Lecture13 EdSolomon.


DeNomolos is an old cranky reprobate who lives in our basement apartment we call the catacombs. He is self centered, ornery, brash and opinionated. He has strange collections of oddities that he has collected from all parts of the world and uses them to present stories of wonder and magick. The following is an example of his thinking.
"There are so many great magical effects and only a few good presentations." I have hacked at this before but it is worth repeating. " 'Tis but a puzzle if there is no rhyme or reason for the magical effects we do."

Many of the "Magicians"  that we see today perform with an attitude:-

"Ha Ha Ha, I fooled you didn't I."

"Nyah Nyah Nyah, I can do this and you can't."

"Watch this, you idiots, I'm about to do a top change and in public too right here on the street in front of God and everyone."..........

"OHHHH, don't I look like Superman, Look at this pose, Wow."

"OH goodie, I can float and you can't."

I know that sounds cynical AND IT IS but that goes with getting  so damned old I guess. I still enjoy a good silent act and the more silent the better. Some of the pretty boys don't talk well and don't come across as being very clever either. And if the pants get any tighter on some of them you will be able to tell their religion.  Good Holy Honk.

Well I have that off my mind and would like to share a routine that is based on what I just talked about. Personality Disorders (Magical Styles of the new century)


"In some psychology circles it is a common belief that the personality is fully formed by the time a child is five years old. Others believe that the personality develops over many years and changes because of heredity and environment. Certain aspects of the personality can and are changed by what we see, read, touch and consume. I.e. if one listens only to hard rock they limit their personality. The same is true for any single effort or activity. Tunnel vision is the result and the personality suffers. The well rounded personality likes a little of this and a little of that in everything they do, say some psychologists. Since we create our own reality don't we choose many aspects of our personality as well?"

"I have come across a simple test that measures personality trends and temptations. It consists of this packet of unusual cards. The card faces represent pictures of ancient beliefs but each has been defaced with words describing personality traits.  For example here is manic, here is depressive, here is passive and here is aggressive. Normal and abnormal follow and you will note that there are some that are face down and some that are face up. This would be a psychologist's nightmare with graffiti, in this well used test. "

"I am going to spread the cards across the table and I would like for you to look at the face up cards and select one of the personality traits. It doesn't have to match your personality but it just might.. "

"Now turn it over and put it back in the pack somewhere joining the other face down cards. "

"I'm ready to test you now. Watch."

The pack is riffled and re-spread on the table and all the cards are now face down except the chosen card.

Depending on the trait selected a short “Reading” is offered. If the trait is strong, I say something like this. “Your selection indicates a positive influence on your life and it is obvious that you stand out above the average.”

 If the trait is negative I might say,"Dont be alarmed if the  world seems to turn its back toward you. This is something that can be overcome with positive thinking and you have the power to change that direction.”

This takes the heat off the individual and leaves them with a good feeling even it they have selected a negative trait.


Some twenty years ago some one gave me a  old deck of cards with the instructions for something called Cheek To Cheek.  The instructions didn't have manufacturer's name or the originator of the effect. Because I am not a card person, it has been in the prop box all this time. Like so many good effects, this one was more like a puzzle than a magic trick and so, I didn't fool with it.

Exploring the scanner and the printer that came with my computer I decided to try my hand at making some cards for another effect I was working on and when I was finished I had more made up than I needed so rather than throw anything away, I put this effect together.

I scanned from an old book on alchemy; a series of pictures depicting some of the ancient alchemical drawings. Sizing them and cutting them is quite a job but worth it in the long run. On card stock I ran an original design for the backs and cut again and then using just a commercial glue stick, I assembled the cards I needed. As an after thought, I decided to make some double backers and that is when I remembered the old card trick.

Originally you were supposed to shuffle the top half of the deck into the bottom half upside down to make the effect happen but with the personality cards it seemed more logical to have some of them already upside down to show that the test had been given before.
"Some of the less desirable traits have been turned face down so that you will not be discouraged."

When the card has been selected and replaced, I simply hold the deck in my hand palm up and close the fingers around it and turn it over and push it through my hand with the thumb and lo and behold all the cards have turned face down except the selected card.

To be sure, it could be done with regular blank faced cards  and regular double backers and yes you could mark the blanks with a magic marker but that wouldn't be nearly as mysterious.

A most gracious Bob Neale provided me with the following credits.

Credits:  U. F. Grant is the creator of Cheek to Cheek.  He marketed it so very long ago. The move you refer to is usually credited to Dai Vernon.  There are two forms: the Fist Flourish does not reverse the packet, while the Variant Fist Flourish does reverse the packet.

Readers who need help can refer to Phil Goldstein's book, Focus, for these moves  (also Roberto Giobbi's Card College, Volume 4.) Note that, due to the variant, the flourish can be done once or twice and nothing happens, but the next time you do it, something does.

Seeing as how Denomolos doesn't do card tricks, this piece is a rare item and you are privileged to see it in print.

To see a photograph of the cards, CLICK HERE.

In The Craft,
Ed Solomon.


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All the material in this lecture, on all pages, is copyrighted with all rights reserved to Ed Solomon, 2002.