St. Cyprian Service Starts Tonight

Read more about St. Cyprian at Big Lucky Hoodoo.

Have your petition set with a fixed, dressed, blessed light on my St. Cyprian altar for a nine-day novena, chaplet, and community altar service for the Cyprianic Holy Days, September 17-25. 

I’ve been working with St. Cyprian of Antioch for almost 20 years now, but until recently, there has been very little information – or material from any of the many grimoires attributed to him – available in English. The past few years have seen an explosion of interest and information across numerous “occult subcultures” and some really smart people translating, publishing, and talking about this infamous saint. It’s honestly a really exciting time to be a devotee of St. Cyprian — the sorcerer saint, patron of the lovelorn, and refuge of the accursed — so if you aren’t already, why not introduce yourself?

Said to have been consecrated to the devil by his parents when he was 7 years old [*], Cyprian grew up studying and practicing the black arts, eventually setting up shop in Antioch as a sorcerer-for-hire. He tried every trick in the book to get the young Christian virgin Justina to give up her chaste ways, but no matter what demon or what magic he threw at her, she defeated it all by making the sign of the cross. Cyprian knew what the smart affiliation was at that point, as the legend goes, and he was baptized, renouncing his pagan sorcery. [*This is the version from the Golden Legend, Caxton trans.]

But other legends have circulated alongside those in the hagiographies – that his grimoires survived and have been in circulation ever since, that he ultimately renounced his renunciation of sorcery, that he never truly gave up sorcery at all. At any rate, this paradoxical figure has been popular globally, and most especially in the Spanish-speaking world, for hundreds of years, invoked by sorcerers for occult mastery and power, by tradesmen for help finding treasure, by lovers to secure the love of their targets, by diviners for psychic vision and necromancy, and by anyone trying to be free of mal ojo, crossed conditions, negativity, and bad luck. So you might petition St. Cyprian for:

– uncrossing and spiritual cleansing of people and/or places

– spiritual/psychic protection

– reversing of malefic stuff aimed your way

– love work, especially (but not only) of the compelling or intranquil type

– divination, psychic vision, necromancy, and other occult studies and practices

Lights will be set the night of September 17. There is some wiggle room and you can join up after the work starts as long as you see that there are still spots left and it doesn’t say “sold out.”

Read more or book your spot now at Seraphin Station.

Black Destroyer, or the Greased Pig of Cunning Evasion

Black Destroyer formulas are designed to help people clear serious messes out of their lives, protect their homes, and stop curses, evil, and resentment dead in their tracks.

At least that’s basically what the Anna Riva brand bottle said when I bought one 20+ years ago. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that Alleged Powerful BLACK DESTROYER FOR RITUALS was basically a 4 oz bottle of perfumed mineral oil dyed black. (An oddly sweet perfume, too, given what the formula is supposed to be for.) It was as botanically powerful as a crumpled Pepsi can.

Well, I wanted it to exist, and near as I could tell, it didn’t, not in any big stores anyway, so I borrowed the name and made up my own formula for it (in 2002, according to this note in my formulary notebook from then).

I also made mine in a mineral oil base so that anybody accustomed to using the Anna Riva brand would be on familiar territory. And you can still use it by diluting it into mineral oil and sprinkling it wherever anybody has laid crossing marks or powders or anything else for you. It’s said to neutralize that type of work and to keep evil out of your home.

This is a perfect job for black snakeroot, which I use as the basis for my version. It’s said to be effective protection against snakes, literally and figuratively, so any venomous creatures hiding in the grass waiting to bite you, be they human or otherwise.

Then I figured if I’m already traipsing around the backyard carrying a big old bucket of Black Destroyer diluted into mineral oil, it was already personal, so I might as well send that crap back where it came from. I mean, back in the day, it was pretty much a given that if you went to a worker to have some kind of trick taken off, that worker was gonna return that stuff to the sender as part and parcel of the work. I’m not one to buck tradition!

So I added some blackberry leaves, and not just any blackberry leaves – blackberry leaves that grew in the oldest corner of the cemetery down the street from where we used to live and where my daughter and I spent at least one Sunday afternoon every month for about seven years. We were *really* good friends with some of those folks buried there. (I still have dried blackberry leaves and vines from those same graves, so even to this day, every new mother bottle of Black Destroyer contains them.)

I rounded it out with a few other related ingredients and then had cause to test it out a few times because life in Atlanta was never boring. Fortunately, I’m at least competent with protection and reversing work. šŸ˜‰ I was delighted. It was a romp. Worked great.

As far as I know, it wasn’t available online as an actual condition oil with actual botanicals/minerals/curios in it prior to that. I had to make it ’cause I couldn’t find it. Did the world really need another condition oil for this? Wouldn’t an existing one have done?

Well, sure, probably so. But the label had been so appealing to me and I was so disappointed when I got it home that I just really wanted this one to exist. Plus, Anna Riva probably got all her stuff from *somewhere,* however watered down or bastardized it ultimately ended up. I like to think that this formula  did have botanicals in it, or at least minerals or something like turpentine, before Anna Riva and Indio got ahold of it. I like to think there was a Black Destroyer once and now it had at least an echo of a new lease on life. (Somebody out there might know if it really did, but that somebody still isn’t me. If you do know, please drop me a line, though, so I can learn too!)

A few years later, an infamous plagiarist of other workers’ writing ripped off my description, in some spots word for word, and started selling this, though Lord only knows what she put in hers. From there it kind of took on a life of its own, as these things are wont to do, and now you can find it all over the place, but from textual analysis and timelines, I suspect most of the listings offering it as an actual condition oil with botanicals in it derive from my or Infamous Plagiarist’s item descriptions. If they mention “messes,” “dead in their tracks,” and a candle spell done with a saucer, you can count on it – I didn’t invent Black Destroyer oil. I just made up my own shit related to it. But that candle spell was mine.

Silly plagiarists.

In any case, this formula is made according to traditional hoodoo correspondences. You can sprinkle it on tricks laid by enemies to kill the trick, and it’s used for jinx-breaking and to protect you and your home from envy, resentment, and negative intentions aimed your way.

If Fiery Wall of Protection is the better-known and slightly spicy go-to formula, the Flaming Shield of the Angels that keeps your enemy at a safe distance from you, then Black Destroyer is the lesser known and slightly pungent Greased Pig of Cunning Evasion that makes your enemy trip in a puddle and splash pig crap into his own face. I credit the blackberry leaves and a couple of mischievous graveyard friends for a lot of that  šŸ™‚

Comes in a half ounce bottle. Will not smell like perfume or Bath and Body Works.

You can see some comments and usage suggestions from 2009Ā archived in the Big Lucky Hoodoo blog.

Available at Seraphin Station.

Evil Eye, Scottish style

photo credit: Taryn Elliott, Pexels

How did you know you’d been afflicted with the evil eye in Scotland back in the day?

Yawning and vomiting were signs. So were a “general disturbance of the system” and a “grim, gruesome, and repulsive” appearance (42), according to the gorgeous treasury of lore gathered in Carmina Gadelica by folklorist Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912).

How did you cure it?

Collect water from a stream with a wooden ladle in the name of the Trinity. To this water add a gold ring gotten from some wife and something or other made of gold, of silver, and of copper. Make the sign of the cross over it and chant the following formula:

Who shall thwart the evil eye ?
I shall thwart it, methinks,
In name of the King of life.
Three seven commands so potent,
Spake Christ in the door of the city ;
Pater Mary one,
Pater King two,
Pater Mary three.
Pater King four.
Pater Mary five.
Pater King six.
Pater Mary seven;
Seven pater Maries will thwart
The evil eye.
Whether it be on man or on beast.
On horse or on cow ;
Be thou in thy full health this night,
[The name]
In name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

(43)

If the victim’s a sheep, you’ll tie a thread around his tail, give him a drink of the water, and sprinkle some on his head and spine. If a cow, the sprinkling or anointing is on his horns and in the space between the horns.

If that one doesn’t work, there are about 12 more where it came from, and they are all delightful, each with something different to recommend it.

Source

Carmichael, Alexander, ed. and trans. “Cronachduinn Suil” [Thwarting the Evil Eye]. Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations, vol. 2. Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1900. pp. 42-43.