Crossroads Magic and Legends
Meet Me Where the Road Splits...
There's something innately magickal about two roads that meet and cross one another. Crossroads magic is something that has been used in the craft for hundreds (possibly thousands) of years for more than one reason.
In this article, we will look into why crossroads magic is so powerful and simple to use. We will also learn some crossroads legends and which spirits and gods can be found at the crossroads.
Since people have been walking, there have been paths in the woods and across fields...practically everywhere. And where there are paths, there are sometimes crossroads. Either two paths cross one another and continue on in different directions or one path may split into two paths. Both of these are considered crossroads.
Crossroads legends have circulated various cultures for as long as crossroads have been in existence. Why do you think that is? Crossroads symbolize a joining of two separate things...two separate entities meeting as one, if only for an instant. They can also be looked at as a threshold between the wild forests and the human pathways. In ancient times, crossroads were considered very magickal and sacred places. They were thought to be filled with energy and guarded by spirits.
One particular Goddess who is known to inhabit crossroads is the ancient Greek Goddess by the name of Hecate. While she is depicted in modern times as the wise old woman or crone, she has also been depicted in triple form as a maiden, mother, and crone. Hecate is said to guard the crossroads, and if you are to go to a crossroads in the woods, you can find her there. She especially loves crossroads of three paths, which ties into her triple-goddess form. Of course once Paganism was on the verge of death and Christianity was taking over Europe, people were actually warned against going to crossroads where Hecate or other "devils" might reside.
Papa Legba from the Voodoo traditions is another deity considered to inhabit crossroads. He is said to open the doors between humans and other spirits, and so he is the guardian of the crossroads. In this case, the crossroads represent the barrier of communication between us and the loa (which are Voodoo demi-gods of sorts).
In the twentieth century, crossroads legends told stories of musicians that would sit at a crossroads at midnight and meet a man in black. The man in black would grant them extraordinary musical talent. Many believed this man in black was the devil, and that he would only grant talent in exchange for the musician's soul. Could this crossroads legend be another tale to scare people away from a powerful pagan place? Or could there be other dangerous spirits at crossroads, as well as beneficial spirits?
Simple magick is magick that can be done quickly, simply, and almost anywhere. Crossroads magic is simple magick because you can literally find almost any type of crossroads in order to perform this type of magick.
If you are coming to a crossroads in your life or in your spirituality, crossroads magic is a wonderful technique for you to use to help decide which path you should take. If you have the privilege of finding a quiet triple-crossroads in the woods, take a statue of Hecate or a black candle to the crossroads along with an offering of food, wine, silver, or lavender. Sit in the middle of the triple crossroads after you have centered, grounded, and shielded yourself against negative energies. Light the candle and meditate on the flame or simply meditate on the statue, paying homage to Hecate. Ask her to lead you down the appropriate pathway of the crossroads in your life. Leave an offering for her at the crossroads, or pour the wine onto the ground at the crossroads. Thank her and leave quietly.
If you are trying to communicate with the Voodoo loa (gods/spirits) or your ancestors, Papa Legba is a great spirit to honor at a nearby crossroads. You don't have to find a crossroads in the forest, you can leave Papa Legba an offering at any type of crossroads. Papa Legba prefers offerings of candy, rum, cigars, and tobacco. Make sure you do your research on Papa Legba and Voodoo before attempting to communicate with him or the other Voodoo loa in a ritual.
© 2012 Nicole Canfield