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May 2023 Grey Matters

Grey Matters

May 2023



Table of Contents

1.) Introduction to GSW Academic Journal 2.) Creative Writing Club

3.) In-Person Core Energy Class

4.) Ongoing GSW Fundraiser

5.) Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

6.) Between the Covers

7.) Waters Lodge Celebration

8.) Highspire Express

9.) June Astrological Forecast

10.) Performance Magick Crossword

 

Introduction to the GSW Academic Journal

By Dean Meighen


The Grey School of Wizardry’s Academic Journal, an expansion of the Grey Matters monthly newsletter, is seeking papers on topics relevant to Wizardry and the 16 Departments of Study at our school. These papers should be of the highest level of academic rigor, quality, and research and contribute new and original knowledge and/or perspectives to the field and trade of Wizardry.


Faculty and Level 7 Apprentices interested in submitting work for consideration can find more information at https://www.greyschool.net/forum/office-of-the-doc/gsw-academic-journal


The Journal itself can be found at https://www.magickalley.com/greymatters/categories/academic-journal - be sure to check out the first article, "Unraveling Magick: An In-Depth Examination of the Psychological, Spiritual, and Resonance Models."

 

Interested in Creative Writing Club?

By Grey Matters Staff


If you're interested in a club dedicated to creative writing, be sure to check in on the forums at https://www.greyschool.net/forum/lore-dept/creative-writing-club-interested-let-s-talk

 

In-Person Core Energy Practices Class

By Dean Meighen

We're offering an in-person version of Core Energy Practices 100 and 101 - Five Credits on June 16th-18th!


These techniques are fundamental for the wizard in training as they possess information pertaining to raising and commanding energy in a way that is safe and pleasant for the practitioner. In this class we shall discuss several of these techniques and you shall be guided to practice them and keep good notes to discuss your findings in your submissions. Despite being two classes, it makes sense to treat them as two halves of the same coin given the interconnected nature of the material. In-person teaching offers the possibility for supervision and directed feedback on the actual performance of these techniques. It also offers unique opportunities for Apprentices to take advantage of the Campus and Grounds to experience various types of energies.




 

Ongoing GSW Fundraiser

By Headmaster Kingsley


Grey School Expansion Update: We're Making Progress! Everyone, thank you for your incredible support so far in our mission to expand the Grey School's physical campus! We're making progress, but we still need your help to reach our goal. Here's what you can do to keep the momentum going:

1️. If you haven't already, donate to our fundraiser: https://tiltify.com/@nicholas.../physical-campus-expansion

2️. Share this post to remind your friends and family about our cause!

3️. Share your favorite Grey School memory or what you love about our school in the comments to inspire others to join our mission. Together, we can manifest this amazing learning environment for our school! Let's keep pushing forward and make our dream a reality!


 

A Brief Overview of The History and Evolution of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

By Dean Meighen


Today, I would like to delve into the captivating history and evolution of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP). This ritual, widely practiced in Western occultism, holds great significance as a foundational tool for ceremonial magicians. Therefore, let us embark on a short journey through time and history to explore the origin and development of this powerful ritual.


The roots of the LBRP can be traced back to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a 19th-century magickal order that played a pivotal role in the occult revival of that era. The Golden Dawn drew upon a wide range of esoteric traditions, including Qabalah, Hermeticism, and ceremonial magick, to create its unique system of teachings and rituals.


Within the Golden Dawn, the LBRP was originally designed as a preliminary exercise to cleanse and consecrate the magician's space and psyche before engaging in more advanced magickal work. It involved the use of Hebrew God names, the visualization of pentagrams, and the tracing of symbolic shapes in the air. The ritual aimed to establish a harmonious and protected environment by banishing any unwanted influences or energies and by calling upon spiritual forces and beings.


One figure who played a significant role in the evolution of the LBRP was Aleister Crowley, a prominent occultist and member of the Golden Dawn. Crowley, known for his innovative approach to ritual and magickal practices, made adjustments to the original LBRP and incorporated it into his own system known as Thelema.


Crowley's modifications included the addition of new visualizations, such as the image of the Rose Cross at the heart center, and the invocation of Thelemic deities instead of the traditional Hebrew God names. His version of the ritual, known as the Star Ruby, emphasized the alignment with one's True Will and the assertion of individuality.


Following the dissolution of the Golden Dawn, the LBRP gained popularity beyond its original confines. It found its way into various magickal traditions and became a staple in many occult systems, including the practices of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), the Thelemic organization founded by Crowley.


Over time, practitioners have personalized and adapted the LBRP to suit their own needs and beliefs, incorporating different visualizations, invocations, and variations from the original script. This adaptability has allowed the ritual to be embraced by a wide range of magickal practitioners, regardless of their specific tradition or spiritual background.


Today, the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram continues to be a widely utilized tool for personal empowerment, protection, and spiritual development. Its simplicity and effectiveness make it accessible to practitioners of varying levels of experience.


By performing the LBRP, practitioners invoke the elemental forces associated with the four quarters (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water) and establish a balanced and harmonious space for magickal work within their psyche and immediate area. It serves as a powerful ritual for centering oneself, warding off unwanted energies, and cultivating a sense of control and focus.


The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the transformative power of ceremonial magick. Throughout its history, the ritual has evolved, adapted, and found its place within various magickal systems, all while retaining its fundamental purpose of banishing and protection.


For those who wish to practice and explore the LBRP, consider enrolling in the class "Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram" at Level 3 in the Ceremonial Magick Department.

 

Between the Covers: Essential Oil Magic by Vervain Helsdottir

By Apprentice CoralMercy


As Wizards, we are always in pursuit of knowledge that elevates our magickal practice. In

Essential Oil Magic: Natural Spells for the Green Witch, Vervain Helsdottir offers us a

remarkable guide that helps in harnessing the potent energies of essential oils, revealing their ability to transform personal energy; heal body, mind, and spirit; and alter the energy of our surroundings.


Helsdottir employs a multifaceted approach, pulling from the scientific, sympathetic, and

energetic perspectives of these oils. This inclusive approach brings together folklore, research, intuition, and personal experiences, resulting in a rich and varied magickal practice.


The inclusivity of Helsdottir's philosophy resonates deeply, asserting that the art of oil magick is open to all, regardless of their specific magickal tradition or religious path. The effectiveness of one's oil magick depends on factors such as the quality and choice of oils, clarity of intention, depth of desire, and willingness to undertake personal transformation.


One thing that stood out to me in this book was the author’s emphasis on ethical practices. She encourages the use of sustainably harvested essential oils and underscores the importance of reciprocating the land's generosity. This harmonious approach aligns well with our philosophy at the Grey School, reminding us always to tread the path of least harm while striving for the greatest good and considering all the consequences when action is taken.


The practical guidelines and tips in the book are invaluable. Helsdottir provides guidance on

essential aspects, such as performing a patch test before applying essential oils to the skin,

selecting and storing oils, and even how to formulate an invigorating blend for a pre-ritual

shower. These practical insights make the teachings immediately applicable in our magickal

lives.


The book shines in its comprehensive compilation of spells and rituals. From the creation of

enchanted oils to the intricacies of candle magick, the variety is impressive. Standouts include the Roll-On Energy Shield, the Sacred Space Spray, and the Third Eye Anointing Oil. However, it should be noted that many of these magickal workings require a broad selection of oils and tools, which might not be immediately available to everyone.


The final sections of the book delve into the characteristics of common essential oils, their uses, and precautions. The addition of a substitution guide, a glossary, and resources for further study round out this comprehensive guide, making it an invaluable resource for any Wizard serious about the art of essential oil magick.


Helsdottir's engaging prose and the book's logical progression make it a pleasure to read. I was motivated to reassess my current oil collection and consider acquiring higher-quality ones. My only critique lies in the extensive list of ingredients required for many of the workings, which may not be readily accessible for everyone.


I wholeheartedly recommend Essential Oil Magic to my fellow Wizards seeking to integrate the potent energy of essential oils into their magickal practice. As I continue to explore and evolve my personal journey, I foresee this book becoming an indispensable guide on my reference shelf.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Finally, here are a couple of essential oil combinations from the book that you can try today:


For Tarot or divination journal writing, I suggest using your diffuser with a combination of:

● 3 drops Frankincense

● 2 drops Sandalwood

● 2 drops Lavender


To manifest abundance, write in your gratitude and manifestation journal while employing this diffuser combination:


● 2 drops Orange

● 2 drops Patchouli

● 1 drop Ginger

● 1 drop Clove


These blends are a testament to the transformative power of essential oils and the magick they can weave into our lives.


Whether you're an experienced Wizard or just beginning your journey, Essential Oil Magic

provides a wealth of knowledge, helping us to better understand and utilize the potent forces of plant magick.


Note, if you are interested in using essential oil in your magickal practice, I highly recommend taking the Level 1 class “Safety and Herb Use” from the Wortcunning Department first.


Works Cited:

Kingsley, Headmaster Nicholas. “Wizardry 100: Becoming an Apprentice.” The Grey School of Wizardry.

https://registered.greyschool.com/index.php?module=Classes&func=viewclass&class_num=813

.

Pesznecker, Susan. “Safety and Herb Use.” The Grey School of Wizardry.

https://registered.greyschool.com/index.php?module=Classes&func=viewclass&class_num=29.

 

Waters Lodge Celebration Writeup

By Prefect Fred


The annual Waters Lodge Celebration was held on the weekend of Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21, with a theme of growth and growth cycles. Many apprentices were present for one or both days, as well as Dean Ombra dell’Uragano and the esteemed Headmaster Kingsley. Instructor Alvarez, a fellow Waters member, was not present but recorded a presentation for everyone to enjoy. This was the first Grey School moot that was not held on Second Life, but exclusively on Discord.


All in all, it was an exciting, fun-filled event, and I’d like to share a short recap for those who were unable to attend. If you’re interested in these types of events, check out the Apprentice Leadership moot held in June; the Flames Lodge Celebration held in July; and the Apprentice Leadership moot held in September. Check-in with your Lodge Prefect for dates and times.


After the opening remarks by the Waters Prefect and Headmaster Kingsley, Saturday’s events started out with a guided meditation to a waterfall in the middle of a forest. I personally enjoy how guided meditations set us up to enjoy the events at these moots, and most of the moots at Grey School include one. After we all relaxed, Apprentice Flaming Phoenix gave a wonderful presentation on Ethics, including definitions, histories of many philosophies contributing to ethical standards of magickal practices today, a short guide on how to develop one’s own ethical framework, and some examples of ethical dilemmas and the questions one should ask when trying to decide how to act. Apprentice Flaming Phoenix did an awesome job presenting, and I think we all look forward to him presenting other topics in the future in as great detail as he did on Ethics.


After a short break, the Waters prefect gave a short history of Water and its influence on life and human history, followed by a discussion of how we, as wizards, can influence our communities in a positive manner. Apprentice CoralMercy then gave a presentation on the new class, Shadowlore 100, which also touched on the previous, discontinued class, Creatures of the Night. This was especially enlightening because the instructor of both classes, Dean Ombra, was present and able to add her thoughts on both classes to the discussion afterward. After brief closing remarks, the Celebration ended for the night, to resume the following afternoon.


Sunday’s events started with Apprentice CoralMercy giving her second presentation, this time on Aquatic Entities, based on a workshop she had taken online. She touched several different entities, from mermaids, to selkies, from around the world, and the stories associated with each. After a brief questions and answers session, we moved on to a guided meditation that took us to the ocean. We all then watched Instructor Alvarez give a fascinating presentation on the Hero’s Journey, and we discussed how we each were on our own hero’s journey, whether it was a cycle we recognized in our past or a particular step we identified ourselves to be in at the present moment.


After a brief intermission, the Waters prefect gave a talk on personal growth. This tied in with the presentation by Instructor Alvarez, and we each identified a moment in our past where we could see, in hindsight, great transformation in our personal lives. The final presentation was on the economy, with a focus on the United States, and led to a discussion of how a wizard can invoke their Will to make positive, lasting changes, despite the world around them being in a decay phase in the cycle we recognize as birth, growth, decay and rebirth. It was exciting to learn how each wizard in attendance was making their own mark on their community in a way that was meaningful to them.


With over a dozen apprentices attending at least a portion of the Waters Celebration, as well as three faculty, this moot was very popular. This was the first time a moot had been held over multiple days, which was beneficial for all who attended. I’d expect at least some of the moots in the future to have a similar, multi-day structure, so check in with your prefect or captain if you have a preference for a particular schedule. I can’t promise that Apprentice Leadership can accommodate everyone, but it’s easier if they know what days and times work for everyone.

 

Highspire Express

By Prefect Fred


There are many opportunities to visit Highspire in Whitehall, NY this summer, including five different in-person class weekends as well as Conclave 2023, the pinnacle of Grey School community. With most of the in-person classes offered twice this term, there are a total of TEN weekends where enrolled apprentices and magisters are invited to make the journey to our physical campus. For an online school with apprentices and magisters worldwide, this is a wonderful opportunity to take the teachings of Grey School to the next level.



Many travelers will find that the remote village of Whitehall, NY a bit too out of the way to be practical. For some local people, a short drive is hardly a burden. For some, a train ride is more realistic, especially with Amtrak reopening their station in Whitehall. Some, however, must board a plane and arrive at the closest major airport, Albany International Airport (ALB), which still leaves them about 80 minutes away from Highspire by car in good traffic.


Renting a car for a weekend provides an extra layer of logistics and an added cost that may simply be too much to bear for an apprentice looking to take a weekend in-person class. As synchronicities have lined up, I happen to live a short distance from the airport, and would be more than willing to help ferry people attending these events to Highspire from Albany, and then back on the following Sunday. I am attending at least one in-person class this term, as well as Conclave, but am willing to make the drive even on the weekends I am not already going. I only ask that when you visit, you leave the manor in better shape than you found it.


If this would be of use to you, please reply to this forum post and let me know you would like a spot. I drive a Honda Accord, so I can only offer seating for a maximum of three passengers per trip, and it will need to be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.


May 12-14 Wizardry 100 (0/3 spots taken)


May 27-28 Principles of Wildcrafting ***


June 2-4 Magickal Tools (0/3 spots taken)


June 16-18 Core Energy Practices (0/3 spots taken)


July 7-9 Conclave (1/3 spots taken) Apprentice Spirit


July 28-30 Magickal Tools (0/3 spots taken)


August 11-13 Usui Reiki 1 (0/3 spots taken)


August 18-20 Core Energy Practices ***


September 9-10 Principles of Wildcrafting (0/3 spots taken)


September 15-17 Wizardry 100 (0/3 spots taken)


***I am unavailable the weekend of May 27-28 for Principles of Wildcrafting, and the weekend of August 18-20 for Core Energy Practices.


As these events are for enrolled apprentices and magisters only, I can only offer this if you have already enrolled in the class and paid your tuition. Faculty who need a ride are also welcome.

 

June 2023 Astrological Forecast

By Grey Matters Staff


As we embrace the vibrant month of June, the cosmos offers us a tapestry of celestial alignments that will shape our experiences in the coming weeks. So, grab your favorite beverage, settle into a cozy chair, and get ready to explore the astrological forecast for this month.


June 2 - Venus in Cancer trine Neptune in Pisces: Love and healing intertwine as Venus and Neptune create a harmonious dance. This celestial embrace encourages us to release any residual heartbreak, finding solace and warmth in the arms of our loved ones. It's time to be social, have fun, and bask in the healing power of connection.


June 3 - Full Moon in Sagittarius: The adventurous spirit of Sagittarius permeates the cosmos during this full moon. It's as if the universe is whispering, "Start your summer vacation a little earlier this year." Embrace the wanderlust within and embark on journeys, both external and internal. Explore new territories, witness wonders, and allow yourself to be captivated by the magic of the world.


June 5 - Venus enters Leo: Love takes center stage as Venus gracefully enters the charismatic sign of Leo. During this period, we are bestowed with "main character energy," fueling our desire to express our unique style, dive into relationships, and indulge in some well-deserved pampering. However, be mindful of the potential for drama and ego-driven conflicts that may arise. Let love shine brightly while maintaining balance and humility.


June 11 - Retrograde Pluto re-enters Capricorn: Pluto, the transformative powerhouse, retraces its steps into Capricorn for the final time after offering us a glimpse of what lies ahead. Over the coming months, we will focus on concluding collective issues that have plagued us for over a decade. Embrace this opportunity for closure and growth.


June 11 - Mercury enters Gemini: Mercury, the planet of communication, finds itself at home in the chatty and inquisitive sign of Gemini. It's a perfect time to expand our knowledge, engage in lively conversations, and embrace the joy of learning. However, let us remember to avoid petty gossip that may disrupt harmonious connections.


June 17 - Saturn goes retrograde in Pisces: As Saturn begins its retrograde journey, we find ourselves releasing the strict rules and limitations that have bound us. This summer, we may feel a touch of dreaminess and find ourselves yearning for boundless possibilities. Remember to keep one foot grounded as you explore new realms.


June 17 - New Moon in Gemini: The magic of a new moon invites us to connect with friends, engage in heartfelt conversations, and nurture new connections. It's a time for research, for exploring new interests, and for formulating clever ideas to infuse our summer with excitement and joy.


June 21 - Ceres enters Libra: Balance becomes the focus in our relationships as Ceres enters the harmonious sign of Libra. Nurturing others and caring for ourselves must find equilibrium, fostering healthy dynamics within our connections.


June 21 - Sun enters Cancer: With the sun's arrival in tender Cancer, we officially welcome summer. Over the next four weeks, we will be enveloped in energies that are nurturing, sweet, and occasionally moody. Embrace the caring nature of Cancer and let its warmth guide your actions.


June 22 - Juno enters Cancer: The asteroid of commitment, Juno, graces the compassionate sign of Cancer. It's a perfect time to focus on domestic matters, fortify our homes, and deepen our bonds with loved ones.


June 22 - Vesta enters Gemini: Vesta's entry into Gemini may leave us feeling scattered, unable to settle on a singular topic. Instead of forcing concentration, embrace curiosity and allow it to guide you towards new areas of interest.


June 26 - Mercury enters Cancer: Prepare for a wave of sentimentality as the planet of communication enters emotional Cancer. The next two and a half weeks may find us dwelling in summer nostalgia, reflecting on the past and cherishing memories.


June 30 - Neptune goes retrograde in Pisces: As Neptune begins its retrograde motion, we are urged to confront our illusions and face our truths. This period demands introspection and a willingness to embrace reality.


With the celestial stage set for June, we find ourselves navigating a tapestry of energies and influences. Embrace the adventures, cherish the connections, and remember that the stars are guides and indicators - you always have your agency and the responsibility for your actions.

 

GSW Performance Magick Department Crossword

By Grey Matters Staff





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