Selling your soul has never been easier. Today, there are plenty of demonology books that teach you how to bargain with Lucifer, written by authors who have probably done this themselves on multiple occasions.
But perhaps this is the problem. With this much information available, it’s hard to know where to start. Does Satan accept your soul through Amazon delivery, or must it be done in person? Do you need a written contract, or is it enough to shake hand-with-hoof?
How to sell your soul
Why does the devil want you soul?
First of all, why does Lucifer, Satan or any devil, want your soul? What would a demon gain from obtaining your soul?
In Christian mythology, the fallen angel Lucifer wants to sabotage God at every step, and one way to do so is to interfere in God’s plans through His own creations – humans.
The logic being that if you don’t have immortality, immeasurable wealth, or power, then God has other plans for you. By doing a deal with the devil to get these, you give the devil an opening to interfere with God’s carefully laid plans.
Another version is that God and Satan are in the midst of a fierce good vs. evil battle, where souls are the “currency” they fight for.
In other understandings of Christianity, devils and demons aren’t directly in a fight with the forces of Good. They are more like seducers, approaching people at their weakest and offer quick solutions for hard problems, at the cost of morality and sense of self.
Finally, many demons and devils want to obtain a person’s soul for no particular reason, other than the challenge and satisfaction of knowing they “got it”.
An example of this is from the poem Faust, where God makes a bet with Mephistopheles that the demon can’t obtain the soul of the human Faust, no matter how much the demon tries.
Some demons want souls to improve their power and position within the demon reals. Demons have a hierarchy too and capitalism is its own kind of hell, even in real Hell.
What happens if you sell your soul to the devil?
Let’s assume you’ve struck a deal with the devil, and have all the riches, wealth and power you ever want for the remainder of your mortal life.
Some time later, you’re on your deathbed and Lucifer’s coming to collect your soul, as you bargained so many years ago.
What happens now?
Well, your soul now belongs to Mr. Lucifer and he can do with it whatever he pleases. He could turn you into a footrest for when he’s sitting on a couch, or torture you for eternity with hellfire.
If you subscribe to the theory that you can’t sell your soul because it’s not actually yours, but belongs to God, then there’s reason for optimism. In this case, selling your soul is just a sin, a pretty bad one, but still a sin. In Catholicism and some Protestant traditions, you will enter into a state of Purgatory, (or purgatory-like phase) after death where you are cleansed of sins. This could potentially take a while.
An interesting consequence to selling your soul is in the animated series Death Note, which is set in Japan and inspired by Japanese folklore and Buddhism. A Shinigami (Japanese devil) offers the main character a Death Note – a book which kills any person whose name is written in it.
The owner of a Death Note can use it however they wish. The cost is that whoever uses the Death Note will be denied access to Heaven, and be a condemned to an afterlife of pure, eternal darkness and emptiness.
How to summon or call Satan, Lucifer or any other devil
So, you’ve now made an informed decision that selling your soul is actually a pretty sweet deal. But how exactly do you start this business transaction?
First, you will need to decide which demon or devil you want to bargain with. Chances are you’re not important enough to sell your soul to Big Lucifer or Satan himself (sorry, but he’s pretty busy), so you’ll likely have to settle for other, lesser demons:
- Call upon Mammon or Clauneck, if you want money and fortune,
- Summon Paimon If you seek knowledge of sciences, philosophies and learn the mysteries of the Earth.
- Invoke Marbas if you wish to cause, or heal, diseases.
- Summon Purson if you seek to learn the mysteries of the universe, how and why the world was created.
- Saleos can make any man or woman fall in love with you.
If neither of these demons seem quite right choice, consider reading The Dictionary of Demons by M. Belanger, which is free on an Audible trial.
Next comes the actual summoning ritual, where you call upon the devil or demon of your choice and begin bargaining your soul away.
The traditional method of summoning demons involves drawing the sigil of your desired demon on the ground. If your summoning ritual is successful the demon will be conjured on the location of the sigil and be unable to move away from it. They are constrained to that particular location, and cannot affect anything beyond it.
Besides the sigil, you might also want a ring of protection for you to sit in. This ring will shield you from the demon if the summoning was botched or if the demon’s aggressive and angry at being called.
In non-traditional versions, there is no demon summoning process involved. Instead, the demon itself will sense when you are vulnerable to evil temptation and appear seemingly out of nowhere and slowly initiate the bargaining process.
As an example, the Shinigami in Death Note simply dropped the cursed notebook from the sky right in front of the main character as he was walking around university campus.
In the poem Faust, the demon Mephistopheles took the form of a stray poodle dog and followed Faust home. Once in Faust’s study room, Mephistopheles shapeshifted back into his demon form and began bargaining with Faust.
But demons don’t only appear when you are vulnerable to evil. They may approach when you’re about to do something truly good and virtuous, and try to prevent you from completing the task. An example of this is when Satan himself tried to tempt Jesus away from his mission, or when he tried to stop Martin Luther from translating the Bible into German.
How do devils look like?
The traditional look of demons is familiar to most: they are hooved creatures, have horns, lizard scales, sometimes wings, breathe fire through animal-likes noses, have a tail with an arrow tip etc. Are fierce, ferocious and intimidating.
Hell – by Hans Memling
That version of demons arose in the Late Middle Ages, and was mostly a creation of the Christian Church of the time. Up until then, Lucifer-as-demon depictions were surprisingly similar to normal angels.
This 6th century mosaic in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy, shows an angel dressed in red, and Lucifer dressed in blue.
The reason for the change is that the Church wanted to associate sins with the Devil, and then made the Devil look like a hideous beast. As such, it creates an association that sinning turns sinners into monsters.
So will your summoned demon look like a fierce, intimidating beast?
Not necessarily. Modern depictions of demons emphasize that demons can take any shape or form.
As an example, the demon in the 1997 film The Devil’s Advocate looks identical to Al Pacino.
In the film The VVitch, the demon is an actual goat. In the poem Faust, Mephistopheles first takes the shape of a poodle dog, and then that of a human.
The idea is that Satan and demons in general can take any shape necessary to convince you to fall into temptation. It makes sense after all, why would a demon take the shape of a scary beast if it wants to convince you to sell your soul?
How to make a pact, deal, ritual or contract with the devil
So, you’ve now successfully summoned the demon, bargained and agreed on the terms and conditions of selling your soul and what you get in return.
How do you make good on your agreement? Do you shake hands (or hooves)? Write a demon pact? Sign a contract in blood?
Well, you’ll be surprised to know that Satan and every other devil isn’t that big on bureaucracy and paperwork. In general, it’s humans that require more formal contracts.
The traditional version requires a contract signed with the blood of the person. An example of this is Theophilus of Adana, a priest who entered a blood pact with Satan to become a Bishop.
In fact, the idea that deals with the devil had to be done in written forms was so entrenched, that Swedish courts in the 17th-18th century outright dismissed suspected cases of devil dealing if there wasn’t an actual contract involved.
Nowadays, deals with the devil can be done in multiple ways.
In Death Note, the main character only enters a pact after doing an action, in this case writing a victim’s name in the Death Note.
In many cases, deals with demons can be done verbally, but require a special kind of ritual first. An example of this is agreeing to a demonic deal at a windy crossroads.
A more interesting way of entering a pact, is by sending out an “offer”, that the demon can accept or refuse.
For instance, in a medieval German land, an exhausted mother was upset her young baby couldn’t stop crying. Out of frustration, she lifted her baby, held him out the window, and said “If you don’t stop crying, I want the Black One to take you!”. At that moment, the devil appeared under the window, snatched the baby from her, and ran away.
With that being said, can you sell your soul just by thinking it?
The answer is no, you cannot sell your soul just by thinking it. The devil may not care about the form of the contract, but he does want the consent to be freely given and clearly expressed, either verbally or written.
Finally, a common consequence of entering a deal is being marked by the demon, in one way or another.
As an example, witches that entered deals with demons but end them before selling their souls become “marked”.
In the video game Witcher 3, the main character Geralt of Rivia enters a deal with a devil, and bears his mark until the contract is completed.
Unfortunately, this superstition of “bearing the mark of the devil” used to have some very real consequences hundreds of years back. People with unusual birth marks or scars were shunned, persecuted or even accused of being witches or warlocks.
In the worst-case scenario, these birth marks were even used as valid proof during witch hunts and trials that ended in executions.
How do demon contracts work?
Now that the terms have been agreed, and the blood has dried, what can you expect from your new working relationship with Mr. Satan?
Generally, demons respect the letter of a contract, and not its spirit. As an example, a girl with a talent for dancing says at a party: “and if the Devil himself should ask me to dance, I would not turn him down!”. After that is said, the Devil himself, disguised as a handsome man, entered the ballroom and danced with her until she died of exhaustion.
Obviously, she meant the words as a figure of speech, but the demon held her to the letter of the contract.
On a more positive note, Devils are surprisingly good contract partners. They always respect the contract to the letter and uphold their part of the bargain. If they promised you wealth, fame and knowledge, that’s what you’ll get.
In fact, this tendency of demons to respect contracts to the letter even offers clever people a way to break the deal, by forcing the demon to respect the letter (and not the spirit) of the contract.
For example, a priest once asked the devil to build a bridge over a river, in exchange for the soul of the first one to cross the bridge. The devil upholds his side of the bargain and builds the bridge, but the priest then sends a dog to be the first one to cross it. Realizing he was tricked, the demon throws the dog over the bridge as a consolation prize.
In another story, the students at the Black School of Wittenberg cursed their classroom with black magic, so that the last one to leave has to give his soul to the Devil. To escape this fate, the last student successfully argues with the demon that his shadow is the last one to leave the room, and thus the demon should steal its soul instead.
This begs the question, why would a being of such great supernatural power be so easily duped out of a contract? The answer is partly moral, partly practical in nature: no matter how big a mistake you make, being smart can fix it. If that doesn’t work, then go to the Church and ask for redemption.
Stories of people dealing with the Devil and selling their souls
There have been many stories of people who sold their soul to the devil.
Perhaps one of the most interesting stories of real people bargaining with the devil is that of Niccolò Paganini, one of the most famous violinists and composers of all time.
People speculated that his near supernatural talent with the violin came about as part of a deal with the devil. This speculation was further blown out of proportion because Paganini neither confirmed nor denied the rumors.
If Paganini did ask the devil for musical ability, it came at a heavy cost. His entire life was marred by chronic illnesses, love of gambling, financial ruin near the end of his days and the Church refusing to provide a proper funeral until many years after his death.
Other interesting tales include:
The epic poem Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. You can acquire the audiobook version for free with Audible’s free trial. Inspired by a real story.
The animated TV series Death Note, which you can watch on Netflix.
Joan of Arc had a working relationship with the devil, according to the English. Joan was a military commander on the side of the French in the Hundred Years War, and rose to fame because she claimed to have divine visions that lead her into battle. Eventually, the English captured Joan and put her on trial for heresy, believing her visions may have been caused by demons, instead of God or angels.
Can you really sell your soul?
If you want to sell your soul, chances are very high you won’t be able to do so in the ways described above. Most likely, you won’t even be able to catch the attention of even the lowliest of demons.
On a philosophical level, simply chatting with the devil is a blessing of knowledge. By implication, if the devil exist, then God must exist. If God exists, then everything has a purpose, both in life and in afterlife.
If you’re already a strong believer this will not come as a shock to you, just a strengthening of the faith. If you are an atheist, then this is the sort of experience that turns a life upside down.
That being said, while you can’t sell your soul to the devil in a real transaction, you can do so at metaphorical level.
This happens every time someone is willing to overlook their humanity and decency in exchange for external temptations: power, money, fame etc.
Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be external pleasures. Ignoring basic human principles in order to obtain revenge, satisfy pride or envy can lead down the same path.
Depending on your understanding of what a demon is, then it can be argued all evil present in the world has been brought upon through deals with the devil.