Today I arose with the desire to make an offering and prayer to St Cyprian. Inspired by the working, here is an article I wrote back in 2007 on the cult of St Cyprian. It was published in Behutet, and later re-published in The Cauldron.
Of course my article was really just a simple survey of his amazing and wide-spread popularity among magicians and Witches throughout the centuries. Since that was published, there has been a lot of exposition on the cult of St Cyprian. Most notably the Hadean Press pamphlets: Saint Cyprian: Saint of Necromancers by Conjureman Ali and St. Cyprian and the Sorcerous Transmutation by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold. Both of these are in Guides to the Underworld Volume 1: The Saints, which you should go out and purchase immediately.
There is of also the publication of The Grimoire of St Cyprian: Clavis Inferni, which is a must-have for anyone that is interested in Metatron.
I have heard of a translation soon to be released of one of the Portuguese Cyprian Spell Books, but I don’t have any firm info on it yet.
Anyway, without further ado, here is my own short article on St Cyprian from 2007.
The Cult of St Cyprian – Patron Saint of Sorcerers
St Cyprian ofAntiochis an officially recognized saint in both Roman Catholicism and theEasternOrthodoxChurches. He is notable primarily because of his being a powerful pagan sorcerer before his conversion to Christianity. In the official church versions of the story, he renounces all Sorcery and Magick upon his conversion. There is another version of the story however, an occult tradition which holds that Cyprian did not renounce the practice of magick, but worked it alongside of his priestly duties as the Bishop of Antioch. This occult tradition spread amazingly far and has popped up in Denmark,Portugal,Peru,Mexico,Brazil, and Italy.
Cyprian was born in Carthage during the reign of Decius (249-251). As a child he was dedicated by his parents to the service of Apollo and at the age of seven he was given over to magicians for the study of sorcery. This study sent him all over the ancient world gathering occult knowledge. First he went toMountOlympuswhere he learned to control the weather and the seas. At age ten he went toArgoswhere he served the Goddess Juno and learned the arts of deception. He later went to Taurapolis (on the island of Icara) in the service of the goddess Diana; and from there he went to Sparta, where he learned the rites of Necromancy among the graves there. At the age of twenty, Cyprian came to Egypt, and in the city of Memphishe learned yet greater charms and incantations. In his thirtieth year he went to the Chaldeans, and having learned astrology there, he finished his studies.
Returning to Antiochto set up shop as a professional Sorcerer, he fell in love with a young maiden named Justina. Cyprian conjured a spirit to inflame Justina with lust for him, but because Justina performed prayers daily, and marked herself with the sign of the cross, the spirit was unsuccessful. Cyprian than tried several, progressively stronger, methods to gain Justina but all of them failed. Impressed with the power of the Cross, he made it over himself and suddenly found himself free of all the Pagan pacts that he had previously made.
According to the church Cyprian went to the Christian Bishop Anthimus to make confession and get baptized. He renounced all sorcery and eventually became a Bishop. Justina became a Nun and they remained in close contact for the rest of their lives until they were both Martyred together by Claudius in Nicomedia for failing to renounce Christ.
There exist other versions of this story however. In these versions Cyprian did not renounce sorcery, but instead practiced it in secret, alongside of his Christian duties. Some say that he and Justina carried on a magical partnership like Simon Magus and Helena had done before them. Legend has it that Cyprian recorded his occult knowledge in a secret Spellbook – one of the most powerful in the world. There have since been many books claiming either to be Cyprians or to be inspired by his occult wisdom. They are found the world over.
In Spain, Portugal, Mexico and Brazil Cyprian is a very popular Saint. Statues, spell kits, lithographs, Oils and Soaps concerning the Saint are sold commonly in Botanicas for those seeking occult wisdom. In addition to these there exist several different Spell Books attributed to Cyprian, which claim to represent his occult knowledge. Among the population at large there is a great amount of fear and superstition surrounding these books which have been linked to mysterious suicides and murders, but among practitioners Cyprian can be powerful force to be called upon.
“The prototype, or the archetype of these practices, I should say, is San Cipriano, who was at the same time a Bishop and Sorcerer, and whose martyrdom was his being burned at the stake as a witch, and later exonerated, probably at the behest of some later pope or bishop who was a sorcerer also. I am not sure how all that came about, but I intend to find out. The most famous grimorio of them all, the “Libro de San Cipriano”, also known as the “Tesoro del Hechicero”, is alleged to have been written by him, but it was actually produced by way of automatic writing at the hand of a German monk named Jones Sulfurino in the year 1000 AD. Most of this was the recreation of a book or set of books that Cipriano had penned and then had later burned, during his lifetime. The spirits who operated the hand of Jones Sulfurino retrieved it and reproduced it in this way. The best known edition was printed in Spain in the 16th century, and original copies still exist, that have been passed down for generations in families throughout the Spanish speaking world, including here in Mexico. I have a friend who has an original copy. I have a couple of books that have reprinted sections of this.”
-MEXICAN HERBAL MAGIC
by E. BRYANT HOLMAN
The Spanish and Portuguese versions of Cyprians books tend to have pretty straight forward spells similar to other types of Catholic Folk Magick and Hoodoo, though they do seem to focus a bit more on animal sacrifice than other books. For instance:
Cook the body of a black cat in boiling water with white seeds and wood from the willow until the meat is loosened from the bones. Strain the bones in a linen cloth and, in front of the mirror, place the bones, one by one in your mouth, until you find that you have the magic to make you become invisible. Keep the bone with the magic property and, if you want to go somewhere without being seen, place the bone in your mouth.
The spell of the black dog When a black dog has died, carefully take out its right eye. Then, place this eye in a box and carry it in your pocket. When you shake this little box to any dog, he will follow the owner of the box wherever he may go, even if the owner does not want so. The dog will go away when you make three beckoning movements with the same box..
Antigo Livro de São Cipriano, 1993
Translated by Ray Vogensen
Rootworkers familiar with Hoodoo will recognize the instructions for the famous Black Cat Bone spell above. The books contain more spells like this as well as instructions for making pacts with Lucifer – and of course the obligatory warnings against doing so.*
In Peru, St Cyprian plays a major role as Healer, and Curanderos often carry staves made from Chonta Wood bearing his image. Shaman Eduardo Caldrones invocation for using his Snake Staff reveals some interesting legends about the saint:
“play my serpant staff!
account of san Cyprian,
who from the first years,
played with the three wise men,
and with moses and solomon.
Cabbalist, surgeon, old traveler,
with his enchantment, well raised!
My bronze snake,
with great powers playing amoung the vipers.
The bushmaster, silachacocha, the mococha,
with big eyes they come raising,
and with their tongues they go accounting,
playing and crawling,
flowering the powers.”
From a private translation of: Eduardo el curandero: las palabras de un curador peruano by Cowan & Sharon Calderon
Cyprians cult extends far outside just Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries however. In a dusty attic in Elverum Norway, two black books with writing only on the center few pages were found by Mary Rustad. On the title of the first book is an inscription which reads:
“A Little book of Black Arts
or a summary of Cyprianus
that was written by Bishop
Johnathan Sell from Oxford
In England year 1682”
These two black books are filled with spells and cures similar to other books of folk magick and an English translation is available from Galde Press. Apparently there are dozens of such Cyprianus Books scattered throughout Norway and Denmark.
Cyprians influence is not only expressed as folk magick. Both the “Cypriani Citatio Angelorvm.” (Cyprians citation to the Angels) and the “Dimissio Cypriani” (Cyprian’s Dismissal) are included in the spurious 16th-century Verus Jesuitarum Libellus, which is often translated “The True Magical Work of the Jesuits” but which is better translated as “The True Notebooks of the Jesuits”. The Latin and English versions of the “Libellus Magicus” can be found online at
St Cyprian ofAntiochhas served as occult inspiration to many throughout the world, both by mainstream Christians who view him as a type of Faust that conquered his demons through the power of Christ, and by Christian mystics and occultists who seek to emulate his occult powers. He is one of the many occult saints like Expedite, Jesus Malverde, Maximo, Santisima Muerte, and scores of others that have histories, novenas, and powers beyond those that are recognized by the Vatican. I myself have called upon his aid in the past and the writing of this article is my fulfillment of the pact I made with him. If you call upon him I hope that he treats you as well as he did me.