A Few Notes on St. Cyprian

The Sorcerer Saint
The Sorcerer Saint
Someone recently posted some questions on the blog in response to my previous article on St. Cyprian. Instead of simply answering the question, I decided to write an essay to be posted on the blog, since others may find it of interest. St Cyprian of Antioch was on the rolls of officially venerated Saints until a few decades ago. Like many other folkloric saints such as Saint Barbara there is little actual evidence that they ever existed.

Folklore has it that Saint Cyprian was a Magus or Magician until his conversion to Christianity and later martyrdom. Part of the folklore has it that he never completely gave up the practice of magic. It is said that he continued to practice the magical arts in secret. If St. Cyprian did exist ( and I suspect that the legend is based on an actual individual or individuals), then what he practiced was likely some form of Theurgy and/or Hermeticism. Those who are looking for a good overview on this subject should see the book Hermetic Magic by Stephen Edred Flowers.

Assuming he did exist, I have I have serious doubts as to whether he had “dealings with demons” or he was “working with Lucifer” as one poster worded it. This perspective was simply Church propaganda, which tended to smear any type of involvement with magic, spiritual healing and divination as “demonic” or “Satanic”. Lets face facts, the church still labels any spiritual entities outside of official Church dogma as being of demonic or fallen origin. Thus they continue to label the Beings that we routinely work with in the ATR’s, such as the Orishas, the Lwa, the Mpungo, Nkisi, Eggun etc as being “demonic”.

The ancient peoples such as the Romans, Greeks, Chaldeans, Egyptians etc. tended to not make such hard and fast distinctions between “demons” and “daemons” unless the entity in question was overtly malevolent. The entity Lucifer historically was not identified with either Satan or with demons. The Church however was quite eager to do so and for it’s own reasons, which was to extend it’s control over the minds of all people everywhere. It could not tolerate any other forms of belief outside of it’s control. A good book that delves into how the myth of the Devil was created and developed over time is Elaine Pagel’s work The Origins of Satan. For the record I do not believe in the existence of the Devil, although I do concede that it is a powerful Jungian psychological archetype.

Getting back to the subject at hand – St. Cyprian, I believe that he can be regarded in Lucumi terms, as a type of Eggun, a “Muerto” or form of Spiritual Guide. Even if he did not actually historically exist, he could still be seen as a useful spiritual entity, falling into the category of “Egregore.” This is a mass thought form which has been energetically empowered and sustained for centuries by continuous prayers and devotions. Either way, St. Cyprian represents a vibrant spiritual entity.

In folklore, St. Cyprian was seen as the patron Saint of diviners, magicians, spiritists and spiritual workers. He therefore is appealed to and petitioned to increase one’s knowledge and abilities in such areas. One person on the blog asked me if I thought it “would be positive/beneficial to communicate with this Saint?” My answer is that it depends. As the old saying goes “if i do not know you then why are you calling me?”. I see no reason for just anyone to attempt communication if he or she has no direct business with this Saint. In other words, if an individual is not a spiritual worker of some type and does not have a strong affinity for this Saint, then the communication should not be attempted. A second instance would be in those cases in which the Saint himself has initiated contact. A third instance would be if during the course of a registro or reading it came down that one should start working with this or any other entity.

In my case, it appears that it is St Cyprian that attempted contact. I was not even thinking about him when this occurred. It was an out of the blue occurrence. As to why he contacted me, well I have my suspicions, but I will keep those to myself for the moment, and continue to slowly work with him over the course of time.

Kal Continue reading “A Few Notes on St. Cyprian”

A Dream about St. Cyprian Patron Saint of Sorcerers

St. Cyprian of Carthage
It was a long and tiring day yesterday, and I retired to bed early. In the small hours of the morning I had a vivid, semi-lucid dream. In it, a figure appeared and informed me he was St Cyprian of Antioch (known as San Cipriano in Spanish). He then struck up a conversation, in which among other things; the figure promised spiritual gifts and continued communications in the future. Then the Saint vanished and the dream ended. I woke up immediately afterwards and was left with a very pronounced feeling of just having had a spiritual visitation. I noted the time, which was 3 a.m.

I decided to pull out my notebook and jot down some observations about the dream. I then turned to the internet to get further information about this little known (at least to me) Saint. According to the information I found, he was born in Carthage between the years 249 to 251 A.D. Allegedly, he was taught magic, astrology and necromancy as a child, but later converted to Christianity. Legend asserts that he never completely renounced the old ways, but continued to practice and teach in private. There are a number of Grimoires that are attributed to him, and which bear his name. These are quite popular in Latin America and Brazil. Evidently he is the unofficial patron Saint of those who work magic and traffic with spirits, visions and prophecy.

At the close of my research I noted his feast day- September 16. I have been traveling the past few days and had lost track of the date. I got up from bed and walked over to the calendar. I was shocked. Today is Sunday, September the 16th. Today is his feast day! The visitation was indeed on the very start of the day. This I decided is indeed a sign. Me thinks I will be hearing again from this St Cyprian of Antioch.

Kal

Second Thoughts on working with Spirits

Are all spirits trustworthy?
Interest in spirits, ghosts, Spiritism and spiritualism has been on the upswing the past decade or so. There has been a torrent of books, films, websites all about these subjects. But, we need to pause and ask ourselves if trafficking with spirits is always a safe and beneficial practice.

There is a tendency these days to assume that spirits (with a little work) are eager to help us and that contact with them is a necessary and beneficial process. For example, I have seen many instances where an individual visits a spiritist, santero or palero. The individual is told they have a “spirit close to them” such as a gypsy. The person is instructed to pay attention to the spirit, giving it prayers, candles, coffee, etc. But what no one may realize, is that yes, the spirit is indeed close to the person, but that it is not a good thing the person is giving attention to the spirit.

In the instance of the gypsy spirit, she in life may have had a difficult upbringing that pushed her to be conniving and rather resourceful in obtaining goods or thieving. By working with that spirit, one is strengthening it. The person is giving it energy to be able to intervene in this world, and to influence thoughts and behavior. Soon the person is experiencing problems in his or her life. The person may even start to exhibit behaviors the spirit was partial too in life. The spirit may even drag down and ruin the person’s life.

Continue reading “Second Thoughts on working with Spirits”

First Anniversary of The Mystic Cup

The Mystic Cup Celebrates its 1st Anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of the launching of the mystic cup. During this past year we have seen a steady and rapid growth in our readership. We have also experienced a growth in the number of contacts with both individuals and groups. We have been encouraged by the many instances of positive feedback from readers. Our aim has always been to write about spiritual experiences, and most of us who are on the Mystic Cups writing crew are in some manner involved with African Traditional Religions (ATRs). Thus, most of our articles reflect this involvement. We also work towards connecting with other members of the broader ATR community and to discuss our shared issues, opinions, gripes and things learned along the way. We have also striven to provide clear and truthful information about the ATR experience so that people outside that community can get a better understanding and a sense of the flavor of practicing an ATR.

We have been especially pleased to see an increase of readership from outside of North America and the Caribbean. We have noticed an increase of interest in ATR’s and Spiritism within Ceremonial Magick, Wiccan and Neo-Pagan circles. We hope that our articles have been informative, thought provoking and entertaining.

In the coming year we will tackle some topics that we initially envisioned writing about but have not yet addressed, some will be rather hot and volatile so be prepare for some healthy debates, after all…the unexamined life is not worth living and certainly spirituality deserves careful and constant examination.

We would also like to see more submissions of articles from others about their own spiritual traditions and experiences. In closing, our core team Janus, Omimelli and I, would like to say thank you for your support and readership. Stay tuned… there is more to come.

Kal
Olo Obatalá

P.S. Since Omimelli is our main writer, I want to post one of her favorite songs as a little present for all the long hard hours of gathering and preparing materials for The Mystic Cup.

Into the Mystic by Van Morrison

An Extreme Threat to Your Boveda Practice

Spirits, spirits everywhere...

There are many mysterious forces at work in the world of which we are unaware. Some seem to take special delight in throwing up obstacles, setbacks and creating general mayhem. The objective appears oriented towards obstructing progress in both our spiritual and mundane lives.

On the face of evidence, it would appear that there are classes of entities such as gremlins, fairies- call them what you will, which are malicious trickster spirits that bedevil our existence. I have long been convinced that there is indeed a specific instance of where these spirits take on material form so as to carry out acts of wickedness more effectively on the material plane. I am speaking here of the dreaded Felis Domesticus: The common house cat.

This entity perhaps offers the greatest threat both to your sanity and the sanctified spiritual space known as the Boveda. Inexplicably, these creatures are drawn to your shrine, at first simply to investigate, later to return and wreck havoc.
Continue reading “An Extreme Threat to Your Boveda Practice”