Friday, August 27, 2010

Superstition of the Week - Crossroads


According to one of our favorite Supernatural episodes, this is where you can go to conjure up demons to bargain your soul with the devil for fame, fortune, love or to protect your younger sibling from going to hell, as it tends to happen.

The reason crossroads make such a good story line is their history goes back thousands of years to Greek and Roman mythology. Artemis, a Greek goddess, and Diana, a Roman goddess, were associated with the moon, but often they were mistaken for Hecate, goddess of the night and protector of witches and Hades, who was associated with sorcery and witchcraft.

Hecate was regularly used in invoking magical rites and statues of her and Artemis were placed at crossroads. Some of these statues had 3 faces, Artemis, Demeter, and Hecate, depicting the three stages of the Triple Goddess, maiden, mother, and crone. Also because of the three heads, they could look in 3 directions simultaneously, which was thought to be handy when at a crossroads. Because of this, it was believed that witches and the dead would gathered there. Of course on the other hand, Christians considered crossroads to be evil places and avoided them if at all possible.

After time though, the original reasons for this belief were gradually forgotten and new superstitions surfaced. An interesting one was that people felt the crossroads would confuse the soul of anyone buried there, making it impossible for the spirit to find its way back home. Thus if folks did not wanted to be haunted by the individual they would bury them at the crossroads. To further prevent the soul from wandering back home, a stake would be driven through their hearts to ensure no part of them could ever leave the crossroads.

Hmmm, a little Robert Johnson’s Cross Road Blues anyone?

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