Management of Measurement Constructs

Notebook, June 30, 2008

”Palming a Card for Confidence!

I like to play the piano. I’m not very good, really, but I can be effective, because I have taught myself harmony and counterpoint and I can create neat sounds … effects.

I went to a world class piano recital recently, and the great artist (Garrick Ohlsson) played Beethoven’s very famous Sonata in E-flat (Op. 31, No 3). The major theme of the second movement involves four groups of 8 sixteenth notes; a staccato underpinning to a simple melody that is inspired and captivating.

I obtained the music for this movement and tried to play those sixteenth notes. Oh how difficult!: oh the problems of even touch; how the key action responds to repeated striking, etc. Technical details. –And the answer to the challenge is simply practice, understanding, and faith that my ability with these figures would grow.

I like to study sleight of hand magic. I’m not very good, really, but I can be effective, because I appreciate the contrived miracles, the impression, the effect that can be created with a deck of cards, smart plot patter, and rigorously practiced hand maneuvers.

When someone asks me to play the piano, I get all anxious! Will I do it well; will my hands follow my mind; will it be interesting, or will I fade into the background and become department store or elevator music!?

“Do some tricks for us!” --I get all anxious! Will I do it well; will my hands follow my well rehearsed mind; will I keep everyone’s interest, or will I fall apart into something transparent and hokey!?

All this is very, very natural, of course. And the insecurity/fear inspires practice and learning; learning creates confidence. –We have to work at whatever we do to do it the best we can.

Attacking a problem Palming a card in magic is a well-known sleight, and it can be very difficult to master. We have to worry about when to palm the card (without looking at your hands, just as you speak someone’s name for misdirection, etc.) and how to manage within ourselves the subterfuge going on.

The hardest thing of all is to deal with the fear that the audience will spot the card that is being hidden; that we will come off as clumsy; that the trick will collapse with detection. When you have palmed a card, that’s the only thing you can think of!! And somehow this threatens to emanate to the audience.

Here’s how to build confidence with this maneuver Study how to pivot or press the card off the deck (usually from the top) into the palm; memorize the subtle pressure touch-points, between card and palm. Check in the mirror to get it right, the finger spread, the natural rest of the hand. Memorize the feel. Cut out extraneous movements in making it happen. –Practice talking (even just reciting the alphabet) while you do the maneuver without looking at your hands.

THEN, when no cards are in sight, palm a card and go about your routine, socializing, serving dinner, chatting over a glass of wine, using the hand with the card in it … whatever. The point is that for a prolonged period of time you and the card are becoming One, and you are not being detected. --To cap it off, at the end of five minutes or so, flash the card dramatically! People will say, “Hey! I didn’t know you had a card there!!!” And your mind will have become accustomed to it being there. Think of the poise you will have gained!

This builds confidence powerfully, I assure you. What you are doing is proving yourself to yourself.

The astrology here translates into how is your technique with captivating sixteenth notes? How carefully have you learned the technique needed at the piano or palming the card so that you can present yourself to others with a high enough measure of confidence to be rewarding to them?

Do you know the patterns of life development that are keyed by planetary configurations? Are you able to talk smoothly and knowingly about those patterns? --Do you fidget and look at your “hands” when you try to speak an insight? Can you look at the client when you expose the card?

Can you walk around with the strong conviction within that you’re one fine astrologer? That you’re the best astrologer you can be?

--If you can’t; we’ve got work to do.

Next Update: July 31, 2008


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