Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

January/February 2016 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: houdini

DEFINITIONS

Houdini: Born Ehrich Weiss (1874–1926) in Budapest, Hungary, and moved with his family to the US in 1878. At 9, he made his public debut as a trapeze artist. He also spent time working as a locksmith. Houdini started performing magic tricks professionally, especially with cards and coins, in 1891. He added handcuff escapes. Met and married Bess Rahner in 1893. He and Bess had an act where she was a psychic medium, but they abandoned it when their agent tells them to focus on escapes. They go to Europe and by 1904 he became a huge star.

Many conjurors today acknowledge that Houdini was not the best magician of his day, but he was certainly the best advertiser and publicist. Even so, by the 1920s his career was flagging and he needed a new publicity focus. Combining his knowledge of magic, locksmithing, and earlier work as a fake medium, he started to debunk small-time mediums and psychics. When he went up against well-known medium “Margery” (Mrs. Mina Crandon), a furor took place. At first, she was declared real by a scientific committee, but after Houdini participated in tests with her, the declaration was rescinded. Houdini’s assistant at the time, James Collins, alleged that Houdini had him place false evidence against her during a test. There is still a great deal of debate over Margery.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, became a friend of Houdini. However, Doyle’s belief in mediums and Houdini’s antipathy toward them eventually broke their friendship.

Houdini died on Halloween in 1926 from appendicitis and peritonitis. A recent book claims that Houdini was also a spy and that his death was murder.


ARTICLES

Spiritism
Spiritism, or as it is more commonly known, Spiritualism, is a religion which holds that it is possible to communicate with the souls of those who have gone through the transition known as death. Although some occultists would disagree with this ...
Relevance:  3 % 3%


Review of the Dark Grimoire Tarot
Summary: As dark and mysterious as the mythic world created by H. P. Lovecraft, The Dark Grimoire Tarot is strongly recommended for those mature enough and brave enough to examine their darker sides, and by coming to know and control those aspects ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%



You might have noticed New Year's Day tends to fall at different times in different cultures. For example, Chinese New Year falls in late January or February (at the new moon of their first lunar month). The Jewish New Year (aka Rosh Hashanah, or "Head of the Year") occurs in the fall, at the beginning of the seventh month of their ecclesiastical... read this article
Altar Design: Drafting the Plans for Manifestation
Fall in Love with Yourself This Valentine’s Day: Uncovering Your Amazing Gifts through the Five Elements
Surviving Venus and Mars Retrogrades
How to Use Affirmations That Work
The Moon as Calendar and Timepiece

Most recent posts:
The Lovers
It seems fitting that around Valentine’s Day we look at the Lovers card. This one is from the Steampunk Tarot. I remember when we were working on...

Deciphering the Nature of Purifying Ritual Space
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Michael Furie, author of Supermarket Magic, Spellcasting for Beginners, and the new Spellcasting:...

Tarot Journaling and the Star
At the beginning of a new year, people often make a resolution to keep a journal. Keeping a journal has many benefits and can be done any number of...




The Abyss Surrounds Us The Abyss Surrounds Us
By: Emily Skrutskie
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
How Many Letters Are In Goodbye? How Many Letters Are In Goodbye?
By: Yvonne Cassidy
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Llewellyn's Witch's Coloring Book Llewellyn's Witch's Coloring Book
By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
Llewellyn's Shadowscapes Coloring Book Llewellyn's Shadowscapes Coloring Book
By: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
How to Survive Mercury Retrograde How to Survive Mercury Retrograde
And Venus & Mars, Too

By: Bernie Ashman
Price: $16.99 US,  $19.50 CAN