Review: “The Canticles of Lilith,” by Katy & Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold

You know that relationship you had when you were 20 where all you ever did was fight, but you loved every moment of it anyway?

I’m not sure how to feel about The Canticles of Lilith. It’s clearly a passion project with a huge amount of interesting theological points to consider, some of which aren’t as thoroughly discussed as I wish they were. But they’re so abundant that I can’t help but enjoy it anyway.

On the other hand, it is also a frustrating exercise in watching someone fetch increasingly large hammers in a futile attempt to try to beat a very square peg into a very round hole.

Let’s start with the frustrations, and we can end on a high note.

The starkest and most unforced error of the book is that the authors are obsessed with the concept of trinities, seemingly lifted wholesale from Christian conceptions of the idea. They beat and bludgeon an endless assortment of largely unrelated gods into nonsensical trinities and insist, based on nothing but hopes and dreams that I can discern, that this is some sort of greater reflection on the cosmos. Tied to this concept is trying to beat and bludgeon an endless assortment of gods into being energetic equivalents for Lilith.

They repeat the frustrating “unbroken cult” and “witch blood” myths, in multiple different configurations, and use debunked sources as evidence of this claim. Although, this is an improvement over other situations where no sources are given at all, such as the claim that there is a hidden cult of Lilith being led by a “man in black” for “balance.”

The Black Moon section is, frankly, infuriating, reducing Lilith’s lunar apogee down to essentially a list of possible perversions you may have based on sign.

That’s the bad, and it’s not insubstantial.

But goddamn it if there aren’t some extremely thought-provoking ideas endlessly littered throughout this text like candy.

The section on ecstatic devotion is some of the best writing about the death drive of Lilith I’ve ever seen, and has sent me down a wormhole of philosophical reading. This is a truly serious approach to left-hand enlightenment via the void path.

Standing in stark contrast to the mutilation of the Black Moon only a few pages later, the section on Via Combusta is also exceptional, and has brought my recent astrological studies to a higher level, even for its brevity. This is a very dense part of the book with a lot to mull over in terms of its implications.

This has, overall, some of the most compelling work I’ve read from Western authors regarding approaching Lilith from what has classically been a more Eastern approach to LHP — challenging of self and taboo in the true sense, not simply the edgy sense. An ecstatic erasure of “I” in order to ultimately arrive at full embodiment.

This is an excellent theological contribution to Lilith’s body of work, that is unfortunately rather hobbled by an odd obsession with projecting an ill-fitted framing onto everything it sees.

Do I recommend it?

Yes. Very much so.

Does it irritate me?

Also yes. Very much so.

None the less, it has earned its place on my book shelf, and I will likely be returning to it at some point. And I can’t help but wonder which author wrote which section, I’ll be honest.

This book seems to be going out of stock in most places. I hope this will not be one of many occult releases that is forced into artificial scarcity by greedy publishing houses as a set-up for releasing overpriced editions later down the line. But if you’re interested in picking it up, I’d recommend you do so sooner than later.

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  1. I have been reading it and almost done. I do agree on the some points left me more with more questions but overall it’s a great read. I had a very hard finding it back in 2021 because I did read it explores different cultures. Here’s the fun part, I never thought I would run across it in Walmarts online website only for 27-30$ back in September. Other occult websites sold it for more. I snatched so fast lol. Hopefully people who are interested can get it asap.

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