Develop Perfect Memory With the Memory Palace Technique

“The Memory Palace is one of the most powerful memory techniques I know. It’s not only effective, but also fun to use – and not hard to learn at all.

The Memory Palace has been used since ancient Rome, and is responsible for some quite incredible memory feats. Eight-time world memory champion Dominic O’Brien, for instance, was able to memorize 54 decks of cards in sequence (that’s 2808 cards), viewing each card only once. And there are countless other similar achievements attributed to people using the Memory Palace technique or variations of it. Even in fiction, there are several references to the technique. In Thomas Harris’ novel Hannibal, for example, serial killer Hannibal Lecter uses Memory Palaces to store amazingly vivid memories of years of intricate patient records (sadly, it was left off the movie).

Of course, most of us are not in Dominic’s memory championship line of business (or in Hannibal’s line of business for that matter). But still, the Memory Palace technique is amazingly effective in all kinds of endeavors, such as learning a foreign language, memorizing a presentation you’re about to deliver, preparing for exams and many others – even if all you want is to jog your memory.”

(via Litemind)

(Related: “The Art of Memory” via Renaissance Magazine. “The Art of Memory” by Edward Tanguay)

(A more occult/magickal look at “The Art of Memory” via The Society of Guardians)


  1. If nothing else, the Memory Palace is elegant. Here’s John Michael Greer’s introduction to the Hermetic Art of Memory:

    I’m going to cover some related material in my third magical book…if I ever remember to finish it.

  2. Thanks Bill!

  3. John Crowley wrote a novel with a magician named Ariel Hawksquill in it who used memory palaces. LITTLE, BIG, I think my favorite of his books.

    Also good nonfiction about the art of memory:
    Carruthers, Mary. The Book of Memory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
    –. The Craft of Thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
    Couliano, Ioan. Eros and Magic in the Renaissance, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.
    Yates, Frances A. Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.
    –. The Art of Memory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966.
    –. The Theatre of the World. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969.

  4. Heck, there should be more to that post! See also Mary Carruthers, Frances Yates, and Ioan Couliano for nonfiction.

  5. SP- I completely forgot about Crowley’s “Little Big”, and Ioan Couliano. Thanks for the tips!

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