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March 2020 Grey Matters

The Grey Matters

March 2020

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Table of Contents

New Apprentice Leadership

Official GSW Discord Launched

Magick Alley Closure

Apprentice Handbook Updates

Jupiter Rite for Health and Wealth

GSW Response to COVID-19

Getting to Know Your Departments: Natural Philosophy and Healing

Bardic Circle: Ostara Lore Talk

Beneath the Covers


New Apprentice Leadership

Grey Matters Staff

Congratulations to our newest cadre of apprentice leaders, who are installed in their offices after a solid month of campaigning and working hard to earn this honor! Best wishes to all.

Captain Mason Cunninghare Vice-Captain Malcorr Greyseeker Flames Lodge Prefect: Rievahdel Waters Lodge Prefect: Blue Capucian Winds Lodge Prefect: Julie Alexandra McConnell Stones Lodge Prefect: Merqatyl Draconis


Official GSW Discord Launched

Dean of Students Emrhys Starhawk

Attention Apprentices! We now have a discord server for the Grey School. To join, follow the link! Please be aware this is only for currently registered and active Apprentices. You will be denied access if you are not a member of the school. To join make sure you type %apply in the "apply here" channel and submit your application. We also have mobile access now with mobile forum and chat. You can access this through the Wix mobile app in the Android store and iTunes Store. Simply sign in with your information that you use to login into the school forums and confirm your email address you will then be promoted to join the Grey School. See ya around Apprentices!


Magick Alley Closure

Magick Alley Team

Magick Alley will be closed during the Pandemic. Consideration of Reopening our beloved school store will be made on April 30 2020. We're sorry for any inconvenience this causes and we look forward to serving you again as soon as we can!

~ The Wizards of Magick Alley


Apprentice Handbook Updates

Grey Matters Staff

Some minor updates to the Handbook have been made in the Apprentice Life section. Make sure to review the handbook regularly for any changes or additions.


Jupiter Rite For Health and Wealth

Dean of Curriculum and Ceremonial Magick Frater Adservio

In this time of uncertainty, I would like to share a short rite that I have devised to promote health and financial stability and well-being for ourselves, our loves ones, and our communities. I invite any willing to join me on this Thursday, and every subsequent Thursday until this crisis is passed, in performing it. You will be joining not only me but a number of other experienced magicians and wizards who are dedicating their efforts to working with the abundant energies of Jupiter during this time of need.

The rite can be downloaded as a PDF here:


GSW Response to COVID-19

Provost Nicholas Kingsley

The GSW is making two of its classes freely available to the public as a service during this time of need. The classes are "Safety and Herb Use" and "Management for the Busy and Overwhelmed."

Provost Kinglsey discusses this in greater detail on Facebook Live at this link.


Getting To Know Your Departments: Natural Philosophy and Healing

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.

As we continue our series for the Ostara Conclave, we had the amazing opportunity to interview the GSW Dean of Natural Philosophy and Healing, and our Dean of Students - Dean Emrhys Starhawk.

* * *

Natural Philosophy

Prefect (P): In your own words what is the focus of your department as it pertains to Wizardry?

Dean Starhawk (DS): The focus of Natural Philosophy is to engage the Wizard by getting them attuned to their local ecosystems. We often think of Wizards as being helpful servants of their communities but we tend to forget that our "community" is more than just the people and houses. It includes the local land and wildlife. A Wizard who attunes themselves to nature, can find much wisdom there and many helpful allies.

(P): What specific topics does your department study within its concentration?

(DS): This department studies a lot of topics. For example, we study volcanoes, earthquakes, the ocean, the weather, and nature in general. We also have many classes where you as an Apprentice, are tasked to go outside and connect with your local ecosystem and connect with the sacred energy of earth that we Druids refer to as the Awen. Lastly, we also teach nature magick, which is magick focused on working with the Awen and with the energy of nature to create real magickal change in the world around you.

(P): From your experience, what courses in your department do you think a new apprentice wizard would find most interesting?

(DS): I think any of the Silver/Green magick classes would be the most interesting to new Apprentices. In fact, these are probably our most popular classes. You start out learning the basics of working with nature magick and then progress through several more advanced classes. The idea being that when you are done, you are a Wizard who is ready to work with the forces of nature.

(P): What classes for the more experienced apprentice wizards?

(DS): We have a couple of classes that are reserved for higher-level Apprentices. Starting around level 6 you will see more complicated classes that offer large rewards in the form of knowledge but this knowledge is harder to obtain. For example, we have a level 6 class called "Through the Hidden Door-Realm of the Fayrie". It focuses on understanding and forming relationships with fairies which is challenging and sometimes dangerous to the untrained Apprentice.

(P): Are there any new classes coming in the department that you are willing to talk about?

(DS): At the moment we have nothing in the works although starting this fall we are going to review the department to make sure everything is up to date.

(P): Are the faculty in your department Collaborative or more Solitary?

(DS): Our faculty in this department are more collaborative which is a natural tendency for Wizards who specialize in nature magick. We tend to form groves and stick together, many of us being Druids or Witches alongside our paths as Wizards.

(P): Who else do you collaborate with?

(DS): Dean Katy Ravensong is an excellent example of someone I enjoy working with and who is a very good teacher in Natural Magick.

(P): What projects have you collaborated on?

(DS): We have worked together more than once on the Earth Day challenge, coming up with fun challenges for our department.

(P): What can apprentices do with the wisdom they will obtain from your department?

(DS): The wisdom gained from this department is immense. You will be a Wizard who specializes in understanding nature to include the weather. You will learn how to keep the balance and how to work with the natural forces that are all around you. This knowledge translates into different mundane professions but it also gives you a great responsibility. For example, during the Australian wildfire crisis, I joined with other Wizards and Witches who specialized in nature magick and we worked several spells and rituals to call rain to help combat the fires. Imagine being a Nature Wizard in your local community and a serious natural threat is coming your way. Not only can you help others prepare for it (or evacuate) but you will also have the knowledge to work with that force to try and redirect some of it's energy in the effort to curve the potential destruction that it may cause.

(P): How can they translate those skills into the Mundane World?

(DS): Many mundane jobs are tied in with nature. For example, you could become a Park Ranger or a Wildlife Conservation Officer. Marine Biologist and Geologists are also different ways to make a living working with nature.

(P): What does the future hold for your department?

(DS): Great question! Right now, we are not planning on much until the fall. Around the fall of this year we are going to start working on reviewing the department for revisions as I noted above. Outside of that we really don't have much else planned other than to "go with the flow". I'm not above making cheesy nature pun jokes.


(P): In your own words what is the focus of your department as it pertains to Wizardry?

(DS): The focus of this department is on healing and learning how to heal the body through energetic and holistic ways.

(P): What specific topics does your department study within its concentration?

(DS): We cover a lot of topics in this department. Everything from basic human anatomy and physiology to review of systems like Reiki.

(P): From your experience, what courses in your department do you think a new apprentice wizard would find most interesting?

(DS): We often get a lot of Apprentices in the "Foundations of Healing" class. This is kinda the introduction to this specialty of magick. Apprentices usually have fun with this class and learn new things about their own lifestyle as it pertains to their health.

(P): What classes for the more experienced apprentice wizards?

(DS): We offer some advanced classes for the more experienced Apprentice. For example, a challenging class (but a rewarding one) is the level 6 class "Anatomy and Physiology for Herbalists 601: Skin, Muscle, and Bone". This is a challenging class that is vitally important for anyone looking to learn how to heal with herbs.

(P): Are there any new classes coming in the department that you are willing to talk about?

(DS): At the moment we have a couple of classes that are being worked on. I don't want to give away all of the surprises but we are working on bringing some form of energy healing technique to the school that we can train Apprentices in. We are also working on an idea (it hasn't been approved or fully fleshed out yet) where after a Healing Wizard graduates and becomes a Journeyman, they are able to travel and gain Reiki training (Level 1-3) directly from me at no cost to them (they have to pay their own travel expenses). Keep an eye on the FB page for more information as we continue to flesh those ideas out.

(P): Are the faculty in your department Collaborative or more Solitary?

(DS): It varies but we tend to work together often. You'll find that a lot in the healing areas of magick, similar to medical teams.

(P): Who else do you collaborate with?

(DS): Dean Frater Adservio and I have worked together many times now on different classes and events for this department.

(P): What projects have you collaborated on?

(DS): Recently, we did the Earth Challenge where we told our Apprentices to go outside or visit a local animal shelter and perform energy healing of their choice. Apprentices who submitted an essay detailing what they did, got decent merit points for their Lodge.

(P): What can apprentices do with the wisdom they will obtain from your department?

(DS): There is a lot of variety with this department. The knowledge gained here can certainly help the Apprentice if they choose to pursue mundane health career professions. This knowledge can also help those who prefer to work in more holistic or energetic professions such as professional Reiki healers or Massage Therapists.

(P): How can they translate those skills into the Mundane World?

(DS): These skills can be helpful in jobs such as nursing, EMT, Paramedic, and really any job that requires you to have knowledge of the human body and the various ailments that afflict it.

(P): What is the future of this department?

(DS): Right now, aside from the ideas I mentioned above, we are working on revising this department starting this winter. We want to make sure our department is up to date with the latest Information regarding healing and the human body. This department is always growing and always looking for new healing ideas.

* * *

We want to extend our thanks to Dean Starhawk for consenting to the interview.

Please keep a lookout 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 Perfect, or use our great forums!


Bardic Circle: Lore Talk for Ostara

Merqatyl Draconis

GSW Apprentice Cybermancer [L1]

GSW Stones Lodge Prefect

GSW Staff-Technomage


Bardic Circle shares much of its content with the Lore and the Performance Magick Departments. Lore: “Much of a Wizard’s true power comes from their vast knowledge, Lore particularly concerns myths, histories and legends” ( “Performance Magick divides into Stage Magic (Illusion, Glamour and Legerdemain) and the Bardic Arts (Music, Poetry, Storytelling); each with its own techniques for opening the mind” (;

Being a Lore Major I focus on the Lore aspect of Bardic Circles. Lore Department’s mission is “…to help the student develop the ability to access, synthesize, and critically evaluate arcane knowledge from a variety of magickal cultures” ( “Grey is the Lore Departmental color. It represents knowledge, lore and wisdom in its purest form” ( Knowledge is neutral, it is intention that makes it black or white magick. Lore department’s classes focus on the archetypes, heroes and heroines that empower one’s intention with respect to a specific archetype.


We use correspondences or associations to empower our rituals, spells and meditations with meaning that links the Cosmic Consciousness to our individual Personalities.

Birth, Rebirth and Renewal*: The theme for this Ostara is New Beginnings, therefore, we take this time to associate ourselves with the energies of birth, rebirth and renewal to give our lives and ourselves a physical, mental and spiritual Spring Cleaning.

Strength, Fertility and Rejuvenation*: Piggybacking on Imbolc’s idea of establishing something new and positive for this year, Ostara is also the time to see the first shoots of the seed and be rejuvenated in the strength of fertility. This is also the time that many seek companionship and young people start forming couples in preparation for Beltane and Midsummer.


In Lore, we use Archetypes during Conclaves to tune our associations and correspondences to specific energies we wish to Celebrate.

Mythic Feminine (Fertility, Maiden, Young Gaia Goddess*): This is the archetype we focus on during Ostara to associate ourselves with the Youthful, Fertile Energies of our Emotions and how they affect our daily lives. This is the Love and Care we feed our intentions and help those new shoots to sprout blossoms and nurture to grow strong.

Mythic Masculine (Virility, Wild, The Young Green Man*): This is the archetype we focus on during Ostara to associate ourselves with the rejuvenated biological needs of humanity. As the Sun remains longer each day, so too does his virility and wild lust infuse the masculine side of our nature.

Deities and Heroes: Because GSW is a Secular School for Wizardry Deity Archetypes are personal and should not be injected during Conclaves. Legends are examples of how the archetype was portrayed in the daily life of a hero or heroine, when reading the legend, folklore, or sacred text, focus on how they archetypal deity accomplished the task and reflect on its significance for your Wizardry.


As a Cybermancer, I focus on technology as my Library and Tools to accomplish my Wizardry. For Ostara, this is the time when budgets have been completed and approved. This is the time for new purchases (Waxing Moon) then removing the old and outdated equipment to make room for the new upgrades (Waning Moon).

This is the time when companies are posting jobs and new positions, so if you are looking at changing your current situation, or are looking for an opportunity to take the first actions on that Imbolc New Idea, this is the greatest time for opportunity to arrive, so be ready. We start applying the archetypes of fertility and virility to see our ideas put to action. With Spring Cleaning completed, we now set our sights on productivity and making things happen.

Apprentice Life Application

As the Stones Prefect, it is paramount that I focus on how GSW, Wizardry and Lore applies to Apprentice Life. Below are ways you can focus meditations during this time between Ostara and Beltane:

Elimination (Waning, Third Quarter, or New Moon): With today (March 22, 2020) being the Waning Crescent Moon on the cusp of the New Moon (March 23-25, 2020) this is the celebration of New Beginnings, while focusing archetypically on furthering the spring-cleaning mentality. This is the time to prepare to remove the old and make way for the new. Then the two weeks after the 25th, we make those purchases, and implement the new changes.

Acquisition (Waxing, First Quarter, or Full Moon): After the 25th, the Moon will make her Maiden ascent into Spring, spurring those emotions of fertility and virility. Be open to those opportunities, as you acquire the new items in your life you need to make your Hope Spring Eternal.

*Correspondence Lists were taken from:

Connor, K. (2015). Ostara: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the Spring Equinox. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.


Beneath the Covers: The Plant Spirit Familiar by Christopher Penczak

Apprentice Apollinaris

Christopher Penczak's The Plant Spirit Familiar is a book that every Green Wizard should have a copy of. This is one of those books that you should not judge by its cover. There's nothing really wrong with the cover art, but I don't think it conveys the wealth of information and ideas that you will find beneath it. The title of the book, too, can be a little misleading. Penczak asserts convincingly that the word familiar can have multiple meanings in the magickal community. But never fear, he does not expect you to trade in your cat for a fern or philodendron. The Plant Spirit Familiar is essentially a work that looks at herbology from a spiritual and shamanic perspective.

In my opinion this is one of Penczak's best works, which is saying a lot when you consider how prolific the author is. If you are interested in herb-related rituals, this is the book for you. There are rituals for casting a Green Circle (a ritual space that specifically invokes spiritual aid from various plants), the Huzel rite (for building a relationship with plant spirits), Plant Gateways (to visit and communicate with plant spirits) and more.

But the book is not all chanting and meditation. It also includes recipes and ideas for crafts that can enhance your work with herbs. There are instructions for making flower essences, as well as for creating an herbal homunculus. Throughout the book Penczak shares his recipes for herbal preparations like Green Circle Incense, Floral Water, Wand Anointing Ointment, Green Blessing Oil and Oracular Wine. Being an herbology book, The Plant Spirit Familiar discusses infusions and tinctures, but it focuses on an extremely spiritual approach to working with herbs.

Although some of the ideas in this book appealed to me more than others, I found inspiration throughout its pages. The Plant Spirit Familiar is was released by Copper Cauldron Publishing so you are unlikely to find it on the shelves at your local New Age store. However it is well worth the trouble of hunting the book down on the internet. With this book you can take your herb magick to an even deeper, more meaningful level.


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