Are Road Openers The Most Useful Spells?

Are Road Openers The Most Useful Spells?

This might actually be from a Mini commercial. Whatever. Australia’s pretty.

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.

Abre Camino

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.

A very Queenstown road blockage. Those ‘remarkable’ mountains should look familiar to you Tolkien nerds. This was a good day. Man, I miss Queenstown.

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.

Network activation

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.


Add yours
  1. 1

    I had a momentary flash that my Reader would sparkle with a fresh jewel from Rune Soup. And once again, it’s exactly what I need at the moment – Thank You! I’ve been doing the hermit crab routine, refusing to get on any road, effectively reducing the chaos in the system. I finally realized it doesn’t matter where I go as long as I stay in the game,and that I’m lucky to have the nebulous, too-many-choices problem.

  2. 3
    Simon Tomasi

    I like your open road analogy. Being receptive to making change happen and putting in the effort to get it kick started are in my opinion the basics of magic. In Kabbalah literature this is referred by “an awakening from Above requires first an awakening from Below” or as I once explained to a friend… you need to paddle like crazy, pu lots of energy in. Then position yourself to get the best outcome of the upcoming rapids (and hopefully not waterfall) that life is about to suck you into.

  3. 4

    The dominoes can suck it!

    Great post. I have yet to do any Road Opening. Why? Because I heard they can cause a bit of havoc if you’re used to routine and stability.

    But I guess if someone is totally stuck, there is no where else left to go but shooting into the sky or full speed ahead. After some explosives clear the way…

  4. 5

    On the same line of thought, Road Opener work is also more realistic and thoughtful than other types. It’s not emergency magic to make a specific thing happen or to keep things the same. This sort of work instead moves you forward, allowing you to progress. You do, however, have to be willing to take those steps.

  5. 6

    Gordon: The key is to open A road… not THE road. That is to say, when you are banging up against the gate, forcing your way onto the road that’s closed to you might not be the best idea (it might just be harder, but it could also be that’s not the road you SHOULD take). Better to do what you did — open new roads where the lay of the land is more favorable.

    Oh and to Elle: opening roads doesn’t necessarily cause instability because you don’t have to take any of the roads you open (though if you take none of them you may find it more difficult next time). Also, don’t confuse stability with security. They are uncorrelated. In fact, you can gain a great deal of security by by embracing instability and gain stability through insecurity. Make sure you know which one you value.

  6. 7

    Gordon, you’re right. There’s no such thing as security in the economy anymore. I would be homeless and broke if I didn’t have such a diverse set of side skills. My marketing profession dried up with the recession. I’ve been exploring different avenues to turn side work into real money.

    Time to open a road and see where it leads.
    Lonnie´s last blog post ..How To Deal With Shitty People

  7. 8
    Andrew B. Watt

    Open Road magic seems to be entirely appropriate. With regard to Kabbalah, >path workings are little more than road-opening magic of a specific kind, are they not? I wish I’d had some road-opening oil on my kayak that day, now. :-)

    Along those lines, though, isn’t it the case that pilgrimages are another kind of road-opening magic? The year I was 30, I walked a good long stretch of the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain. There’s a village along there called O Cebrerio, near the Galician border. If you arrive by tour bus, or car, or motor transport of any kind, there’s a lovely exhibit of a 10th century Christian chalice of gold in the southern aisle. On the other hand, if you arrive on foot or horseback or even bicycle, that chalice is the Holy Grail. No lie. The road-opening is critical, yes, but isn’t the way one travels the road just as important?
    Andrew B. Watt´s last blog post ..Day 108: Different Rooms

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