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Margarette
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Memphis area
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Greetings patrons of the bizarre! I have a question for you. For the past few months, I have contemplated the study of bizarre magic. After a conversation with a fellow magician, I think I want to go ahead with this. The only problem is that I have no idea where to begin. So, can someone point me in the right direction?

Margarette
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
Mental_Mike
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Canada
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Hey Margarette,
I don't have the book but I seen a couple people refer to it but see if you can find a copy of Eugene Burgers "Strange Ceremonies" Then I guess go from there...Some other good ones would be Christian Chelmans two books and Baba Gede Nibo's Vodu Magick and Shanes Pentalogy, I have these three books and they are all very good if you do Bizarre Magick. But I don't do this stuff as much as most on here do so they could probably help you more than I can.

good luck, and Have a good one!

Mike
gsidhe
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Inner circle
Michigan
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My advice...
Begin with what you already know how to do, then change the way you present it.

I know you do a lot of escapes. Figure out how to incorperate that into a bizarre piece. Escapes are crucial to a lot of classic Seance type shows. The difference is that they don't see you escape. You are tied up, and the lights go off. The lights go on, and you are still bound. During the darkness, noises are heard, glowing objects are seen to float, people are touched, and there is no way you could have done it.

Turning "regular" magic into bizarre is just a matter of mindset, giving the effect a real reason for happening. Instead of making a coin dissappear from one hand then appearing in the other and saying "Ta-da!" you have an poltergeist that moves it from one place to another, and it will only work if it is present (Poltergeists are known for making coins and metal objects spontaniously appear).

You need to take your magic to a primal level. You are no longer performing "tricks" but pulling up things that we know are impossible on the conscious level, but still ring true on the unconscious. You need to create a direct link to the primitive part of the mind, the part that was trained out of us as children.
You need to remind people that yes...There is a boogyman. They just stopped seeing it.
I love the newer Bizarre books- Baba is one of my magical heros. His book has technique, routining and is a great example of the philosophies behind bizarre magick. It is not gore, it is not gross. What it does is connect emotionaly. That is the real key.
I am a big fan of some of the older books in the Genre. Doc Shiels, Charles Cameron... A lot of the things they describe are nearly impossible to do now (Certain chemicals have become rather difficult to obtain) , but the story and philosophy behind the routines is where the real info is anyways.
Also read through the items on http://www.bizarremagick.com . There are some exellent contributions there (Full routines and methods), as well as inspirational sources.
Read HP Lovecraft stories, watch movies like Gothic (NOT Gothika), Pan's Labrynth, Asian horror films (They have some really really strong horror nowadays, stuff that is so creepy it will make your spine curl) read Grimm's Fairytales (Not the cutesy versions), go to cryptozoological sites on the net, read ghost stories, alien abduction stories, study Native American Folklore.
And while you are watching, reading or studying, look for effects that you could reproduce. Then build your context around them.
So...That is pretty much what I did, and it seems to have worked pretty well so far. Really the most important thing is the philosophy. Once you have that, everything else seems to fall in place.

Are there monsters? No.
But when it is 3 am and the moon is just right, I might give another answer.
Gwyd
silverking
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Christian Chelman's 'Hauntiques' completely changed the way I THINK about ALL magic. It's a great book.

'Midnight at the Dark Museum' is also full of great material focused on Doug Higley's props but useable anywhere.

'The Dark Waltz' by Michael Fraughton is likely exactly what you're looking for, it's a .pdf on Lybrary.com.

'Vu Do Magick' by Baba Gede is a book I can't put down, it's FULL of fantastic ideas and stories.
leapinglizards
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May I recommend you begin at the beginning.... The Complete Invocation.
Leaping Lizards!!! Who knew it was possible.
<BR>
<BR>www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com
AltonThrash
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Ridgeland, MS
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Quote:
On 2007-04-24 11:07, silverking wrote:
Christian Chelman's 'Hauntiques' completely changed the way I THINK about ALL magic. It's a great book.



Don't forget Chelman's 'Capricornian Tales'. I started (have started) with this and Baba's book. Both are very good.

Alton
spidey_ak
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Alaska
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Margarette, you began by asking the right questions & coming to the right area =)... it wasn't long ago that I recently returned to magic & I am very glad & honored to have met the people here.

If you need ideas, the above books are excellent resources to get you started. I just received a copy of Eugene Burger's book, "Spirit Theater," and have to say it was worth every penny I paid for it, even if it were just a collector's item.

Gsidhe hit it right on the head, though. Bizarre magic is a frame of mind and how you present to your audience. The few tricks I've done since returning have been with this philosophy in mind & the results have been astounding. And these are tricks with which I was familiar before!
Doug Higley
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Here and There
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See beyond the Instructions and envision potential. Hippity Hop Rabbits is probably not the best choice...but The Invisible Deck has possibilities if you do Ghosts. All in YOUR minds eye and how well you can theme (and scheme). The Dark Museum was originally envisioned as an Mentalist 'Adventure' piece but was adopted by Bizarrists who had the ability to see beyond the intended...with your great skill and background even bringing back Houdini with possibly devasting results (He brings some nasty 'others' back with him?) can take escapes into a darker realm. Like Gwyd said, no need to be gross or use gore but the threatening atmosphere that can be generated in an 'escape' situation with some added effects could be very effective. Drama and presentation over rules the effects chosen...like I said, see beyond the instructions. So to begin, look at what you already have...already know....and lower the lights... Smile
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Gotama
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What Doug and Gwyd said! (Along with the others). Look within yourself for those darker areas that hold the key to your (and our) secret fears and beliefs. If you can design stories and effects that touch on those fears within you, they will also touch others.

Stuart
I asked the boy beneath the pines.
He said, "The master's gone alone herb picking,
somewhere on the mount,
cloud hidden,
whereabouts unknown."
(Chin Tao, 777-841, trans. by Alan Watts)
ufo
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Hey,
You have plenty of Twisted Memphis people, places and history to build themes on as well!
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
TEB3
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Texas
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You can always create a ghost...example the ghost of but follow this link for the story

http://www.peabodymemphis.com/peabody_me......tory.cfm

And I'm not talking about the ghost of JoAnn Duck but the founder marching with them across the lobby. So, just create a urban legend and then contact the ghost nightly in the bar.

TEB3
Dr Spektor
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Carcosa
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This might sound corny - but ask yourself why you want to do bizarre magick - what that means to you - as it can mean many things - but my humble opinion is that it should involve wanting to make the effects mysterious, engaging and powerful
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
ptbeast
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Oregon
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Think hard on what Gwyd and Doug said, in their few words are some very important ideas. I would like to suggest a different way to approach bizarre magic that may make it less overwhelming. Before you go out and buy all the books on the genre (and some very good ones have been recommended in the posts above) give some thought not only to why you want to do the bizarre -- as Dr. Spector suggested -- but also to who you want to be when you perform.

Will you be a teller of tails? A medium? A collector of strange objects? A wizard? A fortune teller? A psychic investigator? These and many more ideas have been used to create characters in the realm of the bizarre.

I am not saying that you have to lock yourself in to any given character, but once you start to get an idea of who you want to be as a performer, they style of performance and the type of effects that you want to perform will naturally follow.

Since I know that you have done a lot of work with escapes, you may want to start there and work backwards to your character. Remember, however, that an escape need not look like an escape. They have been used at the seance table, in the spirit cabinet and more. I once used an escape as a method to transform into a werewolf. But that is another story. For now let me welcome you over to the darker side of magic. I think you are in for a wonderful ride.

Dave
Gede Nibo
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FIRST THINGS FIRST.

go to the local CATHOLIC CHURCH, have confessions, then bathe in HOLY WATER.

you don't know what youre getting yourself into.
spidey_ak
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Alaska
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ROTFLMAO! leave it to Baba!
Bill Ligon
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This makes two of my squeaky-clean posts that seem to have mysteriously disappeared.

?????????????
Author of THE HOLY ART: Bizarre Magick From Naljorpa's Cave. NOW IN HARDCOVER! VIEW: <BR>www.lulu.com/content/1399405 ORDER: http://stores.lulu.com/naljorpa
<BR>A TASSEL ON THE LUNATIC FRINGE
handa
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I started outside of magic with stories that either scared me awake or made me afraid to go asleep lest I dream horrible things. To this day, I have Poe, Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Rowling, , and even Kipling among others right in the middle of the shelves containing my magic books.

Learning magic was one of many ways to both understand and control this fear through the creation of my own scary things. I've almost always started with a story and worked my way toward methods to accomplish the telling of the tale.

Chris
Margarette
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Memphis area
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I do have several books by Michael Norman and Beth Scott on true hauntings around the country. Reading several of those stories, which had me turning on all the lights and tv in my apartment so I wouldn't feel like I was by myself, is what got me to thinking about bizarre magic. I thought several of those stories would be great magic routines. I've also visited the site http://www.theshadowlands.net that has some wonderful true hauntings.

I don't want to be "scary", but the idea of telling a great ghost story highly intrigues me. I don't necessarily want to do the seance route. I did have a set of tarot cards at one time, but gave them away because I didn't feel like tarot cards quite fit my. So, instead, I got a set of rune stones. People asked me why I did that, and my response was that tarot cards, to me, conjure up an image of the gypsy with the black hair, black eyes, and olive skin. That's not me (as you can see by my avatar). However, the rune stones are of Norse origin...Vikings...blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. THAT is more me! I will admit that I've recently added another set of tarot cards to my collection. People seem more familiar with tarot than they do rune stones.

I will look into some of the books you have mentioned. Also, any advice that anyone wishes to give me, it will be eagerly received!

Thanks!
Margarette
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
Dr Spektor
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Carcosa
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Hi M,

Also if youa re going 'ghostly" if you can get Scott Davis's "SEANCE" you will be very happy - plus subscribe to ORACLE.
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
handa
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Pittsburgh, PA
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As a child, I read Larry Kettlekamp's HAUNTED HOUSES, and both the stories and grainy photographs were enough to put some really vivid pictures into my head. The book written at an elementary school level, which is OK because I was in elementary school! There was also an illustrated book of ghost stories using Will Eisner's character The Spirit as the narrator. I can still see some of those black and white images clearly in my mind. I remember reading things like Poe, Tolkien, Twain, and Jules Verne at that age (sometimes abridged or illustrated versions). All has had a profound impact upon my character as a performer.

Chris
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