Pillars II – The Golden Etir

Anathema Publishing announced that pre-orders are now open for the 2nd edition of Pillars. According to the site, “all copies of the Journal shall be ritually consecrated, hand-signed, and fumigated with a specially devised Incense Blend made by Xonia Abyssos of Teufelskunst”.

This second edition of Pillars Periodical Journal will feature articles written by well known authors, such as Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, Nikolai Saunder  or  Patrick J. Larabee.

For pre-orders, click HERE.

Magical Outcast

I was thinking these days of man’s need to find a moral justification for his own deeds. It is the very thing that divided magical arts between “high magic” and “low magic”, starting with the clear distinction between θεουργία and γοητεία  enforced by Neoplatonists, such as Iamblichus or Plotinus and continuing tot the present day with white magic, green magic, blue magic with fuchsia dots and so forth.

While so far things have been about “my magic is more moral than your magic”, they now seem to be about “my magic is more intellectual/quantic/scientific than your magic”. There are countless forums dedicated to the occult with thousands of people trying to figure out how  these things work, instead of actually practicing or at least trying to figure out what suits them best. Sure, I wouldn’t advise anyone to blindly expose themselves to forces they know nothing about. What I am talking about is the “intellectualization” of the Arts.  Many of those interested somehow try to fit their practice into the modern system of thought, in order to justify it.

For a practitioner, there is nothing worse than justification. It basically nullifies all of their efforts. It is as pointless as justifying your requests concerning the profane right in the middle of the rite.

Ask yourselves: where is magic the most potent? Is it not slums? Is it not forgotten villages? Is it not the so-called third world countries?

Is it not for the witch with burning eyes? For the father whose child is  dying of tuberculosis? For the sister whose brother is going to prison? For the old man losing his calf to some mysterious disease?

Magic likes the smell of the gutter more then the smell of that expensive incense you just bought from e-bay. It thrives in the scent of stale blood, sweat and wine. It grows best when watered with tears.

 

 

The (in)famous Saint Cyprian of Antioch

Some of you may ask themselves what a saint might be doing on a blog about witchcraft, magic and folklore. Saint Cyprian of Antioch, not to be confused with Saint Cyprian of Carthage, is the very patron saint of occultists, necromancers and the like. It’s very interesting how, instead of deterring people from practicing the Arts, the story of Saint Cyprian did quite the contrary. So, who was this Cyprian and how did he become a saint?

When and where?

Apparently, Saint Cyprian lived during the reign of Decius, so he must have been alive around 249-251 AD. He was born in Carthage, in modern Tunis, Tunisia, to pagan parents who  dedicated him to Apollo. Cyprian traveled extensively during his youth, first to Mount Olympus, then to Argos, serving Juno, Taurapolis, in the service of Diana, Sparta, in order to learn how to conjure up the dead, to Memphis, and finally paid a visit to the Chaldeans.

Alright, I got it.  Cyprian wanted to make it into the Guinness  Book as the most versatile sorcerer. But what does this have to do with the church?

Well, seems that God had special plans for Cyprian, so he made arrangements in order for the saint-to-be to meet the maiden Justina, daughter of  pagans Aedesius and Cledonia. Justina was a follower of the teachings of Christ. Enter Aglaias, a weathy, young man who had an obsession with the fair maiden. Having been refused a couple of times, Aglaias, instead of giving up and going for the easier to get pagan gals, decided to pay a visit to the reputable sorcerer Cyprian. The latter conjured up a powerful entity and ordered it to ignite Justina‘s heart with love for Aglaias, but the maiden defeated the demonic enemy through fervent prayer. This happened again and again, eventually getting the increasingly frustrated sorcerer to curse the whole city with a well deserved emphasis on Justina and her family. But the girl prayed again, even more fervently and the citizens of Antioch, being ridden of the curse bowed to the power of Christ, including Cyprian, who burned his prized collection of occult books and paraphernalia. Eventually this new fad called Christianity got both of them tortured and killed, being turned into martyrs later on by the church.

How the church sees Saint Cyprian

 Cyprian was listed as a saint by the Catholic Church until 1969, when he was removed from the calendar due to lack of evidence that he ever existed.  He was officially removed from the list in 2001, along  with Justina. Before that, he used to be celebrated on the 26th of September.

Orthodox Christians still celebrate him on the 2nd of October, claiming that Cyprian performed miracles in Greece and Russia, The alleged arm of Cyprian is kept at Zlătari Church in Bucharest, Romania, where thousands of Christians come in pilgrimage every year, asking for help against sorcery.

How necromancers and sorcerers see Saint Cyprian

Saint Cyprian is very important for some categories of practitioners, especially those involved in ATR or those dealing with the dead.  There even is a book called The Great Book of Saint Cyprian, written in Portuguese and Spanish. However, it can be qualified as a pseudepigrapha, since it was first published in 1849.

Prolific occult writer ConjureMan Ali also published a work on Saint Cyprian at Hadean Press.

My 2 cents

I think that this type of legend will never die. The Internet is filled with “I used to worship Satan, but I would now die for Christ” stories, videos and so forth. I once saw a Greek documentary about a former Kiss fan that had turned his face to God and now bashed Heavy Metal (and Madonna, lol) as the tool of Satan. What I find amusing about the legend of Cyprian is that he renounced his faith, not because Christ was the right choice, the savior, not because it was the right thing to do, but because, in his eyes, Christ was a more potent godfigure. A lot of people in the Late Antique world must have been converted that way. And this story is, essentially, a tool for religious conversion. Also, after renouncing his heretical ways, Cyprian allegedly described  how he had seen the Devil. My guess is, given the times in which he supposedly lived, that he didn’t even know who or what the Christian Devil was. I’m not trying to bash this particular saint (the Catholics already did it), but take this story with a grain of salt.

On the other hand, if you do try to work with Cyprian, you will most likely stumble upon something. My guess is that it could be a legion spirit, or something acting in the fashion of an egregore, but since I have not tried it, I am not entitled to give a certain opinion. Neither have I the authority to tell people what to believe.

For references, please check my recommended readings page.

 

Stealing the Harvest

So, this is also from Olinescu‘s book on folklore. I’m already under the impression that I am abusing these resources.

Legend has it that the Devil made allies out of old witches in order to usurp creation. Among the means the witches found to sabotage God-fearing Christians was stealing their harvest.

Basically, in order to do that, a witch needs a few bad eggs, a roll, a red string, a bridle, a whip, a small sack of basil, wax and camel butter. Around midnight, she has to take all these ingredients to the field that was going to be harvested. She has to first bury two bad eggs and bless them with luck. She then ties the small sack to her right ankle, mounts the roll, loosens her hair and gets half naked. She has to whip the roll and run along the field saying : “From old man (name of the owner) to me.” twelve times. After she’s done with that she turns to the west and chants a spell.

She then gets dressed and heads home where she hides the roll in her wheat field. For this spell to be effective, it is very important for the witch not to say a word to anyone she might meet on her way back.