Some of this material previously appeared in my Three Mind Miracles PDF
Copyright 2012 by Devin Knight
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage and retrieval now known or to be invented, without written permission from the author.
Tarot Sight is a mind-boggling effect based on my Four Told principle. The effect evolved over several weeks because of an e-mail from mentalist Steve Murray. He told me that he had worked out a way to apply my basic Four Told principle to a regular pack of tarot cards.
In his own words, he said, “After reading Four Told, I began to think of a way to code tarot cards in seemingly vague impressions, and then nail who was merely thinking of each card. I try to emphasize that the participant is actually creating a visual image based on archetypes and metaphors, so that when the reveal is made, only the name of the card is given, and the imagery is steered away from.”
Steve sent me his basic idea. I was very impressed. After looking it over, I told him I thought I could streamline and improve the method. Steve told me to run with the idea. He gave me permission to use it and teach it to others, since it is based on my original Four Told. This release is the result of my efforts. It has been perfected through many performances, both public and at my magic lectures.
I have given Steve credit as the co-author; since part of the script in this book are his exact words. I am very pleased with this release. I think it takes the original Four Told to a new level. It overcomes the potential weakness that a few people thought my original Four Told had. That was, as they termed it, the lack of a logical disconnect. That issue has been resolved with this release. Here are the strengths of this effect, as compared to my original Four Told. In this version, 78 different tarot cards are used, as opposed to five ESP symbols on a chart that the performer sees. The participants remove the top five tarot cards from a pack that was shuffled by one of the four participants.
These five tarot cards are kept hidden from the performer. Each participant just thinks of one of the cards. Nothing is written. They say nothing, either to the performer or to each other. They could all be thinking of the same card or each participant could be thinking of a different card. To the audience, it appears that the performer has no idea which five cards the participants chose to work with.
The participants are only asked to close their eyes and visualize animals and people seen on their thought-of cards. There are no visualizations of colors! This is can be very baffling to astute audience members, as they will have no clue as to how this is done. This is because the performer has not seen the five cards. In addition, he has also shown beforehand, that most of the cards in a tarot pack have people on them, thus creating several logical disconnects.
The third visualization, if needed, is having the participants visualize animals again. It appears to be nothing more than a reprise of the first visualization of animals. This technique makes it appear that only two visualization requests are made. Often, the performer will be able to correctly reveal the thought-of cards after the participants have visualized any people on their cards.
I want to point out again, that at no time, during the effect, do the participants make any verbal statements concerning the images they have in mind. They just close their eyes and visualize images from cards that you have not seen!
You are about to embark upon a journey that will thrill you each time you perform it, due to the simplicity of the method. This is the Four Told principle streamlined to the extreme. It is direct and to the point. There appears to be no fishing of any kind. It is probably one of the closest things to real mind reading that you will ever find.
#10 In The Psychic Sight Series
Effect: An ungimmicked pack of 78 tarot cards is shuffled by a participant. He ensures that the cards are genuine and all different. After the cards are shuffled, three more participants are asked to come forward and join him. One of the participants removes the top five cards from the tarot pack. He places the cards face up on a table so the cards are hidden from the performer’s sight, but visible to all the participants. The participants are asked to arrange the cards in any order they wish.
The participants are then asked to mentally select a card. The participants write nothing down, they just think of a tarot card. There are no restrictions. Each participant could be thinking of a different card, or they all could be thinking of the same card. They do not share their thoughts with each other. They are to give no outward sign of choosing a card – but just to keep it in their creative, visual imaginations.
Once the selections have been made, the performer begins the process of reading four minds at once.
“The beauty of the tarot is that it’s a visual story, told a single page at a time, but with such metaphors and archetypes, it is entirely possible to read the astral representations from your minds. Living creatures are easier to transmit, be they people or animals. Please look at your card and notice if there are any people or animals in the images. Please concentrate on the images on your card and do your best to send those images to me.”
The performer picks up a pad and begins to scribble impressions that he is receiving from the participants. As he receives these impressions, he draws crude sketches of people and animals.
Note: The visualization requests shown in the effect description are abbreviated. The full script is given later in this PDF.
First Visualization Request - Animals
“I am getting some impressions of animals; some are weak, while others are strong. If you have an animal or animals in your mental picture, please close your eyes now and visualize that animal! Give it life; see the creature moving. Open your eyes. Relax, let the image of the animal fade, and clear your mind.”
Second Visualization Request - People
“If the image you are thinking of has a man or a woman in it, then please close your eyes and visualize that person, living, breathing – he or she might even have a message for you.”
The performer waits; allowing the participants to enjoy the moment.
“Relax, when you are ready – you can open your eyes.”
Reprise Of The First Visualization - Not Always Needed
“Great, the images of people were easier to receive. The animals were more difficult. In fact, earlier, I sensed what appeared to be different animals. This could be because some of the images may have had more than one animal in them. Please glance at your card again. If there is more than one animal in your image, then please close your eyes now and visualize the animals, both of them, or all of them, chasing each other and alive with energy.”
The performer correctly identifies the images he sees in the astral plane. During this, the participants are requested to remain poker-faced. Not only does the performer reveal all of the thought-of cards, but he identifies which card each participant is thinking of! Perhaps saying to one participant, “Did you think of The Fool?”
The incredible thing is that the performer does this without the participants saying a single thing. The participants merely close their eyes and visualize. Despite these impossible appearing conditions, the performer is always 100% correct. This is about as close to real mind reading as you will find!
The Tarot Pack: The cards used are from a traditional Rider-Waite/Colman-Smith pack. It is one of the most popular tarot packs used by mentalists. The cards are available in two different sizes, regular and pocket size. The regular pack is bigger than a regular pack of playing cards and is suitable for both parlor and stage shows. The mini pocket-size cards will fit inside your pocket and can be adapted for close-up shows.
These packs are sold in many magic shops. They are also available online. I have found that Amazon.com has the lowest prices. At the time of this writing, you can buy a regular size Rider-Waite tarot pack for less than $15.00. The mini pocket-size pack is around $10.00.
SIDE NOTE: Normally, tarot cards are referred to as a tarot pack. Look at Photo 1 and
see what is printed on the box. Tarot readers, usually refer to the cards as a pack. The term ‘deck’ is usually meant to mean playing cards. I suggest during this effect that you refer to the cards as a pack and not a deck. This way, any spectators in your audience, familiar with tarot cards, will realize that you know the proper term for the cards.
There are several combinations that can be adapted for this effect, but the script in this book uses the following: Ace of Cups, The High Priestess, The Fool, Three of Swords, and The Moon.
Animals are present in three of these cards. The Ace of Cups has a dove at the top. The Fool has a single dog on it, while The Moon has two dogs and a crab on it. The High Priestess and The Fool both have a person on the card. Only one card has both a person and an animal, The Fool. One card, the Three of Swords, has neither people nor animals. These five cards will be forced during the routine. See Photo 2.
You will need a writing pad for jotting down impressions and also to hide your cue list. The pad must be large enough to hide a face down packet of cards under it. This packet will consist of the five cards shown in Photo 2. The pad and hidden cards should be on a table, slightly overlapping the edge, so you can easily pick up the pad with the hidden cards underneath.
When performing, you show the tarot pack to the audience and fan out the cards. You point out that most of the cards have people and animals on them. Let the audience see this is a fact. If you wish, you can tell the audience that 69 of the cards have people on them. Showing that people are
depicted on most cards is very important in selling the impossiblity of this effect.
Have a participant come forward. Hand him the pack and have him look through it and verify that the cards are all different and that the majority of the cards have people on them. Tell him to shuffle the pack until he is convinced that the cards are well mixed.
Pick up the pad with the five force cards concealed underneath in your left hand. Take the shuffled pack back from your participant in your right hand face down. Place the pack UNDER the pad, secretly adding the hidden cards to the top of the pack, as your right hand reaches for a pen, either on the table or inside your pocket.
Take the pad back into your right hand, along with the pen. The tarot cards are left in your left hand. Unknown to your audience, the top five cards of the pack are now your force cards. Invite three more people to come forward to participate. Place the pack on the table and move away from the cards. Have one of your participants remove the top five cards. Allow your participants to place the five cards face up on the table in any order they wish. You should be far enough away that you cannot see these cards.
I like to have an upright stand on the table so the cards can be leaned against this. This allows my participants to see the cards, but conceals the faces of the cards from me. The cards can be dealt in a face up row, if there is something in front of the cards to block your view.
It is very important that the audience believe that you have no clue to which five cards are on the table.
Each participant is then asked to think of one of the face up cards and to not share that information with the others. Stress that once the participants
have thought of their cards, they are not to change their minds, as that will confuse you when you begin to receive impressions.
The thought-of cards are determined through a very clever binary system. With this system, you use a computer style two-base binary code. Only ones and zeros are used. A participant’s eyes closed = 1, and a participant’s eyes open = 0. With this system, you are tracking not only which participants have their eyes closed, but also which have them open. This system allows you to get all the information needed to know which tarot card each participant is thinking of. Usually, you will be able to do this in just two visualization requests. You only need a third visualization request if someone thought of either the Ace of Clubs or The Moon.
My experience has shown that the majority of participants think of either The High Priestess or The Fool. This means you usually only need two visualization requests.
By asking your participants to close their eyes (indirect question) and visualize certain images, you can deduce the card each person is thinking of. This is done by having them first visualize animals and then people. A third visualization (reprise) of animals, if used, will refer back to the first – think of it as a small clarification due to the overwhelming impressions.
This can be summarized in the chart below:
Ace Cups High Priestess The Fool 3 Swords The Moon Question? Y N Y N Y Animal(s)? N Y Y N N Humans? N N N N Y Animals?
NOTE: This system will also work with the Golden Dawn Tarot pack. If you use this pack, you will need to use the 2 of Pentacles, which has a snake on the card. The Ace of Cups in the Golden Dawn pack has no animal.
Put a copy of this cue list on the first page of your pad. It should be near the top, so you can write below it.
00 = THREE OF SWORDS
01 = THE HIGH PRIESTESS
100 = ACE OF CUPS
101 = THE MOON
11 = THE FOOL
THE WORK: You will use four horizontal rows on your pad, one for each of the four participants. In each participant’s row, you mark down whether he had his eyes open or closed. If he closed his eyes, jot down a 1. If he left his eyes open, jot down a 0. It is as simple as that.
THE FIRST VISUALIZATION – Animals
“I am getting some impressions of animals; some are weak, while others are strong. If there is an animal or animals on your card, then close your eyes and really concentrate on sending it to me. Visualize that animal! Give it life; see the creature moving. Okay, open your eyes and clear your mind.”
In the first visualization request, you are only mention animals. You ask the participants to help you by closing their eyes and animating the animal(s) in their minds. Only three of the tarot cards have animals on them. The Ace of Cups, The Fool, and The Moon. The participants who have their eyes closed are thinking of one of those cards. For this example, we will assume the first participant thought of The High Priestess. The second participant is thinking of the Three of Swords, and the third and fourth participants are both thinking of The Fool. Only the third and fourth participants will have their eyes closed. So mark your rows as follows:
Participant One (The High Priestess): 0
Participant Two (Three of Swords): 0
Participant Three (The Fool): 1
Participant Four (The Fool): 1
THE SECOND VISUALIZATION – Humans
“I am getting some weak impressions of people in the images. I think that is because you are seeing the other people in the room and that is confusing me. I need you to block out the other people. I need you to focus on any human that may be on your card. I want to point out that only a
hand, as found on many tarot cards, is not considered a human in this case. If you have an image of a whole person, be it a man or a woman in
your mental image, then close your eyes. Concentrate on sending the image of that person to me. Visualize that person, living, breathing – he or she might even have a message for you. When you are done, open your eyes and clear your mind.”
Jot a 1 or a 0 in each participant’s row, a 1 if his eyes are closed or a 0 if open. Do this to the right of the first value you wrote. For this example, assume the first participant thought of The High Priestess. The second participant is thinking of The Three of Swords, and the third and fourth participants are both thinking of The Fool.
The first, third and fourth participants will have their eyes closed. Only the second participant will have his eyes open. So mark your rows as follows:
Participant One (The High Priestess): 01
Participant Two (Three of Swords): 00
Participant Three (The Fool): 11
As incredible as it may seem, at this point, you will know all the thought-of tarot cards. A third visualization request is not needed. Equally amazing, is that participant two never closed his eyes, yet you know his card is the Three of Swords. You know all this without the participants saying a single word!
You only need a third visualization request if someone thought of The Moon or the Ace of Cups. This is easy to spot because there will be a value of 10 in his row. Think of this as a ten. Any time you see a 10, you need a third visualization request. Look at the next example. The third participant is thinking of the Ace of Cups. The fourth participant is thinking of The Moon. Both rows show a value of 10, so you need to make a third visualization request.
Participant One (The High Priestess): 01
Participant Two (Three of Swords): 00
Participant Three (Ace of Cups): 10
Participant Four (The Moon): 10
THE THIRD VISUALIZATION – Multiple Animals
“The people were easy, the animals were more difficult. In fact, earlier I sensed what appeared to be different animals. This could be because some of the images may have had more than one animal in them. Glance at your card again. If you have more than one animal in your image, then please close your eyes now and visualize the animals, both of them, or all of them, chasing each other and alive with energy.”
Jot a 1 or a 0 in each participant’s row THAT HAS A VALUE OF 10, a 1 if his eyes are closed and a 0 if open. Do this to the right of the first TWO values you wrote. For this example, we will assume the first participant thought of The High Priestess. The second participant is thinking of The Three of Swords. The third participant is thinking of the Ace of Cups. The fourth participant is thinking of The Moon. Only the fourth participant will have his eyes closed. You only mark the rows where the value is 10.
Participant One (The High Priestess): 01
Participant Two (Three of Swords): 00
Participant Three (Ace of Cups): 100
Participant Four (The Moon): 101
Here is the key for the third visualization
100 = ACE OF CUPS
101 = THE MOON
Once you know which card each participant is thinking of, you can reveal the information. The easiest approach is to just tell each participant his thought-of card. Under no circumstances, should you go pick up the five cards and hand the correct card to each participant. Doing this could be the kiss of death for this effect. Apparently, you do not know which five cards they were looking at. If you see the cards after the visualizations are over, then astute audience members may think you figured which cards the participants thought of based on when they closed their eyes. Thus destroying the logical disconnects you created earlier. Steve and I prefer to just look at each participant and say something along the lines of, “Did you think of The Moon?”
This way when the reveal is made, only the name of the card is given, and the imagery is steered away from. This technique adds yet another logical disconnect to the routine.
Another idea is to use your pad, since you were scribbling images on it. It just makes sense. Write the name of the thought-of card on the next sheet in the pad. Tear off the sheet, fold it, and give it to the proper participant. Repeat this with the other three participants; then ask all the participants to reveal the names of their thought-of cards. Have them open up their sheets showing you were correct.
My favorite revelation (and the strongest) is to use another tarot pack that is not a Rider-Waite. My favorite is the Wizard’s Tarot. The two cards shown on the first and third pages of this book are from that pack. I look through the second pack and remove the participant’s card and hold it face down in my hand. I ask the participant his thought-of card and then show the matching card from the other pack. This is repeated for each participant. This way, the imagery seems to bear no relation to the final cards, especially to those spectators unfamiliar with tarot cards.
Two or more participants thinking of the same card make for stronger endings. This is why I prefer a second tarot pack, it allows for the strongest endings possible. Here is how to deal with these common occurrences.
TWO PARTICIPANTS THINK OF THE SAME CARD: There are only five tarot cards and four participants. The majority of the time, two participants will think of the same card. When this happens, save these two people for the climax of the routine. Set the rest of the cards aside so you are only holding one tarot card in your hand. The card they both thought of.
“I have a strong feeling that both of you are thinking of the card in my hand. What card are you thinking of?”
Both participants will name the same card. Show them that the card in your hand is the same. When this happens, it gets a strong reaction from both the participants and the audience.
THREE PARTICIPANTS THINK OF THE SAME CARD: This will happen often, due to the fact that most people will think of a card with a person on it. Give a face-down card to the participant who is thinking of a different card. Ask him what his thought-of card is. Have him turn the card over and show that it matches his thought-of card.
Set aside all the other tarot cards in your hands, except for the card that matches the one the other three participants are thinking of. Hold it face down in your hand. Be sure to not flash prematurely the face of the card. Look at the other three participants and say:
“I have a strong feeling that all of you were attracted to the same card. Which card are you thinking of?”
The three participants will all name the same card. Show the face-down card in your hand for a strong climax.
FOUR PARTICIPANTS THINK OF THE SAME CARD: Everyone is thinking of either The Fool or The High Priestess. In my experience, it has been The Fool the majority of the time. When this happens, you have a miracle that is hard to explain. It will happen more often than you would expect. When it does happen, play it for all it is worth.
“As unbelievable as it may seem, I think all of you are on the same wave length and were attracted to the same card. I have a strong feeling that all of you are thinking of the card in my hand. Which tarot card are you thinking of?”
All of your participants will name the same card! Show the face-down card in your hand for an incredible climax. The reactions of the four participants will be unbelievable. Such a thing does not seem possible. This is one of the strongest effects possible in mentalism and a real reputation maker when it happens.
THE UNCANNY SECRET OF THE SECOND REQUEST
In this section, I want to review an important fact that you should be aware of and use to your advantage when possible. That fact is this; any participant who has his eyes closed during the second visualization is finished. There is NO NEED to do a third visualization with him, as the third visualization will not apply to him.
Let me explain. Anyone who has his eyes closed on the second visualization is thinking of either The High Priestess or The Fool. A third visualization request is not needed for anyone who has his eyes closed during the second visualization. However, it is still needed for those participants who have their eyes open.
If, on the second visualization, all four participant have their eyes closed, which is possible, then stop there and make the reveals. All of the participants will be thinking of a card with a person on it! Making the third visualization request would only result in no participants closing their eyes. The third visualization only determines who is thinking of The Moon or Three of Swords. Revealing the thought-of cards after the second visualization may be puzzling to many mentalists. To them, it does not seem possible to know the cards after just two visualization requests. The power of knowing all of the thought-of tarot cards on the second visualization is priceless to a working mentalist. When all the participants close their eyes during the second visualization, you have a miracle that is about as direct as anyone could ask for.
For repeat performances, you can change three of the five force cards found in the Rider-Waite pack. The Moon is the only card in that pack that has multiple animals, with no person, so it cannot be changed. The same applies to the Ace of Cups. It is the only card in that pack containing a single animal with no person. However, the other three cards can be changed.
Replace The High Priestess (single person only on the card) with either: The Empress or Justice
Replace The Fool (single person plus single animal) with any of the following:
Strength, Knight of Pentacles, Knight of Swords, Knight of Wands, Knight of Cups, Queen of Wands
Replace the Three of Swords (no person, no animals) with any of the following:
My preference is to use the 8 of Wands, as this is a very drab card with no words on it. It is almost never chosen, as it has no visual appeal. This presence of this card will almost ensure that the participants will think of another card, usually one with a person on it.
You are not restricted to just using a Rider-Waite tarot pack. Once you understand the basic system, it is possible to find five tarot cards with the proper characteristics in almost any tarot pack. The best online site for seeing sample cards from most tarot packs available on the market is http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/. This site will also give you the history of tarot cards and a brief description of a card’s meaning.
The above-mentioned site will also provide you with free primers on how to read tarot cards. It should be obvious, if you are skilled in reading tarot cards, then you may wish to give a quick reading about the card each of the participants selected. Since you are only working with five force cards, it is easy to memorize the meanings of those five cards.
Finally, if you are using other mental effects in your show, then have your participants close their eyes when they concentrate on other things. This accustoms the audience to seeing participants close their eyes during your show. When your participants close their eyes to visualize the images on their cards, it will not stand out as being something unusual. Thus, creating yet another logical disconnect.