Hermes Beckon: Secrets Revealed and Other Acknowledgments
Chapter 27
© 2006 John Caris

Thinking of myself as a traditionalist, as one who selects from human culture those ideas that he wants to sustain and preserve for future generations, I have based this book on the thoughts and feelings I have found to be important for my own existence, and so I would like to share them with kindred souls. As William Faulkner has stated so eloquently, “The past is not dead, it’s not even past.”

Being immersed in the creative imagination, the artist is usually unaware of the diverse sources that fed the artistic fountain. Is acknowledging the hidden springs even necessary or only a waste of time? The artist seldom pauses for such an inner searching, and if it occurs, the artistic act has required it. Yet when the source does enter awareness, the artist, acting within the bonds of tradition, honors the mentor.

Most of the illusions and effects mentioned or described in the story are either well-known in the magic community or their sources are given in the story. I was also inspired by specific sources which have not been disclosed, and so I would like to offer my gratitude by giving their references. Nate Leipzig’s favorite version of the four aces as performed by Rafé can be found in T. Nelson Downs’ The Art of Magic. The card effect Ralph does following the four aces is based upon Chip MacGregor’s Quick Aces as presented in Jerry MacGregor’s Real World Magic. Although Rafé never read Barrie Richardson’s Theater of the Mind (as far as I know), she was inspired to show her roommate Giulietta the routine with a pencil, involving its changeable weight. In the Alchemical Light Show the illusion that brings Queen to life is based on Richard A. Bolke’s Creo as reported in Magicol, November 2002. Readers who want to increase their knowledge of egg effects will enjoy Donato Colucci’s The Encyclopedia of Egg Magic.

The nineteenth century was a tumultuous time for European society, and its legacy continues even into the twenty-first century. I am deeply beholden to many creative people of that period for insights and enlightenment. I hope that the spirit of Fyodor Dostoevsky is not too upset by my incorporating one of his major characters, Ivan Karamazov, and some of his ideas into the story. As fans of Dostoevsky will immediately realize, Ivan Karamazov, Ralph Garland’s companion from college days, is a major character in The Brothers Karamazov and is given, by way of poetic license, the authorship of the Underground Sketchbook, its title usually translated into English as Notes from Underground. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Fyodor Dostoevsky whose creativity genius has given me such profound inspiration and understanding.

Information about the Neshnabek people was derived from the following works: James A. Clifton”s The Prairie People and The Pokagons, 1683-1983. Ruth Landes’s Ojibwa Religion and the Midewiwin and The Prairie Potawatomi: Tradition and Ritual in the Twentieth Century. Also very helpful for understanding the Midewiwin is W. J. Hoffman’s “The Midewiwin or ‘Grand Medicine Society’ of the Ojibwa” in Seventh Annual Report of the [US] Bureau of [American] Ethnology.

For those who want to learn more about the Native American Church, Daniel C. Swan’s Peyote Religious Art: Symbols of Faith and Belief is excellent.

The inspiration and source for the story of the pilgrim that Red Buddha tells Ralph during his levitating dreamtime can be found in Lama Anagarika Govinda’s Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism.

The inspiration for Shasta’s visionary dream of weaving a tapestry which provided the energy for her stream-of-consciousness writing was inspired by Remedios Varo’s painting Creation of the Birds.

My friends and magic enthusiasts of the S.A.M. Golden Gate Assembly 2 provided information, ideas, and, more importantly, encouragement for this book. Mary, my soul mate and Muse, is my enchanted fountain for inspiration and imaginative insights. The cover image is her work.

Hermes Beckons Chapters Walking the Wild Side