How do I sell my soul to the devil?

Not that I’m planning to, of course. It’s just that I’m writing a soapie opera for the French TV, and I want the description of some ritual that it’s at least accurate and different than what’s usually seen on tv. I’m tired of ripping off cheap horror movies.

Everything’s moving to the internet now; didn’t you know that?

All it takes is an email.

Cool, but it doesn’t work as a television drama.

How much are you getting? For a good cut, I’ll give you some ideas.

I can give you 500 fucks - uh, I mean BUCKS! - if your idea is good.

Forget the cartoonish image of having the Devil appear at your door with a contract like an encyclopedia salesman. What you’re thinking of is for someone to become a Magus.

Magic is supposedly the invoking of supernatural spirits in order to command the features of the physical world that those spirits control. In pagan times this would have been the summoning of a dryad or other nature spirit. Christians are supposed to only have traffic with one spirit- the Holy Spirit of God himself, although there are medieval traditions of “white” mages. More commonly, there are magicians that either are indifferent to whether the spirit summoned is good or evil, or else willingly summon devils.

A common feature of such summonings is that in exchange for the spirit’s assistance, some price must be paid in return. For a black magician, this usually is one’s soul; that is, the magician pledges eternal loyalty to the cause of Hell and agrees to serve Satan in return for supernatural power. The magician often is given the service of a “familiar”- a sort of servant devil often disguised as an animal. (Which is why old ladies who kept cats were singled out as witches).

In Islamic tradition, the Djinn (or Genies) were powerful demons who were imprisoned by Solomon the Wise. When Alladin found the lamp containing one, he gained the services of the Djinn because it was still bound to the lamp, and could only be free while carrying out the commands of the lamp’s owner. In this case, Alladin didn’t have to “pay” anything; the Djinn’s obedience was a humiliating punishment imposed by Allah.

We have a trained rothweiller (sp?) who’s going to play the role of the devil. But the producers are pushing for a more “classical” image of evil, and I’m trying to convince em to not follow the route of guy with red face and horns.

Satan’s around here somewhere and since he’s not smoking anymore he’s sure to have lots cig’ money saved up, however, your best bet might be to ask those who have sold theirs already.

I’m sure Carrot Top could hook you up or maybe Whoopi Goldberg or Pamela Lee Anderson.

Oh, so how do you become a Magus? Presumably you study the Mysteries until you’re knowledgable enough to perform the rite of summoning. This often involves a blood sacrifice. When the spirit has been summoned, you offer the customary bargain for that spirit, which might involve some ritual gesture on your part. Depending on just what spirit you’ve summoned, this can mean anything from the full selling of the soul to parting with bodily parts, or performing some act (often humiliating) to indicate your compliance.

A note on knives: It’s one of the better kept secrets of such rituals that the knife cannot be iron! Iron is a powerful anti-magic and your standard Hollywood blade would be useless. Silver is ok, but even better is a stone knife. If you never hear from me again, it’s because the Illuminati got very peeved with me for posting this openly on the Internet.

I’ll trade your soul for some POGs. Alf POGs. Remember Alf? He’s back, in POG form.

I gots the feelin’ I done been trolled good tonight.

Ask Surgoshan.

You’ll also want to inscibe a pentagram on the floor. Note that this is not the star-inside-a-circle used by Wiccans and disgruntled high school students: A geometric pentagram is a sort of fractal shape. You first draw a regular pentagon, and then join the vertices to draw a star. The inside of the star will contain another pentagon, in which you draw another star, and so on indefinitely. It must be a complete pentagram for the procedure to work properly, as I understand it, which is to say, with all levels drawn in. How to actually accomplish this is left as an excercise for the reader.

Oh, and for an example of one of the white mages Lumpy mentioned, look up Prospero, from Shakespeare’s Tempest. He had rather an easier time of it, as he wasn’t exactly summoning his spirits, but merely freed them from the witch Sycorax. He also didn’t have to cover his back nearly so much as many magi, since the spirits he dealt with were more-or-less decent sorts, and were grateful to him.

Lumpy and Chronos seem pretty close to the mark to me. Read Christopher Marlowe’s Faust, too. It seems like it’d have lots of fiery traditional sounding mumbo-jumbo. In any case, it’s a good read.

Or, you could just stand around some cross roads outside St. Louis and wait.

make that New Orleans…

…and wait for a man to come along named Legba. Actually, he’s changed his name to Scratch.

Go to law school, or take up an interest in politics! Those are two sure fire ways to get the devil knocking at your door.

Evilbeth was right on the money. You can do it quite easily through the mail. It’s more secure than e-mail, and you can check through the documents before you close on the deal. Check my sig.

Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the intersection of Highways 61 and 49 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. You’ve got to be there at midnight to catch old Scratch.

Here’s the canonical, according-to-King-James scenario. When people are burning with desire for money or revenge, the devil generally comes to them: