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The Mental Mysteries of Hector Chadwick Hector Chadwick is not only the author of the highly acclaimed “Mental Mysteries of Hector Chadwick”, but is also. The Mental Mysteries of Hector Chadwick by, , Unknown edition, Hard in English - Revised Edition. The Mental Mysteries of Hector Chadwick; 1 edition; First published in
No part of this publication may be duplicated or transmitted in any form without written permission from the author. Copyright Effect: A spectator is able to sense the colors of the cards in a deck that they mix. Introduction: For those who are unaware, a deck of playing cards is sometimes referred to as the devils picture-book or the devils bible. I named this The Devils Coloring Book because the effect is that you or your spectators are able to sense the colors of cards with devil-like accuracy! Theres also a surprise ending that will leave them with absolutely no logical explanation for how they did what they did. Like many menalists, this was my go-to, impromptu color sensing routine.
Theres also a surprise ending that will leave them with absolutely no logical explanation for how they did what they did. Like many menalists, this was my go-to, impromptu color sensing routine.
A spectator mixes the cards, deals them out, and the performer is able to sense the colors the spectator holds under the table, along with more from the deck. Its exceedingly clever, but there is a fair amount of quick memory work needed throughout; and after not performing it for a few weeks, I found that I often needed to re-learn it. I created this effect as a way to do a color sensing routine with no memorization, and give the spectator the ability to sense the cards, which I feel is far more powerful.
I love giving the spectator the ability to do something that they cant do. I always felt uncomfortable pretending to showcase abilities that I didnt actually have. But giving someone the experience to do something that they dont think their capable of doing is very gratifying; much more so than trying to convince someone that I can read their mind when I truly cant.
And even though the spectator cant actually sense colors now either, the fact that they believe they did something so impossible is empowering. Ive been trying more and more to create mentalism that fits this model.
I hope you find it to your liking. The person will now tell you their personal belief in themselves; often negative. If I was to hand you this deck of cards and tell you that you could guess the color of every card in the deck, what would you say? Logical people will rightfully be doubtful of their abilities. So after some more back and forth conversation, you allow the spectator to shuffle the cards. Perfect, and now Im going to have you mix the cards in a more unique and meticulous way.
You are going to freely deal two facedown piles. One pile I want you think yes on every card you deal, and the other pile I want you to think no. You will do this one card at a time, so that each and every card is exactly where you want it to be.
Ill turn away as you start dealing now You should get the spectator to take the above absolutely seriously before you begin. The more serious they take the process, the more amazed they will be at the end; especially since in the back of their head theyre still likely thinking, theres no friggin way that this will work. When they finish dealing their piles, have them pick up the yes pile, the positive pile, and put it into their pocket.
They are then to hand you the no pile behind your back or under the table. I will typically say something like, I think its fair to say that I cant have any idea what colored cards are where, and that you certainly have no idea.
But even though this is your 3 no pile, and theres nothing special about it, I want you to switch to thinking yes now, only positive and happy thoughts. Quick, what do you think is the color of the top card? They can now name any color and will find that they are correct.
After maybe five or six cards, you try to get a bit more specific, and can have them guess if they think its a higher or lower card, or a heart or a diamond, etc. When you have maybe nine or ten cards left under the table, you stop the spectator, and bring the remaining cards above to show that they are randomly mixed.
Let me ask you again now, do you think had I kept going, that you would have been able to sense the rest of the colors?
Youll find that people will actually feel more positive about themselves and their abilities after this procedure, or will typically laugh and not be so sure of things anymore. Thats when you take it further. Can you take out the yes pile from your pocket? Now look at the effect of positive thinking. The cards are spread face-up on the table to reveal that the spectator somehow arranged their yes pile, from left to right, all reds and then all blacks, perfectly separated.
This ending may seem oddly similar to Out of this World, and thats because it is. Everything prior to the spectator guessing the colors aloud is the Out of this World principal. Im sure you are all familiar with too many different variations of this effect, all in which the performer does some secret maneuver under misdirection in order to switch the packets and make the colors right themselves.
With my version, youre doing something interesting with one of the packets, and the other packet in their pocketthat youve never touchedis automatically ready for a mini-out of this world! Other myths of threatened sacrifice—notably that of Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra—depict an actual sacrifice in their early versions.
Later versions have the gods snatching the intended victim away and substituting an animal. One cannot help but think of the sacrifice of Abraham and Isaac's last-minute reprieve. It is quite possible that the original version had Isaac dying under the knife. Finally, there is the wonderful golden ram itself An intriguing explanation of this element is that the Golden Fleece derives from the ancient practice of "mining" gold from streams by weighting down fresh, unshorn sheepskins in mountain streams, where they trapped fine particles of gold dust being washed down from the ore beds.
After a fleece had lain in the stream for a while, it would become saturated with gold, becoming a true "golden fleece. So what is myth? Is it a collection of relationships? Explanations of names? Recollections of ancient conflicts? Memories of old customs? Skewed records o f arcane science and technology?
As the above example shows, it is all this and more. Almost as interesting as the question of what myths are is the way in which they are remembered. The reason that the mythology collections of Edith Hamilton and Charles Bulfinch are so popular is that the Greeks and Romans left so few complete accounts o f their myths.
It's not that they disdained the myths or were incapable of recounting them. The problem is that these myths were common coin in the days of the Greeks, and everyone was familiar with them.
They would no more think of retelling such common stories than a person today would feel the need to explain w h o Lois Lane and Clark Kent are. Since everyone was so familiar with the stories, it wasn't even necessary always to identify characters by name. Poseidon might be called "the earth mover" or "the dark-haired one.
Fortunately, we are such compulsive record keepers The Nature of Myth 7 that it's likely plenty of full references to Star Trek will still exist. But imagine how hard it would be to understand these references if no copies of the videotapes or scripts survived, and all w e had to go by in reconstructing the series were occasional references in news magazines to "dilithium crystals," "transporters," and "pointy-eared Vulcans.
These unexpected tragedies preserve a snapshot of everyday ancient life. As a result, we now know how the Pompeiians furnished their rooms and painted their walls. We know how Bronze Age travelers wrapped their feet and what they ate. Some things, however, aren't preserved very well. N o one knows the latest joke the Iceman heard or understands all the obscure graffiti on the walls of Pompeii. Often myths have come down to us as a fortuitous by-product of something else. A poet or dramatist might bring in a myth as an allusion to his main story.
The incidents are similar, or some character is related to one in another myth. The story of Phryxus, as recounted above, doesn't appear in full anywhere in existing fragments of ancient literature. One would think that Apollonius of Rhodes, in his epic poem "Voyage of the Argo," would tell the story. This is one of the longer and more complete ancient accounts o f a classic myth, and the story of the Fleece's origin would seem to be of more than passing interest to Apollonius. After all, it tells the background of the object of the Argonauts' quest.
Yet the story is recounted only in bits and pieces, spread throughout the narrative. Homer, writing at least two centuries earlier, doesn't mention it at all. He does mention Ino, but in an entirely different context. Pindar's mention is brief; it tells about the soul of Phryxus in Hades calling for the fleece of the ram that saved him, Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides all wrote plays based on the story, but all these have been lost, and we don't know what they said.
The first complete tellings we have of the story of Phryxus are in the collections of myths set down by the comparatively recent Apollodorus first century B. The second-century Greek travel writer, Pausanias, includes the story, with about as much detail as Apollodorus and Hyginus, in his account of Attica.
Pausanias is always interesting to read. His book is a travel guide to the religious and historical sights of Greece. For instance, he points out the very rock where Ino was supposed to have thrown herself into the sea.
But he always spoils the miraculous nature of the story with a strict rationalism. Pausanias doesn't believe in miracles, and he always looks for some naturalistic explanation behind the story. In his account, for instance, Phryxus is not saved by a mystical ram, but by a dolphin. We also have the story as represented in art. Phryxus borne by the ram appeared in sculpture before the fifth century B. All show Phryxus clinging rather precariously to a swimming ram.
Perhaps, in all these cases, she has already dropped off. More likely, her adoption into the myth came after the creation of the red-figured vases.
What is particularly interesting is that the most outrageous elements of the story as it was later told—that the ram had a golden fleece, and that it bore Phryxus away through the air—are missing from the very earliest accounts and pictures. Myths are not static, but change through time. This is not really surprising—seven hundred years separate the odes of Pindar and the red-figure vases from the guidebooks of the rationalist Pausanias, and one would expect the story to change in that time.
The core of the narrative remains the same, but elements accrete, like barnacles growing on a ship, until the entire story has undergone a sea change, covered with new and strange details. If one accepts the hypotheses above regarding the early history of the story, then the myth of Phryxus started out as the story of the ritual sacrifice of the king who is the incarnation of Zeus ; it became the story of an aborted sacrifice when popular feeling rejected human sacrifice. The myth centered on the victim s escape on the back of a ram, which became a swimming ram, then a flying ram, and finally a golden ram.
Not only is the myth w e know today the sum o f extremely diverse parts, but it has also changed through time. If one wants to sit down and try to analyze the myth, one first has to decide at what point in its history to freeze the myth for study.
There is another problem in trying to analyze myths: H o w does one distinguish between a folk story, which is the common property of a people, and the work of an individual writer? The problem is important, because frequently w e have only one writer to go by Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are two of the oldest written forms of Greek myth, but Homer is widely believed to have altered myths to suit his purposes. Certainly Ovid did. But Hercules later temporarily took the sky from Atlas's shoulders, and Hercules was Perseus's descendent.
In his Amores, Ovid talks of "giving Perseus the flying horse," yet Pegasus was the steed of Bellerophon, not Perseus. It was Ovid w h o first confused the sisters Procne and Philomela in their sad myth. This mistake makes a mess of the point of the tale, and in his error Ovid has mislead generations of poets.
Much of Virgil's Aeneid is the product of the poet's own mind. H o w much of it should be regarded as myth? This sort of thing becomes important when one tries to trace the history of an image.
When Euripides, in his play Ion, has Athena rather than Perseus slaying the Gorgon, is he recounting a traditional version of the tale, or is he innovating for effect? Did Aeschylus appropriate the image of the Gorgon to give concrete form to the previously unpictured Furies as Thalia Phyllies Howe suggested , or is he using an image already well established?
One certain thing is that the medium used to tell the story certainly influences the story being told. The medium is not the message, Marshall McLuhan notwithstanding, but the medium strongly affects how the message The Nature of Myth 9 is conveyed. Some myths are known only from vase paintings. N o written record o f them survives, so they are, therefore, simply photogenic images.
N o one can convey the intricate webs of familial relationships through vase paintings, but these survive in the written records. A later example of a myth that grew by accretion is the story of King Arthur of Britain.
Although it has been argued that Arthur never existed in any form, the prevailing opinion seems to be that he was a real person, a dux bellorum w h o lead the Romano-Celtic forces at the battle of Mount Badon in or about the early sixth century In the past fifteen years there have been at least five works that have attempted to identify the elusive Leader of Batdes by his given name.
Although there are allusions to Arthur in Welsh tradition, the first coherent narrative about him dates from seven centuries after his alleged time. Geoffrey of Monmouth was a twelfth-century priest about w h o m w e know very little.
His History of the Kings of Britain C. The story of King Arthur is only one part o f this history, although it occupies the largest single section. Some of the sources Geoffrey used have been identified, but not the ones for the story of Arthur. In his preface, Geoffrey claims that these came from "an ancient book written in the British language. Geoffrey at least gives these characters a history, although we may wonder how much of it accurately reflects Welsh stories.
Merlin appears for the first time in Geoffrey's work, and ever afterward he is inseparable from the story of Arthur. Merlin helps him to seduce Ygerna, using his "drugs" to make Uther appear to be Gorlois.
The result of Uther and Ygerna's union is Arthur. Unlike later legends, however, Geoffrey does not have Arthur disappear with Merlin for a number of years, nor is he finally recognized as king by pulling a sword from a stone or anvil.
Instead, Arthur is accepted as Uther's son and crowned king at the age of fifteen, after Uther has died. But the tale nonetheless had remarkable resonance, and within thirty-five years of the appearance o f Geoffrey's book, an anonymous commentator could ask, "What place is there within the bounds of the empire of Christendom to which the winged praise of Arthur the Briton has not extended?
Wace may have gleaned from sources other than Geoffrey, since he adds to the story His most important addition is the first mention of the Round Table. Within thirty-five more years the tale was reworked into English by Layamon, an English priest w h o composed the Brut, clearly basing it on Wace s work.
But Layamon builds on Wace, most tellingly by adding fantastic elements—Arthur is raised by elves not by Merlin and is borne away to "Avallon" after his last battle, to be healed of his wounds and return again.
In this embroidering of the story, Layamon is like those late contributors to the myth of Phryxus w h o gradually turned a swimming ram into a flying golden one. A sixth, Conte du Graal, was partly authored by him. He is the first to bring Lancelot and Perceval into the story and to set Arthur's court at Camelot, Although there is an earlier tradition of a sacred cauldron, Conte du Graal is the first work about a cup with Christian associations and the first recorded use of the term "grail.
The crowning touch was Thomas Mallory's Le Morte d'Arthur published at the end o f the fifteenth century , which solidified the basic story as it is told today. As an example of how the medium can transform a story, consider a modern example—Superman.
Although Superman is a moderh commercial figure, created less than one human lifetime ago he first appeared in , his evolving story tells a lot about how tales can change in response to different environments.
The roots of Superman the comic book character lie in pulp magazines and science fiction. In Philip G. Wylie published the novel The Gladiator about Hugo Danner, a biologist's son w h o is given extraordinary powers—he has incredible strength, can leap great distances, and his skin is tough enough to resist injury After his parents die, Danner becomes a war hero.
The book served as the basis for a largely forgotten movie of the same name. In , Doc Savage magazine appeared. This magazine ran for sixteen years, each issue carrying a new adventure of the title character and his band of experts.
During the s these were reprinted in paperback, and in a very campy George Pal motion picture based on the series was released.
Most of the stories were the work of Lester Dent, w h o published them under the house name of Kenneth Robeson. In these stories, Clark "Doc" Savage, the son of a famous father, has been raised to be a paragon of intellectual and physical virtue. Because of his tanned, perfect body, he is known as "the Man of Bronze.
Together with his five sidekicks, he fights evil and rights wrongs. They began working out the character in , when both were seventeen years old, Siegel was the writer and Schuster the artist. That they drew their inspiration from the pulp magazines was undeniable. Siegel had even reviewed The Gladiator for the fan magazine he edited.
It was reportedly one of his favorite stories. The idea of making his hero the son of extraterrestrials and attributing his powers to his being born on a planet more massive than Earth might have been inspired by the Aarn Munro stories of John W. Campbell, which began appearing in Siegel and Schuster peddled their creation continually, tinkering with him through the years. At first he wore street clothes, but later they put him in the familiar brightly colored tights and red cape.
Note, also, that Doc's first name, Clark, was the same as that given to Superman by his adoptive parents, the Kents. Finally, the Superman story was accepted by editor M. Gaines, and the first thirteen-page story appeared in the first issue of Action Comics, with a surprising picture of the garishly costumed Superman on the cover, holding an automobile above his head.
At the time, although pulp magazines and movie serials had introduced mass audiences to fantastic characters and gimmicks, there still had been nothing quite like this. The comic book superhero is as stylized and stilted a convention as any other in popular art, but long familiarity has blunted the weirdness of it for most of us. The son of a scientist, a being from a heavier world, boasting enhanced capabilities, Superman was Aarn Munro, Clark Savage, and Hugo Danner rolled into one.
His creators rounded out his personal history with a Moses-like rescue from certain death, and the result was amazingly successful. Steranko claims that success didn't really strike until the fourth issue of Action Comics, after publisher Harry Donenfeld commissioned a survey to find out why sales were up and found that the Superman features were responsible. Each issue of Action Comics carried many features, after all. Donenfeld ordered the new character "plastered on every Action cover. They sold out.
He gave Superman his own book, reprinting one early story. It, too, sold out. If readers saw it on the cover, they knew it was in the magazine. And so superheroes have colorful costumes not for some odd psychological reason, but because they sold magazines. The early Superman strips were sparse, with few of the conventions we have come to associate with them today. Lois provided the impetus for many adventures, since Superman was perpetually having to rescue her.
Arguably, the first big change—from street clothes to a colorful costume—came about because Superman was a pulp print character w h o had moved to a graphic picture medium.
It was only by accident that the advantage o f his costume became known. The next change, however, was deliberate and resulted from another change in medium. Schuster's graphics couldn't be seen over the radio, of course, and Superman's powers had to be suggested by audio effects.
The problem came when the writers tried to advance the story. Radio is a dramatic medium, and it works far better when the story unfolds through dialogue rather than through descriptions given by an omniscient narrator.
During those times when Lois Lane was in trouble, Clark Kent needed someone to talk to. He couldn't talk to himself without appearing even more schizophrenic than he already was.
So Bob Maxwell, the show's producer, created a new character—"cub" reporter Jimmy Olsen—to give Clark Kent and Superman someone to hold a conversation with. Another big change came with another change of medium.
The Fleischer cartoon studio, previously known for creating Popeye and Betty Boop, began 1. Used with pfrmisiion. The Nature of Myth 13 working on animated Superman cartoons in early T h e studio released its first, entitled simply Superman, on September 26, T h e cartoons' simplified renderings of Clark, Lois, Perry, and the Planet Jimmy never appeared in any of the seventeen cartoons were effective, and Superman's bright costume was often set off by scenes of the dark city surrounding him.
But one big change was needed. As the introduction to the cartoons noted and as later repeated in the live-action television series , Superman was "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings at a single bound " The figure on the screen performed all of these acts as the voice-over announced them.
The leaping over a building seems a peculiar act, and it is not until you watch this that you realize doing so only makes sense for a character w h o cannot fly. Superman began altering his power from superhuman leaps to true flight in the comics at just the same time he was being adapted to the movie screen.
Nevertheless, it wasn't until two years later that the comics explicitly noted his ability to fly. Additional changes made to the character over the years were often due to the story's adaptation for these other media. For instance, in the Fleischer cartoons, Superman on a couple o f occasions changed into his costume in an art deco phone booth with translucent walls.
He did this only rarely in the cartoons and never in the comics, on the radio, or in the television show or movies. But the image o f Superman "changing in a phone booth" has become established indelibly in the public consciousness. All the changes listed above are significant in that they show how the myth changed in response to the limitations or capabilities of a new medium.
If examples culled from Superman seem too far-fetched, then consider the story of St. Wilgefortis, daughter o f the king of Portugal. She was betrothed against her will to the king of Sicily but refused to marry him because she had taken a vow of virginity. She prayed for a solution, and Heaven answered her petition in an unusual w a y — s h e grew a beard. The Sicilian king broke off the engagement, and her father had Wilgefortis crucified.
This story, it is n o w felt, was inspired by a misunderstanding of an artistic convention. In some cases the crucified Christ was depicted wearing a long gown, rather than the customary loincloth.
This gown looked like a woman's dress, and the story of Wilgefortis arose to explain w h y a bearded woman was being crucified. The same story is told of other saints, including St. Liberata, St. Livrade, and St. Robert Graves was particularly vulnerable to the temptation, and his book The Greek Myths bristles with dubious derivations of myths from images and artworks.
Unfortu nately, most of Graves's supposed original images have never been found. Graves has no problem positing their existence, but those of a skeptical bent lack confidence in his explanations. The point of these examples is that myths can change through time by the addition of elements prompted by any number of causes. They can reflect bits of natural science or engineering cleverness as with the explanation of the Golden Fleece , or they can be explanations for place names as with Helle and the Hellespont , or they can relate bits of genealogy, or they can be marvelous devices and ideas imported from other sources the flying golden ram, or perhaps the Round Table itself.
Rationalizations can make their way into tales as with the pagan Celtic Graal, which became the Christian Grail, the cup that many said was used at the Last Supper.
Story elements may be added to suit the medium used, as with Superman or Wilgefortis, and may then be retained when the story is transferred to another medium.
Myth as survival of a ritual, or myth as misre membered history, or even myth as psychodrama are convenient categories, but an extended myth will have acquired baggage from many other sources over the course of a long life. Some hold that "myth" refers to stories that tell great, deep, universal truths and are linked to specific places, whereas "folktales" are wonder-stories that are not tied to any distinct place or time.
This distinction is foggy, however. Both Edwin Hartland and Stith Thomson classified the story of Perseus and the Gorgon as a folktale, yet as we shall see the story as we have it abounds with real people and places.
Pausanias identifies some of the sites, as do other authors up through the Middle Ages.
But their assertions prove nothing—it is easy for a story to lose its concrete localizations over time or to become associated with a strong hero from another story. At any point in its life history, a myth can go in a number of directions, acquiring new associations or losing old ones. The storytellers responsible for perpetuating early myths, whether they worked in song, script, clay, or stone, had only their own knowledge to go by.
They knew the stories as they had heard them from others, and they possessed a deep knowledge of their everyday world. Before modern times, most people were illiterate, and there were few books or libraries. We have the advantage of them in being able to survey the growth of a myth through time. Sometimes we can see the ancient storyteller struggling to understand something within the context he knows—as when a Greek vase painter drew the Keraunos, the double-trident lightning bolt, with a central red fiery spire.
The form derived from a Persian symbol in which all three elements of the bolt evidently represent equivalent forks of a lightning strike. But the Greek artist interpreted it with a burning center, perhaps because the lightning bolt glowed and could produce fire when it struck. And so a new addition was made to the mythic image of lightning. The Nature of Myth 15 In the following chapters of the first part of this book I will retell the myth of Perseus and Medusa, show how it has been depicted in art, and give some of the proposed explanations for its bizarre imagery.
In the second part, w e will examine the origins o f some of the images associated with the myth and suggest how they came to be attached to the story. Hermes and Athena act like the fairy godmother in Cinderella. The magical wallet and cap belong to the properties fairy tales abound in everywhere. It is the only myth in which magic plays a decisive part, and it seems to have been a great favorite in Greece.
Many poets allude to it. Many of the historically and archaeologically important sites of early Greece lie on that almost-severed hand. Sparta is there, and Corinth, along with Olympia and Mycenae. At the point where the thumb and forefinger meet is the ancient site of Argos. The city was believed by the ancient Greeks to be the oldest on the peninsula.
Today it sits somewhat inland, but in its prime, before the harbor silted up, it overlooked the Bay of Argos. It dominated the fertile red Argolid plain from its solid hilltop position and was, naturally enough, the capital of that region. At one time its population rivaled that of Athens. About fifteen miles distant is the ancient city of Tiryns, also set atop a bluff.
It is today believed to be much older than Argos, dating back to the thirteenth century B. The city is a fortress, built out of such massive stones that they were said to have been set by the Cyclops, the Wheel-Eyed Giants.
These are the places where the family of Perseus came from—ancient productive strongholds in the most fertile section of ancient Greece, located near the Isthmus of Corinth, across which land travelers from the Peloponnese to mainland Greece had to pass, and near the Bay of Argos, with its access to the sea. Clearly this was highly desirable real estate, and it is around such regions that friction develops. Even in the earliest sources, Perseus is said to be the child of the royal house of Argos, and his history is intimately bound up in the struggle over Argos and Tiryns.
Although there are references to the story of Perseus spread throughout ancient literature and summaries of the main points to be found in various places, there are only three existing texts that tell the story at any length. Sweeties: A fun, informal, logical equivoque routine detailing a slightly different approach to Equivoque Routine 2. Equivoque Routine 2: An impromptu equivoque routine in which the performer gets to ask unambiguous questions such as, Which of these objects do you NOT want?
A Card Behind: A short spectator-as-mind-reader routine using playing cards. Reds And Blacks: The performer successfully divines the colours of a seemingly endless stream of cards in a borrowed, spectator shuffled deck. The Paper Plane Chair Game - Mach II: A completely open prediction revealing which of four different coloured chairs three audience members will sit in and which one will be left empty.
No pre-show is used. The Paper Plane Chair Game: A completely open prediction revealing which of four different coloured chairs an audience member will sit in. An Astrological Aside: A stage revelation of an audience members star sign.