October 2022 Grey Matters
Table of Contents
1.) Master Wizard Arakeane Stepping Down as Dean of Dark Arts
2.) Welcome New Dean of Art Arts, Dean Shadowfox
3.) Welcome New Dean of Lore, Dean Ombra 'dell Uragano
4.) Passing the Torch Ceremony
5.) The Last Candle-Side Chat with Provost Kingsley
6.) Sweat Lodge
7.) November 2022 Astrology Highlights
8.) Monthly Class Spotlight
9.) Stones Lodge Celebration Report
Master Wizard Arakeane Stepping Down As Dean of Dark Arts
By Provost Nicholas Kingsley
Well met Wizards one and all, I hope that this spooky evening finds you all in high spirits and fine health!
After over a Decade of devoted and Wizardly service to our School, our very own Arakeane is stepping down from his role as the Dean of Dark arts to better serve his health and to spend more time with his loving family.
Over the course of my time here at GSW, both as a Learner and as a Teacher, Lector
Arakeane has been a source of inspiration, guidance, reassurance and tremendous insight. Not only is he a fantastic teacher, but so too is he a wonderful Wizard. In the course of his over a Decade of Service Arakeane has shaped the minds of Hundreds of Wizards, granting them keen knowledge of the esoteric topics he teaches.
While the Dark Arts Department is now in the steady hands of Dean Shadowfox, of whom we will no doubt see great things, Laurence "Arakeane" Shirley will long be remembered as a grand contributor to, and guide of, the mysteries such a mysterious department holds.
To commemorate his Years of Service to GSW, A gold pocket-watch bearing his name and highest honors earned at GSW will be awarded to him as well as a plaque on the physical grounds bearing his name once an appropriate area is selected.
Luckily for us, now Lector Arakeane will still be about our hallowed virtual halls to offer his wisdom and insights into the Dark Arts, as well as participate in other GSW Activities and Festivities. We look forward to rumored plans concerning a very interesting interview series with the Master Wizard presented by Grey Matters some time early next year... I for one can't wait! Congratulations to you Sir on a most Wizardly career as well as a most deserved retirement! That said, we also look forward to all you yet have to offer!
Welcome New Dean of Dark Arts, Dean Shadowfox!
By Provost Nicholas Kingsley
Hark yon Wizards, I bring news!
I am deeply honored to announce that Journeymen Shadowfox, Now Dean Shadowfox, will be joining our hallowed halls once more as the Dean of the Dark Arts Department here at GSW! I suspect that we will see grand things from our good Wizard in the not too distant future, though in the meanwhile you may wish to know a little more about him: Dean Timothy “ShadowFox” Shay is a lifelong magickal practitioner of various lineages of European folk magick, as well as, a ceremonial magician specializing in the Grimoiric traditions.
As a practitioner of various healing modalities, alchemy, energy manipulation, and other experimental works, Professor Shadowfox is an expert in many forms of esoteric and mystic exercises with the experience to back his workings. What's more, Shadowfox is an initiated member of several magickal orders as well as a Journeyman Wizard having graduated from the Grey School of Wizardry completing two programs of study—The Defense Against the Dark Arts in Defensive Magick and the Magickal Practice program. ShadowFox also works within his community as a defensor, spiritual counselor, paranormal investigator, and esoteric educator with a thriving shop in New Jersey that strives to meet the metaphysical needs of his community. We're over the moon to have Shadowfox join us here as Dean of our Dark Arts Department and can't wait to see all that he accomplishes!
Welcome New Dean of Lore, Dean Ombra-dell-Uragano
By Provost Nicholas Kingsley
It is my most Honored Privilege to announce to our Gathered Wizardship,
Master Wizard Ombra-dell-Uragano has been promoted to the Position of Dean for the Department of Lore! The department of Lore is particularly close to my heart. While the circles one casts may be great, they can only ever become legend if there are those willing to tell the tales.
So it is, that in this Department a power of Knowledge is held in sacred trust. Those who see to it's keeping undertake no small feat, and may find that in the course of their travels, tales beyond ken seek their turn at telling! Though, I suspect, that a Wizard of Dean Ombra's esteem and good nature is more than equipped to square the edges and bring the, at times loquacious, nature of this department to bear. We wish you the best best of luck in your new Role and look forward to seeing all that you accomplish!
Passing of the Torch Ceremony
By Provost Nicholas Kingsley
After his many years of wizened service, our School's founder, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, has found a successor worthy of mantling the position of Leadership for this Prestigious School of Wizardry and Magick. On November 26th, 5:00 PM EST at 123 Poultney ST Whitehall NY, the ceremonies will begin, leading ultimately to the Torch of Wizardry being passed to Nicholas Kingsley as he takes up the vaunted position of Headmaster.
The Wizards of GSW invite you to Celebrate in-person and around the web as we begin this next exciting chapter in our School's history! In-person RSVPs for the Passing of the Torch are no longer being accepted. For those attending in-person please keep in mind that this is a Formal event and so we would ask attendees to dress in black tie/their formal regalia. The festivities, ritual, and revelry, will take place at the School's Physical Campus in Whitehall NY, though this location is subject to change should attendance warrant a more accommodating venue.
For more information, please visit https://www.greyschool.net/rsvp
The Last Candle-Side Chat with Provost Kingsley
By Grey Matters Staff
Join Provost Kingsley for the last time before he becomes Headmaster Kingsley for a Candle-Side Chat and learn about all the most recent happenings and plans for the Grey School of Wizardry.
Join us at 5 PM Eastern Time on 11/6/22 at https://fb.me/e/2K3nR3613
By Captain Macanrothaic
The first Sweat-Lodge I was ever a part of, was almost 30 years ago. During which I was inducted into the Order of the Tall Ones. I know not if the Order still stands, since that time however, I have participated in Cherokee Sweats, Chumash Sweats, Lakota Sweats, Mayan inspired sweats and Spiritually based Non-Tribal Sweats.
I run my own sweat these days. I draw from many influences in my sweats, from my studies of Reiki, from my Studies with the Order of the Bards Ovates and Druids, and my path to becoming a Druid, From my magickal studies here at Grey School.
With my lodge I cleanse the ritual grounds first. I clean the Earth upon where my lodge stands; this can consist of me raking away fallen leaves, stacking split wood, to moving stones into a ring that I have created around the Fire (The ring is Horseshoe-shaped, and it is in Homage to Crazy Horse of the Lakota, at least so I was taught). This horseshoe is made of small fist-sized rocks, and any rocks that are bigger I stand up on end, similarly to the standing stones of the Celts and the Druids. Upon these standing stones, I write the symbol of Cho-Ku-Rei. I also plant medicinal plants in the horseshoe, mostly sage at this point in time, I do intend to plant others when I can acquire them.
The elements I work with while sweating are of Earth/Stone, Water, Fire, Air, and Spirit. In the East, I place yellow Prayer Ties and the Teeth of my Brother Wolf, a Spirit Guide that came to me when I was young. In the South I place Blue Prayer Ties and I recognize the second Spirit Guide, that of the Grand Eagle, Brother Crow, and the Bird Clan that I belong to as told to me by a Cherokee Medicine Woman. In the East I place feathers of My Bird Brothers. In the West I place Red prayer ties and I thank the Green Dragon for working with me, the third of my Spirit Animal Guides. I hang a medicine bag made for me by a maker of items of power here in the west. In the North I place Green Prayer Ties, and there resides the fourth Spirit Guide, Leviathan. I place a green Turban shell that I have cut the top off of, so that I can blow it like a trumpet. In the center of this circle is one of my altars, in the shape of a Turtle, for the Turtle holds the world upon her back. Upon this Altar is the skull of the Bull; I am not recognized as belonging to a Native American Tribe, so I would not dare put a skull of the Buffalo on this altar. Here in this central point, however, between the fire and the Lodge, I put purple prayer ties, prayers to the spirit, and many of the tools I work with in the Magickal world. The Pipe, The Athame, the Knife, The Chalice, the Panticle, and A Crystal all go here on my Altar.
The stones surround the work. The lodge is the womb of the Goddess, I pour a circle of salt around the outer edges of my work, and draw a circle the way the Druids have taught. I build a fire, to heat the Stones, to bring out the Wisdom of the Stones, I build the fire out of wood from the Earth. I pray to the Stones, I pray to the Fire, I sing to the Stones, I sing to the fire that I am building. I offer cornmeal and Tobacco to the stones and to the Fire that I am building. I also prepare two buckets of water, and sage, these will be used in the lodge, to pour over the stones, to bring the heat, the steam, to help bring answers to my questions, and wisdom to my ignorance.
The elements I am working with now are Earth (the Stones), Fire (to heat the Stones and also to bring forth my friend with the Red Beard, that he may hear of my adventures, that he may share in my blessings), Water (Water is life, we would die without water. She remembers everything, she nourishes everything, she is Sophia, Air (I pray loudly with my voice, with my Air, from deep within my lungs, I sing loudly with my voice, with the air from deep within my lungs), and The Fifth element, Spirit, is who I pray to - The Creator, The Most High God, the Great Mystery, that which gives me life…
I offer up smoke from the pipe, made by a man from the Pequot Nation. I offer up smoke from the Tobacco I burn in the pipe, with Fire, the Heat, the consuming element. I then cleanse myself with a smudge of sage, juniper, cedar, and Palo Santo. I enter the Lodge on my knees…
It is dark in the sweat lodge. I have brought in stones from the Fire, they glow Red, and some of them crack open. I can feel the heat. I welcome my Guides and my Ancestors. I sing, I pray, I sweat, I throw medicines on the Stones, I pour water from an Abalone Shell on the Stones, the water sizzles and pops and spurts and the Steam rises. I chant, I sweat, I pray, I exit the Lodge, and put more stones in the center of the lodge.
Three times, I exit and put more stones in the Lodge, the heat by the end is powerful. I suffer from the heat, the sweat, it scares me, and I think that I will die. My head pounds, my heart throbs, my pulse is strong, and I sing, I pray, the more the heat, the louder I pray. The prayers pass through the top of the Lodge into a Deer Hide that covers the roof of my Lodge. Brother Deer has fed me, and been a protector of mine for many year. His hide is very welcome, and with his antlers I move the stones, the Grandfathers in the pit in the lodge.
Spirit, Fire, Air, Water, Earth. My lodge is a healing lodge, Covered with the Symbol of Cho-Ku-Rei. The stones surrounding the Lodge are covered with healing symbols, and medicines for healing are planted all around the sacred fire’s home at my lodge.
I save small burnt pieces of wood from the sweat fires, for future fires. When the sweating of the lodge is over. I tell my guides and My ancestors it is time to go home, that I am done and I thank them for their presence and their gifts.
I am working on building a small pond behind the sweat lodge to soak in after we sweat. All are welcome at this sweat, and after each sweat I offer up smoke from the pipe made by the man from the Pequot Nation, smoke to the Great Spirit, the Creator, The Great Mystery, The Most High God, Ahura Mazda.
Studying here at Grey School I am learning how to work with my altar, the correspondences associated with the directions, the elements, and how I can use these aspects of the many things surrounding me in my everyday life to better serve my community. The different correspondences of the deity I work with, the prayers I offer in supplication, all of this is part of my path through the Grey School on the Pink path of the Lifeways department. The lodge that I have built is a healing lodge, we have a healing department here at the Grey School and I work with that department to supplement further knowledge and wisdom in how to heal myself, and those around me. We have a wortcunning department here at Grey School and I work with the Wortcunning department to further my understanding of the medicinal properties of plants so that I can use that medicine in the
lodge for healing purposes. There are classes offered on Druidry/Bardic work, and I use these too to increase my understanding of working with nature and the trees and rocks surrounding my lodge.
The Grey School has helped to give voice and inspiration to my wizardly walk, and it has helped to better craft the type of wizard I am working to be. I want to be influential in my community, a voice people listen to when they are in need of guidance. This lodge is a place where I invite people to come and be heard. We sit around the fire and then we sit inside the lodge and we speak of things pertaining to our relationships with ourselves, our families, our communities, and our deities. These are skills that I have been learning and honing here at Grey School and I look forward to hearing about your experiences as well.
November 2022 Astrology Highlights
By Apprentice SelahNyx
Happy November, Grey School!
With another Solstice not too far on the horizon, we move closer to the next seasonal shift - the dark of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and the peak of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. This shift in influence calls us to prepare for the changes ahead and to do that, November offers two fantastic energies you can work with.
The first is the full moon, occurring on the 8th and sitting firmly in Taurus. This combination urges you to focus on your physical reality - your wealth, your possessions and your emotional comfort zone - and with the full moon steering the ship, this is typically a good time to see some goals come to fruition.
That said, this will also be a full lunar eclipse (the last eclipse of the year, in fact!), and that adds a new (and somewhat challenging) dimension to this influence. Lunar eclipses are all about revealing what is hidden, and this one is no different; put simply, your “bubble” will be under scrutiny. Social circles, finances, creature comforts… if it's part of your reality, it’s fair game. And that scrutiny will enable you to get a deeper understanding of 1) where you (really!) want to go and, 2) why you’ve been dragging your feet.
Don’t be surprised then, to encounter at least one or two solid revelations…
Maybe it's time to cut ties with someone. Or find a new job. Or pick a new goal. You’ll definitely know it when you see it. And if your North Node happens to be in Taurus (mine is!), you can expect that intensity to increase substantially, as the Universe pushes you to make some serious decisions about what you want to create next!
What’s your North Node sign? You can look it up HERE.
The second energy that should be on your radar is Jupiter, sitting retrograde in Pisces since the end of last month. Often called the Greater Benefic in astrology, Jupiter is an expansive, abundant energy that brings blessings wherever it goes.
In Pisces, Jupiter is quite at home, being the original ruler of this sign before dreamy Neptune was discovered back in 1846 (and it continues to rule this sign in traditional astrology). This duality of ruling planets gives Pisces its creative spark and the ability to “see” beyond the horizon.
Jupiter’s influence simply enhances these gifts and in retrograde, this all adds up to time we can use to explore our dreams and ideas.
And that works perfectly with the seasonal influences already in play!
This month is an opportunity to clear away what we no longer need, so that we can ponder and prepare for what’s coming our way. We are in the deep-end of an immensely transformational time, and while that brings a lot of upheaval, it also opens the door to some amazing possibilities.
Think major spiritual growth and creative transformation. This is where we ask, Is this working?, and then decide what we want to do if the answer isn’t a resounding YES. It is an opportunity to let go of old clutter, so that we can plant something new for Spring. A chance to redefine how you want to approach the next chapter in your own journey.
And if you find yourself unsure of where to begin?