In keeping with the Law of Fives, and just to make life a little more difficult, the Discordian calendar is comprised of five seasons of 73 days each (7+3=10; 10/2=5; Hail Eris!), with a Holyday [sic] on every 5th and 50th day. March 19 marks the fifth day of the Season of Discord, which means it’s Mojoday, the feast of the Apostle Doctor Van Van Mojo.
We’ll meet the other four Discordian Apostles as we work our way around the calendar, but for now…
Blessed Sorcerer, Grant Us Thy Dissonance
The Principia Discordia introduces Dr. Mojo on page 00039:
A Head Doctor of Deep Africa and Maker of Fine Dolls. D.H.V., Doctor of Hoodoo and Vexes, from The Greater Metropolitan Yorba Linda Jesus Will Save Your Bod Home Study Bible School; and F.I.H.G.W.P., Fellow of the Intergalactic Haitian Guerrillas for World Peace. … Erisians of The Laughing Christ sect are of the silly contention that Dr. Mojo is an imposter and that PATAMUNZO LINGANANDA is the True Second Apostle. Lord Omar claims that Dr. Mojo heaps hatred upon Patamunzo, who sends only Love Vibrations in return. But we of the [Paratheo-anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric] sect know that Patamunzo is the Real Imposter, and that those vibrations of his are actually an attempt to subvert Dr. Mojo’s rightful apostilic authority by shaking him out of his wits.
I myself fall firmly in the Van Van Mojo camp and venerate him as the benefactor of Chaos Magicians and Discordian Witches. His Element is Pungent, and he is usually depicted in either a robe or a tweed suit, but always wearing a tribal death mask and carrying a doll, surrounded by hypnotic blue mist.
I do not know if the founders of Discordianism were more knowledgeable about arcane history than they’re given credit for, or if they accidentally tapped into a magical current while trying to lampoon organized religion. Either way, just as St. Gulik resonates with St. Expedite, Dr. Van Van Mojo is a cognate of a legendary Catholic saint: Cyprian of Antioch, the patron of occultists.
Who Doesn’t Love a Redemption Arc?
Cyprian was a powerful but kind of evil magician who fell in love with a Christian woman named Justina. Despite his devilish suavity, Justina spurned his advances, so the heartbroken Cyprian sent a pack of demons after her, because this is the kind of shit that happens when male privilege is left unchecked, people. However, Justina made the sign of the cross and sent the demons back to Hell; Cyprian also made the sign of the cross (I assume to see if the results could be reproduced; Hasthag Personal Experience) and found himself free of demonic influence. Converting to Christianity, he and Justina decided to just be good friends, and then
they lived platonically ever after a Pagan emperor had them beheaded.
Okay, so not the happy ending one might’ve been hoping for. But all is (literally) not lost, because in his zeal to embrace his new faith instead of Justina, Cyprian forgot to destroy his occult manuscripts. (Cyprian: “I feel like there’s something I’m supposed to be doing.” Justina: “Eh, I’m sure it’ll come to you once we get back from the emperor’s.”) Over the centuries, a number of ceremonial texts have been attributed to Cyprian, which led him to become the patron saint of modern-day workers of roots and wonders.
And let me tell you, the Church is thrilled about that. Thrilled.
I’m Working on the Complementary Cranberry/Sweet Potato Curse as We Speak
If you’re interested in learning more about St. Cyprian, Sam Block — the genius behind The Digital Ambler — has some phenomenal resources here and here. But as Dr. Mojo, St. Cyp’s primary contribution to Discordianism is the Turkey Curse, which, the Principia tells us, he created specifically to counteract the Curse of Greyface.
If you find yourself squaring off against a follower of Greyface, use the Turkey Curse to disrupt their Aneristic intentions. Instructions for casting the spell are as follows:
Take a foot stance as if you were John L. Sullivan preparing for fisticuffs. Face the particular greyfaced you wish to short-circuit, or towards the direction of the negative aneristic vibration that you wish to neutralize. Begin waving your arms in any elaborate manner and make motions with your hands as though you were Mandrake [Ed. Note: consensually] feeling up a sexy giantess. Chant, loudly and clearly: GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE! The results will be instantly apparent.
“Turkey,” it seems, is another delightful pun, since it’s both a large, tasty bird, and the location of the ancient city of Antioch — hometown of our magus protagonist. Thus is the connection between Dr. Mojo and St. Cyprian further realized.
We’re Gonna Celebrate and Make Everyone Else Uncomfortable (Yahoo!)
The Season of Discord traditionally commences with a passionate, inappropriately-timed argument over who should or should not be venerated on Mojoday:
- Meet up with a like-minded friend and lightly anoint yourselves with olive oil and/or apple juice.
- Travel to a semi-public, Aneristic destination (like a bank lobby, a commuter train station, the DMV, or Bingo Night).
- Flip a two-headed coin to determine which one of you is Team Van Van Mojo, and who is Team Patamunzo Lingananda.
- Immediately switch teams.
- Start squabbling.
Arguments should include obscure quotations from as many lesser-known Discordian works as possible (The Callipygian Grimoire, for example, or The Discordianist Manifesto), and both parties should try their best to baffle the innocent bystanders around them before demanding they pick sides. But if you really want to go all out (and I know you do), have an additional friend waiting incognito at the venue. Once the quarrel reaches a fever pitch (or when someone gives a pre-planned signal), have your plant storm over and angrily yell, “THIS IS ST. CYPRIAN ERASURE.”
And the Discordian Wheel will turn.
Merry Mojoday, poppets. And to all a good fight.