Meeting at the Crossroads
We've all come to know, eventually in life, we're going to hit a crossroads. A point in time when we need to go in one direction or another, but we're often unsure of the route we are to take.
For thousands of years people have acknowledged the point in the middle, where the pathways and roads intersect forming the Crossroads. These areas were thought by the ancients to store great deals of energy. A place holding the past, present and future. A bridge between here and what's next. As such, many cultures idealized and/or considered these places to be sacred places of gatherings. A meeting in the middle. Perhaps a center for settling land boarder disputes. Places of judgments, a no man's land, a place where you could summon the spirits to negotiate deals, transactions of immense proportion, which could alter life's direction. Deals made between the worlds.
These were areas where spirits collected. Junctures where anything is possible as the roads opened in all directions. A location between the different dimensions. Time slows and stands still in anticipation of what's next. The living found these points to be gathering places. An understood place of no ownership. A place of common ground. Free to do as one wills, travelling down the often forbidden road of dancing, drinking, carousing, gambling and playing games with the devil himself.
These marked the pathways, where travelers met in order to travel together on their journey. Often towns were erected at these junctures, as several roads often lead them to these places prior to travelling onward to another point of destination. Boarders, boundaries produced center points.
For many civilizations, there was often a spirit whom ruled over these intersections where the veil is thin, where we can pass from one realm to the next more easily. Where events within life can be altered or changed with the assistance from the guardians of the realms. The Greeks believed “Hecate, Hekate” resided over the the roadways, entrance ways and crossroads. She guards the gates to the underworld. She is often associated with the 3 way Crossroads, having according to some legends three faces. As well the Ancient Greeks associated Hermes with guardianship over the 4 way Crossroads. His ability to freely move between the worlds allowed him to be considered the God of transition and boundaries. The west African people believed Eshu-Elegbara ruled these areas and the western hemisphere African people associated Elegba and Papa Legba as well as Exu to reside over the crossroads. Brazil also had a female deity called Pomba Gira, especially associated with the T- shape. The Celts alike were no strangers to areas known as the “in between” places. Boarders dividing several areas such as land and water, boundaries between land. The transitions of the seasons and between the light of day and the dark of night. The crossroads therefore became known as points in Scottish history where the witches were found celebrating, prophesying, or casting spells. As well the malevolent fairies were considered to reside around the Crossroads. Of course we can't forget the Saxon's and the riders of the hedge between this world and the other worlds. On the edge, which is often associated with death, bordering on, uncertain of which way they will fall. If you happen to slip over the edge, you may never be retrieved, lost in some sort of abyss.
From the Medicine Wheel to the Celtic Cross to the Cross of Christ. There is a meeting in the middle a crossroads between one side to the other, where the cross meets and intersects. The power of the cross and the association with powerful energy seems not to be lost on some. Indeed several may believe the lay lines surrounding the earth, play a large role in where specific energy is stored and where the Crossroads were first established. The Axis or the hub of all energy surrounding it. A center of enormous magnitude.
In this highly charged place, which holds great power where energy is collected. Swirling around, as though it has no specific direction, until it's changed in someway to redirect itself forward. Thus the Crossroads are areas of change, pathways of redirection. An opportunity to transform through motion and power. Destiny producing areas, which can send us deep in order to resurface in a place we never imagined. On a different path in life, in relation to the living. Taking a wrong turn, which can lead us in several different directions, perhaps lost. Having to travel extensively to gain our way back.
It is no wonder, magic is associated with this area. Spells cast to shift our directions or change a situation in either direction. We call upon or leave blessings to the specific deities in order to assist us to change the order/direction of things. Depending upon a person's belief system, we petition their assistance in opening the door, allowing us access in whatever we are bargaining for. We gather dirt within the centr, where energy is stored to make our magic viable, giving thanks to those whom assisted us. Doors are opened, and closed. Journeys change direction. For some we barter with the devil in order to appease our desires and destinies in this realm. It's also upon Shamain when we seek these areas to retrieve our lost loved ones from the fairies, or to seek out the after life when the veil is thinned. We take our brooms and clear the area, to remove the blockages, so we can clearly see our path forward.
Although many consider this to be an area of the manifestation of great energy through spirit. It is also a place of impediment. We can be swallowed up in a lack of direction. Three to four avenues, caught in a strange sense of indecision, and confusion. If you know where you are going, the journey is quick and effortless, but when you are lost and indecisive, you become entangled in the mess of energy. Stopping in the middle is of no value, least you get caught in a mess, which can very well send you to the after life.
So it was, the Gallows were often erected at the crossroads, as the death penalty was handed out. Left hanging for others to see to ensure they would not cross the same path. To ensure the spirit was confused following death. Unable to revisit those whom acted as judge in the earth bound realm. Lost in their inability to find the right road back again. People whom committed suicide were also often buried here, out of the gates of the Church. Like a purgatory of finding the way forward. As they were in life, so were they on the journey to the other worlds. Some lost, wondering aimlessly. It was believed we stand at the passageway between this life and the next waiting for assistance from the spirits to lead us forward.
It is through this portal we can relate to the four elements, the four directions, above and below, within and without. These are concepts held by many nations. For some the ancient crossroads marks a direction already given by the ley lines. The boundaries between worlds. Like a straight line of direction when one passes through to the next realm. A destination. A place where the soul leaves the body. So perhaps, people whom committed suicide were taken here to ensure direction from spirits to lead them through to the next realm. To be allowed access to the afterlife.
It's interesting to note, if one was executed at the crossroads, according to Liam Rogers, the path to the burial grounds would run into other crossroads. At this junction they would stop, change positions and carry on. A reversal, connecting with the energies of the crossroads and death. As well he sites people whom committed suicide were often buried upside down or their cloths inside out. This concept was recognized as the realms of death was like our own but reversed.
This is a very interesting concept for me. I often Astral Travel. Having one of my journeys landing me at a cabin with a quaint little lady. When approaching her home, I realized it was a Full Moon, but I was shocked to recognize this fact as I knew for sure, it was a New Moon on the earths plane. She informed me, everything was reversed there. Perhaps there is merit to some of these time aged traditions.
The Romans believed spirits gathered at these stations. Which ironically was apparent in many civilizations. Shrines or Compitalia were often set up wherever the roads intersected. Alters to pay honor to the spirits. Festivals were held in these areas. Many nations continue to celebrate within the town centre or where streets intersect to form the hub. Many are built around the town's center point. You will find these places in many of the ancient cities around the world.
In our modern civilizations, we are still affected by the crossroads. Leaving homage, blessings to the dead as they travel through the portals between this world and the next. As we continue to see accidents around these areas. The next time you stop at the red light, pay attention , give a little nod to Hecate, Papa Legba or Hermes. Feel the power of the converging energies into the centre as the lines intersect and we scoot into a different direction.
Remember according to the ancient people. These places were a magical place, meaning “liminality” meaning “ neither here nor there”, “betwixt and between”. Where the paranormal arise due to the supernatural spirits residing there.
An Interesting Journey
The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells; Judika Illes; 2004; p. 68-69
The Enchanted Crossroads; Liam Rogers; Lughnasa 1996
Wikipedia; Hecate and Crossroads
Deeper into Samhain; Susa Morgan Black (Druid, FSA Scot)
2006- Devillier Donegan Enterprises
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