Lesson Four: Know thyself

Provost Nicholas Kingsley

Mar 4, 2023

Lesson Four: Know Thyself

By Provost Nicholas Kingsley

Lesson Four: Know thyself.

Let us pretend...

You are in a darkened cavern, and there is no light to be found. It is cold, damp, and the air is stale. As you look down you notice you’re standing ankle deep in something cold and wet. How this escaped your astute Wizardly senses until now we may never know. As you listen to your surroundings you hear the shuffling of feet through the liquid. Take a deep breath and don’t be frightened Apprentice Wizard, as you have a gift. That desire to do good, to know one’s self, this gives you something special. In a sense of awe you look down and outstretch your hands in a cupping fashion, your actions seemingly driven by instinct. Slowly you begin to see a shimmering liquid light fill your hands, though it is not much at all it casts a dim illumination, scattering the darkness around you. What you see startles you, though no fear fills you as you sense that that which you see means you no harm. All around you, there are people with outstretched, cupping hands, wandering around and shuffling through the water on the cavern floor. They appear lost and perhaps more muted in color than yourself. Captivated at such a sight you take a moment to recenter and ground before looking down again. You roll your hands a little and watch as the small pool of liquid light moves about, glimmering softly.

You can’t help but smile a little at its wonder... Glancing up from your hands you notice a man before you, his hands outstretched and his face weary. Almost without through you raise up your hands slightly, showing the man before you what it is you hold. His eyes glimmer with wonder and awe as you pour a bit of your light into his hands. As the man’s own hands are filled slightly by your light his face becomes a little more vibrant, and he appears better rested, perhaps even a little younger than he was before. As the man walks carefully away cradling the gift he was given you cast your gaze down at your hands and realize you have only a small amount of light left. You can’t help but still smile, albeit a little sadly. You roll the puddle around, still admiring it even in its diminished state when suddenly you notice something out of the corner of your eye. Something brighter than you, it’s a little ways off, but there is no mistaking it. You decide that since you’ve nothing better to do you’ll stride off towards the light. It takes some time before you reach the illuminated object, and along the way you drop a little of your light as you stumble in the dark, unable to see due to the diminished light in your hands, too dim to see by, but too bright to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark. As you take the last few steps of your trek you notice that the light is no object, but rather it is a woman! The woman is dressed in simple robes and a softly pointed hat, her hands outstretched and overfilled with a shimmering golden light, which trickles down to the water below. Where she stands the waters appear clear and almost warm. Even those around her seem somehow emboldened by her light, looking more vibrant and awake than those you have seen before.

“Merry Meet,” she says to you.

“Um...Merry Meet?” you reply, still a little awestruck. “Who are you?”

“I am a Wizard, of course. I think the real question here is, who are you?” She raises an eyebrow and flashes a witty smile at you as she gestures to your own outstretched hands. “That is a beautiful light, you have there.”

You smile sadly “Thank you,” You say wistfully. “It used to be much more beautiful..it was brighter before I gave some away.”

The Wizard smiles softly and nods as you talk. “I once thought that way as well, though that was before I learned to look beyond my own hands.” The Wizard gestures with her head towards the direction behind you.

Turning to look, you see that the darkness has lifted slightly, and there are perhaps, if your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, some people walking about with dim lights all their own. “H-how?

When I walked through before it was so dark I could hardly see!”

“Indeed. As you walked you looked at nothing but your own hands, you were so focused on the light you had lost, that the light which remained commanded all your attention. It caused you to stumble around in the dark, and fall. As you fell you lost more Light, and so became even more focused on your own hands. Though, if you had looked up, and back, you would notice that your light has grown a great deal.”

“I..I don’t understand, How can it have grown?” You are a little shocked at yourself as anger creeps into your words. “My hands are nearly empty!”

The Wizard smiles softly at you, gesturing to the crowd you had passed through. “That Light is more than you know, Wizard-to-be. If you take a moment to look into it, and not at it, you may notice something truly amazing.”

You raise a wizardly eyebrow before looking into your hands, the shimmering liquid swirling magickly and intricately. “What am I looking for?” you ask.

“Be patient, and look on, you will see soon enough.”

You can hear the smile in her words as you continue to look at your hands. Something stirs deeper in the liquid, and as you squint to make it out it becomes clear. “It’s a reflection of me! What is this?”

“That is something you must find out all on your own. Remember this, your light has grown as others now also carry it, of them some share, and the light grows even more. Your light, it’s an interesting thing. The longer you look upon it, the less it can grow, but the deeper you see into it, the more you will have.” The wizard glides softly towards you, pouring some of her own light into your hands. “As I have given you this lesson, so too have I haven you light. Carry it forth, and remember this meeting.”

And with that the Wizard turns and walks away, her light brightening the world around her as she goes. You look to your hands and smile softly, as the water slowly rises once more...

A great deal of a Wizard’s power comes from knowledge, and there is no greater knowledge than the knowledge of self. It is through this self-knowledge that the wizard is able to remain true to their course. To gain this knowledge you will no doubt have to face demons and dragons of the mind, cross great scars of the heart, and heal wounds of the soul. I can’t tell you exactly how to do this, though I can tell you how I do it. It starts with a mission, something which calls to the soul, the core of who you are. Meditate on that for a while, and allow for multiple things to bubble to the surface, what do they all have in common? Once you have that, you can formulate your mission.

Look more closely at that mission. Why is it something that is important to me? Why is it important to do? How does it change the world? Does it inspire me? Why? All these things must be answered. As you answer them they will branch off in all kinds of directions. Think of each of those original questions as a branch on the tree of you. For each large branch, there are smaller branches, and on each of those you'll find leaves, and on those leaves...well you get the idea. As you solve each question so too do you gain knowledge of yourself, and the pool in your hands grows, so to speak. From understanding what it is you seek to do you gain stability and strength. A foundation from which to work from. When we share knowledge like this or give the means by which it can be discovered, so too do we share a little of our light.

The thought that giving power away makes you weaker it is a fairly common thing to think in the world today. However, as Wizards we take a slightly different view. When we take the time to build others up, to share that power, what we're doing is making an Investment in the future.

Video Lesson: Click Here

Assignment #4: After Watching the video lesson and reading the Short story above, describe how the Story relates to Wizardry and your journey as an Apprentice in your own words.