Magic is a symbolic bridge between emptiness and hope. It is sad that most magicians have forgotten that. It is sad because they have given up the authority to shape magic and take it to the 21st Century, leaving that power in the hands of special effect artists and movie makers, who know very little about real magic, and have ended up rendering a distorted portrait of it. These days, mystery entertainment is a multi-billionaire market that expresses itself through books, movies, T.V. shows, and all kinds of gadgets and paraphernalia; a market in which magicians play no part. The magic we perceive today is magic in steroids, and therefore, a magic that has very little chance of making anything fecund.
This work describes the procedures for real magic as conjured by a practitioner of both the contemporary and the traditional ways. Jerome Finley is both a mentalist with a solid foundation in hypnosis and NLP, and a respected magic man in the Native American and the African traditions. Very few people in the world have the understanding of magic Jerome has.
With this book, Jerome's whole background comes together to bring you a very sophisticated illusion, supported by up-to-date psychological techniques, right from magic's very own crate. In the act of cloud busting, the human mind becomes one with the elements to bring us the illusion of power; an illusion that served our grandfathers well, when in the darkness of a cave they had to figure out a way to survive to the despairing thought of their own impermanence, and an illusion whose uplifting enchantment we still need from time to time.
Cloud busting is the kind of illusion capable of surpassing our conscious awareness about it being an illusion, in order to create a moment of wonder that is real and unreal at once. Is not so much about tricking your participants into believing you are powerful, but about sharing a moment of power with them.
Power over the elements? Seemingly, but not quite so! Power over themselves. This is a book about how to transform yourself and your participant in the breeze that shapes and models the sky.
The important thing is not if you can control the weather, but why. There is no true magic without purpose. If you follow Jerome's instructions you will be able to transform the sky into a mirror where your participant will be able to see her own potential. As the old axiom says "as above, so below", or more precisely, "let the
outside be as the inside." After they have experienced the magic this book will teach you, people won't remember you because you made a cloud disappear, but because you gave them a place and space to be proudly and legitimately human, primal and eternal at once.
This book contains a very well laid out methodology for accomplishing different effects that involve the illusion of controlling the weather, from dissolving a cloud pointed by a participant, to reshaping it into the face of a beloved one. It involves intense audience participation, and since almost all of the techniques are totally impromptu, it will give you the capacity of performing miracles wherever you go. Using psychology as its back bone, the methods described here will provide you with an illusion perfectly suitable for an intimate performance, or a publicity stunt.
"Illusion" is a force of nature, as powerful as electricity or nuclear power. Illusion is the energy source that has us waking up in the morning, living our lives, or refusing to live them; surrendering, or surpassing our many obstacles; creating our limits, or going beyond them. Following illusions, men have been capable of committing the most horrendous acts, and also the most sublime. Being a magician implies having the courage of channeling such energy, not to feed an ego-trip, but to create and propose alternative realities where people can see themselves again, with fresh eyes, and feel uplifted.
If we strip magic of the rituals that give it its particular shape in each culture around the globe, and we reduce it to its bare-bones, we will find that the common denominator of all magic is the intentional use of symbols to engage the human mind in an act of transformation. What could be more powerful than transforming the sky? I truly believe we must hope great things from our magic. If we do so, we still run a huge risk of falling short, but at least we have a chance of being memorable. If we set for less, we may achieve exactly what we had in mind and perceive no failure in our quest, but we will be doomed from the start.
Enjoy this book. Go. Be the breeze...
Enrique Enriquez New York, May, 2007
Advanced Cloud Melting Techniques
This section of the book divulges the advanced methods I have used to accomplish one of my most profound and legendary effects ever; "cloud melting", also referred to as "cloud busting".
What is cloud busting? Imagine a power so great that it would enable you to tear through the largest storm clouds ever to shroud the sky in mere minutes. This feat alone will cement your name and reputation in the minds of your spectators.
"Cloud busting" as I do it is completely impromptu. It uses no props other than yourself and the forces of nature. With intelligent scripting, the best of spectator psychology and suggestion, and a few little extras you will be bending the weather at will.
There is no difference in the effect of cloud busting and cloud melting. I will call what I do "cloud melting", because I have developed it independently and this will separate my work from that of others.
The material you are about to read and utilize will help create your reputation as a miracle worker. Its effect on people is paramount to half of my repertoire.
First Things First
"What we call man, the eating, drinking, planting, counting man, does not, as we know him, represent himself, but misrepresents himself...
By unlocking at all risks his human doors, man is caught up into the life of the universe, his speech is thunder, his thought is law."
To begin the feat of cloud melting, a bit of psychological setup is needed. For people to appreciate the huge feat you are about to accomplish, it is necessary for them to know exactly what it is you are going to do. To accomplish this, a clear and concise explanation is in order.
This initial setup takes place in a variety of situations and for a number of reasons. The best way for me to teach you cloud melting is to describe and explain everything I do and let you work with the methods that suit you best.
There are people posing as legitimate cloud busters. Whether or not they are legitimate is open to discussion. The frame and theory these people work within is based on orgone energy. These men and women are sometimes also heavily associated with spoon and metal bending.
In my own metal bending demonstrations, I may explain that some doctors today are actually using spoon bending as a visual and energetic metaphor for healing the human body. They claim the energy you see at work during the spoon bending demonstration is the very same energy that would repair nerve damage, restore sight and eradicate disease. They say the difference is you can see the energy at work outside of the human body. With that in mind, the supposed "energy" at work in the spoons will also move, sculpt or "bust" a cloud.
Keep in mind what a strong suggestion this really is! It could be life changing for people to hear such a statement. Exercise caution in your presentation. You could in fact be implying that because you ALSO can bend spoons or melt clouds, that you can assist these health impaired individuals. The negative ramifications of this possible interpretation should be obvious.
You don't want to be a con artist with this material because if you persuade people to pursue your gifts as a healer with your skills as a magician, there are serious legalities involved. That's without mentioning the "negative karma" I feel you'd receive. At the end of day make sure it's not hard to sleep. Advice is cheap, that's why we give it away. Take it from my experience as a therapist and entertainer and just don't do it.
Note from Devin Knight: Use extreme caution if claiming this ability. This is a surefire way to bring the psychic debunkers down on you big time!
In my metal bending demonstrations I bring up cloud melting regardless of whether I am even going to bust a cloud. After I bend a spoon, coin or key, the mere suggestion or mention of cloud melting is enough for your audience to attribute you with the ability based on the work they witnessed with the metal. This is the case with any strong routine or demonstration followed by suggestion.
While doing this I explain to the audience that the same "forces" at work in the spoons can be used for a variety of purposes. I continue by telling them some other things that use these "forces" include energetically changing the time on watches, moving a compass needle and melting clouds. All very interesting feats indeed!
Examine the psychology behind this. The first two feats I touch upon are self explanatory. The third, cloud melting, is said with a bit more emphasis and with a little more power and authority. Cloud melting is a foreign concept to the spectator. They will inevitably ask, "What is cloud melting?"
When you show your spectators something unexplainable and then hint at another related concept, but totally different, you are going to generate a huge amount of interest. This is where you want to be.
Take a look at Docc Hillford's Ball in Tube manuscript, wherein he uses this old pocket trick as a tool for mild hypnotic induction. Once you learn and apply the concepts of the Ball in Tube theory, you will be able to apply the concepts to anything that you do.
When we tell our spectators that something is going to happen, and it does, then we instill the belief that the next thing we say will also happen. It is in fact, leading them. When I claim to melt clouds, and explain what that looks like and entails, THEY HAVE NO REASON NOT TO ACCEPT THAT STATEMENT AS FACT! (Assuming they are in the proper state of openness, suggestibility, and astonishment.)
As you bend a spoon, you say you can also melt clouds using the same principles. Given their experience with the spoon, there is no reason to doubt that you can also manipulate clouds. It seems so simple, yet, it works like a charm.
I have used this principle for many years. I would often bend a spoon for a person, and then pull out a different spoon, completely bent and twisted beforehand. I simply mentioned that I did this one a bit earlier. There was no reason for them not to believe this. If I remember correctly, Ted Lesley also used this suggestion in his wonderful bending wine glass presentation.
You can prompt this state of being with anything that you do. It's all in how you do it. For instance, I perform powerful material with a serious disposition. The miracles I call upon are something special and sacred. There is relevance in them. You must find a way to make what you do matter.
I bring up and suggest more than cloud melting at times. Doing what I do, and how I do it, I suggest that I may cause spirits to appear, stars to shoot across the sky, water to slow down, animals to behave accordingly, and much, much more.
We will follow the train of thought here that everything happens twice. Things happen once in the spectators' minds, and once in reality. Cloud melting begins and ends in the spectators' minds. The first time the cloud will be destroyed happens only in their imagination during my initial description of the event.
I tell them in all seriousness, "I go outside and focus on huge storm clouds, and tear giant holes through their centers, and cause them to disperse." If you alter this statement, I would do so very little.
This works to accomplish multiple things. First, it gives them a wonderful visual picture. I gesture ripping a gigantic hole through the middle of a massive rain cloud! Second, it is a preliminary suggestion to the greater work.
During this brief description with visible gestures, I follow the Neuro-Linguistic Programming model for visual anchoring and positive memory/experience recall. I form the cloud at the top right of the spectator's field of vision. Later, we will link this imaginary cloud and description to a real one in the sky.
Devin Knight Note: It is beyond the scope of this book to even begin to teach you the techniques of Neuro Linguistic Programming (often referred to as NLP.) This is a hot topic with many mentalists. The reader can find books galore on the subject in any major bookstore.
Now, I gesture tearing a giant hole through the "imaginary cloud" (entering the middle plane of vision, and framing myself through the cloud's now imaginary opening), and end with "and cause it to disperse" carrying their eye movements and vision into the lower left corner field. As I finish this last part and statement, my right hand is now heavy, as if it were dense with energy, and this energy is simply falling away.
This explanation of the work helps make them "open to the possibility" through a description of the effect.
With cloud melting, the method begins with your suggestions. In this sense, as I have said before, the effect is created twice. This happens once in the minds of your spectators, and again in reality. Realize the importance of making this believable, building it up, creating an air of legitimacy through presentation and suggestion; eventually releasing it in all its power.
As a practicing hypnotherapist and performing hypnotist, I rely on the spectator's mind to accomplish more of my most profound acts than I do with sleights, mechanics or props.
The formula is: Magic + Suggestion = Miracles. Anything you can do well that creates rapport and suggestibility within the group or individual will work wonders for you later. I've used readings, PK effects, hypnosis, séance work and strong mind reading to produce this state.
It's not so much what you do, but rather what your intentions are in doing it, and what you desire to achieve. I wouldn't whip out an Ambitious Card Routine, and then attempt to sell the idea of cloud melting. That is not to say the material will not work, but it will just require more thought and some restructuring on your part. It is vital to stay congruent. This is a very shamanistic piece of magic.
This is an excellent time to bring up one of my closely held principles, which is not new. Those of you "in the know" will pick this up immediately. I said before that it's not what you do, but rather how you do it. It is also what you DON'T do, yet how you do it.
For example: I've melted clouds hundreds and hundreds of times, in impromptu demonstrations, in formal shows, at gatherings and even under the close watch of skeptics. However, there are literally hundreds of people who haven't seen me do this. Yet, they still give me credit for being able to do this based on my reputation.
This goes back to the formula of Magic + Suggestion = Miracle. As with the Ball and Tube model, they have no reason to doubt that what you say will happen next - WILL happen. Provided what you said earlier did happen. It is simple and brilliant; yet it takes experience and suggestion to pull off. Just linking a short discussion of cloud melting (or various other effects) to a powerful STORY or demonstration, will in fact create those same reactions within your spectator.
In other words, they haven't seen it, but they don't need to because of their belief in your ability. This can be accomplished by using strong and surefire effects along with suggestion, framing and presentation. It is my belief that many performers are working too hard to accomplish their feats. Learn the material in this book and you might change your performances forever.
This is "cult starting" material. Much of my magic is accomplished through the spectator's belief in me. Once the foundation is set, there truly is NO LIMIT to what you can accomplish or get away with. This is a double edged sword.
I can't begin to tell you how many people who haven't seen me melt clouds will attribute me with this "gift" to other people. All because I said I could, and showed them something that got a good reaction. I meet people all the time who say, "You're the guy who bends spoons and melts clouds," and they haven't seen me do either. This is where I want to be.
So far, we've touched upon creating an interest in the Cloud Melting phenomenon within the spectators. We've linked that to a story, reading or demonstration that invites them to believe. We then suggested the art and phenomena itself, and our being able to do it. These are the beginning steps to this routine. Bear in mind, that this happens very quickly, perhaps a minute or two with a skilled performer. Of course, it could take longer depending on your style and presentation. You have a lot of freedom here. You can bust a cloud in a few minutes, or design an entire performance around this one spectacle, taking longer amounts of time to get into it if you wish.
In order to fully understand all this, it is vital that you read and understand the entire book, cover to cover. I will give a full cloud melting routine and presentation at the end of this section.
You may be beginning to grasp one of the fundamentals behind my performance; the heavy use of suggestion and the constant rapport I maintain with my audience. I don't misuse it, and neither shall you, this is the 11th commandment.
Okay, the stage is set, universe willing. Mind you, it takes me between 30-45 seconds to do this, and it is ALMOST always done after a short demonstration or reading. Sometimes this is not necessary, thanks to someone else (friend, family, client, audience member) who has seen me work previously. As you begin to melt clouds, word of your "abilities" will spread like wildfire. It took me less than six months to saturate the entire Wasatch Front.
There are multiple ways to get a cloud to "melt". When I say melt, I mean to be torn asunder, to dissolve or dissipate. Let's begin discussing these methods.
The most basic, powerful and simple method is this: You do nothing. No kidding. The cloud will take care of itself. All you have to do is find the right cloud to work with (practically any), and time its movement and disappearance with your presentation. Then, you take credit for it. It's simple, but not easy at first. You must become a creature of opportunity.
Lower clouds are moving faster than those higher in the sky, which are preparing for storm/release. Those lower hanging clouds are exactly what all clouds are, energy and moisture come together. They are seeking other clouds, and are being moved by winds and even static/magnetic like forces which influence them.
A cloud already separated is doomed. They will be gone in a few minutes. The higher, larger clouds are workable as well. All clouds change shape, position and eventually move and disintegrate. It is only a matter of time and what you do to fill that time that is important and must make sense to the demonstration.
Whatever changes take place; you will simply take responsibility for them, OR (ideally) share the responsibility with the individual or group. Please do not make this all about you and what you can do. Performed correctly, cloud melting is a very positive, empowering and magical experience. It is hard to beat.
While you are letting the cloud shape and shift naturally, you must do something to maintain the theatre. Get the spectators involved. I use breathing and visualizations here, as they take a minute or two to get through, and result in an altered consciousness for the spectator. In that time, a lot has changed in the cloud.
Breathing and visualization create a mild hypnotic state through hyperventilation and natural changes in brainwave patterns. Hyperventilation also creates natural (albeit mild and simple) optical illusions. Such is the nature of breathing to create wild hallucinations. Using your breath and forced hyperventilation, you can approach heightened states of awareness and elicit dramatic visions.
Hans Berger discovered that by simply closing your eyes and using the imagination and visualization properties that we all have, we will naturally alter our brainwave patterns and become relaxed, approaching an Alpha brainwave state. Incorporate breathing and the effects are enhanced dramatically. Further, incorporate suggestion and you will have a miracle, clouds or not!
Look at nature. What is Father Sky up to? Is it a clear day? If you live in an area that has frequent clear days, why don't you attribute that to your presence or to the fact that clouds don't normally gather in your area because of these abilities?
Are there clouds to work with? If not, they'll just have to take your word for it. Great! You can't demonstrate your abilities without clouds to work with, so nature has just given you the perfect out! I tell the people, "Perhaps another time." End of discussion. Just because you don't have a medium to work with doesn't give them a proper reason to doubt you.
Are there clouds in the sky? How many? Where? How big are they? A bunch of little clouds perhaps? You were out cloud melting earlier today. Did you happen to notice the weather a few hours ago?
Learn to be super conscious and sensitive to your surroundings. Watch what the sky is doing. Let's say it's an ordinary day. Ever sit on your back as a child and watch the clouds? Remember how they would move and sway as the minutes passed? Excellent, take advantage of that! Choose one cloud and focus on it (watch it). Do it yourself or get the group involved. There is much psychology at play here.
While driving, or enjoying time at the park or in the mountains, watch the clouds. Take an afternoon and use the concepts herein to work with the sky. You will surprise yourself. It is uncanny at how the exact clouds you are placing your attention on will shift and sway and dissolve for you, in no time at all. This is the ever changing nature of the sky. You are only taking credit for it.
The average cloud, no matter what size, will change its appearance, shape and place in the sky in between two to six minutes. Knowing this, you only need take credit for it!
The lower clouds move much faster and dissipate sooner than those clouds higher in the sky. Whatever cloud available may be used. There are many things to do with it, and we will explore childhood regressions, readings (similar to inkblot readings), positive thinking and self improvement/empowerment exercises, causing it to move, causing it to evaporate/bust/dissipate/disappear. You can even sculptor it to appear as a thought of object, person or even word or playing card. Really!
Having trouble doing it with the whole group? Tell them to relax and watch as you melt by yourself. Note the Changes. Take credit. Having trouble by yourself (not likely)? Get the group involved. Visualize the clouds dispersing; direct your energy, focus your attention at them. Now watch. Within mere minutes, you have a miracle. Give them the credit.
Let's say there is a huge storm brewing. Fantastic! Hours or even minutes before the storm, the enormous clouds are shifting; ready to release the moisture and energy that forms them. Now is a magical time for melting. Because of the intense energy about to be released, many clouds will cease to cluster, and break apart from the rest. During these times, they begin to repel each other.
Before and after storms (and sometimes even during), large holes will appear in the sky, searing through the clouds, often bringing an eerie light with them, or a rainbow! As a child, I thought these were the eyes of God looking down at me. Someone once told me, they were the passageways for angels. I learned to love and cherish those holes and tears in the sky, and perhaps this is why I melt clouds.
When these holes appear, take credit for them. Remember your initial run-down of the phenomena? You gesture tearing one of these large holes in a cloud . . . and look what we have here! No big deal, unless of course, YOU did it.
You can also break clouds up, to make smaller clouds, easier for melting. Move them first, break them up. Do you see the gap now? Take credit for whatever the sky is doing! You need to sell yourself and the presentation hard here. Do this, and you will be remembered forever as you bust clouds.
It is important to note that you do not need or have to get a complete dissipation or disappearance of the cloud in order for this to be effective. Presented properly, ANY changes in the clouds will be viewed as a small miracle.
Sometimes if a storm is inevitable, I claim that the energy I direct is so intense in nature; it may in fact cause a reverse phenomenon, an early storm. Here comes the rain!
I often divert storms, or cause them to stop prematurely. Of course, I often challenge the weather man, and claim I will delay the first snow of the year. They are notorious for being wrong!
When Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans, a woman who had seen me melt clouds called in a panic and asked for my help. She told me that her family had evacuated, but that their home was destined to be hit by the storm, and was there anything I could do to help protect their home and belongings from being destroyed.
I did not know what to say. I could have been honest and told her that I do not really move clouds with my mind (or do I?), and that her house was likely doomed, and that I didn't suspect there was any thing any of us could do about it.
Instead, I comforted her, and gave her my support and word that I would do whatever I could to help her and her family and hung up the phone. I went to my altar and prayed, and after receiving guidance, I stormed outside imagining the woman's house, and repeating her name in my mind. I plunged a knife deep into the ground. I pointed my finger at the storm, and yelled at it, affirming that it would not destroy all in its path. I put the house in light . . . it began to rain. When we got the news, the house remained standing, with just minor water damage and broken windows.
TAKE CREDIT FOR MIRACLES! Have your hand in them at all times.
Note from Devin Knight: I am sure that most skeptics, including myself, will say this was just a coincidence. Both Jerome and I are aware that many readers will find the Katrina story a bit controversial. Some may claim it was unethical to tell the lady you would attempt to save her home. I would say this would depend upon your beliefs. As a hard nosed skeptic I do not believe such things are possible, however there are those who have sincere beliefs in prayer and its ability. Whether the above event was the result of a prayer ritual or just a coincidence is open for discussion. Still it makes for an interesting but true story. It goes back to Uri Geller's technique of taking credit for everything that happens.
Rolling thunder and lightning are often attributed to me as well. Sometimes the energy I direct causes huge thunderstorms or bouts of lightening, which helps in the dispersion of clouds.
Sometimes Mother Nature is intent upon pouring down upon us. It's okay. Let me slow/delay the process.
How about this one? "I'm going to get the rain to lighten up for a moment". If it does lighten up, just smile knowingly, like you are proud of yourself, and approve of your accomplishment. Sometimes, you must not say a word.
I constantly watch what the sky is doing. If there is any thing beautiful or unusual, I will take credit for it. This also goes for any odd things which happen in the world or the place I live. You can take credit for anything, look at Uri Geller. PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE IT, if they believe in you. If they don't believe in you, it is important to suspend their disbelief long enough for the cloud to shift and change.
At the very least you will cause them to wonder if it's real or not, and to this end, you will be in their thoughts forever. Take credit for whatever the weather is doing. I can't say this enough. Why just the other day (bear in mind much of this was written in 1999) I stopped the first snow storm of the season. The weatherman assured us winter was here. I made a public statement of "Not if I have anything to do with it, which I do." Guess what? No snowstorm! Even two and a half weeks later!
Mental Note: The weather people can be wrong, and when they are, I take credit for it. Devin covers these weather mistakes in detail in his section on changing the weather.
Let's say another "normal" day is upon us. I'm driving with a friend, watching the sky. It's a favorite pastime, you know? I'm constantly aware of what the sky is doing.
Cloud Melting comes up or I bring it up. When an opportunity presents itself, I jump on it. There are fast forming clouds in the distance. Time for some cloud gathering, "(Name of city or area), can use some water today, watch." Now I get credit for causing a rain over that particular area.
Many times, and in challenge situations, the group and I will go outside, or already be outside, and I will note fast-dispersing clouds. Be it the wind, after (or pre)-storm or whatever else, I begin to bust clouds.
Don't hesitate to do some homework (duh). Take a brief look at the Weather Channel or section in the paper. There's a storm three days out? I think I'LL be the one to bring it. A short rainfall this afternoon? I'll begin to disperse it % of the way through. That way, when it ends, I'm (apparently) the one who did it.
I recommend keeping a cloud journal. To do this, take this book, a notepad and pen into the park, mountains or backyard, etc. Watch the clouds and take notes. Have a watch handy and time how long it takes for various sized clouds to dissipate. Do this all day over a weekend or two and you should be set!
Look for the most noticeable faces, shapes, formations and numbers within the clouds. These tend to vary per performer, so see what shows up best for you. Example: some people like working with 7's and A's, I prefer 2, 3, and the letter J. I notice these first. Record the images, letters, numbers and objects that you can easily pick out.
Experiment with the info and begin writing a presentation as you're out there with the clouds! Note your ideas and feelings early on. These will change and after a short time, you will have more than enough information and familiarity with clouds to begin busting with confidence.
Watch the Sun. If clouds quickly overshadow it, they'll quickly reveal it again. Appearing upset, I will stop and focus on the clouds, making some subtle remark about how I love the Sun and warmth, and voila, sunshine!
One of my most memorable demonstrations of cloud melting was when I and a group of hypnotists and Reiki practitioners were at Bear Lake when the clouds shrouded the sun.
None present had witnessed me control the weather, yet attribute me with the gift and ability. Someone said, "You can stop this, do something!" I focused on the clouds and in less than a minute we had perfect sunshine and forever praises.
You can do this. I promise. It's hard to believe that something so simple could work. Many people will not even try this, citing it is too simple, or obvious. Your loss! Try it twice, and you'll be an addicted cloud buster.
VISUALIZATION AND RHYTHMIC BREATHING, AFFIRMATIONS, AND SCRYING WITH CLOUDS
I and a group of hypnotist students were away on an advanced training. In this event, the advanced students of hypnosis and hypnotherapy go on a retreat in nature. Here, they learn to incorporate various forms and modalities of energy work to supplement their skills and practice. Before one of the shamanic oriented processes, one of my students pointed out a cloud and said, "Hey Jerome, will you melt that cloud?"
I agreed. Within about a minute, this very nice sized cloud was nothing more than a fine wisp in the sky. How? It's the nature of most clouds, it took care of itself. People were stunned, the stories never cease.
You can't believe how easy or incredible this is in practice and performance. Take this book out to a park or into the mountains and watch the clouds for an afternoon. Using the principles here, bust clouds. You have purchased a presentation for natural phenomena. Imagine what it would look like to people watching. You're going to be amazed.
Note: The larger the cloud, the less they move. The bigger it is, the more images you will be able to see or cause to be seen within it. This is simple. One way to get a medium sized cloud without asking for it, is simply to direct the people to look at the sky. "There could be some giant clouds, there may be some small ones . . . whatever works, please, choose a decent sized cloud, and I'll begin."
Small clouds are a joy, and you can get them to dissolve completely in just a minute or two. Medium sized clouds may take between 2-5 minutes, while large and HUGE clouds can take up to 10 minutes or more. Really, this should be presented as a huge feat, and the time it takes to accomplish it is irrelevant. THIS IS A MINOR MIRACLE. Do not rush it!
I keep most of my cloud demonstrations these days under six minutes. Twenty to sixty minutes for group work . . . if only melting. There is a lot of by-play you can get out of clouds.
NOTE: Off the cuff, I prefer to go about 3-5 minutes, from start to finish for my personal demonstrations. This includes most aspects of the presentation, explanation, build up and demonstration.
When showing cloud busting in a large circle/workshop type environment, I may take an hour and a half to talk about cloud busting and work with the group; all leading up to the effect.
A decent sized cloud implies a medium sized cloud (relative to the ones in the sky). If they give me a huge cloud, I'll gladly work with it, as the induction phase of my routine is coming up soon, and here, we will accomplish the work through other means.
Magicians and mentalists can get a nice working cloud by a few means. 1). There is a perfect one to work with, and it is the most obvious cloud, or perhaps the only one. 2). You can force the cloud. I use the "psychic stop force", pointing at one end of the sky with my finger, and moving across the sky, instruct the spectator to say, "Stop!" 3). Work with whatever cloud you wish, and give them no choice. Personally, I feel they do not need a choice, and giving them one seems kind of contrived to me. I will point at the cloud I wish to work with and tell them to observe as I do the work.
I like to use a pendulum to "tell" us which cloud to work with. You simply choose the one you wish to work with (the best and most suitable) and allow the pendulum to react. In this way, you get the cloud you want without asking for it, or relying on forces. More often, I will just pick a cloud and begin working with it. You do not need to give them a choice.
For more information on working with pendulums and the ideometer response, I recommend the excellent book "Psycho Physiological Thought Reading" by Banachek. Using muscle reading, you may direct the person to the cloud they are merely thinking of, and then "bust" it.
While they are watching the cloud, I will begin deep breathing . . . I have the witnesses look at the cloud, and in their minds, change its color, beginning with red, green, and then to an eerie blue. This prompts the Alpha state, as touched upon earlier.
After blue, I have them breathe more, and connect with the cloud, and also, visualize Golden Light all around it. Often times, they can be persuaded through suggestion to see the cloud's energy field emanating from it. I simply lead their experience, TELLING THEM WHAT THEY SEE!
Use phrases like, "You might notice ..."
"I can see . . . can you see that as well?"
Sometimes, I will have the participants imagine a beam of light, connecting them with the cloud. In this way, I can make some sense of their breathing being connected to the clouds dispersing.
"Many times, through connecting with clouds, I develop a similar energy field that may be viewed. It's easy, just allow your eyes to go out of focus, and look at the area around my head and shoulders."
Standing against a white wall or open background (such as a field or the sky, or even on a stage or in a doorway) and they will see "energy". It is how you have framed yourself, the suggestions instilled, and optical illusion produced through breathing and variations in lighting. These reactions are normal and natural, though how we frame the presentation (in order to take credit for these changes) is what sells the lot.
Through suggestion, you can change the color of this energy, its parameters, etc. One might even convince them about this energy through psychological color forces. "Look at my energy field, and imagine my aura. Now, imagine what color it is, simply get one in your mind. My aura is (blank), what color did you see, IN YOUR MIND?"
Gregory Wilson came to Salt Lake to lecture years ago. After the lecture, a few of us were out at dinner, and I handed Greg a business card of mine, which includes a list of demonstrations, cloud melting being one of them. He asked me what this entailed, and I gave him a very bare bones description & explanation.
I simply told him the clouds shift, move and disperse by themselves, and I take credit for it. He laughed and said, "And they really believe that?" "You bet your ass they do!" was my exact reply.
We briefly discussed the idea of a television publicity stunt incorporating cloud melting, and the appearance of a thought of card in the sky, supposedly clouds, using skywriting.
I didn't prefer this idea, because it turned the "phenomena" into an expensive magic trick. However, I have come up with a method wherein someone's thought of card appears in a mass of clouds.
The point of the story is that cloud melting can be altered as a stand-alone effect or demonstration, into a prediction, revelation, or transmutation of sorts. Think about this.
With this material and routine(s), it's important that you provide adequate theatre and drama. You must act this thing out, and be convincing while doing it. Sometimes people inquire about the scripting I use for various effects, and quite simply, I do not always have a script. I play things as if they were REAL TO ME. I am focused, exhausted and astonished just as my audience is. Act as if. Fake it till' you make it!
Many times, I perform Cloud Melting in one of these three ways:
1. In conjunction with other related effects and demonstrations, such as metal bending.
2. By itself as a stand-alone miracle.
I recommend those interested in this material read "Illusions" by Richard Bach. I recall the Master, Shimoda, and model his state of being. You must fake it until you make it. Play the part. Act as if, and eventually, you shall be.
Remind yourself and the witnesses to relax, breathe and let go. When they are unattached to the process, they will be unattached to the outcome, and no matter what it is, it will have happened and appeared real to them. The thing to remember with this work is to not be afraid, nothing can go wrong, and you cannot fail.
Look at how cloud melting in this sense can be used as a metaphor for removing the clouds from your life. Remember what I said about giving relevance to your work? Make this matter, and again, you will have a miracle. You should not be out moving clouds just because you CAN. It must be for some reason, to have some purpose, and meaning.
I have had great success with having a person remove stress or correct minor issues at work. Pouring those energies into the clouds to purify them, we would begin breathing and visualizing. Releasing the stress and promoting relaxation, we would will the clouds away, taking the stress with them. In a few minutes, there was no cloud, and no perceived stress. This is empowering and positive.
Devin Knight Note: The above is an updated version of the old Gypsy Cloud Banishing described in the first section of the book. As mentioned earlier, I sometimes do a similar thing with my Psychic Cloud Readings.
If one is versed in EFT, Reiki, GeoTran, Jin Shin, etc; you could incorporate these modalities with your presentation. NLP and hypnosis is a given, and those working in these fields will work this piece with ease and confidence.
I have, at times, incorporated a therapeutic model into cloud melting sessions, for and by myself, and with others. Remember, do not go here unless you are trained to do so, and also do not forget, we can all use positive suggestions to make a difference in the lives of others.
I tell the group or individual in these cases to "pour their worries into the clouds." To symbolically convert their tears into rain, their emotions into lightning and thunder... the cloud is now a vessel (sacred), carrying away your pain and unwanted emotions.
Thank it. Love the Earth Mother and feel her embrace. Allow yourself to be surrounded by Father Sky and work in tandem with these forces. Be one with nature, and move the clouds.
Get the person or group to visualize with their eyes open, closed or both. Induce Trance. You could use Milton Erickson's induction, your own or none. It is helpful to facilitate a relaxed, focused awareness of what is going on. Whenever you close your eyes and visualize, you almost immediately break states and shift into a relaxed and open frame of mind.
Breathing deeply also greatly assists. This induces hyper suggestibility, and what you say or do in this state becomes somewhat of a truth and reality for the spectator when done correctly. I have been so excited the last few years at the way magic and hypnosis, the use of NLP and suggestion are coming together. I knew they would meet eventually, they had to. In truth, I feel they have held hands for a long time, and passed by us unseen. The shaman knew this . . . there was a greater secret to magic than the one which made it work. It invokes spirit.
I feel the people using these techniques are helping take magic back to its roots and into the very depths of the spectator. Not in the cards, coins or props, but within their own minds and hearts. This is magic of a different nature, and it can change your life.
Eventually, I put the rest of what I did away. It made no sense. There was no relevance in it, no reverence. I got into magic for magic. Not the corny jokes, or cheesy lines, not to beat up the spectators or to present them with a puzzle, but to facilitate the "Garden State", to ignite the flames of passion and desire within them and allow magic to run rampant in their lives.
You can discover, give or create meaning for anything. It's all perspective, relative. For me, it's easier to throw away the items most performers NEED to accomplish something (that is a distant relative of true Magic), and to become the magic myself.
I feel that magic and mentalism as it is mostly being performed today, is going backwards. It's no longer being presented for the greater mystery; it's entertainment only. That's why many performers will gladly do something with more audience appeal, than to resort to what they know would be more magical. It's not magic anymore, its entertainment at any cost, even at the total loss of magic.
But hey, the audience is laughing. Please. They're not laughing with us; they're laughing AT us. This is magic? This is mind reading? Our ancestors were sages and medicine men and yet many within the fold have become court jesters.
Thanks to some new and progressive thinking, magic is becoming just that again, MAGIC. I am neither a performer nor an entertainer. I do my best to BE the Shaman, the Wizard, and the Sage. The Psychic, the Mystic, the Magician from the Tarot.
I am not performing, I am being myself (a magical person), and I strive to not be "in a character", but to remain myself in all cases. There should be no character, for me. I am myself and in these days, that is magic enough.
If I have to get on stage and pretend to be somebody or something I'm not, that's an illusion indeed! What would we call it, a Transformation? How extremely sad. I am who I am on stage, at home, in front of thousands, and all alone. This way, I stay true to myself, my family, friends (the audience), and my art. I carry it with me constantly because I am never, "not with myself'.
This approach, or one based on this is going to go a long way with cloud busting and various other material I use. Through your magic, you may just find yourself. I'll jump off my soapbox now. Let someone who's been there for much longer than I invite you to think. I refer you to: Spirit Theatre, Eugene Burger, Characters and Claims. Short and sweet - 'nuff said. The thoughts that one chapter provoked have captivated me for ten years.
"I weave a storm around me"
By this time, we have discussed how you may gain credibility for amazing feats, not just cloud busting, by not doing anything at all.
We have touched upon some methods to lend the appearance of cloud busting and weather control, and have even gone off about our character as a real person and magician/mentalist. Those with eyes to see will see. For those still adjusting to the light, let's guide you through, now.
Here are some presentational ideas for your own cloud melting demonstrations, and an induction process for RESULTS.
First, did you ever use that old children's rhyme, "Rain, rain go away. Come again another day. Little (your name) wants to play" and it worked? Can you remember that?
Many people that I talk to can remember saying that as a child, and recall it working.
I often bring this in my presentation. We are outside choosing clouds or inside, through a window. I have even done this with clouds on television golf games!!!
I begin directing the group or individual like this, "To get the best results, I invite you to keep an open mind. Become SOMEWHAT unattached to the process, and the mechanics will take care of themselves."
Allow the witnesses to return to that state of child-like wonder and openness. Maybe have them close their eyes and imagine themselves as a child. Give them permission to let the "Inner Child" come out again. Go within. Touch the silence.
We don't want to do a full scale childhood regression here, as we do not wish to prompt abreactions through negative childhood experience(s). "With your eyes closed, imagine the cloud you have chosen to work with today. See yourself as a child, beneath this cloud, and allow yourself to be in relationship with it. Greet the cloud, let it know who you are and what you intend to do. Be in a relationship with the cloud."
I may say, "As a child, did you ever use the rhyme? Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day. Little children want to play ?" (Smiles circulate around the group, telling me they are entering an emotionally charged experience, directed by the right hemisphere of the brain.) "And if you did, how many of you recall it working, even if you only imagined it?" Breathe deeply into that feeling, and allow it to charge every cell of your body. Recreate those thoughts, those memories, feelings and experiences IN YOUR MIND, NOW."
NOTE FROM DEVIN KNIGHT: Reciting this rhyme is an excellent idea. It can serve a dual purpose. If the person says it worked, you comment about how even simple thoughts can change the weather. If the person remembers the rain stopping your claims are even more valid.
Suppose the person says the rain didn't stop. You make a comment, saying that was too bad. Tell them when you were a child, the rain stopped every time you recited the rhyme. It was then that you realized you had the ability to control the weather. Either way it's a win/win situation.
"You may open your eyes. As adults, remain with that feeling and remember your experience as you begin to focus on your cloud NOW." At this point I frequently incorporate open-eyed visualizations (colors) and progress to suggestions of the clouds shifting, moving, dispersing, disintegrating, and disappearing. I ask the participants to allow their eyes to become unfocused as they stare at their cloud, kind of like viewing one of those 3-D pictures/optical illusion that you must look at JUST RIGHT. I also instruct them to direct their energies and thoughts THROUGH the cloud and not just at it.
The clouds will begin to swirl, especially after I lead the experience by suggesting they are! This is a lot like the Twisted Palm reading of Luke Jermay's from 7 Deceptions. Building Blocks also work great with this routine!!! This is recommended reading.
They can imagine and visualize busting the clouds using any method they wish, and I invite them to be creative and have fun with it. For those of you who understand the human mind and the nature of hypnosis and suggestion, you get what this does.
In your mind, you may hurl bolts of energy or fireballs at the cloud. You may imagine a giant vacuum cleaner sucking it up completely, or even a mythical beast that EATS the cloud up. Whatever you wish! Imagine the cloud being torn asunder. I like to imagine the cloud as an ice cube in the hot sun, or a scoop of ice cream melting across the sky.
I verbally use binds, double binds, hidden directives, embedded commands and presuppositions. These are outside the scope of this book to explain, and they may help dramatically, but are NOT necessary for effective cloud busting.
I get the audience breathing. They are relaxed but altered. Their perceptions shift, as does the sky. Lo and behold, the sky is clearing, clouds are melting and people are once again delighting in simply BEING. By taking them back to their childhood, we may by-pass the ego mind, the analytical side and skeptical nature of the spectators.
By closing their eyes and visualizing, they change their brainwave patterns, and become relaxed; suggestible. Breathing comes along to induce a mild state of hyperventilation, mild hallucinations, natural optical illusions, hypersensitivity and increased suggestibility.
Affirmations are just cloaked suggestions, having the audience repeat them over and over again only reinforces what we are doing!!!
"The cloud is melting, the cloud is melting, the cloud is melting."
"My cloud is gone, my cloud is gone, the cloud has vanished, the cloud has vanished." You frame these as positive affirmations, and they are really just direct suggestions. These suggestions work because of your psychological set up and framing of the effect and rapport with the spectators.
Ideally, they have experienced a piece of fantastic magic or strong mentalism and they are open. The spectators are breathing, they are visualizing, they are receiving suggestions, and auto suggestion through affirmation. They are distorting their vision and regressing in age. There is also a group mind dynamic in play here . . . mass hysteria and a group spirit are powerful things.
Also, there is the natural human factor of wanting to believe, and in achieving success. They do not wish to be failures or the odd ones out . . . they seek to make the magic happen.
I want to include, that by having the spectator(s) choose a cloud to work with, they are unconsciously CLAIMING the cloud, and on some level, enter into a relationship of implied ownership. This is THEIR cloud. In part, they are responsible for the results of this cloud while busting. You are there to guide them, to pump them up, give them credit, and "help" them if necessary.
Once your participants have chosen a cloud, they are COMMITING to the routine and demonstration. I will often have a pendulum handy, or walk the group through making one with bits of string and keys.
You can teach and show a person how to get basic feedback from a pendulum in a few minutes. This can help at times to lend legitimacy to the performance.
After they are used to the pendulum, they will find an appropriate cloud to work with using it. If they are a bit timid, ideometer responses will choose a smaller cloud for them to work with. If they are very confident, they may get a huge cloud. Everything works, and at times, you will see multiple people zoning in on the same cloud. This is a special moment that you can really play up!
VISUALIZATION, RYTHMIC BREATHING, AFFIRMATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
I use a very simple color visualization after my audience has closed their eyes . . . and taken a few deep breaths. "Notice any thoughts that come up . . . and look at them momentarily before you LET THEM GO".
The breathing pattern I use is an old rhythmic breathing cycle which begins with inhaling to a count of 4, pausing (holding the breath) for a count of 4, exhaling to a count of 4, and lungs staying empty for a count of 4. In- 2, 3, 4, HOLD, 2, 3, 4, OUT! 2, 3, 4, STOP! 2, 3, 4, In! Etc, etc. etc.
I also am very fond of taking exactly 36 FULL DEEP breaths. This is a natural balancing and stress release/relaxation process. They will begin to tingle. Suggest this is in part, energy. They will begin to see fuzzies out the corner of their eyes, and in a moment, right in front of them. 36 deep breaths, in rapid succession, in/out, in/out, in/out (with the rhythmic 4 cycle and count), and then instruct them to breathe as normal. Incorporate color visualizations and suggestion.
I often will have a paper bag or two handy in case a person hyperventilates to the point of anxiety. It should never get this far. Watch your people, and only do these deep breathing exercises with physically fit and capable spectators. Let them know that if at any point, the breathing becomes too much, they are free to stop the exercise and resume normal breathing. If they have had enough, they are already in the appropriate state.
If they are affected by anxiety or OVER hyperventilation, placing one hand on top of their head and both feet on the ground or floor will begin to remedy this. Also, if they cross their arms and press the areas beneath their arm pits, they should cease hyperventilation.
If they cannot breathe without freaking out, close their eyes and have them visualize. Since the breathing aspect is gone, a deeper visualization is needed. I use the colors here, but go from red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, the seven colors of the spectrum.
You could tweak the presentation to also balance chakras while doing this, aura work, and finally, cloud busting, all in one. Also, I am a big advocate of metal bending and short readings here. Pendulums can also be produced to help facilitate communication between the cloud, the unconscious and the participant. Also, by having them dowse for their own clouds, they unconsciously CLAIM the cloud. There is implied ownership at work here, and they are now in relationship.
Now open, they can play with this "experiment" or watch and be astonished by this "demonstration." For those resisting at all, well placed linguistics keep them on track. Here are a few of my most used patterns.
I'm wondering whether . . . your clouds are melting now.
As your clouds begin to melt, you may find, they are shifting and changing NOW, easily and naturally.
The more the clouds dissolve and disperse, the more they will appear to vanish completely.
You may also begin to see HOLES appear in the cloud. Keep looking and watching. You can even see it change color, slowly at first, and then it becomes more noticeable. Since we are directing our consciousness at the clouds, they often emit energy that many people can see surrounding the cloud itself. This is in fact, the clouds "aura". Many times, the same energy is seen around myself, or among the group.
The more you ask yourself, "Is this working?" the better it works! Strange, but entirely true!
Breathing deeply CAUSES your cloud to dissipate, easily and naturally, so remember to breathe!
If you begin to doubt that your cloud is really changing, just look at it now!
Remember folks, this is easy.
With these few words, you can create miracles. Use the above suggestions wherever and whenever you wish. Just don't overdo it, and remember to put special emphasis on the italicized script. Pausing just before you speak the italicized portions assists, as does proper toning and inflection.
Experiment and find out what works best for you. This is difficult to teach without hearing it, my apologies in advance. Again, the grand use of suggestion is way outside the scope of this book, but this is enough and will serve you well. For example: Notice how the clouds are beginning to shift NOW, EASILY AND NATURALLY.
NOW STOP! . . . AND START to allow the energy to build up within you. (This is great for buying some time). AS YOU do this NOW, your cloud may begin to dissolve AUTOMATICALLY.
Simply focusing on your cloud CAUSES it to change its shape NOW, BECAUSE that's the dynamic nature of this work.
Breathing deeply CAUSES your cloud to break apart, EASILY & NATURALLY, so remember to breathe.
You can begin to see how this works. Realize that these are just a few powerful words you can use, and that there are many more. These few however, definitely do the trick.
Students of Wonder Words will be at home here (Kenton Knepper), and I highly recommend the Maximum Persuasion Course by Kenrick Cleveland, and the works of Milton Erickson, Richard Bandler and John Grinder.
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