Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Palo Mayombe five star book review

There are very few books in English dealing with the subject of the Congo-derived necromantic sorcery of Palo Mayombe, and the ones that are... are dreadful. The Montenegro money-waster is an odd mixture of Macbeth and folk magic, and the Baba Raul piece is evasive and bumbling. This new book by Nicholaj Frisvold however, is an absolute GIFT to anyone wishing to really learn about Palo that is unable to read any of the spanish texts.



The material is presented in a respectful manner that I have yet to see on Palo, and expressed through an obvious passion for the religion/cult. There is honesty and integrity in Frisvold's words, and shows quite clearly throughout the book.

While the book does present a lot (a brilliant and absorbing history tracing Palo Mayombe's roots, conversations on necromancy ranging from Greece to the Congo, Spirit Firmas, songs, chants, herbs, etc), don't expect this to be a book that you can purchase, read, and use to start practicing Palo in your shed. Throughout, the author stresses the importance of initiation- and will probably be able to convince most people (even those who usually forgo initiation-type rituals) that Palo Mayombe is not an overnight practice, and it would behoove you to seek out someone already practicing the religion. So, while oath bound from revealing some information, the information that IS presented is accurate and fuller than any previous treatment of Palo. The aware and watchful reader will also be able to see a lot more than what is presented forwardly if he reads between the lines carefully...

All in all this is a book that demands to purchased. From people interested in African/African Diaspora cultures to Voodooists, Necromancers, the eager Palo enthusiast, and actual initiated members, there is something important to be found here. Get it.

Also I feel like noting- if the hardcover edition is a bit too pricey for you (or happens to be sold out by the time you decide to buy this book), the publisher Scarlet Imprint has an unlimited (and much cheaper) paperback edition available at their website.The Garden of Blood and Bones is a well written, scholarly treatise on the Congo Spiritual practices. The author, an initiated Tata Nkisi gives a first had account of the religion and has a straight-forward, no nonsense style. The Firmas (Spirit Signatures) are fantastic, the 4 color plates of the author's Prendas and Palo de Muerto are a great addition, and the information is invaluable to anyone interested in the subject.



And another one...

The Garden of Blood and Bones is a well written, scholarly treatise on the Congo Spiritual practices. The author, an initiated Tata Nkisi gives a first had account of the religion and has a straight-forward, no nonsense style. The Firmas (Spirit Signatures) are fantastic, the 4 color plates of the author's Prendas and Palo de Muerto are a great addition, and the information is invaluable to anyone interested in the subject.

We were delighted to find these five star rated online reviews of Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold's work.  
This is an important work, and it deserves the recognition that it is garnering.

The hardback edition is available here
The paperback edition is available here

(As a small publisher we very much appreciate people buying direct from us rather than the corporate bookselling industry.)

4 comments:

Papa Nick said...

I would give it 5 stars too. Like his book on Kiumbanda, this is the best source in English on the theory, history and practice of much-maligned and misunderstood African diaspora religions. Frisvold is perhaps the latest in the line of scholar-initiates in New World African magic who really gets it. Few of us have the opportunity to really immerse ourselves in this twilight world of starlight brilliance, but we can through books like these at least savor the sour-sweet sentience of the spirit of our ancestors, as we are in the process of becoming gods ourselves.

Jake said...

Nicholaj De Mattos Frivold is quite simply one of the most important, interesting & illuminating occult authors of our era.

Russell Erwin said...

The first review (very well written and to the point) was by a Troy Chambers and the other by someone called A.M.D.

I have the book now but have not yet read it. I have three other works and numerous essays of Mr. Frisvold's and am an ardent admirer of his work.

Kudos to Scarlet Imprint for bringing this author to greater prominence, among so many other forward thinking moves on their part.

M.C. said...

Great to see this important work getting the recognition and appreciation it deserves, and even greater to see Palo finally being introduced to non initiates in its truest form!