Oxford: Mandrake of Oxford, 2012. Hardback, 210 pages.
Nightshades is the record of one remarkable magician’s exploration of the inverse regions of the Tree of Life. Jan Fries used Aleister Crowley’s Liber 231 as his map, and Kenneth Grant’s Nightside of Eden as his guidbook. This is the astonishing result, mainly visual – black and white drawings, here presented, with commentary and essays by Fries.
Liber 231 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 more elaborate rites. The nightside aspect, here used, requires self or ego-less witness.
“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, more or less thinkable, reasonable and meaningful.”
Jan Fries’ Nightshades comprises 72 intense drawings prefaced by an explanatory essay detailing the background and genesis of this ultimate magical adventure.