May 2020 Grey Matters

Updated: Jun 3

The Grey Matters


May 2020



Photo by Georgiana Avram on Unsplash

Table of Contents


Ceremonial Magick Department Updates

Welcome to New Faculty Member

Grey School Rings Are Back

Robes for Sale

Lore Talk for Beltane

Beneath the Covers

Ask the Wizard

Demerit System

Candle Side Chat



Ceremonial Magick Department Updates

By Dean Frater Adservio


On the Summer Solstice, new, updated, and improved versions of the Ceremonial Magick majors and minors will go into force. The requirements have been heavily revised to give apprentices more choices and flexibility than ever before. The updated versions that have been finalized are posted in the appropriate threads in the Dean's Office under the Ceremonial Magick forum at https://www.greyschool.net/forum/dean-s-office-13. The remainder will be posted shortly.

Welcome to New Faculty Member

By Grey Matters Staff


The Grey School is pleased to welcome Faculty Initiate Ombra dell’Uragano to the faculty rolls. As a former multi-term Prefect of the Winds lodge, we all look forward to excellence in leadership and teaching. You can read our newest faculty's introduction at https://www.greyschool.net/forum/lore-dept/please-allow-me-to-introduce-myself

Grey School Rings are Back

By Magick Alley Staff


Well met Wizards one and all, It's time to #RingInTheSpring with Grey School Rings! Check out the Wizard's Wardrobe on Magick Alley to select your signet of Wizardry today...

Rings will be available until July first, Don't wait too long to get yours!

Visit www.magickalley.com today!




Robes for Sale

By Magick Alley Staff


Magick Alley Manager Arthur Kingsley is sporting the new Grey School robes, coming soon to Magick Alley! Check out the Wizard's Wardrobe section at www.magickalley.com.











Lore Talk for Beltane

By Merqatyl Draconis


(Disclaimer)     Bardic Circle shares much of its content with the Lore and the Performance Magick Departments.  Lore: “Much of a Wizard’s true power comes from their vast knowledge, Lore particularly concerns myths, histories and legends” (https://www.gswhandbook.com/forum/lore-dept). 


“Performance Magick divides into Stage Magic (Illusion, Glamour and Legerdemain) and the Bardic Arts (Music, Poetry, Storytelling); each with its own techniques for opening the mind” (https://www.gswhandbook.com/forum/performance-magick-dept; https://registered.greyschool.com/index.php?module=Departments&func=display&tid=8). Being a Lore Major I focus on the Lore aspect of Bardic Circles.  Lore Department’s mission is “…to help the student develop the ability to access, synthesize, and critically evaluate arcane knowledge from a variety of magickal cultures” (https://registered.greyschool.com/index.php?module=Departments&func=display&tid=15).  “Grey is the Lore Departmental color.  It represents knowledge, lore and wisdom in its purest form” (https://registered.greyschool.com/index.php?module=Departments&func=display&tid=15). 


Knowledge is neutral, it is intention that makes it black or white magick.  Lore department’s classes focus on the archetypes, heroes and heroines that empower one’s intention with respect to a specific archetype. Correspondences

In Wizardry we use correspondences or associations to empower our rituals, spells and meditations with meaning that links the Cosmic Consciousness to our individual personalities:  Motherly, Nurturing*:  The theme for this Beltane is Action in Bloom.  We now see growth in our idea we generated back at Imbolc, and after nurturing the first signs during Ostara, this is where the next phase starts.  We now need to continue nurturing and guiding the seedling that has become an adolescent plant.  This is the time of action and guidance.   

Passion, Action, Desire*: Piggybacking on Ostara’s idea of our positive idea for the new year beginning to show its first shoots, Beltane is the time to nurture the seedling and be charged by the idea of our ideas made manifest.  Nothing speaks to that desire for action than passion.  What are your passions, what are you willing to forgo to see your desires made manifest? 

This is also the traditional time couples express themselves to each other and unite their bond and commitment to one another through cohabiting and consolidating resources. 


Though you will read that this time is sexually charged, at Grey School we acknowledge the physical, but focus beyond it to the archetypal influences and what they mean for us during this time of year.    Archetypes

In Lore, we use Archetypes during Conclaves to tune our associations and correspondences to specific energies we wish to Celebrate.

Mythic Feminine (Nurture, Mother, Coming of Age*) This is the archetype we focus on during Beltane to associate ourselves with the Motherly, Nurturing Energies of our Emotions and how they affect our daily lives, through our actions.  The Maiden has made way for the Mother. This is the Passion and Desire we feed our intentions and help those young seedlings blossom and nurture to grow strong. 

Mythic Masculine (Passion, Action, The Warrior*): This is the archetype we focus on during Beltane to associate ourselves with the urgency of biological needs and the action to manifest them.  As the Sun remains longer each day, so too does his energy and fire infuse the take-charge action of the masculine side of our nature. 

Deities and Heroes: (Disclaimer) Because GSW is a Secular School for Wizardry Deity Archetypes are personal and should not be injected during public gatherings.  Legends are examples of how the archetype was portrayed in the daily life of a hero or heroine, when reading the legend, folklore, or sacred text, focus on how they archetypal deity accomplished the task and reflect on its significance for your Wizardry. Cybermancy

As a Cybermancer, I focus on technology as my Library and Tools to accomplish my Wizardry.  For Beltane, this is the time when we start to produce.  Now that new purchases are arriving, the dross has been rid, we get down to business and revisit our project plans. April begins the second quarter and this is the time where most companies are onboarding those new hires from Q1 and reevaluating those they still need to fulfil the project need.   This is the time for new actions and plan reevaluation (Waxing Moon) then removing that which will not be possible, over ambitious, or understaffed, to make way for projects that will be completed on-time and on-budget. (Waning Moon). 

If you didn’t find that dream job during Ostara, don’t sweat it.  Many times, the final stages of projects aren’t finalized until the budget is released at the end of Q1 or the beginning of Q2.   This is the time when companies are posting jobs and positions that require specific technical or knowledge experiences, so if you are looking to capitalize on a time honored skillset, this maybe your best time to find that position or give into that entrepreneurial passion you have for something specific and make things happen.  We start applying the archetypes of Nurture and Passion to see our ideas put to Action!!! Apprentice Life Application

(Disclaimer)     As the Stones Prefect, it is paramount that I focus on how GSW, Wizardry and Lore applies to Apprentice Life.  Below are ways you can focus meditations during this time between Beltane and Midsummer:

Acquisition (Waxing, First Quarter, or Full Moon): With today (May 3rd, 2020) being the Waxing Gibbous Moon, we begin to feel those active and virile energies of the Masculine coming to bare.   We now begin to see the stirrings of Summer around the corner, draw back the curtains and spend more time on the patio in the warm evenings.  Be open to those influences that will allow you to focus on your goals and may your Actions Blossom Eternal.


Elimination (Waning, Third Quarter, or New Moon):  After the Full Moon (May 6th, 7th, & 8th) We begin to see the Waning Crescent Moon heading to last quarter.  This is the celebration of tasks being accomplished, and each day inching closer to that goal we created back in Imbolc.  While focusing archetypically on productive action, this is the time to remove the old and make way for the new.  Don’t throw anything away.  During this time, things may arise that we didn’t plan for, so contingencies are necessary.  Keep everything, until after Mabon, so we can begin to make room for our Harvest.  *Correspondence Lists were taken from: Marquis, M. (2015). Beltane: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the May Day. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd. 

Beneath the Covers

by Apprentice Apollinaris


This month I would like to call your attention to Crystals: Your Personal Guide, by Bernice Cockram (Sweet Water Press, 2019). We are blessed to have a couple of women in my local community who know quite a bit about working magick with stones and crystals. When it comes to using crystals both of these women totally rock. So when one of them suggested Cockram's book to me, I knew it had to be a real gem. I was not disappointed. The book presents its material in a way that is easily understood by the beginner, yet is comprehensive enough to inspire the adept.

Crystals: Your Personal Guide focuses on the healing properties of crystals, so it will have an immediate appeal to Blue Apprentices who have taken or plan to take the classes on healing stones offered through Grey School's department of Healing. The school's department of Magickal Practice also offers a variety of classes on stones, and I am sure that Gold Apprentices will enjoy this book's information on building crystal nets and grids. A net is a symmetrical placement of crystals around the body to create an effect, whereas a grid is a similar arrangement set up around an area or place. A cool feature at the back of the book is the cards with 14 grid arrangements for classic patterns like the Golden Ratio, the Qabalah's Tree of Life and the Vesica Piscis. These are separate cards that come in their own envelope for easy reference.

The introductory section is followed by a chapter on how to cleanse and charge your crystals, and then one on the advantages and disadvantages of the different shapes crystals can come in. A tumbled, smooth crystal will work differently than a crystal with a natural point, or one carved in the shape of an animal or skull. In Chapter Five, Cockram introduces the reader to the stones that Wizards are likely to want in their collections, grouped by color. Being a Green Apprentice, I immediately turned to that page to see malachite, green adventurine, emerald and peridot suggested, with a description of the properties of each stone as well as an assessment of green stones in general.

The book continues with chapters on various ways to use crystals: dowsing, healing and even divination. (Did I mention that the department of Divination offers a class on divinatory stones called Dragon Jewels?) There is an entire chapter explaining how to set up the grids on the reference cards. Chapter Fifteen gives another list of dozens of crystals and their properties. I noticed that the properties given here are not exactly the same as those in the earlier, color-coded chapter, so be sure to read both descriptions to get a deeper understanding of the crystal you are interested in.

The book's only weakness is a tendency to be a bit fluffy. For example, when it comes to casting spells Cockram tells us, "Your intention for the spell should be positive, so remove any negative words such as don't, not and never" (p. 19). Personally, I find these words entirely appropriate for banishings and bindings. And, frankly, if I were a terrible person I could easily cast an equally terrible curse using only positive words like do and always. Cockram also relies heavily on eastern paradigms, which will appeal to some readers more than others. Even when she discusses magick squares Cockram only mentions one square derived from the Chinese concept of feng shui, with no mention that it is identical to the occidental Square of Saturn, or that there are six other occidental squares to work with. Still, authors write what they know, and the things Cockram knows are impressive. If you have any interest in the magick of stones, Crystals: Your Personal Guide would be a worthy addition to your library.

Ask the Wizard

By Grey Matters Staff


Here we answer questions submitted via email or by posting on Facebook! If you have your own question, email doc@greyschool.com.


"What books would you recommend are good for first learning about Qabalah / the tree of life?"

Great question! There’s a giant selection of books on the subject out there of varying degrees of quality, so it can understandably be hard to pick through them. Let me make my personal recommendations and share my reasons for them.

1. The Chicken Qabalah by Lon Milo DuQuette. This is probably THE ideal book for beginners. It does a great job of presenting the basics in a way that is humorous, amusing, and engaging. Concepts are explained using simple examples and metaphors and an overall casual tone is maintained. Fairly light reading on a topic that can easily be very dry and heavy. If you read only one book on Qabalah, make it this one.

2. The Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune. A long-time classic and staple of ceremonial magic, this book is a comprehensive study on the Tree of Life and its role in the life and practice of a magician. Keep in mind that Fortune was writing in 1935, so some modern readers may find it a bit dated in its tone and writing style.

3. The Qabalah Workbook for Magicians by Anita Kraft. This is less a textbook and more of a workbook that takes the reader through a process of working with the Qabalah through magickal techniques.



"I'd like to study comparative mythology, and to learn about Gods of All Nations. Which books would you recommend?"


Hamlet's Mill: An Essay Investigating the Origins of Human Knowledge And Its Transmission Through Myth and The Origins of the World's Mythologies. Neither are easy reads, but both are very relevant and informative. Joseph Campbell and Robert Graves are both influential authors on the topic as well. There's newer scholarship available, but their works are still good. Campbell, at least, is pretty easy to read and understand if you want something a little easier to digest.

Demerit System

By Dean Frater Adservio


Effective 6/1/2020, Department Deans are empowered to issue demerits to apprentices and magisters. As the name suggests, this results in the loss of up to 2 merits from that individual's Lodge.


This is a punitive measure, but it is also a tool to be used sparingly when needed in order to reinforce a lesson. The expectation is that the Deans will use this tool wisely and in situations where lesser measures have failed to resolve a situation. Failure to obey the rules of the Grey School as outlined in the Apprentice Handbook, conduct unbecoming of a Wizard, or refusal to follow instructions are examples of behaviors that may result in demerits being issued.


In the scale of disciplinary measures, demerits are more serious than verbal or written reprimands and less serious than expulsion.


Please refer any questions pertaining to this policy to the Dean of Students.

Candle Side Chat

By Provost Nicholas Kinglsley