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on 30 May 2017
My initial review is below. Sorry but this book is really not what it claims. If you expect anything freestyle or shamanistic, you've got the wrong book. We are told that we don't need intense rituals then are told about rituals,we are told how to imagine meaningless sigils then told that to remember them is pointless but how we need to remember them in the ritual. We are told how to meditate and all sorts of very modern fluffiness that really has nothing what-so-ever to do with any of the claims of the book. Really, this book is a complete load of unadulterated fluffy drivel that sits nicely with all the other books with Shaman on the front cover but completely misses the point in the writing. Not that the author has written much of it in person, the theme of the writing is pure Castaneda with mentions of Spare in almost every section. To claim that Alistair Crowley would find it interesting is an insult to a hugely respected figure of modern witchcraft. If I could return this because of false publishing, I would. Unfortunately there isn't an option for this in the Amazon list.


Original review


I'm really struggling with this book. It appears to be a cross between the works of Carlos Castaneda and Spare. Okay, I know there's nothing really new or ground breaking but after Helrunar and Seidways I really had expected something more, well, original I suppose. Unfortunately, as with a lot of books of this type, everything is left very fluffy round the edges so as not to offend. In the preface there are a few options for going to look for another book but it doesn't include "if you want something inspirational, go get another book".

Sorry Jan, I'll keep at it and maybe re-read incase I'm missing the completely and blindingly obvious then will re-review if there is more than meets the eyes. For now though, I can't see this as much more of a guide for someone starting to embark on a path of journeying but not really having a clue where they're going.
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on 7 February 2001
I was first introduced to Jan Fries' work by a friend. The book in question was "Helrunar", and I was instantly struck by Fries' ability to write so engagingly on a topic that so many others have sapped all the vitality out of.
That was over two years ago. I have changed a lot in that time and picked up "Visual Magick" more from a sense of vague nostalgia than pure interest. Might I say how very glad I am that I did!
Fries is one of a rare breed of writers who writes literature that can only be termed as "an experience". This is not a manual for the armchair psychonaut! As Mike Ingalls respectfully states in the preface,"Jan's Magick is of the arm-swinging,twirling, climb-the-tree active form of magick". This is most certainly true, Fries being a confirmed believer that experience is the best teacher. In an age of Convenience, this is fresh thinking.
I especially recommend this book to those who feel burnt out, having explored other magical paths and found it all rather lacking. Fries offers more than simply an alternative to boring, pompous ceremony. He embraces the heretical concept of FUN! After all, there are enough sour faces and starched collars in the world as it is. The last thing we want is to make our inner world rigid and monotonous too!
In short, "Visual Magick" is accessible, enjoyable, entertaining and, importantly, PRODUCTIVE! By embracing the tenets of some of the world's oldest spiritual practices, especially Taoism and Shamanism, a new light is brought into the modern age. The focus is very much on active participation on the part of the reader, but the results are deservedly life changing. An excellent book by a remarkable man.
If this book appeals to you, I also recommend "Living Midnight" by Jan Fries, "Liber Null & Psychonaut" by Peter J. Carroll and "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff.
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on 2 January 2014
As books go it is ok, but nothing brilliant - would have expected a better quality of writing and thought that this lacked deeper insight.
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on 25 October 2003
Journey within your own psyche and explore new realms, step outside yourself and run with spirits, forge sigils that reweave the universe, it's all in here! Whether you are new to Magick or Shamanism or already an adept, I can thourghly recommend this book. It's exceptionally easy to read, entertaining yet at the same time chock full of excercises and techniques. You'll read it in a day and work with it for years!
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This is a very easy to follow book with plenty of exercises for the reader(s) to have a go at. He starts with the basics and builds up to a nicely rounded end! Uncomplicated and definately worth a read!!
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on 18 October 2009
This 'Visual Magick' is the authors own New Age take on shamanism and is not the shamanisms of traditional cultures past or present. There is a mix of different ideas from many different occult and religious traditions whose techniques are used to help the practitioner learn about their true nature and abilities thus creating their own form of 'Visual Magick'. One of the best New Age books though NOT to be confused with actual shamanism.
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on 23 June 2016
I love the writing style and really enjoyed readign Jan Fries' point of view around this work and people who take it very seriously.

Bought his Helrunar just for good measure :-)
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on 6 May 2015
Great book, bought on a whim and so glad I did! Very helpful in learning to create stronger visualizations among other things.
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on 24 November 2015
The real deal
better than Paul Daniels!
(Beautiful illustrations)
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on 11 December 2014
A different and refreshing take on subjects.
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