an invisible coin equivoque. But you could do it with anything "invisible". I needed to make a close-up coin equivoque large enough to be interesting on a stage. My other desire was to have a reason for giving an audience member my stationary as a souvenir. You might think of this as a business card give-away only larger. I write the predicted coin (force coin) on the stationary and then roll this paper into a tube. I place a rubber band or ribbon around the tube to keep it rolled. Without explanation I keep hold if this tube during the effect.
The spectator takes an invisible coin out of his pocket. I ask what it is. If it is not the force coin, I frown and tap the tube on my hand. This makes a sound and interrupts the flow of things. I hold the tube to my eye, look through it to the audience, then through it to the hand, and then back at the spectator. "Perhaps you need one of these Look at your hand again. What ELSE do you have"?
This gets a laugh, and creates an entertaining "do-over", which looks to be only an intended piece of by-play. If the spectator names the correct coin now, we go with that coin. If not, then the only two left in the pocket are to be used for "the experiment of the x-ray glasses" - which is simply the rolled up tube. Another spectator looks through the tube and calls out a coin he sees in the pocket of the other spectator. This is now the obvious hit, or leaves one completely invisible, as needed.
In the end, the spectator unrolls the tube and reads out loud the written prediction. The tube not only creates a funny distraction, but the by-play reminds the audience subtly that the prediction was in front of them the entire time. That may seem a minor benefit, but trust me, it is a major factor to the audience when performed in this more indirect fashion. This version allows the spectators to come up with the notion themselves that the prediction was in front of them the entire time. Such small points make for the miraculous.
In my book "Weerd Enough" I use suggestion to force a charm. I am ready for equivoque of course. Without going into this entire effect, just consider the use of suggestion in forcing this way. I will apply this to another application entirely.
For instance, let's say we wish to force a locket. Few have considered something quite in this way before. Predict that which has a couple of parts or elements to it. A locket has naturally both a locket AND a key to open it - correct? If I have as my prediction a second locket, either the duplicate LOCKET or the KEY that fits it will work as the force objects! This allows for one single prediction, yet two objects that are "force" objects. Think about that. It will serve you very well indeed.
I hedge my bets a great deal with the charms too. The spectator has the option of choosing one of the following: a skull, a fang, a heart locket, a key, and a rusty nail. The words I use allude to their choice as being indicative of their future and such, so spectators tend to leave the skull, fang and nail alone! I hope you consider the importance of the suggestion inherent in the objects themselves. This makes for amazing force possibilities. Try not to be too obvious of course. If everyone can consciously see why an object was chosen, then it amazes no one. But play with what I have suggested, and combine this with the multiple out/ single object concept, and you can do miracles. The use of these charms and the dual object can make for touching, wonder-filled stories and souvenirs. I have hinted on this more than enough I should hope by now.
Speaking of the miraculous and touches that few will realize the value of, here is a very special thing. You can find this in its full form and more in the book "Kentonism". It is also included here, for those who truly dare to do magic with a capital M.
Bonus: A Miracle for Those Who Dare
I am going to give to you now one of the most magical and intimate things I have ever performed. This is more for the magician, I admit. But don't let that stop you! You might turn this into a prediction instead if you choose. Before we get to the work of it, consider the effect as viewed by a spectator:
"I would like you to name a color quickly - any simple, basic color... NOW!" (Spectator says "Purple" for instance) "Very interesting. Now name another - but very basic - color" (Spectator this time says "Green"). "Yes, good. And think of one of these five symbols: A circle, a plus sign, a triangle, a square, and a star. Name one you like most quickly! A favorite one quickly NOW!" (Spectator says "Star"). The spectator has been keeping their hands palm up as a "symbol or suggestion of acceptance and inspiration". At this point, the Wonder Worker (that's you, I hope) strokes the spectator's palms. Suddenly a very small blue package appears in the spectator's hands.
"Blue is the color of the subconscious mind moving like the tides of the ocean. But look inside the package and you will see more... Go ahead and open the package, as it is a magical one, just for you. I asked you to name a color, and the very first color you named was the color purple. As you peel away the wrapping paper, you will notice that inside the package is wrapped with a reddish-purple tint... the closest I could get to your mental choice. Open this purple wrapping up and you will see there is more magic still. You chose the color green as a second color, and the symbol of a star. As you can see, there inside is a blue-green stone in the shape of a star deep within the paper. Your colors of purple and green, and your choice of a star have indeed become reality. Please keep this turquoise star as a reminder. I suggest that you have great potential, and as long as you use it wisely, you will do well'.
So how do you get the exact color and symbol the spectator named? Well, the truth is you don't all of the time. That is why this is a little daring. But I say that to scare off the people who shouldn't do this anyway. The rest of you keep reading. You have some rather marvelous ways to cover your misses, and turn these into successes most of the time too.
I use small stars made of real turquoise that have a hole through them so they may be placed on bracelets or necklaces and such. This makes for a truly magical charm for which people remember their own potential as well as their experience with you. You don't have to get that fancy. The reason I use turquoise, or something similar, is this: The color represents both blue and green. In other words, the stone is an "out" as well as a miracle. Turquoise having both blue and green as its color allows the stone to be interpreted as either blue or green depending on what the spectator calls out for a color. Please re-read the speech again to see these shifts in the talk made to fit the physical facts.
How did I know the spectator was going to say "Purple" so I could have a purple colored wrapping paper inside? I didn't. When asked to name a simple, basic color most spectators say either "Red" or "Blue". I use a metallic or shiny wrap that makes a clearly defined color a little harder to see exactly. The shine makes for slight variations in color. The inside of the package is wrapped in a dark red metallic "paper". This red is deep enough that it may also be viewed as a shade of "purple" when needed. The outside of the package is wrapped in blue, so that covers the most obvious choices. If we are using BASIC colors, that gives us not much more than red, blue, yellow or maybe green. Few people ever choose yellow. In fact, as of this writing I have never had anyone choose yellow. If they did, I would turn this choice into a personality reading and speak of their bright outlook on life, their sunny disposition and so forth, and ignore the color of the paper entirely. But I've never needed to do that. Using the interpretation of the colors and shades of the stone and papers, we can hit most general colors named.
But how did I know the spectator would choose a star as a shape or symbol? I didn't. Chances are high though that this is the most appealing shape out of the choices between circle, plus sign, triangle, square, or star. Note please that the star is also the last shape mentioned. When you simply name these shapes and the spectator has to choose one by memory, the star force is even more likely. Trying to recall all the shapes named is much harder than merely choosing one favorite shape out of symbols drawn on a card or paper. By using the words "favorite symboF many people say they "like stars" the most. Another great help is saying "aplus sign" instead of "a cross shape". There are many reasons for people to like a cross shape. There are many reasons not to like a "plus sign" as it may bring back memories of having to learn numbers at school and such.
Because of these influences, we say "plus sign" and not "cross" as one of the basic symbol shape choices. We truly are using suggestion to make things happen, as well as to interpret choices as needed. Keep in mind that you are actually using suggestion to influence these events, and you will do very well indeed. At least that has been my experience and the experience of countless others.
But what if the spectator says "circle" or "triangle"? The spectator does not know what you are doing at this point. You are thumb palming or clipping this tiny little package in your hand, and they know nothing about it. Secretly ditch the little package in your pocket as you remove the following card. Have a card printed with a circle in red or blue ink on one side, a triangle in red or blue ink on the other side. Now you may show the proper symbol as needed. You might also do a symbol reading based on what was chosen if you do such things. The most astounding way to handle this in to do "Kentonism" on a business card, but that takes an entire manuscript alone practically. With that way you can never fail, and many, many times you will perform an impossible miracle to be cherished. Not to mention they will keep a souvenir of an amazing experience they had with you in either event. One is more along the magically "stunning awe" idea, and the other is an impressive expertise of fascination and mental influence. In either event, it isn't bad at all! If you have not studied "Kentonism", you may still dare to try this effect. Those who dare will be thrilled.
It is impossible to explain the impact that this has on other people. Just recall that all you are doing is mentally suggesting or forcing a favorite basic color and a shape. You have outs and interpretations galore to assist you. The only thing left to do is to dare to do. Do that and you will be thanking me for years. But only you can decide to dare. If you cannot afford or find turquoise stars, find something else suitable. Once you understand the idea, use what items you can find and that suit you. Change the colors or the shapes. I have a blue stone with a triangle and circle etched into it, for instance. I
have also used silver paper on the outside of the package. In that case, the turquoise stone is called "blue" or "green" as needed.
Keep your eyes open and you will be amazed at all of the possibilities. This is one of my truly favorite things. It is very intimate, miraculous, and charming. Try it if you dare.
For in depth information and more on these principles, please refer to Kenton Knepper's "Wonder Words Series", "Kentonism", "Weerd Enough", "An Enchanted Evening", "Killer Konceptions" and all of Kenton's many works.
Tarot: A Peering Behind The Smoke and Mirrors
It has been rare for me to write or at least publish "Tarot tricks". This one was created for the final issue of Behind the Smoke and Mirrors magazine, to which a few of my friends and I contributed. I was so fond of the tone in the magazine that I just couldn't resist adding one final piece. Since I created this while in the midst of writing the manuscript you hold in your hands, I include this piece as one more bonus. It's off beat, full of suggestions and linguistic influence, metaphor, and such. Hope you enjoy it in the manner in which it was intended. Let's begin with the words.
"Is anyone here afraid of a deck of cards? No? I know that may sound silly, but it is a serious question. Is there anyone here afraid of ink and paper? My, what an enlightened group. You might have good cause to be concerned about paper and ink though. It transmits thoughts after all! You might call it 'reading' but still... Have you read a newspaper of late"?
"Since no one is afraid of a deck of cards, do you mind if I use an older deck? I'm fresh out of new ones. Great. I have deck of cards known as Tarot that we shall use tonight, then. Oh, don't change your minds now! Is there anyone afraid of numbers by any chance? Some people are worried, I can tell. Are you in the construction business? They don't like buildings with thirteen floors, you know".
"Despite our fears, I believe there is something greater that is behind everything -something good. So, I am not afraid of numbers, paper, or even ink. Okay I'm still not so sure about newspapers. That depends. But I do not think these inherently evil either".
"To prove my point, I need the aid of another person who believes in the power of good. Anyone here tonight? Step on up then. Let us be fearless. Here is a Tarot deck. I am going to count thirteen cards from this deck of Tarot on to the table (do so). Are you afraid of the number thirteen? Boo! No"?
If the person responds "No, I'm not afraid" then continue in this manner: "Well, no need for the thirteen cards then!" and place these cards back on top of the deck. In the process you have simply performed a reverse deal and set the top card thirteen cards from the top of the deck. If the spectator/helper says "Yes, I'm a little worried about that number" you may respond kindly saying, "Then we shall not make you deal with these" and again put the cards back on top of the deck.
You may either glimpse the top card from the shuffled Tarot pack, or preset a force card on top before starting. You then position this force card right in front of them as described - based apparently on their beliefs. Let's imagine you placed the 13th Tarot card - Death - on top to begin. It is now 13th from the top of the deck. It also happens that you wrote ahead of time the prediction of "THE NUMBER 13 - DEATH" on a piece of paper. This is to be interpreted not at all as one might generally expect during the finale.
Currently, you have a key card stacked in your Tarot deck. You may say, "Because you did not like/did like the number thirteen, pick up a few cards from the deck, LESS than thirteen! We want to be safe, just in case! Now place that unknown number of cards between both of your hands. Feel their energy. Are you a very, very afraid? No? Good! I like intelligent people"! Note how you use either spectator response to fit your needs.
"I want to prove to you that I am not afraid/afraid too, so I will deal thirteen cards for myself to be fair" (do so, faces down in a pile again). Having finished this deal spread these card faces towards the spectator. Point out the different cards, while secretly counting the cards as you look for your key card - in this case, "Death". Although you have thirteen cards, begin by counting the first face card silently as twelve, the next card from the face as eleven, and so on, backwards. Once you see your key card, the number at which it falls is the exact number of cards in the spectator's hands. This should happen as you seem to casually be displaying some of the cards in a spread or fan - not openly counted of course. Spread or fan but do not reverse the cards again during this! Once you get the secret number, turn the thirteen cards face down on the table.
Display the paper in which you wrote the previous prediction. If you wear a nailwriter, then jot in the spectator's number on the paper as you show it. Otherwise, just be bold and pretend to read this from the paper. These days they call such a ruse a "miscall". You don't have to use the prediction here at all if you would rather not.
I often continue with something such as, "Are you afraid of numerology? Well, based on your fear/fearlessness, your composure and willingness to help, I would guess you are a
_type. _s are the people who can both believe and be rational, can laugh and yet be quite serious - perhaps extreme in these ways at times. That is even what I wrote down ahead of time - the number_. You may not think any of that, or believe in any of these things, but if it were true, then you would be holding_cards in your hands. Don't ask me how people can choose their exact number in cards, but they do. Count the cards for all to see, please. Let's find out for ourselves if this is reaF! Naturally, they are surprised to find they hold the same number of cards as the "type" you claimed they are/would be.
"I see you are indeed a_! Since I have dealt my thirteen cards ahead of time, let's see just how lucky you are, shall we? Count off the same number of cards - your number -
from the top of my thirteen cards, and place them aside. You do that with great confidence, excellent. There is one card now unknown after your number - a card that is about this very moment in time. Are you afraid? No? Then turn over that next card and let us see"...
Of course in our example, the spectator would turn over the next card to reveal "Death" the thirteenth Tarot card. "With death staring you in the face you remain unafraid? Somewhat? You have not run out the door, so you must not be too afraid. This is good. You see, Death in Tarot does not mean what you think. See the sun in the background? It is not setting, as some imagine. The sun is rising, rising to make for a brave new day. This is the card of change. Are you very, very afraid of change? You must not be too afraid of change, you looked right at it, yet did not run".
"Many ask for things in their lives to improve and get better. Some of these people say that, and yet are afraid of change. Now I ask you, how are things going to get better if they are going to stay the same. So there is no need to fear change. We all need some changes. True we do not have complete control over what changes and when, but much of that is up to us. We must be willing to see change for what it is - a good and needed thing. You believe in the power of good, right"?
"Some people go through changes just by being here and trying these things with me. There are big changes and small changes, but I have never had anyone leave the planet once and for all over ink, or a name or a number on paper. I have had people faint once or twice, that part is true. What I want you to take with you this evening is not that change is bad, or death is really death, or that Tarot is evil or any other such silly thing. I want you to remember that you have faced your fears, and will again when needed, with courage strength, humor, and insight. Know that you have no need for false superstition or worry, no desire for fearful notions that are obviously unwarranted, any cause for alarm, no death. You know that you will handle changes because everything changes, and that is for our good. You believe in good, I know. Will you promise me you will remember these things as best you can at all times? That is wonderful! I knew you were a very special person. I also knew this..."
Now comes the moment of trick truth. You show your prediction to the spectator and audience saying, "I told you we had control over some change! Are you afraid ofpaper and ink NOW? Don't go through too many changes over this - it is predictable after all! Keep the CHANGE if you want"!
Let me say that I am careful not to do "death tricks", implanting notions into a spectator's mind to see if they can cause themselves to have an accident later. I know the mind is very powerful. I treat the implanting of thoughts into others as if it were near surgery. Some would say it essentially is surgery, and we would do well to wield our scalpel-tongue wisely. Read carefully all the suggestions and nuances of deeper meaning hidden here. It's the only real reason for doing this effect, in my opinion. Find your own words too of course.
I have a bit of a dislike for those who do Tarot tricks and know nothing but the most inane explanations of these complex symbol patterns. One huge tip off is when a supposed expert pulls out a "Witch Tarot", "Baseball Tarot", or "Same Sex Tarot" saying it is TAROT. This bothers me only as such things may be in fact "divination decks" but that hardly makes them "Tarot". Tarot is a specific system of symbols and the utter lack of these symbols and concepts in many "tarot" decks is absurd. Please if you use "Tarot", learn all you can from those who know - which usually means not so-called experts from "mentalism", but from actual Mystery Schools that study Tarot. Or read books from such places. Lest I be misunderstood, I am not suggesting you must join a Mystery School or subscribe to their beliefs. But if you are playing with Tarot, you are playing on their playground - pure and simple. Check magical history if you are unsure.
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.