The Books of Saint Cyprian

by Félix Francisco Castro

I won’t say many things about Saint Cyprian’s story, as people have a general knowledge about him. There were two saints with the same name that are usually confused, who lived almost in the same centuries: Saint Cyprian of Carthage, a reputed father of the Church, and Saint Cyprian of Antioch, who lived between the IIIth and IVth century and was one of the most famous of the ancient magicians.  (Solomon is the most famous of the Jewish magicians, and St. Cyprian is the most famous of the Christian magicians.) His life mixes reality with legend and fiction. There were many stories about him that were written in the books of the occidental and oriental Christian traditions, e.g. in the Flos Sanctorum, the book with the lives of the saints.

In the Iberian peninsula there were many traditions about him, that were widely known centuries ago, till nowadays. There were papers of colportage that told the story of St. Cyprian and St. Justina, and there were sold papers with the prayer of St. Cyprian against all kinds of evilness, enchantments, and the evil eye, that were very popular.  There were also books attributed to St. Cyprian that taught all types of spells, for finding treasures, etc.  These followed the tradition that, before his conversion, he put in a book all the spells that he learned in his years of practising the magical arts.

There were very few books of St. Cyprian quoted in the Spanish Inquisition Tribunals processes.  One of the earliest references probably found is from 1610, about a process against Juan de Toledo who had the Book of St. Cyprian for finding treasures (it appears in the book “Procesos en la Inquisición de Toledo (1575-1610)” (ed. Julio Sierra, Trotta, 2005)), also in the papers known as the Manuscript de Halle, information facilitated recently by M. Rey Bueno and Carlos Gilly.

Other references come later.  In Galicia there is the well known reference that tells about the “Libro de San Cipriano” in the process against Juan Rodríguez, Presbítero del Ferrol, in 1802, that was told by Bernardo Barreiro.  There are other references from the middle of the 18th century about books for finding treasures.  Their titles are not given but they are probably books of St. Cyprian.

This does not imply that these books quoted in the 18th century were the same books that circulated in Portugal and Galicia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but they had the same title, which proves that the Book of St. Cyprian tradition had a long history in Spain and Portugal. It is a pity that the books quoted in the trials didn’t survive in the inquisitorial archives.

We must consider that St. Cyprian’s myth was so popular in Spain and Portugal that many famous authors, such as Miguel de Cervantes and Calderon de la Barca in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, wrote theatrical works with St. Cyprian as its protagonist (“La Cueva de Salamanca” , and “El Magico Podrigioso”).

In Salamanca was the famous Cueva de Salamanca, or Cueva de San Ciprián, a cave that served as the sacristy – below the Iglesia de San Ciprián (St. Cyprian’s Church) in which was told that the devil taught black magic to the university students of Salamanca. Salamanca is one of the more important universities in Spain and one of the oldest ones.  The cave was open until the “Catholic Queen” Isabel ordered to close it circa 1500. In 1580 the church was definitively destroyed, but part of the sacristy (that was at the same time the cave) survived and is still today there.   Salamanca and Toledo were the most famous magical centres in the Iberian social imaginary and this probably had real foundations, and this tradition spread all over the world, including Europe. (In South America the word Salamanca means a cave in which is practiced magic).

The book “Cyprien Mago Ante Conversionen, from a French trial in 1841, with the supposed year and place of edition Salamanca 1460, quoted in Owen Davies’ book Grimoires: A History of Magic Books (Oxford University Press 2009) isn’t previous to the Spanish ones.  Moreover, this edition is indebted to the Spanish traditions that put in Salamanca the magical centre of Spain (and dated to 1460 probably because it is a date before that Isabel closed the cave). But it is a very interesting piece of information that a book of St. Cyprian appeared in France, it is a pity that there isn’t any copy of the book found by now.

The Spanish version published by Bernardo Barreiro on 1885, isn’t the earlier book of St. Cyprian; it is only one of many. There were earlier versions, some of them not found nowadays, (e g. the Porto edition from 1849 that I quote below that was quoted in the Archeologo Português Magazine).  Some of the editions that I tell here – Heptameron, Jonás Sufurino’s, other Porto and Lisboa editions- don’t put a sure place and date of publishing or author, but they are earlier than that published by Bernardo Barreiro. Barreiro published his version because he was angry that the peasants in Galicia paid a lot of money for “true” copies of the Book of St. Cyprian.  They sold all the things they had – houses, cows, etc.- for buying one of these books, so he published a cheap copy to warn the peasants that the Book of St. Cyprian was foolishness.

These versions are all imprint versions, I must tell that I have not yet found any manuscripts as Spanish writers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries told in their works.  Even they didn’t find them – they only heard notices or legends about them – but surely manuscript versions circulated, as the Inquisition records prove. Such a reputed historian as Manuel Murguía (nineteenth century) said that he never saw one of them, and only Bernardo Barreiro published a copy of one in his work Brujos y Astrólogos de la Inquisición de Galicia y el famoso libro de San Cipriano. (I only have found by now a manuscript of a Gaceta de Tesoros (list of treasures) from the nineteenth century, that was shown to me by Eduardo Grela Varela, its owner, and Luis Giadás, that oddly quoted in its introduction the Book of St. Cyprian).

The reasons of this lack of books could be three.  First, the long influence of the Spanish Inquisition and that the censure of the political and church power did a very good job. If such books existed, they didn’t survive till nowadays (not as in Scandinavia where many svarteboka survived). Second, the Spanish War and Franco’s dictatorship (1936-1939, 1939-1978), during which the morality and religion of the Catholic Church spread again censorship and the practice of burning books.  Surely many magical and occult texts were destroyed.

Others reasons that could be given for the lack of books is the weather of northwest Spain. The Galician region is very damp, wet and rainy, and books are usually very badly conserved, if not destroyed by the weather.  Moreover, the  houses of the Galician peasants weren’t the perfect houses for preserving books (the Book of St. Cyprian was surely sold to the rural population of Galicia, and not for the urban population that was only a very few part of Galician population until recent days-). Also many Galicians migrated to America and other parts of Europe and perhaps if the magic books were hidden in peasants houses, they were destroyed at the same time that the houses were as time passed.

The Texts

I have read more than forty Libros de San Cipriano and Livros de Sao Cipriano by now, a few from the nineteenth Century and the most part of them from the twentieth century, I own about 30 books and I can tell some things about the different versions that I consider that exist.

1.- One of the most ancient editions that I found is the supposed edition of 1810 of Brussels, (of which Parsifal Editions did a reissue facsimile in 1989 in the Spanish language), octavo, hardbound, with 90 pages. It is entitled ” HEPTAMERON OR MAGIC ELEMENTS, COMPOSED BY THE GREAT CIPRIANO, FAMOUS MÁGICIAN, translated into the Latin and from this one to the French language by Esterhaazy, and lately to the Castilian language by Fabio Salazar y Quincoces, Ascrólogo, Alchemist and famous naturalist. Venice. Francesco Succoni’s bookshop & printer’s, Year of M.DCCXXII (1722) “. According to the prologue it was reprinted in Brussels by Vincio Bocatorti in the year 1810. Palau mentions that there were numerous reprintings of this work in Spain at the end of the  nineteenth century, always in supposed places and with false dates.

It is a curious edition, very original as it is very different from others because it does not have evident similarities with other European and more famous grimoires. It has the typical contents: chiromancy, physiognomy, astrology, and spells.  The name of Cyprian is only used in the title of the book. Its language (Spanish in old style) and gravures show its old age.

2.- Another version is the one that was published as an appendix to the book of the Galician historian Bernardo Barreiro, edited in 1885 in Santiago de Compostela – Galicia, with the title ” WIZARDS AND ASTROLOGERS OF THE INQUISITION OF GALICIA AND THE SAN CIPRIANO’S FAMOUS BOOK”, reedited by Akal,  Arealonga, 1973 (this work is edited, hardback, octavo, with 300 pages.) This book is about of the processes of the Galician Inquisition against wizards and astrologers of the second half of the sixteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth. Barreiro published as an appendix a mutilated edition of the Ciprianillo, of which he obtained a manuscript, in order to vulgarize it and to make it accessible to the public in general. This version that says realized by Beniciana Rabina, rabbi, today is unlocatable in its original edition. Beniciana Rabina is really, author of one of the most known editions of the Grand Grimoire, which was published in Paris in 1845.  This version of the Ciprianillo is a copy of this grimoire, which is not unusual [?] because Enediel Shaiah comments that an edition of the Grand Grimoire in Spanish language was published in 1820.

The first part of the work is more or less similar to that in the Grand Grimoire, treating as the preparation of the magician and as the creation of the cabbalistic circle (it departs importantly from the ritual of invocation). The second part includes the Triangle of the Agreements and the Infernal Hierarchies, summarized in four pages, and the rest of the parts of the book on magic recipes simply suppresses them saying that they are bilges, not mentioning the famous list of Treasures of the Galician kingdom.

3.- Another edition is “COMPLETE BOOK OF REAL MAGIC OR THE WIZARD’S TREASURE written in ancient Hebrew parchments delivered by the spirits to the German Monk Jonás Sufurino “. One of the editions that we own could be from the middle or the end of the nineteenth century (octavo, paperback, 240 pages, supposedly re-printed in the Cabbalistic Press of Milan). It continues reporting his content as “It Contains: San Cipriano’s Book or the Wizard’s Treasure. The Clavicle of Solomon, Invocations, Agreements, Exorcisms, The Red Dragon and the Infernal Goat. The Black Hen. School of Sorceries. The Great Grimorio or the Pact of the Blood. Magic candle to discover enchantments. Summary of the Caldean and Egyptian magic. Filters, enchantments, sorceries ”

“Libro Completo de Verdadera Magia o sea El Tesoro del Hechicero escrito en Pergaminos Antiguos Hebreos entregados por los espíritus al Monje Alemán Jonás Sufurino”. “Contiene: Libro de San Cipriano o sea el Tesoro del Hechicero. La Clavícula de Salomón, Invocaciones, Pactos, Exorcismos, El Dragón Rojo y la Cabra Infernal. La Gallina Negra. Escuela  de  Sortilegios. El Gran  Grimorio o el Pacto de la Sangre. Candela mágica para descubrir encanta-mientos. Recopilación de la magia caldea y egipcia. Filtros, encantamientos, hechicerías y sortilegios.” .  (title in Spanish).

El Libro Infernal”. “Hechizos y Sortilegios, Los Secretos de la Reina Cleopatra, Los admirables secretos de Alberto el Grande, La revelación de los misterios de la mano, Cartomancia y Cafeomancia, Sugestión, hipnotismo y magnetismo, Espiritismo”

This version has been reedited often in the twentieth century, being the most prolific of all the editions that we know (the more often published in Spanish). One thinks basically in two versions, the brief one that it includes the parts that we indicate previously (octavo, paperback, 190 pages), and another longer ” The Infernal book “, which it includes in addition “Charms and Sorceries, The Secrets of the Queen Cleopatra, The admirable secrets of Grand Albert, The revelation of the mysteries of the hand, Cartomancy and Cafeomancy, Suggestion, hypnotism and magnetism, Spiritualism ” (octavo, paperback, of 555 pages).  These two versions were edited by the Publishing house Maucci of Barcelona about 1920. It was even published in Italian in 1950. There are multiple published editions in Argentina and Mexico, by Domingo Ferrari, Caymi, and Saturno, and in Spain by Anaya, Mallfré, EDS, Teorema, and Edaf. This version is said published by Jonás Sufurino, German monk of Brooken’s monastery, dated according to the book to the year 1001 or 1521.

In these brief editions the qualified part I of San Cipriano is shortened and finishes habitually with the charm realized with a few mallows caught in a cemetery, other books finish with the ” Necessary Explanation,” telling us that the translator tried to be faithful to the original and that he is surprised that a book about demons and spells speaks so respectfully about the divinity (God)

Other editions that also include this version are the “Libro de San Cipriano o Tesoro del Hechicero, seguido del Libro de Simón el Mago” “The Book of St. Cyprian or the Magician’s Treasuer, followed by the Simon Magician’s Book”. This was published initially by Dr. Moorne, a writer of occult works in the beginnings of the 20th century, as The Magician Simon’s Book a supposed extract of a very much longer work, “Clavis Secretorum Coelis et Terrae “, realized by W. Grebc. About this version we know three editions:

a) One published by Domingo Ferrari (Buenos Aires) in 1953, “Clavícula del Hechicero o Gran Libro de San Cipriano: Conocimiento o instrumentos para ejercer las artes mágicas. Ceremonial mágico y experimentos. Invocaciones, pactos y exorcismos. De los espíritus en general. Arte de evocar a los muertos. El Dragón Rojo, Cabra Invernal y la Gallina Negra. Hechizos y Sortilegios. Libro de Simón el Mago. Talismanes. Propiedades mágicas y curativas de las plantas y los animales. Diccionario de los sueños.”

b) ” Sorcerer’s Clavicle or San Cipriano’s Great Book:” “Knowledge or instruments to exercise the magic arts. Magical Ceremony and experiments. Invocations, agreements and exorcisms. About the spirits in general. Art of evoking the dead men. The Red Dragon, Infernal Goat and the Black Hen. Charms and Simon the Sorcerer’s Book. Talismans. Magic and curative properties of the plants and the animals. Dictionary of the dreams”, (octavo, in paperback, 270 pages).

c)  Another one was published by Caymi (Buenos Aires), of the year 1970, and also it was reedited in Spain by Daniel’s Libros in 1988.

4.- Another version published in Barcelona, is edited by the Library of Secret Sciences, Barcelona – Paris – Rome, as the advertising says, with the title “El libro de San Cipriano  y Santa Justina, milagros y oraciones de la S.S. Cruz de Caravaca” ” SAN’s BOOK CIPRIANO AND HOLY JUSTINA, MIRACLES AND PRAYERS OF THE S.S. CARAVACA’s CROSS ” (paperback, published between 1895 and 1920, with parts in Castilian and others in Catalan). “Tratado completo para ejercitar el poder oculto – Magia de los campos – Hechizos Pactos–Responsos – Nove-nas – Oraciones – Ligamientos – Curaciones etc. etc. The title continues:  “Complete treatise for exercise the secret power – Magic of the fields – Spells – Pacts – prayers – Ninth – Prayers – Bonds – healing etc. Etc. “. The curiosity of this book is that it includes also prayers of Caravaca’s Santa Cruz, mixing in many major proportions the religious Catholic content, since it has numerous novenas, prayers to saints, and benedictions.   On the other hand, in spite of saying that it is Jonás Sufurino’s version, it defers enough of the one that we mention previously, since it suppresses a few things and adds others. Of this work there exist Mexican editions of the Publishing Rock of the year 1985.

5.- At this point one is forced to speak about the edition realized by Enediel Shaiah, titled “El Libro Magno de San Cipriano. Tesoro del Hechicero”, ” The San Cipriano’s Great Book.  The Sorcerer’s Treasure”.  We consider it to be the best published one in Spanish, and it has recently been re-edited by the Publishing house Humanitas, though it does not mention his source of origin. The diverse editions were realized in the later years of 1905, one by Gregorio Pueyo editor, from Madrid, other one supposedly edited in Leipzig by the Publishing Center Polyglot – Centro Editorial Políglota- (according to Palau, of Madrid 1907), -octavo, paperback, 378 pages-, and other one by the Editorial La Irradiación, also from Madrid.

Enediel Shaiah, was a Galician hypnologist and occultist, originally from Pontevedra, who lived in Madrid between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, where he had a consultation service in hypnosis. He worked as a journalist and writer, writing about occultism and hypnosis, and translated numerous French works, principally of Papus (Dr. Encausse), – Enediel was a disciple of him –  and Eliphas Levi. He directed the Library Teosófica of the Publishing house Pueyo and was a friend of Mario Roso de Luna.  Regarding grimoires, he published a version of the Dragon Rouge in Spanish in 1905, supposedly at Venice (really Madrid).

The present edition is supposedly – as it is told by the author – a summary of three  different San Cipriano’s Books, which were circulating previously as independent texts, with an abundance of explanatory texts, even replacing passages with others of his authorship that he considers to be more updated, besides the suppression of iterations of the different books.

Regarding the Portuguese versions, one of the first references of Portuguese editions is that included in the magazine the Portuguese Archaeologist, “O Archeologo Portugues”. Vol.XXIII. Lisboa, Imprensa Nacional, 1918. p. 223. It tells about a Portuguese edition published in Porto, 1849, Typographia de D. Antonio Moldes.

Frei Xico, in the following web page, tells about them:

“Algumas edições:

– “O Verdadeiro Grande Livro de S.Cipriano”(ou: Thesouro do Feiticeiro). Rio de Janeiro, Livr.Quaresma.Ed., 1926.

Tavares, Possidônio: “O Verdadeiro Livro de São Cipriano”. Rio de Janeiro/Paris, Livr.Garnier, Sem Data.

– “O Antigo e Verdadeiro Livro Gigante de São Cipriano”. Rio de Janeiro, Ed.Eco, Sem Data.

– O “Genuino Livro de São Cipriano”. São Paulo, Ed.e Publ.Brasil Ed., Sem Data.

– Mammoloh, N’Guma. Prof.: “São Cipriano, o Grande e Legítimo Livro Vermelho e Negro de S.Cipriano”. São Paulo, Gepê Ed., Sem Data.

– “Livro Encarnado de São Cipriano”(Rio de Janeiro, Ed.Pallas S.A., s.d.).

Muito diferentes são: “O Livro de São Cipriano”. Editora Três, 1986.

– Motososchry(Compilador): “O Verdadeiro Livro de São Cypriano”. São Paulo, Ed.Popular, Sem Data.(Contêm: necromancia, magnetismo, cartomancia, quiromancia, revelação dos sonhos).”

I own some of these editions, the Livr. Garnier edition, published in 1900, the Famaliçao edition of 1923, and several other Portuguese and Brazilian editions, from the 1940s to 2000s

About the nineteenth century editions I have examined the following editions in the National Library at Lisboa.

6.- The first Portuguese edition on which we comment is called “Grande Livro de S. Cipriano ou Thesouro do Feiticeiro. A ediçao máis completa que se tem publicado até hoje, Livraria Económica de J. Andrade & Lino de Sousa, Antiga Casa de F. Napoleao da Vitoria, Travessa de S. Domingos 9 a 13, Imprenta Lucas, Rúa do Diario de Noticias 93”, Big Book of St. Cyprian or the Sorcerer’s Treasure. The most complete edition published till today. (octavo, paperback, approximately 300 pages), that we examine in the National Library of Lisbon. This work is previous to the year 1893 (there is another exact edition of the year 1923), assuring to be the first one consisted of three volumes and the most complete of all. It includes several curiosities, as the third part includes the story of Victor Siderol, a French peasant that comes to Galicia for founding treasures helped by the Book of St. Cyprian, and the list of 154 of the treasures found in Porto de D. Gazua (Portugal) and the list of 174 treasures of the Kingdom of Galicia.

The majority of the Portuguese editions and Brazilians published in the 20th century follow with major or minor loyalty the content of the work before commented, suppressing sometimes superfluous contents and others adding stories and diverse texts. Between them we can mention Possidonio Tavares’s edition, published by the Brothers Garnier, Rio de Janeiro – Paris, 1900, with the title ” Or S. Cipriano’s Verdadeiro Livro. Ediçao, a máis completa e augmentada, com um oráculo de 108 segredos “, that adds to this version 108 magic secrets. Later others, as the qualified one “Verdadeiro Livro de S. Cipriano ou o Thesouro do Feiticeiro”, a much enhanced edition, Lisbon, Literary Universal Company, 1919, and ” O verdadeiro Livro de Sao Cipriano ou tesouro da feiticeira “, Lisbon, Livraria Barateira, 1930, are identical to the already commented one, and between the most recent when can mention the published by Moderna Casa Editorial, 1998. and Casa Editorial Livros da Vida, Colección Runes, Lisbon, 2001. Other editions, as that of Ediçoes Afrodite, Lisbon, 1971, and his translation published by Ed. Castrelos in Galician language, in 1973 and to the Spanish published by Akal in 1978, reproduces only the third book. Others, such as that of Famaliçao of the year 1923, move away clearly from this version since they includes neither the list of treasures nor many paragraphs of the version of the Livraría Económica and adds a paragraph of “Instruments used in sorcery” and “Precious Virtues of plants, stones, animals and reptiles”, a paragraph from natural magic that is similar to the content in Simón’s Book  and the Grand Albert.

7.- The penultimate version on that we are going to comment is the one that takes as a title ” VERDADEIRO LIVRO DE S. CIPRIANO OU PARTICULAR THESOURO DO FEITICEIRO “, tirado d’um manuscripto feito polo mesmo Santo que ensina a desencantar todos os encantos feitos pelos mouros n’este reino de Portugal e tambén indicando o logar onde se econtram. Contendo todas as rezas para desfazer os encantos e tendo as necesarias explicaçoes aonde existem os haveres encantados, etc. Novísima ediçao augmentada com a cartomancia do arte de deitaras cartas como fazem as feiticeiras. A’ venda no Porto, na Livraria Portuguesa de Joa-quim Maria da Costa – 55, Largo dos Loyos, 56 – Porto”. Imp. Tipogra-phía de Arthur J. de Sousa & Irmao, L. de S. Domingos 74. (Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa) “The true book of St. Cyprian or particular Sorcerer’s Treasure”, copied from a manuscript made by himself, that shows how to uncast the spells (an “encanto” is a spell made in a particular place for hiding a treasure) made by the Moors in this Kingdom of Portugal and also telling the places where they are. Including all the prayers you need for undoing the “encantos” and the “necessary explanation” chapters of where are the enchanted treasures.  Augmented with the cartomancy and the art of reading the future using the cards as the female witches do. “ We examine it in the National Library of Lisbon. Paperback, octavo, 64 pages. The work seems to be approximately of the year 1886.

8.- To end this analysis, in Brazil many versions have been published, from the nineteenth century, but we will not deal with them because the versions that we have seen seem more modern, re-elaborated, and far from the most ancient editions about we have spoken before. We will speak of only one, which is considered the most complete, ” ANTIGO LIVRO DE SAN LIVRO, OU O GIGANTE E VERDADEIRO, N.A. Molina “, (The ancient book of St. Cyprian or the Giant and True One), octavo, hardback 507 pages. A Portuguese edition of the same one exists, it is the fifth edition published in the year 1993 and distributed by DINALIVRO. The Brazilian edition already must take more than thirty editions.

It is a very extensive work, incorporating texts of very diverse origin, because he quickly speaks about Catholic saints, and then about spiritualism or black magic. It does not treat of the topic of the treasures, so importantly in other editions, and it includes neither  lists of these nor the way to remove their enchantments.

Appendix: Analysis of a Spanish Book of St. Cyprian

Here is a summarized analysis of one of the versions of the Book of St. Cyprian. This is a summarized analysis of the Enediel Shaiah’s version, that is, the Spanish version most similar to the Portuguese ones: (The compiler, Enediel Shaiah, says that it is a summary of the three books reputed as the true ones, but I don’t know if it would be really true).

The First Book has a marked religious content, with a part of prayers (sentences) and exorcisms to dispel possessions and the physical evil, specifically directed to the religious.  It includes, besides long texts in Latin, ways of knowing if ailments are natural or caused by demons, ways of closing the body in order that the demons cannot enter again, ways of helping the appearances, etc.  The book continues with totally different matters – cartomancy,  astrology, table of fateful moments of the calendar.  Here Enediel Shaiah says that the book included the procedure to remove illusions from treasures (“exchequers”) but he suppressed it because it appeared already in the third part of the Book (or the third book that he compiled). Next the book speaks about other topics, especially about prophecy, recipes of love, enchanted money, helping patients, a procedure to punish the demon, a prayer of the Just Judge who serves the magician to turn him invisible to those people who want to detain him, etc.

The Second Book has content similar to Jonas Sufurino’s version and St. Cipriano and St Justina’s Book.  It includes white and black magic secrets that appear in the other versions (broad beans, the bone of the head of a black cat, the fern seeds, etc.).  Later it includes an operation of ceremonial magic (preparation of the magician, magical instruments, robes, the magical circle, odors, etc.), of heavenly “celestial” powers.  It also discusses how to form a pact and the list of infernal authorities – similar to that one of Johann Wierus. It continues with a “Secrecies of Sorcery” of which many coincide with the versions of Jonas Sufurino and the Book of St. Cyprian and St. Justine aforementioned, although in a different order.  Other sections coincide with recipes of the Heptameron, the next chapters (the Ring of Giges, the Magic Mirror of King Solomon, the Secret of the Black Pullet, etc.) appear also in the Grand Grimoire and in the Dragon Rouge.  The rest of them (magic of the holly, of the canister of glass, of the black pigeon, of sprouted sweet potatos, etc.) appear in Portuguese editions.

The Third Book has little in common with the versions of Jonas Sufurino and St. Cyprian and St. Justine.  It confirms that this is a separate book with the list of treasures of the Kingdom of Galicia and the way of removing the illusions from them. It begins with several spells, next to the Litany of the Saints (current in the Portuguese editions, with a long list of saints and formulas in Latin), and an imprecation to Satan so he should remove himself from the land and leaves free the treasure that is expected to collect by the magician (the ritual has a clearly different intention, since it is not negotiated but instead that magician throws the demon out).   After this it includes the list of 146 treasures of the Kingdom of Galicia, which it says is in the Catalan Peninsular Library of Barcelona (the same as the Portuguese version). The list is in Spanish, has fewer treasures than the Portuguese list (174) and is less detailed, surelyto prevent people from using it to seek treasures. The third part continues with the great secrets of the magician Artaphernes, and ends with a list of the kinds of fortune telling used in several periods.  Enediel Shaiah substituted his own list here that he considered more updated, which is why we cannot know what was on the original list.


Born in Ourense on a cold day of San Silvestre in 1970, with his twin brother Castor. He inherited from his mother and his mother grandmother an interest in books and traditional culture, and from his father an interest for the movies, books of terror and the fantastic, and comics.  He studied law in Salamanca following the familial tradition, also learning to play the bagpipe, and he studied in San Ciprian’s Cave below the town, gaining great knowledge of the Devils Books.

He works as attorney (and is on the verge of ending the career of anthropology also), but he dedicates a lot of time to playing and recording popular Galician music, investigating and collecting popular culture, practicing martial arts, and being a definitivespecialist in useless things. Certainly something occurred in the Cave of Salamanca, as after a few years it led him to collect San Cipriano’s Books, grimoires and other infernal books.  He has already published a series of articles, including “The San Cipriano’s Book “, “Rosendo Pons, publisher and occultist “, “The Spanish editions of the Infernal Dictionary”, and “The Cabbalistic Books of the publishing house Maucci”, in the book lovers magazine Hibris ,, and “San Ciprian’s Book: a reality in the popular imagination”, in the Magazine Murguia, a Galician magazine of history. Also he has published numerous works on music and traditional Galician culture, being especially studious of the figure of Faustino Santalices, the famous Galician folklorist and bagpiper from Ourense, restorer of the hurdy gurdy in Spain, Felix has been a commissioner of an exhibition and author of a book on him together with his brother ” Faustino Santalices: Musical Tradition of Galicia,” (Xunta de Galicia Museo de Ribadavia – Difusora 2010). He is fascinated with the case of the Galician Manuel Blanco Romasanta, the only case of a wolf-man documented and judged in the 19th century that was prominent in the international newspapers of the epoch.  On this he has published two articles: “Romasanta: The Wolf Man from Allariz”, in Hibris, and “An unknown piece of colportage of Manuel Blanco Romasanta’s case: The man of the smear and a bibliographical selection of the works about him”, Lethes, Cadernos Culturais da Limia Inverno 2007-2008 (article available in

Also he appears in the Acts of the First Congress on Oral Literature, dedicated to the Devil figure, Lugo, October 2008. Web page of the Writers in Galician language Association. (These articles are in the Galician language) His webpage with his brother is


2010 © Félix Francisco Castro.  Used here by permission.  All rights reserved.  Please do not reproduce.

Published on November 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm  Comments (46)  

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  1. […] I’m happy to provide you with what I can say, with some confidence, is the most comprehensive examination of the Cyprian literature ever published in English.  […]

  2. OMG! This is wonderful! This sort of treatment has been long overdue. I wonder if we can weedle Mr. Castro (begging and hanging on his leg groveling)to write a full book-length treatment of the Cyprian books.

    I was recently reading some books on Scandinavian folk healing and magic, and was quite suprised that a good bulk of those traditions are attributed to St. Cyprian and the Cyprian inspired texts.

  3. […] The Books of Saint Cyprian « Papers Falling from an Attic Window. […]

  4. I and my brother Cástor have discovered, when I was preparing a conference about the popular sucess that had the case of Romasanta in the middle XIXth centuryfor the Xornadas Manuel Blanco Romasanta , el hombre-lobo de Allariz, the wolfman of Allariz, that would be held the next weekend, new information about
    where, when and how died Manuel Blanco Romasanta, and we shall tell it in our conference

  5. I hope some freemason or roscrucian has the originals. my family has a curse on them from the books and no one can help us.

  6. Excellent and detailed exploration by Mr. Castro. I , too, would like to see a book length analysis of this incredible strain of magic and lore. To BOZ: Are you privy to when and where the curse originated?

    • Sorry, but I lost something, about what curse are you talking about?
      About a book about the Book of St. Cyprian, I didn’t write by now one in galician, that was my primary interest.
      As I finished this year my anthropology career I hope in this year or the next publish it, and then surely the spanish and english version would be soon the next ones.
      I have published several articles, in spanish, and one of them longer, of thirty pages, but it is in galician (very close to portuguese language, the same family), if somebody is interested in it I can provide it.
      My primary interest is mainly comparing editions and the anthropological, folklore context that rounded and rounds the Book (legends, stories of persons that used the book, etc.), not to make a list of charms.
      But the Book of St. Cyprian is so huge, with hundred of modern editions in Brazil, etc. etc. that it is difficult to stop the investigation.
      I am now searching scrolls of St. Cyprian (of whenever tradition, coptic, armenian, bulgarian, ethiopian) for putting my investigation in a broader context.

      • Dear Felix Castro, I look forward to your other articles and future publications. The lore around such manuscripts is exceptional and very interesting As a fiction writer and part-time scholar, I also have a fondness for the origins and development of the legends as language and culture determine their course. As far as “the curse” , Boz had mentioned in an above comment that there was a curse placed on his family from what I presume are the original books. My query was to him in that regard, and my interest is relative to how lore and legends, and possibly in this case, curses, are passed through family. sorry for the confusion, and thanks for your informative reply!
        -Sincerely, Ebenezar Gold.

      • maybe you must publish an English version of the books of Saint Cyprian…please brother

  7. Thankyou very much for your answer, Ebenezar Gold.
    My brother and I have opened a blog,
    Although in this site I haven’t published any of my articles about magic and occult bibliography, mainly because of the reasons that I tell at the entrie about the Tom Johnson’s work about black books.
    A small part of my first article was during a short time in internet and we were inundated by e-mails of persons asking for the Book of St. Cyprian, magic spells, etc. etc. (As a anthopologist, some of the e-mails are very interesting) and a lot of people copied and pasted this small part of my article in a lot of occult websites without putting myself as the autor, even in youtube (write in google felix castro libro de san cipriano and you can see it), and even in Argentina some persons published a “booklet” with it (that I bought of course).

    Perhaps in a near future I shall put them.
    I can send my articles in spanish and in galician if somebody has some interest in them of course.

  8. Boa Tarde a Todos !

    Gostaria de Saber se Alguém tem o Livro de São Cipriano com Edição de 1938 ou Inferio a 1953 .

    Obrigada !

  9. Eu tenho varias ediçoes, a primeira de 1900, e como comento no propio texto conhezo ediçoes dende mediados do século dazanove en lingua portuguesa

    • ola eu tenho o grande e verdadeiro livro de s Cipriano de 1953 em excelente estado. troco pelo livro negro de s Cipriano editora espiritualista 319 paginas se tiver diga algo. obrigado

  10. Tenho algumas edições, se te interessar, entre em contato comigo!!!
    Marcelo Gomes.’.

    • Estimado Marcelo: Qué tal van as cousas? Ja fai tempo que nao falamos. El é uma das pessoas que me vendeu alguma ediçao brasileira interesante do s. XX. Se ben as que mais me interesan son as do s. XIX, ja que do s. XX ja tenho bastantes.
      Ja sabes que se alguma vez che aparece alguma ediçao do s. XIX, estaría interesado nela.
      Recibin as túas invitaçoes para o linkedlin mais eu nao participo del.
      Unha forte aperta dende Galiza.

  11. […] Rate this: Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailDiggStumbleUponPrintRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Posted in: Asharu Tradition ← Astral Projection: A How To Guide For Beginners Be the first to start a conversation […]

  12. Please how can I get the book of saint ciprian

    • Please tell where can I get the book of saint ciprian

  13. Is this fake or real?

  14. Bom Dia Felix,
    Chamo-me Tony Ramires, sou brasileiro e pesquisador da cultura popular e gostaria manter contato com o senhor e trocar algumas experiências. Também tenho algumas edições de S.C. e recomendo o livro da pesquisadora Jerusa Pires: O Livro de São Cipriano – uma Legenda de Massas, editora Perspectiva.
    Um forte abraço. (E-mail e Facebook).

    • Bon día: Non tenho ningún problema en que contacte comigo.
      O meu correio persoal é Tamén pode contactarme no correio
      O libro de Jerusa Pires xa o conhezo dende fai anos.
      Estou em colaboraçoes tamén con algúns autore brasileiro que vai publicar unha obra sobre o Livro de S.C.
      Uma aperta
      Félix Castro

  15. […] out the Nordic Cypriani books, the best write up I have seen on the various books of Cyprian is by Felix Francisco Castro. An English language translation of one of these books, The Book of Saint Cyprian: The Sorcerer’s […]

    • how i can get some books of st.cyprian?

      • I now

      • Im always here if you want it and on face book too

  16. Please how can I get the book of santo cipriano

  17. […] accomplish this, JSK explores the contents of a Sufurino edition of the Testament of Cyprian, most likely dating to the 19th century.  Using the purported author as a spiritual link to the […]

  18. […] It’s always tricky announcing releases before they come out, but if I’ve timed this blog post right, you’ll be seeing it on the day that The Book of Saint Cyprian appears from Hadean Press.  Jake Stratton-Kent has the following to say about the book, another example of the occult texts attributed to Cyprian: […]

  19. […] one looks at the article on Cyprian editions written by Félix Francisco Castro, the text should correspond with item 6, the Livraria Económica […]

  20. Bardzo szałowy post, drobiazgowe zapisy zalecam wszystkim literaturę

  21. Thanx to you for describing to my gf about this data!

  22. This is extremely good content. One of the better posts I’ve found at present. Keep up the nice work.

  23. […] The Big Book of Saint Cyprian, one of many books of magic or magical lore regarding or attributed to the Saint. (source: Castro) […]

  24. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have take into account your stuff previous to and you’re just too magnificent.
    I really like what you have bought here, certainly like what
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  25. Hi you have a easy to navigate posting site It was very easy to post I am impressed

  26. Where can I purchase this book?

  27. Most of us in the Western World aren’t as familiar with the history of other nations as we are with our own. For instance, the history of Japan is likely totally unknown to most people beyond their involvement in the Second World War to anyone who hasn’t gone out of their way to learn about it. That’s a definite shame because Japanese history is full of some amazing events and customs. Take a look here at 10 of the most shocking.

    • Feng Fang Foom, the emrald jade dragon of mischief who disguises himself in the shape of a man to taunt and totment them with gremlin like trouble.

  28. I am searching for any texts of St Cyprian pertaining to Scrying and ancient chinese mirror magic as i hear he was the original author of this art also were they’re any highlights on his use of Shadow doppelgangers that may have been passed down from an ancesror of his Shadowfaux the Shadow Master.

  29. I’ve been trying to gain more knowledge when it comes to love spells or this kind of work…after 2 heartbreaks, but one that I can’t get over because I know and feel that we both love each other a lot more now than when we first met, but his friends and family specially his parents don’t approve of. I know that I should fight for this love! I have seek help from spell casters only to be so disappointed because promises weren’t kept but I was always asked for so much money that made me very skeptical of any spell work. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best person to bring back an ex bf/gf is the one person who’s going thru the pain (myself) because I dated that person I know his likes and dislikes and he knows mine as well. I am a Massage Therapist and we work with energy so little by little I feel spell casting is calling me. I can assure you that my first spell work worked (with lemon (for cheaters) and then another one with cinnamon (for reconciliation), right there I knew I could help others but only when it’s meant to be. I am going to start another spell work and I’ve been reading about St. Cyprian of Antioch to be present in the moment. Thank you for the references of this Saint. I am going to devoutly seek his work for my work. Do you have any suggestions as to which book would be more focused on love spells from this Saint?

    • Veronica,

      I’m sorry to hear that yuu’re in this situation. That sounds painful.

      You’re probably not going to want to hear this advice, but… he’s not with you right now. He says it’s his family; it might be, it might not. Either way, trying to compel him to come to you could lead to serious consequences and side effects. There are reasons that many people don’t do so well. It didn’t turn out very well for St. Cyprian himself, at least not in terms of his original goal.

      I’d encourage you to take care of yourself, and give the situation some time.


      • Hola, hemos encontrado un ejemplar del siglo XIX del libro infernal, y nos gustaría saber tu opinión… Te dejo mi email y hablamos? Gracias y saludos

  30. Hola, de acuerdo, facilitarme el e-mail, del Libro Infernal conozco las ediciones de la editorial Maucci que más bien son de inicios del s. XX. Un saludo

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