Finding Cyprian

                                                                   Cyprian of Antioch

Lately, I’ve been paying attention to my need for more elemental balance in my magical (self-) work.  I did some simple hoodoo, using dirt from the backyard, and felt the groundedness, the hoodoo Earth power I love so much.  It had been a long time since I’d felt that.  So much moving and upheaval, so many changes of residence over the last few years and small unaccommodating living spaces, have made Air-dominant, spiritual magic far more usable.  And, in truth, I needed to polish those areas of Work for a while.  So I have no regrets.  

I’ve been working (almost) exclusively with spiritual beings and words of power for about three years.  It has been rewarding to develop my abilities in Air and Fire.  But lately, I have begun to sense an imbalance.  It is manifesting in my physical body, my emotions, my worldview, and my assumptions about life.  I’ve felt like “returning to Earth” in order to even these things out.  This means working more with dirt, washes, powders, oils and other physical materia.  Unfortunately, it’s still hard to do that, given my current living arrangement.  But I will find a way.

Yesterday (11 June 19), on a trip to London, I felt compelled to purchase The Book of St. Cyprian: the Sorcerer’s Treasure, translated and with commentary by Jose Leitao, which I found in the basement of Watkins Books.  I have wanted the book for some time.  It was more money than I intended to spend, but the book had a lot of energy (what I sometimes jokingly refer to as “fairy dust”) on it and I couldn’t deny that it was calling to me.

Walking out of the bookshop, not needing to be anywhere for a bit, I decided to stop in a cafe and do some reading.  As soon as I had that thought, I noticed the St. Martin-in-the-Fields crypt cafe and remembered that Cyprian is the patron of necromancers, among other things.  I went down the stairs, got some breakfast and a coffee, and settled in to read Leitao’s introduction, where I noticed the following, as if it, too, had fairy dust on it:  “[K]now that if you are reading this book then you are supposed to be reading it, that with it you invite the Saint and a legion of other spirits I cannot even begin to name into your life.  What his plans might be for you are not mine to know” (xxxv).  And “This is a book of the ground, of the dirt, it is not of the mind, it is not of the spirit, it is not of the heart, it is of the viscera” (xxxvii).  As I read that, a cold wave passed through me, which I have learned to recognize as the presence of magic in action.

A few hours later, walking on a London street with a friend, trying to describe this experience, I noticed some decorative ironwork over a grating in the shape of an “X.”  It was the third “fairy dust moment” I had that day.  This not only signifies liminality (the crossroads) for me and therefore is a powerful sign of hoodoo.  But it also communicates to me in the language of the Elder Futhark.  “X” is Gifu / Gebo, the Gift rune.  Blum writes that the rune is “an indication that union, uniting, or partnership in some form is at hand. . . . Thus Gebo, the Rune of Partnership, has no reverse for it signifies the gift of freedom from which flow all other gifts” (Book of the Runes, 71).

Every morning, I draw a Rune as an oracle for the day.  This morning, I drew Gifu again.  I believe there is an impending partnership being offered to me from this Saint of necromancers.  And I gladly accept.