Days of the Cyprians 2015

Holy Saint Cyprian of Antioch!  Mage, martyr and mystic; theurge, thaumaturge, and theophoros; saint, sorcerer, and sage!  Pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen. + + + + + + + + +

Icon of Saint Cyprian of Antioch

Yes, it’s that time again!  Yesterday, September 16, was the Feast of Saint Cyprian of Carthage, one of the great writers of Western Christianity and patron saint of all those in northern Africa, who lived between c. 200 and 258 AD.  This means that, in only a few days, the Feast of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, the great saint of sorcerers, magicians, necromancers, and occultists, will be here, and today begins the nine-day period of the Days of the Cyprians.  I may not have spoken about him lately as much as I did last year, but don’t worry, Saint Cyprian of Antioch is still my patron saint and one of the closest and most powerful teachers I have in my magical studies.  From preservation against evil to fortification in the occult, Saint Cyprian of Antioch is one of the great magicians of our lineage, and the Days of the Cyprians is an awesome time to honor him.

Saint Cyprian of Antioch’s feast day is September 26.  The feast day of Saint Cyprian of Carthage, however, is September 16 (yesterday).  These two feast days are spaced nine days apart, and nine is a number sacred to Saint Cyprian of Antioch.  These nine days are called the Days of the Cyprians, starting today.  Some devotees and followers of Saint Cyprian of Antioch use these days for special devotions, charitable actions, and powerful works in honor of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, and I plan on doing the same starting tonight.  My household and I are doing novenas to Saint Cyprian of Antioch, seeing how we all work with occult powers in distinct ways that often focus on the dead and on our ancestors, as well as to ask for his blessings in the coming year.  Besides, we could probably use his help more and more as we continue to grow!  The closer I work with Saint Cyprian, the more things I can do are revealed to me, especially with me falling fairly solidly under his patronage.

I also want to use this period to do something special for Saint Cyprian of Antioch.  Many saints have their preferred offerings, this type of flower or that type of drink, but in general saints love acts of charity: giving to the poor, helping the disenfranchised, and generally doing good works for others.  With that in mind, I had an idea for a bit of a contribution of sorts, and I need your help with this.  Long story short, pitch in some cash to donate to people who are badly off, and you’ll get entered into a raffle for something in return.  I hope you consider pitching in, since this is a way we can all help out and earn the blessings of the good saint together.  I’m going to handle this a bit differently from how I did this last year, but the overall idea is the same:

  1. Donate money, no less than US$3.00, directly to the charity Doctors Without Borders.  I suggest $9 or amounts in multiples of 9 (27, 81, 90…), since this is a number sacred to Saint Cyprian of Antioch.
  2. After you have donated to the cause, send me an email to “polyphanes at gmail dot com” with the header “Saint Cyprian of Antioch, pray for us” and with proof of your donation such as an email or PDF receipt, remembering to remove any information you feel uncomfortable sending.  With this email, please send me any special petitions you would like to be made to Saint Cyprian of Antioch, and whether you wish to remain anonymous in the final fundraiser thank-you.
  3. Every person who donates money will have prayers made in their name and their petition presented to Saint Cyprian on their behalf when I make devotions to him that night.
  4. Every person who donates will be eligible for a prize (see below), with the winners chosen randomly at noon US Eastern time on Saturday, September 26.
  5. You can donate however many times you want or however much you want, each donation getting a different petition put to Saint Cyprian, but you’ll only be entered into the raffle once.
  6. These rules are valid starting with this post and ending at 9 p.m. US Eastern time on Friday, September 25.  Notifications of donations made after that point will not be considered for this contest.

Doctors Without Borders was founded in 1990 in New York City to raise funds, create awareness, recruit field staff, and advocate with the United Nations and US government on humanitarian concerns.  Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières is an international medical humanitarian organization that provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters.  Charitable humanitarian work, especially in war-torn or disaster-afflicted areas, can be hard to do, and these doctors are doing all they can to help make the lives of the least of us at least a little better, free as much as possible from injury and illness.  If anyone is doing the work of God and the gods and saints, it’s these good people, and I think they’re definitely worth donating to in the honor of Saint Cyprian of Antioch.  After all, a good portion of magic involves healing, and the world could use as much of it as possible right about now.  You need to know how to make curses in order to break them, and you need to know how poisons work in order to make medicine work.  Saint Cyprian knows this well, and this is a good effort to spread healing and medicine and wellness into the world in his name and honor.

On Saturday, September 26, the Feast of Saint Cyprian, I’ll announce the winners of the raffle, and will ask them for their addresses. If fewer than nine people donate, I’ll only be giving out free geomancy readings as prizes, but assuming at least nine people donate to the cause, the winners will receive a particular Cyprian-themed craft I’ll be consecrating under Saint Cyprian of Antioch for you to wear or use in your Work, both with the saint and in your magical activities generally.  The prizes are:

  • One of three seed bead necklaces
  • A bone, amethyst, obsidian, and evil eye bracelet
  • A bone, garnet, jet, and evil eye bracelet
  • A bone, wood, tiger’s eye, and evil eye bracelet
  • A niner chaplet made from amethyst and evil eye beads with black tourmaline pendulum
  • A niner chaplet made from bone and quartz beads with black tourmaline pendulum
  • A niner chaplet made from obsidian, amethyst, and bone beads with black tourmaline pendulum

I’ll send these out ASAP on Monday, September 28.  Given the results from last year, I doubt that I’ll just be giving out free geomancy readings, and I hope we can top the $1000 we donated together to the Malala Fund.  I’ll be pitching in, too!  If you can, please spread and share this post to your friends, colleagues, coven mates, lodge, and others so we can spread the power and influence of Saint Cyprian across the world with good works and prayers to make the world better, and to put ourselves in a better position of power in the world.

If you don’t want to enter into the fundraiser (or even if you plan to), please take these upcoming nine days to build up a relationship to Saint Cyprian of Antioch.  Pray his chaplet, recite his litany, donate to local charities in his name, pray his novena, or just light a candle for him.  At the risk of shamelessly plugging my own stuff, if you need resources for prayer or ritual, you could always check out my Etsy page and buy my translation of the Book of Saint Cyprian or my collection of prayers to the good saint, including four separate novena prayers.  There are lots you can do to honor this saint, all culminating with his feast day on Saturday, September 26, including giving free readings, charitable magical work, donating to food banks, and so much else to help support those who need it.  If you have nothing else to do, join me in reciting a personal prayer of mine nightly during the Days of the Cyprians to Saint Cyprian of Antioch:

Hail, holy Saint Cyprian of Antioch!  Theurge and thaumaturge, sorcerer and saint, mage and martyr and mystic, pray for us, now and at the hour of our deaths.  May we come to honor and help the least among us, those deprived of good and those oppressed by the depraved, and lift them up to aid and shelter them as we look after ourselves.  May we come to love our neighbors as ourselves, regardless of appearance, origin, faith, or habit, and thereby come to honor and love all mankind as children and brethren of Almighty God.  In Christ Jesus, please intercede for us, Saint Cyprian of Antioch, and help us help each other.  Keep us safe from all harm, those who live comfortably in houses and those who walk homeless in streets, those who have plenty to eat and those who haven’t eaten in days, those who pray assiduously and those who lack all faith, those who make curses and those who break curses, those who heal and those who need healing, those who invade and those who defend.  We are all human and subject to the afflictions of humanity; help us, Saint Cyprian of Antioch, that we may tend to each other in a spirit of brotherhood and love that you show for us who cry out to you.  By lifting our eyes up in praise of God, help us rise to holiness we desire that we may honor the Lord; by casting our eyes down in humility to God, help us acknowledge the crimes we commit that we may rectify them.  Open our minds and hearts to the light of truth shining in eternal darkness, and show to our souls and spirits the darkness of wisdom hiding in blinding light.  As you worked with both hands to attain the will of God, help us to work with both our hands may we strive ever towards the salvation of ourselves, all mankind, the world, the universe, and the cosmos.  Through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, redeemer of humanity, amen. +

In addition, I’d like to add a twist to the novena this year.  If you noticed, at the beginning of this post, I began with an invocation to the saint, one which I say often, especially when donning a necklace, ring, or other effect to the saint, and whenever I begin work with him.  In it, there are nine “aspects” or “offices” I ascribe to Saint Cyprian of Antioch:

  1. Mage
  2. Martyr
  3. Mystic
  4. Theurge
  5. Thaumaturge
  6. Theophoros
  7. Saint
  8. Sorcerer
  9. Sage

Each of these nine days, I’d like you to meditate, contemplate, and focus on how Saint Cyprian of Antioch fulfills each of these offices.  What, exactly, is a mage to you, and how is Saint Cyprian a mage?  What were the conditions of his martyrdom, how was he blessed to become a martyr in the grace of Christ, and how might you give up your own sacrifices to attain grace?  How did Saint Cyprian wander as a mystic, how was he trained in the mysteries, and into what mysteries would or should you be led?  How did he accomplish the work of God (theurgy) as both priest and magician, and how can you come to know your own labors of theurgy?  How did he use his powers in the world to accomplish works of wonder (thaumaturgy), and what would you like to accomplish through acts of goetic, planetary, elemental, or other types of thaumaturgy?  How does he carry God (theophoros) around in his heart and on his shoulders, and how can you do the same in your daily and sacred life?  What does he stand for as a saint, and as a patron saint of magicians and necromancers and all those who interact with and live through the occult?  How did he become a sorcerer, determining the lots of life for himself and others?  What was the wisdom he accumulated to become a sage, and what kind of wisdom do you seek from him as a sage?

Go now with the blessing of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, and may you always enjoy the grace of God wherever you go.  May Saint Cyprian, Saint Justina, and Saint Theocistus watch over you and empower you in this world, the worlds above, and the worlds below in all your works and words.

Days of the Cyprians, and a Fundraiser in Honor of Saint Cyprian of Antioch

In the midst of all this mathesis stuff, I hope you, dear reader, haven’t forgotten that I have other things to chew on my metaphysical plate.  The past few months have been busy with developing the Tetractys of Life and mathetic rituals, but I’ve also been tackling other projects and problems as they’ve been coming up.  As I’ve started working with Saint Cyprian of Antioch this year, that amazing patron saint of magicians and all those who “work with both hands”, I’ve been making weekly offerings to him as well as other ex voto offerings as we exchange work for Work.  This time of year, the end of summer and start of fall, is important to the good saint; the Feast of Saint Cyprian of Antioch is coming up on September 26, which falls on a Friday this year.  The date is also important, as it’s the yearly festival of Venus Genetrix for the Romans, and since the lady is also important to me, it’s a day I really have to prepare for.  I’m planning a party for myself and many of my friends in honor of Saint Cyprian, which is nice since it’s on a Friday, but I have plenty of preparation to do in the meanwhile.

For one, today marks day one of the Days of the Cyprians.  As it turns out, there are two Saints Cyprian: one from Antioch whom we all know and love, and one from Carthage.  Saint Cyprian of Carthage is another Saint and Martyr of the Catholic Church (one who is officially recognized, no less) who lived in the third century AD, the Bishop of Carthage for about ten years, and eventually was persecuted and martyred under Emperor Valerian I.  He was famous in his day for being a classically trained orator from a rich family who turned to Christianity and became an important theologer and writer in early Christianity.  In fact, before Augustine and Jerome, Cyprian of Carthage was known as the Christian writer, and we can attribute the phrase “there is no salvation outside the Church” to him.  Of course, he’s not very commonly known nowadays and is only kinda dimly remembered by most of the Catholic Church, and I can’t really find anything he’s patron outside of being the patron saint of North Africa.  However, although the two saints are often conflated with each other, Saint Cyprian of Carthage is sufficiently different to have a different prayer medallion from Saint Cyprian of Antioch, as can be seen below.  Saint Cyprian of Antioch has his crosier and book, while Saint Cyprian of Carthage has his crucifix and (what looks like) palm fronds.

Saint Cyprian of Antioch’s feast day is September 26.  The feast day of Saint Cyprian of Carthage, however, is September 16 (yesterday).  These two feast days are spaced nine days apart, and nine is a number sacred to Saint Cyprian of Antioch.  These nine days are sometimes called the Days of the Cyprians, starting today.  Some devotees and followers of Saint Cyprian of Antioch use these days for special devotions, charitable actions, and powerful works in honor of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, and I plan on doing the same starting tonight.  My household and I are doing novenas to Saint Cyprian of Antioch, seeing how we all work with occult powers in distinct ways that often focus on the dead and on our ancestors, as well as to ask for his blessings in the coming year.  And given the excitement and development we’ve all been through this year, we could probably use his help more in the coming year!  Besides, the closer I work with Saint Cyprian, the more things I can do are revealed to me, especially with me falling fairly solidly under his patronage.

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I also want to use this period to do something special for Saint Cyprian of Antioch, too.  Many saints have their preferred offerings, this type of flower or that type of drink, but in general saints love acts of charity: giving to the poor, helping the disenfranchised, and generally doing good works for others.  With that in mind, I had an idea for a bit of a contribution of sorts, and I need your help with this.  Long story short, pitch in some cash for me to donate to people who are badly off, and you’ll get entered into a raffle for something in return.  I hope you consider pitching in, since this is a way we can all help out and earn the blessings of the good saint together.

Here are the rules:

  1. Donate money, no less than US$3.00, to my PayPal account using the button below (not the one on the sidebar unless you just want to give me money without getting anything in return).  I suggest $9 or amounts in multiples of 9 (27, 81, 90…), since this is a number sacred to Saint Cyprian of Antioch.
  2. Every person who donates money will have the Chaplet of Saint Cyprian prayed in their name and have petitions made to Saint Cyprian on their behalf when I make devotions to him that night.
  3. Every person who donates will be eligible for one of nine prizes (see below), with the winners chosen randomly by noon US Eastern time on Friday, September 26.
  4. When going through PayPal, please be sure to write “Saint Cyprian of Antioch, pray for us” in the instructions, along with your mailing address, any special petitions to be made to Saint Cyprian of Antioch, and whether you wish to remain anonymous in the final fundraiser thank-you.  If you’re unable to provide instructions through PayPal, please send me an email from the same address you sent money through PayPal.  If you do not do this, you will not be considered for this contest.
  5. You can donate however many times you want or however much you want, but you’ll only be entered into the raffle once.
  6. These rules are valid starting with this post and ending at 9 p.m. US Eastern time on Thursday, September 25.  Donations given after that point will not be considered for this contest.

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On Friday, September 26, the Feast of Saint Cyprian, I’ll announce the winners of the raffle.  There are nine prizes you can win, but if fewer than nine people donate, I’ll only be giving out free geomancy readings as prizes.  The prizes, assuming at least nine people pitch in, are:

  • Free geomancy reading ($20 value)
  • Free geomancy reading ($20 value)
  • Free uncrossing and blessing ritual ($50 value)
  • Free half-long consultation on your choice of topic ($50 value)
  • Free hour-long consultation on your choice of topic ($90 value)
  • Table of Practice with Tetragrammaton crystal ball stand ($60 value)
  • Chaplet (prayer beads) of Saint Cyprian, made with yak bone and amethyst beads and a saint medal, consecrated under Saint Cyprian of Antioch ($50 value)
  • Carcanet (ritual necklace) of Saint Cyprian, consecrated under him and made with glass, yak bone, and semiprecious beads ($60 value)
  • Large purple-sheen obsidian stone, a beautiful polished piece for scrying or offering to the gods or saints ($50 value)

On Monday, September 29, I’ll send out all the prizes and start talking to people about scheduling their readings and consultations.  I’ll go ahead and donate the entire sum of money accrued through PayPal to the charitable organization the Malala Fund which empowers girls through education and helps Pakistani, Kenyan, and Syrian children and refugees, and named after Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl activist who was shot by Taliban extremists, survived to world acclaim, and has been working since to improve the condition of life for girls and children across the world in extreme conditions.  I’ll be keeping none of the money for myself; it will all be donated in the name and honor of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, and I’ll post a giant thank-you to everyone who donated (if you want to remain anonymous, say so when you donate, but I will not report on how much individuals donated anyway).  The more people who donate, the more money can be raised and given to charity, so help spread the word and get more people involved!  I’ll be pitching in some seed fundraiser money, too, but I won’t be entering myself into the contest.

If you don’t want to enter into the fundraiser, then at least take these upcoming nine days to build up a relationship to Saint Cyprian of Antioch.  Pray his chaplet, donate to local charities in his name, pray his novena, or just pray to him and light a candle for him.  If you need resources for prayer or ritual, you could always check out my Etsy page and buy my translation of the Book of Saint Cyprian or my collection of prayers to the good saint, including four separate novena prayers.  There are lots you can do to honor this saint, all culminating with his feast day on Friday, September 26, including giving free readings, charitable magical work, donating to food banks, and so much else to help support those who need it.  If you have nothing else to do, join me in reciting this prayer nightly during the Days of the Cyprians to Saint Cyprian of Antioch:

Hail, holy Saint Cyprian of Antioch!  Theurge and thaumaturge, sorcerer and saint, mage and martyr and mystic, pray for us, now and at the hour of our deaths.  May we come to honor and help the least among us, those deprived of good and those oppressed by the depraved, and lift them up to aid and shelter them as we look after ourselves.  May we come to love our neighbors as ourselves, regardless of appearance, origin, faith, or habit, and thereby come to honor and love all mankind as children and brethren of Almighty God.  In Christ Jesus, please intercede for us, Saint Cyprian of Antioch, and help us help each other.  Keep us safe from all harm, those who live comfortably in houses and those who walk homeless in streets, those who have plenty to eat and those who haven’t eaten in days, those who pray assiduously and those who lack all faith, those who make curses and those who break curses, those who heal and those who need healing, those who invade and those who defend.  We are all human and subject to the afflictions of humanity; help us, Saint Cyprian of Antioch, that we may tend to each other in a spirit of brotherhood and love that you show for us who cry out to you.  By lifting our eyes up in praise of God, help us rise to holiness we desire that we may honor the Lord; by casting our eyes down in humility to God, help us acknowledge the crimes we commit that we may rectify them.  Open our minds and hearts to the light of truth shining in eternal darkness, and show to our souls and spirits the darkness of wisdom hiding in blinding light.  As you worked with both hands to attain the will of God, help us to work with both our hands may we strive ever towards the salvation of ourselves, all mankind, the world, the universe, and the cosmos.  Through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, redeemer of humanity, amen. +