Is learning magic card tricks disobeying the Ten Commandments and is it going against church teaching?

I was thinking of this for quite a long time.IMO,I think its okay,as long as you dont go into Black magic and sorcery.I think just learning magic card tricks for fun is okay.

What do you think?:shrug:


Dictionary definitions of “magic”:

  1. the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc.; legerdemain; conjuring: to pull a rabbit out of a hat by magic.

  2. the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature.

Definition of “magick”:

An action or effort undertaken because of a personal need to effect change, especially as associated with Wicca or Wiccan beliefs.

Saint John Bosco used magic tricks to entertain the boys he was leading to Christ. I would call this “sleight of hand” (“magic” definition #1), and there is no moral problem with this (unless done to cheat or harm someone).

Contrast this with magic which is involved with the occult (“magic” definition #2, or “magick”), drawing on spiritual powers that are not of God. This is sinful.


no because it is not magic, it is sleight of hand, and everyone knows the practioner is simply displaying dexterity, not supernatural powers.


I agree with the previous posters. The “magic” that is generally performed by “magicians” for entertainment is not supernatural in origin. It’s only a trick. It’s not the type of magic that Scripture and the Church warn us against.

FYI, the quote in your signature is from St. Anselm. It’s not anonymous. :slight_smile:


Nothing wrong with prestidigitation, as long as you don’t use it to make yourself look like something you’re not (like Simon Magus did in the book of Acts).



Thank you Joe for the info about my signature.Actually I saw it when someone commented a picture of the Passion of Christ.:slight_smile:


[quote="BintuluChuchGuy, post:6, topic:177385"]
Thank you Joe for the info about my signature.Actually I saw it when someone commented a picture of the Passion of Christ.:)


Yes, I love that quote. I have heard several different variations of it (such as "He paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay"). We had that quote on the Christmas cards we sent out one year. :)


As a professional working magician and, more importantly a devout practicing Roman Catholic, I run into this question or questions concerning magic a lot. In fact, I usually just lurk on this forum, but I was sent a link to this thread by a friend.

There is no such thing as black magic. There is no such thing as majick. It is all just magic. To magicians, conjurers, illusionist, mentalist - - I am a practicing illusionist and mentalist - - magic is all the same.

True magic is the ability to manipulate the supernatural, no one can do that, save Jesus Christ and the saints the Holy Spirit have endowed with such graces. Everyone else relies on the fundamentals of magic, sleight of hand, black art (not to be confused with the dark arts… black art is a magical technique that deals with the manipulation of sight and color I will not elaborate any more on that as it will give away some closely guarded secrets), and more notably mis-direction. Mis-direction is actually a lay magic term. In our close circles, magicians refer to it by its more apt title, attention focus. Attention focus is the real magic, as it is the performer getting the audience, in unison, to look where he or she wants them to look, see what he or she wants them to see, when he or she wants them to see it.

There is no difference between a busker on the street corner performing cups and balls, the magician at a child’s birthday party producing a rabbit from a hat or a box, David Copperfield making the statue of Liberty disappear, a mentalist reading someone’s mind and a voodoo priestess trying to animate a supposedly dead corpse or someone trying to summon satan to do his bidding. All of the above examples rely on a fundamental or set of fundamentals of magic that is going to also incorporate mis-direction… attention focus.

When Houdini made a live African elephant disappear in front of a packed house at the Hippodrome in New York it was nothing more than a fundamental of magic and mis-direction… attention focus. The people were too busy watching the elephant, by watching the elephant they were already light years behind the power curve. Essentially, by getting everyone to watch the elephant, Houdini had already accomplished the feat. When Copperfield made the statue of liberty of disapper he used the same principle. If you were watching the statue of liberty…again…you were already beind the power curve… Copperfield had accomplished what he set out to do. No difference between Houdini, Copperfield and that voodoo priestess.

All magic is cheap… actually, at times, pretty expensive… conjurer’s tricks.

The only true magician is Jesus Christ, the magic He worked was actual miracles, the control and manipulation of the supernatural, His control over time and space, His God power.

In short, the only thing that makes magic by man (illusions, tricks) black magic or majick or “white” magic (performance magic) is the motive behind it. Are you using it to exercise control over a person, to pass yourself as having god like powers or to bilk people out of their savings and retirement by telling them that their deceased spouses, parents, children and other loved ones have a message for them from beyond the grave. OR learning card magic (tricks) so that you can cheat at the card table… which is what card tricks are… they were originally ways to cheat at cards, then you have serious culpability issues. If all you are doing is asking someone to simply pick a card then there is not a problem. Again, it’s your motive.


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