Shiels, Tony "Doc": The Cantrip Codex
"A Guide for the Advanced Enigmatist"
©1989, Published by Tony Andruzzi
 Hardcover, 116 pages
The Cantrip Codex
Image from e-Bay seller Jadoo272



Comments (Stewart Tame): Tony "Doc" Shiels is one of the better-known practitioners of bizarre magic. Magician, surrealist, mountebank, hoaxer ... he's definitely a character. If your only experience with magic books is with the kind that tell you how to improve your French Drop or build a better Zig-Zag cabinet you'll likely find this a strange book indeed. There are some routines and tricks given within, but a large part of it is given over to Doc simply discussing subjects that can be used to flavor routines. This book is more about atmosphere than effects.

Contents:

7 Introduction
11 Chapter One - Shamanifesto:  "Bizarrism should authentically scare people." Shiels explains his performing philosophy.
22 The Twilight Zonula: Jack The Ripper themed seance effect in which a swatch of petticoat, a fragment of bone, and a hank of white hair are wrapped in cloth and placed in the center of the table, after a brief seance, the cloth is unwrapped to show that the hair is black, a bit of meat clings to the bone, and the petticoat fragment is stained with blood.
30 Chapter Two - Paranormalcy: Ideas for using the paranormal to flavor one's presentation.
39 Bioelectricks: General heading for the two effects that follow.
40 Flashback: Magician borrows four small objects: comb, lighter, watch, penlight, places on table, after a moment, some of them move very slightly, magician offers to levitate penlight, takes it several feet from table, with a flash of light and sparks it vanishes from his hand, person who donated light gives startled yell as penlight (lit) appears in their hands.
43 Jumping Jack Flash: Immediate segue from the previous routine in which the penlight leaps from the spectators hands in a flash of blue flame.
46 Chapter Three - Every Witch Way: A background in modern witchcraft.
53 Cait Sidhe: Interview with modern Wiccan, one of Shiels' daughters.
59 Alison Horne: Interview with another modern pagan, also credited as the creator of the following two effects.
64 Grimalkin: Performer discusses witches' familiars and introduces small ceramic statue of white cat, draws magical diagram on paper with circle in center, spectator given paper and pen and asked to write a name for the cat, paper torn up and burned by performer, cat held to ear to whisper name, performer writes name on piece of paper and hands it to spectator, who confirms it's correct, paper burned, cat given to spectator to hold in closed hand, asked to name card, deck brought out to show that card reversed in deck and has contrasting back color, spectator opens hand to see that cat is now black.
68 Sabbatical: Instant camera borrowed from spectator, pictures taken of three spectators holding mysterious "Sabbat stone", pictures turn out very different from reality.
73 Chapter Four - Persona: Developing and maintaining a bizarre stage persona.
88 Chapter Five - Oneiromancy: Surrealism and dreams combined with bizarre magick.
96 Nnidnidream: Spectator writes down object to be subject of dream, chooses tarot card, magician doodles on paper while rambling aloud, ramblings close in on imagery of selected tarot card, magician slams down hand on table and names object chosen, lifts hand to reveal something connected with tarot card (in the example in the book, Shiels uses a crawfish, which is depicted on The Moon card that was chosen.)
101 Chapter Six - Terra Incognita: UFOs, lake monsters, etc.
108 Proximo: Seance effect, room with potted plant, bowl of fruit and cassette player on table, magician and spectators join hands and urged not to let go, lights out, cassette plays story of alchemist summoning creature from another world, ends horribly, lights up, "The plant was missing...ripped from its pot; and the fruitbowl now contained shriveled rotting oranges, apples and bananas. The table was besmeared with dollops of green slime, in which some curious seed-pods were seen to be floating."


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