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an area or the point at which two or more roads cross each other
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(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.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"It is also the first of the R7 crossroads where the first 24 kilometres will be open to travellers in spring of the following year.There will be also one new traffic limitation a closed branch between Bajkalska and Pristavna.
"We would like to thank our partners, residents and tenants for the support and growth of Crossroads Plaza's amazing community."
CrossRoads offers a broad portfolio of procedure-specific and sterile-packed implants and instrumentation for foot & ankle fixation.
The investment supports growth of CrossRoads' unique Active Stabilization portfolio of implant systems for orthopedic and podiatric surgeons.
"We know Crossroads Youth and Family Services is doing great work to bring lifelong success to the children in Lawton and we are excited to help expand their early childhood education work," Ken Levit, executive director of GKFF, wrote in a prepared statement.
The county council's website says: "There is no easy way to cross Stoke Crossroads for pedestrians and cyclists.
Headquartered in Memphis, TN, CrossRoads Extremity Systems is a provider of active stabilization innovative foot & ankle fixation implant systems and services as well as strives to find ways to help hospitals save money and improve efficiency.
Crossroads is today a formal township but the "continuities with apartheid urban planning" are striking (121).
The idea of the Crossroads Shop emerged from a meeting of Meltham Churches Together to support people during the drought of 1995.
A new telly station have 3000 episodes of Crossroads and plan to show the much-maligned soap three times a day.
CROSSROADS - the Birmingham soap that became infamous for its wobbling sets in the 1970s - is back and being aired three-times-a-day on a new TV station.