When you conduct magick to gain a given result, the most powerful places to do it are at a crossroads or cemetery. In old folklore, both European and in the American South, this typically involves calling upon Satan. Part and parcel of dealing with the Dark Lord is the appearance of apparitions known as “black animals.” That’s a sign that Satan is coming, either in the form of a well-to-do middle-aged man or in his shapeshifting guise as the Graveyard Snake.

This was highlighted by a friend of my magickal mentor Earl Marlowe. A Texas-based conjure man called the Reverend Gary Fox.

Fox said, “The Devil ain’t nobody to be a-feared of. He’s a spirit like any other spirit. Ain’t no better, ain’t no worse. But if you want to get a job done, you need to call on him. That’s the way it is. He’ll come as his-self or as a snake. You gotta go to the crossroads or the cemetery. Don’t care what you see come there. Don’t get ‘fraid and run away ’cause the spirits will come after you and follow you home.”

He went on to describe what you might see.

“Mostly you see black animals. It might be a black rooster, black bull, black dog or cat – even a black snake or lion. Usually it’s rainin’ and a thunderin’ too. Some say black smoke comes down so’s you can’t see anything. But you gotta hold your nerve, no matter what happens.”

In more post modernist terms, of course, you are simply entering a belief paradigm. Accepting it as real during your ceremonial work. While afterwards recognizing that “nothing is true, everything is possible” and that such methods are a way of sculpting reality in a way that your conscious mind can’t.

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