A translation with extensive commentary of the Livraria Económica edition of O Grande livro de S.Cypriano ou thesouro do feiticeiro, present in the Portuguese National Library in Lisbon — a book so dangerous it needs to be kept in chains.
522 pages, available in both hardback and paperback editions.
In this book you will not find the evocations of glamorous demon princes or mighty and powerful angels. There is no high or low magic to be found here. 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. It is the book of the empty stomach, of the bare feet of poverty, the broken heart, the foolish ambition, the maddening envy, the hard cock, the unwashed hands of labor, the agonizing afflicted and all the follies of the world of men. –José Leitão
“…522 pages of sheer awesome.” — Jason Miller (Inominandum)
“The book is quite simply a masterpiece endowed with St. Cyprian’s vitality. It is truly a Sorcerer’s treasure.” — Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold
An extensively commented translation of one of the most complete Portuguese grimoires attributed to St Cyprian of Antioch. A labyrinthic unveiling and re-veiling throughout the history of Western Iberian Bruxaria and Feitiçaria, Catholicism, the blood war of Old and New Christians, the slave trade and the Empire.
In this work, The Book of Saint Cyprian is revealed as a manifestation of vaster and pre-existent magical and folkloric traditions and is inserted into its proper cultural background, providing the reader with the keys to its unwritten content including the Book’s connection to the vast mythical corpus of the Mouras Encantadas.
An essential read for all those interested in folk magic, be it diabolical or saintly, fey traditions, the largely unknown West Iberian magical current and its various traces and manifestations in the modern Ibero-African-American cults of Brazil.
To read this book is a sin, but who reads it will rise to the clouds without wings…
Author and translator José Leitão has done the English-speaking world a great favour by not only translating the grimoire, but also by placing it in its proper context, in this way increasing its usefulness for the modern practitioner by treating it as a magical text as well as providing clues for its usage along with an analysis of its folkloric elements. Writing in a style that will educate, instruct, and amuse you, he provides a glimpse into the magical universe of rural Portugal, and follows the continuum of the Cyprianic current through the various manifestations of The Book, finally placing it firmly in the hands of the people: the rural folk, the poor and impoverished, the hungry — people who will do anything to grasp at power, even if that means making a pact with the Devil himself.
Publisher’s Note: Because of the scope of the Introduction to this work, we did index those references within the Introduction that we felt were of relevance to the reading of the text, or to the understanding of the material presented.
American English is used throughout: American punctuation however is not strictly adhered to — this because to Erzebet’s international eye, some US standards are simply wrong. If this offends anyone, we apologise. As much as was possible, we duplicated the layout of the Livraria Ecónomica edition of The Book of St. Cyprian: The Sorcerer’s Treasure, the same edition as is translated here.
We follow in the footsteps of Bernardo Barreiro, as you will see on page 257 of this book, in releasing the paperback edition as inexpensively as possible, so as to prevent anyone from “squandering all their possessions on the purchase of The Book”.
Any errors remaining in the text are ours.