This month I decided to go to Berlin. It’d been a long while since I visited, and I was curious to reacquaint myself and see the sights.
I’ve always found that the best way to get to know a city and meet others is staying in a hostel. So I booked at St Christophers Inn which is a great location to get around the city with some cool little eateries and coffee places nearby.
I took an early flight so that I’d have the whole day ahead of me. Once I checked into the hostel, dumped my luggage in the cage under my curtained bunk bed, off I went!
First was the Magicum, a quaint little museum located on a side street named Große Hamburger Str. Upon entering, I was welcomed by the galiant cashier behind the desk who looked upon me and smiled, promising that I’d have a time to remember. He wasn’t lying, I spent the whole afternoon in the museum that they had to come and find me and tell me they’d closed!
As I paid my fee, I was approached by a gentleman telling me that I’d have to pass the trick first and perform it before starting my journey. The trick was the Chain Link Puzzle that almost looked like handcuffs, and I had to pull them apart. Now, with coordination not being my strongest point, I really struggled to perform the trick even after he showed me three times. But eventually I got it, and was able to pass.
The man then scuttled ahead, down the first lot of steps and on the landing was a small Chinese sprouting bowl also known as a ‘Good Luck Bowl.’ The bowl is filled with water which you have to rub on your hands and then gently stroke the handles either side. The idea is that the water ripples, and resonates.
‘Are you in harmony?’ The man asks and I reply ‘I don’t think so,’ as I know I’ve been a little stressed the last couple of days.’
He then shows me how to perform the trick, and makes the water ripple as he strokes the handles, creating stunning contortions in the water. The sound is deep and the water spouts and vibrates beautifully to his slow hard strokes.
‘Your turn,’ so I try, but I’m not very successful. The pedestal the bowl rests on moves slightly and he tells me ‘Gently, gently,’ and I try again but it doesn’t work. He then replies ‘Your not in harmony,’ to which I said ‘I told you!’ and then he tells me to try the bigger bowl inside later. Mr Mysterious leaves me at the altar and disappears, and I then realise that I’m on my own and begin my journey. In fact, I have a little leaflet I have to fill in as I go along and note my findings. I realise that I’m on a quest now.
As I walk down the stairs, I enter a hall of delights. Wall to wall of artefacts and information about the meaning of magic. There’s an air of mysticism, the occult and spirituality. As I wander down the walkway, I start with astrology and read the big chart ahead of me and the questions on my leaflet. It comes as no surprise that I embody the elements of fire through and through.
Next I ventured the tarot decks and although most of the decks were in German, I was still able to understand and interpret them. I even did a little live reading for a friend of mine back in the UK. The thing about exploring other decks, is that you end up wanting to buy them all! I didn’t make it to the shop since it was closed by the time I left, but it was also meant to be, simply because tarot cards are meant to be gifted. I have many decks all of which have been gifted to me which is pretty amazing if you think about it!
Once I’d gone from table to table and deck to deck, I gazed upon the varying interpretations of divination, necromancy and totems of worship across different cultures and religions.
As I turned a corner, I was welcomed by some good old fashioned occultism, by way of a witch’s hag and some spell work. A grotesque waxwork model of a witch sat with her legs open on a cauldron filled with coins. I had to take a few steps forward with my back towards the cauldron and toss a coin over my right shoulder whilst making a wish.
The idea is, if my coin made it into the cauldron, then my wish would come true. Well, I heard it ping, so that was a good sign…but then there were also a lot of coins on the ground too…
Asides from my tarot deck orgy earlier, my next favourite trick was the bigger version of the Chinese sprouting ‘Good Luck Bowl.’ This bowl was huge and an easy pleaser.
I got to lacquering my hands with the water, sat on the thrown and was determined to make the water ripple! It didn’t take long before the stars and the planets moved within that bowl and I couldn’t stop rubbing those handles, feeling the vibrations flow through my body and seeing nature and the elements dance in front of my very eyes. The sound was soothing, buzzing through my body, and the room were filled with deep reverberations. I closed my eyes and rubbed more, slowly in upwards strokes, just feeling in sync with everything I could endure around me.
If it wasn’t for the young boy and his father entering the abode, I would’ve carried on for another hour at least!
The Magic hall was quite fascinating, there were magic fanatics and magicians spread out across the floor, it was a peaceful environment with loads of puzzles, illusionist art, more tarot and riddles dotted about. People quietly sat in pairs, or just individuals worked diligently at solving secret codes and symbols.
I had fun with the pendulum and labyrinth game. The labyrinth, is a board where you use a marble, but have to close your eyes and find the path to the middle with your eyes closed. It’s like going through a maze without using your sight. I was first and second time lucky using two different paths. Thereafter was a struggle though!
And finally, I discovered the infinity mirror room. I was in there for a while, because I found it really calming. It’s amazing how such a small space can hold such wonder, that you can’t stop staring at the dazzling neon lights, and endless spectres through infinite reflections.
One of the Magicum colleagues gently poked his head in and told me they had closed and I apologised, but he told me to take my time which was sweet. I left shortly after feeling so revitalised from my trip, and that I’d found a home, a place within the world of magic which touched my heart so deeply.
Let’s hope the next time I visit, I can do some tarot there for visitors! Now that would be fantastic, Psychic Simret at Magicum, what a dream come true!
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