This beautiful (magicians) marked tarot was made by Ben at Shawcross Yard. The altar cloth is by The Dark Exact (both on Etsy). Some great readings are possible with this pack and Ben provides handy explanations of the cards.
The Leger Tarot is a beautiful poker sized tarot (8.8cm x 6.5cm). These were made by Christopher Taylor at Taylor Imagineering although he has since retired. I believe the Leger is available through Vince Wilson at Poe’s Magic Academy.
The card stock feels really good and poker size is easy to handle. The markings are very clever although they did take a while for me to learn, given the sheer size of a full pack of cards. Best of all, some great routines are included.
Dan Baines at Lebanon Circle is partly responsible for my addiction to bizarre magic. He makes the most beautiful props such as this switching box which is perfect for enhancing your tarot routine. Not easy to come by these days, but worth seeking out.
I was inspired by the routine in an episode of “Inside No. 9” entitled “Misdirection”. Reece Sheersmith performs an outstanding piece of bizarre magic. Get a couple of packs of the Hydesvilles and the Switch Witch and you have some key ingredients for a great routine.
I know a lot of mystery performers aren’t big fans of Rick Lax but I really like this effect. It’s tarot themed (obviously) and its not a cheap trick but the quality is very good and the video instructions are very clear, which is often where bizarre magic effects are lacking.
In essence the magician tells the spectator that he has a pack of tarot and he’s written on the backs of three cards (sacrilege). The spectator chooses three cards from the face up pack. Once those cards are turned over they are revealed to be the only ones that have “Past Present Future” on the backs.
This effect was produced by prolific card magic genius, Paul Gordon. The cards are of pretty good quality and will pass muster with most people as being actual tarot cards, although the premise itself is quite far removed from the world of tarot reading.
I love the routine and Paul’s handling is very slick. In the effect, the performer starts off with eight Devil cards and one Magician card. By the end of the performance the performer displays nine Magician cards, the demons having being banished.
This is pretty much the converse of the Devil and Magician routine. This one was conceived and produced by Keith at Black Artefacts. I’m not certain who came up with the tarot idea but both are based on the original Wild Card routine. Handling does vary slightly.
Keith is a superb storyteller and I enjoy his props a great deal. One should bear in mind that the cards in this particular effect are laminated. That means they last longer but may not come off as being from an actual pack. Not that anyone expects 9 cards the same from a pack.
Using marked cards is one way to pull off some pretty interesting readings and other routines, but as we bizarrists get older, it gets more difficult to see the markings, particularly in a candlelit room. I eventually succumbed to the temptation to try RFID cards.
These cards were made by the team at Illuminati and the card pads above were made by talented craftsman, Les Oldham in the UK. The pads and the wooden box are skilfully gaffed to accommodate a reader. You receive the data via a peek device or earpiece.