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Did You Know – About the Mischief at the Crossroads?

In fairy stories and myths, it is often at the crossroads where mischief awaits, usuallly in the form of other-worldly spirits. Effectively, the crossroads symbolizes the intersection of two paths, making four potential routes, and a place where a decision must be made, not only practically, but metaphorically too.  The X marks a spot where two worlds meet.

 

One of the more recent tales about an encounter at a cross-roads concerns the renowned blues guitarist and musician, Robert Johnson.  Johnson is alleged to have met the Devil at a crossroads, and to have exchanged his soul for his remarkable talent as a musician and songwriter. Johnson exacerbated this devilish reputation when he recorded a track called “Cross Road Blues” based on a myth from the Deep South.  This legend tells that a daring person who fancied striking a deal with Satan should wait for him at a crossroads late at night. The origins of this story go back to African Folklore, where a deity called Esu was the guardian of the crossroads.  When Christianity took over, these old Gods were quite literally deomized, and Esu was transformed into the Devil.  Hecate, too, personified as the Queen of the Witches, was called the Goddess of the Crossroads.

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