May 2021 Grey Matters
The Grey Matters
Table of Contents
1.) Upcoming Apprentice Leadership Elections
2.) Eclipses and Astrological Forecasts
3.) Advice For Newly-Leveled Apprentices
4.) A Message From Your Dean of Students
5.) Upcoming vGSW Class: "Introduction to Ceremonial Magick" 6.) Waters Lodge Celebration 7.) New Alchemy Classes
8.) New vGSW Stones Lodge
9.) Beneath the Covers
Upcoming Apprentice Leadership Elections
By Grey Matters Staff
Interested in leading your Lodge to Victory next term? Find out more about the positions of Apprentice Leadership here: https://www.greyschool.net/leadership
Eclipses and Astrological Forecasts
By Dean Ambika Devi
On 5/26/21 we have a lunar eclipse. Are you fascinated by Astrology? It is a passion of mine and I believe that it is a necessary tool for every wizard! Come study astrology with me in the Divination department.
Today's Lunar eclipse at 5° Sagittarius is of course directly opposite our Sun at 5° Gemini as a Lunar Eclipse occurs at the time of a Full Moon. This eclipse is separated only 5° from the Nodes of the Moon with the North Node at 10° of Gemini. The moon is very close to us in its orbit giving more sensitivity to the sensations.
All of this points to a great revision of society for the greater and behavior and habits for each of us individually.
Given the potency, it is best to understand where this occurs in transit to your Natal Chart. This is a picture I took of the moon last evening.
Advice For Newly-Leveled Apprentices
By Provost Kingsley
Congratulations on reaching one of the first milestones in your Apprenticeship! From here on, things get increasingly interesting!
Now, if you're feeling a bit overwhelmed, not to worry. It's natural and a part of the process. First things first, take a deep breath, ground, and center. After that's out of the way and you have a solid footing again take stock of what needs to be done. I suggest working up a list of your required classes as well as some elective classes that look interesting to you.
Once you've got a good look at everything choose one Required class, and one elective. Focus on these two classes first, taking your time as you go along. The worst thing you can do is rush in or try to take everything on at once. Remember that GSW has a work-at-your-own-pace system; you've all the time you need. After you finish that first set of classes, you can move onto the next, and so on, and so on! Before you know it you'll be right onto level three and a better Wizard for the experience.
It might also help to join a club or get more involved with your Lodge. These social connections can be a real boon when you're feeling a little overwhelmed by your classwork.
Most importantly, be sure to read your assignments carefully and allow yourself the opportunity to engage in the new and exciting challenges which lie before you.
You can do it, Apprentice! I look forward to walking alongside you in Wizardry 200.
A Message From Your Dean of Students
By Dean Emrhys Starhawk
As Apprentice Wizards it is vital to remember that one day, you will be a Journeyman serving your communities. Power and great acts of magick are often not the solutions to dark times. When your community is faced with darkness, the best magick you as a wizard can provide is to be a source of inspiration and light. By doing so you kindle the light of hope in others and that light, like a small fire being fed by oxygen will spread.
Dean Emrhys Starhawk Dean of Students
Upcoming vGSW Class: "Introduction to Ceremonial Magick"
I'm teaching "Introduction to Ceremonial Magick" on vGSW in June. Check out https://www.greyschool.net/forum/ceremonial-magick-dept/upcoming-vgsw-class-introduction-to-ceremonial-magick for details and make sure to sign up if you'd like to learn more about the practice of ceremonial magick, what it is and isn't, and what it looks like to study ceremonial magick both in life and at GSW. Hurry up, as class is on June 5th!
Waters Lodge Celebration Recording
By Grey Matters Staff
If you were unable to attend the wonderful Waters Lodge Celebration that occurred on the vGSW Campus in May, the event was livestreamed and recorded due to the diligent effort of our Apprentice Leadership. Make sure to catch the Q&A session with Dean Ambika Devi, starting at around 3:07:00 in the video.
New Alchemy Classes
By Dean Adservio
Greetings, Apprentices and Magisters! I have exciting news to share with all of you regarding our Alchemy Department.
Two new classes are now live and accepting students! Alchemy 200: The Four Phases of Alchemy and Alchemy 201: The Three Philosophical Principles of Alchemy are now available at level 2 and are eagerly awaiting their first apprentices. Check these classes out to learn all about fascinating alchemical topics such as the Four Phases of Alchemy and the Three Philosophical Principles (Sulfur, Mercury, and Salt). These classes distill the knowledge and experience of the celebrated Wizard and Master Alchemist, and our own Dean of Alchemy, Dean M.T.O.! They are definitely not to be missed!
New Stones Lodge on vGSW
By Provost Kingsley
Check out the New Stones Lodge on VGSW!
All Lodge buildings will be changed to match this new model at the start of the next term, though Stones Lodge gets their update a bit early for letting me beta test on them.
A Big thank you to Prefect Nyx of the Stones Lodge!
Beneath the Covers
by Prefect Apollinaris
There are a handful of books that I refer to again and again in my study of herb magick,
but if I could only have one it would be Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical
Herbs. In my Wortcunning lessons here at Grey School, I find myself using the book as a reference more than any other title. Scott Douglas Cunningham (1956-1993) wrote twenty books on magick, mostly at an introductory level, but in my opinion this one was his greatest legacy.
The first 26 pages of the book are an introduction to herb magick. Cunningham writes in his usual style, presenting the material in such a way that a complete novice will have a general idea of what to do and how to get started. But the real value of the book is found in the 202 pages following this, where hundreds of useful herbs are listed in alphabetical order. In addition to the herb's common names and scientific name, Cunningham gives the herb's ruling planet, its corresponding element, any deities it may be associated with, and how it is used in folk magic. Unlike herbals that mention arcane uses as an afterthought, the whole focus of Cunningham's Encyclopedia is on herb magick. In the wake of the encyclopedia portion of the book, there are 26 pages of tables grouping herbs by their planetary rules, elemental correspondences, and magickal properties. This is followed by a glossary, five appendices, a bibliography, and an index.
The book is not without its flaws. In his effort to inspire the novice, I feel that Cunningham has done a slight disservice to the serious and experienced practitioner. For example, he cautions that some "essential oils" actually synthetic fragrances, but then he says "this does not negate their use in magic". Well, yes it does, especially if you are going to add a few drops to a potion or to an incense blend.
The encyclopedia portion likewise suffers somewhat from the author's light, eclectic
The first 26 pages of the book are an introduction to herb magick. Cunningham writes in his usual style, presenting the material in such a way that a complete novice will have a general idea of what to do and how to get started. But the real value of the book is found in the 202 pages following this, where hundreds of useful herbs are listed in alphabetical order. In addition to the herb's common names and scientific name, Cunningham gives the herb's ruling planet, its corresponding element, any deities it may be associated with, and how it is used in folk magic. Unlike herbals that mention arcane uses as an afterthought, the whole focus of approach to magic. In the entry for birch (Betula alba), for example, Cunningham says, "Birch twigs have been used to exorcise spirits by gently striking possessed people or animals since the birch is a purificatory or cleansing herb." Cool. Who used birch twigs in this way? What culture does that come from? He doesn’t say. Here we see both the strength and weakness of Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. The author shares an interesting bit of magickal lore. It is something I have used myself (I have a birch wand that I crafted specifically for exorcism and cleansing spells). But we are given no context for this magick. And the lack of specificity, the author’s vague assertions, are found throughout the book.
And so this is not a perfect book, but, with all due respect to authors like Huson and Beyerl, it
is probably the best book for the study of herb magick. The book's focus on magick rather than herbal remedies, its excellent organization, and its information on correspondences make Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs an indispensable tool for the Green Wizard.