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The Secret of Zodiac

Zodiac is a routine for magicians and mystery workers which explores the world of the esoteric (horoscopes, tarot, oracles) and delivers an immersive and very personal coincidence.

The Effect

The Performer and Spectator discuss the occult and esoterica together, and decide to intuitively explore a randomly chosen fortune-telling card to see what it might mean for the Spectator. The card then comes to life through Augmented Reality and speaks to the Spectator, offering them a piece of advice. The Spectator then reads their horoscope and discovers everything had been predicted in the stars.

The horoscope can be opened up on the spectator's mobile phone.

The performer only needs a deck of Oracolarium.

There's nothing to remember at all because the crib is hidden in plain sight.

This routine can also be performed just as easily over Skype or Zoom.

The Presentation

Do you ever read your horoscope?

Have you ever had a tarot reading?


[Performer and Spectator interact sharing their opinions/experiences/beliefs]

From a scientific point of view it's hard to rationalise how those systems would be able to actually predict the future or explain our personalities... but at the same time they can often be spookily accurate, and the things they get right always seems to be more than just a coincidence.

Let's try something out. I've got a pack of oracle cards here - they're used for fortune-telling. Some people believe they can see into the future.


[Performer shows a deck of Oracolarium cards, holding up a few cards, and giving a casual shuffle.]

Have you checked your horoscope today? Here's a website that has got horoscopes for all the different signs. Do you know your astrological star-sign? What is it?

[Performer loads up the webpage, or invites Spectator to do so. If the performance is taking place via Skype or zoom, the weblink can be sent via the chat.]

[Spectator says what their star-sign is. If they don't know their zodiac sign, the webpage includes the dates, so there's no memory work for you - once they tell you their birthday, you scroll down to the correct sign. For this example lets assume they have said "Capricorn"]

Don't read your horoscope just yet. First, please draw a card from the deck. These cards are already shuffled. I'll run through the cards, just stop me on whichever card you like.

[Spectator stops Performer, and the card is shown.]

The card you've chosen is "Beginning" - it shows an elegant lady christening an ocean-liner. What do you think this might connect to in your life at the moment?

[Together the Spectator and Performer explore the card intuitively. During the conversation they notice a curious detail in the card - a burnt match is seen on the ground.]

Let's venture even deeper into the card. If we look at this card through Augmented Reality, we can go deeper into its meaning.

[Using the free app, the Spectator experiences the Augmented Reality animation (even if performing via zoom/skype). The effect is heightened if the Spectator is wearing headphones because the surround soundscape is very emotive and immersive. The animation culminates with a VoiceOver which says "Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."]

Take a moment to just let that emotion and atmosphere settle around you. Perhaps there's some valuable message that you can take with you. Let's see whether your horoscope can add a different perspective for you. Read it aloud.

[When the Spectator reads their horoscope aloud, they discover that it accurately predicts the message from the card - quoting the exact same message, and even listing the important inspiration as "The Match".]

Isn't it spooky when the stars align like that?!

The Method

Almost all of the work has been done for you thanks to a crib that exists in plain sight.

Take a look at the zodiac page , and you'll notice that for each astrological sign, the entry gives:

- the birthday dates (so you don't need to memorise the dates for each sign),

- a short paragraph (which features the quote that will play during the AR)

- three "Lucky Numbers" (the first of which is the crib for the card you will force, the other two are random)

- an "Inspiration" (which is a detail that will feature in their card during your conversation)

The only other thing you need to do is force a card. I would recommend either a "Hindu Shuffle Force" or using "The Glide". I think using a second-deal or a bottom-deal achieves the same thing but probably draws more attention to the selection process, but I'll leave it up to you. Use your favourite method (card sword in a tumble dryer perhaps?)

Therefore the running-order of the routine is as follows:

1. Discuss Esoterica. Maybe mention coincidences in a very light way.

2. Load-up the Zodiac page so you're ready to read the crib as soon as you know the sign/birthday.

3. Once you know the birthdate/sign, use the crib to silently glimpse the first "Lucky Number" and glimpse the "Inspiration", but breeze past it and tell them to not read it just yet.

4. The Lucky Number you glimpsed is the card you need to force. Capricorn is card 1. Taurus is card 5.

5. Force that card (using your favourite method - gimmicked dowsing rods perhaps?)

6. Discuss the card together, and ask them how it might be relevant to them and their life at the moment. Work the "Inspiration" detail into the conversation.

7. Show the Augmented Reality animation of the card. In person the spectator can hold the card and use your phone or their phone. Over skype/zoom you can use your phone as a webcam, or they can download the app and point their phone at card you hold up on screen.

8. Ask the spectator to read their horoscope aloud, they will discover all the coincidences.

Final Thoughts

There's nothing stopping you from copy/pasting the zodiac crib onto a page on your own website. You can also add a signup to your mailing list or social media at the foot of the page if you're so inclined.


Or you could have a graphic designer do a nice layout of it and have it printed on glossy paper so it looks torn from a magazine and fold it up and pop it in your wallet.

People love esoterica and exploring the unknown. This isn't a routine which makes any claim about psychic abilities, because all you've done is shown that the cards and the horoscope generated a curious coincidence. You were a facilitator in the conversation and you experienced the coincidence alongside the spectator. In my opinion this is a very ethical routine to present, no matter your beliefs. If you have knowledge of astrology, or tarot - great, but there is no need to pretend to be an expert in these subjects if you aren't - you're just exploring them together.

If you already know the spectator's birthdate or star-sign, you needn't ask them at the start. This doesn't really make the performance any more impressive from the spectators point-of-view, but it does help you pre-set the force card into position ready for the force, which is one less teensy thing to think about.

Emotionally, during this routine a Spectator gets some time to think about their life in a new way, and they are given an opportunity to share as much or as little as they choose. They do this in the context of some stimulating artwork on a magical card. Their experience is then heightened to another level when the card comes to life - amplifying the visuals into new dimensions and surrounding them with an atmospheric soundscape. This in itself is a very powerful experience. The next step when everything seems to have been predicted in advance in their horoscope brings the whole experience full-circle.


Be mindful that they are sharing things that are very personal, and don't be tempted to step outside your areas of expertise when it comes to life advice, and don't be tempted to give melodramatic prognostications if that is not your belief system. A delicate coincidence structured around their own personal journey through life, heightened by an immersive magical experience is a very valuable thing.

I hope you enjoy learning and sharing this routine.

Kindest wishes to you, 

Neil Kelso

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