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August 2023 Grey Matters

Grey Matters

August 2023

Table of Contents

1.) Autumn Equinox 2023 Moot

2.) Adservio Scholarship Awarded

3.) Graduation of Journeyman Lyssa the Black

4.) Apprentice Leadership Applications Open

5.) A Highspire Halloween

6.) Planetary Intelligences vs Spirits

7.) Class Spotlight: How To Sew By Hand

8.) Between the Covers Book Review

9.) September Astrological Forecast

10.) GSW Lore Department Crossword


Autumn Equinox 2023 Moot

By Headmaster Kingsley

Dear Wizards one and all,

I hope that the day finds everyone in high spirits and good health!

As the equinox approaches and we close a transformative term, it is time to come together in celebration and reflection. I am delighted to announce the Autumn Equinox 2023 Moot—a grand festival of wisdom, wonder, and whimsy hosted on the Grey School’s Discord server!

Date: September 16th & 17th Theme: "Balance"

Elevate Your Journey Step away from the spellbooks and essays, and enter a vibrant sphere where intellect intertwines with imagination. This two-day festivity brings you an extraordinary blend of enlightenment and mirth under the magickal theme of "Balance."

Opening Act: Begin your journey with opening statements from our school's leadership, including updates that shape the course of our dynamic institution.

Activities Galore: From intellectually stimulating academic presentations to soul-engaging Tarot readings and humor-infused pun contests, we have something for every curious mind.

Bardic Circle: Explore the essence of balance through this wizardly circle of sharing.

Wizardly Riddles: Decipher enigmas in the company of fellow wizardry aficionados. Guided Meditations: Take a moment to find your center in the midst of revelry.

Falconry Videos: Witness the majesty of these noble birds and learn all about them.

Quizzes: Test your wisdom in our interactive quiz sessions.

Faculty Panel: Engage with our esteemed Faculty on various spellbinding topics. And So Much More!

This moot is more than a celebration however; it serves as a platform embodying the Grey School’s very core. The Autumn Equinox Moot is an occasion to celebrate and to evolve, to balance intellect with intrigue, and learning with laughter.

We look forward to seeing you at the moot!


Adservio Scholarship Awarded

By Dean Kayser

In recognition of her outstanding academic excellence and commitment to personal growth as a wizard, the Grey School of Wizardry is pleased to announce that Apprentice Corvus Umbra is the winner of this year's Adservio Scholarship.

The Adservio Scholarship is annually awarded to deserving apprentices who have through their prior work established a reputation of strong dedication to their studies. Eligibility for the award is limited to promising apprentices who would not otherwise be able to continue their magickal education.

In addition to her scholastic achievement, Apprentice Corvus Umbra's self-reflective qualifying essay demonstrates an evolution in her understanding of what it takes to be an effective wizard in today's world. Because only two scholarships are available every year, achieving this honor is no small feat.

Please join me in congratulating Apprentice Corvus Umbra on her achievement!


Graduation of Journeyman Lyssa the Black

By Headmaster Kingsley

Greetings Wizards one and all, I hope that the day finds @everyone in good health and high spirits! It is with immense pride and admiration that we announce, recognize and celebrate the outstanding academic journey of one of our own here today. It is with great joy and reverence that the Grey School of Wizardry announces the advancement of The Wizard Lyssa to the esteemed rank of Journeyman. May this milestone serve as a testament to her unfaltering commitment, exemplary skill, and profound wisdom as a practitioner of the trade of Wizardry.

Major: Defense Against the Dark Arts Minor: Magickal Practice, focusing on Magickal Tools

Dean’s List Honors, Fall Term 2022:

Journeyman Lyssa has earned Dean's List Honors for her remarkable achievements in the following courses:

  • Developing Judgment

  • World-walking 501: The Darkling Path

  • The Enneagram: Models of Personality

  • Space Invaders: The Mortal Perils of Alien Fauna

  • Therapies 601: Emotional Freedom Technique

  • Defense Against the Dark Arts 601: How to Save the Day

  • Ethics of the Dark Arts

  • Wizardry 600: The Wizard's Staff

Dean’s List Honors, Spring Term 2022:

Her academic prowess continued into the Spring Term, where she achieved Dean's List Honors in the following courses:

  • Heraldic Beasts and Where to Find Them

  • Werewolves 501: Fact or Fiction

  • Dragonlore 407: The Natural World

Journeyman Lyssa's achievements reflect not only her scholarly abilities but also her profound embodiment of the wisdom, courage, and innovative spirit that the Grey School seeks to instill in all its Apprentices.

As she takes her next step as a Wizard in the Second Degree we look forward to the continued impact she will undoubtedly have on her chosen people and the world around her.

Join us in congratulating Journeyman Lyssa on her monumental achievements. May her legacy at the Grey School of Wizardry continue to inspire future generations of Wizards, exemplifying what it means to be a critical thinker, community contributor, and lifelong learner in the noble trade of Wizardry.


Apprentice Leadership Applications Open

By Dean Kayser

If you have not already done so, it's time to get those qualifying essays for apprentice leadership in. Be sure to review the position requirements as laid out in the Handbook:

If you feel you are suited for the role and wish to embark on the exciting and challenging journey of apprentice leadership, be sure to send me your essays soon, as the deadline date is fast approaching.

Remember, for Prefect positions, you must have at least completed the required level one courses. Your essay, detailing why you believe yourself to be a good candidate for the position, should be no fewer than 500 words.

For the Vice Captain position, you need to have attained level two in your studies. Your qualifying essay should be no fewer than 600 words.

For Captain, you need to have reached at least level three. Your essay should have no fewer than 601 words.

Email all essays to If I find your paperwork and qualifications to be in good order, I will contact you to let you know that you can begin your campaign.

Voting will open a week before the next term. Good luck to all!


A Highspire Halloween

By Headmaster Kingsley

Well met Wizards one and all, As always I hope that the day finds you in high spirits and good health!

I'm absolutely delighted to announce our inaugural Highspire Halloween, an evening to celebrate the wonders of our magical community at the Grey School of Wizardry. As twilight embraces our beloved Highspire campus, we open our doors to an evening brimming with joy, excitement, and a touch of the extraordinary.

Here's a sneak peek of what we have planned:

  • 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM: Welcoming Reception: Begin the evening by mingling with fellow community members over themed welcome drinks.

  • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM: Enchanted Banquet: Dine amidst fellow wizards in the grandeur of the Great Hall, where a sumptuous feast awaits you.

  • 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM: Relaxation Time: A pause to Prepare for the evening's entertainment.

  • 7:30 PM - 9:06 PM: 'Hocus Pocus' Screening: Join us in the Cottage on the Environs for a nostalgic screening of the cult classic 'Hocus Pocus'.

  • 9:06 PM - 9:30 PM: Intermission: Time to stretch your legs, have a quick refreshment, and prepare for the costume contest.

  • 9:30 PM - 10:00 PM: Costume Contest: Show us your creativity in the Great Hall during our costume contest! The grand prize of $300 could be yours!

Your RSVP will help us create an experience you'll never forget. Highspire Halloween isn't just an event; it's a celebration of our unique community and the shared love for the art of magick.

So, gather your robes, put on your brightest smile, and join us for this enchanting evening.

We can't wait to spend this magical night with you! learn more and RSVP here -


A Who's Who of Planetary Intelligences and Spirits

By Dean Meighen

If you have thumbed through the Grimoire and spent a few moments looking at Class VII: Spellcraft, you probably noticed the graphics that show the kameas (or magick squares) and symbols associated with the seven classical planets. You might even have noticed how they all have a Seal of the Character, Seal of the Spirit, and Seal of the Intelligence for each planet and wondered, "what's all that about?"

Well, these come from Agrippa's "Three Books of Occult Philosophy," were reprinted in Barret's "The Magus," and widely reprinted and copied. They describe the Intelligence as being the spirit or celestial intelligence that embodies and operates the planet's positive or beneficial influences while the Spirit does the same for it's evil or harmful influences. The Seal of the Character represents the planet and its forces and spirits as a whole.

Modern occultists have reframed the "good vs evil" dichotomy found in the primary sources when discussing these spirits. Those working with them today describe the Spirit as being akin to the blind and undirected force of a given planetary power, whose effects are unpredictable and could be helpful, harmful, or indifferent. The Intelligence, by contrast, is the guiding influence which can aim and direct the Spirit towards specific ends. As an analogy, the Spirit can be compared to the engine of a car while the Intelligence is the driver. Thus, in practical workings one must engage with both - to get the Intelligence to compel the Spirit to act in ways that support the manifestation of your will and to change probabilities in your favor.

So, if you've ever used this information in your spellcraft and wondered what it meant - now you know!


Class Spotlight: How To Sew By Hand

By Prefect Fred

This article is part of a monthly series focusing on specific classes offered at Grey School of Wizardry. If you’re not sure what class to take next, or are looking for a little extra inspiration, you’ll want to pay attention to this section. Feel free to share your thoughts and insights with your fellow apprentices and magisters on the relevant department forums as you go through these classes. Collaboration leads to greater insight!

* * *

When it feels like the world is in turmoil, a natural impulse of the common man is to stock up on weapons and canned food. While this can be beneficial, surviving the apocalypse will require much more from the survivors than foraging for a can opener. Basic skills of self-sufficiency will be imperative, and while first aid and gardening are usually the first skills one thinks about, there are a whole host of skills that an apocalypse survivor will need. One of the most useful involves little more than a needle, thread, and whatever material is at hand: sewing.

Sewing By Hand is a level two course in the Magickal Practice department. It is meant to be a broad overview of techniques to get a budding tailor started. The apprentice should expect to explore the basic steps throughout the process of hand sewing, and be prepared to submit pictures along with each assignment. The final project will require an apprentice to apply these skills to a tangible, complete object that has some combination of aesthetic and practical purpose. Upon completion of the course, the apprentice will be equipped to continue honing their craft as they see fit, when fancy or necessity dictate.

The first lesson goes over choosing your supplies. While a post-apocalyptic scenario may not afford much choice in materials, here in the present there is a wealth of options when it comes to the fabric you are sewing together, as well as what needle and type of thread you will be using. This lesson goes over some of the common combinations, but also encourages independent research. The apprentice should expect to put in some time exploring the options available to them, before moving on to the assignment.

The next lesson, while shorter, details how to care for different fabric types, and goes over the basic but vital technique of pinning. This section is rounded out with some basic tips for tying a knot, but not a specific technique for doing so. The apprentice will need to research several methods of tying a knot, and distill this experience into the second assignment.

Stitches are covered next, and there is a lengthy, but non-exhaustive list given in the lecture. Complete with several visuals, including pictures and videos, this lesson will equip the apprentice with the appropriate skills to properly maneuver one’s needle through the full stitching required for the project. However, the apprentice will find that each of these common stitches, while useful, will serve a different purpose from the others. Additional research is encouraged to explore more complicated stitches and learn for what purpose each stitch is best suited.

The final lesson contains various wisdom about sewing in general, as well as opportunities for further reading. The class culminates with a final project, and there are guidance and suggestions for this project within the lesson. The assignment stresses that this need not be a large or elaborate project, as it only needs to demonstrate that the apprentice can integrate all of these related skills into making a complete object. This is a wonderful opportunity to have fun and get creative, and the apprentice can walk away with a new bag or garment (or whatever they decide they would like!) as a reward for their efforts in this class.

Post-apocalyptic scenarios may be a ways off, but in the meantime, apprentices who have gone through this class will have the ability to do all sorts of things they otherwise could not do. Need your pants hemmed? No need to find a tailor, just hem them yourself! Need to alter a garment’s size? You can do that! Want to create your own robe? It’s a project, but you can now make your own custom robe, to your specific dimensions and aesthetic preferences! An apprentice who finishes this class becomes empowered to do all of this and more. I encourage you to share your final projects with your fellow apprentices in the Magickal Practice department forums!


Between the Covers: A Spell in the Wild - A Year of Magick by Alice Tarbuck

By Prefect Selah Nyx

I love the fall…

The leaves are turning, the weather begins to cool, and our hearts swell just a bit with the collective gratitude of the season. There is something very magical about this time of year, something that goes beyond the back-to-school busy-ness and holiday planning.

Something that reminds us to connect.

That connection - that sense of innate belonging is at the heart of A Spell in the Wild: A Year (and six centuries) of Magic, a beautiful guide written by author, poet, and literature professor, Alice Tarbuck.

We start this year-long journey with foraging in September; I found it kind of fitting that I’m sharing this read with you in September as well. Ms. Tarbuck gives us a peek into her “witch house,” the expanded spice shelves where the usual variety of thyme and turmeric sit next to jars of rose petals, yew stems, and Hawthorne berries. She talks of “labeling my pinecones, filling them with wax and aromatics and saving them for bonfire magics.”

(And yes, I’ll be trying that out with my own pinecone collection in the months to come.)

We learn about hunting for nettles - a good foraging pick for beginners - and how to minimize the sting you’ll get if you pull them incorrectly. There’s also a wonderful account of an annual Apple expedition by the author and other locals on the grounds of Craig House in Edinburgh. Parts of this structure date back to the 16th century, and the author offers a fantastic backstory about the location, complete with its nefarious history and the alleged hauntings this history created.

The hunt itself is unsuccessful - there are no apples to be found this time around - but there are plenty of other discoveries along the way. Many inedible and mostly fungi, such as “witches butter” or Tremella mesenterica, a fungus that serves no real purpose other than to enchant, because it’s fascinating (albeit a bit gross) to look at.

There’s wood ear fungus (Auricularia auricula-judae) and collared earthstar (Geastrum triplex), the former often used in Eastern medicine to treat certain heart conditions, but neither are picked on this outing. Just identified and appreciated.

“Still an amateur of course,” she writes about her foraging adventures, “but keen.”

Subsequent chapters follow suit, each bringing a new theme and a new way to connect to nature. Samhain in October (of course), midwinter magic in December, and fairies in February. There’s even money magic in March, because well… money continues to be a hard reality, regardless of how connected we might otherwise be.

There’s plenty of history and storytelling as well, along with some personal observation and experience, plus theme-related spells to tie each chapter together (September’s spell was an herbal soda for fever).

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book, and plan to refer back each month as a way to stay grounded in, and focused on the natural world around me.

The book’s official description describes it as a historical account of witches, and a guide to the practice of witchcraft today. And it is definitely that. Think hedgewitch, herbalist, healer, outsider… with a bit of sorcery thrown in for good measure.

A Spell in the Year takes us on a journey that is filled with charms and spells and otherworldly workings. But there was a deeper meaning for me, a reminder that this kind of energy exchange with the universe is so incredibly natural.

A reminder that we’ve always been part of that energy, and perfectly capable of tapping into it whenever we need it.

I’ve been feeling the call to get back to these roots here lately (very Stonesian, I think! ;). If you have too, A Spell in the Wild is a great place to begin.


September Astrological Forecast

By Grey Matters Staff

Hello, dear readers!

As we dive into September, the celestial events are here to guide us on our journey. On September 3rd, Venus, the planet of love and abundance, finally stations and turns direct after being in retrograde mode since July 22nd, while it was in the fiery sign of Leo. This cosmic rewind allowed us to reflect on our affections, relationships, and financial matters. Perhaps you've found yourself questioning commitments or projects during this period. The journey began on June 19th, 2023, and will continue until Venus leaves its shadow on October 7th, 2023.

Now, as Venus resumes its forward motion, clarity will slowly but surely return to our love lives, finances, personal joys, and pleasurable pursuits. It's time to embrace the lessons learned during this retrograde and move forward with a renewed sense of purpose.

On September 4th, Jupiter, the planet of expansion and growth, stations and begins its retrograde journey. During this time, it's wise to slow down on your projects and plans, allowing you to gain a fresh perspective. While your enthusiasm and confidence might take a temporary dip, don't fret. This is an excellent opportunity to look inward and reassess your recent goals. Luck may not be as overt from September 4th to December 30th, but remember that sometimes, the most valuable discoveries happen within.

Next up, on September 14th, a New Moon graces us with its presence in the sign of Virgo. This lunar event signals a new beginning, urging us to take charge of our lives. It's a perfect time to organize, edit, and refine your work and pay more attention to your health. The energy is fertile and productive, inspiring you to revamp your daily routines, work, or wellness practices.

While your mind may be brimming with innovative ideas for transforming your life, including your job, health, and self-care routines, it's crucial not to rush into things hastily. Virgo's ruler, Mercury, is wrapping up its retrograde journey, and the New Moon opposes Neptune, which can add a touch of confusion. Take your time and think things through.

Speaking of Mercury, on September 15th, this planet of communication and information stations and turns direct. Since August 23rd, Mercury has been on a retrograde journey through Virgo. This period has encouraged us to revisit the past, uncover hidden information, and let go of excessive control and overthinking. It's been a time of refining and tweaking past projects, but remember not to get stuck in a perfectionist loop.

As Mercury resumes its forward motion, the flow of information will gradually unclog. It's time to put your newfound insights to good use.

Lastly, on September 29th, a Full Moon graces us with its presence in the fiery sign of Aries. This lunation invites us to consider how we honor ourselves within the context of our close relationships. Be open to new revelations, especially concerning your physical well-being, leadership abilities, and partnerships. It's a time to reflect on your ability to initiate and embrace new beginnings.

As the month unfolds, these celestial events offer us valuable opportunities for growth, reflection, and positive change. Embrace them with an open heart and a curious spirit, and you'll find yourself on a path towards personal transformation and fulfillment. Remember, the cosmos is always here to guide and support you on your journey.

Wishing you a wonderful September filled with growth, love, and newfound clarity.


GSW Lore Department Crossword

By Grey Matters Staff

Or download a PDF:

GSW Lore Department Crossword - Crossword Labs
Download PDF • 41KB



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1 Comment

Oberon Zell
Oberon Zell
Sep 02, 2023

Delightful newsletter! I particularly enjoyed the crossword puzzle. And congratulations to our new Journeyman, Lyssa the Black! BB-OZ

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