Meet the Devil at the crossroad
For a lot of people, the TV show Supernatural introduced people to the idea of a crossroads as a place to summon demons. Writers for the show created lore where Sam and Dean made deals at the crossroad with demons and the king of Hell himself, Crowley.
According to its Wiki page:
Crossroad Demons are demons tasked with "buying" souls for Hell through deals with humans. These deals consist of the demon granting the human's wish in exchange for ownership over that person's soul, resulting in the person dying and going to Hell to be transformed into a demon upon death. Crossroad demons are named as such because they, in particular, can be summoned at crossroads by humans seeking to make deals.
It makes good TV. It also makes good books. Lots of books.
Destiny of the Departed, the next Jamie Poole novel, opens with its own crossroad scene where Dorothy Davis falls into a trance using her “special” blend of herbs. She practices what is called Remote Viewing. I’ll save the topic of Remote Viewing for another blog because there’s plenty to say. In her trance, she counts the steps through a door (read “gateway into another realm”) where she can speak with the spirit of her deceased instructor who is now her spirit guide. Counting her steps in a veiled, hidden world, she arrives at a crossroad. Here she meets traditionally Anna Eudora, especially if she recites the incantation just so. This has been a well-rehearsed venture. Consequently, it comes as a complete surprise when it isn’t Anna Eudora waiting, but rather Tristan.
How can someone so evil have such a benign name as “Tristan”? Perhaps I’ll save the answer to that for another blog too. (grin)
But what’s so special about a crossroad?
Good question. Supernatural didn’t invent the idea. Nor did I. Perhaps the show’s writers got the idea from a similar place as I. Folklore. It doesn’t take too much looking to find that crossroads are an interesting place. Folklore is bursting with different stories from every cultural background. In Hoodoo, either at midnight or just before dawn, and one will meet a "black man," whom some call the Devil, who will bestow upon one the desired skills. Sounds a lot like Supernatural without all the props. In 1926's Faust, the title character summons the demon Mephistopheles at a crossroads. Crossroads are significant in Brazilian culture, and we've barely scratched the surface...
In many countries’ folklore and mythologies, crossroads represent a location “between the worlds.” That is a central theme on the Jamie Poole series. As such, a crossroad is a site where supernatural spirits can be contacted, and paranormal events take place. It’s the perfect place for Dorothy Davis to meet her spirit guide. It’s also the perfect place for someone such as Tristan to hijack for his own nefarious plans. What are those anyway? Spoilers! But he’s just getting started. He’s kidnapped the spirit guide, and surely has no good intentions for her well-being.
A crossroad can be compared to A Place Between Worlds, a place Jamie has found herself on a few occasions. With the veil that divides her world from the Otherworld, the crossroad could be a means of meeting between the land of the living and the land of the dead. Destiny of the Departed will delve deeper into ways there can be cohabitation between the living and the dead. There are places where the dead can help the living. When might the living need help from the dead? Again, spoilers!
Some leaders of paranormal and folklore studies may try to tie in ley lines with crossroads. If you’re not familiar with ley lines, read a bit of Dan Brown until I can get that blog written. Clearly this topic crosses into several realms. (No pun intended. Well…) However, current theories by most critical researchers of ley lines would debunk the crossroad theory as being part of a larger ley line. For that reason, we’ll leave that to Dan Brown for now.
As always, Jamie Poole and shows like Supernatural explore a lot of the paranormal. And, as often is the case, the reality may find its way into accepted tradition and folklore. And, even if you may not consider yourself one who believes that kind of stuff and considers it more mumbo jumbo than accepted science, don’t forget how popular Supernatural and programs like it are! It resounds with our ancestral belief in something out there greater than ourselves that we might not be able to identify solidly.
Destiny of the Departed can be purchased internationally for Kindle, GooglePlay, and Kobo.
Some common links: