Nightshades❴Read❵ ➪ Nightshades Author Jan Fries – Nightshades is the record of one remarkable magician's exploration of the inverse regions of the Tree of Life Aleister Crowley's Liber 231 provides the map and Kenneth Grant's Nightside of Eden a trav Nightshades is the record of one remarkable magician's exploration of the inverse regions of the Tree of Life Aleister Crowley's Liber provides the map and Kenneth Grant's Nightside of Eden a travelogue Liber apparently started life as a text within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn as an exercise to develop astral and trance abilities or perhaps in other elaborate rites The nightside aspect reuires some care and alertness in case of accident The correct attitude is said to be one of self or ego less witness Or maybe it's just one needs Or maybe it's just one needs the use of an all embracing rather than a limited kind of identity and self identification The Nightside is always with us It's so much older than the Dayside Before the light began to shine the night was there Some assume that we are dealing with a simple polarity On one hand the radiant world of colours and forms or less thinkable reasonable and meaningful Like the pretty picture of the Tree of Life it has its scenic cites its hotels restaurants shopping opportunities and highways in between On the other hand the chaotic world of uncertain and incomprehensible mysteries Both of them connected by the voidness that makes them possible It looks symmetrical But when you reach the Nightside it doesn't work like that The Nightside is not simply a reflection of the dayside with a few confusing and spooky bits thrown in The Dayside is a tiny island of experience in a huge ocean the Nightside full of currents island chains and continents of the possible and impossible All and Nothing are present everywhere Our island is not the opposite of the world ocean it is simply a tiny and comprehensible part of it Jan Fries Nightshades comprises intense drawings prefaced by an explanatory essay detailing the background and genesis of this ultimate magical adventure. Very much a book of two halves both of which are very thought provoking The lengthy introductory essay is worth the price in its own right revealing why the Nightside is so very important It is very revealing about the nature of the Abyss and of human experience and psychology challenging successfully many widely held opinions and slaughtering a sacred cow or twoThe larger part of the book is taken up with a collection of startling illustrations which depict in pictorial form many of Fries' own Nightside visions and meditational experiences These include images for each of the Tunnels of Set discussed in Kenneth Grant's writings plus a great many relating to distinct phenomena experienced by Fries in his explorations The images are extremely evocative and full of motion Although I have not yet attempted this for myself I can see the value of colouring them in as suggested in the foreword by Mogg Morgan This would bring the images to life make them intimately familiar and highlight the overlapping currents that so evidently flow through each oneA most remarkable book which will be of interest to many and a true 'tourist guide' to the few who dare to put these ideas into practice great read In his informative stylewith written from knowledge and experienceand using his own illustrations this is my second Fries book he cuts to the chase which is often difficult given the nature of the subject I may be biased but there you go Jan Fries is one of those occultists who is known to release decent uality work You know what to expectHis hand has brought a fair number of voluminous tomes each time providing a well researched and balanced point of view on the theory and practise of a wide range of magickal traditions and methods With Nightshades I feel like I got to see a very different Fries Not the witty scholar who delivers a bulk of information for the reader to both plough through and at the same time digest easily but a very brief and free floating prozaic Fries who has finished what seems to be a pamphlet on the liphoth on a lazy weekend rather than a a step by step exposé on the nightside's scenery and its denizensThe book is released as a hardcover which in itself is unusual for Fries' work Now that would be all okay for a bibliophile like myself if the book wasn't just 60 pages of text and the other half his own artwork Above that the hardcover's image is slightly pixelatedSo as I looked through my order I was disappointed at first Again very unusual for the man who wrote Visual Magick Chauldron of the Gods Seidways and other esteemed pieces of work in occult discourseBut I gave it a shot How could I not after purchasing it?So the first part reads as some sort of a monistic apology for the liphoth as not being a benighted enemy but as a repressed part of ourselves individually and collectively a forgotten land where the repressed the rejected and the forgotten reside The author goes on to delineate what we could compare the nightside to and in fact even identify with Analogy is already the surrender to poetry Fries hops from the fraudlent tendencies in modern psychology to pathologize states of consciousness to fungi and slime as ambivalent creatures who best personify the nightside as a whole We go down the expected Lovecraftian corridors where we learn the Ancient Ones are closer to us than we like to assume and learn about the usual suspects among the Victorian mages who only further hinted at what millennia old hearsay mentioned about the Abyss but not about what actual treasures are to be found lurking in its depthsAfter a short anecdote of the own author's ordeal with the Abyss we get the other chunk of the book the artwork Even though I'm one to buy books which have text than artwork they're impressive pieces nonetheless remniscent of the ones produced by Steffi Grant the companion of Kenneth 'Slime Lord' Grant who opened the gates of hell with his standard works on and grimoiric treatment of the backside of the Tree of LifeThe book's main title Nightshades signifies an important element which is not treated at all in the book namely this particular family of plants Does consumption of nightshade plants lead to the nightside? None of that we learn in the book The title seems to be of a homophonous wit Or is Fries suggesting us a trajectory without actually treating it? I myself hypothesize that the nightshades are high speed trains to the nightside hence why the book caught my attention So in conclusion this book albeit too short for my own liking and on first sight derivative has left me pondering what Fries tried to accomplish with this I might be under the spell of its pages I most probably am but my gut tells me that this seemingly sloppish release is all done on purpose and the real aim and power of this book lies in using the artwork as the guide not the text which like any tourist guide is just a preliminary Mogg Morgan lets us know in the introduction that this is what she and her group have done namely use the artwork as a magnet to pull consciousness into those tunnelsI have not undertaken any magickal work with these pieces as of yet but I do sense that this book will serve in my own explorations thereof The main point of Grant was always that art was the way to release those powers and oneself into the worldAnyone who wants to get to know the liphoth I suggest you start with Kenneth Grant and others like Thomas Karlsson For those who are serious about getting speleological in their metaphysical research you might find this useful

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  • Hardcover
  • 212 pages
  • Nightshades
  • Jan Fries
  • English
  • 08 March 2014
  • 9781906958459