It's just gone four years since the first of several redundancies in my personal experience of this most recent apocalypse. Quite the milestone.
Losing that job was the instigating factor in our move to the United Kingdom and the greatest financial ruin I have ever visited on myself.
There must have been sixty interviews in those first three months and nothing came of any of them.
As our life savings dwindled to -and then past- nothing, my desperation and depression became so extreme that I completely lost the capacity to perform any kind of magic whatsoever.
Tarot trumps became inert pieces of card in my hand. Every attempt at meditation was an exercise in personal ridiculousness. I had to look up colour correspondences. For me at least, depression and sorcery truly do not mix. When it happens it's like somebody has killed The Oracles. The shop is closed.
The last glimmer of magical feeling before the shop closed was during a card reading which spelled out in no uncertain terms that the way was shut.
I remember once a blind person spoke at my school and he said that being blind isn't like seeing with your eyes closed it's like trying to see out of your elbow. And that's a brilliant description of what this was like. Any attempt to 'feel' your way down potential probability pathways was useless. Walls everywhere. No roads.
And there really weren't any roads for me in London at the time. Three months of almost daily job interviews? Nothing. I interview for two roles in Bristol, one of them by accident, and get them both. (Technically it was three roles because the BBC asked me which magazine I'd prefer to manage.) So that's where we went.
Wandering up and down the aisles of Original Botanica in the Bronx last month, it became increasingly difficult to decide what to buy. Space was at a super premium in my suitcase because I had just bought a bunch of new work clothes and this particular trip encompassed two theme parties, a family wedding and scuba diving.
Buying one of every incense pack and one of every wash was sadly out of the question. The trick was to work out what would be used the most.
Standing there with my overly ambitious product selection, it occurs to me that 'road opening' is potentially the most useful spell.
Almost all acts of practical enchantment are exercises in probability enhancement.
Looking for love? Open a road. Need a job? Open a road.
If you're holding up your end of the bargain by actually committing to regularly dating or setting yourself an application target of ten potential new roles a day then all you actually need from the universe is an open road.
Granted, that's a big 'if'.
But still... Assuming your underlying conditions are aligned (physical presentation, relevant experience and qualifications, etc), then you just need to pour in a little chaos.
You see, in an effort to outrun the dominos, I have been looking for a way to job hunt without actually job hunting. My current role is actually pretty awesome but by no means does that make it safe. Like the First World, I no longer have the financial buffer to survive another personal Lehmann incident. (Oddly enough, my first personal Lehmann incident was actually caused by Lehmann Brothers.) It can't take six months to find a decent role should mine end. It has to take a week.
And we all know that we're supposed to be cultivating our professional network on a regular basis to make sure any potentially useful contacts don't drop off the radar. So on the flight back to London I committed myself to not only doing this for the first time ever but even taking it to Patrick Bateman levels of actually scheduling monthly reminders to be friendly at people.
Now, because I am an unsophisticated honky and all non-English languages sound exotic to me (except German apparently), "abre camino" was the seed phrase for the sigil. The sigil itself was then activated with Abre Camino oil and incense -both of which are allowed under the relevant Multidimensional Trespass Treaty. (Sidebar: Shadow has an awesome Euro Road Opener variant here.)
The day I commit to Patrick Bateman my whole network I get two targets ringing me for a lunch. Another one -perhaps my biggest 'work fan'- has just moved roles into a company with a much sunnier outlook than his previous one. That evening -only slightly prompted- a good friend promises to personally introduce me to a bunch of relevant clients should the dominos manage to outpace me.
And the next day I get a free work trip to Spain to sit on the advisory board of a world-leading advertising technology.
Not a bad week of results.
From a certain perspective, outside of some very specific categories like healing, glamour, a big chunk of practical enchantment can be broken down thusly:
- Make sure you're roadworthy.
- Make sure there are actual roads.
- Open them.
Do that and the dominos can suck it.