Gordon inquires why it is that stage magicians ask, "What's your favorite card?" Gordon adds that this question is a pet peeve of his, and he contends that the question is "almost always rhetorical as many magicians barely pause to allow the participant to answer."
Here's our answer:
Like electricity that loses potential with each step through a circuit, solemn rites lose meaning and become mundane over time. Today, when a magician casually asks an audience member to name a favorite playing card, we hear a faint echo of the mystic of old seeking a "significator"—the one Tarot archetype best representing the supplicant.