Lilith, oil on canvas 2012
Painting on the cover of the latest Behexen album was Torog’s idea. Everyone in the band knew the album they were working on was going to be darker, deeper and a real milestone for Behexen. In their own hands they had something that will close one door behind and lead them to a path without signs. The cover must speak the same language.
I knew Torog’s history as an occultist and magician, and his workings with the goddess Lilith. Beautiful and temptating monster from the underworld, which doesn’t leave you alone if you start to work with her. She follows you everywhere, whether you are sleeping or awake, she reminds you of her existence. She leaves signs to the people closest to you, she secretly affects on yours and their minds.
”From suffering and sacrifice was born a new person”, Torog explained to me. ”She showed me doors I didn’t know existed, I felt more than ever. It was pure catharsis.”
The vision he had I was supposed to paint on canvas.
I decided to freeze Lilith to one position, a bit realistic but mostly unmoving and rigid position. It should not look living and moving, I wanted it to be far from a fairytale character, because that’s something she’s not. Iconic instead, it should be seen at the first sight that she is a goddess and the painting is an icon of goddess. Althougth a person doesn’t recognize her, he could still guess it is someone or something.
She’s a cold, distant, but temptating beast. The serpentine body of dark mother Lilith represents her dragon aspect. The poisonous serpent which is the most ancient manifestation of the mother of Sitra Ahra.
I had heard the demos of the upcoming album Nightside Emanations when I started to paint Lilith. The music affected also on my mind when choosing colours, on the Nightside Emanations coldness and fullfilling burning red are building a pressure on a listener, pushing him into to a mind of a magician. The message is dark and cold as a dirty mix of marine blue, the death is a grey shadow over them, but the bright and aggressive red passion burns them to release the monsters.
I painted Lilith a long time. I started when sun went down and couldn’t stop before morning. I wanted to feel the same hysterical trance I imagined there is when you are in love with a ghost. Music, the smell of incense and a late night time had a huge affect to the result. During days I stopped and Torog came to my place to see what I had created on canvas. The end result was 150 cm high painting.
The album was made out of total devotion, so is the painting. It’s not just a work you do, it is an exploration of something inside of you, it is a feeling about what you are doing. Things like technic, style and everything you have learned about art is disappearing, all you care is the colours dancing on a cold dead skin. If you do that long enough, the creature opens her eyes and looks straight to you.
”Lilith, the bloody gate from which the magician of the left hand path tradition has to step through while searching the treasures of the nightside. It leads to Her dark tunnels and one must exceed those spiritual, and even physical obstacles which will be set in front of oneself. One must struggle against the shadows it raises from within, exceed the valleys of melancholy, and in the end one will throw ones past life in the trash bin and will eventually be reborn from fire, the seed of serpent that has always smoldered within oneself.
When going through the darkest times in my life, and getting off from the deepest chasm, while getting her blessing, the thought of bringing her picture ”as seen” was born, corresponding to my visions and sights of her nightly draconian presence, her bloody body in the pale moonlight.
K. Lehto painted the huge painting with oil paints, while I was observing the process behind her back. After many phases and changes the holy picture got finished, and it answered completely to the requirements and expectations that I had set for it…”
The Lilith altar picture was sold with hand painted sigils by Hoath Torog.
Painting was also printed on high quality matte paper. The picture is meant to be used as an altar picture in magical workings, or as a visual image in this world to remind brothers and sisters of their spiritual mother. The limited edition run of 40 hand numbered copies.