Thursday, January 04, 2007


Back to the magic: here’s how to levitate someone into the air. Well, perhaps not exactly magic, but enough to bring amazement to anyone who hasn’t seen it before.

You get the person who is to be levitated to lie on a fairly narrow table. One person at their head, two people at each side, one at their feet: perhaps two more at the sides if they’re particularly tall or heavy.

It’s very important to concentrate and to take it very seriously or it won’t work: it helps if the room is slightly darkened.

The person at the head starts with the phrase, “She looks pale” and then everyone repeats it, in order, round the table.

Then the same with “She is pale”.

Then, all round the table with each of the following: “She looks ill”, “She is ill,” “She looks dead”, “She is dead”.

After this there are two alternatives: either the person at the head says “And she shall rise on a body of air”, or you just count round the table – One, two three, four, five six - -

Then, instantly, everyone puts just two fingers, the index finger and the middle finger, of each hand under the person lying down and just lifts them into the air.

When it works well the person seems almost weightless and rises to shoulder height.

I have done this many times with many different groups of people and it always works if everyone concentrates: we did it with several different-sized people at our friend Rebecca’s delightful birthday party on New Year’s Day. There, if we needed one (which I must say that particular group of people didn’t, as they already knew) was our metaphor for 2007. Many hands make light work. Let’s all pull together. Etc.

Why does it work? Because the concentration induced by the chanting round the circle means that you all lift at the same moment, thus spreading the weight out evenly. And you can lift considerable weights this way: David once used this method to get group of elderly people to lift a grand piano that had fallen over.


Blogger enile said...

When I was at primary school in north Derbyshire in the 1960's we would regularly perform this 'levitation' trick. I'm still not convinced of the mechanism - the bodies felt very light on our fingers. On one occasion the subject was standing as we started chanting and fell into a dead faint from which we couldn't rouse her: a bit embarrassing - we had to call a teacher and noone felt able to explain how it had happened. It was magic, a secret to be kept from adults - like the trick where you tie an imaginary rope round someone's spine then yank it unannounced from behind to see them jerk.

3:51 pm  
Anonymous Magic Tricks said...

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2:36 pm  

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