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The Grey School of Wizardry

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October 2010
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I have at last passed the faculty training class for the Grey School and am working on getting a second class accepted by the Dean of the Dept. of Wizardry.  Once I have two classes up and running, they will grant me the honor of being a full member of the faculty.  I have nothing but admiration for the school and its faculty.  It is hard to see much unless you register as a student, but the website is www.greyschool.com.

Writing classes has always been interesting to me.  The research involved and the thought process of how to make it clear to young students educates me as much as it does the students.  It permits me to study the magical arts and their history and to convey what I have learned to a new generation, who will grow up taking wizardry as something perfectly normal.  Mentioning where I teach always produces an interesting reaction from people.  Usually they seem entirely accepting, though clearly the cannot know what I am talking about.

Once I have attained professorial rank in the school, I must have business cards made.  I wonder if the school has given thought to a design.  Perhaps they will adopt whatever I come up with.  Something elegant and businesslike bearing the school emblem, the pentankhaduceus  or pentankhaduce, which cleverly combines the pentagram, ankh, and caduceus.  These symbolize the Gallo-Germanic, Egyptian, and Greek magical traditions, the three main springs which have fed the river of wizardry in the West.

It is fascinating to me to see things that seemed but fantasy when I was a teen, now flowering into the sunshine, no longer “occult,” hidden, but treated like any other scholarly discipline.  Or rather like a whole college at a university with sixteen component departments.  I myself am most attracted to the departments of Wizardry and Lore, two departments that deal with how wizardry is conveyed from one generation to the next.  I am happy leaving the teaching of practical magic to the excellent professors in those departments.  It is philosophy, theory, and narrative that has always interested me most.  I would happily live in an “ivory tower” if ivory was not such a very impractical building material.  Let the elephants keep their ivory.  A tower would be nice, rather than a dungeon where I now work.  More airy.  More windows.  A deck on top to pace on and look at the stars.  Of course, I would just have to vacuum the spiral stairs…

The physical manifestation of the wizardry school remains to be built.  All it would take is the chance direction of several millions into the hands of wizards willing to buy and maintain an old castle or country home in Britain, or even in America (there are a few old county homes), or perhaps to build one from scratch with all the benefits of modern Green architecture.  I would gladly devote my lottery winnings to an endowment for such a school.  Just have to get lucky.

You would think that if anyone could manage to win the lottery on purpose it would be a wizard.  I am not sure why I am so reluctant.  Perhaps because I haven’t enough faith in myself?  Actually, I do wish I could carve out more time to do practical magic of that sort.  Enchanting wands is certainly an important and noble calling, but I have always had visions of handling large sums of money.  When I saw the photo in “The Week” of the ugly 27 story “mansion” built for a billion dollars by some mogul in Mumbai, I sighed.

Why is money wasted on the rich, who have such poor imaginations?

Alas… earwax.

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3 Comments

  1. Congratulations on having passed your class!

  2. catriannam says:

    Congratulations, Alferian! I’m so glad you have passed the final classes. I know you have worked on this for some time now.

    I look at the Gey School website almost every day. I have intended to join the school since last April, but something alway gets in my way: new car, surgery, etc. Also the lack of anyone supporting my magical or metaphysical interests at home is always disconcerting to me. Others I know dismiss it all as fantastical nonsense, which annoys me greatly.

    But, I have made up my mind to join, no matter what anyone else has to say about it. I enjoy remaining childlike and learning and trying to be in awe of something everyday. Maybe that is why I collected Bachelor’s Degrees.

    From the syllabii I have read, a lot of classes are intended for younger children, but there are also plenty to interest those 18 and up. In fact one instructor commented that half of the students are over the age of 18. It really does seem like a fun and amazing community dedicated to learning and the passing on of knowledge.

    Magic is a part of life, but those mired in the mundane refuse to see it as so. If I get labled a child for wanting to explore the mysteries and magic of this world with an open and accepting heart, then so be it… I’ll take that title over many others some have tried to lable me with.

    As far as your business cards… I think a lovely indigo colored semi transparent parchement paper with your credentials and pentankhaduce in a raised bright silver ink would be stunning. Just a thought. I know that Indigo will be your color for the school.

    I remember the days of your Avalon School. I wish more people had made a real effort to help you in that endeavor. But I think your true calling is in teaching and writing anyway, rather than the administrative part of running things.

    So in the next couple months I will be registered in the Magister’s program and enjoying the classes at The Grey School, and perhaps even take a course offering of yours.

    A hearty thank you to you and the other teachers who believe in the wonder, beauty, and magic still fully alive in todays world, and can see with the eyes of a child and believe with a heart of a child and share it with all.

    “I know not how I seem to others, but to
    myself I am but a small child wandering
    upon the vast shores of knowledge, every
    now and then finding a small bright
    pebble to content myself with.”
    – Plato

  3. alferian says:

    Thanks! It was pretty grueling (wink to Rainmaker, if you’re reading this).

    Cat, you sound frustrated, and while it is, of course, a decision you have to make for yourself, I do recommend GSW. Actually 3/4 of the students are over eighteeners. When writing my classes, I aim for it to be engaging and comprehensible to a smart and curious 11-year old (Level 1 classes, I mean here), and yet still with lots of links leading to further material for older students. Age is not necessarily an indicator of ability. Older students may have been away from school and the discipline of writing essays for decades.

    It will no doubt take some time to refine the seven levels of classes, but I can learn a great deal from the other professors who have been doing it for five years already. The Deans are very supportive too.

    I may say, too that there is very little “childish” about the school. Playful, perhaps, and we always nod to Harry Potter as Oberon’s inspiration, but the study of magic is far from childish. Skeptics, who have simply dismissed magic as an article of their faith (religious or scientific) are, I suspect, most often completely ignorant of the subject. Not to blame them, of course. It has been systematically and deliberately excluded from academia.

    Yet, philosophy and metaphysics have always been a part of the liberal arts, as has been the fields of astrology, mathematics, geometry, and music — all of which have a strong magical component, whether you call it that or not. Magic lies in the mysteries and the inexplicable. Science looks only at what can be explained from narrow premises and reductionism. So, stand up for what you know.

    OWL

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