The Road Opening Lamp

As part of my ongoing celebration of the ancient art of lamp magic, I bring you a Road Opening Lamp. I love lamp magic as you can probably tell by now. The magic lamp is like the vigil light's older, bigger brother combined with the extra power of a container spell. They work fast, and they keep up a formidable magical pressure until results manifest. 

This lamp sweeps blocks and hindrances from a person's path that may be barring progress or success: to open the road. I prefer hand-making magical lamps using a fireproof bowl or dish, vegetable oil and cotton bandage. Working like this I can empower every part of the lamp; praying over the wicking, oil and ingredients as it is put together ritually. The building of the lamp itself becomes a sacred act. Additionally, because these sorts of lamps burn using vegetable oil as fuel they are not smelly like kerosene. You could conceivably adapt this working to a kerosene lamp but I would not recommend it. Traditional, vegetable oil burning lamps are truly ancient magical devices evoking both biblical and classical Hellenistic tradition, as well as seeing wide spread use throughout the New World traditions today. 

Road Opening Lamp
Ceramic Bowl or Dish
Cotton bandage and tinfoil
Vegetable oil
Crossroads dirt
Two keys
Lemon grass
Angelica root chips
Petition paper with petition
St. Peter Holy card or statue
Florida water

Set up an altar space for St. Peter with his holy card or statue. Offer glasses of water with a few drops of Florida Water added. Place the dish or bowl that you will be using as your lamp-well on the altar in front of these. Place your petition underneath the bowl, dressed with road opening oil in a five-spot pattern. Be sure to add some personal concerns folded into the petition so that a strong magical link is created between the lamp and the client. If necessary tape these to the bowl.

The Dirt
The crossroads dirt you will want to collect from a crossroads that feels, well, open. Trust your instincts. You don't want to get dirt from a congested intersection where there are many accidents. An intersection with a church is excellent. I sometimes get my dirt from from a peaceful crossroads in the forest. Leave a small offering for the spirits of the crossroads when you take the dirt, specifically asking that roads for the client in question be opened. One Hyatt informant recommended an offering of whiskey and salt*. I found whiskey and a few coins will do nicely too. How do you collect dirt from an intersection with asphalt? A dustpan and hand broom that's how! You wont get a bucket-load but you will get enough to use in a spell.

The Keys
For the keys: find two keys that speak to you, that whisper the promise of opened doors. They need to be roughly the same size and not too large - so they can rest easily on the bottom of the bowl. I have a jar full of old keys of different sizes that I have collected and whenever I use any in my conjure I spend some time with a pendulum and my intuition selecting the perfect key for that job. Keys are powerful conjure objects, each with its own magic and personality. Some keys look like they are meant to open doors, others look like they are supposed to lock doors. Make sure to pick two that feel like they will open doors in this case. The keys of course represent St. Peters keys with which he was given the power to open and close all doors; to lock or unlock the gates of heaven itself, as the bible says:
"I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."– Matthew 16:18-20 (NIV)

Firing Up the Work
Take a block of camphor and crush it mixing it with your crossroads dirt*. Deposit a large pinch of the dirt/camphor mixture on the bottom or the bowl or dish. Next place the keys flat (pointing upward to represent opened doors) on top of the dirt. Position them so they form an X, like this:

We are going to empower those keys with fire and prayer, to burn away the blockages and lay the foundation for the spellwork. Pour a decent splash of Florida Water over the key and dirt/camphor (but not too much!). Next, take a match and carefully light the Florida Water. As fragrant blue flames flare up over key and dirt you can extemporise a prayer spontaneously as the Spirit moves you, or alternatively, pray :

By these holy flames that burn away impurities, by these flames that bless, by these flames that blaze bright and burn away all blockages; blessed St. Peter, I ask that roads be opened and doors be unlocked because Christ our Lord spoke and said unto you "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Amen

The effect of the keys blazing with blue fire is dramatic and releases a lot of energy which you need to direct into the work with your intention and prayer. Keep praying like this till the flames have burned down and the keys cool enough to touch without burning your fingers yet still good and hot

Adding the Roots and Herbs
After having empowered the keys, and while they are still hot you should add the herbs: lemongrass, rue, hyssop, angelica root chips. Sprinkle these around the keys and dirt in a counter-clockwise circle. Be generous; the beauty of an oil lamp is that you can add so much more herbal material, all of which brings power. Not too much though, you still want to be able to see the keys. Add the bandage-wicking and tape over the tinfoil 'platform' which will hold the burning end up and out of the oil. Make suitable slit in the foil and thread through about an inch of bandage so that enough peeks out above the foil to act as wick. Then fill the bowl with the vegetable oil. Add some Road Opener and other appropriate condition oils such as Van Van to the vegetable oil that you are using as fuel.

Lighting the Lamp
Finally, petition St. Peter in full as you light the wick. There are many good catholic prayers one can use. Here is the prayer I use, it is comprised of several traditional prayers for his intercession as well including some words adapted for this spiritual lamp:

O God, Who by delivering to Thy blessed Apostle Peter the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, didst confer upon him the power of binding and of loosing, grant that, by the help of his intercession, we may be delivered from the bonds that bind us. 
St. Peter I offer thee this bright lamp. [light wick] let it illuminate N's way.
St. Peter, delivered from prison by an Angel, deliver N. from all bondage.
St. Peter, who rejoiced to suffer for Christ, free N. from all suffering.
St. Peter, whose very shadow healed the sick, heal N. of all troubles.
St. Peter, whose voice even the dead obeyed, command all hindrance to vanish from N's path.
Thou art the Shepherd of the sheep, the Prince of the Apostles, unto thee were given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. "Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church." Raise us up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by the apostolic assistance of blessed Peter, Thine Apostle; so that the weaker we are, the more mightily we may be helped by the power of his intercession; and that being perpetually defended by the same holy apostle, we may niether yield to any iniquity, nor be overcome by any adversity. Amen.

*Repeat 3 or 7 times 

Try to get into a place with the prayer so that you can feel St. Peter's presence strongly. Speak to him directly, tell him your problems and ask for help. Leave the lamp to burn continually, refilling it daily; repeating the prayer, adding fuel and a few drops of condition oil each time. Keep it going like this until you begin to see clear signs that the road is opening. You might want to accompany the lamp work with a series of spiritual baths and other appropriate work such as house cleansing etc.

When the lamp's burning cycle concludes allow it to burn out and then take out the keys, wipe them off and tie them together the way they were using red and yellow ribbon. Set them at the front door pointing up*, along with St.Peter's holy card. Alternatively, if the keys you chose are small enough you could include them in a mojo bag. They have been empowered to keep the way open and will keep working as talisman to that end. 

Bury the wick, herbal material and dirt from the lamp near your front door and if possible in the pathway, to keep the effect with you and your roads open.

The method of burning crossroads dirt with a cleansing agent to exorcise an unwanted influence, is drawn from  the material of Harry M. Hyatt.
Similarly, the method of buying the aid of spirits at crossroads is drawn from the Hyatt material.
The method  of placing the St Peter's keys at the front door pointing up is the teaching of Miss Starr
The unabridged catholic prayers for intercession of  St. Peter.


  1. What a great idea! Could you post a picture of one of your lamps? I'd like to see the design, being a more visual person.

  2. This is great!
    I've worked with kerosene hurricane lamps before, but never these much older kinds. I will have to give it a try sometime.

    Do you have a specific type of ceramic bowl that you prefer for this kind of work?

  3. Greetings Devi,

    Any fire proof container works well. In fact selecting the appropriate container brings a lot of power to the work. For dark work a rusty iron pot is excellent - bringing its martial energy to the job. For money work an elegant crystal bowl, or an ornate polished brass container is great. Need to destroy reputations or turn an enemies life to Sh#@! - an old enamel chamber pot (a potty) would do just the trick. Similarly - hollowed out fruit with their associations are powerful. Pineapple for protection, a large apple for a love spell etc. You see what I am getting at: as long as it wont leak and is sturdy enough to stay upright you can get very creative indeed.

    @Robynrawr: will try to post a photo tutorial for how i build mine. There are some pics in the blog archive under the tag "magic lamps" of a St Marta lamp.

  4. This is fantastic! Beautiful work. We light lamps like these in the Lukumi religion to the Orishas (Santería) as well. I'm going to follow your lead and start incorporating these into my conjure work as well.

  5. I know this is sort of an old post, but I'm hoping you can clarify something for me. I was thinking of petitioning St. Peter for just this kind of work, but I recently read that St. Joseph does not like to work with women and has been known to cause problems for women who even have a statue of him in their home! In the account I read, St. Peter caused a woman to go to jail.

    Oddly enough, I found a St. Peter and St. Expedite statue at a dollar store awhile back and snapped them up because I planned on working with both. So far I've had no problems and no real run of bad luck (knock wood!). Have you heard anything of this nature or would you advise women to work with another saint for road opening purposes?


  6. Hmmm, I have not heard that before myself - but one is likely to find a diversity of teaching when it comes to the saints - possibly based on whatever other New World traditions the practitioner ascribes to (and the syncretism with those spirits) as well as regional and cultural variances.

    The saints *can* get a little tricky too however, and not all of them are necessarily open to working with everyone. Some for instance will only work for observant catholics. So if you are worried about this I would do a divination to see what the outcome of a relationship with St. Peter might bring for your case, and then take it from there. This is always a good idea, anyway - especially when starting work with a new spirit.

    I assume your reference to St. Joseph earlier in the comment was an error, but just in case - I know for a fact St. Joseph works well with women and is a powerful and wonderfully kind spirit, so don't be scared to petition him.

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  8. Hi Balthazar,
    Thank you for answering my post. Yes, I did in fact make a mistake when I referred to Saint Joseph. I was reading your post on St. Joseph's job oil lamp before I posted this question and it was still obviously on my brain (by the way, thanks for that article)! My apologies.

    Just to clarify, I read the bit about St. Peter not liking to work with women from an excerpt of the Hyatt texts. I've asked around a bit and no one else can really shed any light either.

    I will definitely get some divination done before I petition Saint Peter though. Thank you for the very sound advice.

  9. I just tried this as my first oil lamp... but I have tried 2 different wicks and I can't get it to stay lit for more than a couple minutes. The exposed wick just burns up and goes out (even if saturated first with oil.) Do you have a way of weaving them or something?