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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » The Hedge Tarote - It's not what you think (26 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Christopher Gould
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Sorry I have not gotten back to answering this post, but things have been rather busy in the Moon towers at the moment.
This is a wonderful review on many levels, I have been in contact with Mr Alchemist since reading it and we have had not only some fine conversations but these have lead to something very exciting that you will be hearing about before not to long.

My first reaction was 'Thank the lord someone 'gets it!'. And believe me, he really does.

I have had a quite a few emails asking for some clarification regarding the Hedge Tarote. I simply have not had time to answer them individually, so I though that this was as good a place as any to do so.

The HT works on many levels, and I think that this is what is confusing to many people.

The first level is that it is an intriguing prop in it's own right. This in itself is an important point (and one of the main themes of the discussions between this fine gentleman and myself). Sometimes we need to sit back and really think about what constitutes a 'performance'. All of us here have left the adolescent phase of performance behind I think. A magical performance can be so much more than the demonstration of a 'trick'. Increasingly I find that unless the 'trick' is so subtle as to function below the threshold of critical thinking, it can actually 'jar' and adversely affect what you are trying to achieve. I have written about this before. There is no greater let down for an audience than a performer using the skills of his/her storytelling abilities to transport the audience to a magical reality, then give them a kick in the pants at the end by revealing that 'it was just a trick' all along. If I cannot perform a 'Bizarre' magic routine *without* the 'trick', then to me it is a weak piece of theatre.

So the first level is to perform with the HT *just* as an intriguing object. To weave the tale, to transport the audience, to be a magician.

The next level is a very simple but effective routine using a certain amount of dual reality. Obviously I do not want too give too much away, but the audience see one thing and the subject 'sees a little more' this allows the magician to give the subject a guided fantasy and know what she is seeing in that fantasy. I suspect that some people will think that this is too 'advanced' a technique. Really it is not, it is a lot simpler to perform than it sounds. However, a good Bizarre item should be challenging, not only for the audience, but in extending the performer too.

On another level, as Mr Alchemist pointed out, it is also the holy grail of the Bizarre performer – a deck of cards that looks like anything but a deck of cards. Frankly this is the most fun I have been having with the HT myself – looking at what hooey old card trick will work with the HT and how this can inspire new ideas and themes. Really, this makes the HT have endless possibilities to the creative owner. Now you will not be doing fancy card slights with them or the sort of card juggling you see all those guys in bandannas doing, but.... well, do you want to anyway?

The Hedge Tarote can also bee used for deeper visualisation techniques and for readings. They can also be used legitimately for 'real' magick or for the performance that is perceived as such. It just takes a little thinking and creative interaction. I think that this community is the last bastion of intelligent magicians – we are not, or should not be, passive consumers. Surely, we do not buy 'tricks', we engage with interesting ideas and collect things that make our live more fascinating and strange, this we then pass on to those we meet. Let us elevate our art, rather than reduce it.

Having said this, I did intend to write two more books for the Hedge Tarote (one on guided visualisation and scrying, the other on it's use in magick) however, I have had to rethink this for reasons I have given on my mini blog on the Moon. As it stands these ideas will materialise in another form. These will also be applicable to the HT.

As to the matter of what you call it. Well that is really up to you as creative performers I would have thought. You can mention the story that the Tarote was the working tool of Hedge wizards and cunning folk – a portable skying tool, augury, and practical book of magick that the itinerant magician could easily pocket on his travels. So any variant on the word Tarot and Wizardry would fit the bill – but who is your performing character and what would fit that context? This would be the first step. Personally, I call it by the name that it is referred to in the manual.

Michael alludes to using the accompanying book for magical performance, and indeed that is what all those blank pages are for (I did not uncharacteristically run out of things to say!). I is my hope that the user will slowly unlock some of the keys – as Mr Alchemist did in an astonishingly short time. Although people will find their own level on the HT, as with everything else. I will throw a signpost out. What if you were to take a really simple card routine, a 'self-worker', something 'hands-off' and rewrite the direction to the subject as if it were an old incantation? What if the subject was given this book and told to read the 'spell' out loud and to follow its instructions? What if by doing so, some strange coincidences and magical events arose?
Have the audience seen a card trick, or magic?

I think my central point is this. To be a good performer (and this could be stage performer, parlour performer or just interesting person) it is essential to engage with the props that you have (HT or otherwise) – to live with them, understand them and breathe life into them – or sell them. In the world of ceremonial magick, one has to consecrate ones tools, often with elaborate ritual. The core reason for this is to create a bond between the magician and ***what the tools symbolise***. It is no different here. A relationship needs to be forged if you are going to penetrate something of its richness; something beyond the superficial. The story and the characters who animate the story should animate your imaginations and it is this elixir that you hand your audience. The magic should live in you and be transmitted through you. This can only happen with an intellectual, creative and intimate understanding of the tools you work with. I am not just talking of the HT here, this is equally applicable to the Cups and Balls. We can only restore magic and become magicians though this process.

It all depends where you are and how deeply you want to look into the glass.
The Moon is now to be found in the constellation of Gemini:
https://www.geminiartifacts.com
Michael_MacDonald
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Does this shape look familiar?


http://thehermitsgrotto.com/scrying_mirror_alter_013.jpg

have two of the pages "selected" face down and set aside un-revealed.
have sitter think of two simple geometrical shapes........show pages to hold those shape...
you have opened the gate way.........

the shapes are used to scry into the world of.....????
Pasteboard Alchemist
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Thank you so much for adding so many great thoughts to the thread, Chris. It's really appreciated. There are enough unusual facets to the HT that I fear I've done a poor job of explaining them to folks who have PMed me with additional questions. Moving forward, I can just direct them right back to your post!

A couple things regarding the points made:

I can't stress enough how much the "first level" Chris mentioned has made an impact. I was able to perform with the HT twice over the last weekend since writing this original post, and the intrigue generated by the look of the thing alone was key. Both locations, I brought it in the "deluxe carrying case" for my Spiritas Magnus (once snugged underneath the SM in the book compartment, and once on top in place of the SM when performing for some that would not have welcomed a talking board.) Both times, there were "oohs" at the case. "Ooohs" at all the visual goodies when it was opened. And especially "oohs" when I took out the HT and unwrapped it. I know it's preaching to the choir for the most part when it comes to the bizarre niche of magic, but I can't overstate what a role the (not so) simple aesthetic of the thing plays.

The other thing that keeps surprising me is how easy the dual reality effect is to pull off. My concern with many DR effects is that the spectator often has a lackluster experience at the cost of everyone else having a more impressive one. Not only is that not the case here--the spectator has, in my opinion, every bit an impactful experience that the others present do--but it's also so painfully easy to do. There's no worry about fumbling key phrases to manage both experiences, etc... it's all "baked in" with the HT, and it basically does all that work for me. All that's left for me to do is focus on my dramatic performance. Smile

I've been lucky enough to be able to delve deeper into the HT via some emails with Chris since writing my original post and, to use a geeky metaphor, while I thought I could go any direction on a plane with the HT, Chris has introduced me to the "z-axis" of the thing. The only problem now is that there are so many directions to explore, it's difficult to choose one.

Quote:
On Nov 19, 2014, Michael_MacDonald wrote:
have two of the pages "selected" face down and set aside un-revealed.
have sitter think of two simple geometrical shapes........show pages to hold those shape...
you have opened the gate way.........


Very funny that you mention this! Back in NYC some time ago, I was one of the the selected spectators during a lecture when Luke Jermay did a mentalism effect which resulted in everyone picking a certain shape inside a certain shape (this certainly didn't originate with him, but I loved his take/nuances on it.) I've been working on an effect that capitalizes on that and results in matching two unseen selected cards. Nice!

Quote:
On Nov 19, 2014, Christopher Gould wrote:
...we have had not only some fine conversations but these have lead to something very exciting that you will be hearing about before not to long.


It's such a welcome surprise that the Hedge Tarote (and our conversations) could serve as the genesis of something like the [thing]. Very, very excited to see it released in the not-too-distant future!
Xizzy
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Gosh, I hoped to avoid _at least_ the Hedge Tarote but no, Alchemist, you had to publish your review.

If you are even a slice of a good person you should partecipate in the expense. Even a tiny bit will be useful (let's say an half).
Pasteboard Alchemist
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Would that I could! What I can provide/promise, Xizzy, is all the back-and-forth via PM (or even better, on the secret Hedge Tarote forum!) of ideas/concepts that your heart desires. Smile Judging by the number of times I receive fresh PMs saying "My hand started hurting from scrolling all the way to the bottom of our other PM, so I'm starting the new one", I never tire of discussing these things.
Darkness
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Quote:
On Nov 19, 2014, Christopher Gould wrote:

The first level is that it is an intriguing prop in it's own right. If I cannot perform a 'Bizarre' magic routine *without* the 'trick', then to me it is a weak piece of theatre.

The next level is a very simple but effective routine using a certain amount of dual reality.

a deck of cards that looks like anything but a deck of cards.

for deeper visualisation techniques and for readings.

What if you were to take a really simple card routine, a 'self-worker', something 'hands-off' and rewrite the direction to the subject as if it were an old incantation? What if the subject was given this book and told to read the 'spell' out loud and to follow its instructions? What if by doing so, some strange coincidences and magical events arose?

A relationship needs to be forged if you are going to penetrate something of its richness; something beyond the superficial.





Chris thanks for the clarification. I had a hard time getting my head around the concept. I love your messages through out. I like that we don't have to do tricks as "magicians" to be entertaining that is why I am here and not in the latest and greatest. I think I'm starting to understand the concept. I'm already seeing the bridge between illusion, reading and story telling. I think this may be gold in the right hands.
Astaroth
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What DR and portal concepts are we talking about?
Pasteboard Alchemist
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Quote:
On Nov 21, 2014, Astaroth wrote:
What DR and portal concepts are we talking about?


To expand upon that would, I'm afraid, expose the "works" of the HT. The portal concept is unique to the HT. DR, well... is exactly what it says on the tin.
Astaroth
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Got it thanks.
Merlinsmagic
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Been having fun working with mine today, creating a few interesting spreads that have actually amazed me the way they worked out each time !! Only had 2 times out of 40 that I had to get create, but the rest were self revealing !

These HT's really do have many ways to use them, even had my AA cards out for a bit of ESP mix in with the HT's Smile
Pasteboard Alchemist
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Quote:
On Nov 21, 2014, Merlinsmagic wrote:
Been having fun working with mine today, creating a few interesting spreads that have actually amazed me the way they worked out each time !! Only had 2 times out of 40 that I had to get create, but the rest were self revealing !

These HT's really do have many ways to use them, even had my AA cards out for a bit of ESP mix in with the HT's Smile


Merlinsmagic, I was just going through that myself, reorganizing the cards in various ways to see what the spells weave! Honestly, I didn't have one out of around 20 that I didn't respond with "Ooh, that'd be so cool if it happens in the next performance, I could X, Y, and Z..." At first, I thought "these are super neat coincidences..." but after all these times and them always be interesting, I'm starting to realize I should give Chris the credit that is due: it's devilishly planned.

As for the AA... you guys are killing me. I have no idea what you're talking about, but if it meshes with the HT, I'm going to have to start pestering people...
Merlinsmagic
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PMing ya PA Smile
Michael_MacDonald
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The ht's have been in my hands since their conception. portals (guided visualizations), rituals, readings, there is no end to what they can do. I have been lucky because most people over look them as un workable for them. it takes time to realize just how much real world power these little babies have packed in them. it you want to learn more about portals and guided vis ask Chris to sell you a copy of S# it is very in expensive, it gives you props that you can make your self, and gives you a huge inroad to guided visualization. the mast magical performances I have ever done were when no trick was involved.
Darkness
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Great info Michael once again.
Xizzy
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Yes, Michael, I agree. No trick magic is the mightiest magic. I'm always amazed of what suggestion can do and Chris is a great teacher.
Another "special mage" I recently met (in art) is Bill Montana with his unusual (at least for me) approach to psychological effects.
Astaroth
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I love Bill's Crystal readings book this man is special. In a good way Smile

Anyone have a HT lite they wish to sell or trade Smile I would buy direct but I'm pushing it so close to Christmas I just can't resist.
Otherwise I will wait for the full blow one in the new year.
Michael_MacDonald
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Using bills "bridge" with the ht reading or ritual would really seal the deal in peoples minds. not only do you get them to travel to another dimension but you keep it fluid for them even in their dreams for a time. tell me that would not really just twist someones reality a bit?
David Eichler
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Quote:
On Nov 24, 2014, Astaroth wrote:
I love Bill's Crystal readings book this man is special. In a good way Smile

Anyone have a HT lite they wish to sell or trade Smile I would buy direct but I'm pushing it so close to Christmas I just can't resist.
Otherwise I will wait for the full blow one in the new year.


Wait for the full Elite version. You'll thank me.
Astaroth
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Thanks David I think you are right. No rush I have enough to learn already.
Merlinsmagic
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Yes wait to get the elite, the extra book & wrap are SOoooo worth the extra $$$ & wait ! IMO
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