This feat in which a pack of unprepared cards is made apparently to grow larger, then to diminish in size, and finally to disappear was devised by the great magician, Robert-Houdin, and was used by him to follow the trick of the Cards Passing up the Sleeve. It is perhaps the prettiest effect of pure skill that is possible with cards. Unfortunately, because of the modern tendency for substituting mechanical appliances for skill wherever possible, the feat is seldom seen. Decks of various sizes are now used, the substitution of one for another giving the illusion of the cards being diminished in Size. Anyone who has mastered RobertHoudin's method will look down on these as mere makeshifts.
For the purpose of the trick the performer must be able to spread the cards in his left hand with one swift motion of his right hand, by pressing the thumb against the left side of the deck and then sliding it to the right, releasing the cards progressively. The action is practically the same as that of opening a fan.
The cards should be of a flexible type and in perfect condition, and unless the performer has very large hands a packet of about thirty cards only should be used. Any ace except the ace of spades placed at the face of the packet helps to disguise the subterfuge that is used.
The trick can be introduced as a plausible explanation of how the cards are passed up the sleeve, or indeed of any trick in which cards have apparently been passed from one place to another.
its original position.
1. Show the deck in your left hand, face outwards, about half its length protruding above the left forefinger, as you begin by saying, "These are specially prepared cards. I confess it. They have rubber in their composition so that by pulling or squeezing them they can be made any size required. You see that they are just the usual size at present." Fan the cards swiftly and display them (Fig. 119). Then close the fan smartly, bringing the pack back to its original position.
2. Seize the upper end of the deck with the right hand, and with assumed effort pull it upwards, making the cards protrude half an inch more above the left forefinger. Spread the cards again and display the enlarged fan, saying, "You see the cards are somewhat larger." Close the fan as before.
3. Again with pretended effort pull on the upper end of the deck until its lower end is almost flush with the upper side of the left forefinger. Spread the cards and at the same time push outwards with the left thumb on the inner ends, making them project from the tips of the left fingers to almost their full length (Fig. 120). They will appear to have almost doubled in size.
4. "If I want them to be smaller I have simply to tap them, so." Close the fan, squaring the pack, and with the right hand pat the upper end smartly, pushing the cards down in the left hand to their original position. Fan them again as you say, "You see they are back to their original size" (Fig. 119).
5. Close the fan once more. The cards should now project about two inches above the left forefinger. "With considerable pressure I can make them smaller still." Bring your right hand over the top of the pack and press downwards, pushing the cards down until they protrude an inch only. Spread them again swiftly as you remove the right hand.
6. Repeat the same action of squeezing the cards, and push them downwards so that only the extreme ends show. Spread them as in Fig. 121 so that they appear to be tiny cards. The indexes will help this illusion.
7. Close the fan and again bring the right hand over to squeeze the pack, but this time press on the outer end, move the left thumb aside momentarily, and lever the pack up into the right hand, palming it. Press the left thumb tightly against the tips of the left index and middle fingers, as if holding the compressed cards with considerable effort, and move the right hand away, its forefinger pointing to the left hand.
8. Raise the left hand, keeping your whole attention fixed upon it, and with your right hand tug lightly at your left sleeve near the elbow. "When the cards are this size I can snap them up my sleeve with the greatest of ease." Snap your left middle finger against the tip of the thumb, and open the fingers widely. The cards have vanished.
Pause a moment, then thrust your right hand under your coat toward the arm pit, and produce the palmed cards in as large a fan as possible, saying, "The moment the pressure is released the cards spring back to their original size."
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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.