Updated: May 27
The magician's code is a sacred oath passed down through the ages, but is technology changing the rules?
In these modern times, are magicians still bound by their oaths?
YouTube is full of videos where magicians reveal their secrets. And it's not just kids who film themselves doing card tricks; plenty of professional magicians on YouTube show off their secrets.
Here's what's covered:
Today's magicians are confronted with new challenges than past magicians.
With the advent of the Internet and mobile phones, a magic trick might be exposed in the blink of an eye, or worse, the secret could be uploaded to YouTube before you even leave the stage!
This is a far cry from the magic of yesteryear.
Magicians have long worked under a strict code of secrecy; it's an art of secrets.
What are the secrets, and who knows them?
Let's take a look!
The Magician's Oath is not an oath but a code of ethics.
Magicians must keep their secrets safe because if everybody knows how a trick or illusion is performed, there's no longer magic. So, magicians typically never reveal their secrets to anyone outside their profession.
If you ask a magician how they did something, they'd probably tell you they can't discuss it—but not because they're rude.
Magicians don't talk about their trade with outsiders because it would ruin the art form for everyone else.
For many people, part of the fun is not knowing the secret.
What is the Magician's Oath?
The Magician's Oath is a time-honored code of ethics that has guided the magical community for centuries.
Rooted in secrecy and camaraderie, this unwritten pledge is taken by illusionists to uphold the integrity of their craft and protect the mysteries that lie at the heart of magic.
At its core, the Magician's Oath is a commitment to never reveal the secrets of a trick or illusion to non-magicians. This vow ensures that the enchantment and wonder of magic remain intact for audiences, preserving the art form's captivating charm.
Additionally, the Oath emphasizes respecting fellow magicians and their intellectual property.
Magicians are expected to refrain from copying or performing another artist's original work without permission, fostering a culture of creativity and innovation within the magical community.
Though the Magician's Oath may vary in wording and interpretation across different traditions, its underlying principles of secrecy, respect, and professionalism remain steadfast, ensuring the continued evolution and enchantment of the magical arts.
Revealing Magic Secrets on Television
Breaking the Magicians Code: The Masked Magician had four TV specials in the late nineties that exposed some of the world's greatest magic tricks.
It was the first time in history that magic secrets were broadcast worldwide.
The show was hosted by a man in a black suit who wore a black rubber mask to conceal his identity. He would explain how five different magic tricks were performed and perform them himself. He called himself "The Masked Magician."
The series had many magicians upset that their tricks were revealed to the public.
Learn more about Breaking the Magician's Code: The Masked Magician.
Is Revealing Magic Tricks Breaking The Magician's Code
When someone does a magic trick for you, they tell a little story. A story where something extraordinary happens, and you feel a sense of astonishment or wonder.
The feeling that something impossible had just happened.
If someone reveals how it was done, they break that story.
When somebody reveals how a trick is done at the moment, it takes away from your ability to enjoy the performance. But I don't think it deters your ability to enjoy future performances.
Is Technology Changing The Magician's Oath?
Is technology changing the magician's oath?
It's hard to predict what will happen, but it's not new that technology is changing how magicians. As long as there has been magic, magicians have revealed secrets to the public. Part of being a magician has always been deciding which secrets to keep, which to reveal, and when to reveal them.
Despite advancing technology, Magic has evolved over thousands of years and won't stop anytime soon.
They say the Internet is the home of misinformation.
But it turns out that you can learn a lot about magic online—especially if you're interested in the tricks behind the illusions that have mystified us for decades.
Learning magic tricks is fun, but there's also an incredible benefit to mastering one of them—here's a great trick you'll perform for the rest of your life.