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Topic: Bizarre magic...A new world
Message: Posted by: Mina (Dec 13, 2002 01:00AM)
:devilish: Hi all, :devilish:
I'm new to the world of Bizzare magic and was wondering if there are any books or videos one would suggest. I know there is a lot of info in the forum and I hope to read it all! :dance:
Any advice, suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
:bat: Mina :bat:
Message: Posted by: ptbeast (Dec 13, 2002 01:41AM)
There are soooo many. A lot of it depends on your style but some that really got me moving in the right direction --

- Lovecraftian Ceremonies by Stephen Minch
- Haunted magic by Rick Maue
- Brain Food by David Parr
- Black Book(s) I and II by Black Hart
- Strange Ceremonies by Eugene Burger

There are of course dozens of great books out there. I like these as an introduction to Bizarre Magic because they are fairly inexpensive and really get you thinking.

Just my two cents worth,

Message: Posted by: Mina (Dec 13, 2002 02:55AM)
PTBeast, Thank you for your suggestions!
The last time I was at the magic shop I had the haunted magic book in my hand and I did not pick it up, because I didn't know if it was any good... Looks like I will be making another trip to the local magic shop!
Thanks again
:evilgrin: Mina :evilgrin:
Message: Posted by: Harry R (Dec 13, 2002 03:28AM)
The Book Of Haunted Magic by Rick Maue is a brilliant book whether you’re into bizarre magic or not and it’s excellent value for money. It’s packed with great effects as well as tips on presentation. You won’t regret buying this book.
Message: Posted by: Mina (Dec 13, 2002 03:57AM)
Looks like I'm off to the magic shop for sure! Thanks!!!

:dance: Mina :dance:
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Dec 13, 2002 05:20AM)
You might also want to check out a few internet sites:

Doug Byrd's Bizarre Magick.com

Karl Bartoni's Dragonskull
[outdated link]

Visions e-zine, specifically my Bizarre Bazaar http://www.online-visions.com

And, of course, the late Gene Poinc's site on the Learned Pig (you can get to it through Bizarre Magick.com)
Message: Posted by: Doug Byrd (Dec 13, 2002 01:26PM)
I'd like to throw in:
Bizarre! the Tony Andruzzi video put out by Flora and Company

The Compleat Invocation - Book

Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism

The Book of Thoth by Stephen Minch

Anything by Punx, Charles Cameron, and Gene Poinc, AND Peter Marucci :0)

Just my 2 Drakma worth,
Message: Posted by: Wil Castor (Dec 13, 2002 02:29PM)
ohh and dont forget Swami Mantra, Theater of the Mind, and of course The Practitioner
All of which are invaluable...
Message: Posted by: Dr Mage (Dec 13, 2002 03:50PM)
The Practitioner - Gene Poinc
Capracornian Tales - Christian Chelman

...those are my 2 favorites. I think they are totally appropriate for someone wanting to get a "taste" of Bizarre Magic. :firedevil:
Message: Posted by: Bill Fienning (Dec 13, 2002 04:47PM)
Another book would be "The Arcana of Bizarre Magic" by Jim Magus. It includes some good photos of bizarrists.

Check out [broken link] as a source for bizarre props.

Christian Chelman's website http://www.surnateum.org has great photos of props.

The Inner Circle of Bizarre Magic has a website http://www.icbmmagick.com
The ICBM has a convention in Connecticut in early November every year. I lectured and performed there last month. Check it out for next year.
Message: Posted by: Caleb Strange (Dec 13, 2002 04:57PM)
And then there's Tony 'Doc' Shiels work. I'm a big fan of 'Cantrip Codex'. It's light on effects, but inspiring on the approach one takes to the bizarre. If you want to summon Nessie and a fleet of flying saucers, cause earthquakes, or even alter the weather, then he's your man.


Caleb Strange.
Message: Posted by: Mina (Dec 14, 2002 05:55PM)
Wow :wow:
Thank you all for all the great books and websites to check out!
I ll be looking for all of these books and videos! Thank you all once again
see you around the Café
:devilish: Mina :devilish:
Message: Posted by: Magickman (Dec 15, 2002 06:43PM)
Bizarre magick like all other forms of magic has its different branches. If you ever get into seance' look for the Book "Seance'" (named from the magazine from which it was born) and also Eugene Burgers "Spirit Theater" which is rich in history of Spiritualism.
Nothing like some good bedtime stories!

Message: Posted by: Mina (Dec 15, 2002 07:11PM)
Thank you everyone...You have all been very helpful..The websites were great!! They have given me some ideas while some of the magic books are on order. Also I was wodering if someone knows of a good source for writing material for Bizzare magic. Thank you all again for your help.
:bat: Mina :bat:
Message: Posted by: Magickman (Dec 15, 2002 09:16PM)
Try doing a web search on the topic you wish to write on. There is a wealth of material here on the net. I'm sure the Café' users will be happy to help out as well. Just open a topic on the subject and you will find material right here!

Message: Posted by: dpe666 (Dec 17, 2002 12:51AM)
The Complete Invocation is my FAVORITE book on the subject. Also, check out Mind, Myth, and Magic. :devilish:
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Dec 17, 2002 10:33AM)
I just want to welcome Mina into the fold. Your name, alone, shows that you're predestined to be practicing in the Bizarre realm (Dracula is one of my all time favorites).

Have fun,

P.S. As an introduction to the form, I wholeheartedly second the suggestions of Water's Mind, Myth & Magick, Maue's Book of Haunted Magick, Parr's Brain Food, and Burger's Spirit Theater. Burger's video tape, "Eugene Goes Bizarre," is also great fun (and includes an interview with one of our godfathers, the dearly missed Tony Andruzzi).
Message: Posted by: Rick Maue (Dec 17, 2002 01:12PM)
Greetings everyone,

I have spent very little time on-line in the past six months due to my schedule, however I am finally taking a short break, so I thought that I would sell hello.

Thanks to those that have said nice things about my Book Of HauntedMagick. Just to let you know, I am in the process of having a very short run of a couple of hundred copies (mostly for my lecture tours), and then HauntedMagick will be going out of print so that I can concentrate on the release of my next book, Occam's Magic.

It may be re-released in a few years, but for now, when the next couple of hundred are gone, that will be it. So if anyone is looking for HauntedMagick, drop me an e-mail at:


Take care, and thanks once again.

Keep the change,
Rick Maue
Message: Posted by: Mina (Dec 17, 2002 07:44PM)
WOW Rick Maue!!
I m gonna be getting your book very soon..I can t wait...!!!
Message: Posted by: Dr Mage (Dec 18, 2002 11:22AM)
Please hang on to at least one copy for a few more weeks. There is a chance I will be recieving your book for Christmas. If not, I'll place an order shortly thereafter. :bawl:
Message: Posted by: theologian (Dec 21, 2002 10:26AM)
Hi Mina,
I think that you must read Strange Ceremonies by Burger for the first thing,when you finish it,and you bethinked on
Burger's book,you shoul ask to yorself,I quite want do Bizarre magick?
Marco R.
Message: Posted by: Mina (Dec 24, 2002 09:42PM)
Thank you all!! YOU have all been very very helpful!

I will try to read every book you mentioned!

Thanks again

Mina :bat: :bigdance:
Message: Posted by: ELS (Dec 27, 2002 12:03PM)
Like magic, I came across this web site listing a lot of Bizarre Magic Books.

I thought I would post it, as the hardest part is finding the books.

Ed :wavey:
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Dec 27, 2002 11:07PM)
"Bizarre" is apparently the current "buzzword" in magic; so much so that the most mundane of tricks are being peddled as "bizarre".
Bizarre magic has nothing at all to do with the tricks, and everything to do with how you touch the spectator or spectators.
Gimmicked props are even less a help in bizarre than they are in "regular" magic; in bizarre, the point isn't so much to "fool" the audience as it is to "move" them.
Until that is understood by anyone and everyone interested in bizarre, look for the "quickie" dealers to be pushing all sorts of rubbish as "bizarre" tricks.
Sheesh! :mad:
Message: Posted by: scheda (Dec 27, 2002 11:28PM)
So Peter, from what I understand about your definition about Bizzare magic is that actually anything can be used as bizzare magic as long as it affects the spectators emotions in a certain matter. Is that correct? So basically I could take say, a coin matrix routine, and use patter to make it bizzare? I'm not meaning this in any disrespectful way at all, just a question that ran thru my mind. Thanks for you r answer in advance.

Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Dec 28, 2002 05:22AM)
Basically, you are right.
Almost anything, given the right story line, could be made into bizarre.
Check out the late Gene Poinc's website on The Learned Pig; he takes the most mundane props, things that are found in most kids' magic kits, and weaves a story around them that makes the spectators not remember or not care about the props.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have places like Arlen Studios, with some of the most beautifully crafted props I have ever seen -- perfect for bizarre.
But just trying to stick a bizarre presentation onto any old trick, without understanding what either is about, is not going to work.
Not any more than peddling "odd" effects and calling them "bizarre magic."
Bizarre magic doesn't mean spooky or ghoulish, necessarily.
Check out my Bizarre Bazaar column in the e-zine Visions (www.online-visions.com) for a couple of examples of "comedy bizarre".
As I say in my current lecture, Bizarre Magic, it really means touching the spectator at a higher emotional level.
Message: Posted by: Bill Fienning (Dec 28, 2002 10:43AM)
I envision three levels of bizarre. At the first level, is the use of storytelling patter with conventional apparatus. For example, telling a story in association with a card trick. (Some of Eugene Burger's effects are in this category.)

At the next level is the storytelling aspect with props (really interesting props) that are similar to those that would have been in the actual happening. If you do Chelman's Psychostacy (The Weighing of the Heart), you cannot, obviously, use the actual scale that the Egyptian gods use for the weighing. Instead, you must use a balance scale that is available.

Finally, at the third level, you have the actual items that were involved with the story that you are telling. I have a Hand of Glory that I use. I also have the actual Finger of Azathoth, not a reproduction or representation. It is that finger that I attempt (and fail) to destroy.

Sometimes, I have some of the "real" artifacts of the story, but must substitute replacements because parts are missing. Sort of a middle ground between my concept of a second and third level of bizarre.
Message: Posted by: Caleb Strange (Dec 29, 2002 10:49AM)
I couldn't agree more with Peter's wise words. The effect on the audience is everything. It's interesting to note that bizarre magic books often have four pages of story/presentation/effect, and three lines of method. This is the exact opposite of lots of non bizarre books. And for people starting out, this can be off putting. 'I've paid thirty quid for this book, where's the secrets?' I used to ask.

Now, though, I'm inclined almost to forget method, and start with a story, or a theme that excites me. If it moves me, then it might well affect other people too. Once I've got my story, I then turn to the magic. I try to find something that's consistent with the story, that enhances it theatrically, then I work out a method. Most of us can figure out ways of achieving stuff, once we get a little general reading done. And of course, if you've got something you really like, but can't figure out how to realise it, then there's help at hand, in places like the Café.

Of course, I also like to start with established effects, found in books or whatever, and I leave them sloshing round my head. So when I'm reading an interesting non-magic book, or watching the TV, or whatever, something'll click, and I'll think, 'Yeah, that's how I want to do Koran's medallion'. Scheda suggested using a coin matrix sequence, and I'm sure there are great stories and ideas out there for this. Off the top of my head, you could use the theme of separation and return, implicit in the basic routine. This has potential for romantic stories, or stories about a displaced and scattered people, or even the mystical idea of the pieces of God scattered throughout all the universe, and recovered through a cosmic game of hide and seek.

Think of how you could theatrically enhance your story. There are coins and then there are COINS. Use something beautiful and shiny, for instance, and they can twinkle by candlelight. Indeed, with your coins glittering on a dark rich cloth, the effect is transformed. It's not currency that dances under your hands, but light. Find a creation story that moves you, and they become star fragments. Or find an interesting after-life myth, and souls dance. Leave space for silence, too. Let the clinking of the coins have value. And give people chance to absorb, and reflect. Remember, Eugene Burger turns a piece of cotton thread into the whole universe. And he transforms this old standard, into something that dazzles and moves you.

The final thing I do is to note any cool ideas down. Any weird fact, esoteric secret, any great story or trick. Put it all down. And on those evenings when inspiration fails, read some of your notes. Trust me. It's kind of like reading the best magic book ever written. Because it's full of stuff that switches you on.


Caleb Strange.