Skahen Magic

Mysteries of mind and matter

Content List & Descriptions

Mysteries of Mind and Matter is a book of close-up, intermediate-level card magic. At least, that makes up the majority of the book. The first section contains tricks and routines that use a variety of materials, from cards to candy. The second and third sections contains sleights and subtleties that I've created as tools, with which you can improve old routines and develop new ones. The fourth section contains four essays, in which I express my thoughts and theories about three important discussions in magic.

All the sections are well illustrated with photographs and diagrams, and written in exhaustive detail, to the point where you not only understand but cannot misunderstand the material. All is well organized and compiled into a 215 book that can be saved to your computer.

Below I've listed the content of this book in detail, in attempt to describe everything without exposing anything. You can scroll down or choose a section from the following:

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Section One: Routines, Effects & Trickery

- Countdown: The spectator freely names a card and a number. The deck is dealt to the chosen number, and the final deal is turned to reveal the chosen card. A moment later, this can be repeated with any variation of card, number, and spectator.

- Socked: A signed selection appears in the magician's socks, under the fairest and most impossible conditions.

- Liquidation: A borrowed dollar is folded and pushed into the magician's fist, the magic happens, and one hundred pennies then pour from his otherwise empty hand.

- Space & Time: Two cards merely glimpsed from two halves of a deck switch places, without any apparent moves.

- York's: The magician takes a small Peppermint Patty out of its wrapper, chews it, and places it back into the foil. The foil is rewrapped, and the patty is returned to its original state.

- M&M's: The M&M's inside a bag of Plain M&M's and Peanut M&M's switch places - before the bags are ever opened.

- Identity: Upon rubbing the back of a selected card, the magician changes its color. Then upon rubbing the front of the card, the spectator's name appears across the face.

- Identity Theft: A signed selection is lost in the pack. Then a red card is slipped into the deck after it. With a snap of the fingers, the red card literally fuses to the selection.

- Blush: The deck is spread and the spectator thinks of one card. While the magicians back is turned, the spectator pulls that card from the spread and covers it with their hand. When the magician turns, he flips the cards over to show them all blue. When the spectator turns his selection over, he sees that it is the only red one in the pack.

- Skahen's Triumph: A selection is lost in the deck, which is then shuffled face-up into face-down. The deck is then taken behind the magician's back, and a few moments later, the spectator's card is the only one face down in a face-up deck - that is in new-deck order.

- Bottomfeeder: Each time the magician snaps his fingers, a selected card penetrates the card below it.

- Runaway: In ten impossible phases, a signed selection turns face-up and face-down, disappears and reappears, in your pocket, behind a window, in your mouth, and under your shoe.

- Case Cracker: Two selections, both free. One is placed in the case, the other is lost in the deck. A moment later, without any moves at all, they switch places.

- Zombie Card: A signed and examined selection is held at the magician's fingertips, and as the magician moves his fingers away, it begins to float gently in mid-air. No invisible threads, wires, or magnets are used.

- Pocket to Card: A signed selection is placed in the magician's pocket, and with a snap of the fingers, it appears back in the middle of the deck. After several repeating phases, you leave empty pockets and no trace of method.

- Card to Pocket: This is my personal favorite method for achieving this classic effect - clean, simple, easy, and direct.

- Shadow Window: A completely free selection is vanished at the magician's fingertips, only to appear behind a window across the room. The effect can instantly be repeated with the same card and the same window.

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Section Two: Techniques, Sleights & Tools

- Popper: The deck is held beneath the fingers, and any given card pops out of the pack from nowhere.

- Flipper: A card is held in one of the magician's two empty hands. It is flipped over, fingers snap, and when it is flipped face-up again, the card has changed.

- The Fingertip Change: A card is held in the magician's palm, his other hand is shown empty. The magician simply rubs the card and it changes in his hand.

- The Fingertip Vanish: A card is placed on the table and the magician snaps his fingers over it. In an instant, it vanishes as if by trick photography.

- Slip & Slide: The magician holds a card at his fingertips, and in a moment of Kung Fu magic, it splits into duplicate. This tutorial is complete with five applications of this powerful move.

- Slip Control: Any given card is placed on top of the deck. The deck is slowly and cleanly cut onto the table. The top card hasn't changed.

- Slip Change: A face-down card is slipped into the face-down deck. With a snap of the fingers, the deck is spread and the same card is found face-up.

- Deck Sandwich: A card is selected and lost in the pack. The deck is spread face-up and the spectator chooses a spot between any two cards. In a flashy move, a face-down card appears between them - it's the selection.

- Deep Double: Hands down, this is my personal favorite way of doing a double lift.

- Spin Double: A fancy and flourishy double lift, executed with one hand, that ensures that you do not see the face of the card.

- Point Palm: This is an alternative approach to palming anything from a card to a compact disc to a flashlight. This tutorial is complete with five rules for executing the palm and nine fully explained applications.

- Watch Palm: This is an approach to palming that allows for dozens of productions, vanishes, switches and ditches, all while remaining free to operate your hands without a hint of something in them.

- Free Force: The spectator calls stop as the magician cascades through a deck of cards. They are then given the choice of the top card on the bottom portion or the bottom card of the top portion. Either way, the choice has been yours all along.

- Sync Switch: The means of switching one deck for another, in a smooth, natural and undetectable fashion, without the need for cargo pants or nerves of steel. This tutorial includes my favorite application of this switch, in a routine called The Broken Hearted.

- Stealth Switch: Visual changes, secret exchanges, and ambitious card routines - all taken under the wing of this powerful utility sleight.

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Section Three: Shifts, Subtleties, & Spices

- Case Closed: With the Brainwave Deck, certain selections are found red in a blue deck, others blue in a red deeck. This makes the color of the case something a person. This presentation negates this issue and further improves the effect.

- The Slip Force Pause: A few flaws of this classic sleight break the flow of its illusion. This simple change restores that flow, creating one of the best forces I know.

- Final Restoration: The final phase of many torn-and-restored card routines is unnatural, with a lot of cover, no spectator involvement, and rough clean-up. I prefer this alternative approach.

- Skahen's 2CM: Neither a rehash nor a revision to the modern classic... rather a renovation, with new handling, new presentation, routining tips, a script of patter, and a kicker ending.

- Case Worker: A simple gimmick I add to every card case I own, designed to do a great variety of dirty work in performance.

- Enemy of the State: The new state quarters may be a great collectible, but they throw a monkey wrench into every routine that switches a borrowed quarter for a gaff. This presentation provides the solution.

- Center Tear Logic: Effects utilizing this move can be spectacular, but they are equally illogical: why must the magician handle and tear the billet? A simple subtlety provides a logical explanation.

- Sharpie Twist: The principle of consistency and unusual features - explained through a Sharpie marker.

- Hook, Line & Sinker: A simple, direct, and condensed method for approaching any stranger with magic for a successful performance every time - explained in five pages of exhaustive detail.

- Devils on Deck: The four gimmicks with which I feel comfortable to equip every deck I have.

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Section Four: Thoughts, Essays & Theory

- Real Magic: In nine pages, I share my philosophy of magic, and how I believe you can make magic real using mere tricks and performance. I pull these ideas from philosophy, quantum physics, cutting-edge psychology like NLP, and the like, are concentrate "real magic" into a model that you can apply every time you perform. I break this down not only into simple and practical steps, but back them up with concrete examples of how you can create magic in the real world with all the classic illusions.

- Presentational Perspectives: In twelve pages, I share the ideas and beliefs I have gathered and conceived about presentation, through the years of performances. I discuss the relationship between reality and magic, what I feel is the essential foundation of presentation is, the importance and ways of eliminating competition between you and the spectators, how to use rapport to enhance a performance, observations based on my interactions with many spectators, thoughts on improvisation, the direct use of anticipation to amplify reactions, and ten specific ways of cooling your nerves before and during a performance.

- The Public Approach: In nineteen pages, I share the discoveries I have made about approaching strangers with magic. I discuss the two aspects I believe are essential to a successful performance in this context: the Internal Approach and the External Approach. In the Internal Approach, I discuss attitudes and perspectives, fundamental human nature, the process of making an impression, how to gain confidence, and overcoming internal obstacles to approaching. In the External Approach, I discuss my ten rules that apply to every public approach, how to communicate the right things in the first thirty seconds of meeting a spectator, thoughts about charm, how to deal with troublemakers, seven specific methods and techniques to approach a stranger with magic, and the essential mindset.

- Mastery in Magic: In twelve pages, I discuss the subject in title. Can one really be a master of magic? What must one do to attain such status? Simply, how is the journey to mastery connected to the development of magic? I discuss the keys to success, the phases of learning, the pitfalls of progress, the friends of the master, and the steps to mastery. In essence these are principles I apply to the process of learning magic, and will continue for as long as I practice the art. I think that they will be just as useful for your own work.

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