A Short History Of Soul Giving

Throughout history, there have been countless tales and legends of individuals making deals with supernatural beings, either in exchange for great power, success, or as an act of selflessness to serve a higher good. These stories often revolve around the concept of selling or giving one's soul to either malevolent or benevolent entities.
While such narratives are typically rooted in folklore, mythology, and religious beliefs, they shed light on the human fascination with the idea of bargaining with supernatural forces.

Faust: The Tragic Scholar

One of the most famous figures associated with selling his soul to an evil entity is Dr. Johann Georg Faust, a legendary figure from German literature. The character of Faust is believed to have been inspired by the real-life figure of Faust, a wandering scholar and magician from the 16th century.
In the Faust legend, he makes a pact with the devil, Mephistopheles, in exchange for knowledge, power, and worldly pleasures. Faust's story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked ambition and the consequences of making deals with malevolent forces.

Robert Johnson: The Crossroads Bluesman

In American folklore, Robert Johnson, a legendary blues musician of the early 20th century, is said to have sold his soul to The Devil at a crossroads in Mississippi in exchange for unparalleled guitar-playing skills. Johnson's life and career were shrouded in mystery and tragedy, and his music often contained themes of temptation and the supernatural.

While the story of his pact with the devil may be more myth than reality, it underscores the cultural fascination with the idea of trading one's soul for extraordinary talent.

Urbain Grandier – The Possessed Priest

Urbain Grandier, a French priest from the 17th century, was accused of making a pact with The Devil and was subsequently executed for witchcraft. His story, recounted in Aldous Huxley's "The Devils of Loudun" and Ken Russell's film adaptation "The Devils," explores the power of mass hysteria, religious fanaticism, and the scapegoating of individuals as they grapple with the supernatural.

Gilles de Rais

Gilles de Rais, a 15th-century French nobleman, is infamous for his association with Joan of Arc and his subsequent descent into darkness. After her capture and execution, de Rais turned to occult practices, purportedly making pacts with demons to acquire wealth and power. His gruesome crimes, including child murders, have made him a symbol of evil in history.


Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, an 18th-century Italian adventurer and alchemist, was rumored to have made a pact with benevolent and malevolent supernatural entities. Cagliostro claimed to possess the elixir of life and the philosopher's stone, and he was involved in various occult practices. His mysterious life and alleged pacts with the supernatural continue to intrigue historians and occult enthusiasts.

Edward Kelley

A 16th-century English alchemist and occultist who was associated with John Dee, Kelley claimed to communicate with angels and spirits through a crystal ball.

Aleister Crowley

A prominent occultist and ceremonial magician in the 20th century, Crowley claimed to have contacted various spiritual entities, including the demon Choronzon, as part of his magical practices.

Saint Francis of Assisi: The Saintly Bargain

Saint Francis of Assisi, a 13th-century Catholic friar, is a notable example. Legend has it that he made a pact with God, dedicating his life to serving the poor and living a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience. His commitment to the betterment of humanity and his connection to the divine led to his canonization as a saint.
Born into a wealthy family, he renounced his material possessions to live a life of poverty, humility, and devotion to God. He is often associated with his deep connection to nature and animals, believing that all of God's creations were deserving of love and respect. Francis is known for his mystical experiences and the stigmata, or wounds of Christ, that he bore on his body. His commitment to living a life in service to God and angels inspired countless followers and led to the founding of the Franciscan Order.

Joan of Arc: The Divine Warrior

Joan of Arc, the French heroine of the Hundred Years' War, is another historical figure associated with giving her soul to a higher good. She claimed to have received divine visions and guidance from saints and angels, which led her to lead the French army to several significant victories.
Joan's unwavering faith in her divine mission ultimately led to her martyrdom. Her story highlights the idea of making sacrifices for a noble cause and believing in a higher purpose.

Teresa of Ávila

Saint Teresa of Ávila was a Spanish Carmelite nun and mystic who made significant contributions to Christian spirituality. She was renowned for her mystical experiences, including visions of angels and encounters with divine ecstasy. Teresa is best known for her writings, particularly her autobiography, "The Life of Teresa of Jesus," and her guide to prayer, "The Interior Castle." In her works, she emphasized the importance of cultivating a profound relationship with God and angels through prayer and contemplation.

Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen, a German Benedictine abbess, was a multifaceted figure in the medieval period. She was a mystic, composer, writer, and theologian. Hildegard experienced vivid visions from a young age, which she believed were messages from God and angels. Her writings, including "Scivias" and her musical compositions, reflect her deep spirituality and devotion to God. She was a pioneer in her time and left a lasting legacy in both religious and artistic domains.

The legends and stories of individuals making deals with good and evil entities have captivated human imagination for centuries. While these narratives often blend fact and fiction, they serve as powerful symbols that explore the complexities of human desires, aspirations, and beliefs.

Whether it's the cautionary tales of those who allegedly sold their souls to malevolent forces or the inspiring stories of individuals who dedicated their lives to higher ideals, these historical figures continue to remind us of the eternal struggle between good and evil within the human soul.

Ultimately, these legends and myths reflect the timeless human quest for meaning and purpose in the face of the unknown.