Over at the Rune Soup, Gordon wrote a wonderful piece about doing magick in "real time." Along with some wonderful products from Balthazar's Gnostic Conjure Shop, he works a bit of magick while his partner is in an interview to help nudge things along favorably. The end result was that he bolstered the chances of his partner to get the job. The entire rite from set up to timing is well-done and his success speaks for itself. His post brings up an interesting point that I think is overlooked by some magicians and rootworkers: doing magick in real time.
Working in the manner that Gordon wrote about is very traditional in old-style conjure work. In fact looking at the different traditions of timing in conjure you find two categories: symbolic timing and timing according to the target. The first groups revolves around using symbolic times to bring the work into the natural rhythm of life. This is where you do spells according to astrological hours, days of the week, hands of the clock, position of the sun, and other symbolic times. There are many theories behind why we do this, but generally it is to help tie your spell to the ebb and flow of the spiritual current of the planet and the universe.
The second category of timing revolves not around the natural rhythm of life, but rather to influence a specific person you time it around that person. As conjurer's we learn to time things according to two instances in the target's life: sleep and decision time. We are taught that when a person is sleeping then their defenses are down and you can influence them. The general principle being that you nudge them along in their sleep and when they wake up the thoughts and emotions they experienced while sleeping will shape their actions towards what we desire. The ultimate manifestation of this type of working would be hag-riding, which will be a topic for a later post.
Besides working on a target while they are sleeping one of the most traditional ways of working is to time it according to when your target is in decision-making mode. What does this mean? This means that if you want to help a buddy get a job you work on that interviewer right when he or she sits down to do the interview, if you want to get a reconciliation underway then you light your candles when the couple are sitting down to talk about it over dinner. This form of working is extremely powerful and really gets amazing results. Its efficacy is drawn from the fact that you only need a little nudge to move someone in one direction when they are in that moment balancing between choices. I was taught that when people are about to make decision they are in the "crossroads" between decisions and because of this we can move them towards one or the other. This type of working is often seen in traditional conjure work for court cases. While the jury is deliberating, or the lawyers are presenting their cases the client may have a rootworker doing work from their altar to sway the decision of things in their favor.
But what's so special about working like this? Well as Gordon indicated in his post, it ties the work into the real, into that very moment. Rather than working for a future event, or future outcome, you are working for an outcome right then and there. The results speak for themselves: you have a way of working that deals in practical considerations with effective magick.