Saint Cyprian of Antioch, I beseech you that those bound by evil spirits and wicked sorceries be unbound +
I beseech you to shatter all bewitchments and oppressions +
Save us from the dominion of the wild beasts +
Saint Cyprian preserve us from all evil sorceries, spirits, and malicious arts +
Guard us in thought, action, and feeling +
Throw into confusion the wicked ones who seek our lives +
Confound them with your power +
Holy Saint Cyprian I beseech you to be our guard and savior +
By your power may we triumph ever more. +
- translation of popular prayer to Saint Cyprian of Antioch
Today, September 17th, marks the first of the Nine Days of Cyprian, a novena period of devotion, magic, and charitable works between the Feast Day of St. Cyprian of Carthage (September 16th) and the Feast Day of St. Cyprian of Antioch (September 26th). While both are canonized in the Roman Catholic church, the latter is a renowned figure in occultism globally.
Legend has it that Saint Cyprian of Antioch was a profoundly gifted pagan sorcerer in the 3rd century CE who studied and trained in the esoteric arts throughout the Old World from youth into adulthood. He eventually encountered the devout Christian virgin Justina whom he attempted to magically influence for amorous purposes by sending demons her way. His efforts, however, were effectively rebuked by Justina’s repeated gesturing of the sign of the cross, mad unbothered and with zero fucks to give. His agenda defeated, Saint Cyprian converted and eventually became a bishop. Both he and Justina were later martyred by being boiled in a cauldron and beheaded. It is generally believed that he continued to practice magic and sorcery after his conversion and being made clergy, adding unto him keys to the ecclesiatical (Upperworld) alongside the infernal (Underworld). A more detailed biography can be found here.
Unofficial patron saint of magicians, conjurers, witches, necromancers, diviners, and seers, he remains an important figure in Iberian witchcraft, Mexican brujeria, and folk Catholicism in general. He additionally holds a special role in the hierarchy of Brazilian Quimbanda, and in some parts of Peru he is honored in the archetypal First Shaman role.
“What is certain is that Cyprian of Antioch exudes a particular mystique, an old world sorcerous practice given new life in the Americas. He is not a typical saint; he is truly a worker of both hands. In some areas, public devotion would carry with it a stigma of malefica and brujeria- which of course furthers his reputation, and increases divergent traditions of observation.”
- Jesse Hathaway Diaz in The Days of the Cyprians: Second Offering
Today there exist a plethora of grimoires (Cyprianis) either directly attributed to the saint or carrying claims of being channeled from him. Containing thousands of workings covering the vast scope of magical intentions, Saint Cyprian of Antioch is particularly well-known for aiding with:
curse-breaking, spiritual cleansing, and exorcism of persons and spaces
cultivating skill in the magical and divinatory arts
procuring, cultivating, and mediating relationships with other magical and spiritual allies
protection, binding, attack, and reversal magic
love drawing and love binding magic
As with many spirits - but less commonly, perhaps, than with most saints - I strongly believe that not all of us are called to work with Saint Cyprian. It would behoove those who are, however, to heed the call and step up to engage and remain in right relationship with him through devotion, offerings, heart-centered apprenticeship, and charitable acts performed in his name.
I briefly touched upon my personal relationship with Saint Cyprian in a blog post two years ago and both introductory and in-depth resources regarding this marvelous saint continue to written by practitioners around the world (along with possibly innumerable occult groups bearing his name and claiming his tutelage).
Below is a list of resources on him and his role in many traditions, some of which have been made known to me via other devotees’ compilations (my gratitude to them):
Prayers & Hymns
Books & Pamphlets
Saint Cyprian: Saint of Necromancers, by ConjureMan Ali (available as hardcopy and ebook editions)
Saint Cyprian & the Sorcerous Transmutation, by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold (available as hardcopy and ebook editions)
The Testament of Saint Cyprian the Mage, by Jake Stratton-Kent (available as hardcopy and ebook / Kindle editions)
Exu & the Quimbanda of Night & Fire, by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold (available as hardcopy and ebook / Kindle editions)
Locations & Events
Walk In Power,
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