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Sole survivor of the ill-fated 1929 expedition to
debunk the so-called Bermuda Triangle.

Date: June 17th 1929

Location: Cruising aboard the airship SS Britannia, somewhere over the
Atlantic ocean.

Dear Diary

Having been invited by my friends at the Society for Psychical Research to

join them on their expedition to the so-called Devils Triangle (centred
around Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico), I find myself en route aboard the
splendid airship Britannia. Being a professional mind-reader, fake psychic
and sance host, my hosts believe I would make an ideal member of their
team, the notion being that trained as I am in the art of deception I will be
able to see through any half-truths and tricks of the mind employed by the
inhabitants of Bermuda in order to perpetuate the myth of their infamous
Graveyard of Ships.

However the 5 day journey aboard the airship has been a dreadful bore, and I
find myself amusing myself and my hosts with my repertoire of card tricks
combined with a mixture of hypnotic techniques and cold reading. These
have been very well received, and by combining simple card trickery (no
sleights required!) with hypnosis and cold reading, the experience for the
spectator has proved to be very powerful indeed. My hosts are now claiming
that they believe me to be genuinely psychic and are planning to run all
manner of tests on me upon our return to London.

However I have an odd feeling about this little jaunt to Bermuda, and
because of this I have decided to commit my precious routines to paper, just
in case. Should you come into possession of this diary, it probably means
that something untoward has occurred to me. What it also means is that you
have in your hands four wonderful magical routines that would work
brilliantly in any number of social situations - wedding receptions, birthday
parties, corporate events, dinner parties, down the Hare & Hounds public
house, &c, &c. I believe that they take self-working card trickery to a new
level - a level where the spectator is the star of the routine, and where the
spectator is shown a glimpse of a world of magical wonder and the endless
possibilities of the human mind. However Im willing to concede that that
belief could be a direct result of the steak tartare I had for supper last night.
With regard to the hypnotic element of this book - take care. If you are not
experienced in hypnosis I heartily suggest substituting the words hypnosis
and trance with visualisation technique. Rather than attempting to put
your volunteer into trance, simply ask them to engage in a short visualisation
technique. The results will be just as potent, and you wont be left with any
volunteers living out the rest of their lives in Colney Hatch mental institute.

Many of my routines utilise a marked deck of cards, and my deck of choice

is the Boris Wilde. I have no affiliation with Boris Wilde, but if he wants to
show his appreciation of this endorsement by sending me a pack or two of
his wonderful cards, I would be only too happy to receive them.

Throughout this book I have placed words spoken by the performer in bold.
However anything that I feel needs clarifying during the scripts will be
written in italics.

Ah, theres a knock at the door. The steward has brought me my afternoon
cream tea. How delightful. And whats that on the horizon? A rumble of
thunder and a flash of lightning? Looks like the SS Britannia is about to
encounter one of the mid-Atlantics famous thunder storms

This routine is a development of an old routine of mine that I called The

Hand of Destiny, which first saw the light of day in a previous publication
of mine called Reader of Minds. In the original routine I divined a freely
chosen card by reading the palm of the spectator. This new working
dispenses with the palm reading, and instead we will divine the chosen card
by placing the spectator in a light hypnotic trance. While the spectator is in
the light trance, the creative/imaginative part of her mind will be fired up
which will make it easier for us to tune in and read her mind. Or at least
thats what were going to tell her.

The actual working of this routine is simplicity itself, but please dont let
that fool you. This can be an amazingly powerful routine and a real
experience for the spectator (and those watching) who will genuinely believe
that something weird and profound has taken place.

All you need to perform this routine is your hypnotic skills and a pack of
marked cards that you have practised with so that you can read the markings
really quickly!

What the spectators will see: You will ask a chosen spectator to freely
think of a card. You will then hand a deck of cards to the spectator. She will
look through the cards, find her chosen card, and will place that card face
down on a table and the remaining cards placed back inside the card box will
be placed on top of the chosen card to keep it safe from prying eyes. You
will then place your spectator into a light trance that will enable you to
connect with her on an intuitive level. Once the trance state is achieved, you
will then correctly divine the chosen card without ever having seen or
touched the chosen card.

The secret: You will ask your spectator to freely select a card from a
marked deck. That card will be placed faced down on a table. You will look
at the marking on the card and tell the spectator what card she chose. Ah, but
as with all good salads the secret is in the dressing.

You approach a table full of party goers and introduce yourself as the mind-
reader, magician or whatever. The approach that I normally take is to then
ask if anyone at the table feels they are quite intuitive or good at picking up
on emotions or can often sense good or bad vibes. This is my approach/angle
- you may well have your own idea of how to present the routine and
yourself as a performer. By asking for someone who is intuitive or good with
emotions, you are almost guaranteed getting a female volunteer. This is good
because experience has shown me that females tend to make the best
volunteers - they seem to have less of a desire to embarrass you or try to
prove to their mates that theyre funnier/smarter/cleverer than you, plus they
genuinely are better (in hugely general terms) at buying into the whole
hypnotic/mind-reading experience. They usually smell better too.

Remembering that words in bold are spoken by the performer, I think the
script for the routine should explain all. However anything that I feel needs
clarifying will be written in italics.

First of all, thank you for volunteering to take part in this little
experiment. Please dont be worried, youre perfectly safe! Tell me, have
you ever had your mind read? Or being hypnotised before? (Listen to
their answer, be genuinely interested. If they have been hypnotised before,
you know they will probably go into trance very easily and you can alter
your patter accordingly) Well, dont worry - Im not going to hypnotise
you! (Well actually it doesnt matter whether you are or not - the word
hypnotise is out there, and whatever happens next will be explained as
hypnotic phenomena by the bar room philosophers) But I am going to
attempt to read your mind, and in order to do this Im going to put you
into a very relaxed state of mind that will hopefully make it a little
easier for the mind-reading to take place. This should also be a very
enjoyable experience for you, it will be nice and relaxing (this is all true),
and the more you buy into this, the more energy and enthusiasm you
put into it, the better chance we have of it working - because honestly,
this might not work (while this is all lies). But its worth a try. Agreed?
(Hopefully the spectator will agree enthusiastically)

But the first thing I need you to do is chose a card, and it is the card that
you have chosen that I will be attempting to tune in to when we try to
do the mind-reading, okay? So I want you to think of a card in your
mind. It can be any card, perhaps youre favourite card or simply the
first card that pops into your head. Please dont chose the ace of Spades
as thats far too common and likewise the queen of Hearts. But any
other card is fine. Have you got one in mind? Great. Here are the cards.
I want you to look through the pack, find your card and then place it
down on the table face down so nobody can see what it is. Its very
important that you dont let anybody, most importantly me, actually see
the card. So once youve found it just place it face down on the table. (I
turn away from the spectator while she chooses the card, perhaps asking her
to give me a shout when she has found the card and placed it on the table -
you will normally be able to hear the card being placed on the table yourself

Great, well done. And the first thing Im going to do is put the rest of the
cards away in the box so they cant interfere with the psychic vibes
(usually said with a cheeky grin or a twinkle in the eye), and then Ill put
the box of cards on top of your card so nobody can peek or cheat or
anything silly (sounds fair enough and above board, but in reality this is
your one and only opportunity to spy the mark on the card. You need to be
able to read your marked card quickly and easily. The act of placing the card
box on top of the card must seem perfectly natural, so you will literally have
a split second to spy your mark. Any delay on your part in placing the box
down will often give the game away. However when done naturally this
simple act will negate any thoughts of the card being marked. It will be
remembered that the chosen card was beneath the card box all along so
there was no opportunity for you to look at the back of the card even if it was

Okay, so now its time to actually do the mind reading! How are you
feeling? Excited? Nervous? Dont worry, itll be fun I promise. So the
first thing I need you to do is stand up (get the spectator to stand up) with
your feet together. Okay, now in a moment Im going to shake your
hand three times. The first time I shake your hand you may feel your
eyes starting to feel a little heavy, the second time I shake your hand you
those eyes will start to get heavier and heavier and the third time I
shake your hand your eyes will feel very heavy and you will find them
closing by themselves. Okay? Great, so Ill just take your hand, and
shake it once, your eyes feeling quite heavy now, and shake twice, thats
right, eyes getting heavier and heavier, hard to keep them open, and
third time now (this is my favourite induction but doubtless you will have
your own. Obviously use whatever induction works best for you), eyes
closing, closing, feeling yourself drifting down and down, all the way
down, every word that I say just helping you to drift even further down
now, every beat of your heart, every noise in the room, all helping you to
go deeper and deeper, and the deeper you go the better you feel, and the
better you feel the deeper you go, all the way down, relaxing more and
more now, just listening to my voice, and I want you to imagine that you
are walking through a lovely green field on a beautiful summers day,
perhaps you can feel the grass beneath your feet and the warmth of the
sun on your face. Imagine yourself walking through that field, and in
the distance you can see a small stream, a small stream just running
along, glistening in the sunlight, and I want you to start walking toward
the stream. Thats right. Walk towards the stream, listen to my voice,
feeling perfectly relaxed, and as you get closer to the stream you notice
that there is a small bridge that leads over the stream and into the next
field. I want you to walk towards the bridge now, and let me know when
you get there. Just nod your head to let me know when you get to the
bridge. Youre doing wonderfully. (Hopefully the spectator will buy into
this and will nod her head in agreement at the appropriate times without too
much delay. But if it takes a while, dont sweat it. Let it happen at its own
pace. Having to wait a while for the spectator to nod will only add to the air
of authenticity surrounding your demonstration of mind-reading. However if
youre having to wait a minute or more, you may need to be a little more
forceful and insist that the spectator nods her head, or even just take any
slight movement by the spectator as being a nod of agreement. Thats right
- nod your head or wrinkle your nose. Whatever works best for you!)

Okay, thats great. Now I want you to start walking over the bridge.
One foot at a time, in your own time, no rush, just walk over the bridge.
And as you walk over the bridge you notice that you can see me
standing on the other side of the bridge. Im standing on the other side
of the bridge, in the next field, just waiting for you. Can you see me?
Nod your head when you can see me. Thats great. Youre doing
wonderfully. When you get to the other side of the bridge, I want you to
stand next to me. Ill be smiling and happy to see you. Just walk over to
me, and when youre standing next to me I want you nod your head so I
can see that youre there. Are you there yet? Just nod your head when
you are. Fantastic.

Now, in your mind, in your imagination, but not in reality, I want you to
lean forward and whisper the name of your card in my ear. Thats right,
just see yourself standing next to me by the bridge, and just see yourself
leaning forward and whispering the name of the card in my ear. Thats
it. Thank you. (I explain this part in great detail because one time I
performed this routine and the spectator actually physically leaned forward
and whispered the name of the card to me, much to the amusement of the
crowd that was gathered around us!)

Okay, Im picking up on something, but first I just need to bring you

back into the room. So 1, 2, 3, open your eyes and come back to us here
in the room. (I bring the spectator back into the room quickly because I
need the audience to see her reaction when I reveal the card. If she was still
in trance her response would be muted or non-existent, so its important to
get her back into the room so she can hopefully scream and shout Oh my
God! How did you do that! Fantastic. How do you feel? Okay? Thats
good, but please just keep thinking of your card, almost as though your
standing with one foot still in that green field and one foot here in the
room. And think of your card. (But its good to try and keep her in some
kind of limbo between trance and full wakefulness).

Its, its the seven seven of Spades!?

(At this point there will hopefully be screams and shrieks of amazement. I
really like to draw out the reveal until the whole audience is practically
panting with anticipation. I also like to look like Im really struggling to
divine the card, like Im trying to see through fog. However dont get so
involved with your character that you forget to remember which card was
chosen! Thats happened several times!

Once the excitement has died down, I then make a bit of a show of making
sure my spectator is fully back in the room and is completely out of trance
and feeling good. This is good housekeeping of course, but it also helps to
make you look like the kind, caring, considerate mentalist that you are). You
did fantastically! Thank you so much for that! How are you feeling?
Good. Well, look at me. Thats right. Completely back in the room now,
completely out of trance, feeling good and refreshed and invigorated.
How did you get here tonight? Did you drive? Really? What car did you
come in? Okay, well thats great. Thanks again. (That kind of thing).

This is a nice, easy self-worker that were going to dress up in the dark
priest-like robes of hypnotic intuition. By the end of the routine, your
spectator will seriously believe that by being placed into a mild trance it is
possible to access the intuitive part of the mind. Lovely.

What the spectators will see: You take a regular pack of cards (they can be
borrowed if required) and fish out the two red aces. You place the two red
aces on one side, and ask your volunteer if she believes she is in any way
intuitive or psychic? You decide to do a quick test and hold up one or two
indifferent cards from the deck. The backs of the card are shown to the
volunteer while you focus on the card and try to send an image of the card
to her. She may correctly divine the card, get close, or totally fail at this task.
It doesnt matter. This was just to see how psychic she was at that point in
time. You hold up one of the red aces and ask the spectator to concentrate on
it. While she concentrates on the ace card, you place her in a light trance that
will enable her intuitive abilities to come to the fore. Once the volunteer is in
trance, you place the red aces to one side again and tell the volunteer to say
stop at any point while you deal the pack of cards into a new packet on the
table, face down, one card at a time. When the spectator says stop, you
place one of the red aces into the deck at that point, face up. You repeat the
operation for the second red ace. The deck is then examined and it transpires
that the volunteer asked you to place the face up red aces into the deck right
next to the face down black aces! How did she know where the black aces
where? Surely conclusive evidence of the untapped potential of the human
mind? Well, maybe, maybe not

The secret: While testing the volunteer to see how psychic they are before
placing them into trance, you set up the deck so that the volunteer cannot fail
the ensuing test.

Let me explain further. It might help to have a pack of cards with you while I
explain this. It is actually quite simple but I fear my explanation will be
long-winded and ill-conceived. But here goes. Firstly, fairly shuffle the deck
and take out the two red aces. Place the two red aces to one side, face up, on
a table. Then fairly shuffle the deck again, and imagine yourself talking to a
young lady about the power of intuition, stories of mothers lifting cars to
rescue trapped children, hearing the phone ring and knowing if its good
news or bad, etc. Then imagine yourself telling this young lady that youre
interested in testing her to see how intuitive she is. Look through the deck as
though looking for a suitable card to use for this test - the queen of Hearts
for instance. As you search the deck for a suitable card, perhaps still chatting
amiably with the lady, locate the two black aces. Under cover of running this
psychic test, place one black ace at the bottom of the deck and one at the top
of the deck. Your pack of cards should now essentially be a sandwich with
the black aces acting as the bread, one on the top, one on the bottom.

Imagine yourself feeling smug at the ease at which you set up the deck right
under the nose of the volunteer. But more importantly you must actually,
genuinely, run the psychic test. This is an integral part of the routine. The
genuine nature of the psychic test demonstrates to the volunteer that you
are not cheating (!), it gives you a chance to break down any barriers
between you and gain her trust, and it also gives an opportunity for
something weird to happen every now and again. Imagine that you hold up
the queen of Hearts and it is correctly divined by the volunteer. Pretty cool.
Lets try another one. Seven of Spades. She gets that one right too!
Unbelievable. The routine ends there. Think on your feet. If that should
happen, and it will happen once in a blue moon if you use this routine a lot,
be aware enough and confident enough to end the routine at that point.
Theres no need to go any further. Nothing will top that. The volunteer has
genuinely done something weird. We can ask for no more.

But 98% (or something) of the time that wont happen. Normally you will
continue with the routine, so let us continue

With the deck by now safely set up, a black ace on top of the deck, a black
ace at the bottom, you can relax and forget about the cards for a moment. So
place the deck down on the table. It is now time to place our volunteer into a
light trance, thereby activating the intuitive part of her mind.

Get the volunteer to sit with her feet together, hands palm down on the top of
the table (no real reason for this, but it looks good and sounds important and
were getting the volunteer to get into the habit of complying with our
instructions). Then you will hold up the ace of Hearts, the back to you and
the face towards the volunteer. Ask the volunteer to gaze at the red heart in
the centre of the card, to really concentrate on the heart

Thats right! Just focus your eyes and your mind on the heart in the
centre of the card. Imagine yourself being pulled towards the heart,
being drawn irresistibly towards the centre of the card and into the
heart so that all you can see if the red colour. Feel yourself being drawn
inwards, inwards, towards the heart. Feel the colour red all around you
and you go deeper and deeper into the heart. Thats right, deeper and
deeper, all the way in. The further in you go, the better you feel , and the
better you feel, the further in you go. Thats right! Youre doing
brilliantly! All the way into the heart so that the colour red is all around
you. Further and further in. Wonderful.

Im going to take the card away in a moment and when I do I want you
to come back to me in the room here. Okay? (Place the card slowly and
gently down on the table next to the ace of Diamonds). Well done, that was
fantastic. Now Im going to start dealing these cards (the pack of cards)
face down onto the table one by one. When you feel compelled to do so, I
want you to tell me to stop. It might be after a few cards, it might be in
the middle somewhere, but you will tell me to stop. Okay? When you tell
me to stop I will place one of the red aces in, face up, to act as a marker.
Okay? You just tell me when to stop.

And so you will begin to place the cards down onto the table in a new pile,
face down. You deal the cards off one by one, face down, and you are
creating a single pile of face down cards on the table. At some point your
volunteer will say Stop! You may notice that in my spoken instructions
above I tell the volunteer to say stop after a few cards or in the middle
somewhere. This is an attempt to get the volunteer to say stop sooner rather
than later. It doesnt really matter, but the sooner she stays stop, the sooner
the routine can move along. Like I say, its not important but its just
something I do as a kind of audience management thing.

So the cards are being placed by you one by one face down into a new pile
on the table. The volunteer says Stop! and you will then place one (doesnt
matter which) of the red aces face up on top of the face down pile on the
table. You will then place the rest of the cards in your hand on top of the face
up red ace. The face up red ace is your first marker in the deck. Those of
you who are very shrewd will have realised by now that by placing the rest
of the cards in your hand on top of the red ace, you have in fact placed one
of the black aces on top of the red ace. You know that, but dont worry - the
volunteer wont.

You then explain that this is the first red ace in the deck, but there is still one
more red ace so you will go through the same procedure again. You pick the
deck up off the table and start to deal the cards onto the table once again. I
will point out at this point that the second black ace is now at the bottom of
your deck. When the volunteer says Stop! for the second time, you place
the second red ace on top of the pile on the table, and then place the rest of
the deck in your hands on top of the pile on the table thereby once again
placing a black ace bang next to the face up red ace.

The hard work is now done. You have a pack of cards in front of you with
the two red aces face up. On top of each red ace is a face down black ace.
This is going to be the psychic revelation, the true demonstration of the
power of the mind when placed into a light trance - somehow the volunteer
was subconsciously drawn to say stop at just the point where the black
aces were. The cards were of course face down. She could not consciously
have known that the point where she asked for the red aces to be placed was
the place also occupied by the black aces, but somehow, deep down, her
subconscious knew. But were getting ahead of ourselves

The next important thing to do is to bring the volunteer out of trance.

Because we have only gone for a light trance, this can be a very quick wake
up procedure - essentially as simple as 1, 2, 3, back in the room, wide
awake, feeling wonderful and refreshed. Or, depending on your volunteer,
the crowd that has gathered to watch, and your own inclination, you may
wish to do a more thorough wake up procedure.

Once you are happy that your volunteer is okay and has fully emerged from
trance, you go for the big reveal. Its time to big it up as I believe the youth
of today say.

The first thing to do is go through the face down deck looking for the two
face up aces.

Okay, so lets have a look for the two red aces that we put into the deck
face up. There are here somewhere, ah look, theres the first one. Now
Im going to take out the red ace and Im also going to take out the card
next to it (youre actually taking out the card on top of the red ace - very
important), okay? So theres the red ace and theres the card right next
to it.

Taking out the red ace and the face down card above the red ace, you place
them down upon the table. Keep the red ace face up and the other card
(actually one of the black aces) face down. Then you continue to go through
the deck looking for the second red ace and you repeat the procedure. So
hopefully you will end up with the two red aces face up on the table, and two
face down cards next to them (which we know - but the spectators dont -
are in fact the two black aces).

So, as you know, you could have told me to stop absolutely anywhere in
the deck (I riffle (is that the right word? Im not a card man!) through the
deck and show that all the cards are different, that the deck is in fact simply
a genuine deck of cards) so shall we see where in fact you did ask me to
stop? Okay, lets take a look. The two red aces here, but what are the
cards that you put the red aces next to?

Time for the big reveal. I find that revealing the two black aces one at a time
works very nicely. By the time you turn over the second black ace you
should be getting a No! type response from either the volunteer or
somebody else watching. Having said that, sometimes I go for the bang,
crash, wallop ending of turning over the two black aces together. Youll get a
feeling for the kind of crowd youve got as to what type of reveal to use.
Thinking about it, I tend to use the one card at a time reveal for an
audience/group that are slowly getting very freaked out by me, and the two
cards at once big finale for an audience/group that are being a bit nonchalant
and I want to win them over with a grand gesture. If that makes sense?

Although its taken a page or two to explain, this is actually a very simple
self-working trick. But when dressed up correctly it has the power to
genuinely blow people away. I use this routine a lot, particularly at weddings
and corporate events. I enjoy the whole interaction that it affords with your
volunteer, the psychic test at the beginning, the trance induction, and then
the final reveal. The routine will never be the same twice, so it encourages
you to think on your feet and take hold of opportunities for amazement as
and when they present themselves. Give it a go and enjoy!


Do As I Do is one of the classic self-working card tricks. Im sure that you

will be more than familiar with its workings, but just in case youre not, here
is a quick summary. Two packs of cards are used. The spectator uses one
deck, the magician uses the other. The cards are shuffled, then exchanged,
then shuffled again and exchanged etc. After several shuffles and swapping
of decks, both the volunteer and the magician place their respective deck of
cards on the table and cut the cards. The card that is cut to is viewed secretly
and memorised, then the card is placed back into the deck. The cards are
swapped again and both the magician and the spectator look through their
deck for their remembered card. These are placed face down on the table,
and when turned over it is revealed that the two cards match. The trick
utilises the key card principle.

If you would like to know the exact working of the standard Do As I Do,
many books on card magic will have full instructions. The one that pops into
my mind is The Royal Road the Card Magic. However Im confident that
you will either already know the working of Do As I Do, or will have the
information close to hand.

I have used Do As I Do for many years, but (as you can probably imagine) I
have enjoyed dressing it up a little to make it seem more than a simple card
trick. I used to present the trick as a psychic experiment, whereby the
shuffling of the cards and the exchanging of the deck somehow enabled the
spectator and myself to establish a psychic link, a temporary bond
between us that would manifest itself in the fact that we both freely choose
the same card from our respective decks.

As the years have rolled by though, I have noticed that the key card principle
is becoming more widely known amongst lay people. As such I have had
spectators adding extra shuffles before handing the cards over to me,
repeatedly cutting the deck, etc., - all because they knew of the key card
principle and suspected that was the technique I would be using. It doesnt
happen often, but it happens sometimes. Luckily for me I always use marked
cards. So when danger strikes, I have been able to fall back on spying the
mark and locating the correct card that way.

In fact, I soon realised, why bother with the key card at all? If Im sitting
next to or opposite the spectator, it is a simple task to spy the mark on the
card and not even go through the rigmarole of swapping decks. The outline
and script for my version of Do As I Do assumes were using the marked
deck technique, however it would be a simple matter to transpose the script
and ideas onto the traditional Do As I Do.

I have added to and expanded the psychic link element of the trick (the
script shortly will hopefully explain all ), and then I finish the routine by
providing a short reading based on the card chosen. To this end I have given
a list of the respective meanings that I use for playing cards, should you wish
to use it. Were not talking deep, intense readings here. This is a 10 minute
routine that is upbeat and fun, and the readings are very general but do add a
dash more mystery to proceedings. Of course the choice is yours, and you
could take the readings as deep as you like. If you are interested in
expanding your knowledge of cold reading, hot reading and all manner of
readings I would advise you to purchase a previous book of mine called
Reader of Minds (I would say that wouldnt I?!). There are other books on
readings on the market too. Or so Im told.

So, lets talk about the basic handling for this trick before we get to the
script. You will sit next to or opposite your volunteer. It is reasonably
important to chose a volunteer who will be able to shuffle the cards without
throwing them all across the room, so you may want to include something
alluding to that in your volunteer selection process.

You introduce two packs of cards (marked) and allow the spectator free
choice of which deck will be theirs, and which deck will be yours. It doesnt
matter which deck people choose of course, but it gives the impression of
fairness. Once you both have a deck of cards in your hands, you begin to
shuffle together. Then you put the cards down on the table. You both then cut
your respective decks, and pick up the card at the top of the cut. You both
secretly look at your card, making sure that neither of you can see the others
card, then place the card back into the deck and shuffle the deck thoroughly,
thus the chosen card is lost within the deck. While your volunteer is looking
at their card, your job is to spy the marking on the back and remember which
card is theirs. You need to look at your card as though you are remembering
it, but obviously your card is of no concern at all so just look at it and
immediately forget it. The important card is your spectators. Once the decks
have been thoroughly shuffled, you both stop and search through the decks
to find your respective cards. You will actually search through your deck and
find the spectators card. Both cards are placed face down on the table.
When they are turned over they match, thus demonstrating the psychic link
that has developed between the two of you. The shuffling of the cards really
serves no purpose other than to look and appear significant to the volunteer
and other spectators - but that fact means that the shuffling is very important.

And so to the script:

First of all I just want to thank you for agreeing to take part in this little
experiment. Im sure youll enjoy it. You know, playing cards have been
used for a long time, centuries, eons even, as a way of not only playing
games but also passing on stories and legends, and also diving the future
- fortune telling. There are some awful country and western songs about
soldiers using a pack of playing cards as a Bible (Deck of Cards by Tex
Ritter - see later) and in their hour of need they flick through the deck
and find salvation! Awful songs! And if you were to have a genuine
reading from perhaps a gypsy or one of the old women in the east end
of London, the chances are they would use playing cards rather than
tarot cards. In certain circles tarot cards are seen as novelties whereas
playing cards are seen as the real deal. (This is all true. I heard a story of
one old girl in the east end of London who was buried with her No. 6 (a
popular brand of cigarettes in the UK from the 1940s - 1970s) playing
cards - she didnt want anyone else to get their hands on her precious cards
even in death!)

With that in mind Id like to show you these two packs of cards. Id like
you to choose one pack and then take the cards out of the box. Thats
great. Okay, the first thing we need to do is give our cards a good
shuffle. So lets start now, you shuffle your cards and Ill shuffle mine.
Great, keep shuffling, and as you continue to shuffle I want you to think
about all of the things that are going on in your life. Perhaps things are
a bit hectic at the moment, perhaps theres a lot going on in your life,
and I want you to imagine that the shuffling of the card is bit like you
taking the opportunity to place things in your life back in order. Like
youre tidying things away and putting them back in the drawers where
they belong. The shuffling of the cards can be seen a bit like that scene
from the Mary Poppins film where she clicks her fingers and the room
tidies itself. As you shuffle the cards you feel as though your life is being
put in order, tidied up, and that affords you a new sense of control and
ownership. Well done.

(As you can imagine - the talk of a hectic life, putting things back in order,
and taking control is basic cold reading that will fit with most people. But it
works nicely with the idea of shuffling cards and placing the cards in a fresh

Now, let us stop shuffling and place the cards on the table. And now cut
the cards in half. Fantastic. Now pick up the top card and take a look at
it and Ill do the same. Remember that card. Ill remember mine. (Dont
remember your card. Just forget about it. This is the time when you need to
spy the mark on the back of your volunteers card!) And now place the card
back on top of the pile, complete the card, and well give our cards a
good shuffle again so that our cards are lost somewhere within the deck.
Fantastic. And just imagine the shuffling is once again placing a sense of
order and control into your life. Thats great. It feels good to be in
control again doesnt it?

Okay, youve done very well. Now all I need you to do is look through
your cards and find that card that you remembered. Just have a look,
find your card, and when you find it place it face down on the table so
nobody can see what it is. Ill have a look through my cards and find my
card too. (It usually works best if you can find your card and place it down
on the table before the volunteer, thereby negating the idea that it might be a
marked card and all youre doing is waiting for the volunteer to place her
card on the table so you can cheat!)

Great. So let us see how well we did.

Fantastic! Just look at that! But what does it mean? Well, let me tell

And so from this point I would give the volunteer a short reading based upon
her card. I would also tell her that her card should be her favourite card from
now on, and that it will always remind her of the experience she has just
enjoyed. Its just a bit of niceness and flattery really, but it doesnt hurt to
leave the volunteer feeling in a good, upbeat mood - and do try to remember
that hopefully the routine you have just performed will be a memory that
will stay with your volunteer for many years. Imagine your volunteer, 20
years from now, recounting to her grandchildren how she met a magician
once who did some wonderful things and seemed to know everything about
her. If that thought doesnt motivate you, nothing will!

The reading system I use for playing cards is as follows:

Hearts = Love, relationships, friendships & family.

Clubs = Imagination, ideas, intelligence & adventure.
Diamonds = Work & money issues.
Spades = Change. Inner strength.

Then by combining the suit with the following interpretations, adding a

touch of creativity and a sprinkling of fairy dust we're on our way to wowing
our volunteer!

Ace = New beginnings. Positive starts. (If combined with hearts this could
be a new relationship or the rekindling of an existing one).
2 = Partnerships and plans.
3 = New roads to be travelled.
4 = Health. Red suits = good health. Black suits = look after yourself, be
kind to yourself.
5 = Communication issues and situations that need to be resolved.
6 = People expect too much of you sometimes. Dont be afraid to stand up
for yourself.
7 = Good luck.
8 = You expect too much of yourself. Other people like you just the way you
9 = Plans reaching fruition.
10 = For male sitter, a young woman coming into your life. For female sitter,
you suffer from those around you not taking you seriously or giving you the
kudos you deserve.
Jack = For male sitter, you suffer from those around you not taking you
seriously or giving you the kudos you deserve. For female sitter, a young
male is entering your life.
Queen = For male sitter, there is a lot of female energy in your life. Although
that is nice, sometimes you wish they would just let you get on with it! For
female sitter, matriarch, carer, nurturer, etc.
King = For male sitter, you are bold, full of ideas etc. For female sitter, you
often feel the victim of tradition and trapped by the expectation of others.
You are your own person, and people need to appreciate that.

How you want to present the readings element of this routine is purely down
to personal taste. Of course my main piece of advice would be to keep the
readings positive and upbeat. However the length and intensity of the
reading is up to you. If youre working at a wedding reception or a corporate
event where there are lots of people and/or tables to get round, you will want
to keep the reading quite short and punchy. If however youre at a dinner
party with just six guests you may want to stretch the reading out and it
could easily last 10 or even 20 minutes.
One word of advice - if the other guests see you doing a reading for your
volunteer, be prepared for a queue to form of other guests who also want a
reading! People may no longer be interested in tricks - they may all expect
you sit down with them and tell them their fortune. Perhaps you ought to pop
along and buy Reader of Minds after all!

And finally for this routine

I promised you the lyrics for the song Deck of Cards, written and
originally recorded by Tex Ritter in 1948. I apologise now if anyone is sick,
feels the urge to scream, or becomes mentally deranged after reading them.
But I thought it would be funny.

During the North African campaign,

a bunch of soldier boys had been on a long hike,
and they arrived in a little town called Casino.
The next morning, being Sunday, several of the boys went to church.
A sergeant commanded the boys in church,
and after the chaplain had read the prayer,
the text was taken up next.

Those of the boys who had a prayer books took them out,
but, this one boy had only a deck of cards,
and so he spread them out.
The sergeant saw the cards and said, "Soldier, put away those cards".
After the services were over, the soldier was taken prisoner,
and brought before the Provost Marshall.
The Marshall said " Sergeant, why have you brought this man here?"
"For playing cards in church Sir."
"And what have you to say for yourself Son?"
"Much, Sir," replied the soldier.
The marshall said, " I hope so, for if not,
I shall punish you more than any man was ever punished."

The soldier said, "Sir, I have been on the march for about six days,
I have neither Bible nor prayer book, but I hope to satisfy you, Sir,
with the purity of my intentions."
And with that, the boy started his story.
"You see sir, when I look at the Ace,
it reminds me that there is but one God,
and the deuce, reminds me that the bible is divided
into two parts, the old and the new testament.
When I see the trey, I think of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.
And when I see the four, I think of the four Evangelists who preached
the Gospel. There was Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
And when I see the five, it reminds me of the five wise virgins
who trimmed their lamps, there were ten of them,
five were wise and were saved, five were foolish,
and were shut out.
When I see the six, it reminds me that in six days,
God made this great Heaven and Earth.
When I see the seven, it reminds me that on the seventh day,
God rested from His great work.
And when I see the eight, I think of the eight righteous persons
God saved when he destroyed this Earth.
There was Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their wives.
And when I see the nine, I think of the lepers our Saviour cleansed,
and nine out of the ten didn't even thank him.
When I see the ten, I think of the ten commandments,
God handed down to Moses on a table of stone.
When I see the king, it reminds me that there is but one King of Heaven,
God Almighty.
And when I see the Queen, I think of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Who is Queen of Heaven, and the Jack of Knaves is the Devil.
When I count the number of spots in a deck of cards,
I find 365, the number of days in a year.
There are 52 cards, the number of weeks in a year.
There are four suits, the number of weeks in a month.
There are twelve picture cards, the number of months in a year.
There are thirteen tricks, the number of weeks in a quarter.
So, you see Sir, my pack of cards serves me as a Bible,
an almanac, and a prayer book.
And friends, the story is true, I know,
I was that soldier.


And so to the final routine in this book, and one of my all time favourites.
Again it utilises a marked deck (theres a theme here isnt there?) and is
simple in the extreme. But it blows people away. It really does.

I first read this routine in the little booklet that comes with the Boris Wilde
marked deck (my marked deck of choice), so I must give credit there to
Boris Wilde (I assume) for being the originator of the routine. However my
handling takes things to a higher level, or at least I like to think so.

Let me explain. You take a marked deck and hand half the deck to the
volunteer and keep half the deck yourself. You ask the volunteer to secretly
chose a card from her half of the deck, memorise it and then place that card
face down on the table. You flick through your half of the deck at the same
time and do likewise. So we end up with two cards face down on the table.
Pick up your card and put it on top of the cards in your hand (all cards face
down) and then pick up your volunteers card and place that card on top of
your card, face down. During this procedure you will have noted the mark
on the back of the volunteers card and remembered it. You will forget the
card that you chose. You do not need to remember it. It will play no further
part in this routine. For that reason make sure that no spectators who might
have gathered around to watch the proceedings have spied your card over
your shoulder. Be sneaky if you need to be and keep the cards close to your

Then you ask the volunteer to place her remaining packet of cards on top of
the cards in your hand so that the two chosen cards are now roughly in the
middle of the deck. You then ask a third party to shuffle the deck thoroughly
so that both of your cards are lost in the deck forever.

You then take the shuffled deck and start to deal the cards off one at a time,
face down, onto the table. Explain to her that what you are doing right now,
she will be doing shortly, so ask her to pay close attention. You explain that
you are waiting for a signal, a sign, that will tell you when you have reached
the volunteers card. Tell her that some people report this sign as being a
warm sensation along the arm; others report a tingling sensation in their
hand. Still others think to themselves this is stupid, Im going to stop now,
and thats fine because thats their signal, thats their trigger to stop. Explain
that it wont be like a bolt of lightning hitting her, it will be very subtle, and
she has to trust herself. Emphasise this - this routine you tell her is, at the
end of the day, about trusting your own instincts and beliefs. Its about
learning to trust oneself and free oneself from self-debilitating fears and
worries. This routine is about demonstrating the power of self-belief and
positive thinking. She can do this!

You may not get the opportunity to make the full speech because at some
point, obviously, you are going to come across the volunteers card that you
will recognise from the mark on its back. I quite like to be talking away
when I reach the card because it affords me an opportunity to pretend that
Im not sure which card to go for - the one in the deck, the one on the table,
perhaps the one previous? Ooh, which one to go for? I like to use the line,
Im always talking away when it happens, and then Im not sure which card
to go for! Reluctantly you make a choice, place the card (still face down) to
one side, but emphasise that youre not at all happy with your choice and
that youll probably have gotten it wrong. All filthy lies of course. You will
know very well that youve chosen the right card.

And then hand the cards to your volunteer. Its time for her to go through the
same motions that youve just been through. Your volunteer will often need
some encouragement. She may protest that she cant do it, how on earth is
she supposed to know when shes reached you card? Encourage her, tell her
she can do it, tell her to trust herself, to believe that she can do it. This is the
perfect opportunity for a spot of cold reading: You may in the past have
taken the easy option because you lacked self-belief. You may in the past
have taken the path of least resistance simply because it was the easier
option. What Im asking you to do now is do something that is, yes, very
difficult. But for a moment just believe that you can do this. Prove to
yourself that you can have a bit of faith in yourself, that you are capable
of achieving things that may appear at first to be impossible.

Sufficiently buoyed by your pep talk, the volunteer begins to place the cards
down on the table. She may do this very tentatively, or she may just decide
to go for it. Eventually she will stop at a card and put it to one side, next to
the card that you selected earlier. Occasionally I have had volunteers need to
go through the deck twice or even three times before they settle on a card.
While at first this may add to the drama, if it continues for too long it will
get boring and you will need to engage in a touch of audience management
and ask her to make a decision.
The reveal is two fold. Firstly you will see how well you did (and remember
to continue acting like you may have messed this up). Ask the volunteer to
say out loud the name of her card. Then turn the card chosen by you over.
You did it! You got the right card! Hopefully there will be some gasps of
amazement from the assembled spectators. I will say something along the
lines of, But we kind of thought that might happen. We kind of thought that
I might get your card - after all, thats what Im paid to do. The real magic
though would be if you managed to get my card. Wouldnt that just be

And so we approach the big moment. How well did your volunteer do? Did
she stop successfully at your card. During all this high drama you will have
spied the mark on the back of the card chosen by the volunteer. You are
going to say that this was your card. So you see, it really doesnt matter
which card your spectator chooses, its always going to be right.

I announce out loud which card I chose (IE the name of the card actually
laying face down on the table). Often it will be a Court card or an ace, and if
so I will say something like, I actually chose my favourite card because I
wanted you to know that this isnt some silly trick. I wanted to choose a card
that you would know was a special card to me, so I chose the queen of
Hearts (or whatever).

Then ask the volunteer how confident shes feeling on a scale of one to ten?
Did she feel any kind of sign at all? If so, what was the sign? Be interested
in her answer. Is she confident? If not, why not? If she is very confident, tell
her that thats brilliant, perhaps she can take that confidence out into her
every day life from now on?

And then recap. Name your card out loud again (perhaps taking the
opportunity to quickly spy the mark to make doubly sure you read it
correctly first time), and then ask your volunteer to turn the card over.
Gasps. Shrieks. Applause. Tears. Laughter. Hugs. World peace.

I love this routine. It genuinely has the power to move people because at the
end of the day it isnt about the trick and it isnt about you, the performer.
Its all about your volunteer, her sense of self-confidence and her sense of
self-belief. I hope Im not making this sound too grand, but the reaction from
someone who at the beginning of the routine was embarrassed and shy,
didnt want to start dealing the cards down on the table because they didnt
believe they could possibly find your card using their intuition, can be
amazing. It would be too much, of course, to expect that someone who at the
start of the routine was a shy, retiring wall-flower might, by the end of the
routine, become a self-confident go-getter who resolves there and then to
change their lives and achieve all the things they never believed they were
worthy of achieving. But if it leaves them with a moment of happiness and
wonder, and hints to them that they can achieve anything if they put their
mind to it, then Im more than happy.

Ive performed this routine many times, and theres no feeling better than
leaving the table and being able to hear friends asking the volunteer, How
did you do that? and the volunteer replying, I dont know! I just did it!

And so we reach the end of our epic little adventure together. The airship is
approaching its mooring point on the sunny island of Bermuda. The mid-
Atlantic storm is behind us. Its time to alight and question the inhabitants of
this small outpost of the British Empire about this silly superstition theyve
got about the so-called Devils Triangle and the Ships Graveyard. Ill
bid you adieu for now. I hope youve enjoyed the ride, and I hope I have
given you some food for thought. As always, you are more than welcome to
use the routines herein verbatim, or, perhaps even better, please feel free to
mix them up with your own style and come up with something new and

I think that the whole point of this book is to point out that being a magician
is not all about having the fancy moves and the knuckle busting sleights. The
real secret of being a magician is to be an entertainer, to take your spectators
on a journey where they are the stars (not you), where their lives are
important and what happens in their lives will affect the outcome of the
routine. Make it personal and theyll love you for it.

With regards to the hypnotism, be safe with it. If you arent confident,
simply ask your volunteer to do a visualisation technique instead and run
the routine in exactly the same way, but merely omit the words hypnotism
or trance. Rather than saying, I need to put you into a light trance so you
can access the intuitive part of your mind, say, I need you to do a little
visualisation technique so you can access the intuitive part of mind. It will
work just as well, and sounds just as weird. Be safe and look after them.

Thanks for reading and hope to speak soon.

Paul Voodini
aboard the airship SS Britannia
17th June 1929

- Barry Manilow, 1980.

To be continued

Murder Most Foul

Paranormal Entertainer

Reader of Minds

The Jack the Ripper Sance