Lesson two: What is a Wizard?

Provost Nicholas Kingsley

Mar 2, 2023

Lesson Two: What is a Wizard?

Lesson two: What is a Wizard?

In the last lesson, we dipped our toes into the synchronicity waves, briefly learning what they are, and how they work. Now we are going to be taking a look at what it is to be a Wizard.

*Now, before we take another step forward along this adventure there is something I would like to address right off the bat! The word “Wizard” Literally means “Wise One”. Some have come to believe that Wizardry is only for men and that it is the counterpart to the Wiccan witch. This misconception is not the case! Wizards can be Men or Women and Wizardry is a philosophy, not a religion. Wizardry is secular. This means anyone can become a Wizard, and I say that's a good thing! The world can always use a few more wise people knocking around the place.*

The word "Wizard" for many conjures up images of great sages in flowing robes, adorned with long grey beards, or a young boy with a scar on his forehead, perhaps even of kings and queens from far off lands and the stuff of fantasy. However, luckily for us, Wizardry is quite real. There are some who mistakenly believe that Wizardry is an exclusive club for only the powerful and the wealthy, or that it is only for elders, or only for men. Well, that's just poppycock! A Wizard can be young, or old, fat or skinny, tall or short, man or woman. So long as you are dedicated to making the world a better place, building positive relationships, showing integrity in your actions and serving the communities you are a part of, you too can be a Wizard.

But, what Is a Wizard?

Here is how the word “Wizard” is defined in the Dictionary:

Wizard—from Anglo-Saxon wysard (m.), “wise one.” A usually solitary practitioner of magick and repository of arcane knowledge. A lore-master. 1. a sage. 2. a magician; conjurer; sorcerer. 3. a person exceptionally gifted or clever at a specified activity (as in “computer wizard”). Wizards have also been referred to as “Natural Philosophers.”

Though being a Wizard is more than being good at a thing or knowing a bunch. Wizardry is something which calls to you. Over the course of my years in this world, I have found myself pulled back to the path of Wizardry more times than I can count, There were times when I despaired, fretted, and found myself dissuaded from continuing down the path of the Wizard. There were times where it certainly would have been far easier for me to hang up my pointed hat and simply sit by the fire. However, Wizardry, for those who are truly drawn to it, has a way of finding its way back into your life no matter how far you feel you’ve gone from its path. As we go forward, you may find yourself needing to take a break from your lessons from time to time or you may find that you are so engrossed in one of your classes that you finish in a week! If it is meant to be, it will be! So take your time, and truly immerse yourself in the path. The life of a Wizard can be a dirty one, sometimes filled with hardship, not to mention hard work! Though it is also a life filled with wonder, awe, and connectedness.

When the waves keep leading you towards the service of others, magick, arcane lore, and wizardly texts, not to mention an odd choice in hats, chances are that you are being drawn towards the Wizardly path. Though what does it mean to be a Wizard? Is it just about wearing robes with stars and moons on them? It is partly that, granted, though things are about to get a lot deeper, quick!

Wizardry is all about helping others in every way we can. Be it teaching, guidance, providing opportunities for growth, or council, the Wizard is always seeking to serve the world around them. Wizards help those around them in many shapes and forms. Some provide emotional guidance to those that come to them. Others lead efforts to build positive change in their communities, such as creating community gardens and projects which help to keep their communities clean and positive. You may have noticed I’ve said “community” a few times now, well that's because it’s important, so best pay attention.

A Wizard is someone who builds a community around themselves, to create lasting and positive change in the lives of others and the world around them. Because of the vast amounts of roles this can entail, we often need to be versed in many mundane and magical knowledges, all with the goal of service.

A Wizard is not just a knower of Dark Arts or planter of herbs, nor are they just someone who pulls rabbits from their hat! Rather a Wizard is a little of all these things and more. Wizards often straddle the line between mundane and magickal, and it is this balance which allows us to bridge the gap between the realm of potential and the realm of reality.

It is also important to note that a Wizard does not whine about the world, and say that life is unfair, rather they work to change that situation. In moments where I find that the problem I face seems to stubbornly refuse to be seen as anything other than unfair and whine-worthy, I remember this quote: “The difference between a Rock and a Stepping stone, is how it's used.” There is a saying in magick, the Intent of something flavors the result. If we view all problems as rocks, we will find no use of them, the chance to grow from a hardship, learn a deeper empathy for others after having been dumped, gaining the knowledge of how to compete better after a loss, all these are examples of times where we may look at the present, the loss, and not think about how we can grow from it in the future. As wizards, one of the things we seek to do is to become wise. Wisdom is when we take our knowledge and give it to someone else in a way that they can use to benefit their life. In this way, when we look at the events of our life as stepping stones, we gain more from the experiences we’ve had along the path.

Everything sounding good so far? Perhaps we could use some examples of Wizards from fiction to help drive the point home! (If fictional Wizards don’t work for you, I suggest looking into our Wizards of History series!)

First off let's start with one of, if not the most well-known Wizards of all fiction! That's right, I’m talking about THE great and powerful Dave!

Merely jesting! I, of course, mean Merlin. Merlin or, Myrddin Emrys to the Welsh, was by most accounts the most powerful wizard in the known lands. In the stories, Merlin is often portrayed as a kind older man with sage advice always ready at hand. It was Merlin that guided the young King Arthur, and helped create the kingdom of Camelot! From Merlin, there is a grand lesson to be learned, that being the Importance of good counsel. Merlin gave counsel to the King in times of need. In some stories, it is Merlin that suggests the now famous Round Table to Arthur. Think of how different the story of King Arthur would be, sans Merlin. Warlord Arthur of the regular table!? Not nearly as heroic sounding if you ask me! With no sage hand in his life, would Arthur have turned out as the king we know and love, or as something else? Arthur’s time was a darker one, and with no guidance chances are the young king would end up much in the same way as the kings before him. There is a great deal of uncertainty in the world today. I’m surprised some days if people can remember up from down! As a Wizard, you should be there for people when they need someone to bounce an Idea off of, or even just a shoulder to cry on. Not every Wizard advises a king, though the advice we give should always be fit for one. Who knows, maybe the person seeking out your wisdom may well turn out to be the Hero of a future story.

Sticking to fiction and looking to a more recent example we have Hermione Granger, from the Harry Potter book series by J. K. Rowling. Throughout the Harry Potter series, we see Hermione come prepared to handle nearly every obstacle the trio of main character’s face. Her quick thinking and preparedness save not only herself but also her friends more than a few times!

When we look at the Character of Hermione, we can glean a lesson for our own application of Wizardry! Hermione never enters a situation she is not prepared for, or at least prepared for as best she can. Well, as a Wizard out in the world helping others you too will need to be prepared to handle a vast array of problems! Like Hermione, you will need to study hard, and meet people who will be able to answer your questions when a quick google search fails to yield the answer. Perhaps more potent to the character of Hermione are her roots. Hermione does not come from a family of Wizards, nor does she bear a mark of defiance to evil, rather she is simply someone who had a passion for wizardry and learning. Hermione faces adversity from “pureblood” families and a good deal of nasty looks from some of her peers at Hogwarts, though despite it all, Hermione sees the path before her and will not be swayed. She knows that she is meant to be a Wizard, no matter how hard it may be at times, she knows that in the end, all will be well.

Much in the same way, there will be people who will attempt to dissuade you from the passions in your life, perhaps even wizardry. When this happens, consider what it is they wish to dissuade you from. Does it hurt, or help you? Does it harm, or help others? Why is it you do what you do? People can be a little scared around things they do not understand, like magick, Wizardry, that new fangled eight slice waffle toaster. However, if it helps others, and leaves the world a better place than when you found it, hold your head high and Wizard on! In the words of Ms.Granger “Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.”

Lastly but by no means least we look to Lord of the Rings. When looking to the archetype of what a Wizard is, we often look to characters like Gandalf. Old, Wise, Powerful...Sure, though what if I told you there was a far better wizard in The Lord of the Rings, who seldom gets the credit he deserves... Samwise Gamgee! Now I know what you’re thinking..”Sam?! But he is just a gardener who got swept up in an adventure!” And indeed he was. However, Sam shows some very Wizardly traits on his adventure. Sam protects Frodo, the Stories main character, talks him up when he is feeling low and inspires him when he feels like he can’t go on. Without Sam, Frodo would have fallen to the Evil Ring’s sway. Sam was selfless in his deeds and his actions. It is from Sam we see how some of a Wizard’s magick works. It’s not Lightning Bolts, and it’s not Fireballs, though I did once know a Wizard who set his beard on fire! Rather, It is the subtle ways we connect with others. Wizards are looked to for guidance, and many seek their word as a source of encouragement. As a Wizard, you will learn to inspire others around you to greatness. We also see in Sam what we see in many other wizardly stories. The Wizard is not the main character. Remember, Wizardry is about service, not about having power or fame.

The Three Rules of Wizardry

There are three Rules of Wizardry that every Wizard should know by heart, they are:

1.A Wizard Takes Responsibility And Credit For Their Actions.

2. A Wizard Understands That Reputation is Power.

3. A Wizard Knows That With Great Responsibility Comes Great Power, And With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.
The three Rules of Wizardry are an integral part of what it means to be a Wizard, alongside the idea of Service. These three rules present the ideal way the wizard acts and reacts in life, developing their character. Let us take a look at each of these rules.

The first rule: “A Wizard takes Responsibility and Credit for their Actions” This means that first and foremost, One must acknowledge that they are the creator of their own universe, so to speak. A Wizard understands that the actions we take today will shape the future circumstances around us as well as who we become. Accepting responsibility for manifesting our current situation, and understanding how our past actions have led to our current circumstance is a powerful tool for the Wizard. This understanding helps us to make better choices when deciding on a course of action, as we take the time to see what consequences may occur. With regards to taking credit for our actions, without at least a dash of Humility the Wizard will find that people tend not to want to be around you, even so it is also important to be active within our communities. By taking credit for our works, others are able to see examples of what it is we are offering in our work as Wizards.

Both taking responsibility and credit helps to build our Authority in the communities we serve, in turn creating a Reputation, which leads us to Rule 2. . .

The second rule: “Reputation is Power”
Reputation is a powerful thing. It can create opportunities for us, or it can damn us, depending on the sort of things we are known for. As Wizards it is important to cultivate your reputation as one might a bonsai tree. How is it you wish to be known? How do you get there from where you are now? What actions need be taken to accomplish your desired reputation? If you want to be known as a kind good hearted person, a life of cruelty will not cultivate the desired reputation. If one has a reputation of a poor work ethic, others will not want to work with them, and they will, no doubt, have a difficult time. If you take actions which benefit those around you it is likely that people will have a more positive perception of you. This could be an instance of giving some good advice to a neighbor, doing some community service, helping someone with a spell and so on. In making a lasting positive impact for someone you also offer them an opportunity to grow and see a clearer picture of themselves. This positive growth in others is reflected back to us in the growth of our Reputation. As with all powerful things, Reputation can also be taken advantage of for more self-aligned reasons. Spreading our name through either a positive or negative way develops a Wizard’s Reputations and thusly affects our power to influence change in a myriad of ways.

Speaking of Power, that leads us right into the third Rule!

The Third Rule: “With great responsibility comes great power, and with great power comes great responsibility”.
While Spiderman’s uncle had some good wisdom for the young Peter Parker, it was only half the spell. As Wizards it is important that we each understand the more responsibility we have, the more we are expected to take action. This is often a sword of two edges in that action leads to change, and change can have negative consequences. Importantly we must understand that taking action, or exercising our power, has a direct impact on the well being of others, for good or ill. Before acting the wizard must weigh the responsibilities in their charge, contemplate the outcomes of their actions, and finally make a decision on how to proceed.While there are some who shy away from the concept of power and find it to be corrosive in nature, as Wizards we understand the place for such things and strive to utilize our own power to influence the world around us in a positive way.

An important feature of these three Rules that often goes overlooked is how interconnected they are. In order to truly call one’s self a Wizard, the power we wield must not come from taking away the agency of others, but rather it comes through being of service to our communities and empowering the personal agency of those around us, actively inspiring the creation of positive and lasting change.

Video Lesson: Click here

Assignment #2: After watching the Video Lesson and reading the above take some time to think over the three rules of Wizardry, then write a short paragraph of no less than 200 words on why you think each is important for the Wizard to know and understand.