Chaplet of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, now in Polish courtesy of the Czasopismo Luna e-zine!

Just a quick little thing!  On my Facebook page for the Digital Ambler (have you liked it yet?), someone approached me asking if they could share the Chaplet of Saint Cyprian of Antioch I wrote back in 2014 in one of their internet publications, translating it into Polish.  This would be the good translation work of Frater X.A. (Xadak Agneped) of Oratio Vincta, who runs the Czasopismo Luna e-zine on the esoteric, the occult, and magic generally in Polish and geared towards the Polish esoteric scene.  Looking at it myself, though I don’t know or speak Polish except with the generous help of Google Translate, it’s a really-well put together bit of writing and design.  It’s freely available, so if you’re Polish, can speak Polish, or can otherwise benefit from Polish writings on the occult, I heartily encourage you to check it out!  The March 2019 edition (in which my Chaplet was translated) has the following topics:

  • Utiseta: The Nordic Practice of the Night Vigil
  • On Nettle
  • Magic in the Kitchen
  • Astrology: Continuing to Wander Around the Wheel of the Zodiac
  • The Sumerian New Year
  • On Tansy
  • The Witch’s Broom: How to do Energy Cleansings with Brooms, and a Few Words about Podlachian Domestic Magic
  • Liber Alef: the Book of Wisdom or Madness
  • The Chaplet of Saint Cyprian of Antioch
  • On Mugwort
  • Magical Health and Safety: An Unusual Guide on How to be Safe in Magic

In addition to it being part of the e-zine, Frater X.A. has also uploaded it directly to his blog.  Check it out!  You might also consider checking them out on Facebook on their page, too, for Luna Czasopismo.

On Oils as Offerings

The following is an old post of mine from 2015.  I wrote it a as a guest post for the excellent Quadrivium Supplies, an oil-maker I turn to every so often when I need some real good stuff, and whose oils have never let me down.  She asked me at one point to write a guest post, and I did; it went up in early 2015.  However, she’s since moved platforms and went to a wholesale model, and in that transfer of platforms, her blog got nuked.  While the post went up, it’s no longer there.  I figure I may as well repost it now for posterity, and plus, reading over it reminded me of some good ideas I once had once upon a time.  I hope you enjoy this little relic of writing!


As a ceremonial magician, I go through a lot of supplies.  Yes, there’re the crafting supplies like wood and lead and gold leaf to make Tables of Practice and wands and talismans and the like, but I also go through a lot of consumable supplies like candles, wine, incense, and especially oil.  While I’ve got a grasp of crafting and making some of my own basic supplies, it certainly helps to have friends who can do these things better or who have access to more raw bits and pieces to make better things than I can; after all, while I can make oils for myself, I’d much rather get one of my friends who can expertly create and fine-tune them instead because, well, they know what they’re doing with better equipment and starting goods than I have.

One of my friends owns the lovely Quadrivium Supplies, and she’s an excellent oil-maker that I’ve pinged time and again for very well-made magical oils and advice on how to make a few myself.  My only regret with her work is that I don’t have quite enough income to get some of her oils in bigger quantities!  She knows her recipes well, uses real and natural ingredients that some might shy away from getting, and even makes a series of astrologically-elected oils that are without comparison.  These aren’t cheaply-made garishly-colored artificial oils with a bit of scent, but powerful tools and buffs in their own right.  Recently, she asked me if I’d be interested in writing a guest post on her blog, and I happily obliged.  After thinking for a bit, I figured a good intersection between her work and mine would be a good topic to write on.  Go read my entry there, On Oils as Offerings!

It’s rare that I get the chance to write a guest post for someone else; after all, I have plenty of writing already done and plenty more to do here at the Digital Ambler.  Then again, I’m also not opposed to doing so, since it also gives me a delightful change of pace.


Ceremonial magicians are known for using endless magical tools and magical materia in their works, and I’m no exception; one of the recent choices I had to make in moving to a new house was needing to find a place with a suitable room as my own temple room and magical workshop to house my shrines and altars, as well as providing storage for all my tools and charms that I make.  To be fair, unless tradition dictates otherwise, no system of magic strictly requires material means, but they certainly help, especially in obtaining material ends.  Having a material component in one’s magical work helps to bring down those astral and spiritual forces down, grounding them and giving them a means to work and effect themselves in our world of body and form.  Wands, crystals, talismans, mojo bags, drawn-out circles, engraved candles, and all the rest help in one’s magical works.  Oils are no exception, but they’re also something of a special case.

Not too long ago, I was conversing with one of my spiritual mentors, Saint Cyprian of Antioch, in preparation for a magical undertaking of the Arbatel operation, where one conjures and begins work and initiation with the seven Olympic Spirits associated with the seven traditional planets of Hermetic cosmology.  Saint Cyprian of Antioch, although a Christian saint, was also a powerful magician in his day, and over the centuries has become a steadfast ally to those who call upon him in matters of magic and sorcery of all kinds.  Seeking his advice, he recommended I go through with my plan and conjuration setup: the standard conjuration triangle, crystal scrying medium, incense, yada yada.  However, he suggested one important change: offer the Olympic Spirits a small amount of clear, good oil.  I was considering preparing wine or food, but Saint Cyprian of Antioch turned those down and rather emphatically suggested that I use pure, clean oil as an offering.  He explained that oil has a “volatile” nature, not in the same way as elemental Fire or alchemical Sulfur, but as a magical medium for housing things in a way stronger than water but less than crystal, more pliable than food but less ephemeral than incense.  For housing the soul or power of a spirit, oil would be an excellent offering, especially for entities like those from the Arbatel.

After thinking about this some, I realized that this makes perfect sense.  After candles and incense (and wine, though that’s usually for my own personal use), the material supply I go through the most is a variety of oils.  A full shelf in my supply closet, which is a miniature botanica in its own right, is packed with oils from a variety of distributors and craftspeople, some simple colored-and-scented artificial oils, some intricately developed from the purest extracts all manually taken from herbs and other natural sources.  Most workings that call for candles or talismans will, either due to the recipe or my own inclinations, use an oil in fixing things properly so that a particular power can be fixed.  Abramelin oil, specifically the German recipe, is one I use daily for my own strengthening by anointing my head and palms in prayer.  When using a traditional oil lamp, I’ll mix in some particular oil with the normal fuel for a particular end, like an older cognate to fixing a candle with oil.  I find myself using oils in pretty much any magical operation nowadays; such experimentation has often led me to find alternative uses for oils, sometimes in ways entirely unexpected.

Then again, there are more ways to use oils than in fixing candles or anointing heads.  Among all the oils I have, the one I go through most is common olive oil.  This has a rich history in Mediterranean magic and Western culture generally as a symbol of richness and power, both in this world and in most others.  Simple olive oil can be used towards pretty much any end, not having anything but the pure fruit of the olive tree involved, and when prayed over in a particular manner, can be used on the spot in lieu of any magical oil.  However, I don’t typically use olive oil as a “magical oil”, per se, but as a substance in offering.  For instance, whenever I make an offering to the theoi of the Hellenes, I always pour out an offering of wine with a dash of olive oil.  For one, the Greek gods like the offering of oil with their wine and prayer and incense, but it also suffices to cover the wine and prevent most forms of bacterial or fungal growth in their offerings.  (And yes, the wine still somehow manages to evaporate as the spirits consume it from under the oil, even though this shouldn’t normally be possible, but hey, gods do what they want.)

Of course, I don’t just offer olive oil to the spirits.  Some oils have histories and known uses limited pretty much to offerings, and I’ve taken that route with my own Three Kings oil when working with the Three Wise Men, though they’re also teaching me other methods of using such an oil when working with and under them.  When I need to empower a spirit a particular way, I’ll make them a normal libation but with a few drops of a particular oil that I feel is appropriate.  Household protector spirit needs to be buffed up for an incoming attack?  They’ll get an offering of strong wine with Fiery Wall of Protection oil.  Need to propitiate Aphrodite to help a friend smooth out their relationship?  Sweet wine with Reconciliation oil.  Cleansing a sad spirit who brings in filth?  Clear water with Van Van oil.  Want to placate an angry ancestor with a taste for food?  Good whiskey with turkey drippings (yes, really).  Just as oils can be used to fix a candle or prepare a talisman for ensoulment, oils can also fortify offerings to the spirits and empower them directly.  For that matter, oil can be dedicated to spirits alone for their own use, and if those oils happen to already be consecrated and empowered with herbs or other substances, it can empower the spirit just as strongly as it can empower a talisman.

In the case with the Arbatel spirits, Saint Cyprian of Antioch recommended I use the olive oil as an offering for them to consume, but also to help bring them into the world in their own way.  Oils on their own, according to Saint Cyprian, provide a flexible but useful means to contain the power or presence of a spirit, not unlike talismans or mojo bags, but in a more disposable or usable manner than a set object.  In the case with the Olympic Spirits, Saint Cyprian suggested that I give the spirit pure olive oil to consume and inhabit, then emptying that oil out into the world, allowing the power of that spirit to spread out in our world so it can do its work better in ways that I may not always be able to accomplish.  Oils don’t just evaporate into the air as waters or alcohols do, nor they don’t just vanish into particles like incense or smoke, nor do they stay fixed and firm within a solid containing body.  Oils leak and seep into the world, dispersing themselves and attaching themselves to objects and places, coating things with their powers and imbuing them with their own essences. Oils are much more difficult to get rid of and don’t simply wash away, but they’re not permanent fixtures, either.

Oils, in the end, are just as important a tool as anything else in a ceremonial magician’s temple, if not one of the most important ones.  Sure, not all traditions call for oils in their work, but almost all my workings in a variety of traditions have benefited from including their use for one purpose or another.  I would even rank oil as more important than candles or incense, because a properly prepared oil can take the place of both.  It’s important to remember that oils can be used for many more things than fixing or anointing, but that oils can be used in offerings directly as another method of working with spirits in a way that’s both profound and powerful.

Happy Days of the Cyprians 2018!

For those who keep track, today marks the beginning of the Days of the Cyprians 2018, with yesterday having been the feast of Saint Cyprian of Carthage, and with September 26 being the feast of Saint Cyprian of Antioch with Saint Justina and Saint Theocistus, the three holy martyrs who watch over all those who make and break magic, those who wield it and those who wish it, those who wage it and those who suffer it!  At this turning of the year, as the Sun sinks lower and lower into the southern skies, I hope you all have a blessed Cyprianic season, that your left hand be as wise as your right, that your right hand be as cunning as your left, and that both your hands be strong and capable of attaining all your works and ends!

I’m going to use this period to get back on the ball with magical routine, which I’ve been sorely lacking for…quite some time now, and to lay some foundations for actual Work again.  I’ve been feeling like like all I do anymore, outside of religious ceremonies I help work with my godfamily, is divination and writing.  Satisfying and fulfilling as it is, and bearing in mind how much writing I still have to do for my own projects, I haven’t forgotten my origins, and I haven’t forgotten my goals, either.  Research and study only gets one so far.

Need a good resource for some prayers, orisons, and novenas for the good sorcerous saint?  Consider getting a copy of my ebook, the Vademecum Cypriani from my Etsy today for US$9!

Search Term Shoot Back, October 2015

I get a lot of hits on my blog from across the realm of the Internet, many of which are from links on Facebook, Twitter, or RSS readers.  To you guys who follow me: thank you!  You give me many happies.  However, I also get a huge number of new visitors daily to my blog from people who search around the Internet for various search terms.  As part of a monthly project, here are some short replies to some of the search terms people have used to arrive here at the Digital Ambler.  This focuses on some search terms that caught my eye during the month of October 2015.

“can we change our physical gender by occultism” — First, a clarification: sex and gender are two separate things.  Sex is physical and involves the organs, bone structure, and hormones that your body has and produces; generally, this is male or female, but there are cases where someone is born intersexed with a mixture of the two sexual types.  Gender is a mental and social construct, and is a fluid gradient between masculine, feminine, agendered, and other genderqueer (hence the use of third person singular gender-neutral pronouns, i.e. neither “he/his/him” nor “she/her/her”).  Second, magic doesn’t work this way, not like how you asked.  I can no more change myself from a physical man into a woman any more than I can shoot fire from my palms or cause earthquakes by hitting the ground with my staff.  That’s the stuff of the gods and of myth.  Magic is a spiritual influence, not a physical one, and although it has physical effects, it goes through spiritual means to do so.  The Harry Potter stuff is just fantasy, and no more.  Now, you can certainly use magic to make transgender transition easier or more obtainable (easier access to hormone therapy, increased finances for physical reconstruction/plastic surgery, glamor to convince people easier that you’re a particular gender, persuasion to make bigots accept you easier, safety when alone at night or with friends), but there’s no ritual that will just up and change a man into a woman or a woman into a man.

“kybalion santeria” — Ugh. Ew. No. The two should never mix.  The Kybalion is New Thought trash; I know that many occultists read it as one of their first books, which acts as a gateway to bigger and better stuff.  I know.  I get it.  I do.  But the Kybalion is trash that causes more harm than good, and the fact that a lot of people read it doesn’t make it a good book.  It’s not Hermetic, certainly; heck, the name of the text itself is made up and supposed to recall “qabbalah”.  And, all that said, trying to mix the Kybalion with Santeria is…unpalatable.  Heck, Santeria is closer to actual Hermetic theurgy (complete with emanationist cosmogony and ensoulment of things) than the Kybalion could ever hope to be, and Santeria is a religion from slaves.  Slaves who had nothing but their ancestors and their gods and a crafty way of calling on them by a number of names unfamiliar to them.  Anyway….yeah, no.  Don’t mix the two, kiddo.

“how to consecrate a ring with the power of the sun” — Consecration of jewelry or talismans generally is an important part of my work.  How does one consecrate stuff?  Well, it depends on the force or god you’re consecrating it to.  With the planets, it depends on what tradition you want to work with, since there are dozens of cultures that have some sort of planetary magic, and hundreds or thousands of rituals between them all.  Originally, I got my start with a Christian-Hermetic angelic approach, which is still what I’ll pull out for really heavy-duty long-term projects, but I’ve experimented with many others.  For the Sun, specifically, I’d strongly recommend a ritual I recently came across from the PGM, which I’ve entitled the Consecration of the Twelve Faces of Helios.  Tweak it accordingly to receive the powers you want.

“is it cultural appropriation for magicians to work with saints” — No.  Spirits call whom they call; it’s not up to meatsuits to tell you “no, you can’t work with spirit X because you’re white”.  I’m very much of the opinion that when a god comes to you, regardless of where they come from, you pay attention.  I have no Greek ancestry, yet the Greek gods welcome me and Hermes especially calls to me; I have Jewish ancestry, but I feel less Jewish than a pig farmer in an oyster bar on Yom Kippur.  I’m getting involved with the ATR community, who’ve taken me in and with whom I hope to serve and pitch in as much as any black Cuban.  I’m not baptized, but the Christian saints have helped me out and continue to do so regularly.  Why is this?  Because spirits recognize color and ancestry and culture but (in general) they don’t care.  If you want to work with them, if you learn about them, if you encounter them how they ask and prefer to be encountered, if you fulfill your vows and keep your word to them, if you remember them and respect them, if you do your best to be a decent fucking human being, then you’re probably going to do better than many who are just “born into the culture” and don’t see it as any more than a thing their grandparents do.  However, respect is the key; that’s the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation.  There can and should be a two-way exchange between cultures, and we should never be binned into a box just because we were born into it.  That said, we shouldn’t loot, disrespect, or forget the origins of those whom we call on, and we shouldn’t transgress boundaries that even people of a particular culture wouldn’t transgress.  Consecrating elekes with your Wiccan pentacle or setting up an “Elegua protection altar” with hematite skulls and candy is not how you respect the gods.  You don’t just read a book written with half-assed, half-correct information by gods-only-know-what-hack and think you’re good to go as some sort of divine initiate.  Lineaged initiations, for instance, cultural mores, and purity laws are things to be respected.  For instance, even though I’m not Christian, I go to Catholic mass all the same when I need to get in touch more with a saint; that said, because I’m not baptized, I won’t take part in the Eucharist and receive communion.  Why?  Because I’m doing it for the same Power that the saint lived and died for.  It’s respect, and I apply that to all my spirits, be they gods, theoi, orisha, saints, angels, ancestors, kami, demons, or whatnot.

“the true table of practice” — There is no “true” Table of Practice, no more than there’s a “true” wand or “true” Triangle of Art.  Tables of Practice are tools used in conjuration as a basis for summoning a spirit, and there are different types of Tables used: there’s the one from the Ars Paulina, the one from Trithemius, the one from Dee, and I’m sure there are yet others that exist in the Western Hermetic tradition.  The Table you use is dependent on what text or tradition of magic you’re working with.  If it exists, by which I mean if you have a tangible version of it you can use in a ritual, regardless whether it’s gilded stone or engraved wood or Sharpie on a cereal box, then it’s true enough to work.

“cyprian of antioch vs st michael” — Why “versus” at all?  Cyprian of Antioch is a saint, and so honors God through His angels, including Michael the Archangel, the Prince of the Heavenly Host.  They work together, although Cyprian might prefer to call on a number of other powers before calling on Michael.  Now, while I strongly recommend developing a relationship with both Cyprian and Michael, and while they both tend to achieve the same end result when it comes to spiritual work, they achieve them in different ways.  Saint Michael the Archangel is the one who conquers and subdues wicked spirits, demons, and devils; think of the usual image of him where he’s impaled the Devil with his sword or spear and has him chained and underfoot; Michael helps you command the spirits as your servants.  Saint Cyprian of Antioch, on the other hand, is the one who ennobles and elevates wicked spirits, making them genteel and dignified so that one may work with them on an equal footing; Cyprian helps you collaborate with the spirits as your partners.  Sometimes it’s better to go with Michael than Cyprian, sometimes the other way, sometimes either way.  It depends on your style of interaction with the spirits, whether you prefer to be harsh or soft and whether you prefer slaves or partners, and it depends on the specific circumstances you’re working with spirits.  Sometimes you need force, and sometimes you need nobility.

“how to do things with quartz crystal” — Yes.  You do the things with the crystal by using it.  You might need to hold it differently or make sure it’s smooth enough for some particular means; you may not want those ridges on a Lemurian crystal (snerk) chafing your anus or vagina.  Not all crystals work as soup ladles.  Crystals generally do not work well as shampoo.  Horses tend to get you from place to place on the streets in rural Pennsylvania better than crystals.  One cannot make good coffee or tea with quartz crystals (or, for that matter, the crystallized powder of dehydrated coffee).  Smoothed crystals work well as back massagers.  Most crystals, except for the tiny ones, can help keep papers on your desk in the case of an unexpected tornado.  So many things!

“scorpio planetary hours” — There’s a bit of a semantic mismatch here.  Scorpio is a sign of the Zodiac, a 30° segment of the ecliptic in the eighth sphere of the fixed stars, beyond the spheres of the planets.  Planetary hours are segments of daytime or nighttime that are associated with the individual planets.  Scorpio is not a planet, and thus receives no planetary hour.  However, Scorpio is associated with the planet Mars in its negative/passive/feminine aspect, so we can say that certain hours of Mars (such as those at nighttime or during the waning Moon) can be associated with Scorpio, as I’ve experimented with before.  However, as my results from said experiment have indicated, there’s no real need to use planetary hours for the zodiac; rather, you’d want to time stuff so that the sign in question is rising (at the eastern horizon) or culminating (at the zenith/midheaven).

“witchcraft entity children summoning conjuration rituals” — I…what?  Are you wondering what spells witches use to summon children?  Is Hansel and Gretel a cautionary tale of “don’t let your children get bewitched”?  Do you think that those Satanic witches summon children to their stoops so that they can dismember them and use them in sacrifices to the Devil?  Pah!  Smart witches understand that one should use the most mundane, innocuous methods and stock up when children are in abundance.  On that note, have fun trick-or-treating this weekend, kids!

“angelic runes chart”, “planetary runes combinations” — Funnily enough, these are not what triggered my recent post on term clarification for different types of symbols, but it was a Reddit post on /r/occult.  Anyway, neither angels nor planets have runes (pace anonymous author of the Liber Runarum).  The word “rune” refers specifically to the letters of the alphabets used for Germanic and Scandinavian languages prior to the introduction of the Roman script in northwestern and northern Europe.  There are runiform scripts out there, like Old Hungarian and Old Turkish, which look kinda-sorta like futhark/futhorc runes, but they’re not themselves runes.  Angels have seals or sigils (such as those given in the Magical Calendar or the Heptameron or Agrippa), and planets just have glyphs.  In general, it’s better to just use the generic word “symbol” to refer to things.

“cassiel ritual for separation of lovers” — Cassiel is the angel associated with the planet Saturn, and is otherwise known as Castiel, Caffriel, Tzaphqiel, or some other mangled form of its original Hebrew name.  Saturn is not exactly the most emotional or sweetest of planets, and is also associated with the metal lead.  You know the story of Cupid?  He has two sets of arrows: gold-tipped ones to cause people to fall in love, and lead-tipped ones to cause people to fall in hate.  I don’t have a ritual handy under the angelic powers of Saturn to cause people to spurn each other, but it’s not hard to see how this might be done.  For instance, if I were to make up such a ritual…get a fishing weight made of lead and hammer it out into a flat disc.  Engrave one person’s name on the left of the disc and the other person’s name on the right, with the symbol of Saturn written three times down the middle of the disc.  On a Saturday night in the hour of Saturn, preferably with the Moon waning and placed antagonistically towards the planet, call on the angel of Saturn with myrrh and asafoetida incense.  Proclaim the love of so-and-so with thus-and-such null and void, that the powers of Saturn sullen and ensorrow their relationship, and that the two lovers be no more; break the disc down the three symbols of Saturn into two, such that the two names are no longer together on the same piece of lead.  Suffumigate the pieces in the incense and set a black candle to burn on each such that the black wax covers the two pieces of lead.  In the morning, instead of using the bathroom as normal, piss on the two pieces of wax-covered lead, and bury each piece where the person will step over it (so-and-so’s piece where so-and-so walks, thus-and-such’s piece where thus-and-such walks).  You’re done!  Go take a shower and enjoy your chaos.

“how to consecrate a 7 day candle”, “burning candle rituals in psalms”, “candle burning rituals psalms”, “burning candle rituals use of psalms”, “florida water and white candle rituals”, “psalms 23 white candle magic”, “how to burn candle to pray with psalm”, “candle burning ritual using the psalms”, “can you use florida water to consecrate a candle” — I’m not sure if I noticed it before or if it’s actually weird this month, but it seems like I’ve gotten a higher-than-normal rate of candle/psalm-related searches.  Chances are these are variants of something a single person was using and kept getting turned back to my blog, and given the inclusion of Florida water in a few of the searches, I’m going to guess they’re looking for something more American in style, like hoodoo or rootworking uses.  Honestly, while the usual all-purpose candle consecration ritual I use comes from the Key of Solomon (book II, chapter 12), that’s generally overkill for something like this.  Washing a candle off in fresh, clean water or holy water is more than enough; Florida water may make it a little “brighter” than you want, but it’s a good spiritual cleanser all the same.  You can anoint candles with olive oil that’s been prayed over or with a specific magical oil, but it’s not strictly needed unless you think it’ll help with your specific need better.  There’re whole books and styles of setting lights and burning candles, especially with Psalm magic, far more than I can describe here, but use candles in ways that make sense, generate spiritual power from the flame, and demonstrate through ritual motion of moving and placing candles according to the specific psalm and purpose of the ritual.

“can i invite pomba gira into my dreams” — Ahahahaha a̴͔͓̰͕̩h̸͙͙̱̲̝a̜̝̦͈̤̦ͅh̕a̝͍̟̯̹̠h̺à̙̖͕h̻̻͚͍͔̼͙a̖͔h͇͟a̛̬̗̥̞̦h̡̠ H̷̹̣̘͈͎̭͔͟À̵̲̖͍̪̱̘H̢͚͈Á̘̳̠̭̰ͅH̥̼̳͎̞̻̖̲A̵̳̗̜̫͍̬̬H̜͇̰̟̜͜A̵̸̳̙H̡̙̯̩͉̼̼̹̳̰̕A̫̬̻͇͖̝̫͜ͅH͖̞͡A̞̳͇̫̕ͅ H͔̞̜̣̟̀͟͟͢A̭̯̹̥̼͙̪̤̩̤͔͟͢͠Ḫ̸̶̢̨̲͉͇̙̫͍̹̥͓̝͈̺̯͟Á̷̟̠̤̼̝̪̙͙͕͕̭̲͉̭̀͜͢H̸̵̴̖͓̪͙̬̹͕̣͔̰̟̥͈̭́͝A̧͙̟̘̞̠̼͍͠H̶̨̡̻͈͈̮͖̬̙̯̳̺̻͉̬̼̗̰̗̣͉̀͢A̴̵̦͖̲̠̯͚̲̜̬͔̪͇̙͈̺̦̺͚ͅH̴͇̟̦̙̦̺̖̭̰̦͕͔́͟Ą̸̪̲̝̯̥̤̲͖̪̥̲͖̗̗̕͜H̞͇̱͉̜̠͖͔̹͓̜̟͈̕͢ͅA̶̕҉̡̤̫͉̦̗̤A̴҉̡͎͈̰͎̘͈̭͙͟A͜҉̖̬͍͚̩̦̬̲̯A͘҉̤̗̭͉̪͇̠Ạ̸̛̛̫̝͈̰͍͉͖̻̝̞̺̭̼̹̣̠̀͢Ą̡̱͓̝̦̼͖̯̞̟̞̻̱̙̠̦̰͠ͅA̷̢͇̹̫̘̥͙̻͙̼̝͍̠̼͡ͅͅA̴҉̴͈͔̬̫͎͙̹̲̰͍͙̕͟ͅͅÁ̴̶̱̘͉͍͈͘A̗̻̯̲̪̟̯͚̠̠̭̥̬͓̻̙̙͢͝ͅ y͖̜o̷͘͏̺̮̭̮͇̪̰ù̧̩̖̪͖̬̀ͅ ̵͖̠̘̯̲͎̙̳͘f̘̮͖͙͝o̗̪̺͉̺̫̣͕o̥̖̳̹͢ĺ͉̥͍̥͇̥̹͞ 

 

And now, since I figure I may as well rejoice in it, here’s the list of all phallus-related searches from this month.  Because people obviously come to read the Digital Ambler for two things, magic and dicks, and I’m not sure which is more popular anymore.

  • anal sex with big black cocks
  • dick big kongo
  • black huge dicks
  • use method large cock
  • egypt massive dick man image
  • pompeii penis depictions
  • ebony dicks
  • huge dick

Devotio Sanctis Sacriveneficiis, Hieromartyribus Nicomediæ in anno MMXV

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, forever and ever, world without end, amen.

Sancte Cypriane, ora pro nobis. +
Sancta Justina, ora pro nobis. +
Sancte Theociste, ora pro nobis. +

Saint Cyprian of Antioch, together with Saint Justina and Saint Theocistus, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. +

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

Saint Justina, who by the Sign of the Holy Cross defended herself and all Antioch from all spiritual affliction and demonic attack, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. +

Saint Theocistus, who witnessed the grace and holy power of Cyprian and Justina and converted at their execution, becoming a martyr even upon your own salvation, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. +

Jesus Christ, Son of God, hear our prayers and let our cries come to you, as once did and forever do the prayers of your saints Cyprian and Justina and Theocistus, whom you have made worthy to show your grace and glory to the world, that we may do the same and abide as one in eternal communion with them. Amen. +

Blessed ancestors, holy departed ones of our families and our traditions, our blood and our faith, through the merits of Saint Cyprian of Antioch who stands at the gate of Hell, hear our prayers that we pray for your intercession, and pray for us for ours that we may be joined as one before the Heavenly Throne in righteousness and innocence and eternal grace. Amen. +

Infernal demons and spirits of this world, by the grace with which you obey God and by the same Source from whence we all descend, and by the intercession and protection of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, look after us kindly and without malice, refrain from causing us harm or misfortune, and help us achieve our fate as man becoming God as God became Man in Jesus Christ. Amen. +

Saint Cyprian of Antioch, as you insisted in the church to be baptized after seeing the light of Truth and preserving yourself from evil by the sign of the Holy Cross, wash us now, now, immediately, immediately, quickly, quickly, soon, soon in the living waters of your holy death that tempered your infernal power with heavenly wisdom that we may be blessed by Jesus Christ with the same. Amen. + 

Saint Cyprian of Antioch, you who hold patronage over all occultists, magicians, sorcerers, necromancers, and all those who work with spirits above and below, together with Saint Justina who tempers worldly power with divine wisdom, and with Saint Theocistus who combines the heat of the body and the coolness of spirit into the art of grace extending out unto the world, pray for us, intercede for us, enlighten us, empower us, and help us in all our works, in all our words, in all our rites, at all times, on all days, in all hours, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. +


Take a small bag of white cloth, and fill it with a head of garlic, church incense, pure salt, mint, and parsley.  Seal it shut permanently.  During each of the Days of the Cyprians, the nine days leading up to but not including the Feast of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, Saint Justina, and Saint Theocistus on September 26 according to the Gregorian calendar, take the bag to a font of holy water in at least seven but no more than nine churches; holy water blessed by a magician or other priest may also be used, if water consecrated in a church is not available.  When dipping the bag of water in the holy water, recite the following orison:

Deliver me from my enemies and those who wish me ill.

Cross yourself with the bag from right to left.  Place it before an image of Saint Cyprian and pray over it that he bless you, keep you, and protect you from all pain, plague, poison, illness, injury, infirmity, death, disease, defilement, curse, cross, catastrophe, and all wickedness of all kinds from all sources.  Starting on the Feast, carry this bag with you wherever you go, and cross yourself with it before you sleep at night.

Every year, make a new bag during the Days of the Cyprians as before, but do not use it or destroy the old bag until the Feast.  At noon on the Feast, burn the old bag with alcohol and new wood, praying that as the bag is destroyed, so too may all negativity, all wickedness, all pain, all hurt, and all evil from the past year be destroyed; that as the fires sputter and go out, so too may the light and power of those who cause you harm diminish and cease to be.  Begin to use the new bag as needed.

 

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.

Magic is Work

I’m still mulling over my own lack of activity, but I assure you, I am getting off my ass and getting back to the Work.  I’m making to-do lists of multiple types and marking my calendar down with tasks and planning things out, and getting back into the fray so I can patch up the frayed tapestry of my threads.  I’m already daunted by what I need to do, but I’ve put this shit off for long enough.  Enough is enough.  I’m wasting my time if I’m not doing work, and I’m of no use to anyone like this.

It’s interesting, because based on the feedback I’ve been getting and from the mumbles and grumbles across my blogroll, it seems like I’m not the only one who’s been in the doldrums of inactivity.  It’s no excuse for my own laziness and emptiness of agenda, but it is curious to note that many others have been suffering from a lack of spiritual perception, things to do, or otherwise just…not doing the Work.  My colleague and bromancer Pallas Renatus and I were discussing it recently; I assumed everyone who’s tapped into the general Hermetic current is suffering from the same sort of blah-ness, like there was something in the aetherial Water, so to speak.  But then, he brought up that maybe it’s the opposite case; perhaps there was something out there that caused a surge of activity across multiple people and places, which would certainly explain a massive mini-renaissance in Hermetic studies and paths, but it was only a temporary and ephemeral surge.  If such a surge indeed happened, then it could be that the power that’s been luring so many has petered out, causing everyone to come crashing down from the magical high we were all riding.  It’s an interesting idea, definitely, but one beyond my ken to understand.

Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a surge that’s dying out or something in the aether that’s keeping us all down.  I’ve tasted blood, and I want more.  I refuse to let the whimsy of aetheric currents determine my well-being in such a bullshit way.

So, one of the first things I decided to do was to get the benefit and guidance of one of the most respected teachers I have, Saint Cyprian of Antioch.  You know, the patron saint of magicians, sorcerers, necromancers, and occultists?  I’m in the middle of a novena in his honor, and I’m spending time with him in contemplation just going over what he did, what lessons his life has to teach me and others, and how I relate to them.  After all, dude isn’t the patron saint of magoi for nothing; he was raised from birth to be a master magos in every respect, and converted to Christ only after seeing the immense power of God there.  After all, you’d be a fool of a magician to not recognize and go after power, even if that power is just a side-effect of something greater.  Regardless, I thought a bit about what it meant for Cyprian to be a mage, and then what it means for me to be a mage.

In essence, we can say that a common division of magic is two-fold: theurgy and thaumaturgy.  It’s not the best way to divide magic up, but for the purposes of this post, it works.  The former comes from the Greek for “god-working”, θευργεια, and can generally be thought of as “high magic” or divine magic, stuff you do to become closer to God or the gods, whether it be henosis or apotheosis or nirvana or whatever.  The latter, thaumaturgy or θαυματυργεια, literally means “wonder-working”, and can mean the manifestation of miracles or obtaining worldly results, often with a fair bit of flair, through spirits, the elements, the planets, or other occult forces.  The thing is, however, that both words share a common element, “-urgy”, ultimately from Greek εργο, meaning “work”.

Magic, no matter the type or purpose, is work.  Magic is work.  It’s not just The Work, but it’s work, which is why we call the things we do “workings” and that we are sometimes called “workers”.  Magic can be laborious, slow, painful, costly work; it is hardly ever done with a graceful swish-and-flick.  You will pay for magic in tears, sweat, blood, and more in order to obtain the treasures that magic provides.  Magic is work.  As the Greek alphabet oracle has for the letter Mu, “it is necessary to work, but the change will be admirable”.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter how the aetherial currents ebb or flow, nor how the planets course in their heavens, nor the archons dictate from their thrones.  As is often said in astrological circles, “the stars only impel, they do not compel”; no matter what influences are pressed down upon us and no matter how strong those influences are, we are not doomed to be subject to them unless we choose to remain subject to them.  Yes, the system can be hard to fight, both down here as it is up there, but as human beings made in the likeness of the One with the blessing of Nous and Logos, we have the power to overcome any and all obstacles before us.  We can bridge the aetherial currents better than Xerxes could the Hellespont, and we can overcome the planets brighter than any supernova.  That is one of the many powers of magic: to make the world ours to live in and experience for our own ends and according to our true Will.  It’s nothing to scoff at, and no amount of poetic waxing or alchemical metaphorization can do this task justice.

It’s just that…well, while the Great Work is the overall goal, it is not taken in one single step.  It is built up from smaller steps, ranging from the theoretical studies of ritual and theology to the utterly mundane practices of keeping your house in order.  There is nothing that does not contribute to the Work, this is true; there are so many things, however, that it’s easy to get lost in the myriad things to do and get done.  That’s one of my big issues: there are so many things to do, and so many things I can think of to do, that I end up nearly immediately overwhelmed and unclear of where even to focus on my to-do list, much less start doing any particular ritual.

Then again, I had this problem back in college, too, when I was swamped with work from all sides.  That’s the glory of a to-do list: crossing things off one item at a time, one day at a time.  One thing at a time.  It builds up, slowly, sometimes in immeasurably small amounts, but it builds up all the same.

One of the problems I have is that, well, I have a pretty good life going for me.  I’m in a stable, fantastic relationship with the love of my life; we live in a stable, comfortable, safe household where it’s quiet and private and away from the hustle and bustle of the city; I have an excellent job that’s interesting, rigorous, and well-paying; I have good health of mind and body; I’m paying off my debts.  I have an incredibly privileged life, all told.  It’s difficult for me to figure out where to begin with keeping up my own life because it’s already mostly taken care of, whether though my own efforts or the blessings of the gods or some mixture of the two.  Still, that’s no excuse, since my life is not perfect, or as perfect as it could be.  There are tiny things, small adjustments, tweaks here and there that belie deeper issues, and I know I have my own internal issues that definitely need to be resolved sooner or later that have no apparent effect on the external issues of my life.  Plus, there’s always the cruel twists of fate and fortune that could easily smash everything I have into dust and scatter it into the wind; having some protection against that would be good.  Just because I’m comfortable doesn’t mean I should be complacent; it means that, being so comfortable, I’m afforded more opportunities than most for introspection and close, critical evaluation of myself and my surroundings that should afford me more things to Work on.

And after that?  Say I truly run out of things to work and maintain on myself, or that I end up becoming so blind (gods forbid) that I can no longer inspect myself critically and have nobody to do the task for me.  What then?  I know that I’m doing well, but I also know that many, many others aren’t.  As I’ve said before on my blog, and as Kalagni also said recently, the world is a shitty, awful place.  It’s beautiful, but it’s also fundamentally broken in some pretty severe ways, and it’s really up to us to do the change.  Just because I’m doing well and can afford the time to do some introspection doesn’t mean that my Work stops there, far from it!  If I can afford the time and energy, after I’ve made myself well enough to work, I am then capable and responsible to work for the benefit of the world and those around me.  Between everything that is me and everything that is not-me, I truly have a neverending list of things to do, and that becomes even more apparent once the realization is made that there isn’t really a boundary at all between me and not-me.  I may not be ultimately from this world, but I’m sure as hell living in it, and if I don’t like living in a shithole for a house, then I logically shouldn’t like living in a shithole for a world.

Even picking up an empty soda can off the ground, whether from the floor of the kitchen or the sidewalk by the train, is an improvement in my surroundings.  Even a kind word or a small boon, whether to the love of my life or to a complete stranger I may never meet, is enough to help things get better for everyone, including myself.  It may not be the most glamorous of jobs, but it’s still part of the Work.

Now to get back to gathering those threads.