Crossroads are considered sacred in almost all magical traditions. A crossroads is a universally accepted place to hold rituals, leave offerings, or dispose of items you wish to be rid of.
To relieve feelings of depression, helplessness, and hopelessness, journey to a crossroads and absorb the power.
The crossroads is the juncture of powerful energies, where all possibilities meet. Don’t go to a traffic intersection – the most common modern crossroads. Excessive yang energy will only worsen the situation. What you need is a traditional witch’s crossroads, ideally the intersection of remote streets but at least roads with minimal traffic.
You don’t have to do anything; just linger, keep your mind open and absorb the converging energies.
It is believed that Hecate rules over the three-way crossroads. She can see the past, present, and future. It is said that if you should approach a three-way crossroads at night, you would hear her black dogs howling. Her altars have been erected at such places for centuries.
The four-way crossroads are considered to be powerful because all four directions meet at one point. Dirt, rocks, and sticks gathered from such a crossroads are said to have powerful spiritual connections, albeit tricky ones to master. In Greek myths, Oedipus met his fate at the crossroads. From the Yoruban people we have Legba (a god known for his clever tricks) ruling the crossroads.
The strength of Ellegua lies at the crossroad. He is the remover of obstacles. An offering of twenty-one pennies and three candies left at the crossroad will prompt him to be kind and remove the roadblocks in your life.
Ancient people were afraid of what it meant when one direction met another direction. All manner of folklore is available concerning the crossroads. Fairies are said to hang out there, along with ghouls, ghosts, and goblins. Even the Christian Satan is said to roam the crossroads.
Times Square in New York City is known as the “Crossroads of the World.” A true urban crossroads is any intersection where 3 or 4 roads mead and then continue outward unobstructed for eight city blocks in each direction. If any one path is blocked by a dead end, a cul de sac, or a park, it is not a true crossroad.
Metaphysically, a crossroads is a place of sacred transformations, a metaphor for transformational points in our lives, and relate to time and choices. It is a place to go to unblock your path.
Why Crossroads Are So Important
In ancient times the crossroads were places where very important information was exchanged, information that might never reach a town or village. To facilitate this, a common language developed. Called a lingua franca, such a language permitted people from different countries to understand each other well enough to do business.
In addition to learning a common language like lingua franca (Latin was the lingua franca of educated people in Europe for many centuries), crossroads experiences invariably stimulate a desire to learn a foreign language.
Did you know that learning a foreign language increases your intelligence? One reason is that it builds bridges of communication between the right and left side of the brain, increasing flexibility. A person who can come at a problem with right and left brain flexibility has double the resources of someone relying on just one or the other. In addition, on the one side, you learn to speak another language but on the other side, you develop the telepathic ability to understand someone else’s language. This ability often transcends the words being spoken and heard as many people with language ability will tell you.
Important information is exchanged at crossroads. Here is an example of some of the kinds of important information that might have been exchanged at a crossroad.
- Be careful, it is no longer safe to drink the water at xx
- Be careful the king of xx is dying and the country is run by renegades who no longer honor our trade agreements
- Warning, there was a spring flood which washed away the trail at xx
- Good news! The mountain pass is clear now.
- Good news! The king of xx wants trade in his country and has cleared the bandits out of the gulch at xx.
- The price of amber has dropped. Don’t be fooled into paying high prices.
- The market for silk has shifted further west … be careful not to buy more than you can sell.
- Xx’s supply of xx is terrible this year. Best go in another direction with what you have to sell.
People who stay at home in the town and village don’t need this kind of information. But if they are wise, they listen to news from travelers because it can portend things in the future. For example a traveler returns and says, “I have been to xx and they will pay fabulous sums of money for this yellow stuff that washes up on the beaches around here [amber]”. Or he might say, “There are restless tribes marauding close to here. We need to be careful or they will wipe us out.” There is no way for a connection to be made between towns and villages if someone doesn’t travel.
In addition to Hekate, Elegua, and various other deities, Mercury, the god of travel, communication, and thieves, presided over the crossroads. The Greeks erected little phallic statues (no pun intended) honoring the god Mercury along the side of the road and at crossroads to honor the god of travelers.
Each plant, animal, rock, and other entity has a spirit (consciousness resonance matrix). These spirits can join together, in a hive-mind, as a spirit of an area. Nature spirits include real biological intelligences, are psychically powerful, and are much less abstract and controllable than the Elementals that many magical people who perform all of their rituals indoors are familiar with. They can be extremely powerful allies.
It is possible to sense nature spirits, to determine if they are receptive to a ritual planned, and to have them actively participate in magical workings if they are.
Some Effects of Working With Nature Spirits:
Spectacular physical manifestations can happen when working with nature spirits in the wild. I have personally seen actual foxfire mark the boundaries of a magic circle at a location that was identified as a receptive power spot and attuned to a planned ritual the day before.
I have seen more than one site attuned for ritual be dry and comfortable, with a round hole in the clouds overhead, on days that were cold and rainy at other nearby locations. Birds have joined in rituals, flying around the circle when energy was being raised; and insects, birds and animals have joined in chants. In addition, the wind often responds to invocations. Generally, these spectacular manifestations happen unexpectedly.
With or without such manifestations, nature spirits often will channel tremendous amounts of power into the magic being performed. It is suggested that you do not consciously try for specific manifestations. Let Nature channel her power into the magic in her own way. If approached with respect, nature may give you many pleasant surprises.
Spectacular physical manifestations are not a necessary sign of success. If you need a spectacular manifestation and nature spirits know this, you will get it. The best success in magic is on the inner planes and more subtle than such manifestations. This success involves beneficial changes in consciousness that last and helpful chains of synchronicity. In addition, working with Nature Spirits can also bring a deep sense of partnership with Nature, and bring new levels of attunement.
To get the best results, perform nature spirit attunement several hours to several days before the main ritual. The purposes of such attunement are to find suitable power spots and to get the help of friendly nature spirits. This timing gives Nature time to gather her children and to prepare to actively participate in the main ritual.
What to NOT do:
If nature spirits are approached with disrespect by attempting to command them rather than listening to them and inviting them to work with you, nature spirits may flee, rebel, or attack. I once attended a ritual by some pseudo-Crowleyites who attempted to perform the “Ritual of the Barbarous Names” at a power spot in a forest and then to extend the circle several hundred yards in all directions.
While the forest in general had loud insect and frog noises, the area at which the ritual took place got quiet immediately when the main ritualist declared that all spirits were subject unto him. The vibes from nature could best be characterized as “Oh yea, Mother…!”
One participant was quickly possessed by an angry spirit and kept repeating “You killed my children, your children will never live in peace.” When the priestess stepped out of the boundaries of the original circle, she was attacked by bees; and bees covered the Book of the Law. Magicians should know better than to attempt to command spirits whose true names they do not know!
Calling Nature Spirits:
To make the most out of working magical ritual in the wild, one should find power spots where nature spirits are receptive to the ritual planned and approach the spirits with respect, as equals. In my experience, the most effective power spots for working with the living intelligences of nature are located in wild areas with diverse, active ecologies.
When entering a wild area to find a site for a ritual, find a place that feels good. Then do the following, either individually or, if in a group, as a guided meditation:
- Relax, while standing upright, and focus on your breathing.
- Breathe deep breaths from the diaphragm. Breathe together if in a group.
- Feel the wind, and let it relax you and awaken your spirit within, as your deep breathing takes you into non-ordinary reality.
- Picture, in your mind’s eye, a light inside you.
- As you breathe, feel the light expand, purify and energize you – as it expands to fill your aura.
- Feel yourself glowing, balanced, purified, and full of power.
- Connect with your inner self (your higher self), and feel your intuitive self operating.
Feel yourself as:
- The wind, full of life and intelligence, communicating with all round.
- The Sunlight, warm, alive, channeling the power to communicate with nature and energizing all around.
- Water, emotional, intuitive, refreshing, and connected with nature.
- The Earth, and note how your physical body is able to wander while remaining part of Mother Earth.
Focus on your spiritual self, and:
- Note the light within and feel it as love,
Expand the light and love beyond the immediate aura of your body to the surrounding area – where you will go to find a power spot and contact nature spirits.
- Telepathically (by thinking while channeling the love and light energy) send out signals to nature spirits to emerge and be aware of your presence.
- Say why you have come, and invite them to join in sharing, mutual celebration, and the work you intend.
- Visualize the light and love energy you are channeling extending out and merging with the light from distant places.
- Feel the power of the Earth flowing up through your body and feet.
- Feel the power from the sky, and channel this power also to further energize the carrier signal of light and love for communicating with nature.
- Visualize the light expanding and merging.
- Continue to send out telepathic signals.
Now go deeper:
- Close your eyes, sit on the Earth, and feel your connection while you channel more light and love.
- Continue modulating the light and love with your thoughts – inviting receptive spirits to join with you and to make themselves known.
- If in a group, someone should start playing a drum at a rate of about one beat per second; and you should listen to the drum and let the drum take you deeper.
Affirm that you are a nature magician, a medicine person, who knows and communicates with nature. Let this part of yourself emerge to full consciousness. Let the drum and the connection to your inner self awaken that part of yourself that naturally communicates with other life forms. Let it awaken your telepathic senses.
- Continue sending telepathic signals to nature.
When you feel ready and an inner urge to begin, open your eyes a crack and look around, while continuing to channel love and light and telepathically calling for a response.
You may see light coming from certain areas that are receptive. You may get other signals, such as a feeling of power or love returning in a certain direction. Perhaps the type of response to this work will be unexpected; follow your intuition in interpreting it.
You may test your connection by communicating (mentally) instructions for signals for yes/no responses (such as light getting brighter for less and darker for no) and then mentally ask questions and observe the responses.
When you have found an areas that seems to be responsive and receptive, begin walking to the area, while beaming love energy. Extend your aura to the area and sense the energy.
Entering A Power Spot:
Before entering a power spot, ask permission to enter. If the response is good, enter; if not, locate another more receptive area.
When entering the power spot, look around. Perhaps the responsive energy will be concentrated around some singularity (a bush, a tree, a specific branch, a moss covered rock, or other entity that stands out). Perhaps the energy will be more general. Use your intuition and feedback from the spirits to guide your actions.
If it feels right, send out a signal that you would like to touch the singularity (or the ground) for better communication. If the response is good, approach beaming love energy, and then touch or hug the singularity (or the ground).
Treat the spirits as you would other Pagans you meet for the first time – be sensitive, open, and listen.
Deepening Communication With Nature Spirits:
Now that you have made contact with spirits that seem receptive, deepen the communication:
- Breathe deep breaths from the diaphragm, and with each breath, feel more refreshed.
- Now imagine that your spine is the trunk of a tree; and, from its base, roots extend deep into the Earth. Deep into the rich moist Earth.
- With every breath, feel the roots extending deeper,
- Feel the energy deep within the Earth and within the waters of the Earth.
- Feel your roots absorbing nourishment from the Earth and from its waters.
- Feel the moist, warm energy rising.
- Feel it bursting up from the Earth and rising up your spine, like sap rises in a tree.
- Feel the energy rise to your crown chakra (at the top of your head).
- Now imagine that you have branches, branches that sweep up and then bend down towards the Earth, like the limbs of a willow.
- Feel the branches extending and interweaving with your surroundings.
- Feel the warm, moist energy of the Earth flowing through your branches.
- As it flows, feel yourself being purified, centered, and connected to the Earth.
- Feel the power from the Earth flowing through your branches and then down back to the Earth, like a fountain.
- Note how your branches absorb energy from the air.
- Also, feel them receiving light (fire) from the sky.
- Feel the energy from above penetrating deep through your body into the Earth.
- Feel the warmth of the Earth rising also.
- Feel the energy circulating.
- Notice how your branches intertwine with the branches of energy surrounding you.
- Feel the energy dancing among your branches and the branches around you.
- Notice how your roots also intertwine with underground energy channels.
- Feel the energy dancing between your roots and the surrounding energy patterns.
Notice how you and the life around you are rooted in the same Earth, breathing the same air, receiving the same fire, drinking the same water, sharing the same underlying essence. You are one with the magical grove.
Telepathically mention the time in the past when nature spirits and people communicated regularly and the need to establish such communication now.
Test your connection by asking questions and observing the responses.
Working With Nature Spirits:
Explain to the spirits the purpose of your coming to them and the nature of the ritual you plan.
If the spirits you contacted are receptive, explain to them the details of the ritual and invite them to provide ideas. Listen, you may receive suggestions on how to improve the ritual. Such suggestions may come in the form of hunches, visions, answers to yes/no questions using pre-arranged signals, or in other ways.
Explain what type of space is needed and ask what the best place to perform the ritual is. You may see light or get other psychic signals leading you to other sites, or you may be at one of them.
You may also ask what the best places for other aspects of the planned work are (picnicking, individual vision quests, etc.).
If preparation of the site is needed (removing briars, preparing a fire circle, etc.) ask permission of the spirits before proceeding with such action.
Before you leave the power spot:
- Tell the spirits you have contacted when you plan to return to do the ritual (visualizing the associated lunar and solar aspects can help with this communication).
- Invite them to join in the ritual when you return and to bring their friends.
- Ask if it would be best to return silently, with drums, with chanting, or with some other form of approach.
- You can also ask the spirits to provide guidance for working in balance and to provide a teacher to provide further guidance.
- Thank the spirits,
- Channel love energy,
- Trigger your memory of the experience,
- If it feels right, leave an offering of tobacco, or beer and honey poured on the ground (or other suitable material).
- Leave in peace and love.
Proceed to other sites that were indicated by the spirits, doing similar meditations at each site.
If you need something, like a staff, a Maypole, or a wand, you can also ask where you can find it and follow the guidance you receive (not slavishly, but as you would guidance from another Pagan).
Before leaving the general area in which you found power spots and contacted nature spirits:
- Channel love energy towards the receptive sites you found,
- Thank the spirits of the land,
- Pull back your roots and branches,
- Ground any excess energy into the Earth (placing your hands on the Earth, breathe in any excess energy, and channel the energy down your arms, while visualizing and feeling the energy going into the Earth),
- Leave in peace and love.
Naturally, you should leave the area at least as clean, and preferably cleaner, than you found it.
If you work with techniques of Wicca or Ceremonial Magic, you may find that by casting a circle, calling the Elements, the Goddess, the Gods, and the local nature spirits while you are at receptive sites, you may be able to greatly increase communication.
Through the use of drums and other power raising techniques, it is even possible to energize receptive nature spirits. The results can be very interesting. If with a coven, such circles can be done as part of a group attunement to a power spot you have located.
If you do not get good feelings in response to your explanation of the ritual and are unable to come up with a ritual that gives good responses, do not try to force a good response. You would only be fooling yourself.
- Thank the spirits for their attention.
- Ask them why they are not receptive (if it feels right and they are communicative).
- Trigger your memory.
- Pull back your “roots and branches,” return any excess energy you feel into the Earth.
- If it feels appropriate, leave an offering of tobacco or other appropriate material, out of respect for the spirits.
- Move to a more receptive site.
If it is hard to find a site that is really receptive, you should consider any impressions you got of why the nature spirits weren’t receptive in the area you were in, and re-think your plans for a ritual, as necessary and appropriate.
It may also be appropriate to look for another general area in which to find a suitable power site that is receptive to the work planned.
It can be very powerful to purify and center yourself and to attune to the spirits of the land using the techniques previously described for calling nature spirits immediately upon returning to the site.
Often, individuals may have found small specific power spots to which they have a special attunement, where the spirits are interested in participating; but where the site is too small, has too much vegetation, or is otherwise unsuitable for the main ritual. Individual attunement to the spirits in such areas and inviting them to participate in the main ritual can be worthwhile.
Then approach the main ritual site using the previously arranged technique. You should have the details worked out with the spirits of the land. An exceptionally powerful technique involves doing a procession through or past receptive power spots, inviting nature spirits to join as you pass each power spot, and then moving to the central power spot for the main ritual. If participants are at individual power spots, they can join the procession as it passes nearby.
When consecrating space in the wild, or casting a circle, do not set up the perimeter as a barrier to all outside forces; it should be a beacon to attract friendly nature spirits, a container for holding magical power, and a barrier to spirits who it isn’t right to be with.
One thing that is fun and worthwhile in nature is to bring instruments, such as a rattle, a flute and/or a drum, to tune in to nature’s sounds, and to make music in time to nature’s sounds. You may be able to get some very interesting back and forth exchanges of music going with selected creatures of the wild, and get into an amazing jam session.
After the work is complete, be sure to thank the spirits for their participation. Libations and other offerings may also be left for the spirits during and/or after the ritual.
This article is written by Larry Cornett
The crossroads are literally where different roads meet and where they separate, where opportunity emerges to change directions. They are unpredictable; you could take any one of a variety of choices. Magically speaking a crossroads is the place where multiple forces converge, where anything can happen, where transformations may occur. Energy is liberated and expanded at the crossroads. Instead of hopping over boundaries, you can stand in the center and be inundated by power, potential and choices.
Crossroads are ubiquitous in magic. Many spells demand to be cast at the crossroads, others require that the remnants of spells – left over candle stubs, ashes and the such – be buried at the crossroads where their energy can safely disperse.
Specific types of spiritual entities, known as “road-openers” and inevitably beings of great power preside over crossroads. These beings can be petitioned for knowledge, information and for a change in destiny. They control thresholds and roads and determine who has free access and who finds roads barred, who will choose the right fork in the road and who will wander hopelessly lost forever.
In ancient Greece, Hermes ruled the four-way crossroads, while Hecate presided over three-way crossroads. In West Africa, Eshu-Elegbara rules the crossroads as does his Western hemisphere incarnations Elegba, Papa Legba and Exu. In Brazil, Exu’s female counterpart, Pomba Gira, presides over T-shaped crossroads.
Once upon a time, crossroads were where people met, where nomads rendezvoused, where gallows stood, where the death penalty was enacted and corpses left to hang, where suicides were buried. If magic spells were cast according to direction, then midnight at the crossroads must have frequently been a crowded, busy place, especially on a night like Halloween when the veil that divides the realms of living and dead is at its most permeable, leaving an open road for inter-realm communication.
Christian authorities frequently urged people to avoid the crossroads, particularly at night, as it was the devil’s stomping grounds. If you were looking to meet Satan, however, if you had a proposition or a request for him, the crossroads was where you were most likely to find him.
Unfortunately, the most accessible modern crossroads are traffic intersections. The magic energy remains, however. Think about a busy intersection: on a good day you fly straight through, making a journey faster and easier. A traffic tie-up, however, is an energy build-up with added potential for accidents and road rage.
Faithfully attempting to follow a spell’s directions may leave you playing in the middle of traffic. In Rio de Janeiro, Pomba Gira’s devotees take this into account: offerings aren’t left where you might expect, at the center of the crossroads, but by the side of the road. No matter how powerful your spell, it will have no opportunity to work if you get hit by a car during the casting.
Find an appropriate old-fashioned crossroads, a safe area of a modern crossroads, or read between the lines – figure out what the spell really requires (why you’re being sent to the crossroads, for what purpose) and adapt and substitute as needed. Not all crossroads are literal intersections of roads. Other crossings include: Graveyards, bathhouses, ruins, bike paths, and altars.
Crossroad is a symbolic term denoting the union and joining of paths. The association of the crossroad with Witchcraft goes back to ancient Greek and Roman times. Classically the crossroad symbolizes a joining of three roads, the balance of opposites, and the meeting of time and space.
In the Aegean/Mediterranean region crossroads were sacred to Hecate, Triformis, and Diana. Ovid, an ancient Roman writer, speaks of Hecate as having three faces with which to guard the crossroads as they branched out. Verro, another ancient writer, equated Diana with Hecate and stated the images of Diana were stationed at the crossroads. Other writers of the period called this goddess Artemis-Hekate, and attributed the mother goddess aspect to her.
The crossroads are likewise associated with the ancestral spirits called Lasa or Lares. These beings were originally thought to be spirits of the forests and meadows, the fairy folk, and spirits of Nature. With development these spirits became associated with the cultivated fields, and eventually the Lara became protectors of the family and home, and associated with the hearth.
Also, in the archaic Roman religion small towers were constructed at crossroads, and an altar was placed before them upon which offerings were laid. Such towers were associated with Nature spirit worship and demarcation. Possibly this may be the foundation of the concept of Watchtowers within modern Witchcraft.
Since classical times the crossroad has been a favored place for Witches to gather because of its link to Nature spirits and the moon goddess. When the symbolic crossroads were Christianized they became symbols of dread. Crossroads become the construction sites for gallows, and suspended cages that contained bodies of criminals. Also, suicide victims, who were not permitted burial in hallowed churchyards, were frequently buried near a crossroad. Then too, the Judaic-Christian Devil was said to hover near crossroads. All of this, of course, helped to defile the sacred grounds where Witches gathered.
Source: The Mystica