Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Patron Saint of the Badly Behaved

or Hadean Press Chapbook Review #1

As a wandering hoodoo I am long familiar with the iconic figure of St. Cyprian, a stalwart ally of the mercenary practitioners in both the North and South America’s as well as Europe.  The trouble with this figure, as Conjureman Ali suggests in his brief text regarding this paradoxical Saint, is that for some entirely inexplicable reason almost none of his lore has ever been translated into English out of the original Spanish and Portuguese.  Ali does us the great service of not dwelling over long on the fascinating permutations of St. Cyprians legend (couple of quick pages in case you live under a rock and have never heard of the patron Saint of necromancers, pagans and witches,) and gets straight to the business of translation.

Ali lays out the proper preparation of the three ritual oils, the first is remarkable similar in composition to Three Kings incense and I have no doubt would make an excellent general anointing oil (the use suggested within the text), a second which reminded me a lot of the old southern Cleo May recipes (and put to a similar use again according to the text,) the third though is unlike any of the compositions that I am familiar with and I shall have to give a shot.  This third oil is used in the consecration of St. Cyprians Amparo (along with a few of the more standard rituals) which out of all the workings in the brief text is in my opinion the true golden nugget.

The use of this amparo among Los Muertos to moderate the intensity of Santa Muerta’s presence was news to me but I can attest to its necessity.  When she is worked in an intimate sense she owns your ass.  She comes when she wants, she takes what she wants and she rides you when she feels like it.  I was entirely unaware that los Muertos utilized Cyprians amparo to mitigate the intensity of those exchanges and shall enthusiastically give that one a whirl. 

As an aside, I would pick on the scholarly lot considerably less if they took the time to provide resources like this more often.  I mean seriously, hundreds of years waiting translation!  It is my sincere hope that we will see more of those texts popularized in Latin America translated into English in the upcoming years.  Anyhow, I tip my hat to you Ali, a cat could never have anything but your Cyprian in 20 pages and I suspect they would do just fine.  


  1. Thank you for the review. I am so glad that you enjoyed the book!

  2. I also came to the conclusion that *something* was needed to filter out Santa Muerte's energies. Though I can attest to her power, I was physically ill until St. Cyprian began to shield me. I look forward to the days ahead and the ability to grow closer to both of these fantastic spirits.