February 2020 Grey Matters
The Grey Matters
Table of Contents Getting to Know Your Departments The Runic Artwork of Apprentice Julie Alexandra Beneath the Covers with Apprentice Apollinaris Apprentice Leadership Elections A Chance to Serve
Awards and Level Ups Captaincy Elections Upcoming Events
Getting To Know Your Departments
By Your Apprentice Leadership
For this series of articles, our goal is to interview the faculty associated with the 16 departments of Grey School. We will try to conduct these interviews during the conclaves that occur throughout the year. The hope is to connect our apprentice body with the Departments in which they study, and the faculty that enable them to learn and grow as Wizards. Our interviews will come from baseline questions and those provided by the apprentice body, either through being present at the conclave, or through the forums beforehand.
For the Imbolc Conclave, we had the amazing opportunity to interview the GSW Dean of Mathemagicks and Cosmology, our Head Of Lodges and Journeywoman Wizard - Dean Xenia Dragonseye.
* * *
Prefect (P): In your own words, what are the foci of your departments as they pertain to Wizardry?
Dean Dragonseye (D): Cosmology and Math are both exciting because they explore measurable yet invisible forces in nature. For example, we use x-rays in Cosmology to view black holes.
P: What classes for the more experienced apprentice wizards?
D: In Math, I highly recommend the Sacred Geometry class. It involves using a compass to create Golden Rectangles. It is an amazing practice.
P: Are there any new classes coming in the department that you are willing to talk about?
D: No, not right now. There are no new classes in the works in my departments.
P: Are the faculty in your department Collaborative or more Solitary?
D: We are in general more solitary, however occasionally we do collaborate.
P: Who else do you collaborate with?
D: I collaborated with the former Dean of Mathemagicks, Elthadrail, to improve one of the lower level math courses. I think it was Arithmetic.
P: How can they translate those skills into the Mundane World?
D: I use statistics to analyze a huge amount of data to figure out what's significant.
P: Are there any professional/scholarly/occult/mundane organizations that apprentices can join to further their knowledge and networking opportunities in this field of study?
P: What was the turning point that clicked, and you said to yourself, “I want to be a part of the GSW Faculty?”
D: The turning point for me to join the GSW was meeting Headmaster Oberon. He came and stayed at my house, and I knew I wanted to explore Wizardry. I became faculty when the school needed me to. A lot of Faculty left for various reasons, and I stepped up to help my school.
P: What is your research topic?
D: For a while I was researching chaos theory in order to create a higher level math class on chaos theory and chaos magick. However, Headmaster Oberon mentioned that the school has enough classes and doesn't need any more, so I stopped working on that. In my mundane life I use statistics to analyze student data in terms of placement. I am a linguist and in my mundane life I am investigating the how the rhetoric of nature writing has changed (for example, from Thoreau to Rachel Carson to Greta Thunberg).
P: Any new findings related to the Department, Wizardry and your topic?
D: There are constantly new findings in Math and Cosmology! Mathematicians just found a whole new geometric shape! It's called the scutoid and it is helping advance knowledge in medicine! (Sorry for all the exclamations but I get excited about expanding the scope of human knowledge.) In Cosmology, one of my favorite new discoveries is that Voyager, with its sacred Golden Record, has just this year escaped the bounds of our solar system. The Sounds of Earth are out there farther than any human has ever gone. (The new movie Troop Zero is about the Golden Record, love of space, and misfits banding together. I recommend it!) Also you can listen to the entire Golden Record on youtube.
P: What did you do on your personal retreat and how has it helped in setting up (or helped to complete) your Practicum?
D: To be honest I almost failed the personal retreat class! I had a baby and a full-time job. Using my weekend to be completely alone would have burdened my husband and confused and saddened my baby. For my retreat I went with my family camping in the woods. The faculty who used to teach the class, Rowan Starr, HATED this plan. She thought I wasn't taking the retreat seriously. I was just trying to balance my family duties with the retreat task. The retreat just wasn't realistic at this point in my life (Motherhood). When I was a Maid I used to complete many Retreats. When I am a Crone I will do another Retreat.
The Retreat had nothing to do with my Practicum. For my Practicum I wrote the Celebrating Summer class; my faculty mentor was Glanecia. My Major was in Lifeways and I completed two Minors: Cosmology and Healing.
* * *
We want to extend our thanks to Dean Dragonseye for allowing us to interview her, and for volunteering to be first in the hot seat for this project.
Please keep a look out on the forums and at the conclave schedule to see which departments and faculty we might interview next! If you have questions for a particular department, or faculty you would like to see interviewed, please get in contact with your Lodge Prefect, or use our great forums!
The Runic Artwork of Apprentice Julie Alexandra
For the class "Dancing With the Runes," Apprentice Julie Alexandra produces 24 breathtaking original works of art depicting each of the Elder Futhark runes. She has graciously shared some of her work with Grey Matters, which is proud to showcase them.
Beneath the Covers: The Witch’s Broom by Deborah Blake
by Apprentice Apollinaris
In this monthly column we will look at a few of the many books on wizardry and magic available today and see what can be found beneath their covers. The cover of a book is the thing we first notice about it, of course, but the content is what really matters!
This month's book is The Witch's Broom, by Deborah Blake (Llewellyn, 2014). Few magical tools are more iconic than the broomstick, but how and why do you use one? Blake presents an array of ideas of how to use brooms in your magical work. Don't let the small (7" x 5") size of this book fool you; it packs in much more information than many larger books I've read. Before you even get to the title page, the book offers a tidbit of broom lore (never sweep towards the front door). The rest of the book has little pieces of lore like this sprinkled throughout chapters about the history of brooms, how to acquire a broom, spells to cast with brooms, ceremonial brooms and more.
For the real broom enthusiast Blake gives ideas for making specialty brooms associated with the elements or the seasons, as well as brooms to give as gifts. The book is also filled with spells and rituals that can be performed with your broomstick. The Witch's Broom is worth its price just for all the wonderful rituals and spells!
One nice touch is the inclusion of short essays contributed by other people. These are all titled "Real Witches, Real Brooms", and include well known names like Judika Illes, Melanie Marquis and Mickie Mueller. The reader gets a sense of how brooms are used throughout the wizarding community when hearing how other magical people use their own brooms in their work.
The book's greatest flaw, in my opinion, is a rune appendix that includes Ralph Blum's idea of a so-called "blank rune". I know the appendix will be off-putting for people who have studied rune lore, but it's just two pages at the back of the book that can be easily ignored. Otherwise The Witch's Broom is an excellent resource. Gold Wizards will especially want to add this one to their libraries, but almost everyone will enjoy the little book.
Apprentice Leadership Elections
By Grey Matters Staff
Elections are currently underway for the position of Apprentice Captain. We have a pair of strong candidates for the position, as well: Captain Emeritus Gale Mantichare and Prefect Emeritus Ombra dell Uragano. Read their appeals at https://www.gswhandbook.com/forum/the-lodge-forums/announcing-my-candidacy-for-captainand https://www.gswhandbook.com/forum/the-lodge-forums/mason-for-captain-spring-2020-q-a, then cast your vote at www.greyschool.com.
A Chance to Serve
By Dean Emrhys Starhawk
Good morning Apprentices! Yesterday Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri were hit by a giant storm that spawned several tornadoes. The worst damage occurred in Nashville, TN where currently there are 9 confirmed casualties. Now is a time for you, a Wizard, to get involved and help where you can! Whether it’s checking on neighbors or helping to clean up debris, you have a chance to serve these communities and represent our school and Order. You can also do distant work to help such as sending healing energy to the communities affected or lighting a candle as part of a healing spell for the communities impacted by these storms.
Whatever you chose to do to help, please know that you can write a 300 word essay on what you did to serve these communities as a Wizard and earn 3 merit points for your Lodge. Send your essay to DoS@greyschool.comor post it to https://www.gswhandbook.com/forum/school-announcements/a-chance-to-serve. This challenge will remain open until the end of March.
Be safe, be smart, and be kind!
Awards and Level Ups
By Grey Matters Staff
Apprentice Julie Alexandra - Level 2
Apprentice Leafstone - Level 2