The Book of Swords

“People must not be given swords before they’ve learnt how to enjoy life and its movement.” – Confucius

Greetings All,

Awaken to this fact: One of the most dangerous, yet useful items you touch every day is a blade. The same blade can be used for cutting a birthday cake or slitting a throat! (Ok, I’ve been watching too much Game of Thrones, but I’ve made my point!)

On a very practical level, we use blades every day to cut, open, and slice away what is not needed. We use blades to shave, open mail, cut foods, and some even swallow them, or throw them around living targets!

They slice, dice, stab, slash, pierce, poke, carve and cleave, rip and rend, and can even make fancy Julienne potatoes.

Doctors use blades to save lives… psychopaths use them to kill innocent people. We walk the razor’s edge between good and evil. Great skill and judgement are needed to wield this tool that holds such great power to create or destroy.

On an esoteric level, Swords are symbols of discernment, judgement, power, and precision. The Sword is one of the four tools of The Archetypal Magicians, and a symbol for the Element of Air.

“Swords” is one of the four suits of the Tarot. Hammered from steel, in the red-hot fire of the blacksmith’s forge, blades are the weapons of Kings and their Knights.

Magicians use Swords in stage illusions. They use knives for close -up magic, and pins, needles and razor blades are swallowed and regurgitated, and then threaded on string. Magicians tantalize and torture all kinds of materials with blades. No rope, silk, or even piece of paper is safe when near a trickster with shears or blade.

Click image above to see video.

So, it is time to share your love, and share your magic with a sword held high! This year at the Magic and Meaning Conference we are having some serious fun:

We are looking for the VERY best magic effects with Swords. One of you will be crowned in an official ceremony as the
KING or QUEEN of Swords!

The most promising ideas will be selected and put into a special Conference PDF:

The Book of Swords

Please send your submission to us: 500 words or less.
Bring plenty of your ideas to The Magic & Meaning Conference to share, but select the BEST routines or ideas to submit for The Book of Swords, which will be a compilation of ideas, magic effects, and routines that utilize the symbol of Swords, blades, knives or anything “cutting edge.”

Also, please note: this will be the second year in a four-year cycle that explores the Tools of the Magician: The Sword, the Wand, the Cup, and the Shield. Last year was the “Year of the Cup.” This year we will explore the history, mystery, magic, and symbolism of “The Sword.”

  1.  Each entry is 500 words maximum. You can send in as many effects as you like, as long as your total is 500 words.  These can be original effects, or a variation or twist on a classic.
  2. At this year’s Magic and Meaning Conference, we will have a hands-on workshop exploring magic with swords (or blades, or pens, or feathers)! We will experiment and learn many ways to use these objects in our performances and beyond!
  3. You must attend the Conference to be “crowned” King or Queen, but even if you’re not attending, please submit your effect for inclusion in The Book of Swords, because if it is accepted you, too, will receive a copy of this special Conference PDF.
  4.  Please send your entries as a Word document to Katherine, our Executive Assistant at

“And with my sword I salute you, until that time we should return.”

See you at the Magic and Meaning Conference—our School’s Homecoming Celebration!

If you have not already registered for this year’s Magic and Meaning Conference, this is an excellent time to do so, by going to:

It is also a perfect time to reserve your discounted hotel room at the Sunset Station Hotel & Casino. The rates for the rooms this year are quite reasonable: $65.00 per night for Wednesday (10/30) and Thursday (10/31), and $95.00 per night for Friday (11/1) and Saturday (11/2). (Please note: those rates are subject to the Clark County room tax, currently at 14%.)

To reserve your room, call the Reservations Department at 888-786-7389 and identify yourself as attending the “Conference 29” group and supply the Group Code of SCICE29.

One final note:  there is still a couple of weeks to submit a proposal to deliver a presentation and/or a performance at the Conference. The details about how to make a proposal can be found at:  Please note: the deadline for all proposals is July 15, 2019.

Yours in “cutting-edge magic events.”

Jeff McBride


7pm – Mo-Jo Music by Richard and Thayer
     Tarot by Eliza

8pm – Comedy and Variety show
     Tim Wise is your Master of Ceremonies
     Tetro and Stacy – Hocus Hoop-us!
     Rick Maisel – Modern Master of Escape
     Jeff Lockett – Makes a Magical Point!
     Jarol Martin – Magic direct from Cuba!
     Jeff McBride – Presents a world premiere- “The Dancing Egg”- (you’ve never seen this!)

9pm – Close-up Show and Strolling Magic
     Will Bradshaw – Your Master of Ceremonies
     Clyde McBride – The Three Magic Wishes
     Jeff Lockett – Close-Up & In Yo- face!
     Jarol Martin – Legerdemain with a Latin Flair
     –more acts to be announced!

     Kent Axell – Magic with your Mind
     Tim Wise – The Magic Castle Bar Show
     Steelfyre – Dice-ee-Deceptions
     –More to be announced!

10pm – Stage Extravaganza
     Jeff McBride – Is your Host
     Jeff McBride with The New World Rhythmatism Dancers – Magic by Candlelight
     Jarol Martin – From Masters of Illusion TV!
     Jeff Lockett – How to win BIG in Las Vegas
     Tetro & Stacy – A Ritual of Enchantment
     Rick Maisel – Death Defying Escape

Live Music by Richard and Thayer, Tarot by Eliza, Photography by Sheryl Garrett. Bar Magic-Scott Steelfyre & Maggie, Corey Rubino, New World Rhythmatism Belly Dancers, Psychic Sideshow with Morganne– and many more surprises and special celebrity guests.

So, see you at The Magic & Meaning Conference!

It is our Mystery School homecoming; please join us! Take a look and hear what the attendees are saying.
See you Online or in Vegas at one of our events!

Jeff and Abigail

Imposter Syndrome and Me

Greetings Friends! 

My name is Santiago and I have no idea why I’m here.  Well, except that I do know.  But I don’t.


Yeah, so am I. But the good news is that we’re not alone. And that seems to be the biggest lesson to learn about this phenomenon called “Imposter Syndrome.”

By now you’ve probably heard about it. It’s been a popular topic in a lot of professional newsletters over the past few years. I first encountered it in my regular day job in the tech industry. I work as a Quality Assurance Engineer, which means that people build software and I try to break it. Sounds like an easy thing, yes? Not as easy as you might imagine. Sometimes it feels like I need to know more about the software than the people who wrote it. And that feeling leads to stress, which leads to thinking “am I really good enough?”

That’s the core question of Imposter Syndrome. Am I really good enough?

Turns out this ties into every endeavor of humanity. Am I a good enough husband? Father (Uncle in my case actually)?  Am I a good enough employee?  Am I a good enough student?  Am I a good enough teacher?  Am I a good enough…. Magician?

One of the things that has taken me years to overcome is getting myself onto a theatrical stage as a magician. This, despite doing many private shows, parties, even a few weddings, and corporate events. This despite having a literal lifetime of theatrical experience as an actor!
Being on a theatrical stage as a magician is what I consider to be my ideal environment. How could it not be with all my other experiences? But Imposter Syndrome says, “There was a whole cast of people on the stage for the audience to see when it’s a play. That audience wasn’t there for you. They were there for them.”  And of course, once it’s only me, the whole show lives or dies on my shoulders. “Am I a good enough magician?”
Turns out I am.  I’ve done a couple of theatrical stage shows now. Not huge venues. Audiences mostly made up of my friends and family. But it’s all about the steps you take. I’ve gotten more experience. I’ve learned more about marketing myself. I’ve developed connections. I’ve built a magic team, and I proved to myself that I will be at my best in a theatrical environment. I’ve improved my performances by setting show dates, which means deadlines that have to be met.
No more time to worry about “good enough”. Now it’s all about doing the work.
There is no cure for Imposter Syndrome.  That’s the bad news.
The good news is that Imposter Syndrome is very treatable, and the treatment is remarkably easy! 

  1. Remember that everyone has it. You are not alone.
  2. Surround yourself with people who will be honest with you – not just about how good you are, but also about what you need to work on. People who validate you and your goals.
  3. Daily goals create momentum. Once you’ve succeeded in one goal, you’ll find that the next one becomes that much easier. 

The best way to beat Imposter Syndrome is with success. So put yourself into a situation where you experience success often enough, that every time you begin to doubt, you are never too far away from an example of your actually being good enough. The last performance you did, the one before that, the one before that – all of them stack up to your success. And if you are on the road towards the next success, then you’ll have yet another opportunity to prove that you are, indeed, not an imposter.
That’s how you do it!
You’ve got this!  I believe in you!

Can You Unlock This Top-Secret Mystery?

Greetings Friends,
This month’s Muse letter is an Invitation to Mystery… a real live magical adventure. But there is a bit of work to do on your part!
Can you find the key to this TOP SECRET MYSTERY?
Here are some hints.

  • When was the last time you had a REAL magical experience?
  • When was the last time a magic routine moved you to tears of joy?
  • When was the last time you really screamed “YES!” with all-consuming power and opened to the heavens to receive your total bliss?

If you like your magic to connect to the heart and soul… then I have a new experience for you. There is a hint in the artwork below….
(I’m only going to share what I know if you email me personally  Just ask me for a key to the mystery)


MAGICFLIX.COM is a new online magic platform making quite a buzz. Rumor has it that this project will debut at the IBM. National Convention. This could be the biggest magic training site ever. 

Many of magic’s top performers are involved with the new project, and more are joining this project every week. You can get a sneak peek at what could very well become a leading force in the world of magic and entertainment here:

Lance Burton Teen Seminar at I.B.M. Convention

You can see THE NEW STARS OF MAGIC at the I.B.M. National Convention.

July 8-14 I will be at the I.B.M. Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona, helping Dr. Larry Hass & Lance Burton with the Teen Magic Seminar. Many of today’s top performers have attended our event, including Shin Lim, Bill Cook, Krystyn Lambert and other award-winning magicians.

Jeff, Tetro and Lance Burton will teach YOU magic at this year’s Lance Burton Teen Seminar. If you are a teen and are interested in attending, all the info is here:

The best part is that the Teen Seminar is FREE to all teens who register for the I.B.M. convention.

Student of The Month: Elliott Hunter –

See Elliot Hunter live at WONDERGROUND this month only!

Elliott was twelve years old when he first learned of Jeff McBride and the Magic and Mystery School through his viewing of L&L’s The Art of Card Manipulation series. He attended his first Master Class as soon as he was old enough. Once he got to college, Elliott became one of Jeff’s privately mentored students. From that time on, Elliott has become a regular performer at the Magic Castle, and he recently won the International Magic Master Summit Stage Competition.

Parents and students take note:

Elliott has built his business to the point that it helps cover the cost of his college expenses. He is currently an engineering student at Cal Poly (one of the nation’s top engineering schools), a competitive swimmer, competing on the national level, a triathlete, a volunteer swim coach, and a professional magician!

Giving back to the World:

For the last twelve years, Elliott has been refining his art to develop versatile, full evening productions to build his magic into a career. Elliott uses his talent to help numerous non-profit organizations raise tens of thousands of dollars! To find out more about Elliott, go to

Jeff McBride wears many hats – performer, teacher, producer, musician, alchemist, and master of ceremonies. One of his most magical & electrifying hats is one you will see at WONDERGROUND!

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Doors open at 7pm

Pre-show Music with Capt. S. Rokk and Tarot by Eliza Snow

8pm Comedy magic & Variety show

Tim Wise – Host
Chris Herren – 1st Place Award for Parlor Magic – Philippines
The Magic of Lynetta & Joan – Something Tipsy
Daryl Rogers – Classic Magic with Style
Kalani Kokonuts – Queen of the Burlesque Scene!
Elliott Hunter – A Visual Vortex of Magic & Mystery
Steve Owens – International Award-winning Manipulation

9pm Close up, Strolling and Bar magic
Will Bradshaw – host
Joan DuKore –  Die-Namic Deceptions
Chris Herren – With Mysterious Stranger 
Steve Owens – Mastery in Motion 
Elliott Hunter – Sleight of Hand Sensations  
Daryl Rogers – Parlor magic classics 

Captain S. Rokk – The Pirate of Prestidigitation
Kent Axell – Mind Melting Mysteries
Joan Dukore – Die-Namic Deceptions

10pm Stage Magic Extravaganza
Jeff McBride – Host
Steve Owens – Shadow Magic
Chris Herren – With his Alter Ego Mask- “FAUST”
The Magic of Lynetta & Joan – Something Knotty!
Daryl Rogers – Silken Sorcery
Kalani Kokonuts – Living Legend of Burlesque
Elliott Hunter – The Competition Act

3 great shows, plus: Dance by The New World Rythmatism Dancers, Photography by Sheryl Garrett, Strolling Magic and Bar Magic by Scott Steelfyre, Magnus Mythos, Lights and sound by Maggie, Corey Rubino, Psychic Sideshow, Tarot Reading with Eliza Snow & many more surprises and special celebrity guests.

Late Breaking News

Magicians to Attempt Five Guinness World Records

On July 12, 2019 over 450 magicians will attempt five Guinness World Records while attending the International Brotherhood of Magician’s (I.B.M.) Magic Convention at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Jeff McBride is a master at the ancient magic effect named The Linking Rings. This year Jeff will join forces with magicians from around the world to attempt to break the current record for “Most Chinese Liking Rings Linked Together,” which is 534 rings. This record was set by 130 magicians at the Cleveland, Ohio I.B.M. convention in 2004. This and four other new records will be attempted at 3:00 pm on Friday, July 12, 2019.

The International Brotherhood of Magicians is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the art of magic with members in 88 countries. 450 magicians at the magic convention will attempt to set two records with the Chinese Linking Rings, two records with coins, and one record with playing cards.

Should the group succeed with the new record for Linking Rings, it will be McBride’s fourth successful attempt at setting a Guinness World Record.

Contact: for more information.


“The Enchantments of magic point beyond mere illusions to the great mystery of life… the eternal transformations of life, death and rebirth.”- Eugene Burger

This month, Eugene Burger would have been 80 years old. We celebrated his birthday and in doing so it reminded me of how short and sweet our lives can be. Every day is an opportunity to share your love for magic with others…. go forth and be awesome!

Blessings to all

Jeff and Abigail

Magic and Bonfires

Dear Friends:

Our guest contributor this month is Daryl Rogers. You will enjoy Daryl’s reflections on this time of year, with its fascinating array of magical celebrations. Daryl has been a part of our community at the Magic & Mystery School for a very long time, and was recently named to be one of the instructors at the school. He is a deep thinker about our art, and also a wonderful performer.

The Magical Month of June
By Daryl Rogers

June in the Midwest is that special time of year when winter’s icy grip has long been released, and the hot and humid days of summer are still a few weeks away. It is an all too brief season of equilibrium between the two extremes, that is savored every moment.
June is also the month of the summer solstice, which occurs on the twenty-first, and is the moment in time when the sun reaches its northernmost position in the sky, as seen from Earth’s northern hemisphere. It gives us our longest day of the year, and the shortest night. After this point we begin the long, slow descent into darkness and cold once again. But for now, we can glory in the warmth and comfort of the season.
The summer solstice was known to the ancients, and recognized for its profound significance with feasts and rituals. For the Greeks, the summer solstice was the beginning of the new year, and every four years, it marked the one-month countdown to the Olympic games. A festival to Kronai, the god of agriculture, was held at this time. The Romans held the celebration Vestalia, during which married women could leave offerings to Vesta, the goddess of the hearth, in exchange for blessings for their families.

The pagans of Northern and Central Europe welcomed Midsummer with bonfires, hoping to boost the sun’s energy for the growing season ahead. The ashes from the bonfires would be spread across gardens to ensure a bountiful harvest. Bonfires were also strongly associated with magic, which was thought to be strongest during the summer solstice. The bonfires were believed to help banish any evil spirits or demons, and even to lead maidens to their future husbands.

Many cultures still celebrate the summer solstice to this day. Midsummer festivities are especially popular in Northern Europe where bonfires are lit, girls wear flowers in their hair, and homes are decorated with garlands and other greenery.

In some parts of Scandinavia, maypoles are erected, and people dance around them at Midsummer. neopagans, wiccans and newagers around the world hold summer solstice celebrations, with thousands gathering at Stonehenge to commemorate this special time of the year.

This is a good time, at this half-way point in the year, to examine the resolutions and goals we set for ourselves six months ago. Do you have a copy of your list in plain sight where you can see it every day? Are you working on all, or at least some of these goals every day? Or has your attention been pulled away by other things? Perhaps the goals you set at the beginning of the year are no longer valid, or circumstances have changed, or new situations have taken precedence.

That’s okay! You can alter your resolutions and goals to fit your current situation. But don’t abandon them. As Jeff McBride is fond of saying, “A dream is a goal with a deadline!” You can’t fulfill your dreams if you have no goals.

The summer solstice is a perfect time to take stock of your situation. If you want to reap a bountiful harvest with your magic endeavors, now is the time to examine how much time you are spending to tend your garden of goals. Remember, magic is particularly strong at this time of year, so use that to your advantage. Take a deep breath, reorient yourself, and get to work on your resolutions and goals, so that six months from now you will know you have done your best.

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