London: Avalonia, 2010. Paperback, 574 pages. New.
Kālī Kaula – subtitled A Manual of Tantric Magick is a comprehensive introduction to the historical development and practice of Tantric Magic. Drawing on decades of personal experience and the work of scholars such as David Gordon White, Douglas Brooks and June McDaniel, Fries has produced one of the most accessible works on practical Tantric magic currently available, given the vastness of the subject and the difficulty in approaching Tantric material from a non-specialist perspective. He provides a wealth of information on core tantra practices such as Nyasa, Mudras, Mantras and breathing techniques; and gives a useful overview and introduction to working with deity groups such as the Mahavidyas. Along the way he tackles difficult issues such as the necessity (or not) of having a guru, and provides some potted biographies of historical female saints and famous archaryas. Heavily illustrated throughout with Fries’ own distinctive artwork, Kālī Kaula includes a Sanskrit glossary and an extensive bibliography. For western occultists interested in finding out more about Tantra’s convoluted history and practice, this should be the starting point.