Grey School Newspaper 11

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Whispering Grey Matters

1

Spring 2007

Whispering Grey Matters

SPRING 2007 WGM STAFF

Spring 2007

2

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A Tour of the Newsroom .................................................. 3
AWARDS: Dean's List, House Hat, Lodge Cup, Lumos ....... 4-6
FACULTY ADVISOR: Professor Moonwriter
UPDATES: Faculty, Groups, Clubs, Committees,
GSW NEWS DESK:
Houses, Lodges, Captains' Updates ............. 6-9
Editor: FrogsDancing
New Classes ................................................................. 10
Writers: JanicaJayne, Silentfaun, Moonwriter
2007 Winter Bird Count ................................................. 11
New Award in the Dark Arts ........................................... 12
NEWS DESKS:
Department Focus: Alchemy ........................................... 13
Editor: Moonwriter
April Fool's or Bust ........................................................ 14
World Wide Wizardly Web (Part 1) ................................... 15
INTERNATIONAL NEWS DESK:
Keepsake Painted Eggs .................................................. 16
Editor: Xyaida
Spoof or Scam? ............................................................ 17
Writers: Moonwriter
New Classes (Continued) ............................................... 18
OPINIONS DESK:
Interview with Lord Richter ....................................... 19-20
Editor: Laneth Shadow-Walker
Virtual Wizardry ........................................................... 20
Writers: Xyaida, Areeya, Moonwriter, Jymi X/0
Fun Facts about April Fool's Day ..................................... 21
Aurora Borealis (poem) ................................................. 21
ARTS & CULTURE DESK
PantheaCon 2007 Report ............................................... 22
Editor: Wingseeker
Robert Anton Wilson Has Left the Building ........................ 23
Writers: FrogsDancing, Silentfaun, Moonwriter
Quantum Physics: Surfing the Wave Funcions ................... 24
The Mysteries of Hibernation .......................................... 25
SCIENCE DESK:
Woodchuck Tongue Twister Riddle ................................... 25
Editor: Jymi X/0
HOLIDAY LORE: Osatara, Imbolc, April Fool's,
Writers: Moonwriter, Tigers Moondiva, Xyaida
Groundhog's Day ...................... 26-28
FOOD DESK:
Meán Fómhair /|\ Meán Earraigh – Turning the Wheel ........ 28
Editor: Donella Lyonesse
Alchemy as a Whole ...................................................... 29
Writers: Tigers Moondiva, Moonwriter
The Butt of the Joke ...................................................... 29
The Fool and Morris Dancing ........................................... 30
WIZARDING DESK:
Tarot: The Fool ............................................................. 31
Editor: Laneth Shadow-Walker
FOOD: Getting Ready for Summer, Food Pranks,
Writers: Anna Fox, Tyrssen, Jymi X/0
Kitty Litter Cake, Springtime Feasting,
Spring Flower Salad ...................... 32-34
ART DESK:
Internet Rumors ........................................................... 35
Editor: Areeya
Prayer for a Wizard (Poem) ............................................ 35
Artists: Tyrssen, Lady Sigel, Jymi X/0
The Tides Will Rise ........................................................ 36
COVER: Areeya (Joker), Tyrssen (Masthead) &
Do What Thou Will but Harm None .................................. 37
Jymi X/0 (Flower photo & layout)
April Tricksters ............................................................. 38
Tag, You're It (Poem) .................................................... 38
PERMISSIONS DESK: FrogsDancing
REVIEWS: Maximum Ride, The New Harry Potter,
The Dresden Files, The Illusionist,
HUMOR DESK:
Spring Film List ................................. 39-40
Writers: An Infinite Number of Monkeys
Editor: The Biggest Monkey in the Room at the Time Census-ored ................................................................. 41
Pet Health: Tips and Tricks (Part 1) ............................ 42-43
COPY EDITOR & LEAD PUBLISHER: Jymi X/0
Spring's Special Rabbit .................................................. 43
All About (Digital) Easter Eggs ........................................ 44
CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS AND ARTISTS:
The Healing Rite: Grey School Folk at Work ................. 45-46
Kalla, Quiet Bear, Belenus, Cashew, Garwulf, Aurora
Vampira, S. Aaran Sherwood, Filia Chironis,
Elizabeth Barrette
Additional illustrations from the Dover Clip Art Series

Whispering Grey Matters is a quarterly newsletter produced by and for
the students and faculty of The Grey School of Wizardry
(www.greyschool.com). All contents herein are c 2007 Grey School,
except where otherwise noted. Copyrights revert to original authors
and artists upon publication.

Jymi X/0

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

3

Advisor's Column: A Tour of the Newsroom
By Prof. Moonwriter, Advisor, Whispering Grey Matters – Circle of the Standing Stones

Hi everyone! It’s time for another advisor’s column, and I’ve decided to use it to take you behind the
scenes of Whispering Grey Matters for a quick tour of the Newsroom. It’s usually cloaked, but I know the
password—just stay close so you don’t get lost.
When you enter the WGM Newsroom (having given the secret knock), the first thing you’ll see is my
office. It’s not that big, but I have a good desk and solid bookshelves and a window that looks out over
the Wortcunning greenhouses. At the far end of the space is a huge fireplace and a common room-sitting
area where we hold our weekly staff meetings. On either side of the space are what we call the WGM
“Desks,” a newspapery word for “departments” or “sections.” Currently WGM has eight Desks: News,
International, Science, Opinion, Wizarding, Arts & Culture, Food, and Grey School. Each Desk has a
section editor and a team of writers, each with their own
desks and computers and altar spaces. (Newspapering
takes lots of magick!)
Flanking the fireplace are three offices. On one side, two
smaller offices belong to our Permissions Wizard—who
handles copyrights, plagiarism issues, etc.—and our Art
Department. The other side holds our Publisher’s office and
workspace; this is where she does paste-up and layout, and
puts the paper together. (She gets a little stressed at
times, but responds well to pizzas slid under her door.)
The Newsroom walls are covered with pieces of art in
progress, story outlines, and the occasional ritual
schematic. A giant whiteboard next to the Publisher’s office
holds our current “Story Board,” a master plan for the
issue-in-progress. All story ideas and artwork are listed on
the Story Board, allowing the staff to see the paper coming
together.
Everything in the WGM Newsroom works by a chain of
command—each staffer knows their job, does it well, and
works cooperatively with the staffers and positions ‘linked’
to theirs. It’s taken a couple of years of trial and error to
reach this point, but it’s been worth it. Our newspaper just
keeps getting better, as does the caliber of the student
staff. I couldn’t be prouder!
If anyone is interested in joining the WGM staff, please
apply by visiting the WGM Newsstand (on the Forums) and
dropping us a note. Journalistic blessings!

Illustration by Tyrssen

"...And then, PRESTO! Just like that!
A brand new WGM issue! Easy!"

Whispering Grey Matters

4

The Dean's List
Any teacher may nominate any student for the Dean's List (DL) in recognition of
academic excellence demonstrated in a Class taught by that teacher. Three nominations
earn the student DL status for their current year level. This can be from three different
teachers, or from the same teacher but regarding different Classes.
Both full-time students and combined faculty-students can be nominated for the Dean’s
List.
Dean's List appointments are made as they occur. Once on the Dean's List, the student's
name remains posted for six months from the appointment date.
Students who make the Dean's List once will graduate cum laude ("with honor").
Students, who make the Dean's List more than once, but not all 7 Levels, will graduate
magna cum laude ("with high honor"). Students who make the Dean's List at all 7 Levels
will graduate summa cum laude ("with highest honor").
Now without further ado, I give you the current members of the Deans List:
tigersmoondiva, since 3/12/2007 – Winds; L1
Donella Lyonesse, since 3/12/2007 – Winds; L1
Oranstar, since 3/10/2007 – Stones; L1
wikyd angel, since 2/20/2007 – Waters; L1
Sola DragonShadow, since 2/19/2007 – Flames; L1
janicajayne, since 2/13/2007 – Flames; L1
Zenergynus, since 2/12/2007 – Flames; L1
Grey Panther, since 2/12/2007 – Flames; L3
Arzelie, since 2/10/2007 – Stones; L1
Talin, since 1/22/2007 – Winds; L1
Moonwriter, since 1/20/2007 – Stones; L8
Filia Chironis, since 1/9/2007 – Flames; L1
Xyaida, since 12/30/2006 – Flames; L1
Dragons Light, since 12/20/2006 – Flames; L3
dark eagle, since 10/20/2006 – Undines/Waters; L4
Fenrous, since 10/10/2006 – Waters; L1
Kalla, since 9/21/2006 – Stones; L7

The Hat and The Cup
The House Hat goes to the GNOMES! Their score was 5.43.
Our 30 Gnomes earned 73 academic credits and 90 merits this
term—good work; and Congratulations!
The Lodge Cup goes to THE ORDER OF THE DANCING
FLAMES! At 13.92—the highest score ever! Our 128 Flames
earned 556 credits, and a whopping 1,226 merits!
Unbelievable! Congratulations, Flames!
The Flames also win notoriety for being the first group to ever break the 1000 merit
mark…This kind of spirit is what makes the GSW succeed! They have set a marvelous
precedent for our school. It was a truly inspirational performance. Well done!

Spring 2007

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

5

The Lumos Awards for the spring-to-fall
2007 equinoctial period go to:
The Flames Lodge!
The Stones Lodge!
Both of these groups met or exceeded all
seven of the basic requirements. The
specifics may be viewed in posts on the
Dean of Students forum. Check it out!
For the next six month period, members of our Lumos groups-- the Flames and Stones -- are entitled to
use a special Lumos avatar, designed by Xander Gael of the Stones, especially for this award.
Honorable Mention goes to the following groups, who, although they didn't quite complete every
requirement, they worked hard to reach towards Lumos and proudly reported their progress in doing so.
There is no doubt that they'll make it next time! The Winds, in particular, were a mere heartbeat away.
The Gnomes House
The Waters Lodge
The Winds Lodge
Congratulations! To All of our Lumos Participants!
What's the Lumos Award all about? It's there to honor and recognize Houses and
Lodges who are active in their group and the school, who exemplify everything from
academics to spirit, and who are led by a trained and active Head and Prefect. We
have credits, merits, and a Dean's list to honor individual achievement. For a House
or Lodge to achieve Lumos is a demonstration of their cooperative excellence, and
shows that they are taking the steps towards moving beyond an online "message
forum" and becoming, instead, a true community.

Faculty Updates

New Faculty
Welcome to our newest faculty member, Hillary “Grey Panther” Fischer, BA, MEd. She will be an
instructor in the Ceremonial Magicks Department. Hillary has known she was a Wizard since she was 13
and read ‘The Once and Future King.’ But of course, back then there were no schools like Grey School!
She has spent over 40 years walking the Mystical Path, seeking the wisdom of the Ancients. She
graduated with a BA in Psychology and History, and a Masters in Education, specializing in Counseling and
Guidance. Currently, she is pursuing her Doctorate in Metaphysics.
Hillary has done a bit of everything during her life, including raising dairy goats, running an Armed
Security business, building and renovating houses, training dogs, and devoting herself to spiritual
pursuits. Today, she walks the Druid Path and regularly dips into Shamanic Practices. She can be found at
www.theinnersanctuary.net.
Departments of Interest: Alchemy & Magickal Sciences, Ceremonial Magick, Magickal Practice, Mind
Magicks, and Wizardry
Faculty Changes
Professor Stacey Aaran Sherwood has become the Dean of Alchemy.
Professor Brighid Delphinos has become the Dean of Healing.
Professor Rainbow Stonetalker has become the Dean of Mind Magicks.
Professor Uta “Rainmaker” Stelson has become the Dean of Magickal Practice.
Professor Dustin “Greycloak” Haas has become the Assistant Dean of Performance Magicks and an
Administrative Assistant.
Professor Anna Fox and Professor David Smith have become the new school counselors.
Faculty Leavings
Professor Craig Parsons and Professor Lady Ravenweed have left the school to pursue other options.

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

6

Student Updates

Collected and Edited by FrogsDancing

GROUPS
Seattle Grey School of Wizardry
At the Oregon Conclave 2006, there was
a great discovery. It was discovered that
quite a few members from the Grey
School resided in the Seattle-Metro area.
We decided to form a study / support
group. The group has grown and shrank
and grown again. All told there are 5
official members with the hopes of more
yet to come.
We have had many adventures together
and have offered each other a lot of
encouragement and support over these
past few months. Together we have come
together for study groups, offered
challenges to get essays done as well as
trying to get classes finished.
Some of our extra curricular activities
have included making candles, getting
together for the Sabbats, going for hikes in the woods, a tour of some of the local magick shops, and trips
to Mount Saint Helens visitor center and the Pacific Ocean.
We have currently been working on the planning of the Washington 2007 Conclave, including trips to
Lewis and Clark State Park for info finding sessions. We had a couple of planning sessions so far and are
looking forward to the fun of the Grey School in an old growth forest this summer.
We came together as a study group, but we became so much more. Over the past few months we have
become a family. We are the Seattle Grey School of Wizardry.
BB,
RowanTree
Spire of the Four Winds

CLUBS
Defensor's Club Update!
Greetings! This is Defensor Amplus WillowRune, President of the Defensor's Club. Currently, the club is
testing new methods of magickal defense and security. Topics we have covered so far are Witch Jars,
Egregores, Shields, Vampires and Verbal Self Defense. A few Defensors are also training up to meet the
rigorous needs of holding security at their local Conclave this summer. Let’s give all of our Defensors a
round of applause for their effort in becoming better wizards to make our community a safer place!
Yours in Service,
Defensor Amplus WillowRune
The following Clubs did not submit an update
for this edition of WGM:
The Society for the Study and Care of Beasts
Diggers In Real Time (D.I.R.T.)
The Healers’ Tea Room
The Lore Keepers' Guild
The Tower of Babel
‘Camp Grey Roots’ has reportedly disbanded.

COMMITTEES
Unfortunately, the Fundraising and Marketing Committees were
also unable to submit updates for this issue of WGM; we are
however looking forward to updates for the future editions.

Whispering Grey Matters

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Spring 2007

HOUSES

Gnomes-

The Gnomes have been working hard to win the House
Cup, but activity on the forums seems to be very rare
and when it does come, it's small. Still, we are putting
up a hard fight against the Salamanders for the House
Cup. In doing this, we are fighting a former Gnome. This
is because Kristalbrooke handed over her duty as
Housemistress to Professor Sherwood so that she could
become the Salamander's Housemistress. Ironic no?
Well, now we often have challenges going up to give our
Gnomes a chance to earn some more merits. Hopefully
activity will boost.
~Wingseeker

UndinesWe Undines students are a tricky bunch. We submerge
ourselves and remain very, very still. Our masters
foolishly think we are sleeping, but we're not. As we
know very well, there is much more hidden beneath the
surface (of the water).
This period, our very own Dragonbringer and Darkeagle
have "graduated" to the mysteries of adulthood and
have joined the Waters' Lodge. Congrats to them from
the Undines house! Also, with the passing of time, is
responsibility – coming and going. In this light, it should
be announced that I, Gero, will be done with my term as
prefect of the Undines House and will be taking over as
House Captain. In turn, Kelwyn will take over as our
next Undines House prefect.
Please join me in giving congrats to everyone, even
those not mentioned here, who are involved in or are
undergoing change. Blessed be, my friends.

Tyrssen

-Gero

SylphsThe Sylph House is moving along and I think it has been a wonderful session in our history. We have
decided on our mascot, who is Piper Stewart’s parrot named Sydney! He will be giving pictures for the
Sylph homepage as soon as he can. The contest that we’ve been planning has finally come. The theme
was sylph or air-related artwork or poems. I have to admit there were only a few submissions, but still I
think it was an enjoyable experience and we might do it again. The Sphinx Lair had been going strong for
a while. It was temporarily put aside when I got tied up with the matters of a new prefect. Speaking of
that, our prefect-elect as of now is Amalthia! She has just returned to GSW, and was actually a prefect
once before. We welcome her back, along with Colubra. Recently Ocean Zephyr has joined the Sylph
House. Bremen, Justin 21289, and Tora Wolf have graduated to the Winds Lodge. Congratulations to all
those people. And as for the Sylph House, I hope everything keeps getting better as we progress to future
years.
~Aurora Vampira~*
Sylphs Prefect
WGM did not receive an update from the Salamanders for this edition.

Whispering Grey Matters

8

Spring 2007

LODGES
WatersWell met,
The Coterie of the Flowing Waters does be still this time
of year. I am anticipating a thaw in the spring. The
Waters are currently working on a Lodge Foundation
Legend that shows some promise. There is also a vote
underway to decide what name Solaris will don as my
right hand within the Lodge. Memsev will be taking the
reigns from Darkman, who has served as Prefect for two
terms. I am certain that she will be a pebble in the pond
=)
Class-work has been excellent however participation is
something that I am continuing to work on. There have
been signs of improvement. Since I became Lodge
master there have been many new additions to the
Lodge, including wonderful students like Dark Eagle and
Memsev. I am proud of the Waters and encourage them
in their endeavors.
-- Greycloak

StonesThe Circle of Standing Stones is starting to roll again, for
a while there we were standing still but once you get us
moving we are hard to stop. The addition of new
Tyrssen
members Kerwin, Moira, Myrddin, MysticalDragon,
Rosewood Moonhealer, Rain Storm, Tangentslayer, Silentfaun, Flamekeeper, KnightOfCups, and Dvarrikos
the Enchanter have added new life into lodge. Also we welcomed EBLO Moon, who turned 18 and moved
from the Gnomes House into the Stones Lodge!
We have met the criteria for the Lumos Award and are now adding more classes to the list. From this 5
Stones are now on the Dean's List, Arzelie, Cashew, Kalla, Moonwriter, and Xander.
We are the only House or Lodge in the GSW to have our very own ghost! Lord Richter. Watch for him to
materialize on the forums from time to time.
Moonwriter's new book, Gargoyles, is now available and can be purchased from Amazon, Powells, Barnes
& Noble, etc. Several Stones members did illustrations or writings for the book.
For Yule we collected greetings and wishes for the Headmaster from our members and compiled them
together into a card that was sent to him along with a Spirit of the Wolf clock for his office. The Wolf is our
Lodge Totem animal.
We are currently gearing up for The Earth Day Challenge, The Stones Lodge has won this event for two
years running and plans to make it a third!
I will be stepping down as Prefect and the end of this term and will begin my term as Vice Lodge Captain.
Oranstar will become the new Prefect of the Stones Lodge and will take office in March.
Finally I will be launching my Prefect Project this week on the Stones Lodge and then on the school as a
whole a bit later, please watch for it as it should be a lot of fun for both Houses and Lodges.
Cashew
The Winds and the Flames did not submit any updates for this edition of WGM.

Whispering Grey Matters

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Spring 2007

My time as Vice Captain has gone by fast. Now I'm
hoping to do well as I step up to the Captain
position. I share Kalla's amazement at the growth
our school has had over the last couple of years.
When I first joined, there were less than 60 of us
and I'm happy to see 600+ students now. Seeing
so many kindred spirits in one place is something I
never thought I'd see.
I hope to continue being of service in the next six
months. I've found that teaching others is a great
way to learn, so I thank all of you who have asked
me for help and advice as a Prefect and as Vice
Captain. It's been an honor just being asked to fill
this position.

The Captains’ Updates
By: Kalla and Quiet Bear

As

I look at the impending end of my Captaincy I
am overwhelmed with how much has happened
over the last twelve months. As of February 7th,
2007, the Grey School has 606 active students.
Think about that for a moment. In an age of ever
decreasing attention spans, we have managed to
hold 606 attention spans by having them do work
and like it. The community that surrounds this
school is an unceasing marvel to me.
We've had our share of growing pains over my
Captaincy. In 2006 the site switched to a new
server, which caused technological tangles of which
I shall not begin to speak. Once the dust had
settled we had a new host and some shiny new
forums which far outstrip what we had. Utilizing
these new capabilities we now have clubs, faculty
offices, committees, and chats all in one central
place.
Over the last year dozens of new classes have been
uploaded. Majors and minors are posted in most
departments. I used to look at the list of classes
and think, “I can't wait to see what comes next,” I
now say, “How can I possibly choose?” Now you
can look at the course listings and really see where
the school is going. While the classes used to only
represent levels 1-3, we now see fourth, fifth, and
even sixth year classes. All of the potential the
Grey School has is beginning to come into fruition;
it is a very exciting time.
It has been an honor to serve as Captain, but my
time is up. I leave you in the capable hands of
Quiet Bear and Cashew. See y'all around!
Kalla: Stones Lodge
Lodge Captain
Sodalis Ordinis Erronum

Kalla, it's been good working with you. Good luck in
your studies.
Quiet Bear

New Captains and Prefects
FrogsDancing
Introducing your Fifth Scabbard of Prefects and Fourth
Mast of Captains, for the period between the Spring and
Fall Equinoxes of March 2007 – September 2007:
Houses:
House Captain: Gero; L2/11c; Healing Major
Gnomes Prefect: Wingseeker; L1/13c; ‘Trained’
Salamanders Prefect: (not filled at press time)
Sylphs Prefect: Amalthia; L1/11c
Undines: Kelwyn; L1/6c
Lodges:
Lodge Captain: Quiet Bear; L4/13c; Lore Major;
‘Trained’
Lodge Vice Captain: Cashew; L2/3 c; Major pending
Flames: Xyaida; L1;14c; ‘Trained’
Stones: Oranstar; L1/11c
Waters: Memsev; L1/9c
Winds: Talin; L2/1c; Lore Major
Your Prefects and Captains have been chosen because of
their academic excellence, participation, and attitude.
These students devote extra time to study leadership
principles and then put their learning into action in
helping their respective Houses/Lodges run at the peak
of efficiency.
It is a position of honor and one of
responsibility. Most of all, they're here to help you – so
when you have questions of any kind, one of the Prefects
or Captains should be the person you go to first.
* 'TRAINED' indicates that the Prefects and Captains have
completed 'Leadership 101' or 'Leadership 201,'
respectively.

Whispering Grey Matters

10

Spring 2007

New Classes
Anatomy and Physiology for Herbalists 601:
Skin, Muscle and Bone
Credits: 3, Year Level: 6+
Department: Wortcunning

The Holy Winter Nights
Credits: 2, Year Level: 3
Department: Lifeways

Anima Mundi: The Gaia Hypothesis
Credits: 3, Year Level: 6+
Department: Nature Studies

How Sorcery Works
Credits: not available at this time
Year Level: 2
Department: Dark Arts

Cosmology
Internship
101:
Introductory
Astronomy
Credits: 2, Year Level: 1
Department: Cosmology and Metaphysics

Introduction to the Great Work
Credits: 2, Year Level: 4
Department: Alchemy and Magickal Sciences
Prerequisites: Principles of Alchemy

Dark Stories 601: Werewolves
Credits: 1, Year Level: 6
Department: Dark Arts
Prerequisites: Children of the Night survey class.

Magick for Job Hunting
Credits: 3, Year Level: 6
Department: Lifeways

Defense Against the Dark Arts 601: How to
Save the Day
Credits 3, Year Level: 6
Department: Dark Arts
Prerequisites: Cleansing and Purification and
Identifying Psychic Attack

Meet the Indigo Children
Credits: 2, Year Level: 4
Department: Mind Magicks

Ethics of Magick 400
Credits: 2, Year Level: 4
Department: Lifeways
Prerequisites: Ethics of Magick 100

The Middle Pillar
Credits: 2, Year Level: 4
Department: Ceremonial Magick
Prerequisites: Lesser Banishing Ritual of the
Pentagram, and it would be useful if the student
had worked on the class dedicated to Ceremonial
Magick in the Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard
(pp. 277-283).

Exploring the Sacred/Magickal Landscapes
Credits: 2, Year Level: 3
Department: Lore

Nature’s Fury 403: Fire
Credits: 3, Year Level: 4
Department: Nature Studies

Five Models of Magick: Magickal Paradigms
and Theories of Magickal Causality
Credits: 2, Year Level: 2
Department: Wizardry

Personal Prosperity for Wizards
Credits: 2, Year Level: 2
Department: Mathemagicks

Gargoyles 101: Introduction
Credits: 2, Year Level: 1
Department: Lore
Healing Charms and Talismans
Credits: not listed at this time
Year Level: 4
Department: Healing

Signs and Symbols
Credits: 2, Year Level: 3
Department: Magickal Practice
Tales of the Fabulists: Storytelling 401
Credits: 2, Year Level: 4
Department: Lore
The Terrestrials
Credits: 2, Year Level: 3
Department: Cosmology

PROF. LEOPARDDANCER: I'm an April Fool's baby so no one can play
tricks on me! 'Course, that in and of itself was a joke on my mother...
I wasn't due until mid-late June.

Whispering Grey Matters

11

Spring 2007

2007 Winter Bird Count Wings to a Finish!
By Prof. Moonwriter, Dean of Nature Studies
Congratulation to the Blazing Buzzards, proud members of the Flames Lodge and winners of the 2006
Winter Bird Challenge!
The Buzzards pulled out every stop to win this contest, accomplishing every
task to its limits, and then some. When it came to scoring, they had the
largest team, the most submitted results, the most photos, and the most
passed classes. They secured Audubon donations, represented and
publicized the GSW during their Bird Count, and helped the GSW by
contributing gourd bird feeders for auction. It was a spectacular effort!

Buzzards' Avatar by Mykael

The strongest possible commendation also goes to the Blazing Buzzards for
their emphasis on GSW scholarship at the same time they were in the midst
of the Challenge. During the same time that they were excelling on their
Bird Count activities, Team Buzzard completed 9 classes and earned 2
Dean’s List appointments, and 1 member moved from L1 to L2.

In second place were the Stones’ Bodacious Burrowing Owls of the Stones
Lodge. Working with a team of only 3 members, the Owls made a fantastic showing. Their work yielded
two unique achievements: First, they brought in their Lodge ghost-- Lord Richter-- as a team member
(and wow—can that guy write!). Second, they created a unique "graphic novel" format for their report,
which was a first for a GSW challenge. The Owls’ photography was beautiful and their writing was not only
fascinating to read but professional in its quality.
In third place: the Winds’ Uncommon Loons, also competing with only 3 flock members. Despite this, they
made a great go of the Challenge and did nice work in terms of photography and writing. The Loons
deserve special kudos for not giving up when half of their original team went missing—this took real
determination, a wonderful trait for apprentice wizards.
All in all, it was another wonderful event. Thanks go to Prof. Barrette for coming up with the idea, and
thanks to the teams for making it fabulous challenge. Materials from the 2006 and 2007 Bird Count
Challenges are being shaped into a series of Birding classes for GSW students. Watch the Departments of
Beast Mastery, Divination, and Nature Studies for the classes to appear!

Photo by Aurora Vampira

Whispering Grey Matters

12

Spring 2007

New Award in the Dark Arts
FrogsDancing
The Dark Arts Honor Society has created the Consortium of Shadows.
To enter the First Circle of the Consortium of Shadows, you must first complete one class in each of the three
segments of the Major: Defense Against the Dark Arts, Sorcery, and Creatures of the Night. The listings under the
Dark Arts Generalist Major and Minor will advise as to what classes belong to each
segment. The cross-listed classes from other Departments will count towards
achieving this award. If you are uncertain as to whether a class may be counted or as
to what segment it belongs under, please contact the Dean of the Dark Arts
Department. Youth students must earn at least an 85% in each class and the adult
students must earn at least a 95% in each class.
To complete the award, one must choose one of the following projects to complete
according to your preference and skills:
A.) Write a 300 word essay on a Defense topic, such as:
Whether hexes or psychic attacks are real
The use of shields or wards
Any kind of protective symbol
OR...
Create a protective charm or personalized shield
Perform a simple protective spell
And then describe the process. You may take and send pictures if appropriate.
B.) Write a 300 word essay on a Creature of the Night, OR create a work of art depicting one and send a photograph
of it to the Dean.
C.) Write a 300 word essay on a form (such as candle magick) or style (such as Hoodoo) of sorcery. OR, perform a
low magick spell and describe the process and results.
All projects are to be submitted to the Dean of the Department of the Dark Arts. If this cannot be done by email,
please contact the Dean to discuss other options for submission.
Other Circles may be added to the Consortium of Shadows in the future. This will allow this award to grow as the
student body grows and skill levels advance. This will encourage more sophisticated projects to be submitted in the
future.

EXTRA! EXTRA!...Class Rings, that is!
Grey School class rings are available! They're beautiful silver creations, with the
Penkhaduce on either side, and a stone color of your choice -- show off your
major, or maybe the elemental color of your House or Lodge! Even Sauron would
be jealous. More information can be found in the "Retail Grey Matters" board in
the Social Forums, or just click the "Magic Alley" link at the main school site.
However -- Headmaster Oberon seems to have some extra rings flying around his
study! Here's what he wanted you all to know...
"If you (or anyone) would care to return the ring you got, I'll give you credit on it
for the next round. Also, I still have a few that weren't picked up (the people
never sent the money). Before we place the next order, I'll see how many of the
extra ones can be matched with new orders, and get those off first!
If anyone's interested, here are the extras I have in-hand (unclaimed or wrong sizes); anyone want to pick them up?
The price is ($65 + $6.50 s&h = $71.50).
Size
5
11
11
8
10
10
10

Color
Yellow
Red
Silver
Blue
Blue
Grey
White

Anyone else want to put a wrong-sized ring
up for trade for credit on the next order?"

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

13

Department Focus:

What Is Alchemy?
c 2006 S. Aaran Sherwood

Alchemy is the art and
science
of
personal
transformation on all
levels of being: body,
mind and soul. It
requires the purest of
intent and the ability to apply that intent with
singular focus during all phases of the work. It is a
meditative and reflective practice that requires
extraordinary patience on the part of the
practitioner.
It

is commonly divided into two components:
practical and spiritual. Practical alchemy is the
precursor to modern chemistry. It involves working
with plants, herbs, minerals and metals in a
laboratory setting, often to create tinctures and
elixirs. An alchemist who creates such tinctures and
elixirs for the purpose of healing is practicing a
division of alchemy called spagyrics, which will be
the subject of another course. Spiritual alchemy is
the science of perfecting the soul. You can perform
spiritual alchemy without going into the lab, but you
cannot perform practical alchemy without also
intentionally performing spiritual alchemy at the
same time: for to leave out the spiritual component
reduces the alchemical art to mere chemistry and
this will not produce the results you are trying to
achieve. To the classical alchemist, the lab is the
microcosmic
representation
of
the
spiritual
transformation he/she is working to achieve--like a
spell in which you burn something physically to
symbolize the Magickal change you wish to effect.
Because people are both spiritual and physical
beings, it is important to work with both the practical

Alchemists believe that all things carry within them
the seed of divinity, and that all things
automatically, through the natural course of time,
evolve toward their own perfection. Alchemy is a
process that expedites the achievement of the
inherent perfection in physical and spiritual matter.
In other words, an alchemist "assists" nature in
manifesting the divine core within the matter with
which he/she has chosen to work. In the case of
coal, an alchemist would work to bring out the
diamond. The alchemist's "job" is to sift the chaff
from the grain, the profane from the sacred, the
worthless from the priceless, and we often do this
by working with those things found in the material
world first. By carefully studying nature, we learn
about ourselves.
We consider gold to be the purest metal, and lead to
be the basest. Lead carries within it the potential to
become gold. All metals, as all things, are evolving
toward perfection. Therefore, when attempting to
assist nature in achieving that transformation,
rather than trying to garner personal wealth, we are
really working to bring about the metal's inherent
perfection through a seven-step process of
purification; when done in the correct manner, we
transform our souls simultaneously. It is this
spiritual transformation that is the real goal for
those of us involved in the Great Work. It is also
this spiritual transformation that ultimately leads to
the creation of the Philosopher's Stone.
References
Hauck, Dennis William. Sorcerer's Stone, 2004
Hauck, Dennis William. The Emerald Tablet, 1999
Melville, Francis. The Book of Alchemy, 2002

and spiritual forms.

Jymi X/0

Whispering Grey Matters

14

Spring 2007

April Fools or Bust!
By Areeya, Circle of the Standing Stones
As I walk through another season on the wheel of the year, I
feel it is time once again to reflect and adjust to the shift in
spirit as well as the shift in seasons. Finding ourselves
amidst Spring after a long Winter seems like a good time to
put some thought into how and why the Spring is usually
heralded by a need of release. Lets take a look at a couple of
release choices. It seems to me that most folks, in my neck
of the woods, opt for we what in America like to call ‘Spring
Break’ to relieve a bad case of "cabin fever". I feel it
generally involves, in equal measure, large groups of people,
mellowing libations whenever possible and little common
sense. Though a bit extreme, its a valid choice none the less,
but probably one of the least healthy choices.

Areeya

In my opinion, I feel conscious reflection and adjustment usually seems the healthier course of action. I
like to contemplate my journey through joyous Yule to Imbolc, which is still dark even though we
celebrate the rebirth of the light. I feel this time can seem a strange combination of the joy of Light’s slow
return, and the bitterness of the grey-seeming time of stillness. The Winter Heart can chill us to the bone,
yet can feel comforting and seems as necessary as our dark time in the womb, sheltered and nourished.
And so, as we trek through Imbolc, we can spend a lot of time adjusting essential nutrients of spirit for
our spring growth.
We gestate in the knowledge gained from the womb-like time of stillness and solitude of Winter’s Heart.
Imbolc urges us to transform or release the last vestiges of those unnecessary parts of self and
consciously fuel our own flames of creation. A time to stoke the flames of rebirth that generate Spring’s
growth, by cleansing ourselves anew in the waxing light of the sun. I find Imbolc is urging in a few, or
many, cleansing tears and sometimes things seem extremely off balance. The herald of Spring seems to
come with accepting loss and release of the old. I like to light candles and incense, and meditate on the
growth of the sun. I also feel its good to construct a sacred space in honor of a new season and the death
of the old.
I remind myself that as we journey past Imbolc and through Ostara, that early stages in our growth cycle
can be painful amidst the joy of living. In lighting Imbolc candles I recognize and nurture the waxing sun
in the self and fear not the darkness which gives us shelter as we look toward spring.
We move onward through Ostara with the early budding of Spring growth. Ostara can give a feel of being
discombobulated, as well as hopeful in our new beginnings. Ahh! How the Fool’s energy can help us
navigate past uncertainty that sometimes accompanies Spring. The Fool reminds us of the joy in the
unknown, and the unconditional love of the universe in which everything is connected. Spring has come
and the joy of growth is all around.
Can you feel the warming of the heart (and in some parts of the world the warming of the land)? Now
seems the time to fertilize and nurture the ground you wish to walk upon while admiring the early buds of
opportunity. We can continue to sow more seeds of our intent so that we and the universes may reap a
plentiful harvest for heart and hearth. Can you feel the excitement of Ostara’s new growth and the
bubbling of light-hearted laughter as we dance into Spring? Can we also feel the Trickster’s haphazard
influence of instability?
Well have no fear, because April Fool’s is almost here. It's time to travel a Fool’s errand in celebration of
the joy of chance with a light heart as Eostre leads us in the merry song of Spring. And, like the Fool, shall
we revel in the excitement of new adventures, the will to believe in ourselves and our ability to guide our
own spirit.
So hop on board the Fool's vehicle of unconditional love and an adventurous spirit: it's April Fool’s or Bust!
Of course that's just this writer's opinion. What do you think?

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

15

The World Wide Wizardly Web Part I
by Silentfaun

Oh what a wonderful web we weave! And what better way to spend a wet, windy day then surfing the
world wide web in a wizardly way. What wonders are to be found! Here then, is a list of fun and
fascinating web sites I was lucky enough to come across along my journey, one for each of the school
departments. These reviews are, of course, only one humble opinion.
There is something for everyone -- a veritable smorgasbord of nifty info...a nibble here, a nibble
there...take what you will and leave the rest.
Dept. Of Wizardry:
http://www.karisgarden.com/cunningfolk/home.htm
Here you will find a small but fascinating collection of mini-bios
and history regarding some magickal cunningfolk, as well as links
for purchasing the books this information was taken from.
Dept. Of Nature Studies:
http://www.pbs.org/americanfieldguide/
An incredibly educational and entertaining site containing
rebroadcast nature programs from nearly 30 different PBS
stations in both Real Media and Windows Media format.
Dept. Of Magickal Practice:
http://dragonseyecircle.org/magickal_correspondances.htm
Here’s a nifty little find. A simple collection of magickal
correspondence tables including planetary hours, incense,
elements, colors and more. Not a huge collection, but useful.
Dept. Of Mind Magicks:
http://www.meditationcenter.com/
A very helpful guide on various meditation techniques. Clearly
written, step-by-step instructions makes this site useful for the
experienced, as well as novice meditation practitioner.
Dept. Of Healing:
http://www.naturalbloom.com/
There’s some very good information on a variety of alternative
medicines on this site, as well as a large list of practitioners and
associations. Just need to remember to scroll down each page.
Dept. Of Wortcunning:
http://www.illustratedherbal.com/
I adore this site. A wonderfully organized illustrated herbal
encyclopedia with concise, clear information, preparations, a
glossary of terms, and more. Lovely.
Dept. Of Divination:
http://www.uponreflection.co.uk/runeworld/index.htm
Both fun and informative, this site contains a lot of information
on runes, including history, associations, divination and
encryption. An interactive oracle adds to the fun.
Tyrssen

Dept. Of Performance Magick :
http://www.ultimatemagic.com/
The real treasure of this site is to be found in the library, which
has a large amount of conjury techniques listed by type and skill
level. I would, however, suggest turning down the volume.

Stay tuned for our next issue, when the next 8 departments are covered.

Whispering Grey Matters

16

Spring 2007

TIGER'S MOONDIVA: I enjoy AFD in an atmosphere where everyone is playing. When
everyone understands a joke is a joke when all thinks its funny instead of an excuse for picking
on someone. (Let's face it, those who just want to pick on someone don't need an excuse - they
are going to do it anytime.) This I learned from years of being the butt of the joke for a very
long time. Those fools are just as likely to be mean at Christmas. At the end if ALL are laughing
though I say enjoy!

Keepsake Painted Eggs
By Aurora Vampira; special to WGM
A great way to preserve your memories of this spring is with keepsake
painted eggs. They are hollowed-out eggs on which a small springtime
scene is painted. These last forever (as long as they aren’t dropped!) and
make lovely decorations.
You will need:
Raw egg(s)
Large carpet or embroidery needle (a slender ice pick or awl will also
work)
Small bowl
Paper towels
Carbon paper (optional)
Something suitable as a palette
Water cup for paint (like a clean butter tub)
Assorted acrylic craft paints
Assorted fine hairbrushes (size 1 down to 5/0 or smaller)
Matte spray finish
First, select an egg that has no bumps or other flaws. Hold it over the
bowl and use the needle to poke a small hole in the narrow end of the egg. Poke a slightly larger hole
(about 1⁄4 in. diameter) on the other side. Insert the needle and “scramble” the yolk from the inside so
the membranes break and it’s easier to remove. Holding the egg over the bowl, blow into the smaller hole
hard to remove the contents. You can also ease the liquid out using the needle. Rinse the inside of the egg
so you are sure it’s clean, then set the egg out to dry.
Now it’s time for the creative part! Paint anything with a spring theme: flowers, birds, rabbits, butterflies,
faeries, all sorts of things! It can be as simple or as detailed as you want. You can use carbon paper to
trace a design from magazines or the Internet. Or you can paint freehand, which is a lot easier to do if
you do a pencil outline. Then take out your paints, palette, and water cup and get to work! If necessary,
cut down your paintbrush to only a few hairs, to accommodate detail. Thin the paints with water too; mine
turned out very thick and rough because I didn’t. Remember to let each design dry completely before
moving on to the next one. When your masterpiece is done, use matte spray finish and put the egg on
display out of reach from small children.
Other Tips: If you make a mistake and the paint is still wet, take a damp paper towel and carefully wipe
off the excess paint. A napkin ring makes a perfect holder for your finished egg.

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

17

Spoof or scam? Hoax or jokes? The fool’s on you!
By Prof. Moonwriter, April Fool
Which of the following were actual news stories?
In 1998, the Alabama legislature voted to change the common value of the mathematical constant known
as ‘pi’ to a more easily understandable and Biblically relevant 3.0.
In 1997, the cartoon “Screwy the Squirrel” held the Cartoon Network at nut-point and ran a daylong
television cartoon takeover.
In 1998, Burger King revealed its new left-handed Whopper, designed so that condiments would drip out
the right side, instead of the usual left.
Each of these stories appeared in the local news media…. On April Fool’s Day!
That’s right—April first, famous date of pranks, ruses, and misdeeds, hopefully all in good fun.
Alabama’s attempt to redefine pi—led by “New Mexicans for Science and Reason,” played off a vignette
from Robert Heinlein’s 1961 sci-fi classic, Stranger in a Strange Land, yielding up a great math hoax and
an outstanding pop culture reference in one fell swoop.
The science world traditionally has a lot of fun with April Fools. On April 1, 1976, BBC Radio featured a
piece by astronomer Sir Patrick Moore, who told listeners that an upcoming rare planetary alignment
would momentarily alter gravity at precisely 9:47 am. At his heeding, dozens of listeners jumped into the
air at 9:47 am, then phoned in to explain that they had experienced “strange floating sensations”!
On April 1, 2005, an online piece from NASA purported to show “water on Mars.” Readers who clicked the
link were whisked to an image of a Mars candy bar, with a glass of water perched atop. (Of course now
there’s evidence of actual water on Mars—but this was still pretty cute.) A recurrent April Fool piece—
surfacing in different countries every few years—suggests that our existing timekeeping will be changed to
a metric-based system functioning on powers of 10. Six to the second power o’clock, anyone?
The natural world isn’t immune to hoaxology. In 1957, the BBC television program Panorama showed a
news clip of the Swiss harvesting spaghetti from trees. Believe it or not, people contacted the BBC
wanting to know how to find and grow their own spaghetti trees. This ruse holds up as one of the most
successful TV hoaxes of all time.
The US government has taken its own liberties with April Fools Day. On April 1, 1996, a full-page ad in
The New York Times carried Taco Bell’s announcement that they’d purchased the Liberty Bell, renaming it
the "Taco Liberty Bell." Allegedly the purchase was aimed at ameliorating a bit of national debt, but the
public outcry was swift and huge. A
similar rumor said that the Lincoln
Memorial had been sold to an
automobile maker; via the sponsor
relationship, the monument would
thereafter be called the Ford Lincoln
Mercury Memorial.
And just in time to help us deal with
global warming: On April 1, 2006,
Norwegian media ran a story about
"rain drop power,” suggesting that
rain could be harvested and used to
turn
tiny
turbines,
generating
enough power to supplant oil as a
primary energy source.
Check your newspaper on April 1….
Who knows what you’ll find?
Source Cited
“April Fool.” Wikipedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_fool. March 2007.

Illustration by Aurora Vampira

Whispering Grey Matters

18

Spring 2007

New Classes (Continued)
COSMOTOLOLOGY
Department: Wizardry
Level: 1 and 3/4
Credits: 2

ELEMENTARINESS
Department: Nature Studies
Level: 4.4
Credits: 4

As all modern wizards know, no one will take your
powers seriously unless you look like you have just
stepped off a Lord of the Rings set. This class will
teach you to "dress the part" -- an array of makeup
and hair products will be discussed, with special
emphasis on dramatic highlights and advanced
beardology. Wardrobe and accessories be covered
in the second half of the class. Photos will be
required, so you must have access to a digital
camera, a props department, and a complete set of
theatrical backdrops. Each student will need to
furnish 1 bolt of velvet fabric (black or deep purple
preferred), glitter, several yards of metallic cording,
and either an owl, ferret, or peregrine falcon. Extra
credit will be given to those who obtain a
pyrotechnician's license while enrolled in the class.

The study of the four elements is a key to all kinds
of magickal practice, but the usual sedate
approaches quickly become tiresome. In this class,
you'll experience the elements under conditions best
described as "thrilling" and "ultimate." Imagine
creating a dreamcatcher while base-jumping, or
working candle magick in the maw of an active
volcano, and you'll have an idea of the challenges
that await you in this fun little class.

THE DAILY CHALLENGE
Department: Lifeways
Level: 364
Credits: Merit-based
A wizard never lets his or her
guard down, even for a
moment, and this includes
one's readiness to respond to
each and every challenge
posted on the GSW forums.
This class will help you learn
to be ready for any challenge,
any
time,
and
in
any
dimension.
In
the
technomagick aspect of the
course, you'll learn to design
and enable challenge-bots to
Photo by Filia Chironis
patrol the forums and keep
The Grey School
you informed of every new
Sorting Stick
challenge
posting.
You'll
explore the use of cloaking
devices to increase your
success by obscuring challenges once you have
completed them. Performance-enhancing magicks
will also be studied and evaluated. Extra credit will
be given to those who perfect advanced techniques
such as the "swoop and snipe" and the "swish and
swipe."

DEFENSIVE BACK-WATCHING
Department: Dark Arts
Level: 23 [required]
Credits: 5.65
Wizard apprentices always need opportunities to
test their defensor skills. In this required class,
specially hired Grey School Troll-thugs will test your
mettle by stalking you throughout an unannounced
24-hour period, ensuring you're prepared to deal
with just about anything. Testing is open-book and
takes place in cyber- and realspace. As the test
period is unannounced, begin watching your back
immediately after registering. It is recommended
that a Healing course be taken in conjunction with
this class.
JUGGLING
Department: Performance Magicks
Level: 13
Credits: 1 per successfully juggled item
Wizards must not only be entertaining, but are
required to keep a lot of balls in the air at all times
-- literally! Grey School is proud to offer the first
text-based juggling class in Internet history.
Students begin with small, lightweight beanbags,
gradually increasing the number and difficulty of
items to be kept aloft. For the final exam, students
will need to obtain a flame-retardant smock and at
least three chainsaws.

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

19

An Interview with Lord Richter
By: FrogsDancing
FD: Who was Lord Richter?
LR:Sorry, did you say who WAS Lord Richter? I was
of the impression that I still exist, albeit in a
somewhat less corporeal form…
FD: My sincerest apologies, would you please
continue and share your story?
LR:I was born William Edward Richter III on May 8,
1794 in Newcastle, in the county of Durham,
England. In life, I was a hewer at the Springwell
colliery. I died in a mine explosion the day after my
birthday in 1833. I was hewing away at the coal in
the B pit, when I saw a glimmer out of the corner
of my eye and turned to look, thinking it might be a
diamond. Much to my horror, the glimmer I had
seen came from the belt buckle of a right foul old
gnome who was guarding the mine. I tried to warn
the lads in the pit that we should leave, but they
were all so hopelessly mundane, not a single one of
them saw him or believed me. Normally, gnomes
will just chase you out, but this one became quite
angry that we refused to leave. He snapped his
chubby little fingers, producing the spark that set
off the explosion. We were buried alive.
FD: How long have you been at GSW?
LR: I arrived at the Grey School late last October.
FD: How did you find out about GSW?
LR: The school was suggested to me by the A.A.A.
(Alliance of Academic Apparitions)
FD: What do you envision for GSW’s future?
LR: The future of this school lies in the hands of its
administration, teachers and students. It will
become whatever you make of it.
FD: Why did you choose Yule to announce
your presence?
LR: Introducing myself on Samhain would have
been far too ordinary. Who doesn't expect to see
an apparition when the veil between the worlds is
thinnest? I wanted to come in with more of a bang
-- rather like the way I went out!
FD: Are you aware of any more GSW ghosts?
LR: I believe there might be one or two others who
are interested in roaming the school's halls, yes.
We can't just show up, you know. The Headmaster
and the DADA club have wards set around the
school. The Administration makes a thorough
examination of our energy before opening the
doors to us.

Questions from the Student Body:
Tyrssen of the Winds Lodge wants to know:
Do you have any special reason for haunting
the GSW? (We are delighted to have you here
of course!)
LR: Honestly, the word haunting has such a
negative connotation to it. Couldn't we say I'm
visiting? Far friendlier, wouldn't you say? But, alas,
I digress…I believe I answered this question earlier;
the A.A.A. recommended the Grey School to me. I
tried visiting Oxford for awhile, but no one there
sensed or saw me. I loved the libraries, but the
lack of conversation grew tiresome. I decided to
inquire with the Alliance about any magickal
schools that might welcome a disembodied chap
such as myself.
T: Do you have any special news, warnings or
messages from beyond that you would like to
pass on to the ectoplasmically-challenged
folks?
LR: At the moment, nothing you spiffing
apprentices couldn't ascertain on your own with but
a little effort.
Prof. Moonwriter of the Stones Lodge wants to
know:
With 16 different departments to haunt in the
GSW, which is you favorite? Why?
LR: I suppose it would be the department of
Magickal Practice. It reminds me of all the wonder
magick brought into my life when I was alive.
Things are more instantaneous on this side of the
veil. You don't need spells here. Why, you barely
think it and Bob's your uncle! Shame, really. Spells
were jolly good fun. I do miss the sense of power I
felt casting with a swish and a flick of my wand…
MW: Do you have any hobbies? (Other than
birding of course!)
LR: My next two favourite activities are taking long
strolls with my wife, Margaret, on our estate in the
Summerland and chess.
MW: Do ghosts eat?
LR: Yes, but not in the same way people do. As I'm
sure you already know, everything in existence is a
form of energy--including food. We consume
energy that isn't as dense as your food is, and we
don't consume it in the same fashion.
Continued Next Page...

Whispering Grey Matters

Xyaida of the Flames Lodge wants to know:
How did you become a Lord?
LR: I received the title posthumously actually.
Springwell's
owner,
the
Right
Hon.
Lord
Ravensworth, felt so guilty about the mysterious
explosion and about being unable to give us all a
proper burial, that he bequeathed to each of us the
title "Lord of the Mine" and granted us part
ownership of the pit in which we died. Honorable as
his intentions may have been, the gesture certainly
wasn't going to do the lot of us any good since we
were deceased. Nevertheless, since my life was
stripped from me when I was still in my prime, I
feel I've earned the title.

20

Spring 2007

X: What is your favorite book?
LR: I am a strong proponent for Shakespeare's
work on multiple levels, both literary and magickal.
X: Did you practice magick while you were
alive?
LR: Indeed, I did.
FD: Thank you, Lord Richter for taking time
out of your busy schedule for this interview. I
know that the student body has been very
curious about you since you announced your
arrival and your participation in the Christmas
Bird Count.

Virtual Wizardry (April Fools or the Real Deal?)
By Belenus, the Gold – Society of the Four Winds

A fascinating twist on Wizardly work dawned on me last year. It is funny that I was pondering this early in
the day, and happened to pick up a free copy of a Wiccan magazine later that day, which had an article
that helped validate my suspicions.
The idea is that for some people, not only does it make sense to tailor magickal rituals and spells to one's
individual skills and talents, but that for some, especially at certain times and in certain situations, tools
such as athames, wands, and such, that help in rituals and spell working, can be substituted for, using
only visualization and energy work or astral manifestation. In other words, the tools, while being very
helpful for most Wizards, are not always available or must haves. Wizards can, for example, imagine that
they are holding an athame when casting their magick circle.
I have found for myself, that having the tools when convenient, is helpful and fun, but as I once told my
friend, when I walk out the front door, I cannot, for example, bring my Wizard's staff with me (unless its
Halloween or I'm going hiking). I have found, though, that I can very easily visualize and even feel the
presence and power of my staff if I make the effort to. I can take the staff with me virtually. Having
worked with the staff in rituals and charged it with my energy, I have a psychic connection with it, and
this makes it easier to call upon it when needed.
Finally, I have often had great success with raising magical energy by just "winging it," using my own
words and rituals. In this way, I have contributed to the recovery of persons who have asked for healing
and even some who didn't know that I worked on their behalf. I find, for myself, a combination of prayer,
Wiccan ritual, personal and/or established words and chants of power not only manifest my intentions, but
help me psychologically and spiritually. It seems that my magickal work can not only tip the scales
outwardly, but is quite cathartic for me at the same time.

PROF: MOONWRITER: I see April Fool’s as a time to stop being serious
and have a little fun—and it certainly doesn’t have to feel “mean.” Ask my
kids about what I used to do to their sack lunches on AFD! Crisco in your
Oreo cookies anyone? Peanut butter and stiff fruit leather sandwiches?
Pancakes made of a circle of white flannel dipped in batter and fried to a
nice golden brown? (hee hee…)

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

21

Fun Facts About April Fool’s Day
By Prof. Moonwriter, Stones Lodge
Although its origins are uncertain, April Fool’s Day (AFD) probably is linked to the vernal equinox, and the
revelry and celebration that have always accompanied the return of spring.
American writer Mark Twain once said of April 1st: “This is the day upon which we are reminded of what
we are on the other three-hundred and sixty-four."
In the United States, people use AFD as a chance to play jokes and pranks on their friends and family
members. Famous examples: the short-sheeted bed, the vaselined toilet seat, or the infamous invisible
saran wrap stretched over the drinking glass, edges neatly trimmed away.
In Scotland, AFD is known as "hunting the gowk," (the cuckoo) and victims of jokes are known as "Aprilgowks,” literally, April cuckoos.
In France, the fool-ee is known as poisson d'avril, literally, “the April fish.” This may be because in April,
the sun exits Pisces, the zodiacal sun-sign of the fish. Today’s French people use AFD as a time to play
jokes, particularly sneaking a paper fish onto the backs of hapless victims!
The Dutch people mark April 1 for its national history. On 1 April, 1572, while the Netherlands were under
Spanish rule, a rebel band known as the Geuzen seized the coastal town of Den Briel, and event that led
to a civil war or uprising against the Spanish rulers. According to Wikipedia, “The Duke of Alba,
commander of the Spanish army could not prevent the uprising. Bril is the Dutch word for glasses, so …
‘Alba lost his glasses’. Dutch people find this joke hilarious [and] still commemorate the first of April.”
(Note from author: This joke is lost on me, but I’m guessing you had to be there.)
Geoffrey Chaucer is known for his Canterbury Tales (c. 1400 ce). One, “The Nun's Priest's Tale,” involves
the story of two fools: Chanticleer and the Fox.
On AFD, “hoax-stories” appear in newspapers and on television, Internet, etc. Although these can be quite
clever, they have often caused people to disbelieve true stories that happened to fall on April 1, such as
the Aleutian tidal wave and tsunami of April 1, 1946 (165 deaths), the 2004 launch of Google’s new
‘Gmail’ service, or the 1976 launch of Apple Computer.
Sources:
(No author) “April Fool’s Day.” Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_fool. March 1, 2007.

DINDRAINE: Honestly, I've never paid much mind
to April Fools' Day. When I was younger, my older
brother would pick on me on that day with the
excuse of AFD, but like anyone, he just picked on
me year round anyway
It just sticks out as a dumb holiday to me, much for
the same reason as Korerhi. People do really mean
things just for the sake of April Fools' Day. They
also tend to do really stupid things. Every year, the
fire drill gets pulled at my high school. Every year,
there's a stink bomb that goes off and even the
person who set it regrets it later because the stench
just fills the entire school. And every year, there're
people who are picked on and torn to pieces just
because "they have the right as a participant on
April Fools' Day".
I admit, though, that there can be some lighter
details to it. People do tend to be a bit more laid
back, and some people know how to have a good
time with this day. I just don't take part in it myself.

Aurora Borealis
By Wingseeker

As the full moon rises over the tall trees of pine,
And the crater rabbit hops across the lunar shine,
Lights of blue, red, green, orange, and yellow fly
In acrobatic moves throughout the midnight sky.
It is colored balls, tossed by jugglers, to and fro
With skill and concentration that only masters know.
It gives off an energy that ebbs and flows
And fills me with excitement that comes and goes.
And this beauty of a light show of balas
Is known as the Aurora Borealis.

Whispering Grey Matters

22

Spring 2007

PantheaCon 2007: One Wild Weekend
by Filia Chironis

What can I say to you all except that you missed one
heck of a party! Over President’s Day weekend I was
lucky enough to attend one of the largest annual pagan
conventions in the country -- and the only one on the
West Coast. Although, in my opinion, you never need a
reason to visit the San Francisco Bay Area, this
convention can certainly give you the time frame to plan
your visit! When I wasn’t being dazzled by longsword
dances, I was scrying with Enochian Magick. Not only did
I meet our esteemed Headmaster, but I also learned that
some believe he has a resemblance to Elvis! But I am
getting ahead of myself here…
PantheaCon 2007 was hosted by Ancient Ways Books,
located in Oakland, California. This year marked the lucky
Estara T’shirai, Brighid Delphinos, Headmaster Oberon, and
13th anniversary of the convention and the theme was,
Headmistress Morning Glory
Photo by Filia Chironis
appropriately the Magic of 13 and Hecate. PantheaCon
had something for everyone- truly! Some of the traditions
represented included African Diaspora, Ceremonial, Chaos Magick, Dianic, Egyptian, Feri and Faery, Discordian,
Asatru, Hellenic, Wiccan and more Druid and Shamanic groups than you could shake a stick at. There were arts and
crafts, family and children centered activities, workshops on divination, healing, gods, goddesses, and history. There
were countless rituals and performances as well. In other words, I can’t even begin to convey to you what the event
was like. However, I shall shoulder the burden and try.
One of my greatest anxieties about going to PantheaCon was meeting our Headmaster, Oberon. He is a legend
among magicians and I was unsure what to expect. Seeing pictures of him has always summoned an image of a man
who is a cross between Rowling’s Dumbledore and Tolkien’s Gandalf. Maybe it’s the hat… Well, as is wont to happen
in magick, a coincidence quickly stripped me of my anxiety. As I was waiting in line to register for my hotel room, a
familiar-looking man caught my eye. He looked like Oberon but he was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, so it was hard to
tell. Okay, admittedly the t-shirt said Grey School and his nametag said 'Oberon', but one should never jump to
conclusions. So I waited until he got directly behind me in line and was greeted by someone else before I introduced
myself.
As it turns out, Oberon and Morning Glory (whom I was lucky enough to meet later, at their Mythic Images’ booth)
are two of the kindest people you will ever meet. It seemed that everyone knew who they were and wanted to talk
with them, share news, and get their opinions on rituals and magickal problems. And I never saw them without a
smile. How they summoned all that energy is beyond me! It must have been magick…
Although I have lived in the Bay Area for seven years now, this was my first time at PantheaCon. To be honest, I am
more comfortable typing away at my computer than navigating through large groups of people. However, when
Professor Felidae posted asking for help with the hospitality suite I figured it sounded like fun and jumped right in.
Not only did GSW have an official panel and the hospitality suite, but we also made our
presence known through flyers, an official display, and the sale of all four of our school’s books
at the Mythic Images’ booth. On Friday, I was lucky enough to attend the “Basics of Shielding”
workshop given by Professor Estara T’shirai and the “My Magic is Not Your Religion” lecture
given by Professor Morgan Felidae. On Saturday evening faculty and staff from our school held
a panel to talk about the school and answer people’s questions. It was during this presentation
when I first met Professor Brighid Delphinos and Brian Ewing, the school’s attorney and a
member of our Board of Directors.
As you can imagine, much of what was discussed during the panel was not new to me.
However, I did glean some information of interest. Headmaster Oberon discussed in detail his
vision of the school and how it had been forming in his mind for many years before the Harry
Potter sensation took hold. Rowling’s popularity provided him with the platform necessary to
bring his dream to fruition. I also learned a lot about our school’s continuing efforts to be
classified as a tax exempt organization. Plus, we recruited four new students!
So, having read all the way to the end of this article, I feel that you deserve a reward for your
effort. Oberon and Elvis. Well, apparently someone was overheard saying that Oberon looked
like “Elvis Dumbledore”. It was probably just a mistranslation among the chaos of the Photo by Filia Chironis
convention but if you ever meet him, you should be sure to take a good hard look, just in case.

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

23

Robert Anton Wilson Has Left the Building
An elegy for one of the great modern Wizards
By Elizabeth Barrette, Dean of Students,
special to Whispering Grey Matters
Robert Anton Wilson was one of the great Wizards of
modern time. He wrote dozens of books, both
nonfiction and fiction -- most famously the Illuminati
novels and the personal-evolution guide, Prometheus
Rising. His interests included various types of science
and magic, but it all tended to cluster around two
things: figuring out how the world works, and how the
human mind works. His findings remain tremendously
valuable to anyone interested in shaping internal or
external realities. He also followed the works of other
modern Wizards; he worked with Timothy Leary to
promote futurist ideals, and he was a water-brother of
Oberon Zell-Ravenheart.
Read more on Robert Anton Wilson's homepage at
www.rawilson.com/main.shtml
or at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Anton_Wilson

Sketch by Jymi X/0

***

1932-NEVER
-- in memory of Robert Anton Wilson
By Elizabeth Barrette
Once upon a time there was a man who questioned
everything.
He liked to bang science and magic together,
The way small boys bang the ends of jumper cables
To watch the sparks fly.
He illuminated literature,
Triggered the cosmos,
Mixed felines with particle physics,
And moved through more reality tunnels
Than a spelunker in Mammoth Cave.
He explained how the human mind works,
And how to reprogram it if you want to.
You are not allowed to laugh at the exercises
Until you have tried them.
23. 17.
Synchronicity.
Never mind a moment of silence Raise a glass, steal fire, pester someone important That's the way to make a proper memorial
To the man who knew he was immortal,
Even if his body wasn't.

Not believing in anything -not disbelieving in anything.
That may be one of the
most important of the ideas
in my books.

-- Robert Anton Wilson

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

24

QUANTUM PHYSICS AND MAGIC
PART II: SURFING THE WAVE FUNCTIONS
-- Jymi X/0

"[T]he atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world
of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts."
-- Werner Heisenberg
"Observations not only disturb what is to be measured, they produce it."
-- Pascual Jordan
“Something unknown is doing we don't know what.” -- Sir Arthur Eddington
We know the difference between a particle and a wave. A particle is an object – you could pick it up and
move it somewhere else. A wave could be described as a band of compressed energy that moves through
a medium, such as water or air, in response to a disturbance in that medium (like throwing a particle into
it). These two categories would seem to be mutually exclusive: something can't be both a particle and a
wave...right?
Let me back up a little. In Philosophy, the more extreme Empiricists say that nothing exists unless it's
being perceived by someone. In other words, when you leave your house and elsewhere, your house, and
anyone you leave in it, ceases to exist (except as an abstract idea in your mind) until you return (or
choose to perceive yourself returning). At that point, your expectations of finding your house exactly
where you left it causes you to observe that certain reality, bringing your house and family back into
existence while you're there.
Sounds silly, doesn't it? However, this is an illustration of the magical rule of “Acting in Accordance:” after
casting a spell, act like it's already worked. If you can This attunes your personal energy frequency with
that of the reality (or one of them) in which your goal has been realized. Some beliefs, such as the idea
that your house won't go away when you do, are so ingrained that we don't have to work at them; we just
take them for granted. (Of course, this doesn't always protect us from unexpected changes, but
paradoxically, we also expect to be surprised now and then throughout our lives...!)
This is called “collapsing a wave function”. See, atoms – of which “stuff” is composed – are, when broken
down to their own constituent pieces, really nothing more than energy. What's energy? In physics, it's an
ability to do work: the power to cause a change. In the last issue, I talked about electrons as potential:
until you observe them and make a measurement, they can and do exist anywhere within their orbital
shells as waves of energy: potential. It's almost as if the electron is everywhere at once, until someone
collapses the wave function by observing it, which forces it into one particular location, where it becomes
a particle.
Our large-scale reality is very similar (seeing as how it's composed of these weird small-scale realities).
Nothing is really “true” for you until you've experienced it for yourself, and your expectations have a lot to
do with how your experiences turn out. When you cast a spell, the more you can get yourself to truly
expect a successful result, the higher the probability that the wave function of the particles involved will
collapse in your favor.
At the time of this writing, there is a terrific discussion about just this sort of thing going on in the “General Chatter”
section of the Grey School forums. Members, head over to
<http://www.wizardschl.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2767> to read more!

NEXT ISSUE: SHEDDING SOME LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT OF TIME
REFERENCE:
"George Berkely." Wikipedia.
24 March, 2007. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 27 February, 2007.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Berkeley>

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25

Spring 2007

The Mysteries of Hibernation:
Winter’s Trickster
By Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker
For those of us in the northern hemisphere, January and
February bring long, cold, dark nights and short, dim
days. It’s a time of quiet reflection and hunkering down:
a time to hibernate.

Berlin Zoologischer Garten. July 2005
Photo by: Eloquence

The words hibernate and hibernation come from the
Latin hiberna, “winter quarters.” When a plant or animal
spends the winter in a dormant state, it is said to
hibernate. Hibernation conserves energy and helps
animals live through a time when cold and lack of
available food would otherwise make survival difficult.

Hibernating plants are all around us. With cooler autumn
weather and shortened daylight hours, growth slows,
trees drop their leaves, and plants cease flowering. Perennials lose their foliage, while annual plants “die
back,” their aerial parts withering and only their roots left to sustain the plant’s energy through the winter.
Hibernating animals are harder to spot; most of us will never see one. (And please don’t go looking for
them! It’s dangerous to disturb a hibernating animal; noise and vibration from snowmobiles are
particularly likely to awaken dormant animals, often leading to their death.) Hibernating creatures sink
into a state of regulated hypothermia for a period of weeks to months, their core temperature, pulse,
respiration, and metabolic rate dropping well below “normal.” Their need for food also diminishes, and
they live off of stored fat. Most animals hibernate in “bouts,” awakening periodically to move about and
find food before returning to their dormant state. Among hibernators are bats, marsupials, ground
squirrels, rattlesnakes, and bears. The bear’s hibernation is less intense than that of other animals and is
sometimes referred to as “denning.” Birds don’t actually hibernate but during cold weather may drift into
day-long periods of reduced activity and metabolism known as “torpor.” Growth and development mostly
cease during all kinds hibernation; however some animals—like the bear—give birth and nurse young
throughout the months spent in hiberna.
What about humans—do they hibernate, too? When the air grows cold and days shorten, levels of
serotonin and melatonin shift within the brain, leading to changes in mood and energy levels. In millennia
past, humans responded to these winter changes by retreating to cave or hearth and embracing the
darkness. But in modern times, the realities of seasonal change have been camouflaged by “modern
advances,” including central heating, incandescent lights, and the ability to eat fresh strawberries in
January. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a human disorder that strikes during the winter and is
characterized by depression and a lack of energy. It’s tempting to think that SAD may result from our
failure to observe the turning of the seasonal wheel—our failure to hibernate. Today SAD is treated with
exposure to full-spectrum light and sometimes with antidepressants; but perhaps if we lit a fire, turned
down the lights, settled down with a good book, and embraced the months of dark winter nights, we
might also find some relief.
Woodchuck Tongue Twister Riddle
By: FrogsDancing
In honor of Puxatawny Phil, Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog/woodchuck. In
memoriam of Grand pop Happ, who taught it to me in between escapades that
included the use of rubber vomit and plastic dog poop.
Most of us are familiar with the question:
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Here is the answer:
A woodchuck would chuck, as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck,
if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

Whispering Grey Matters

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26

Holiday Lore
by FrogsDancing

Ostara (OH-stare-ah or Oh-STAR-a)
March 20-23 in the Northern Hemisphere.
September 20-23 in the Southern Hemisphere.

plans and goals are common at this time. It is also
a good time to free oneself from anything that may
be holding you back and/or preventing your own
personal growth.
The egg is a very popular and common symbol of
this celebration. It represents life and is seen as a
symbol of rebirth.
Many see and use it as a
powerful charm or talisman.
The bunny is another popular and common symbol
of this celebration. It can represent fertility and
vitality. It is often the first animal to give birth in
the spring. Bunnies are also thought to be docile
and gentle. Many believe that an image of a bunny
may be seen in the moon’s face.
Source List:
“The Wiccan Sabbat Ostara”
http://www.beginnerwicca.com/ostara.htm
“Ostara History Lore Traditions and Customs presented by Crystal
Forest”
http://www.crystalforest3.homestead.com/Ostarahistory.html
“Wiccan Ostara Spring Equinox”
http://www.magicspells.in/ostara_spring_equinox.htm

April

Areeya

It is traditionally celebrated or observed on the 21 st
of the month appropriate to your hemisphere. It
may also be known as Lady Day; Spring or Vernal
Equinox; Eostre and Alban Eiler.
It is a time when night and day are in perfect
balance. The Light is gaining strength, as the days
are now growing longer. Our ancestors believed it
to be the start of the new year. The astrological
year begins again at this time of the year.
It is both, fertility and a resurrection celebration.
Spring is born, bringing with it new growth and
newly born creatures. All, that at one time looked
dead, seems reborn, or awakened with new life.
Christian missionaries adopted the German pagans’
spring festival to become the Easter celebration
that we are all familiar with. Easter is always
celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full
moon after the equinox.
It reveals its pagan
origins in this manner.
Rituals for renewal in ourselves, thoughts, dreams,

Fools’ Day: April Fools’ Day is a
celebration of mischief and silliness. It is a day when
one is free from the seriousness and piety of daily
life. It is a day to play with truth and illusion, being
able to exchange one for the other. It is a time
where action truly is the ritual and celebration.
Have you ever asked yourself where did it begin?
Everything needs to have a beginning. There are
some that believe that this day of pranks and
mischief may actually be related to the arrival of
spring. Nature often “fools” with men, with its
capricious weather changes during this time.
Another theory that has a following is that it may
honor the rook’s futile mission to find land after it
set off from Noah’s flood stranded ark.
Perhaps the Romans deserve the credit with their
end of winter celebration of Hilaria.
Gotham,
a
legendary
town
of
fools
in
Nottinghamshire England, may also lay claim to the
start of this holiday. It seems that at one time the
villagers did not want to lose their main road to King
John in the 13th century. They closed their road to
him and would not let him in. Soldiers were sent by
the King to investigate. They found a town full of
lunatics. King John left the town alone. April Fools’
Day can be seen as their victory celebration.
Continued Next Page...

Whispering Grey Matters

The leading theory is that it began in or around
1582 when Pope Gregory had the Gregorian
calendar replace the Julian calendar. The Gregorian
calendar moved the New Year to January 1. With
the Julian calendar, the New Year had been
celebrated around April 1. Many people simply
forgot the change at first. When they tried to
celebrate the New Year on April 1st, they were then
teased as April Fools.
Did you know that
the
pranking
period
ends
at
noon? It is said
that
any
jokes/pranks
attempted
or
committed
after
that
time
will
cause bad luck to
the
perpetrator.
Here is a little
rhyme
for
that
trickster whom did
not keep track of
the time:
“April Fools’ Day is past and gone.
You’re the fool and I am none.”
Source List:
Urban Legends Reference Pages: April Fools’ Day Origins
April Fools’ Day Origins
http://www.snopes.com/holidays/aprilfools/origins.asp
Woodlands Junior School Facts about the Month of April
Month by Month Calendar of British Festivals and Special Events
http://www.woodlandsJunior.kent.sch.uk/customs/year/april.htm

Imbolc (IM-bulk or EM-bowlk)
February 2 – Northern Hemisphere
August 1 – Southern Hemisphere
Also known as: Oimelc; Groundhog’s Day; St.
Brigid’s Day; Candlemas
Imbolc literally means “in the belly.” At this time of
the year the earth or land is still partially asleep.
Within the belly of the Mother (earth) the first very
faint stirrings of new life are beginning.
Oimlec, literally means “ewes milk.” It may be seen
as the festival of the lactating sheep. In the days of
our ancestors, the herd animals were believed to
have the ‘milk of life’ flowing in their teats and
udders. The animals had either given birth to their
first offspring of the New Year or their wombs were
full and swollen with new life just waiting to be
born.
This festival occurs at the mid-point between Yule
and Ostara. It is the center of the dark half of the

Spring 2007

27

year. Our ancestors often checked their winter
provisions at this time. They wanted to be sure that
they were only about half way through their
supplies.
Weather divination, blessing of the crop seeds and
the consecrating of agricultural tools are common
activities of the day. Spring cleaning may begin for
the mind, body and of course the spirit. Brighid,
herself was believed to walk the earth on Imbolc
eve.
It is a time of transformation. The goddess
transforms from the Crone to the Maiden. Light is
beginning to show in the darkness. The rekindled
fires both within and without now become the
personification of the new born God’s growing
strength.
The Maiden is often shown with a broom at this
time. She is said to be sweeping away the old and
dead season, preparing for her new growth and
renewal. We can also use this time to sweep away
the old, outdated and just plain useless from our
lives. We are then ready, like the Maiden, to receive
new ideas and begin to make new plans and goals
for ourselves.
Imbolc is a fire festival it celebrates the hearth and
home. It also celebrates the lengthening days, and
any or all signs of an early spring.
Deities of Imbolc: All of the Virgin/Maiden
Goddesses: Brighid, Athena, Gaia; The Gods of Love
and Fertility – Eros; Februus
What Imbolc symbolizes: Purity, Renewal, Fertility
Symbols: Besoms (brooms), Brighid’s Crosses,
Priapic Wands, Lit candles, Ploughs
Herbs: Any/All White and Yellow flowers; Angelica;
Iris; Violets
Foods: Any/All seeds, Dairy products (especially
milk)
Incense: Basil, Cinnamon, Myrrh
Colors: Pink, Red, White, Yellow
Stones: Garnet, Ruby, Bloodstone, Turquoise
Activities: Candle lighting, Bonfires, Decorating and
Consecrating Agricultural Equipment and Seeds,
Making Bride’s Beds
Source List:
“Celtic Lore and Magic” – Celebrate Imbolc (or Imbolg)
http://www.celticloreandmagic.com/holidays/imbolc.htm
About Oimlec
http://www.ladyofthehearth.com/sabbats/about-oimlec.txt
Wiccan, Pagan and Witchcraft Holidays; Imbolc Lore
Imbolc by Akasha
http://www.wicca.com/celtic/akasha/imbolclore.htm
Imbolc – Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc

Continued Next Page...

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28

Spring 2007

Groundhog Day: Our ancestors once believed that the hibernating creatures they knew were able to
predict the arrival of spring. Our ancestors believed that the appearance of these animals from their
winter beds announced the coming of spring.
The Pennsylvania Dutch, a branch of German immigrants, brought this tradition to America. The badger
was the first animal they used in their spring weather predictions. The groundhog or woodchuck, as it is
also known, eventually took over the job.
Badgers and groundhogs were not the only critters that have been monitored for their prediction of
spring’s arrival. Hedgehogs, bears and any other animals that hibernate are believed to have had the
ability to predict, for our ancestors, when spring had finally arrived.
Traditionally, this day is a day of weather divination. The groundhog is believed to awaken on February
2nd. It then leaves its burrow. Now, if the groundhog sees its shadow, it returns to its burrow for some
more sleep. It knows that there will be at least six more weeks of winter. On the other hand, if its shadow
does not appear, the groundhog is not frightened and remains outside as spring has arrived early.
Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog, is the official U.S. groundhog and spring
diviner. Phil foretold an early spring this year.
Source List:
Groundhog Day – Is it spring yet? – Candlemas
How Did the Groundhog Get a Day of His Own?
http://wilstar.net/holidays/grndhog.htm
Imbolc
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc
About Oimelc
http://www.ladyofthehearth.com/sabbats/about-oimlec.txt

Meán Fómhair /|\ Meán Earraigh – Turning the Wheel
By Laneth, Order of the Dancing Flames

At this time of year, we see the world balanced in Equality between darkness and light.
Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere & Spring in the North – both seasons harbour days of equal length,
for it is now we celebrate the Equinox.
Meán Fómhair, or Mabon, is where we stand in the South: We are bidding farewell to the harsh Summer
and rushing around to prepare for the oncoming Winter. We do this as our Northern cousins bid their
farewell’s to the harsh Winter, only to begin preparations for the oncoming Summer season. It is now
Meán Earraigh, or Ostara.
The Equinox is a time of equality, not only in the spectrum of day and night, but in our emotional
personae also. We are a war-torn world, with various groups that fight for war and peace tearing what
ground we have left to stand on asunder, in blind pursuit of their own agendas. Often this doesn’t meet
the requirements of the people they are dedicated to serve, but then, how many remember that that is
their purpose – to serve the people & not themselves?
It is the responsibility of the Wizards of the community, be they religious or not, to uphold the honour and
peace that our communities deserve. This time of equality should permeate our actions and thoughts and
translate across our deeds into the lives of everyone we meet. It is a time where the natural forces
apparent in the universe will support all acts of kindness and servitude.
The days when night and day are equal both have the underlying theme of coming together. For Meán
Fómhair, it’s about gathering together to prepare for the oncoming Winter, while for Meán Earraigh we are
coming together to celebrate the beginning of Spring. This natural gathering together can be seen in
almost all forms of life around the world – to support through the cold & to share in the joy of the Love
Season.
Take some time this season to think of the polarity of this world, and how we can all be so far apart, yet
intrinsically drawn together to celebrate the great dance of life. In a few weeks, we shall all have the same
equal day & night. Let the week leading up to it, and following, be filled with acts of kindness and ones
showing acknowledgment of equality in all things and peoples.

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

29

HIKARI the BLACK: I love April Fool's Day. I never play pranks, but keeping one step ahead of
everybody else's is really fun. For me, anyway. It makes me pay attention to what's going on around me.
It's a great way to practice awareness. Good April Fool's Pranks lead to laughter for everybody, not tears.
Good April Fool's Jokes are clever and funny, bad ones are self-evident.
************************************************************************************

Alchemy as a Whole
Tiger’s Moondiva
It is thought both alchemy and chemistry came
from the same root, The Emerald Tablet. Legend
says The Emerald Tablet dates back to over 12,000
years ago and is credited to One who went by the
name of Thoth. Alchemy is a technology of the
mind, body and spirit. It seeks to transform. The
main difference between it and chemistry is in that
alchemy seeks knowledge of all three realms of
being instead of just the physical. The most
common references to the alchemist in modern
times is during the Dark Ages. The European
alchemists were also called "goldmakers" or
"puffers." These were the guys who were quite
literally trying to change lead into gold. (They also
made some catastrophic messes, some of which
included explosions and poisoning.) These were of
those like the scientists or chemists today. They
were working on one level. They were trying to
transform matter, paying attention to only the
physical realm even though this was warned of in
Alchemy repeatedly.
Alchemy is not chemistry. Chemistry pays attention
only to the physical. Alchemy is a lifestyle, a
philosophy and to some a religion. Certainly it
involves some chemistry but for different reasons
than one might imagine. The experiments done in
alchemy are a physical representation of what
should be happening inside ones body, mind and
soul. Alchemy is the physical representation of
nature’s laws at work. It can be a way for those
who understand by “seeing” to better understand
the spiritual. Alchemy helps me appreciate the
greatness of the miracles around me. It truly shows
the idea of “macrocosms and microcosms.”
One will never understand that things are truly part
of something bigger until one immerses oneself in
the magickal sciences. At this point One will wonder
how it was One never saw it in the first place.
All Things From One, and to One.
In the Center Truth, in a Circumference Vanity.
A Magical Enigma!
REFERENCES
Poem from “A Warning to False Alchemists”
Thomas Rawlin, London 1611
Admonitio de Pseudochymicis, seu Alphabetarium Philosophicum
in quo refutatur aurum potabile Antonii, 1611.

The Butt of the Joke
By Laneth, Order of the Dancing Flames
There came a time, long ago, when I realized that
the reasoning behind my dislike of April Fool’s Day
had come from years of being singled out and
focused on for jokes and tricks – either by my
peers or my family.
I was never a popular guy in high school and
seemed to be a magnet for the socially superior's
taunts. It was the kind of lifestyle where ye went to
school preparing mentally for the buffeting ye were
inevitably going to receive.
Still, there was a recognizable line between the
jokes and the bullying. And most of the time, (to
the detriment of their enjoyment), I laughed at
myself as well. Some of the practical jokes they
played on me were hilarious, and I admit that I
would have chuckled if it were to happen to
someone else. But – it got tiring when it seemed to
always be me that was the butt of everyone’s
jokes.
I guess what I’m getting at is people don’t like
feeling singled out – if ye’re wont to play into the
theme of April Fools and ‘get’ people with some
practical jokes, make sure ye spread the laughs
around. If ye know there’s someone at school or
work
that
seems
naturally
self-conscious,
reconsider doing a prank on them that could risk
everyone around them pointing the finger and
laughing. It can turn out bad, and not everyone will
react kindly to being ‘seemingly’ singled out in such
a way. Not everyone shares the same or even
similar senses of humour.
When it comes to practical jokes, the joke itself
isn’t the thing that harms the person, (unless there
is a certain physical component to it), it’s the
feeling of being the target. People’s perceptions
differ so greatly that what one person would
consider being singled out, another may enjoy and
laugh along with others.
My advice is to play it smart on April Fool’s Day,
and also to think about how ye’d feel being the
subject of the joke ye’re about to play. How would
ye feel if ye unknowingly walked into your joke,
only to have everyone around ye laughing at your
expense?
Keep this is mind as ye romp around town wreaking
your humorous havoc this AFD.

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

30

The Fool and Morris Dancing
Garwulf
With the summer almost upon us in the United Kingdom, our villages and re-enactment fairs will begin to
fill with the sound of bells and wooden sticks striking each other in rhythm to fiddle and or pipes. The
Morris dancers are back and in full swing reminding us of the dances and heritage of the past.
The 20th century saw a big revival of the art of
Morris dancing in the United Kingdom as interest
grew more and more villages revived their old civil
war Morris traditions and set up troops in a bid to
recapture the past, attract visitors and tourists
and to pay homage to the traditions and customs
of their forefathers.
Growing up in the UK I have had the pleasure to
witness many forms of Morris Dance from figures
clad all in black with blackened faces and with a
mixed troop of men and women, to traditional
groups of six male dancers and a fool in greens
and whites, dancing with bells on their legs and
wooden sticks held deftly in their hands.
Morris Dancing is a complex set of moves and
music and its history is no less complex and in
some cases contradictory however one thing about
Morris Dancing which is stepped in even more
mystery is the Character known as the “Fool” or
even “Holy Fool” as it is sometimes known.

Morris dancing in the grounds of Wells Cathedral, Wells,
England.July 2006 Photographed by Adrian Pingstone

The fool is a character of contradictions and enchantment. In many cases he has the mundane job of
collecting money from spectators and keeping them entertained with his mad cap antics, he might juggle
or buffoon around. His costume varies from troop to troop and he can look like a clown or a jester in
Derbyshire for example he has also appeared in the guise of Pierrot and is often armed with a bladder on
a stick (similar to how children have inflated balloons on sticks) which he bops people with in a playful
manner.
The fool does not just mock others he mocks himself. In this sense he is a great example of how we
should sometimes take ourselves a lot less seriously and laugh at ourselves a little more often than we
would normally do. In this way he helps to keep everyone happy and remind them that there is more to
life than work and war.
In many ways he is similar to the role of the trickster gods from various cultures. Such as Loki from the
Norse mythology who was both announce to his fellow gods and even on occasions harmful to them but
who also helped them out and brought them gifts. Other Tricksters include Coyote, Raven from Native
American Myths or Renart the Fox from French folklore and Anansi from West African myths. What
characterises each of these gods like the fool is that they rely on wit and intelligence in order to
accomplish their goals violence is rarely the answer.
This was all important for the role of the fool especially during the English civil war where many people
found themselves on one side or the other and constantly under pressure from more puritanical
churchman to not drink, not dance and not to sing. His usually colourful costumes and deviant antics not
only allowed people to escape from the reality around them but he also reminded the common people that
there was more to life than abstinence and obedience.
Overall I think that the reason the character of the fool has endured is that he reminds us of the child in
all of us. He is brave, he is funny and he is not afraid to offend and ridicule, even himself. The Fool shows
all who watch that even those in power can and often are clowns no more or no less intelligent than the
common people who follow them.

Whispering Grey Matters

31

Spring 2007

EXPLORING THE TAROT: THE FOOL
-- Jymi X/0

“Hey, why is the Four of Swords sleeping? Huh? Huh? Give up? He
SPREAD himself too thin! HAAA ha ha! Ok, ok. Sorry. Why did the
Queen of Cups have to stop reading? She lost her PAGE! Whooop!
Wow, tough crowd – doesn't anything SUIT you guys? And I thought
I was ready for the MAJOR leagues...ba-dum-pum! Where did Crowley
go when he couldn't take it anymore? To the NUIThouse! Oh! This'll
be the DAATH of me! Well, I hate to leave you with a cliffhanger,
but stick around for the Three of Cups Dancers,
and don't forget to tip your WAITEstaff...”
The Fool is Everyman/woman; he represents us at the beginning of any
journey upon which we may embark. We make mistakes, we look silly,
we get lost, we fail to pay attention or listen to advice, and sometimes,
we walk right off the cliff and get hurt. But such is life – with luck and
effort, we also make some good friends on the way, learn a few things,
develop our powers, and have our share of good times and laughs!

"The Fool” by Pamela Coleman Smith,
from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck

The Fool is traditionally placed between the Minor and Major Arcanas.
Just as the “Ten” is the end of each suits' numeric series, and represents the start of a new cycle based on
the old one (1 + 0 = 1), The Fool can be thought of as a 'wrap-up' of the wisdom and experience to be
found in all of the Minor suits, which are often associated with the mundane concerns of daily life: school,
work, money, conflicts, emotions. Not that these aren't important or exciting, but they happen on a
different level than the archetypal metaphysical concerns symbolized by the Major Arcana. The Fool
carries all the wisdom he's gleaned from the material world, wanders off the edge of experience and
plummets into the unknown.
P.D. Ouspensky, in his book “The Symbolism of The Tarot”, asserts
that The Fool and The Magician are the same person. The Fool, he
says, carries the Magician's tools in his bag; he has simply forgotten
– or has yet to learn – what they mean and how to use them.
Despite his usual place in the deck, the Fool's number is Zero, and
he could go anywhere. Every move we make opens the door for
new experiences; every moment contains the opportunity for a new
start. All we ever have is our sense of what has gone before;
expectations create reality (and fill-in Tarot writers create clever
references to their own science articles), but the Fool reminds us
that we're never completely bound to the familiar old ways: no
matter how much experience we carry around with us, there's
always that cliff waiting to surprise us with a new world waiting
within its depths.
Or maybe The Fool saunters along so confidently because he
knows, deep down, that he can fly...

Areeya

References:
Ouspensky, P.D. (Pogossky, A.L. Trans.) The Symbolism of THE TAROT: Philosophy
of Occultism in Pictures and Numbers.
New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1976.

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

32

Getting Ready for Summer!
Tigers Moondiva

Planning on dropping some weight for swimsuit season? All you need is a little motivation
and some tips to get you started! A Magickal guide to getting fit for the summer is coming
your way!
First things first! See yourself in your mind the way you want to be. An important tip here
don’t use magazines or television to “help” you with this as these will only give you ideas
that even if you were to accomplish would be very unhealthy. Pretending for a moment
you don’t care about your health consider this: magical workings require energy. If one is
malnourished and seriously lacking in calories I promise you your magick will likely be one
of the first things to suffer. Take this from someone who knows -- being light-headed and
seeing stars every time you stand up can lead you to places you do not want to go.
Avoid any diet that completely wipes out any group of foods. The body was made for
balance and these types of diets go completely against the way the body runs! We need
balance in these foods! I am not saying we need processed foods, though. Balanced food
from nature works best according to most dietitians. Stay to the outside of the grocery
store and avoid the stuff in the boxes whose contents you can’t pronounce. We are
learning some of these chemicals are “hunger drivers” that can make people eat even
more than normal! High Fructose corn syrup is NOT your friend!
Finally, get moving! Save the planet and walk to school instead of going in a car. Go
roller skating on your next date instead of going for movies and popcorn. Dancing is an
incredible way of raising power for spells! (This is why it is believed some of the Haitian
voo-doo is so strong!) My husband was in Haiti with the military. He said those rites they
did were unlike anything he’d ever felt and he felt their power a mile away. He said they
would dance till they collapsed! (I am not certain going this far with it would be a good
idea either -- the point I am making is DANCE for your health and for your magick!)

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

FOOD PRANKS -- JUST IN TIME FOR APRIL FOOL'S DAY
by Donella Lyonesse, Editor, Food Desk
Here are some fun, food pranks that will harm no
one...well maybe your mom would get upset if she
saw it.
Remember have fun, but harm none!
OREO COOKIES
First, very carefully open a bag of everyone's
favorite cookie, the Oreo. Then remove each one
from the bag and scrape the icing out carefully.
Next replace the icing with white toothpaste of your
choice. Refill the cookie bag and leave it in a very
conspicuous place in the library, a common hall in
the dorms, home room, or on a library table and sit
back to enjoy the reactions of that first bite.
COKE SURPRISE
Take an empty coke bottle (any dark colored soda
will work as well) fill it with sparkling water and soy
sauce. Put the cap back on tightly and put it in the
refrigerator for someone else to enjoy.
VINEGAR IN WATER BOTTLE
When your victim leaves the room for a moment
and does not take their bottled water with them,
pour a couple ounces of white vinegar into the

water. Then check the reaction after that first big
swallow.
M & M'S COKE PRANK
Right after someone opens a can or bottle of coke,
when they are not looking add some M & M's to the
drink and look busy when they come back. This
will cause their drink to start foaming and not stop.
YUMMY CAT FOOD PRANK
Get a can of tuna and a can of cat food. Empty and
clean out the cat food can and put the tuna in it.
Go into a roomful of people eating the tuna from
the cat food can. This one usually gets a lot of
people going just because they do look so much
alike.
YUMMY DOG FOOD PRANK
And for those of you who prefer dogs...Empty a
small bag of dry dog food and replace it with a
similar looking cereal. Then walk into a roomful of
people while eating the cereal from the dog food
bag. Here again, this one works really well if you
can "play" into the fact that people will see the bag
and usually ignore the food you are eating totally.

Whispering Grey Matters

KITTY

Spring 2007

33

LITTER

CAKE

(original author unknown, have been making it for years) offered by Donella Lyonesse

This is a delicious cake to make for kid's parties of any kind, a Halloween party, a picnic or any fun kind of
outing. I have been making this for many years and it is always one of the first desserts to disappear.
Despite the cake's appearance, it is really good. For the proper "delivery" use a brand new (and definitely
washed) plastic cat litter box and spoon it onto plates with a new (never used, but washed) pooperscooper.
What you will need:
1 spice or German chocolate cake mix
1 white cake mix
1 large pkg. vanilla instant pudding, prepared
1 large pkg. vanilla sandwich cookies
green food coloring
12 small tootsie Rolls*
1 new kitty litter pan or flat dish pan
1 new plastic kitty litter pan liner (optional wax
paper can be used in a pinch)
1 new pooper scooper
Prepare the cake mixes and bake them according
to directions in any size pans.
Prepare the pudding mix and chill until ready to
assemble the "cake."
Donella Lyonesse

Crumble white sandwich cookies in small batches
in food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, add a
few drops green food coloring and mix until completely colored.
When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Toss with half the remaining
white cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. Important: mix in just enough of the pudding to moisten
the cake, you don't want it too soggy. Gently combine.
Line a new, clean kitty litter box. Put the cake/pudding/cookie mix into the litter box.
Put three unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dsh and heat until soft and pliable. Shape ends so
they are no longer blunt, curving slightly. Repeat with 3 more Tootsie rolls, bury them in the mixture.
Sprinkle the other half of cookie crumbs over top. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly on top of
everything --this is supposed to look like the chlorophyll that is put in the kitty litter to keep it smelling
okay.
Heat 3 Tootsie rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake; sprinkle with
cookie crumbs. Spread remaining Tootsie rolls over the top; take one and heat until pliable, hang it over
one side of the kitty litter box, sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs. Place the box on a newspaper and
sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around for a truly disgusting effect!
Here's a few options/changes I have made at different times for different functions:
You can use half the amount of pudding as in the recipe and it will still turn out fine, use more or less as
you wish. I personally like the recipe with the amount of pudding as given in the recipe but some prefer
less.
Since the layer of cookies with the green coloring is put over the top, you can really use any flavor or
flavors of cakes underneath, but you want to try to maintain the "look" of kitty litter. Last option, you can
choose not to crumble the cakes, but rather layer then in the pan, with the layers of pudding in between.
Then sprinkle the top layer of pudding with a heavy layer of crumbled cookies. Same effect, different
texture entirely to the dessert. I made this change for a family gathering After having made it the original
way the year before and most everyone preferred the fun of the original cake.

Whispering Grey Matters

Feasting in Springtime

By Prof. Moonwriter, Dean of Nature Studies
Here in the northern hemisphere, it’s spring: the
season of beginnings and renewals. After resting
through the winter, our bodies are ready to take
root and bloom anew. But this takes energy, and
lots of it. How can we use concepts of “seasonal
eating” to awaken our bodies from their winter
slumber and prepare them to embrace the warming
weather and increased activities?
First, help jump-start your immune system after its
long winter’s nap. Get a massage; they stimulate
circulation, reduce muscle stress and tension, and
increase wellbeing. Walk for 20-30 minutes each
day—another great way to boost immunity and
improve general health. Drink 6-8 glasses of plain
water every day to help cleanse your system of
impurities.
Use herbs as a spring tonic. Peppermint has a
reviving effect; steep 1 tsp. of dried herb (2 tsp. of
fresh) in freshly-boiled water for 5 minutes; strain,
sweeten as desired, and drink. For a variation, add
some lemon peel or some dried lemon balm to the
“steep.” Ayurvedics suggest an infusion of cumin,
coriander, and fennel as an energizing drink.
Lemon-parsley tea is a good natural diuretic; steep
thinly-sliced lemon and chopped parsley in freshlyboiled water for 5-10 minutes. It’s just the thing
after a salty meal or a bag of movie popcorn.
Think fresh! Grow your own organic greens,
veggies, and herbs. Or, as the farmer’s market
season begins, use the opportunity to purchase
edibles from local vendors. Fresh produce is
brimming with vitamins, minerals, and lots of green
magick. Feast on fresh greens and sprouts: baby
lettuce, spinach, dandelion greens (make sure they
haven’t been sprayed), alfalfa and clover sprouts,
cress, and chives. Serve in a salad with an oil and
rice vinegar dressing, or steam lightly and serve
hot with a squeeze of lemon and a grind of black
pepper.
Young green beans and peas are high in vitamin C
and (surprise!) iron. Steam lightly—just until toothtender. Toss beans with a dab of unsalted butter
and a bit of finely minced fresh garlic; sesame oil or
seeds, fresh oregano, and thinly sliced scallions are
other flavor alternatives. Cook young peas in a
mixture of milk and cream, just until done. Add a
bit of unsalted butter, a pinch of sugar, and a bit of
summer savory.
Other excellent springtime foods: radishes,
asparagus, garlic shoots, salmon, and Dungeness
crab. Welcome, spring!

Spring 2007

34

Moonwriter’s
Spring Flower Salad
By Prof. Moonwriter
I have an organic yard and garden and always have
lots of edibles growing in all the corners. I love to
got outside and pick goodies for the salad.
Combine in a chilled bowl: (note: wash everything
first, and spin or shake dry)
Assorted organic baby greens,
Other salad veggies: tomatoes, scallions,
shredded carrot, etc.
Fresh flower mixture:
Rose petals (pale yellow and pink)
Johnny Jump Up blossoms (shades of
purple)
Young dandelion flowers (yellow) and leaves
Nasturtium blossoms (orange and gold)
Chive blossoms (lavender-pink) and leaves
(cut finely with scissors)
Calendula petals (yellow, gold, orange, and
burnt red)
Others, as desired)
Topping: toasted pine nuts and/or sunflower
seeds
Top with Moonwriter’s favorite dressing:
3 parts seasoned rice vinegar
1 part vegetable oil
3-4 peeled and sliced garlic cloves
(The dressing should “marinate” for at least
several hours before using. As it is used,
add vinegar and oil to restore the original
volume and proportions. The garlic cloves
will last for months before they need
replacing. This dressing is very light, slightly
sweet and salty, and nicely flavored with
garlic.)
The addition of flowers and fresh things to salads is
something I do through the season. At different
times of the spring, summer, and fall, I might have
any of the above flowering additions, as well as
Miner’s lettuce, blood sorrel, pea sprouts, garlic
shoots, fiddleheads, and different lettuces and
mescluns. It makes a beautiful and scrumptious
salad.
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

TALIN: I like (April Fool's) day as long as it
isn't mean-spirited. We have fun around the
house.
I did some research for Ostara and the
Kalends of March recently for a Second Degree
course and found out about a little holiday
named Hilaria...

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

35

It Must Be True –
It Was On the Internet!
Don't let email rumors make a fool of you
-- Jymi X/0
So. Did you ever get that check from Microsoft?
You know the one – that $4000 you were supposed to get for
forwarding Bill Gates' “Email Beta Tester”. What?! You didn't pass
that on? Well, you certainly must have forwarded the one from
poor, sick little Billy! Every time that message gets passed on, the
Red Cross will donate a nickel to pay his medical bills! You deleted
that, too? Why, you heartless...that's it. The Parking Lot Killer is
going to get you. You read about him, right? That guy that waits in
parking lots, trying to give people money, but he's really a serial
killer and you should run away...
False hope, guilt, and paranoia: megabytes of Internet rumors and
hoaxes clog our inboxes every day. Back in the 1900s, we didn't
have the Internet to spread urban legends. We had to do it on the
playground at school, or at slumber parties. We didn't have cut-npaste, either, so if we got a chain letter, we had to make copies by
hand and put them in the mailbox so the curse wouldn't get us!
You kids these days don't know how lucky you are...
When this junk shows up in your inbox (or in your MySpace bulletins) do you pass it on, 'just in case'?
Would you like to know how much of it is true, and how much is pure hokum? Go check it out at
www.snopes.com, or www.truthorfiction.com. These are sites devoted to debunking urban legends and
Internet rumors. I've been looking up everything that comes my way, and about 99% of it is listed – and,
surprise, about 98% of it is hogwash! These are fun sites to explore even if you don't have anything in
particular to look up. So the next time your friend sends you that email about the horrible new computer
virus that crawls out of your hard drive and shaves your dog, or the warning about the phone scam
wherein you'll be asked to place a call to an area code in the Andromeda Galaxy, head over to one of
these sites and search the keywords. Chances are it'll be on there in the “hoax” pile.
Now for the fun part – go show this article to ten people, and someone cute will kiss you before the day is
over! But if you don't pass it on, you'll have bad luck for the next forty-two years, and your fish tank will
spontaneously combust...
No, really.

H.M. OBERON: In the book I'm
currently writing -- "A Wizard's Bestiary"
-- I'm currently on the chapter on
"cryptobotany" and magickal plants. So I
offer you this item from these pages:
Solar Complexus Americanus are heatgenerating plants supposedly imported
from Venezuela. The Scandinavian
botanist responsible for discovering
these hot-air producers was none other
than Professor Olaf Lipro (an anagram of
“April Fool”). A news report of this
discovery was an April Fool’s Day joke
launched by the Glasgow Herald in 1995.

Prayer for a Wizard
By Belenus
A Wizard's Prayer I make
That your power be freed
For your intentions sake
You'll find the spell you need
For every occasion and need
May you find the words and spell
And emotions that will seed
To change and make things well
And most of all, I pray
You grow each and every day
In accordance with your will
Of love you get your fill
May all your troubles flee
By the Gods, So Mote it be

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

36

The Tides Will Rise

Xyaida, Order of the Dancing Flames

At the end of 2006, the world was informed about the Polar Shelf in the northern Canadian Arctic area
breaking off just south of the North Pole, near the coast of Ellesmere Island. This chunk of ice is the same
size as 11,000 football fields or approximately 41 square miles in area. From what the Canadian scientists
have calculated, this shelf piece actually dislodged quite a while ago: early afternoon, August 13, 2005.
After the scientists reviewed satellite images, they determined that this event happened in just an hour
and left quite a chunky trail of ice in its wake. This powerful
disconnection was registered by earthquake monitors 155 miles away.
The Ayles Ice Shelf was one of six
major ice shelves still left in
Canada.
With
the
consistent
climate changes, the remaining ice
shelves are all 90% smaller than
when they were discovered in
1906. Warwick Vincent, an arctic
specialist from Laval University,
has said that they are “unable to
connect all the dots … but
unusually
warm
temperatures
definitely played a major role
NASA images
NASA images
[towards the melting.]”
Luke Copland is head of the new global ice lab at the University of Ottawa. Laurie Weir, from the Canadian
Ice Services, informed him that while reviewing satellite images of 2005, she noticed that the shelf had
split and separated. He dove in to find out what happened and why. He compiled satellite images from
both Canada and US data and was surprised at how fast such an action occurred.
These Canadian Arctic Ice Shelves are archaeological dreams!
They contain ice that dates back 3000 years. These shelves float
but are actually connected to land. Within days it had floated a
few miles, but overall it floated 31 miles before it settled into the
Arctic waters to be frozen in again for the winter. With spring
coming fast, the worry now is whether it will again dislodge and
continue to float southward as it had been. With winds and water
currents there is a concern that eventually this giant piece of ice
could float into the populated shipping region.
Have you noticed mention of rising seas, killer heat waves,
worsening droughts or even that hurricanes are found to be
stronger? The leading authorities have stated these are all very
accurate yet disturbing factors which portray global warming as a
very real and worsening threat to the whole world.

Ross Ice Shelf, 1997

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change consists of hundreds of scientists and representatives
from 113 countries who represent the most authoritative science on the issue. These are the world’s
leading climate scientists who are concerned with Global Warming. They have said that global warming is
“very likely” man-made which translates to more than a 90% chance of certainty that this is so in their
latest report issued this year. There was speculation on whether the committee would go so far as to claim
it to be “virtually certain” that man caused global warming (which would translate to a 99% chance).
Let’s face it -- most scientists are skeptics by nature, so this number has to be a bit low considering the
report is based on science that is “rock-solid, peer-reviewed, conservative and consensus.” Overall, when
the report was written, the blame being placed on human activity was undebatably well-worded.
REFERENCE: Gilles, Rob. "Arctic Ice Shelf Breaks Free." Associated Press.
Discovery Communications, Inc. 29 December 2006.
<http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2006/12/29/articice_pla.html

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Spring 2007

37

TYRSSEN: Okay, at the risk of drawing some fire
for this: I've gotta admit, I think the whole thing's
kinda dumb ... and always did. Even as kids in the
1950's we didn't pay much attention to it.
When I evolved into a Magickal being, and began
leaarning/connecting with the Tarot, I had a much
better opinion of The Fool. This was not a "stupid"
guy, as the modern useage of the word implies. It
was someone who, like Thoreau, "marched to the
beat of a different drummer," in pursuit of truth -the ultimate Magickal quest. There is something
sublimely noble in his single-minded pursuit of that
quest; it is the ultimate argument in favor of
originality and individuality.
And of course, the potential consequences of
following such a position are all too obvious...
especially to great, wise Wizards like ourselves...
right? Right? Right?

Jymi X/0

KORERHI: I have never been into AFD, but even
being aware of the fuller meaning of the Fool since
learning the Tarot, I have even less respect and
interest in AFD.
To me its just an excuse for people to do dumb or
mean things to other people. I've seen some pretty
mean things done in the name of 'fun' on AFD...

Do What Thy Will but Harm None?
By Xyaida, Order of the Dancing Flames
April Fool’s Day and this statement seem almost like
an oxymoron. Any prank, whether it be loosening a
salt shaker lid or disassembling a vehicle, will have
consequences. Many things that are actually funny
are harmful to others, or cause some aspect of pain
or embarrassment. These all have the ability to harm
someone whether temporarily, or even worse,
permanently, depending on the degree of hurt.
We have chosen a path that requires us to be a tad
bit mature towards these types of activities and help
others be aware of the possible effects their actions
could cause. To ruin one's meal is one thing; you may
want to have a few extra bucks to replace the meal.
But then there are those pranks which may not be
fixable in such a fashion. When you know someone
may take a joke too far, is it not our place, as
Wizards, to bring to their attention the “What ifs?”
I’ve seen too many pranks gone bad not to want folks
to consider that some things just aren’t funny. If it
will cost someone money to fix it, then be prepared to
pay that. If it will cause embarrassment, be prepared
to soften the blow and make sure they are actually all
right after the fact. If it could cause personal injury,
Areeya
simply said, do your best to prevent it from fruition.
Remember, destruction of property is illegal whether it is done in jest or not. Physically hurting someone
is, again, illegal if done premeditatively.
So this April Fool’s Day, maybe try to pick up the pieces others leave behind and keep safety in the fore
front of your mind!

Whispering Grey Matters

38

Spring 2007

April Tricksters
By Prof. Moonwriter, Dean of Students
The word “trickster” comes with two
meanings. In the common vernacular,
a trickster is someone who cheats or
deceives
people,
or
who
is
untrustworthy. The sheer number of
synonyms
filling
our
language—
swindler,
cheat,
fraud
charlatan,
mountebank, quack, impostor, sham,
rogue, villain, shyster, scoundrel, con
man,
con
artist,
sharp,
shark,
flimflammer, grifter, scam artist, bunco
artist, chiseler—shows the penetration
of the trickster in everyday life.
But “trickster” also comes with a
scholarly meaning. In mythology and
folklore, the trickster is a character
who takes human, animal, and/or
Tyrssen
supernatural form to engage in
behavior that is unexpected and
outrageous. Tricksters may be benevolent or dangerous, enemy or
benefactor, but are invariably antisocial and often asexual. According to
folklorist Jan Brunvand, “[The trickster’s] antisocial behavior provides
negative models for conduct and the release of tensions via fantasy.” In
scholarly guise, the trickster becomes an archetype, a recurrent symbol or
motif that appears throughout literature, art, mythology, or popular
culture. Psychologist Carl Jung and scholar Joseph Campbell tell us that
these recurrent “archetypes” are primitive mental images inherited from
our earliest human ancestors, and embedded in our human collective
unconscious.
In North America, aboriginal societies have one or more trickster figures.
In Northwest Coastal tribes (Tlingit, Tsimshian, etc.), this is Raven;
known for stealing the sun from the sky people and bringing light to the
human world, Raven released humankind from a dark, primordial
existence but exposed them to the visibility of danger. In the
southwestern and northwestern U.S., the chief trickster is Coyote, who
appears as man, spirit, or animal, sometimes bringing food and sometime
destroying of the world. Coyote is credited with creation of landforms and
the placement of the stars in the sky. Some tribes in central and north
central America consider the rabbit to be a potent trickster; these
traditions led to the Brer Rabbit folktales, and the Bugs Bunny cartoon
series.
Tricksters also populate the pages of mythology and lore. Possibly the
best known is Loki, trickster-figure of Norse mythology. Or consider
Prometheus, a Ravenesque figure of Greek mythology, who stole fire from
the Gods and gave it to the humans. Odysseus is a well known warriortrickster, a human who managed to evade the wrath of the Gods over and
over through a combination of luck, wit, and his own supernatural
connections. Or what about Puck—a pre-Christian, chaotic nature spirit
immortalized in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The trickster lives on in modern pop culture—in characters like Captain
Jack Sparrow, or Mad-Eye Moody. Tricksters are among us… keeping our
lives… interesting.

********
Tag
You're
It
The sky turns grey
The north winds blow
And with it comes
The ice and snow
The winter mix
Falls all around
Brillant white
The color ground
From deep within
A man emerges
Heeding not
Wife's pleads and urges
To keep at bay
The winter bur
Gloves hat and boots
All lined with fur
He could have stayed
Safe in his hovel
Yet he chose
To grab his shovel
He leaves behind
Hearth's warmth and fire
To shovel snow
He will not tire
As the snow
Keeps coming down
He shovels snow
All around
Niether one
Will yield or quit
Through out their game
Of Tag You're It

Cashew 2007

********

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

39

-=-=-=REVIEWS=-=-=BOOKS
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
By: Wingseeker

This is a story, written by James Patterson, about 6
amazing kids: Angel, Gasman, Nudge, Iggy, Fang
and Max (the narrator and protagonist). These kids
have been genetically enhanced. Among their many
abilities, the one that sticks out the most is their
wings. That's right, these mutants can fly. Obviously
that 2% of human DNA has had a HUGE impact on
their lives.

WGM Harry Potter Exclusive!
A First Look at the Last Book!
A rare advance copy of the rough draft was
delivered anonymously to the WGM offices, with a
mysterious post-it note attached suggesting that
Grey School students should be among the first
people in the world to receive information about this
long-awaited last installment of the Harry Potter
series.
As we all know, J. K. Rowling is a literary genius.
Her red-herring title, announced last year, fooled
everyone. Even this reviewer was expecting
something about the "Deathly Hollows". But as it
turns out, the title of the last book in the wildly
popular series about the boy wizard will be...

This flock, as they call themselves, has been
separated from humanity. They escaped from a lab,
or The School, with the help of Jeb, a scientist from
The School. He raised them and taught them a
great many things that they use and come in very
"Harry Potter and the Irritating Rash"
handy later on in their life. He disappeared a while
ago though, and has been assumed dead.
Harry's formative years spent living under the stairs
But when the Flock is attacked and Angel is have finally taken their toll. In the opening pages,
abducted, the flock splits up. Gasman and Iggy stay Harry finally succumbs to a long-untreated allergy
home while Nudge, Fang, and Max return to the traced to a common household fungus which had
been growing in a corner of the Dursley family
dreaded School to save Angel.
basement.
This book is fast paced and it takes many sharp
turns, so hang on, because this is the Maximum To make matters worse, someone has broken into
Hogwart's herbal supply cabinet, so Harry must rely
Ride.
on Muggle medicines to treat the itchy spots. His
What I love most about this book is how truly attempt to acquire a simple ointment from the
believable it is. Fang has a blog set up at corner drugstore result in the last, climactic
http://maximumride.blogspot.com.
The
Angel adventure with Ron and Hermione (who always
Experiment is a good book with a lot of information seems to have a tissue when one is needed). I can
and events coming at you fast and a plot that reveal no more without spoiling the surprises, but I
stretches past the pages of the series. It is a will say that no one will be surprised to find out that
thought-provoking book which I could not put down. Lord Voldemort is secretly in charge of the United
It is a book I would recommend to anyone and States health insurance system.
everyone.

TELEVISION
The Dresden Files
By: Silentfaun

Are angry apparitions annoying your customers?
Vain vampires victimizing your neighbors?
No problem! Just let your fingers do the walking,
and there in the Chicago yellow pages you will find
the only listed wizard for hire, Harry Blackstone
Copperfield Dresden - a private detective with a
little something extra.
The Dresden Files, a SciFi channel original series
based on the series of books by Jim Butcher, is a
Continued Next Page...
Photo by Aurora Vampira

Whispering Grey Matters

fun-filled blend of magic and wizardry, with old
fashioned, hard-boiled, detective action thrown in
for fun. A fairly new show, having premiered on
January 21st of this year, it airs on the SciFi channel
in the US, Space: The Imagination Station in
Canada, and Sky One in the UK. Here you will find
ghosts and ghouls, skin-walkers and vampires, and
a host of nasties and helpfuls, both magickal and
mundane - as well as a plethora of interesting side
characters to help or hinder as the case may be.
Harry’s hands are always full. If he isn’t working a
case for a client, or consulting for the Chicago PD’s
Special Investigation Unit (lead by the ever skeptical
Lt. Karrin Murphy), then he is battling his own
personal demons (sometimes literally) with a little
advice and sarcasm from Bob, the old spirit “owned”
by Dresden, who once belonged to Harry’s
uncle...until Harry was forced to “self-defense” him
to death.
Reminiscent of both the WB’s Charmed and Buffy
the Vampire Slayer, often the most fun for magickal
folks, when watching this type of show, is in
identifying the facts and the fallacy, the accurate
and the apocryphal. It’s an entertaining series, put
together quite well, but it is definitely based in
Hollywood fantasy over magickal reality. Still
overall, it’s fun, quirky and unique enough that
mundane and magickal folk alike should get a kick
from watching Harry Dresden and the denizens of
the dark battle it out in a sort of “magickal,
Raymond Chandler book” come to life. Sam Spade
never had it this tough.
Sources:
“WikipediA” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dresden_Files 2007
“SciFi.com” http://www.scifi.com/dresden/index.html

40

Spring 2007

FILM
The Illusionist
By: Wingseeker

This movie of a young boy who turns grows to be an
amazing magician and re-encounters an old love.
It's a love story intertwined with amazing magic and
illusions. I found this movie inspiring and I learned a
magic trick from it. Hmm...Maybe I should tell you
all not to watch it so you don't know the secret to
the trick.
It may lack in action but it makes up for it with a
good plot and beautiful illusions. Pay attention
carefully. You can never really trust a magician.
Every thing they say spills the truth, and yet, it's a
complete and utter lie. Can you pick it apart? With a
great ending that made me go “Wow, I can't believe
I didn't catch that.” Many people wouldn't like it, but
those who can keep up will be entranced.

Looking for a Good Springtime Film?
Compiled by Prof. Moonwriter
Easter Parade
1948, 102 min.; Dir. Charles Walters. Stars include
Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford, and Ann
Miller. Take a step back into the past with this Irving
Berlin musical, which exists mostly as a vehicle to
watch the stars sing and dance.
Enchanted April
1991, 101 min.; Dir. Mike Newell. Stars include
Miranda Richardson and Alfred Molina. A quartet of
British women—disillusioned and bored with city life
—spend the spring vacationing in a medieval Italian
villa, and find their lives reawakened. Very
romantic, and gorgeous scenery!
The Four Seasons
1981, 107 min; Dir. Alan Alda. Stars include Alan
Alda, Carol Burnett, Sandy Dennis, and Rita Moreno.
A lightweight “dramedy” about three couples who
vacation together four times a year. Lovely Vivaldi
background score.
Springtime in the Rockies
1942, 90 min.; Dir. Irving Cummings. Stars include
Betty Grable, Carmen Miranda, and Caesar Romero.
A musical comedy, complete with lots of singing and
dancing and a few bright red Canadian Mounties.

"Rude Little Flowers" Jymi X/0

Steel Magnolias
1989, 118 min.; Dir. Herbert Ross. Stars include
Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Julia
Roberts, and Tom Skerritt. An unabashed chick flick
that will find you working through a box of Kleenex
but smiling in the springtime final scene. Ever see a
giant Easter Bunny riding a motorcycle? This film
has one!

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

41

CENSUS-ORED
-- Jymi X/0
April isn't just about fools and cruel jokes – in the
U.S., it's also tax time! (Pause for sarcastic effect.)
What better way for the government to figure out
how to spend the taxpayers' money than to take a
survey?
I recently received a letter from the United States
Department of Commerce. It said that I was one of
a select group chosen to participate in a Very
Important Process, and if I did so, I might have
already won ten million dollars, and that I should
watch my mail for the next week or so. Sure
enough, in a couple of days I got a big heavy
official-looking envelope. I examined it closely, but
Ed McMahon's picture was nowhere to be seen. I
thought it was a good sign that it wasn't full of
stickers that I would be obliged to locate and affix
-- if they're still sending you the stickers, you
haven't won anything yet.
The envelope contained a 24-page form called the
AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY. I was dismayed
to learn that they didn't want to give me money at
all; they only wanted me to "take about 40 minutes
of my time" to fill out their form. The letter
accompanying the AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY
implied that not only was it my duty as a good
citizen, but that I should be honored to represent
my community by filling out the AMERICAN
COMMUNITY SURVEY, which, according to the
colorful brochure, is all about "EMPOWERMENT",
and is "an exciting new way for individuals like you
to make a difference in your community."
Well, I was so excited that I nearly got up and
emptied the cat box, but I managed to contain my
enthusiasm. The colorful brochure went on to
assure me that my answers would be kept in the
strictest confidence, which immediately gave me
visions of the employees at the U.S. Census Bureau
sitting around, opening piles of dutifully-filled-out
AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY forms, yelling
across the room at each other, "Hey, Sharon! Get a
load of this one! She's got NO KIDS and lives in an
apartment!"
"Yeah?" Sharon would yell back. "Sounds like a
good candidate for the Franklin Mint Collectible
Shelf-Junk Series mailing list! Put her in the
database right away!" Then Sharon would get on
the phone with her pals and they'd all have a good
laugh over my answer to question 25. ("How many

people, including this person, usually rode to work
in the car, truck, or van LAST WEEK?") This is
certainly not information I would want to be known
by anyone outside of my closest circle of friends.
By this time, I was peeved. Not only had I not won
ten million dollars, but they wanted me to spend an
entire 40 minutes listing personal details that I
don't spend 40 minutes thinking about during the
entire year. According to the colorful brochure, this
information would help them decide, for example,
which roads they could tear up next summer and
leave undone until after Thanksgiving. And as far
as me being an accurate representative of my
community, they'd have done much better if they'd
sent their form to Bonzo the Galloping WonderSquid.
So I tossed the AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY
into my "get around to it after I've visited Jupiter"
file and forgot about it.
Did you know that there's a $100 fine for not filling
out the AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY completely
and correctly to the best of my knowledge?
Fortunately, I learned this before I followed through
on my funny idea to tell them that I was a Demon
freshly immigrated from the 5th layer of Hell and
that my occupation was "Squeezing Things". (I'm
sure Sharon would have got a kick out of that.)
Unfortunately, I'd already put this information on
the form, and would have to ask them for another
blank. So back into the Jupiter file it went while I
pretended to get around to thinking up a good
excuse for why I needed another form.
They really, really want to me to fill out the
AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY. Today, without
even asking, I got another heavy envelope in the
mail (AND another colorful brochure), with a letter
reiterating that they were very eager to start
tearing up the roads around my house, and would
I please do my duty and send them their form as
soon as possible? In addition, if I did NOT send in
my form, they might be forced to send a census
worker to my door and this would cost the
taxpayers more. It doesn't mention the guns and
dogs that would be accompanying the census
worker, but from the tone of the letter, I get the
point.
I wonder how much the taxpayers had to shell out
for all these colorful brochures?

Whispering Grey Matters

Pet Health – Tips & Tricks (Part 1)
Commonsense ways to ensure
your pet’s health & wellbeing

42

Spring 2007

highest level of well-being for your pet.
Dogs

Mix 1/3 raw vegetables (any except onions, which
By Anna (Rilana) Fox, Coterie of the Flowing
can be toxic to dogs), 1/3 cooked grains (white rice
Waters.
or pasta are acceptable, but whole grains or brown
Just like people, pets can suffer from allergies, heart rice are preferable), and 1/3 raw meat. Add a splash
disease, cancer, liver and kidney failure, and other of oil and serve - it’s that simple! (Note that
serious illnesses. These conditions are exacerbated measurements are given as proportions rather than
by the energy-depleted, over-processed foods we amounts, as serving sizes will vary considerably
feed our pets, and the lack of vitamins, minerals, depending on the size of your dog.)
enzymes and other nutrients in their diets. Most
Raw bones are also recommended once a day,
commercial pet foods also contain harmful additives
especially marrowbone or kangaroo tails.
and processed grains, instead of fresh, high quality
ingredients. These foods weaken the immune Cats
system, providing the environment for disease to
Unlike
dogs,
cats
are
almost
exclusively
become manifest.
carnivorous, and will do well on a meat-only diet.
Improving your pet's health is relatively simple. It is Give your cat raw meat, fish (whitebait is the
a matter of feeding your pets natural, whole foods, perfect size for cats, and very inexpensive), or
and ensuring a proper balance of vitamins, minerals organic chicken. Feed in small portions twice a day,
and micronutrients is achieved. I recommend the and remember to remove uneaten food before it
following basic diets for dogs and cats, try them and spoils.
watch your best friend grow healthier and happier
When allowed to go outside, cats will normally
before your very eyes!
supplement this diet with herbs and grasses, which,
All animals
apart from self-medicating, also supply nutrients
that are not present in meat, such as chlorophyll.
If you have the means to feed your pets organic
Therefore, it is especially important to supplement
foods and filtered water, please do so! Organic
the diet of indoor cats who are not permitted to go
vegetables can be grown cheaply and with little
outside with a good vitamin-mineral supplement.
effort in your own garden, and I’m sure there’s a
GSW Class on how to do it, as well as the GSW Birds
Gardening Club.
Birds should always have a good mix of different
The easiest way to prepare vegetables is to use the grains and seeds as well as fresh water available. I
pulp left over from juicing. I like my carrot, apple, also recommend giving birds some raw fruit and
beetroot and celery juice in the mornings, and there vegetables daily. It’s nice if you can give them some
are plenty of nutrients left in the pulp to keep the access to fresh grasses as well.
dog and the birds healthy as well! If you don’t drink
juices (you should, they’re great for you!), you’ll Some birds, especially parrots, will happily eat a
need to use a food processor, as they should be whole apple or another fruit if you just cut it in half.
Others need the fruit and veg to be chopped or
chopped up quite finely.
pureed on the food processor. Be guided by what
For meat-eating pets, try to get game meats, as your birds like, but please, stick to foods that are
they are generally leaner and free of all the naturally eaten by your species of bird!
hormones and antibiotics that are present in
commercially grown meats. Also keep in mind that Never give your chickens “layer pellets” as they are
diced meat is better than minced. Here in Australia, made with fish and meat meal – that is, ground up
many pet shops sell frozen diced kangaroo meat in fish, cow and chicken bones – about as far from a
1kg packs (and 15kg boxes) at very reasonable natural diet as a chicken can get! Chickens’ diet
should consist mainly of wheat, other grains and
prices.
seeds, fruit and vegetables, grasses, any insects
Always add a good colloidal or crystalloid vitamin and worms they can capture. Look for “wild bird
and mineral supplement and some high-grade seed” in your supermarket – it’s great to mix in with
Omega 3 and 6 oils.
their wheat and they love it! If you are able to let
them out, even if for only a few hours a day, then
Aged garlic extract, various herbs, enzymes,
do so! They will always return to their “coop” by
spirulina, bee pollen and kelp can also be added
sundown.
either on a regular basis or as needed, to ensure the
Continued Next Page...

Whispering Grey Matters

43

Spring 2007

Questions?

Comments, follow up questions and pet status
Remember, if your pet is unwell, try the natural diet updates can also be sent to [email protected].
suggested above first, and if problems persist, email You can also visit my website
questions to me at [email protected]! Realise at www.9livespetclinic.com.
that you need to try the natural diet for at least a
month or two before seeing results, and most
animals will not even need further treatment.

Spring’s Special Rabbit

(Hippity-hop, Easter/Eostara/Spring is on its way!)
By Aurora Vampira, Sylphs House; special to WGM
Where did “The Easter Bunny” come from anyway? Everyone knows
it’s supposedly a magical rabbit that hides candies in hollow, colored
eggs for children to find. But I always wondered why.
Most people view it as a signal of spring. Rabbits are one of the first
animals to reproduce in spring, and they’re abundant during
springtime.
As for decorated eggs, we must look at the deeper traits of spring like
growth, life and fertility. An egg symbolizes those things, and it isn’t
so strange that the egg is colored because spring is so colorful
compared to winter’s bleakness.
The rabbit was also a main character in a story told by ancient
Pagans. It was for the festival celebrating the birth of spring, held on
the vernal equinox.

Photo by Aurora Vampira

The tale went like this: Once there was a rabbit that loved and revered Eostre, the Goddess of Spring. In
fact, he loved her so much that he laid an egg and painted it, and then presented it to her as a gift (how
he laid it is a mystery to me!). Eostre was so pleased that she asked him to deliver his beautiful eggs all
over the world.
This helps explain how stories of a strange springtime rabbit were molded into traditional springtime
customs. It just goes to show you how far stories can go!
Another version: Long ago, a little girl got lost in the forest. Destined to die from the harsh winter cold,
she could do nothing but lie on the snow and cry. Then she saw a small bird, frozen and half-buried in the
snow. She picked it up and held it, but its life was quickly fading. She called out “Goddess Eostre, please
help this bird!” The goddess heard, and noticed how the girl thought nothing of her own survival. For this,
Eostre showed herself to the girl and healed the bird. But its wings were still frozen, and it struggled on
the ground. The goddess performed another miracle: she turned the bird into a rabbit! It hopped away,
the girl was overjoyed, and as Eostre floated away, the girl suddenly remembered the way home. The
rabbit turned out to be magickal; come spring, the rabbit started laying brightly colored eggs. The rabbit
lives on today as The Eostara/Spring/Easter Bunny!
Sources:
<http://www.crystalforest3.homestead.com/Ostarahistory.html>
<http://wiccancommunity.proboards36.com/index.cgi?board=halloween&action=display&thread=1099347990&page=1>
<http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usxx&c=holidays&id=6200>

PROF. STONETALKER: I don't know the origins, but in England on April Fool's Day we used to
say 'white rabbits' upon meeting someone. That somehow exempted us from having a trick
played upon us. I don't know if it was something local to the area in which we lived, or if it is a
more widespread custom. I'll see if I can find the origins of the practice.

Whispering Grey Matters

Spring 2007

44

All About Easter Eggs (digital, not chocolate!)
By Prof. Moonwriter, Stones Lodge
In terms of computer software, video games, or DVDs, an Easter Egg is a hidden feature that
programmers conceal within a piece of software or digital media. Some Easter Eggs—as in DVDs—contain
special features, games, etc. Others are simply put there for the amusement of the programmer, as in
lists of production developers, inside jokes, etc.
To qualify as an Easter Egg, the material must have been put in place intentionally by the producer. It
must be obscure and hard to find, reproducible (anyone who tests it must get the same result), and
should be fun (i.e. not malicious or dangerous in intent).
How can you find Easter Eggs? Some of them are so deeply concealed that finding them is akin to solving
a multi-level computer game. Most are easier to spot. Start by searching through every “tab” on every
available menu. Use your cursor to search for clickable spots on display screens. Watch for odd things in
the background, or for sudden blurry-looking segments in films; sometimes if you freeze-frame these, an
Egg will appear.
Here are some known Easter Eggs:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone—Special Edition (DVD): On the Opening screen on Disc two,
select Diagon Alley (Hedwig). Put the selector on Gringotts, then press down selecting the key. Click to
get to the Gringotts area, then select the Galleon, Sickle, and Knut and click. You should be back at the
main Diagon Alley page. Go to Ollivander's. Select a wand. Return to the main screen, select the wand,
and click, getting to the classrooms. Select Transfiguration (the cat), then hit down to select the owls on
the torch, then hit up to click the H on a Shield. At Fluffy, select the Flute and click. At the Keys, select
the Silver one in the middle with a bent wing. At the Bottles (which was not in the Movie) select the round
one with the yellow liquid. Select the Red stone in the mirror to get to at least seven deleted scenes.
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring—extended version (DVD): Go to chapter selection on Disk
One. Go to the final chapter (The Council of Elrond) and while the chapter is lit up, press down on the
remote. You will uncover a hidden ring. Select it and you will uncover Jack Black's spoof of the Council of
Elrond.
Wicker Man—Special Edition (DVD): Pop disc two into your DVD player (director's cut). Highlight
Commentary On and then click right. An orange pagan man appears. Click enter on your remote and 14
minutes of footage will appear of Lee, Woodward, Hardy and Kermode recording the audio commentary
for the director's cut of the film.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer—Season 7 (DVD): On the opening screen go to Special features and press
enter. On the next screen, go to featurettes and press enter. Press left and a large B will appear. Press
enter. A quick montage of scenes mostly featuring heroes and villains from the series will be shown.
Chronicle of Narnia (DVD): Put in Disk Two of the Collector's edition. Choose “Creating Narnia” from
Main Menu. Select Evolution of an Epic. Scroll down and to the left to a folding director's chair. Highlight a
golden symbol on the back of the chair and Enter to see a sequence about the Turkish delight.
Sources:
Wolf, David and Annette Wolf. “Easter Eggs in DVDs, Software, Movies, Music, and More.
http://www.eeggs.com/ (No date)

The Easter Egg Archive.

---{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}--TRALFEYN: I don't get into the whole AFD thing myself, unless of
course you count being gullible at times!! There's a group of us that gets
together locally in my area and one of the people in our group is going
to be bringing notes about a "9th holiday". He wrote on our Yahoo group
that he celebrates the 8 holidays, but also has a celebration he does on
April Fool's Day to honor Eris, Goddess of Discord!! I can't wait to see
what he has in store for us!!

Whispering Grey Matters

45

Spring 2007

By Seth Tyrssen -- advisor DADA club, with contributions from:
Xyaida, CloudsGazer, LostAngelForgiven & WillowRune.
The ancient maritime bell echoed through the smallish ritual chamber,
set up in convenience, as the situation warranted. Candles cast their
flickering glow across walls painted black, orange and red,
contributing to a surrealistic atmosphere and the enticing smell of
musk incense lingered at the corner of one’s senses.
“We meet, we gather, we conjure, we adjure; myself and all those
Forces without and within, beneath the moon’s watchful eye …”
I was alone, but I tend to address forces I know are watching. A
solitary working, yet I was confident that others, elsewhere, were
engaged in the same matter. After all, when one of our own -- a
fellow Grey School of Wizardry student – says they can use some
help, then help is what they’ll get!
It seems a lot of us, (and our wide circles of friends and relatives!),
are beset with health problems these days. An unusually large number. This strikes me as odd, and I
make a mental note of it …
“In the sight of Runes and Faery-folk, in the sight of the Aesir and the Vanir, in the sight of Eir, beloved
Goddess of Healing, we transform this space from a room of the mundane unto a sacred place …”
I don’t always work within any particular form or framework, commonly accepted as ritual structure.
Sometimes I just come in swinging; raising and sending the energy, after all, is what it’s all about.
Whatever works for you – whatever gets the adrenalin pumping – that’s the correct form to use.
Sometimes that form is formless…
When fellow Grey School student Filia Chironis fell ill and sought a bit of help in getting health and energy
back, function and results were far more important to me than any set form. As it turns out, she had quite
a lot of support from fellow Grey School students with a wide variety of experience levels!
WillowRune, experienced in Reiki, concentrated upon a Reiki distance-healing symbol, “to send calming
and replenishing healing energy to wherever her body feels it needs it the most.” After sending,
WillowRune meditated upon a healing mandala – a complex design, a mandala is both symbol and
gateway …
Elsewhere in the country, another group of students had answered the call. Xyaida, CloudsGazer, and
LostAngelForgiven gathered in what was for them a new experience; group ritual workings may be “old
news” to us faculty folk, but are “uncharted territory” to many new students of Wizardry. Their workingchamber assembled, they proceeded to put into practice the lessons that had before been only theory…
I centered myself, grounding rapidly and by instinct. The energy-rise
was warm as it flowed upward, flipping the switches of consciousness
to “on.” The music recorded for this rite played in the background,
and the power-surge began…
… In their own chamber, young healing-warriors, feeling awfully
aware of the newness of the experience, linked and focused their
energies as they sat in sacred circle, around a pentacle lit with
candles of various colors. Symbolic representations of the 4 Elements
were positioned, and the air purified with the scent of sage …

Whispering Grey Matters

46

Spring 2007

… The Grand Chemin blazed in blue flame before me, hovering over the altar; I set down the athame, that
dark Rune-blade I’ve had for years, and began to pour forth the Healing Energies. Conscious of her link
and presence, a thin smile of greeting must have crossed my face as I gazed upon the portrait of the
Goddess Eir, ancient Norse goddess of health and well-being. She has helped me before. I try not to
pester her too often.
… Solemnly, the young Wizards wrote their healing-requests on parchment, wrapped scroll-fashion, and
burnt them, sending forth the vibrations into the aethyr. Filia Chironis could not help but be on the
receiving end of some very good vibes, indeed. Writing in retrospect, Xyaida said “Knowing that she, too,
is a Flame, I was comfortable trying to create a good connection…”
… I was lost in trance-like state, lost among the stars, lost among the molecules of the Multiverse. “Send
now the essence-power of life…the energy of health and well-being…the might of the goddess Eir, to make
hale and whole our sister in craft and study…” The energy surged forth, in a silent roar, and then it was
gone. I slumped in my seated position before the altar. Pink Floyd played the eerie chords of “The Grand
Vizier’s Garden Party” as my breathing slowly returned, then regulated…
… The closing was issued, the elements thanked, and the young Wizards of the Grey School returned to
this realm of reality. The very air about them seemed changed, and they found themselves gathering their
wits. The candles continued to burn, for as Xyaida later said, “To burn fully and completely without having
to be re-lit – this was our own closure to the ritual, allowing the process to have the benefit of pacing
itself until fully taken in.”
My own dimly-lit chamber was empty now. The candles done, the music ended. Adora, my highlyopinionated Dark Faery resin figure, sat in protective dominance over the room once more.
I was curious, later, to learn how the other participants had felt about their efforts. Cloudsgazer gave a
delightfully direct answer: “I learned that rituals aren’t something to be afraid of; I was a little unsure at
first. I plan on practicing my grounding and centering a lot …”
“After the rite, I felt pretty good about helping out a friend,” said WillowRune of her Reiki sending. “And I
felt she was doing well.” Good positive feedback.
With her usual high-energy eloquence, Xyaida commented that “Overall, I feel that the healing rite we
performed for Filia Chironis was with good intention, and positive energy to promote good fortune. I felt
as if I established my seriousness and compassion…All effort was put forth in this ceremony, which allows
me to believe in my heart that Filia Chironis did receive our positive energy.”
Me? No doubt in my mind.
And Filia Chironis? She’s doing much better, obviously; popping ‘round the forums on a regular basis
again. She found out that we who are the Grey School of Wizardry do not merely teach and absorb theory.
When one of our own is in need, we can be counted on to act.
So Mote It Be.

You have been reading (and, we hope, enjoying) the April 1, 2007 issue of
Whispering Grey Matters. Although all things are possible, and therefore, real on
some plane of existence, due to the nature of the season, a few of the pieces you
have read here are probably not, strictly speaking, 'real' in your particular universe.
Don't try to sign up for any of the "New Classes" on page 18. Nor should you wait
breathlessly for any book called "Harry Potter and the Irritating Rash" (p. 39).
In other words, Happy April Fool, Grey School!
Have great Spring and/or Fall, however you wish to celebrate!
(The monkeys mentioned in the credits on page 2 are also a fib...
due to certain literary specifications in their contracts, they
won't be showing up until next issue.)

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