Jun 20, 2013

St Cyprian and Justina in religion and spiritual work

Icon of Saint Cyprian and Saint Justina of Padua © Helen Kishkurno
Beautiful Icon of St. Cyprian and Justine
by artist Elen Kishkurno
     Rather than speaking about St Cyprian alone, we shall here be discussing the hagiography as well as practical aspects of spiritual work with this Saint alongside with St. Justina.   This is due to the fact, that I am a Christian, and while a n  avid  Hoodoo practitioner as well,  when working with Saints, I try to give them credits, and  treat them according to Christian tradition. And  frankly many acknowledged and renewed Rootworkers ( Hoodooists ) shall do the same, more so If they are  into southern-old-conjure style . That does not mean I hold folk veneration of Saints as improper,  more like,  I am more on “canonic” side myself, particularly when it comes to certain Saints .

NOTE: St Cyprian of Antioch, although venerated in many Catholic and Christian churches, along with St. Justina, is not a historical character that we can prove it existed. His hagiography, as well as that of St. Justina is largely a myth or a legend, and some speculate that he could have been confused with St. Cyprian of  Carthage. The experience of the pious, and spiritual practitioners  that have worked with these saints, however, only solidifies the beliefs regarding them.  

Legend , lore and  hagiography according to Symeon Metaphrastes

     Saint Cyprian and Justina were contemporaries, living  during III and IV century, in Antioch in Prsidia, at that point, town that had been situated on the border of Pysidia and Phrygia, today a city in Turkish lakes region,  called Antakya  [1]   Saint Cyprian was either   a heathen [2]  by religion, or into Greek polytheistic religion, worshiping Apollo. Regardless, both Catholic and Orthodox sources insist that  he was trained and raised as sorcerer and that he “had dealing with demons” [3] . His parents were pagans as well, and according to Christian lore, inspired  him and supported him in his   studding and pursue of sorcery skills. 

     On the other hand, Justina  his contemporary,  and a fellow citizen of Antioch, was raised in pagan family by  father Aedesius and mother Cledonia  , but  was pretty much atheistic herself, at this point. The Divine providence wanted so that she had heard preaching words of some deacon as she stood by her window and he was passing by speaking of sacrifice of  the Lord  Jesus Christ, His resurrection and how he sits to the right of His Father,  The Creator of everything.  Justina felt some kind of  hard-to-define, fulfilling sensation n, and decided to sneak out to Church, to listen the preaching, whenever she could. And that had reassured her completely, that the Christian faith was for her,  what more , she eventually managed to  convert her parents as well, so they’ve all received baptism and became pious Christians.  Her faith was ardent , strong and fiery, she was virgin who dedicated her  life to the Christ.

     At this time, a young man, called  Aglaias,  had on some occasion seen Jutina on her way to the Church, and become infatuated and astonished by her beauty.  Troubled by impure thoughts ( we’d today say obsessed lol ) regarding Justina , he courted to her, and due to her refusal, and response that her “bridegroom is in Christ” , and that for His sake she preserves her purity, he tried to   forcefully  be intimate with the maiden. He’s attempt was luckily foiled  by the people  who had heard the screams of Justina, but Aglaias, fueled  with lust,  would not consider abandoning his plans. Hence he sought the aid of Cyprian, a well known   ritual magician, sorcerer, necromancer, and  pagan priest to  help him make Justina  abandon herself, and come to him.

Depiction of St Junstina  being   tempted
     St. Cyprian, at that point simply, Cyprian, comforted the young man saying he will make Justina come and seek him, by herself.  As skillful and powerful sorcerer he conjured a demon, who eventually gave him some kind of  a magickal powder, which Aglasius eventually sprinkled in Justina’s house to enable the demon ease of access. 

     Demon came, and induced some lustful sensations, and thoughts about Aglasias in Justina, who  thanks to her devotion and good sense, realized what was happening,  and with repentance and humility,  sincerely prayed to lord Christ to deliver her from these sensations and enemies  who imprint them on her, finishing the prayer by signing the Cross , which rendered demon’s power over her null and void, and forced him to fled in fear and shame.  Cyprian sent two more demons, one of which was “prince” ( in Goetian sense ) each more powerful than the previous, but Justina, defeated them with fasting, prayers and making sign of Cross. After few more failed attempts, startled by the power of Christian fate, Cyprian realized the trickery  of the demonic spirits that served him , and renounced them and the Devil ,   and chased them away by making signs of Cross, modeling after Justine.

     He repented for all the evil he had caused with magick, and his sins, which were numerous.  Seeing his true and sincere remorse, tears, and act of burning his books, persistence to stay in Christian Church even when the deacon tried  t o expel him, made the Bishop  to feel pity for him, compliment his repent and babtize him.

     Afterward, he was received in the Christian Church,  made pre-eminet, then deacon, priest  and eventually a bishop, while St. Justina became head of a convent.   Both St. Cyprian and St.Justina work from that point was commendable and enlightening, they had converted many people and had brought many faitless people to the faith, which made Emperor Diocletian  furious, hence he had ordered for them to be captivated, and tortured until they renounce their faith. After resisting extortions and various tortures, Diocletian even more angry then before ordered that they boil both of them in a large cauldron. Yet the water would harm neither St.Cyprian, nor St.Justina, and they prayed serenely in hot boiling water. Seeing that, certain Theocistus, embraced St.  Cyprian  as they removed him and Justia from the  cauldron, which caused him to share their fate, and be beheaded alongside the two.  [4]

     Their bodies were taken to be buried in Rome, first  on a private estate of certain lady called Rufina, and later entombed in Constantine’s basilica. 

     Now, it is important to know to not mix Saint Cyprian of Antioch, with Saint Cyprian of Carthage, which is a commonly occurring mistake, and You might find  such incorrect information posted at many places online. So have this in mind.

Patronage, worship and spiritual work

     St.Cyprian and  St.  Justina are venerated together in Catholic and Orthodox Christian Church , the feast day  falling on 26th  September according to Julian, and 15th of October according to Gregorian calendar.

     Saint Cyprian in Catholic Christianity is considered patron of the Turkish town Antakya, while in Orthodox Christianity, he is alongside St. Justina considered to be patron Saint of people oppressed by evil spirits and evil magick. Hence in Orthodox Christianity there are prayers against demons and evil  magick  addressed to St.Cyprian and Justina.

     He is depicted as an middle-aged, bearded men carrying an crozier ( curved kind of staff,  that bishops carry ) dressed as bishop, or in purple robes or cloak, in Orthodox Christianity often standing next to St. Justina and holding a book.

     In folk magick and Hoodoo Cyprian is patron Saint of witches, necromancers, hoodoists and conjurers ( aka rootworkers ) , occultists, demonologists,  and is invoked in rituals and spells for uncrossing, curse removal,  returning spiritual attack, divination, guidance,  and in all matters concerning spiritual and occult practice. He can even be invoked in  harmful magick spells, or  prior to working with Santissima Muerte, to protect   from the “moody” behavior of   ths spirit [5]

     His colors are purple, or indigo, he’s number is 9, and his day is Saturday, according to the various traditions.

     Personally I petition St Cyprian and Justina together,  least If I should work on some spiritual power increasing ritual, in which case I’d petition St Cyprian alone, or for Chastity in which case I might petition St  Justina alone. And even in such cases I think  I’d keep the same Icon on  my altar, showing both of them.

     Offerings to Saint Christian vary in traditions, and depending on practitioner, for there seems not to be a suggestion in Hoodoo nor folk magick. Glass of water, a standard Hoodoo offering for Saints will do, so will incense wafted at their image ( or statue  ) or a small monetary contribution to Christian community.

     A friend of mine from Spain, who is espiritisto and curandero, likes to place books on ritual magick on altar dedicated to St. Cyprian.  This seems like a good idea. St Justina was known for giving out alms to the poor, there’s  a way to honor her, would You not say ? Also having in consideration her virginity a bouquet of white flowers, particularly lilies, that in Christianity symbolize virginity, as well as Mother Mary, would all make fine additions. Finally ,  feeding the Saints [6]  as done in New Orleans, with seeds of Grains of Paradise  plant is another  fine option. 

     In Spain, Latin America and Brazil there's a whole “folk cult” of Saint Cyprian, where he’s called San Cipriano ( Spanish ) or Sao Cipriano ( Portuguese ), and  there is more than one book of spells associated with him, mostly being combinations of spells, recipes and formulae ( although one is a classical, ritual magick  Grimoire  ) often rather gruesome, macabre and requiring profaning graves and mutilating animals. All of them however, are much Younger than the III/IV century,  hence we can almost claim for certain, that neither of them  were indeed written by   the Cyprian of Antioch. These books, and  particularly   one newer edition, which is a compilation of few of these works bearing names such as “True book of Saint Cyprian” or “Grimoire of St. Cyprian : Clavus inferni” are , believed to be unlucky even to posses.  Superstitious people further claim that by simple flipping the pages, from back to front, will conjure the Wicked one.

     St. Cyprian is also a prominent figure in Iberian peninsula folklore, if not one of the leading characters,  and allegedly, in States, there is even a secret society based on his ideas, that require some sort of initiation ritual, teaches more “in-depth mysteries” ,  the things Eliphas Levi would have called “inner mysteries” , “keys of knowledge”  and similar.

Herbs and materials associated with St Cyprian

     The herb traditionally associated with St. Cyprian,  and also one being a main ingredient in the original oil
Beth root ( Trillium erectum L )
formula, dedicated to St Cyprian is Low John The Conqueror of Beth root [7]. This is  not the same (!) as  the Southern John, small John ‘da chew or Galangal root, despite the  fact that You will see many online  suppliers trying to  sell You one as such. They are either ignorant regarding the root, or are scamming people. Beth root is in the Lilliaceae family ( whereas Galangal or small John 'da chew , is from the Zingiberaceae family ) and in States it’s a highly ( !!! ) endangered species, and probably illegal to harvest in wildness. It’s rather resistant and easy to grow, so If You wish to use it, I suggest getting some seeds, as it is used as an ornamental/decorative e  plant as well. The root has an nasty smell kind of  like the rotting meat.  

     Other plants that are sometimes associated with him are Cedar and Myrrh, although whether that is a part of  some tradition, or   lore, or it came from  oil formulas scented with it, and  often containing myrrh resin and / or Cedarwood, I honestly have no idea.  I do know that both Cedar and Myrrh are commonly used plants in Necromancy, and are used in making suffumigations, which If we think a bit makes a lot of sense being that  he  was considered  to have conjured spirits both for  divination and to  do his bidding.


     Prayers and Novenas to Saint Cyprian are not many, particularly in Catholicism, and some of them are folk written, hence in  Christian sense, non-canonic. Novenas are not shared because people would not make money selling You candles with Novenas printed on them.  If I was to share some novenas I have on my Saint Cyprian candles here, I would attract many angry suppliers, growling at me, and threatening me with all kind of stuff. And right now, I cannot deal with such shallow, twat-y people >.< 

     Instead I will provide here, a prayer translated into English ( by me ) , from Serbian Orthodox Church, which petitions St. Cyprian and Justina, asking humbly for  uncrossing and putting end to demonic oppression. I have used it myself and  find it extremely potent ( and swiftly acting ):

Philosopher and magus You have been until Your illumination, St. Cyprian. To a virgin, who’s beauty has fascinated a young men, three times You’ve sent fiends ( demons ), to ignite in her love towards the young men, but having failed and realizing the vanity and the void of your incantations, You’ve burnt all of Your books,  and by turning to Christ and receiving the Holy Baptism You have become  the bishop of  Antioch. Now, though, You rule and reside  with Christ in Paradise, priest-martyr*, together with Justina, the virgin that,  by receiving the Christ with all her heart,  tore up all the fascinations of evil spirits like cobwebs. Hear, (Oh) Saint Cyprian, priest-martyr, with holy virgin Justina, us who pray to  You ; deliver us from evil spells, being created  by the impure ones, to destroy** us. Free us from obfuscation with passions, from  the nets of lust  deliver us,  fence ( shield )*** us  from corruption of the evil people and chase away ( banish ) from us those who hate good, who please the Devil, so that we could in peace,  serenity, and humility, live the  rest of our lives, daily praising the Lord. Amen 

     As mentioned earlier, this prayer is  great in Uncrossing work , curse removal, removing love and lust spells with which can  be used in conjunction,  banishment of the demons, and putting end to  oppression caused by them and all sort   of evil spirits.   For a simple Uncrossing ritual, You can light two white candles on each side of icon that depicts St. Cyprian and Justina on Your altar,  dress them with Uncrossing or similar oil,  read the given prayer,  possibly combined with Psalms or prayers against evil.

Uncrossing wash with St.Cyprian and Justina

     Place a transparent dish with spring water, over the image of St.Cyprian and Justina, add about a teaspoon of Holy water  and some  blessed salt to it ( Uncrossing salts will do brilliantly in a pinch too ), and read the above it Psalm 37th and prayer to Saint Cyprian and Justina, and leave it covered over night. If You wish You may also add a spring or Hyssop, Basil or Rosemary to the water. Use  it as a magickal bath or floorwash to remove and reverse evil spells. If You feel so inclined other  Sacred words You could speak in  blessing of this wash include Psalm 3rd ( especially if the Crossing had caused mental problems and headaches ) and Psalm 53rd , which is very good from protection of those who do evil.

Spirituality mojo with St.Cyprian medal

     In folk tradition and Hoodoo, St Cyprian is well known and  often petitioned guide, and a Saint who can help attain and  hone magickal skills and abilities. Following mojo hand, will help in such works, as well as increase general spiritual awareness. In a purple mojo bag combine the following:

·         Saint Cyprian medallion, or praying card
      ·         Paper with Your name written in continuous spiral, and Your own personal concern wrapped in it
      ·         Solomon’s seal root (  which is a rhizome by the way )
      ·         Master root ( If you happen to lack it, substitute with Galangal root )
      ·         Cinnamon powder
      ·         Ginger rhizome
      ·         Five fingers grass  leaf

     Bless the mojo the standard way, and dress/feed with St. Cyprian oil, Power oil,  Spirit guide oil, Special oil #20,  or even Florida water.

     Carry first 9 days constantly with You and sleep with mojo ( some people do this with every mojo ) then carry  when needed.

     For increasing of spiritual power, and even getting spiritual lessons , You can perform honoring/invoking  rituals to St Cyprian [8]  and although that scrupulous-type pursue of magickal power, for the sake of power,  asking spirits to grant one an ability, is not my cup of tea, there are good rituals to rather help one develop occult skills gradually and in favorable, non-abrupt  way.
I do hope this information  and the ideas for  working with Saint  Cyprian I presented here, composed for my personal practices, can serve You and maybe even inspire You to work with St.Cyprian and Justine. Thank You for reading, and many Blessings  Shadow :)

NOTES: This article had been  written and  composed by myself, therefore if You wish to use any part of it elsewhere online , feel free but do add credits; Shadow of Shadows magick place, Shadow-333@hotmail.com    or a direct link to this  post.

Explanations in regards of words marked with asterisk  in the text

* priest-martyr was my best attempt to translate Serbian word “sveshtenomuchenik” which seems to be some sort of theology term, coved by  simply merging words priest and martyr

** The original word used was “execute” , yet I decided  that somehow more appropriate for English translation would be “destroy”

***words given in brackets   are alternative translations, use whichever You feel is more suiting and “correct” , whichever You feel  resonates more with Your   perspective
[1] according to  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antioch,_Pisidia
[2] according to http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04583a.htm  , while Orthodox sources commonly say he’s parents and  previously, the Saint himself, worshiped Apollo  and  other deities of Greek pantheon
[3] as under [2]
[4] Parents names of St Justina, and the young men, as well as certain details ( St. Justina hearing the deacons preaching and others ) , as found on : http://orthodoxinfo.com/death/cyprian_justina.aspx  , cross-referenced with  information provided on Catholic Encyclopedia,  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04583a.htm  as under [2]
[5] As stated here: http://www.luckymojo.com/saintcyprian.html
[6] As suggested by Sir Ray.  T Malbrough in his book “Hoodoo Mysteries: Folk magic, mysticism and rituals” 7th page,  Llewellyn worldwide publishing
[7] According to  writings of Judika Illes , mentioned in few   of her works
[8] Example of a  very nice ritual of such, for working  with St Cyprian and build a relation with him is   given here: http://ravenconjure.blogspot.com/2010/08/saint-cyprian-calling-upon-patron-of.html

IMAGE CREDITS: First image is embedded from: http://kishkurno.com/html/iconpainting_en.html , and is used for illustrative and explanatory purposes, without any ill will. Second image depicting "Temptations of St. Justina" is from: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RSb88-CbrN0/ToFpqjiGRBI/AAAAAAAACE0/2uThbHvAJso/s1600/Peirasmoi-ag-Ioustinis-strog-2010.png , for illustrative and explanatory purposes, without any ill intentions, edited  for posting here by myself, Image of Beth root is from http://www.alchemy-works.com/Resources/small_trillium.JPG used here for illustrative and educational purposes only, without any ill will


Danny Chen said...

I understand quite a bit on how to work with St. Cyprian of Antioch a bit. However, when it concerns with St. Justina of Antioch, can she be petition and invoked for defense/protection magickal rituals and destruction of evil witchcraft and sorcery (with or without St. Cyprian of Antioch) since she completely resisted the Devil??? In addition, hat are some other ways to work with her???

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