By Harapan Ong
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Book or download by Harapan Ong (Book $64.95 or download for $48.71)

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Principia - magic
Principia Principia Principia Principia Principia Principia Principia

Singapore's Harapan Ong has caused an online sensation with his technical abilities. Videos began to circulate some years ago from a pair of hands doing extraordinary things. His style is natural, unassuming, and soft. But Aces appear, selections transpose, and magical things just seem to happen in Harapan's hands.

Principia is our very favorite kind of magic book: the kind of book that you pore over every page, trying out each and every piece Harapan describes. EVERY single effect in the book (and there are 60 effects described) is practical, and fun and radically new.

The concept of Principia is a magic book fused with a scientific paper on physics. By day, Harapan is a physics teacher and he uses the same laser-focus and precision in both his career and his magic.

The book features impromptu magic, gaffed card magic (while supplies last, the gimmicked cards included!), and dead-on easy tricks you can do the first time you try. We predict that Principia will be the most talked-about card book of the year, and that it will be studied and returned to for many years to come.

NOTE: The blue version is a deluxe edition that is no longer available. You are purchasing the standard version with the orange cover.

Hard cover. 253 pages.

“Wonderful” David Williamson
“My favourite magician.” Stephen Long / Hector Chadwick
“Buy it!” Tony Chang
“Buy the book.” Kevin Ho
“The most beautifully constructed card magic I’ve ever seen.” Henry Harrius

Contents of Principia

  • Thinking Like a Physicist
  • Streamlined Pocket Transposition
  • The Card Across
  • On Producing a Four-of-a-Kind
  • Hadouken Production
  • Stress Production
  • Passport Production
  • Kaleidoscope Production
  • Straight Ace
  • Poker Player’s Picnic Plus
  • Michalevator
  • Jacob’s Elevator
  • Royal Explosion One
  • Royal Explosion Two
  • Simple Bean Aces
  • Daley’s Last Sandwiches
  • Sudden Surprise Sandwich
  • Head Over Heels, Face to Face
  • Triumph Squared
  • Play It Crooked
  • Twisting Morph
  • Three Degrees of Separation
  • Direct Triple Prediction
  • Sandwich-ception
  • Oops
  • Three Chances
  • Bigger Transpo
  • Tiny Transpo
  • Perspective
  • Faro Pharaoh
  • Extensions to the Cheek to Cheek Deck
  • Dude, You’re not Even Trying
  • The More You Shuffle
  • Followers of Christ
  • Countdown Packet
  • Rapid Fire Benzais
  • That Escalated Quickly
  • Particle Physics
  • Daley Express
  • Triumph in the Trash
  • Blank in the Bin
  • Remix in the Rubbish
  • King’s Overture
  • On the Alfonso-Giobbi Twisting sequence
  • Cascading Twist
  • Plot Twist
  • Gag Packs
  • Change Back
  • One Direction
  • World’s Smallest Colour Change
  • Direct Ambigrams
  • The Law of Non-Conservation of Card Magic
  • Tawanokomu
  • Checkmate
  • Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat
  • Flexacard
  • The Frog Prince
  • 2 + 2 = 4
  • 4, 3, 2, 1
  • On the Fundamental Structures of Routines
  • On Apophenia and Coincidence Effects
  • On Magic, Evolution and Bottom-Up Design
  • Thoughts on “The Trick That Cannot Be Explained”
  • Count or Spell
  • Twisted Choices
  • A Blind Mess
  • What Magicians Can Learn From Scientists
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Customer reviews for Principia



I got the book for Christmas and I loved it. There is so much to digest in here; there is something for everyone. However, to perform everything in the book, you should know/learn these sleights beforehand:
- Aaron Fisher 1H Popover move
- Elmsley count
- Jordan count
- Ascanio spread
- Piet Forton popout move
- Pinky count
- Spread cull
Seek out tutorials of these if necessary; it will probably enhance your learning experience.
There are a lot of gimmicked routines in the book, e.g. Extensions on the Cheek to Cheek Deck, several sandwich routines using Bro. John Hamman creations and the like, etc.
I don’t generally like sandwich routines, which there are a lot of, but there is something in this book for everyone. Harapan also offers several refreshing Triumph handlings.
The style of the book is charming; it is like a physics paper, it has an “Abstract,” and the effects are written like papers too. The illustrations are very helpful, and they are in all the right places.
Several more ‘esoteric’ (?) sleights such as Andi Gladwin’s Deja Vú count, the Marlo ATFUS switch, and Patrick Kun’s Morph Change are explained within the book very well too.
I would recommend to get the gaff cards, along with some red Rider Backs; it really helps to be able to pull out the exact cards to practice an effect as you read it.

Good book, lots of sandwich effects. Lots of gimmicks, and some sleights not explained. The gaff cards work with Red Rider Backs; I would suggest picking them up.



One of the best books I have ever had in my library... harapan is definitely a very creative magician, taking, pretty often, a very simple principle, idea or sleight and transforms it into a miracle!!! His material, in this particular book, has something for everybody, no matter if you are a beginner or an expert, you will definitely find something that suits and challenges you. And, if you want, at the end of the day, a quality magic book about cards, do yourself a favor and buy one as soon as possible!...



The book is great, every effect is quick straight to the point 80% impromptu other effects include set-ups or gimmick cards, there is a lot of sandwich style effects which im not a fan of generally but otherwise the book is amazingly designed, overall its great book.


Laura Bautista

This is one of the books that should be part of any magician's shelves. One of those books that you go to from time to time in search of the muses and from which you learn a little more every day. The edition is so beautiful... I couldn't be more satisfied with finally getting it. Furthermore, the fact that it is accompanied by almost an hour of video content adds even more value than it already has. It's really essential. If card magic is your thing and you want to improve your technique and skills and learn new routines, this is without a doubt your book.

VI Monthly


35 pages into this book and it’s absolutely incredible! The book is clearly written, easy to understand, and comes with videos that show how the effect should look. These routines are fun to practice and will be fun to perform! Do yourself a favor and purchase this today!!





This is my favourite magic book I have ever purchased. I have about 200 magic books. The writing is outstanding and one can see that Harapan is a magic lover. There is so much thought put into this. Some classic plots with excellent ideas. This book reads like a dream. All the effects and I mean all the effects are killer! Absolutely love this book.



A plethora of excellent card magic. If it gets reprinted, definitely pick it up.



This a outstanding compilation of card tricks . Easy to follow and learn . 60 tricks to choose from to add to your routine . It had a beautiful cover and feels great in your hands . Must have for the card magicians



The book's production value is absolutely stellar. It's a very beautiful book. It's clearly written in a format that is new to magic books. The effects are strong and worth performing. I can't say anything bad about this book. I highly recommend this!



I'm late to the party on this purchase. It will take me a while to digest all of the excellent material in this outstanding book. The effects cover quite a broad range of card magic genres. There are some nice effects that you will be able to master in minutes. Others require some sleights that I'll need to apply myself to ("pink count" !) There are some effects which require crafting (an aspect in which I find great satisfaction!) Others require standard and readily available gaffs (that I have aplenty in "my drawer", and you probably do too).

Extremely pleased with this book, which beside its amazing content also has superb production qualities.

In the mean time Harpan's sequel "Opticks" has been released. This time I'll be earlier to the party!





One of the best card magic books I have in my collection. Plenty of routines, so for sure you will find many routines that you like. And the ones you don't, it's still interesting to read them to get new techniques or ideas for the existing routines you have. New card tricks and classic plots as well. 5 stars!



This is such a good, entertaining video. I have learnt much from it and will continue to do so for some time. A video you can continuously go back to. Great watch. A must but for most magic people! You should buy it now!!



H.P. has a masterpiece with this book. Everything is carefully laid out and explained in complete detail. One of my modern favorites.



There is a reason there is so much hype around this book. It's because it delivers. I wouldn't suggest this for beginners but if you know your way around cards this will either push you to be better or open you up to different approaches you may not have thought of previously. As stated by someone else it would be great it the video has time markers to easily bounce around to the trick you are looking for rather than scrubbing.

VI Monthly


I first "met" Harapan Ong during Vanishing Inc.'s SHARE MAGIC LIVE and knew I would need to order "Principia." There is something about the intelligence communicated in Harapan's writing and instruction that really sets this work above many card pros. He knows how to teach - probably because he's a professor.

One feature (or possible limitation) is that Harapan doesn't tip every move he mentions when it belongs to someone else. He credits it and by reference exhorts the student (guys like me) to think and act intertextually. Expand your horizons and immerse in the breadth of great card magic instruction.

A worthy investment.



I don't typically enjoy magic books. I prefer to learn visually with DVDs and downloads. This book, however, is amazing. The instructions are so clear and the pictures so well staged that I have no problem following along. The gimmicks included are a really high quality. This book belongs in every magician's collection for not just the effects included, but also because it looks so gorgeous on a shelf. Very highly recommend.



What a wonderful wonderful book this is...The amount of content is overwhelming! The ideas, the creativity involved and the way it is written...Gaffs included, and also Videos of Harapan Ong performing the effects so that you have a master reference what it looks like in the end, what I think is a generous and genius addition to the book. I visit the book on a regular basis and always seem to find something knew and different...Did not for a second regret the purchase and give my respect for the amount of dedication he has to put into magic to come up with something so unique like this.



There are so many effects and ideas that it's guaranteed that you'll use at least one of these in your routines. All of the ideas are also varied; with some that are super practical, some that are perfect for social media and some that are just ideas that haven't been fully fleshed out yet. Not to mention that you get all the gimmicks along with it! Overall, Harapan has created an absolute gem of a book that you'll come back to time and time again.



Holly cow! This book is so amazing! Once I had read this book for a couple days, it became one of my favorites. Everything in it is so useful and fooling, many routines in here have become some of my favorites! I can’t tell you how much you have to buy this book. I have a feeling this book will someday be like By Forces Unseen, (even though it has just been reprinted!) buy this as soon as you can!!


Scott R

This is a great book and it is nice seeing different ways to perform some of the tricks and moves that I have done over the years. Things are done differently than the old books that I have read in the past. It's a new take on several things, along with new things that I had not seen before. Love the book.

The only thing about the book that concerns me is that the book cover does not look like it will last the test of time. I have seen this material used in the past and over time it starts to crack and split. For now, it is in perfect shape. and reads beautifully.



Stop reading this review and please buy the book right now. One of the best purchases I have ever made - so many incredible, clean effects for beginners to advanced card handlers, from workers to social media magicians. The real gold however, is the essays and the tricks in them at the end of the book. I love Harapan!

VI Monthly


I couldn't be happier with the book. I like most of the routines, but the best of Principia can be found in its essays. Harapan talks about magic with a new approach, and the result is very inspiring. It is a bit pricey, but there's lots of amazing content to make it well worth it.



I love this book! In the first 20-30 pages alone I learned some of the best card tricks I've ever known and will show for years to come.
I think I'd consider myself on the high side of a beginner/low side of intermediate for card magic. To me these effects were easy to understand, very well explained, and there was a move or sleights with just about each & every trick that was new to me that was super fun to learn! There were also effects that I understood right away but are going to challenge me to perfect and I love that. This book got me very excited with each and every trick. The 50 min video download shows each performance so you know how it should look and I found it very helpful.

To explain this book in a nutshell; for every trick, I would watch the video first to see how it should look... And I'd get really nervous and say, "There's no way I could learn that." I'd open the page up and 5 minutes later, I was doing it grinning ear to ear!



Wow. This book is awesome. I haven’t bought a magic book in a while but took the plunge with this after the live lecture where Harapan Ong showed a couple of things. This book has it all, it’s great for beginners as well as those with more advanced skills and the content is set out beautifully and the book itself is a work of art. Content though is what it’s all about and this one doesn’t disappoint. I literally cannot wait for the next work by Harapan. 5 stars all the way.



Excellent book, with a very good quality thick padded orange coloured cover, great introduction to the book, including how it came about for the art work & design of the book, continued with easy to follow discriptions of the different tricks, comes with the Gaff cards, which came in a nice presentation box, a good quality video production, demonstrating the different tricks, the page numbers from the book of each trick is shown at the bottom of the video.

VI Monthly


Any product Vanishing Inc. Is involved with, you can trust to be of the highest caliber, and this is no exception. Beautiful book full of wonderful, practical magic. One of the best things about this release is that you are provided access to online performances by Harapan of almost every item in the book — a wonderful way to enjoy the magic and easily ascertain which items you want to delve into.

Thank you Vanishing Inc for giving us such a treasure.



This book is fantastic. Harapan Ong has a really unique way of looking at magic due to his interesting background. Andy Gladwin designed the book and Joshua Jay handles the introduction and I will tell you the result is a book of really interesting philosophy and magic effects that rocked my world. Highly recommended. So glad I bought this book.
Jeffrey Marks



I don't leave many reviews but I need to say something about this book.....its gold. This. book will actually make you feel a little bad about your magic. Harapan has put so much good material in here that it will keep you busy for a long time. And if you're into arts and crafts, there are a few tricks that require some fun stay-indoor hands on goodness you can do to make some fun gaffs to do some amazing magic. of the finest books I've purchased. Vanishing Inc Books are the new standard.



Had the pleasure to meet Harapan a few years ago when he briefly came to France as an exchange student and at the time, he was already way ahead of his peers when it came to magic. The book reflects on this: from great thinking to absolute pristine execution, all the effects are true workers. My best purchase of this year so far!



Just got the book! Amazing tricks and well explained! I really love it



This is absolutely one of the best best buys I've made in a couple of years. The writing is clear and the illustrations are great. Being a hobbyist with intermediate skills, I have not found any tricks in the book that I can't learn with a little work. Would definitely recommend to anybody into card magic



This book is simply stunning. I am halfway through and already it is clear that the material in this book is going to have the most significant impact on my magic of any purchase since moving beyond beginner materials.

I, like many magicians, use books and DVD's as a source of inspiration for my own creativity. There's a ton of inspiration in here but most significantly there's a lot of material that I know I will do forever more exactly as described.

The whole package is an absolute joy and the extras are very much appreciated. 100%, no reservations recommended.


Yeow Chong

I received the book recently and I like the quality of the book and it is also well presented. It is also easy to read and understand, with a good video and gaffs card. If there is content of the effects in the video, that would be nice. Would definitely recommend to my friends.



Vanishing Inc. and Harapan Ong have gone the extra mile to produce a book of exceptional quality, filled with interesting effects and essays. Providing a forty plus minute video showing nearly every trick really brings the material to life and I hope future products continue to offer this. Providing a good sampling of gaffs (matching bicycle decks) also makes everything really accessible, giving the reader no excuse to not jump in and start learning the material. Harapan's writing is clear, the illustrations are profuse and useful, the citations are good and the material is just plain fun. Highly recommended!



This is a very nice book with a plush cover and large pages. I tend to like books written in a conversational style; this is a bit more technical in nature but it works. If you like cards this book is definitely worth it. There are two really nice extras as well. Although most card workers will already have the common gaffs needed for some of the tricks, they are included with the book. Also, for those like me that sometimes can't figure out what the trick is supposed to look like, there are video performances of many of the effects. Very nice job.



Received my book 2 days ago. It is amazing. The production value is very high; the cover and binding are great and the paper stock is very high quality.
I’ve worked through several effects at the beginning of the book. I love the style in which they are written. They are set up like a science paper from a journal, and the format is very clear and uniform, making it easy to know where to find different bits of information when browsing routines. I love his footnotes and bibliography sections. He cares about magic as an art form with a history.
The effects I’ve worked, Streamlined Pocket Transposition and The Card Across, are very good updates to classic effects. They require some intermediate sleights, but nothing back breaking (yet), and the effects are clean and delightful.
Very pleased with my purchase, I think you will be, too.



Just recieved the book, everything in it is absolutely beautiful! Just a little suggestion, if the online performance videos are sorted in order and have an table of content, it will be wonderful.



I really do like this book and appreciate the style in which it's written. I do have the packet of gaff cards with it. However, I would say more than half of them are just a little more than I want to do. That said, it looks very nice on my shelf. It's probably worth it for anyone with a real interest in cards, but may be a little pricey for those with just a passing interest.


Community questions about Principia

Have a question about this product? It's possible others do too. Ask here and other Vanishing Inc. Magic customers will be able to respond with assistance! Alternatively, email us and we can help too.

  • Ignacio asks: Is there any T&R trick in the book?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: There are not.
  • Douglas asks: If I do not get the gimmicked set with my order, will it be available later for purchase or can it easily be made?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: We hope to be able to sell the gimmicked cards separately again soon.
  • Jeffrey asks: Do you have the delux (Blue cover) edition in stock and, if so, what is the price?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: The deluxe edition is now out of print.
  • Murshid asks: How difficult are the tricks as far as sleight-of-hand is concerned? Are the tricks sleight-heavy or mostly self-working?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: They are a total mix, from self-working to very difficult.
  • Finnigan asks: Can you tell me the individual gaff cards used?

    • 1. SGKYDUYEN answers: Please email to magic@vanishingincmagic com for this kind of question
    Post an answer to this question
  • Teodor asks: Will there be a kindle/PDF edition ???

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: No plans for such a release.
  • Roberto asks: How much are the routines/effects in this book are impromptu?

    • 1. SGKYDUYEN answers: I think 80% tricks are impromptu
    Post an answer to this question
  • John asks: What is the difference between the deluxe version and the standard? And..will the deluxe version be offered again soon?

    • 1. Jim answers: My understanding is that the deluxe version is permanently gone.
    Post an answer to this question
  • Magician asks: Can you deliver to India?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Yes, we ship to India.
  • MILOUD asks: Do you ship to Morocco and how long does it take please ?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Yes, we ship worldwide. The time depends on which shipping option you select when you check out. If you go to checkout, you can see the choices you have.
  • Stamford asks: I'm very impressed with this book, but also a bit overwehlmed. As a beginner, which tricks do you think I should start with? Thanks for any suggestions.

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: The Card College, or Royal Road to Card Magic are both excellent places to start.
  • Alexandre asks: How much of the tricks are using gimmicks?

      Post an answer to this question
    • Micah asks: How many of these effects are impromptu?

      • 1. Dimitris answers: very few of the tricks require gaffs , i would say 20 out of 80
      Post an answer to this question
    • Matthew asks: Is there a video or website that accompanies the book?

      • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: You get a 50 minute video with performances of the effects.
    • Hyunsoo asks: Will there be a reprint any time soon?

      • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: We can't say anything, but it might be a good idea to click the "email me when this is back in stock" button on the page, and you might be hearing from us sooner than you think...
    • Amy asks: If I ordered the book right now, would I receive the book and the gaff cards, or do I have to order the gaffs separately?

      • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: he book features impromptu magic, gaffed card magic (while supplies last, the gimmicked cards included!)
    • Anna asks: What are the tricks in the trailer Thanks

      • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: All the tricks in the trailer can be found in the book.
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