Dark Artifice



Dark Artifice





History: In 1939, Jack Mills of the Mills Brothers Circus traveled Europe in search of various freaks, exotic animals and, most importantly: a fortune teller who could pass his rigorously skeptical tests. After hundreds of frauds, he came across an old woman in Bucharest. She was a once-famous psychic throughout Romania, but had been retired for many years. He spent months convincing her to leave her home and finally, in September of that same year, she had a sudden change of heart and traveled back to America without any explanation. Just a few days after arriving, a world war broke out in Europe (one which would eventually lead to several bombings in her hometown of Bucharest).

For the next few decades, Mirela traveled America with Jack and the rest of the Mills Brothers Circus. From the comfort of her train car, she helped produce a series of souvenir postcards and trinkets; innocent things which held some otherworldly powers.

Effect: After being introduced to Mme. Mirela and her story, her souvenir postcard is presented. A candle is lit, or perhaps several, in an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of her tent. Tarot cards are cut and mixed by a querent who then proceeds to randomly deal cards and settle on two for a reading.

Before the two cards are revealed and the reading given, attention is drawn to the other side of the postcard: Mme. Mirela has assigned two “cards of fate” to each and every astrological sign.

You ask the querent, for the first time, what her astrological sign is.

“Sagittarius,” she replies. She’s never told you this before. She’s never written it down. There’s been no pre-show work whatsoever but, somehow, inexplicably, you know the old fortune teller is right again. The unique “cards of fate” for a Sagittarius, according to Mirela, are The Emperor and The Moon.

When the querent turns over the two cards she dealt herself, she is overwhelmed to see The Emperor and The Moon looking back at her – a prediction made long before she was ever born.

This is just one use for this weird and wonderful tool from the past. It does not require any sleight of hand, memory work, or anything else of the sort. You do not need to acquire the querent’s astrological sign prior to performing; it is entirely self-working.

It can also be used as a tool for divining anyone’s astrological sign without bringing much attention to the card itself. Once you acquire their sign, you can reveal it however you wish and at any point in time. This technique will not require any memorization at all, not even the astrological signs and their values. Just have the card on your reading table and, at any time, acquire someone’s sign without having to go into the backstory or perform the aforementioned routine.

About: Hand-drawn illustrations were converted into metal plates, printed with real ink on an antique lithograph machine, and pressed onto handmade, ultra-thick boards. The old press left the stamping slightly debossed, adding further to the unparalleled credibility of this unique prop. You really have to hold it in your hands to appreciate it.