Crossroad Blues

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7 Responses

  1. Daniel Parkinson says:

    Thanks for the story and the
    Thanks for the story and the links, it was interesting to see the quote from Tommy Johnson, as I had heard that the crossroads story was told about him as well. Didn’t know about the three way cross roads either – interesting stuff. Not sure I am ready to get my guitar re-tuned just yet though 😉

  2. Ian Topham says:

    Hi Robbie, thanks for the
    Hi Robbie, thanks for the comments and welcome to the website 🙂

  3. Mauro says:

    Thanks for the very
    Thanks for the very interesting story: I’ve heard this blues tradition many times and it’s good to know it’s still alive.

    I remember seeing a short movie starring James Brown as a soul musician who sold his soul to the Devil (played by the great Gary Oldman) but managed to get away with it courtesy of his driver’s (played by Clive Owen) skills. Very funny stuff. 

  4. Daniel Parkinson says:

    I have just heard of another
    I have just heard of another location of a crossroads used as a burial site on an island off the West coast of Scotland, actually without promting by a friend who is not particulary interested in such things but owns a family cottage there and has heard of its reputation, I am following this up. We might actually get to play there as a band as the island has an excellent well-known music venue, so I will just nip down to the crossroads with my guitar (well probably not on second thoughts)

  5. PennyTraition says:

    Re: Crossroad Blues
    ‘Me And The Devil Blues’ by the great Robert Johnson…In his short life, a womaniser, he was poisoned by a jealous husband. It is said he sold his soul to the Devil at a crossroads. One of the first,and Greatest Blues singers,’Me And The Devil Blues’ must be his most imfamous song:
    “Woke up this morning,You were knocking on my door
    And I said’Hello Satan,I believe it’s time to go…'”
    Find it on’Hellhound On My Trail'(indigo), and Robert Johnson:The Complete Collection'(prism leisure).
    Also, for tongue in cheek fun, check Screaming Jay Hawkins:’Alligator Wine”I Put A Spell On You’…
    Other music ‘See That My Grave Is Kept Clean’;
    ‘Gloomy Sunday’, Billie Holiday’s take on ‘the Hungarian Suicide Song’. Diamanda Galás first album ‘The Singer’…the only really accesible Galás album…
    (Un)Happy listening!

  6. robbiethered says:

    I’m not really sure if you can sell your soul, if by the "soul" you mean your eternal spirit. The evidence and general stance among practising occultists is that it’s not yours to sell. You’re a conceptualised part of the Deep Mind, [Or God, if you like] and your spirit is not for sale. I haven’t "sold my soul." What spirits much prefer is regular offerings it seems, like food and wine etc, upon their sigils or altars, or parts of your daily life or talent dedicated to them. Something tangible for something tangible.

    I won’t pretend I wasn’t a bit nervous while doing the crossroad thing I describe above. I’m an ordinary bloke in many ways. If a big scary apparition would have appeared I would have really had to steel my nerves not to flee! As you see by my experience though, big scary apparitions are rare in occultism, you more often get quieter, more subtle indications you’re being heard, [Such as the black cat, the biker and the spider.] It’s often easier to get a spirit to leave a mark or image on photographic film etc, than to appear directly to human eyes. I’ve got a ghost on a photo, it was at that Bronze Age village in Cornwall, it made a big ghostly face in the foreground on the film, when we saw nothing unusual on the day. I actually had the negatives examined by my old psychical research society, and they found it seemed genuine.

    You may however in certain pacts be able to sell your "life." There’s several pointers that Hendrix did this. A shortened life span in exchange for your desires being realised for a short number of years. But selling your eternal spirit? I doubt that.

    By the way you can use any fork or crossroads, anywhere suitably private or lonely. Preferably a fork in the road, [a three way] or some rites won’t work. There’s nothing mystical about some particular crossroad in the States where legend says Robert Johnson did it.  Inside information like I’m giving you explodes many myths! Of course it’s very likely that some crossdroads/forks are more haunted than others though, especially if they’ve been used as burial sites or gibbet sites etc.

    Also, if anyone feels like doing a spell of whatever kind at a lonely three-way, [Google for suitable spells they’re all over the Web!] – watch the trees! If you pick one with trees about it, and it is one where spirits hang out, you’ll likely see the treetops suddenly move and swish as you recite your spell, as if there’s a sudden wind, even when there is no wind. That’s your signal you’ve been heard and the spirits have activated. Go even in the daylight if you’re nervous, just try and make sure nobody else is about. If you actually call on "the spirit of this fork"  to help the spell, you’ll quite likely then get such a response. [I can tell the wind is rising.. Leaves tremble on the trees….]

    If it does appear, the Spirit of the Fork is known to most commonly appear as a Black Dog. [Yes, the one with the red eyes!] I’m serious. Robert Johnson may well have done Crossroads rites, he seems to know what can happen!

  7. robbiethered says:

    Being a practising -er- whatever you like to call it, I’ve had many experiences at crossroads. It’s true, the crossroad does feature a fair bit in Voodoo and Hoodoo magic, but it was also the case that in Greek folklore a similar thing was done to gain supernatural musical talent, particularly in their folk traditional music; the greek "blues". I must explode the myth that only the blues tradition and the American South etc feature such crossroad rituals.

    Also, it is the THREE WAY, [The place where one road or path forks into two] where the majority of these particular types of magical rites are done, and less the standard four-way crossroad, though that features in other ways more. The three way junction symbolises many things; the three Fates, Hecate with her three faces, and the dualism of one path becoming two.

    I am a Bluesman too, who has worked in pro capacity. I have done the "crossroad" rite. I was a blues player anyway long before I did it, but it’s put a bit more fire in my playing, I’d say. In my version, you go every night at midnight, for nine nights. You can ask for anything, not just musical talent. In my case, a black cat accompanied me every night, watching me in silence a few feet away down the dark lane. The last night a man in red and black on a red and black motorcycle rode past very fast as I approached the three way, when the whole place had been silent every night before. He had one of those "skull" masks on, so I couldn’t see his face. Red and black are the colours of  a god of the crossroad/three way, who appears in a form like the Horned "Devil" and it is often he who is invoked at the crossroad. He is a trickster god, with humour, and not thoroughly hostile and purely evil like the Christian Church’s "Devil." The last night the cat wasn’t there, but as I made my supplications at the three way, the biggest spider I’ve ever seen, the size of a tarantula, ambled across before my feet. I’m not aware such things exist in the English countryside. I didn’t touch or follow it, I could guess what it meant. These were signs I believe that my rites had been successful.

    Please note and understand that I’m a real genuine guy, not a nutter or fantasist. These happenings I describe in my comment are real. I’ve been in psychical research societies but I found they inexplicably refused to experiment with me by trying to get evidence on camera of entities I could call on. If anyone is interested in my help to research things in such ways, let me know. I’m in the East Midlands.

    Look at these:


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