The Sourcebook of Magic – Second Edition

A comprehensive guide to NLP change patterns

By: L Michael Hall


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 234mm x 156mm
Pages : 416
ISBN : 9781904424253
Format: Paperback
Published: August 2003

In the newly revised version of The Sourcebook of Magic you will discover afresh the basic 77 NLP patterns for transformational magic. What’s new? A change from merely describing the patterns to presenting the key questions that allow you to guide a client. The newly revised version streamlines the patterns so that they are even more succinct and offers some new insights about how the patterns work, that is, the cognitive-behavioural mechanisms that make the neuro-linguistic and neuro-semantic approach so powerful.

The Sourcebook of Magic arose in 1997 from a desire to collect in one place the basic or core NLP Patterns. Today it remains an excellent resource for coaches, therapists, psychologists, trainers, and managers. The book uniquely sorts and separates the patterns in key categories, those that deal with Self, Emotions, Languaging, Thinking Patterns, Meaning, and Strategies. This Sourcebook of Magic also provides guidelines for knowing what to do when and why. An excellent gift for those interested in the cognitive-behavioural model called NLP.

Picture for author L Michael Hall

L Michael Hall

L. Michael Hall is a Cognitive Psychologist who through research into NLP and Self-Actualization Psychology is now a modeler of human excellence; he has completed 15 modeling projects from Resilience, Women in Leadership, Self-Actualization, Coaching, Self-Actualizing Leaders, Managers, and Companies, Selling, Defusing, Wealth Creation, etc. He has authored 50 NLP books and a series on Meta-Coaching. Michael co-founded the ISNS (International Society of Neuro-Semantics) and the MCF (Meta-Coaching Foundation) and is an internationally renowned trainer. For his free weekly newsletter, Neurons, go to to sign up.

Click here to visit L Michael Hall's site on Self-Actualization.


  1. A second edition of The Sourcebook of Magic has recently been issued. It offers an opportunity to have an overview of the many basic patterns NLP has produced for transformation and excellence. Seventy-seven patterns are described with questions that are key questions to guide a client.

    “NLP is frequently referred to as a technology and, in part, it is. Those sci-ence fiction dystopias that depict a world where technology has gone out of con-trol remind us that while technology can make a good servant, it makes a very bad master. The same could be said of any advanced technology, including NLP.” quotes Ian Mc Dermott, an experienced NLP trainer in the UK (Pages IX & X). Introducing the book, he insists on the cautions we have to take in using such a technology, which can be extremely powerful when appropriately used. He has been pleased and surprised by the uses that have been made by some trainees in the domains of justice and politics. He focuses our attention on the possible misunderstandings, misuses, or derived uses of this technology.

    This guide is first devoted to the therapist, as a person, because the most important relationship in anyone's life is your relationship to yourself. And what makes NLP efficient at a most basic level is that it can enable practitioners to become aware of the presuppositions that underlie their thinking, emotions and behavior, and to be more influential with themselves. One must put his own house in order to be in a state to help others achieve a successful outcome.
    Coaches, therapists, psychologists, trainers, and managers can make good use of this guide in different areas of their lives, such as dealing with emotions, with language, thinking, meaning and strategies

    In what ways, can there be “magic” in this sourcebook? “The term rather refers to the seemingly wild and wonderful and magical effects (the changes and transformations) that occur when we know the structure of experience” says Hall (page vii). And this hidden magic is in the language we speak. The magic is what happens in the mind-body-emotion system when words and processes lead peo-ple to alter their maps and create a different reality.

    This guide offers a wide range of patterns, including: patterns for running other patterns; patterns for building empowering self-images; patterns for man-aging emotional states; patterns for communicating with precision, clarity and empowerment; Sorting patterns for enhancing neuro-semantic reality; patterns for building empowering action plans.

    The collection of NLP patterns are succinctly presented with new insights into the cognitive-behavioral mechanisms that make the neuro-linguistic and neuro-semantic approach so powerful. For those who aren't that familiar with NLP, there is a presentation of the NLP model. This book is mainly addressed to professionals who already know NLP. The Sourcebook of Magic is a reference book I highly recommend for developing better resources in one's self and in others.
  2. This is the second edition of the book originally written in 1997 when the author determined to gather together in one easily accessible place, all the basic or core Patterns of NLP. This updated version is once again an excellent source book for all who desire to know more about the practicalities of NLP.

    The patterns of NLP are sorted and separated by the author into various key categories : Self, Emotions, Languaging, Thinking Patterns, Meaning, Strategies.

    It also sets out to enable us to readily discover what we need to do, when we need to do it as well as how and why.

    It is a valuable resource for all who have an interest in cognitive behavioural therapy that we call NLP

    The book states that the best way to actually start changing the world is by actually putting your own house in order first. We are taught to realise that starting with oneself is perhaps the most effective place to being working with NLP. NLP makes it possible to become aware of many of not all of the presuppositions that rule our live and run our thinking and our behaviour and, as a result, direct our lives.You can use NLP to change them if they are not working for you.

    The book describes how NLP is an excellent was to clarify thoughts and what you really want and need. It even helps you to form a more meaningful and better relationship with yourself.

    The book helps you to guide yourself and others into a way where you can live life rather than just exist.

    This book is well worth reading, it is clearly written and well presented so that the material is easily digested.

    I found it useful as a working manual of NLP and am sure that it has given me the confidence to use NLP techniques more than I actually have done to date.

    It is a book worthy of a place on the bookshelf where it can be regularly dipped into as the need arises.
  3. Michael Hall is the most interesting current writer in NLP. In all his books his approach is fresh, modern and insightful. He seems to be the only current writer pushing the boundaries of NLP forward. This encyclopaedia of NLP techniques is no exception is highly recommended for all NLP Practitioners. 77 NLP patterns are collected together in one easy reference and described in a practical “how-to” manner. Many of these I had not encountered before ” The Magical Parents Pattern, the Spinning Icons Pattern, the Allergy Cure Pattern!. The book also contains a number of short but excellent essays on different aspects of NLP. If I could only keep two NLP books on my shelf, both would be by Michael Hall ” this one and The User's Manual for the Brain Volume I.
  4. Those of you who missed the 1st edition of this excellent book, there is now a second chance to pick up this modern classic.

    The premise of the work is that many NLP books are available that contain, within extensive “padding”, only a few patterns, some books just one or two. Hall achieves his goal of separating the wheat from the chaff admirably with all the objectivity of a Haynes car manual leaving this pragmatic work refreshingly academic yet accessible. Like a cookbook it is reference driven allowing the practitioner access to these powerful patterns without the contingency of having to wade into battle against the author's literary aspirations.

    What are these patterns?

    Most of these patterns are primarily action orientated, simple exercises to be run through step by step with regard to specific ends. The other few are, more fundamentally, explanations of NLP assumptions, such as the principle of well formed outcomes.

    Hall begins by introducing the reader to an overview of NLP and levels-of-processing that is indispensable, as within the instructions to the patterns he falls back on a few technical concepts with out further explanation, such as “test and future pace”.

    Then we come the patterns themselves, organised roughly according to their level of processing, the book allows you to easily select a pattern for your goal.  Included patterns are; collapsing anchors, resolving internal conflict, chaining states, becoming intentionally compelled, responding to criticism, healthy eating, spinning icons”..

    The second edition adds to the first; some simplification of the procedures and a little more detail as to the cognitive / behavioural mechanisms used in the patterns, and a deserved revision of the introduction. In the first (and second) edition Hall asserts that there may be as many as 200 distinct patterns and surely some that haven't been invented (or should that be discovered?) yet. So I was expecting some new patterns in the 2nd ed. but it's the original 77.

    I don't know how I would start to define the distinction of a unique pattern (as opposed to a variant) anyway. I find it unlikely that at a computational ” cognitive level there are 200 modes of action, so it's safe to assume the all of the building blocks are here for you. Hall hints that, a list of patterns touted as “exhaustive”, would promote dogma and stagnate inventive development, through his legitimate assertion that all the patterns are largely prototypical and are easily extended and adapted.

    Without being overly complex, this book is dense.

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