Cyprianism is a system for the practice of the worship of Beauty.
Cyprianism is the modern revival of an ancient Athenian mystery school called Paphianism, which was founded by Aspasia during the Periclean age in Greece. Her Beautiful creation was a cult of Aphrodite that drew upon symbols, allegory and ritual in order to resonate with The Current – the underlying Poetic architecture the universe – in order to serve, defend and create Beauty. The system was primarily practiced by artists and sacred courtesan-priestesses living in the Kerameikos neighborhood of Athens at that time, but has been embodied in the life and work of several like-minded groups in the centuries since.
Our modern rekindling is built on their work and incorporates new discoveries, fresh spiritual understanding, updated science, the revisiting and questioning of conventional thought, comparative esotericism, the study of the art, recent sexual and gender insights, and a rejection of patriarchal corruption.
Cyprianism acknowledges The Erotic Force and Its necessity in the transformative and creative processes. The practice is meant to create Beautiful Masterworks out of the lives of those who follow it. [CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ]
“A flower is beautiful, a flower garden is Beautiful.”
What is Beauty?
Cyprianism makes a distinction between the natural beauty of the universe and the Beauty that is created by the Poetry of humanity. The Practice uses a simple innovation to signify this difference. Natural beauty is notated with a lower case b, created Beauty with a capital B. This convention does not ascribe more importance to one than the other. They are, in fact, coequal. But they are not the same. One is beyond our control, yet we can exercise a certain amount of influence upon the other. This is the obligation of Cyprianism. Beauty and beauty are relational. The only way to create meaningful Cyprian art, or live The Beautiful Life of Cyprianism, is to remain reverential of natural, “small b” beauty and relating our work to it. To put it another way: forget it and forget It.
Cyprians acknowledge and appreciate natural beauty, while endeavoring to defend Beauty where it exists and creating it where it does not. We venerate Beauty to such a degree as to understand It as Deity. For centuries, the intelligent energy we know as Beauty was exalted and personified as a goddess. Paphia, Isis, Aphrodite, etc. We still worship Beauty and She loves us in return.
The definition of Beauty is elusive. In fact, the definition evolves as one continues on the journey to discovering it. We concern ourselves more with the meaning of Beauty, rather than what is true about it.
As Cyprians, our lives are about being even as we become. This is also true of Beauty. It cannot be finalized. The moment that Beauty is something to us, we must acknowledge that it is also becoming something as well.
That being said, Cyprian Beauty, which is an additional subset within Beauty, can be described with a few statements of being. In Cyprianism, Beauty is intentional. It cannot be created by accident. Mere chance does not create grandeur.
Beauty is Pleasure. Though at times creating Beauty is grueling, it also brings Pleasure to the creator as well as all others that come into relationship with it. Beauty is the Poetry that is created when elements become more when together than the value of their intrinsic characteristics. Beauty is fragile. And Its creation is a spiritual, as well as physical, matter. It is often complex and dark. It is not exclusive to the realm of the sublime. In fact, Cyprian Beauty can often be found more robustly in the depths of life, among the realm of what many others consider vulgar. It is not simple and there are no short cuts to Its creation.
Beauty is not simply prettiness, but a richness that involves much more than meets the eye. It is comprised of three components: invitation, permission and inspiration. Beauty is Cyprian when all of them work in tandem and come from a place that resonates with the Current.
For this reason, and because our forebears[The Knights of Paphos, an Athenian cult of Aphrodite made up of artisans and sacred priestess-courtesans.] did the same, we are sworn to serve, defend and create It.
The Cyprian Commandments:
- “Model well an arm, a torso, or a thigh!” – August Rodin, Chapter IX of Art, Conversations with Paul Gsell
- “Always seek out Beauty, and attempt to find it in situations that cannot be mentioned in prudish circles.” – Franz von Bayros
The tenets of the Church of Beauty:
- Beauty is the Poetry of Cyprian Privilege
- It is our duty to serve, defend and create Beauty
- Tearing down what is ugly does not create Beauty.
- Beauty is not easy. It is not simply prettiness. It is complex and It is changed by the journey to It.
- Beauty is the answer to Ugliness. Creation is the answer to destruction. Unity is the answer to divisiveness. Harmony is the answer to discord.
- Beauty desires to assert Itself.
- Beauty is a faith in expectation and a subversion of fear.
- Sex and S~xuality, in all of its consensual forms, is to be honored. The Erotic Force is the best correlation and conduit for the Current and Beauty.
- All of history is inadequate to utter the breadth and depth of Beauty even once.
- Without extraordinary Vulnerability, without sheer daring, there is no Beauty.
- You can gain in reason without losing the ability to be excited by Beauty.
- Beauty requires Unity and Harmony.
- Destruction is eternal, but Beauty is eternity Itself.
- Beauty is our Life, our Light and our Perfection.
Do members of the Church of Beauty believe in “God”?
Our practice does include a deifying and worship of Beauty as It resonates with the Current – the underlying Poetic architecture of the universe. We do not, however, require a belief in a god, goddess or supreme being of any kind. Only an adherence to the charge to “serve, defend and create Beauty” as we understand Her.
Beauty embodies Her own divinity, no matter what “face” we put on Her to process such an ineffable concept. Some of us do believe in, and thus worship, a Goddess of Beauty named Paphia (Aphrodite). We draw this inspiration from ancient goddess cults, primarily the Knights of Paphos from Athens in the 4th Century BCE – a group of artists and sacred courtesan-priestesses of Aphrodite. This allows us to personify and symbolize Beauty so that we may more easily grapple with Her empyreal immensity.
What are the “four pillars” of the church?
Art, Sex, Science and Spirituality.
We seek to understand Beauty (as well as defending, serving and creating Her) in resonance with each of these pillars.
Is there a single text the church uses as Its inspiration?
No. There are many, though we place strong emphasis and study on the system of Cyprianism as recorded in a book called The Seed. In addition, we seek meaning and understanding from hundreds of other sources that either spring from, or are appropriate to, ancient Paphianism and/or modern Cyprianism.