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an area or the point at which two or more roads cross each other


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

A crossroads was originally described as a place "where three roads meet," rather than the crossing of two roads. Three is considered a magical number in many ways (e.g. three Fates, three aspects of the goddess, threefold law of return, etc.), and the meeting of three roads was therefore a mystical spot, often the site of magical rituals and religious rites. Dame Alice Kyteler was accused of sacrificing cockerels at a crossroads at her trial in 1324.

Jean-Paul Clébert suggests that Gypsies were frequently confused with witches through the then-popular conception of witches' sabbats. It was common knowledge that such sabbats were held in the woods or at a crossroads. Occasionally villagers traveling late at night might stumble upon a group of Gypsies camped at a crossroads, playing music and eating and drinking after a day of traveling the highways. The villager, hurrying along in fear of witches, believed he had seen witch's sabbat.

As a goddess of magical charms and enchantments, Hecate frequented crossroads where her image could be found, either as columns or as statues of the goddess, with three faces called Triple Hecates. Offerings were left there for her on the eve of the full moon. These were usually in the form of food, known as "Hecate's Supper."

In Voodoo, the god Legba is the "Guardian of the Crossroads." The Japanese built phallic symbols at crossroads to protect travelers. Criminals were frequently hanged at crossroads and their bodies buried there, in the belief that since it was a sacred site their ghosts therefore would remain underground.

References in periodicals archive ?
The other city residents described it a painful but necessary decision as traffic used to remain choked at the cross-roads for hours.
A majority of beggars, mostly able-bodied, can be seen at traffic signals and cross-roads.
When contacted, CCPO Chaudhry Mohammed Shafiq told that he had strictly ordered immediate removal of beggars from traffic signals and cross-roads.
Go down this lane and straight across at the cross-roads at Three Gates.
Turn left (east) and follow this track past Burfield to reach a cross-roads.
Lincoln Property Company has completed the repositioning of Cross-roads Corporate Center in Parsippany, N.
Tayror, Vice President of Lincoln Property Company stated, "We are extremely pleased to announce that Cross-roads Corporate Center is now 100% leased.
Members of the Warwick Cross-roads group, based at Somerset House, in Leamington, will fly from Welles-bourne airfield to Daventry to meet up with another branch of the national group.
It is being funded through the Pru-dential Carers Aware-ness Fund and is the idea of Cross-roads Midland divisional manager Pauline Hart.