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February 2023 Grey Matters

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

Grey Matters

February 2023


Table of Contents 1.) New Natural Philosophy Classes

2.) New Wortcunning Class

3.) 2023 Physical Classes

4.) Apprentice Leadership Selection

5.) Announcement Regarding Physical Campus and In-Person Classes

6.) February Candle-Side Chat

7.) Interview with Whitehall, NY Mayor Eagan Regarding GSW

8.) Embrace the Metaphysical Pause

9.) February Astrological Forecast

 

New Natural Philosophy Classes

By Dean Meighen


Greetings, Apprentices and Magisters! We're excited to announce the addition of three new classes to the Natural Philosophy Department at Level 1. These classes dive into some of the fascinating processes and cycles of the natural world and are sure to be of interest to those Majoring in Natural Philosophy as well as anyone with an interest in nature!


Ecology, Understanding and Preserving the Natural World. In this class pupils gain an introduction to the essential concepts and terms needed to better understand our ecosystems, including threats to biodiversity and how they can be addressed.

The Water Cycle. In this class pupils explore the water cycle and gain insight into the global cycles that govern the movement of life-giving water across our planet.


What is Natural Philosophy? This is a class which aims to help answer exactly that question posed in it's title "What is Natural Philosophy?" Here Pupils will explore the evolution of natural philosophy and learn about how it has grown as a discipline throughout the ages.


 

New Wortcunning Class

By Dean Meighen


Greetings, Apprentices and Magisters! If you have ever wondered about the wonderous process of photosynthesis by which plants the world over sustain themselves and convert sunlight to chemical energy, we have just the class for you! Plants 100 - The Power of Photosynthesis is a new class at Level 1 that is now accepting enrollments.


 

2023 Physical Classes

By Grey Matters Staff


If you are seeking the unique experience of taking classes live an in-person with your

instructors at Grey School's Physical Campus in Whitehall, NY, 2023 is sure to be an exciting year for you. Five classes are being offered in an online format. More information on dates and enrollment can be found on the Forums at https://www.greyschool.net/forum/physical-campus/physical-class-list-for-2023


Classes Available:


Wizardry 100 - Four Credits - May 12th-14th and September 15th-17th {Level 1}


Core Energy Practices 100 and 101 - Five Credits - June 16th-18th and August 18th-20th {Level 1}


Usui Reiki 1 Instruction and Certification for a Solid Foundation - Four Credits - August 11th-13th {Level 2}


Magickal Tools - Four Credits - June 2ed-4th and July 28th-30th {Level 3}


Principles of Wildcrafting - Four Credits - May 27th-28th and September 9th-10th {Level 4}


 

Apprentice Leadership Selection

By Grey Matters Staff


It's nearly that time of year again - time for a new scabbard of Prefects to be chosen, as well as the Captaincy and Vice-Captaincy. Interested Apprentices should check your respective Lodge Forums for threads with all the relevant information.


 

Announcement Regarding Physical Campus and In-Person Classes

By Headmaster Nicholas Kingsley


Based on everyone's feedback over the last few days on the topic of expanding our in-person offerings, I have sent a letter to the Grey School Board of Directors for approval to begin our fundraiser efforts. I want to thank every for participating in our poll and I look forward to your support!


In the interests of transparency here is my letter to the BoD-


"Well met GSW Board of Directors,

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


I am excited to propose a new endeavor that I believe has the potential to transform the Grey School of Wizardry and provide our Apprentices and Magisters alike with a unique and immersive learning experience while generating a new stream of income for the school.

Before proposing this program, we conducted a survey of our Apprentices and Magisters as well as members of the general public to gauge support for a large-scale fundraising effort to raise the necessary $250,000. The survey results were overwhelmingly positive, with over 84 people indicating a willingness to donate, and well over 100 people indicating a willingness to help share awareness of our wizardly endeavor. This response indicates that there is a great deal of excitement and interest in the proposed program, and that we have a strong community willing to support it.


Our proposed program includes the acquisition of two new buildings - a new dorm building and a faculty building - to offer a six-month term-long, in-person enrollment program for our school. The new dorm building could expand enrollment from 6 to 30, and at $3500 a person, we could generate a significant amount of money over the summer term, money which could be well spent on updating and expanding GSW. This program not only presents us with the opportunity to generate a new stream of income but also provides our pupils with an unparalleled learning experience. Both our Apprentices and Magisters will have the opportunity to explore subject material more deeply, have hands-on learning experiences in a classroom environment, and participate in the local community to gain real-world experience. Our faculty will have a rent-free place to live during their term of teaching, receive pay significantly more lucrative than the typical GSW teaching stipend, and be able to provide their full and undivided attention to those in their classes. This will allow our faculty to create and provide the finest lessons and material they can muster, undertake additional in-person classes and workshops, and engage with the local community to enhance the school's reputation.


The financial gain from this program could provide our departments with a greater ability to research their fields and offer the potential for better retirement stipends. Additionally, it will help us to sustain a new stream of income, which can support the school's growth and development for years to come. As a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit, the Grey School of Wizardry may be exempt from paying property taxes on its buildings in New York State, as long as the buildings are used for educational purposes and meet the state's criteria for property tax exemption. This exemption would allow the school to allocate more resources towards improving and expanding on our current campus and provide a greater financial cushion for the school.


Furthermore, this endeavor can also help us support local events, clubs, festivals, and community programs like the rec center. Our Apprentices and Magisters can then participate in these local events and festivals, providing them with the chance to ply their skills in the real world, get live feedback, and improve their wizardly toolkits in a way that is otherwise unachievable through other mediums. We can also support local charities and food drives, contributing to the betterment of others and demonstrating the Grey School's commitment to the community.


I'm optimistic that we will meet our fundraising goal and acquire the new buildings necessary to offer our term-long, in-person enrollment program. However, should we fall short, we want to assure you that all the funds raised through this fundraiser will still be put towards improving and expanding on our current campus and updating systems for our online learning platform. Our plans for improvements include adding small bunk cottages on the conclave grounds, better trails and paths for safety, lodge furnishing for the current dorm cottage and updates to our website and learning platform.


This endeavor requires a group effort, and I am confident that with the support of our board, and our greater community as a whole, we can make this a reality. I ask that you approve this proposal and join me in casting our lot to see where it is this wondrous journey takes us.


Thank you for your consideration.


Bright Blessings, Nicholas Kingsley, Headmaster Grey School of Wizardry"


 

February Candle-Side Chat

By Grey Matters Staff


Catch up on the latest happenings at GSW with the recording of this month's Candle-Side Chat with Headmaster Kingsley. Find the recording on Facebook at https://fb.watch/i-jGhpX0eD/




 

Interview with Whitehall, NY Mayor Eagan Regarding GSW

By Grey Matters Staff


Recently, Grey Matters staff member Apprentice Fred had the pleasure of interviewing Whitehall's Mayor, Julie Eagan, regarding the impact that Grey School has had on the local community. The full transcript is reproduced below.


* * *


Apprentice Fred: Mayor Julie Eagan, it’s great to meet the mayor of Whitehall. As an apprentice at the Grey School of Wizardry in Whitehall, I would like to get to know you and the village better. With apprentices around the globe, many of whom only know Whitehall, NY as the location of Grey School’s physical campus, what would you like them to know about you and the village? What inspired you to take on a leadership role? What is the culture of the village, and how do you fit in as a civic leader?


Mayor Eagan: Well, I grew up in Whitehall, enlisted in the US Army, retired after thirty years, and came back to my roots. In around 2007, after being prompted by a friend, I ran and was elected as a judge for Whitehall, where I spent nine years. That same friend reached out a couple of years ago, this time looking for a mayoral candidate; I had intended to only put my name in as a placeholder if someone else wanted to run, but when the time came, there was no one else. I decided to run, won, and am now almost halfway through my four year term.


I would never speak ill of my predecessors, the former mayor and board, but they had their hands full on a lot of issues. When I stepped in as mayor, the first six months were finding out just what the demands of town leadership were. The largest issue was the infrastructure – over a decade ago, the Environmental Protection Agency sued us over our aging water and sewer lines. This is one of the key issues that I and the board are addressing in the near future. We are actively seeking out opportunities for grants and other funds to replace the water and sewer lines, and have a roughly four year plan to get everything done. As we upgrade the infrastructure, it opens the door for other businesses to move in, and to revitalize Whitehall.


Whitehall is full of history and legacy. Going way back, we were a major industrial center, then we were a major shipping hub, as we are on the last lock of the canal system going north into Lake Champlain. We had three textile plants when I was growing up, but when labor was outsourced to other countries, those dried up. Many of the residents grew up here, and their families have been here for generations. It’s a little sad to know what Whitehall once was, and that it is only a shade of its former glory.


Whitehall currently has a population of around 2600, but when I was growing up, class sizes at school were regularly around 100 students; now, the incoming kindergarten class is around 30. However, with a dwindling population, we have some benefits you don’t find in large cities. The school is still a central focus of Whitehall, as one of the top two employers, as well as a gathering point for the community for all sorts of sports and activities. We have several civic clubs, such as the Elks and the Knights of Columbus, as well as churches. Many of the villagers know everyone else at least by sight, if not by name. And that tight-knit community is one of our biggest assets.



Apprentice Fred: How well received has the Grey School been in Whitehall since establishing a footprint in 2019? How does the Grey School fit in with the tight-knit community that already exists in Whitehall?


Mayor Eagan: In short, very well. The Grey School of Wizardry popped up on Google Maps one day, and of course it was intriguing. I decided to drive by one day, and I wasn’t sure which building it was that now housed this mysterious school. As soon as I saw the building, it clicked, that this would of course be the building chosen by a wizard. It’s beautiful, it’s tall, and it has a lot of property behind it, and since the Headmaster moved in, a lot of work has gone into the building and land that feels wizardly.


I remember the first letter I got from Headmaster Nicholas Kingsley. It was on parchment, written in a sparkly ink, beautiful and mysterious. It was about sidewalk repair, and Whitehall had run out of money before getting to repair the sidewalk in front of the Grey School, but I wrote him back and it was just so exciting. He also invited me to the Passing of the Torch ceremony, which was a wonderful time. I spoke at length with then-Headmaster Oberon Zell, and he had so much to share about the history of the school. Like Whitehall, the Grey School has a rich history, and yet is focused on the future being even better.


Having a school in the village is a very big boon to everyone here. With a declining population, extra bodies are always welcome. Whitehall is primarily about community, and helping one another out. A school for wizards that are training to help their communities should feel right at home here, with ample opportunity to interact with, and assist, much of our population. Ideally, some wizards will end up taking root in Whitehall, choosing to live here after their training at Grey School is complete.


The Grey School of Wizardry taking root here in Whitehall is a very big deal. When one or two shops open up on the main road, that’s great, but an ambitious project such as an entire school, teaching a different set of skills than normally seen in higher education, helps put Whitehall on the map as well. Whether it is a destination that brings people into Whitehall for the short-term, or on a more permanent basis, the school is a sure sign that Whitehall’s best days are ahead of it. With a focus more on community than capitalism, Whitehall is always eager to welcome people looking to add value to the village, rather than extract profit from it.



Apprentice Fred: When an apprentice visits the physical campus, what kinds of people will they run into in the village? Is Whitehall presently changing its cultural identity, or is preserving the current culture important?


Mayor Eagan: A big thing to know is that people are leaving Whitehall, on average. Kids grow up, and move away for jobs. If someone moves to Whitehall, you have to bring your job with you, as there aren’t a lot of employers locally. This means that if you work in Information Technology, for example, there isn’t an employer with an office for you to commute to. It also means that the people moving into the area are generally skilled tradespeople who can self-employ. For example, one of the more recent new members of Whitehall is a cabinet builder. He can work for himself anywhere, and he makes a living here in Whitehall working for himself.


Another boon of Whitehall is the low property values. Whitehall was largely immune to the property price spikes just before and during the pandemic, and the American dream of buying a home with a sizable yard is still attainable in Whitehall. Many people moving to Whitehall deliberately chose here because they are moving from a place where housing is largely unaffordable, and they can purchase a home with historic charm, a large yard, and the tight-knit community for far less than they could rent in a major city.


Whitehall is currently a mixture of generational residents and new faces who intentionally chose Whitehall. It’s not surprising to know that it’s a close community, and there’s a strong emphasis working together to make Whitehall a better place.


However, Whitehall is at an inflection point. If we continue to cling to our past, we will slowly ebb away into the future. It is important to honor the past, but looking forward is the way to put Whitehall back on the map. Recently, we started having an annual Sasquatch Festival, which is a major destination. We also have had a small number of boutique shops open up on our main street recently, which prove to be destinations in and of themselves. Being geographically on the main road into Vermont, we get a lot of traffic through the area every day, and we are fairly centrally located between several mountains with established skiing industry. The locks are still in use, and during the summer, boaters can dock and use restrooms/showers for free, and will be directed by volunteers to the restaurants and points of interest in Whitehall, all of which are within walking distance.



Apprentice Fred: Wizardry, as taught at Grey School, encourages apprentices to engage with and assist their respective communities. In what ways could an apprentice spending several months in Whitehall assist the local residents? Are there needs that are currently unmet, where a few extra bodies would make a large impact?


Mayor Eagan: There are many programs throughout Whitehall, especially during the summer, that are always looking for volunteers. We have two food pantries that are always looking for help, as well as a mobile food pantry service that also collects surplus food donations. A bumper crop in a greenhouse would definitely be welcome and distributed to those in need. There is also a recreation center that runs programs for the community, as well as summer programs for students that require volunteers to run programming and serve the free lunch and evening snack for all students. We also have a library that would love volunteers.


Should a wizard decide to plant their roots in Whitehall, as noted earlier, they need to bring a job with them. An aspiring shopkeeper, tradesperson with a penchant for creating or teaching, or someone who loves volunteering for their community would find themselves a good match with Whitehall.



Apprentice Fred: If an apprentice is considering traveling across the country, or from around the world, to visit Grey School, what would you like to tell them before they commit to such a journey?


Mayor Eagan: Whitehall is a wonderful place to be. It’s quiet and moves at a slower pace than the busier hubs of New York and Vermont, and to many people, it isn’t just a place to live, but a home. People move here from all over the country and find something that you can’t find elsewhere, but it is hard to put into words. We’re at a point where the only way to go is up, and Whitehall welcomes the Grey School of Wizardry and any apprentices who want to travel to Whitehall with open arms.



Apprentice Fred: Mayor Eagan, it has been an absolute pleasure speaking with you, and I am grateful for your time today. I suspect our paths will cross again in the near future, and I am confident that the Grey School of Wizardry and Whitehall will continue to have a symbiotic relationship. Omnia Vivunt, Omnia Inter se Conexa.

 

Embrace the Metaphysical Pause

By Apprentice Selah Nyx


Ready for the Metaphysical Pause?


With 2023 firmly underway, it’s natural that we’d all be looking ahead, hoping for something a little lighter and brighter to work with. The last few years have been pretty trying, after all…


Isn’t it time for a break?


As it happens, yes. It is. And while the ride will still be a bumpy one, there should be plenty of that “lighter and brighter” energy to be found.


You just have to know where to look!


Fortunately, we’re wizards and have tons of tools at our disposal to help with tasks like this! One such tool is numerology and for this article, we’re going to use it to explore the overarching energy of the year.


See, numerologically speaking, 2023 is the “break” you’ve been looking for. That’s because this is a a seven-energy year (2 + 0 + 2 +3 = 7), and that

essentially translates to a collective pause. It’s a time for reflection, a time for pondering and preparing, as we think about where we want to go next.


That doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish some exciting things this year - you most certainly can and will! But you’ll likely find that the goals you work with this year - at least the big ones that seem to be driving you forward - are more about manifesting Who You Are and The World We Want to See, rather than our usual focus on day-to-day material matters.


And if we choose to embrace such a shift in focus, we have an opportunity to work some serious Psychological Model magick.


This universal pause is an invitation to clear the path and get all your resources in place. It’s a chance to heal (you don’t need that baggage anymore!) and gather your energy for what lies ahead.


It's also a time of immense potential - think of the chaotic void where all possibilities exist - and we can use this energy to pick and choose what we want our reality to be.


The two tarot cards associated with the number seven are The Chariot (card 7), and The Tower (card 16: 1 + 6 = 7). Both cards invite us to let go of what no longer serves our highest purpose, albeit using notably different approaches. We can charge forward fearlessly into uncharted territory, for example (The Chariot), or rip off the bandaid and burn it to the ground (The Tower), but not to worry - this isn’t suggesting more of the radical upheaval we’ve seen in years past.


Instead, we’re talking about overcoming fear and losing bad habits. Breaking out of our self-imposed restraints and limited perception of reality, so that we can see the very large, and very enticing Big Picture. It’s about taking chances and opening yourself up to all the possibilities you didn’t see before. All of these things fall under the lens of the Psychological Model of Magick, and this year is an invitation to use the relevant tools and techniques to their fullest effect.


And this collective pause gives us the space and the perspective to do exactly that, because above all else, seven is the most spiritual of numbers.


Now, this being a secular school of Wizardry, everyone is free to have their own spirituality (or not). But stay with me here, because there’s room for everyone at this table.


See, this seven-energy isn’t prompting you to find God or church or religion (unless that happens to be the direction you want to go). Instead, it’s an opportunity to choose your path - whatever that may be - and pursue it with your whole heart.


This is where we explore and inquire. Where we dig deeper and find those hidden truths. Seven-energy says trust your intuition and let the pursuit of wisdom be your guide.


This is the deep breath before you take the leap … you just have to decide where you want to jump.

 

February Astrological Forecast

By Apprentice Cerberus Bindweed


Salvete!


February 2023 is an interesting month. For those not aware, the name ‘February’ is taken from the Latin word “februa’ meaning "to cleanse." The ancient Roman calendar who we can thank for giving us our modern calendar names, called this month Februarius, named after the festival of Purification - Februalia. This will make sense later in this article.


Personally, I don’t work with the months of the year as most do in the secular world but base my honouring of the months using astrology, specifically what Zodiacal sign the Sun rules within that secular month. As a result, you will find astrological, numerological and tarological overlaps between 2 months.


For example, the Sun is in Aquarius from the 20th of January to the 18th of February (30 days), so you may consider the first ten days of Aquarius as being ‘young energy’ with Aquarius just starting his rulership, then from day 11 to 20, Aquarius has matured and is at his highest influence and days 21 to 30 where his influence begins to wane but still felt.

I would highly recommend for anyone to read my article posted in the Divination Department titled January 2023 Observations to get a better understanding of the year’s energetic theme and the theme for the Month of January as it links in with this month. I also discuss the first half of February in that article as it goes into the Tarot card and Astrological associates of Aquarius, considering Aquarius being this rulership from the 20th of January.


For this month, I will be focusing on the various Astrological Aspects that can be found in Feb 2023 and continuing format from the January article discussing the February Pisces (19th Feb to 20th March) tarot and numerology associations.


In the January 2023 article, we left off with the Star Tarot Card being associated with the sign of Aquarius. As a recap, the Star inspires us to seek heavenly (astrological) guidance to navigate the coming year and encourages us not to give, to be optimistic and have faith in ourselves to achieve our goals and dreams.


From the 19th of February to the 20th of March, the Sun is in the Zodiacal sign of Pisces, moving from an Air sign to that of Water. With the Sun in Pisces, this is a time when you may experience a journey involving some kind of personal sacrifice of mundane personal desires which are holding you back or causing issues in your life that you may not be consciously aware of.


Pisces is very much about following your intuition and using your imagination to discover the best strategy that will benefit you the most. You may find yourself overly sensitive and emotional at this time with a strong want to spend time in isolation to avoid life stresses whilst recharging your batteries.


An important thing to note is that on the 28th of January, Venus enters into the sign of Pisces which indicates the month of February will have strong compassionate, affectionate, and tender feelings which encourage us to remove any boundaries that may be holding us back from building relationships or feeling compassion for others. However, this will commence very slowly until the 15th of February where this Venus transit into Pisces can be felt strongly.


The Tarot card associated with the sign of Pisces and therefore the later part of February is the Moon, which is all about imagination, dream work, and being pulled down into the unknown. The keywords associated with this card are fluctuation and confusion.


The Moon illuminates that which we may fear or try to suppress and hide from the world, that buried potential yet to be seen or fulfilled. No matter what happy face we may put on during the day when night has come, the moon will bare all that’s been hidden usually through strong dreams and intuitive thoughts that come up from your unconscious, into your subconscious, then conscious mind.


This card tells us we must pay attention to our intuition and face our fears to learn from them and move forward in our life, so those fears no longer hold us back or keep us stagnant. Due to these fears, our emotions may be unstable or volatile during this time so its important that when making decisions, nothing should be taken for granted, instincts should not be ignored and you should not be hurrying these decisions. It may be wise to let events run their course rather than forcing a situation that you may not be ready for.


Numerologically speaking, this month is associated with the number 09 (0+2+2+0+2+3=9). In Pythagorean numerology, the number 9 symbolizes the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one, which makes sense as this is the number of completion though not finality. It also

represents success, forgiveness, and compassion.


Some Important Astrology Aspects (ET)

February 03 & 04: Sun squares Uranus

February 04 & 05: Venus squares Mars

February 06 & 07: Mercury sextiles Neptune

February 07 & 08: Venus sextiles Uranus

February 10: Mercury conjuncts Pluto

February 15: Venus conjuncts Neptune

February 16: Sun conjuncts Saturn

February 16 & 17: Sun conjuncts Saturn

February 17 & 18: Mercury sextiles Jupiter

February 19 & 20: Venus sextiles Pluto

February 21: Mercury squares Uranus

February 22: Mercury trines Mars

February 22: Mercury squares Uranus

February 23: Mercury tines Mars


 

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