I’ve got a special relationship with the Devil – known as Ole Satan in hoodoo lore – that goes back to well before I met my voodoo mentor Earl Marlowe. It goes right back to when I was at primary (elementary) school. The headmaster was an unusual fellow. Highly erudite and schooled in European folklore which he taught us about with verve and enthusiasm.

So we’d get all the tales of Odin, Thunor, and Frey from the Viking and Germanic/English traditions…plus he covered all the Faustian or Devil’s Pact lore in exacting detail. By the time I was nine years old I new exactly how to go about summoning the Devil. I knew how to… and did… conjure up Satan himself…

But it should be borne in mind that the school I went to was a village Church school and the headmaster also taught the Bible. But curiously his slant on things like the Temptation of Christ was along the lines of the Devil having a fair point. He depicted him as the “adversary” and as a trickster figure who can bring enlightenment to those who know themselves and do not deceive themselves.

That headmaster taught many things – things that the British or any other education system would not like. Things that go against the power structures and the accepted (usually hypocritical) norms. In short he taught rebellion and individuality… with Satan, Odin, and Loki being the pivots on which the dark and rebellious knowledge he taught rested.

Later, as depicted in my Doktor Snake’s Voodoo Spellbook (St. Martin’s Press), I met my voodoo mentor Earl Marlowe whose tradition of swamp voodoo very much hinged on going to the crossroads to meet the Devil, and making a bargain. The Faustian pact, by the way, has a hugely deeper and transformational aspect than is portrayed in popular belief about selling your soul. But this is secret and dangerous knowledge and is not for the fainthearted.

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