Grey School Newspaper 13

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1

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

2

SAMHAIN 2007

ISSUE.13...SAMHAIN.2007
WGM STAFF
FACULTY ADVISOR: Professor Moonwriter
GSW NEWS DESK:
Section Editor: FrogsDancing
Staff Writers: JanicaJayne, Silentfaun,
Silverheron
NEWS DESK:
Section Editor: Belenus
Staff Writers: Terry Star, Sapphire Soleil
OPINION DESK:
Section Editor: Xyaida
Staff Writers: Areeya, Spirit of Youth,
Sapphire Soleil
ARTS & CULTURE DESK:
Section Editor: Wingseeker
Staff Writers: FrogsDancing, Silentfaun,
Spirit of Youth
SCIENCE DESK:
Section Editor: Jymi X/0
Staff Writers: Moonwriter, Tigersmoondiva
FOOD DESK:
Section Editor: Donella Lyonesse
Staff Writers: Tigersmoondiva
WIZARDING DESK:
Section Editor: Tigersmoondiva
Staff Writers: Areeya, Jymi X/0, Silverheron
ART DESK:
Lead Artist: Areeya
Staff Artists: Jymi X/0, Moony Lupin, Lady Sigel
PERMISSIONS & ACQUISITIONS:
FrogsDancing
COMMUNITY RELATIONS: JanicaJayne
COPY EDITOR/PUBLISHER: Jymi X/0
The cover is a collaboration between Areeya and
Moony of the WGM Art Desk (border embellishments by Jymi X/0).
CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS AND ARTISTS:
Grey Panther, Magelet, StormRaven, NinthDragon,
Kental Lorewalker, Estara T’shirai, Amber Phoenix,
and our Essay Contest winners: Anna Byington,
Earthwise Firerune, Aceotes, and Essence
*Special thanks to Xyaida and JanicaJayne for rendering extra assistance to those who were experiencing technical difficulties and other crunches this
quarter! We’re very glad to have FrogsDancing back,
and we look forward to Laneth’s return from hiatus.

CONTENTS
Three Cheers for the WGM Staff! ......................... 3
Letters to WGM ................................................. 3
GSW’s Third Birthday ......................................... 4
GSW Annual Report ........................................... 4
WGM Society News ............................................ 5
Arizona Conclave 2007 ....................................... 6
The ABCs of Conclaves ....................................... 7
New Captains and Prefects ................................. 8
Faculty Changes at GSW .................................... 8
New Club Announcement ................................... 8
Meet the Owls! .................................................. 9
Awards: ..................................................... 10-12
New Classes ................................................... 13
Department Resources: Focus on Lore ................ 13
House, Lodge & Club Updates ....................... 14-15
“Why I Want to Be a Wizard”
Essay Contest Winners ........... 16-17
South Africa Witchcraft Ban .............................. 18
The Unknown Superstitions ............................... 19
Friday the 13th: A Medieval Superstition
or Modern Hype? ........................ 20
India’s Hogwarts-style School
for Performance Magic ................ 20
Superstition or Tradition? .................................. 21
Food: Facts and Myths ...................................... 22
The D.I.R.T. Club’s Magical Plant of the Quarter ... 23
Protecting Cats Leads to Killing Them ................. 24
Seven Years Bad Luck:
The Truth Behind Breaking a Mirror .................... 24
Tarot: The Death Card ...................................... 25
Some of the Reasons Behind
a Few Halloween Traditions ............ 26
Frightful Decorations ........................................ 27
Poem: Poor Ghoul ............................................ 27
Reviews ..................................................... 28-29
Poem: Whispers ............................................. 30
Re-Teaching a Child, Why? ................................ 31
Poem: Now I See ............................................. 32
Standing Among the Giants:
The Old Growth Forest ................... 33
The Real Necronomicon .................................... 34
An Interview with Professor T’Shirai ................... 35
Ghost Stories .................................................. 36
Poem: Apollo .................................................. 37

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 © 2007 Grey School, except where otherwise noted.
Copyrights revert to original authors and artists upon publication.

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

3

SAMHAIN 2007

Three Cheers for
the WGM Staff!
By Prof. Moonwriter

I hope most of you look forward to each version of our quarterly student newspaper,
Whispering Grey Matters. I’ve been with it since its inception, and I’m proud to say it just
keeps getting better. The layout is better, the writing is better, the art is better…. Simply
said, it’s become an outstanding publication.
And why is this so? Two words: the staff. In the Spring 2007 edition of WGM, I shared
a little bit about how the WGM staff is structured, and how it functions. Today I’d like to
let you in on a secret about the staff: not only are they dedicated to putting out a terrific
paper, but they’re also committed to excelling as Grey School students.
Putting out each issue of WGM takes time and effort, and works via a series of newspaper cycles and deadlines. The process of writing and editing stories, placing art, and
creating pages takes a good deal of time, and as Advisor, I’ve always worried that the
demands of serving on WGM staff might pull students away from their wizardly studies.
So, in order to keep class work at the forefront, I proposed a set of academic policies
to the staff, and I was proud when they accepted the proposals unanimously (and with
enthusiasm!).
What are our new academic policies? Every WGM staff member must pass at least 1
class each quarter (between the equinoxes and solstices), and as of the December 2007
solstice, all WGM staffers must have completed the four required classes for Level 1.
(New staff members will also have to have finished the four classes before being considered for a staff position.)
Do we want Grey School students to take part in clubs and books chats and activities?
Absolutely! But academics must always come first.
Next time you pick up a copy of WGM, think about the hardworking student staff that
created it. Not only are they fiercely dedicated to the paper, but they’re also outstanding
Grey School apprentices, setting an example for the rest of the student body to follow.

Letters to WGM
WGM,
I’m a VERY big fan of the work you do. Each issue is always better than
the last. I wanted to share something with you.
See, as of the last issue I started doing something new. I print the entire issue out (the first page in color, the rest in black and white). Then
I hole punch and put it in a binder that is labeled. It keeps the newest
issue on-hand for reading at my convenience.
I highly recommend this to everybody!
But anyway, keep up the good work; it’s very much appreciated!
Many Blessings,
Gero

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

GSW’s
Third
By Xyaida, Flames Lodge

4

SAMHAIN 2007

Birthday

It has been an amazing year here at Grey School of Wizardry! Year three
has shown a large growth of students, classes, and activities surrounding many different Wizardly paths.
The students and faculty actively supported ‘Project Deluge’ and bombarded our Headmaster Oberon and our Headmistress Morning Glory
with cards, gifts, and family support for the continuation of years to
come and many Thanks for such a place for all of us to learn and share.
We have been told that it took them days to go through all the cards and
such where many tears of joy were shed; they were overwhelmed yet
in such a positive fashion one would have shed a tear for the outcome
of fulfillment of such a secretive task. (Oberon was even ‘booted’ from
his Lodge for a little while so we could have this project run without him
finding out!)
There is no doubt that this school is growing and is evolving into an
entity of knowledge and community. Goals have been set higher than
expected even a year ago and the students are involved in many aspects of both the educational and social aspects of what this school has
to offer. One should look for what we accomplish over this next year and
see what we as a group accomplish!
Happy Birthday Grey School with many more to come!

THE GREY SCHOOL
OF WIZARDRY
GSW
Annual Report 2007
Grey Panther
Flames Lodge / Dean of Wizardry

The Grey School of Wizardry is now in its fourth year
of operation! The Annual Report for 2007, spanning the
time between July 31, 2007 and August 1, 2007, is complete and available for download at:
http://www.dragontreemagick.com/GSWAnnualReport2007.pdf.
Highlights include an update on the new Phoenix Project,
a report on summer Conclaves, and a long list of awards
and accomplishments of our own Grey School students!
Our past Captains and Prefects have included a report
on House and Lodge events. You will also find write-ups
on the individuals who were honored with the Teacher,
Mentor, and Youth and Adult Student of the Year Awards!
Be sure to check it out for all the up-to-date information
about our own Grey School of Wizardry!

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

WGM
Society News
Compiled by JanicaJayne
As of September 9, 2007, Gero has reached Level
3 in his class work. He looks forward to “Level 3 as
a chance to explore his major (Healing) and his minor (Ceremonial Magick) in more depth.” Congrats
Gero!
In June 2007, Professor Moonwriter completed her
MA in nonfiction writing at Portland State University,
graduating with a 4.0 GPA. She is now finishing a
second MA at PSU in English Literature. She plans to
complete the 2nd MA in March-June 2008. Awesome
job Professor!
Professor Barrette has published a new book entitled: “Composing Magic: How to Create Magical
Spells, Rituals, Blessings, Chants and Prayers.” Professor Moonwriter, who contributed a piece to the
book, tells us “the book is fabulous and that it is
about writing all kinds of magic, with a special focus
on poetry.” Congrats Professor Barrette!
Tralfeyn, with his friend Don, attended the 15th Annual Pagan Picnic at Tower Park in St. Louis, Missouri, and helped out by working in the Information
Booth. He also got to meet: Ellen Dugan, Raven Grimassi, our own Professor Barrette and Luna Silverstone from the Stones Lodge. Tralfeyn had a great
time and was amazed at everything there was to do
and see.
Sorbus, of the Salamander House, received a scholarship to attend the Ashland Seminar for Acting this
summer with the Oregon
Shakespeare
Festival
(OSF) for Juniors. He
picked up the application and wrote many essays to compete for the
chance to go. He was
one of 60 High School
Juniors from all over the
world to be accepted to
the workshop. The Seminar was a 13-day intensive workshop covering
everything from auditions, dance, and stage
combat to technical aspects.
Sorbus states,
“All in all, I loved it and
am truly inspired to keep
at my art and passions.”

5

SAMHAIN 2007
Our F
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D

D
Moony Lupin

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

6

SAMHAIN 2007

Arizona Conclave 2007
By Xyaida, Flames Lodge

T

his was an amazing adventure for me! Prof. Dragontree
and Kristalbrooke had many difficulties with this since the
site had to be relocated only a couple weeks before the Conclave due to wildfires in the area.
It was moved to Lolomai Springs Campground in Sedona, AZ.
A wonderful place who actually have said we are a welcomed
group to come back. We had the end of the campground to
ourselves and had a comfortable schedule for all the workshops.
We had a lot of fun and have truly felt the love the school has
to offer with so many like yet different types of people coiled
together to create such a bond of both family and friend! There
was wand making, staff making, mask creation, inspiration art,
dream catcher, and even a Student Handbook workshop; the bardic
circle was ran by Hedwig and had stories shared by many. Filia Choronis
even helped the youths to create a short play to open our Saturday evening fire before awards were handed
out. FrogsDancing even created a ‘Magic Bus’ award for Xyaida who drove many miles out of her way to
make sure Frogs was able to go to this Conclave! And Cody was gifted our newest youth student while there
due to all her efforts with the creation of t-shirts for the youth Salamanders from the Flames Lodge and the
making of our new t-shirts for Magick Alley as well.
We did have a few rituals but the best was the one at 5AM when we ‘Woke the Dead’ for a naming ceremony
… we are all very grateful that Prof. Crow was such a willing victim for this and could tell he was the Dead
we planned to name! The name can not be shared here since it is now a Conclave Secret!
The sharing of ash and dirt was in our ending (closing) ritual and all had bags ready for sharing this memory
and energy of all over!
Here are a couple of student comments shared after the Conclave:
“Thank you Crow, KB, Hedwig, Frogs, Xyaida, BearDog, Cody, Sam, Alex, Margery, Starlit, Valerie, Korerhi
and Beloved, Rusty, Windstone, Jan and every one else, you too Sir Oberon and Lady Morning Glory! What
a delight to attend so many workshops with those that we are truly connected. It was wonderful to spend
serious, fanciful, ritual, mealtime, loving, joking, discordian, and so many other energies coalescing as the
family, the school we have evolved to be in this time and in this space. Thank you again!” -- NamasteAreeya Saphira
“There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.
--A line from a song in the “Muppet Movie”
“We write about magick at Grey School but for me to find the words to describe what it feels like when it
happens is very hard. A great poet would do a much better job than I could but even she can only give a
glimpse of that magick to a person who has never experienced it. This past weekend I have had the experience.
“The Arizona Conclave came together with the right people, place, and time. The magick happened all weekend; not just in the rituals performed but also (and maybe especially) in the jokes, the laughter, the hugs,
and the tears.
“I feel incredibly lucky to have shared the experience with my new/old friends at the conclave. Thank you
all, both students and guests, for creating this magick and especially the Dragontree family the heart and
soul of the conclave. Finally thank you Oberon, for giving us not just one word but two that made this all
possible. The two words are of course, Grey School.” -- WindStone

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

The ABCs
of Conclaves
A

By Moonwriter

is for “Ah-Ha Moment,” as in Kalla’s class
about the truth of real chocolate versus the
seamy underbelly of the Hershey company.

B

is for Biscuits, served hot out of Moonwriter’s Dutch oven to all comers at the
Washington and California events. (With
homemade jam!)

C
D

is for Crow—the Wizard, not the bird—
who co-hosted the Arizona Conclave.
is for Dawn Ritual, with a sleepy Crow
Dragontree and his band of early-rising admirers.

E
F
G

is for Eating: there’s nothing like fresh
air to whet the appetite!
is for Fires shared, whether for Bardics,
ritual, warmth, cooking, or camaraderie.
is for a German and a Moose, a.k.a.,
Rainmaker and her new moose badge. (Go
ahead—ask her!)

H
I
J
K

is for Helping Hands, always in good
supply at Conclave.
is for Ice, always in short supply at Conclave. (Especially in Arizona!)
is for Jupiter, shining in the summer night
sky over all three events.
is for Kalla and Kristalbrooke, hosts of
the Washington and Arizona gatherings, respectively.

L
M

is for Live Learning, happening all around

us.

is for Muggle Mark—the California Conclave’s official cameraman—and the other
mundane family members who joined us.

7

SAMHAIN 2007

N
O

is for Nature, and the chance to experience Her mysteries.
is for the Ordo Erronum, the Grey
School’s camping and service honorary. Each
Conclave featured an OE tap-out, with new
members proudly sporting their new amulet
bags.

P
Q
R

is for Poison Oak, official ground cover of
the California redwoods.
is for Quiet, the blessed absence of
television, traffic, and cell phones.
is for Redwoods. The California Conclavians camped and cooked and crafted and
sung and slept and worked magick under
their sheltering branches. On a hike, we even
stuffed a dozen hikers into a hollow redwood,
with room for more. (You should have seen
the looks on passers-by when the tree suddenly disgorged the lot of us, one after another!)

S

is for Sun, which kept the Arizona Conclavians toasty—over 100 degrees most
days!

T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

is for Color Ties, worn proudly to show
elemental affiliation.
is for Unity forged: “Friends who have
camped together, can never again divide.”
is for the Mt. St. Helen’s Volcano, standing watch over the Washington event.
is for Willow Silverhawk, host of the
California Conclave.
is for Expectations, surpassed by three
wonderful gatherings!
is for Youngsters, who gifted each Conclave with their exuberance and energy.
And
is for is for Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, who attended the California events
and shared of his gentle demeanor, humor,
and wisdom. If it wasn’t for him, none of us
could have been there. Thank you, Headmaster!

A staff made
in Prof.Dragontree’s Arizona conclave
workshop.
-- Areeya

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

8

SAMHAIN 2007

New
Captains and Prefects
By Xyaida
Welcome to our new Captains and Prefects! This
is our 6th Scabbard of Prefects and our 5th Mast of
Captains. We know you will do a wonderful job!
Houses
House Captain: Wingseeker (Gnomes)
Slyphs - X-Wolf the White
Undines – (unfilled)
Gnomes - Magelet
Salamanders – Treeotter
Lodges
Lodge Captain – Cashew (Stones)
Lodge Vice Captain – Talin (Winds)
Society of the Four Winds - Belenus
Coterie of the Flowing Waters – Dark Eagle
Circle of the Standing Stones - StormRaven
Order of the Dancing Flames - Janicajayne

Faculty Changes at GSW
Professor Felidae has returned from her sabbatical.
She says, “Professor Dragontree and Tralfeyn will be
continuing their wonderful work on the website, and
we will be seeking a replacement in Beast Mastery in
the future, as I’m choosing to focus solely on Faculty
matters and maybe writing a few classes. But it’s
good to be back.”
Emily “Kalla” Carlin is joining the teaching staff. She
has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Wellesley
College and is currently working on her Juris Doctorate at Seattle University School of Law. She has been
a practicing Eclectic Witch since 1999. She specializes in divination, lore, energy work, and defensive
magic.
Serith Elazar, BA has returned to the teaching staff.
Professor Serith lives in Northwestern Ohio, in the
Dread Black Swamp, where he graduated from Bowling Green State University with a BA in History and
minor in Art History. He grew up in an Academic
household, and took quickly to Mexican history, especially the theological and art aspects. He identifies
as a Nahualli, a form of Beast/Man, and has a life
long passion to find out secrets where he can find
them--and sharing them with whomever he can get
a hold of. He tries to stay close to his Father, who
also shares a professional interest in History, and his
three-footed grey cat, Clyde.

Professor Quaesitor has been serving as our Department Dean for some time now; however, his life has
gotten very busy! Therefore, he is stepping down as
the Dean. He is now serving our Wizardry Department as the Assistant Dean!
Professor Grey Panther will now be stepping in as
Dean of the Department of Wizardry. She says, “You
can contact me about anything to do with the Wizardry Major or Minor, or all things related to Indigo
Wizardry!” She is also taking over Wizardry 100:
Becoming an Apprentice.
Professor Cala’Sanjaru has taken over the Ethics of
Magick 100 class.

Club
Announcement!
By Xyaida
There has been a New Club established
called the ‘Outdoors Club’ (name could
be changing since it is totally in the new
phase.) All are welcome to join and this is a
club to cover all kinds of outdoor activities!
This club could blend into many Departments here at Grey School so to get your
feet wet in any which relate to outdoors,
here’s the place! Come join us and grow
closer to our Mother Earth!

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

9

SAMHAIN 2007

UUU Meet the Owls!

East of the school stands a stone turret, stairs winding up to a loft two stories above the ground. The
walls are honeycombed with rafters and small platforms, and light spills in through good-sized windows.
A broad roof keeps the rain off, and a wood stove in
the tower’s base can be stoked if the weather turns
bitter.
This is the Grey School Owlry. Intrepid carriers of
mail and messages, nothing keeps the school owls
from their appointed rounds.

Archimedes, a male

But what Bob lacks in dignity is made up for with
heart. He’s always on hand when students need of
cheering up, using his special dance moves to charm
out grins.

Cricket is a female pygmy

owl. A student found her in
a field with a broken wing,
and our Beastmasters fixed
her up. She was so grateful,
she decided to stay on.
Once Cricket’s wing was
mended, she flew... fast!
She’s a feather covered
bullet, zooming and swooping so quickly she’s often compared with a hummingbird. Her name comes
from the high-pitched chirping sound made by her
wing beats.

great horned owl, is the
oldest and wisest of the
school owls, and his
steady nature and stern
demeanor can reign in
the most unruly of the
owl parliament. GSW
students believe that
Archimedes is a wise
wizard reincarnated!
Despite his stern appearance, Archimedes is always
on hand when a student needs inspiration. He likes
to spend time in the Lodges, where the common
rooms are quieter than those of the Houses. He has
a weakness for marshmallows; this becomes dangerous on winter mornings, when he delivers post at
breakfast.

Bob is a male snowy

owl. Despite his brethren’s elegant reputation,
Bob’s feathers are always
mussed and he tends to
fall asleep at inopportune times. He’s also a
glutton—you’re as likely
to find him in the dining room snagging bits
of lunch as napping on a
perch in the Owlry.

Quick as she is, Cricket doesn’t always watch where
she’s going, and often runs into walls, light fixtures,
and the occasional student’s head. Despite this, she’s
loved by the students, and her youth and enthusiasm
make her a favorite among the Houses.
Last but not least is Kari,
a female screech owl. Her
name is Norse and means
“gust of wind.” Kari found
her way to the Grey School
when she heard the Owlry
was taking applications.
Kari’s wingspan is impressive, and students hold on
to their parchments when
she flies past. Rumor has
it Kari fell in love with Bob
after seeing his dance moves. She loves to hang
around the school Deans and busts students who run
in the halls. She also keeps a close eye on Tralfeyn!

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WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

10

SAMHAIN 2007

Deans List

The
Lumos Awards
By Xyaida
The Lumos Award for this term
has been awarded to:
The
The
The
The

Flames Lodge
Stones Lodge
Waters Lodge
Winds Lodge

Congratulations to all of you for
the tremendous effort you put
into meeting the requirements and achieving this award!
Both the Flames and the Stones achieved high academic
recognition for over 700 credits this term!
The Slyph House were only two requirements away and
both the Gnome House and the Salamander House also
put in much effort to aim for this goal!

NinthDragon, since 10/5/2007
Gero, since 10/5/2007
Eilwen, since 10/1/2007
Sea Shelly, since 10/1/2007
Talin, since 10/1/2007
Magelet, since 10/1/2007
Draconix Dragonwing, since 9/28/2007
aiden, since 9/26/2007
Onyx Raven, since 9/23/2007
Aamber Phoenix, since 9/23/2007
Roue, since 9/23/2007
Cashew, since 9/21/2007
Earthdrum, since 9/21/2007
EagleFeather, since 9/21/2007
Triskeliae, since 9/12/2007
Arianrhod, since 9/11/2007
River Dragonfly, since 9/9/2007
Dubhdara, since 9/6/2007
Quiet Bear, since 9/5/2007
Sapphire Soleil, since 8/30/2007
Shadow Stonetreader, since 8/30/2007
Willow SilverHawk, since 8/24/2007
tigersmoondiva, since 8/24/2007
Xyaida, since 8/20/2007
Zenergynus, since 8/18/2007
Oranstar, since 8/15/2007
LeopardDancer, since 8/12/2007
Wingseeker, since 8/10/2007
Grey Panther, since 7/29/2007
Jymi X/0, since 7/26/2007
Earth Song, since 7/25/2007
StormRaven, since 7/14/2007
Donella Lyonesse, since 7/11/2007
Moonwriter, since 7/4/2007
Laneth, since 7/2/2007
TreeOtter, since 6/23/2007
Aurora DawningMoon, since 6/19/2007

House Hat and Lodge
Cup Presentations
By JanicaJayne
The Salamanders won the House Hat this term! With the
help of their House Head, Grey Panther, and their Prefect,
Treeotter, they worked hard and were able to secure a victory. Great job Salamanders!
The Stones won the Lodge Cup this term! With the help
of their Prefect, Oranstar, they worked very hard to secure
their victory. It looked like a close race for a while, but the
Stones managed to gain a tremendous lead and hold on to
it. What a wonderful team effort Stones!

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

11

Students, Teacher and
Mentor of the Year
Awards
By Silverheron
Each year Grey School students and faculty
have the wonderful opportunity to vote for a
Youth and Adult student of the Year, Teacher of
the Year, and Mentor of the Year. While we honor
each of the individuals that are chosen it is also
an honor to each and every one of us to have
them as role models to help us along our way.
This years awardees are….
Youth Student of the Year: Tree Otter
Some of Tree Otter’s accomplishments in her
first year here include being a member of the
Dean’s List, an inductee into the Ordo Erronum, and a Prefect in the Salamanders. She
also is a member of DIRT, and the Magma
Knights. She is presently working on a major
in Nature Studies.
Tree Otter found her way to the Grey School
by first becoming acquainted with “The Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard”. Now that
she is here she states that one of her favorite
things about the school is that “The environment GSW has to offer is unlike any other and
is amazing. As soon as you enter its massive
doors, you are welcomed with open arms and
your fear or doubt soon walks away from your
mind.”
Advice that Tree Otter gives to new students
here at GSW is “We all know how you are feeling and will try to help you in any way we can.
The students and faculty at GSW are very understanding, and are here to help your experience be as great as all of ours has been.”
Adult Student of the Year: Jymi X/0
Jymi X/0 is a member of the Flames Lodge in
her second year. During her second year here
she has attained the Deans List twice. She is
also a very active member of the WGM staff.
Her educational focus here at GSW is Mathemagics, Dark Arts, and Cybercraft.

SAMHAIN 2007
She also first became interested in the school
after reading about it in the “Grimoire for the
Apprentice Wizard.” When asked what her favorite things about GSW were she stated. “I’m
really enjoying getting to know people from all
over the world. I also appreciate being able to
talk about all this metaphysical subject matter and having people 1) know what I’m talking about and 2) take me seriously.” Advice
that she gives to new students here is “Like so
many other things in life, you’ll get out of this
what you put into it.”
Teacher of the Year: Prof. Elizabeth Barrette
Prof. Barrette has been with the GSW since its
beginnings. She has helped to develop it to
what it is today. She has had a very active role
in the development of the curriculum as well
as teaching many, many of its course’s. She is
the very first “Wizard of the Greater Rainbow”
here at GSW. Most recently she has published
a new book entitled “Composing Magic”.
Some of the comments that were included with
her nomination to this position were “She has
never been anything but completely honest in
her assessments, even if I did not want to listen or acknowledge it at first…She expects you
to be and do all that you can be and do…There
are many proven reasons for this nomination, and they include professionalism, accessibility, honesty, fairness, and commitment.”
Mentor of the Year: Xyaida
To say that Xyaida is active here at GSW is actually quite an understatement. Her activities
and accomplishments here include: Flames
Prefect - 5th Scabbard, Dean’s list at level 1
twice, The Ordo Erronum, Guardian of Gaia,
Magma Knights EDC Champion, and the Tazer
Wand award. She is also a very active member in the Whispering Grey Matters as well as
marketing for the school. She is majoring in
Lifeways and has a minor in Dark Arts.
Interestingly enough Xyaida came to GSW
after meeting Oberon and Skip Ellison at a
workshop. She states, “My favorite parts of
Grey School are the people! I love the family
feel this place has and the way we all support
each other with many things.”

Our
S
Aam upersti
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e
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v
r
e
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r
e
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th
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nded or to m . You alwt your sh rough
ake
.
sure ays kee oes on
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you
are a them
lway
s
Jymi X/0

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

12

SAMHAIN 2007

Taser
Wand Awardees
By Xyaida
The following students are hereby awarded the Taser Wand
for their service to the Arizona Conclave of June 2007:
Filia Chironis (Flames Lodge)
FrogsDancing (Flames Lodge)
Windstone (Waters Lodge)
Xyaida (Flames Lodge)
Hedwig (Salamanders House)
JanicaJayne (Flames Lodge)
Korerhi (Winds Lodge)
Congratulations to you all!

Golden Bough Award for
Excellence
in Lore
By JanicaJayne
The Golden Bough Award for Excellence in Lore was
presented to Filia Chironis of the Flames Lodge. To
earn the award Filia completed three classes in the
Lore Department with a 100% on the final exam and
submitted a 1,000 – 1,500 word essay. Excellent job
Filia Chironis!

Ordo Erronum
Appointees
By Xyaida
Congratulations to the new members of the
Ordo Erronum!
These new members were tapped out at
the Arizona Conclave, July 2007:
Crow Dragontree (Winds Lodge)
Filia Chironis (Flames Lodge)
FrogsDancing (Flames Lodge)
Kristalbrook Dragontree (Flames Lodge)
Xyaida (Flames Lodge)
These new members were tapped out at
the Washington Conclave, August 2007:
Glanecia (Waters Lodge)
RowanTree (Winds Lodge)
These new members were tapped out at
the California Conclave, August 2007:
Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (Flames Lodge)
Whiskerwind (Flames Lodge)

Silver Wheel Award
in
Seasonal Studies
By JanicaJayne
The Silver Wheel Award was presented to Dark Eagle of the Waters
Lodge, recently of the Undines House. He is the second person to ever
earn the award. To achieve the award, Dark Eagle passed all four Wheel
of the Year classes, wrote an essay about how the classes had an impact
on his life and magickal works, and had to contribute in some way to
future Wheel of the Year classes. He is now regarded as a Holder of the
Silver Wheel. Congratulations to you, Dark Eagle!

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

New Cl asses
Birdwatching 501: Avian Superstars
Credits: 2 Level 5
Concepts of Evil 701
Credits: 2 Level: 7
Discovering Fire: A Survey of Fire Science
Credits: 2 Level: 1
Enneagram, The: Models of Personality
Credits: 3 Level: 5
Harry Potter 101: The Sorcerer’s Stone
Credits: 3 Level: 1
History of Astronomy, The
Credits: 2 Level: 2
Introduction to Paperless Journaling
Credits: 1 Level: 2

13

SAMHAIN 2007

Department Resources:
Focus
on Lore
By Silentfaun
I have discovered that one
can find a priceless gem in
a common pile of rocks if
one is willing to do a little
hard labor, sifting through
and examining patiently,
not taking things at face
value. I recently discovered
such a gem while searching for a Lore resource for
this edition of WGM. Let
me share:

Introduction to Poppets
Credits: 2 Level: 6

Myth*ing Links

Introduction to Probability
Credits: 3 Level: 5

http://www.mythinglinks.org/

Jedi Wizards
Credits: 3 Level: 4

This site is an “annotated and illustrated collection
of worldwide links to mythologies, fairytales, folklore, sacred arts and sacred traditions”. Authored by
Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D., a retired core faculty member of the Mythological Studies Department at the
Pacific Graduate Institute (home of the libraries and
archives of Joseph Campbell, Marija Gimbutas, and
James Hillman), this site hosts a plethora of links to
an amazingly vast array of writings and information
on a dizzying number of themes and subjects related
to lore, mythology, religion and history. In addition
to a huge library of information on mythologies and
sacred traditions categorized by specific geographical region, the author also provides links to writings
and information on current events, environmental
writings, and resources for student research. It’s a
place anyone with an interest in lore could easily lose
themselves (I know I did!). In fact, the only downside
to this reference site is in the site itself...design wise.
Unfortunately, with the very confusing and somewhat disturbing layout, it would be very easy for first
time visitors to pass this gem by. Finding information
here is like trying to herd cats...it all feels a bit overwhelming. But, having said that, if you are willing to
take the time to figure it all out, you won’t be disappointed. Dr. Jenks has created something amazing
here that deserves to be viewed and shared. Now if
we could just get her to hire a web designer...

Literature 101: So You Want to be a Wizard
Credits: 1 Level: 1
Literature 102: Deep Wizardry
Credits: 1 Level: 2
Literature 301: The Crystal Cave
Credits: 1 Level: 3
Literature 302: The Hollow Hills
Credits: 1 Level: 3
Literature 303: The Last Enchantment
Credits: 1 Level: 3
Literature 401: A Wizard Abroad
Credits: 1 Level: 4
Literature 601: A Wizard Alone
Credits: 1 Level: 6
Magickal Foods from Your Garden 301: Herbs
Credits: 2 Level: 3
Magickal Foods from Your Garden 401:
Vegetables
Credits: 2 Level: 4
Magickal Foods from Your Garden 501: Fruits
Credits: 2 Level: 5
Nature’s Fury 404: Earth
Credits: 3 Level: 4
Oaths, Pledges and Bonds
Credits: 2 Level: 6
Tarot 601: Designing Spreads
Credits: 2 Level: 6
Wizardry 799A: Practicum Lecture
Credits: 2 Level: 7
Wizardry 799B: Practicum Lab
Credits:3 Level: 7
Wolf Lore 401: Eurasia
Credits: 2 Level: 4
Wood Wizard 102: The Campout
Credits: 3 Level: 1

Areeya

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

14

SAMHAIN 2007

Gnomes
House Update
By Magelet
We have a common room role-play going and a candy dish. We have
had lots of challenges: riddle challenges and environmental challenges.
Magelet became Prefect and Wingseeker, the prefect from spring-fall
2007, became a Captain. We are starting collaboration on a house song
and have been having lots of fun.

Stones
Lodge Update
By StormRaven
The Stones have had a busy few months! Our numbers just keep growing. It seems that
everyday there is a new Stone popping into the Common Room to say hello. Many have become active right away and started making posts and earning merits immediately. Some, like
Dubhdara who has already earned three Dean’s List appointments in his first year, have gone
above and beyond in scholarship and participation.
Through our rock solid community and hard work, we met all of the Lumos requirements early
this time around. We are also pleased to again be the holders of the Lodge Cup. We’re looking
forward to the same kind of spirited competition next time!
We sent our Prefect Emeritus, Oranstar, off in style with a Lodge party in her honor. Her work
is greatly appreciated by all of the Stones and her contributions, such as the Stone of the
Month series, will go on to help make the community strong well into the future. Our new
Prefect, StormRaven has some big shoes to fill, but he is off to a good start having completed
his training and taking the big green badge. He has some big projects in the planning stages
including building a Lodge Library.
Our activities have included quizzes about auras, New Age knowledge, and to complement our
new Lodge Tree Project, a quiz to find your inner tree. Arzelie is currently compiling information for a “Get to Know Your Fellow Stones” quiz that we are all looking forward to taking. As
mentioned, we have selected a Lodge Tree, the Bristlecone Pine through a nomination and
Lodge vote. Along the way we learned a great deal about the Bristlecone as well as its competitors. We have chosen a new “welcome mat” for the Lodge Forums, written by our own
Tralfeyn. Aaran has brought back our ever-popular Lodge candy dish. There is always a chocolate frog or a few candy rocks to entice even the busiest of Stones away from our studies for
a few minutes of sweet distraction and conversation. Last, but certainly not least, is our new
Cave of Conjuries. It is a place to post original spells for the Lodge to read and use.
Individual Stones have been very busy as well. Oranstar is getting her theatre season started
as is StormRaven. Stonetalker is making the rounds at metaphysical fairs, creating opportunities for Stones to meet in person as when she met Tralfeyn and with
Shadowstonetreader. Speaking of Tralfeyn, we can all see what he
has been up to! Phoenix is up and flying. Our loyal technomage and
his gnomes have made the Grey School truly magical! Sir Real’s foray
into juggling is coming along very nicely. The Stones Lodge would like
to offer a hearty congratulations to Rowan Greyheart on her recent
engagement!
Once a stone gets rolling, it is almost impossible to stop. It looks as
though the Lodge has found our momentum--and there is stopping in
sight! Keep your eyes on this active Lodge and its members!

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

15

SAMHAIN 2007

Flames
Update
By Xyaida, Flames Lodge
As I step down as Prefect we have Janicajayne stepping up to the plate!
She will do fine and with all the support she has around the Lodge things
will be smooth sailing.
We lost the Lodge Cup but that just makes us want to work harder this term
and get it back! We had many level up and this was a real downfall for the
numbers.
We had many Flames attend the Conclave over the summer and some from
states away. We have had many new faces and some of the longer residing students dissipate but
with each new season comes change. We have many who have come to understand we need them
to check in once a month and to let us know what classes they have completed so we are always
working on the Lumos Award (which we aim at getting each term from now on!)
There have been many directions our Lodge has sprouted out to; we have a large number in WGM,
and some in each Club as it stands. We have advisors/faculty members who have published a book
or helped to get someone else’s ready for publishing. Though we also have had some realize their
limits and step back a bit too! We try to be a well-rounded group and this would seem to confirm
our goals as a whole.
We may be calm right now but I think we are all settling in for the winter bliss (or for some, hotter
weather) where our schedules seem to change a bit. Look for what is to come of this Lodge since
with new leadership on the student level there is a lot to be accomplished and she has great back
up at this time as well!
As always … Flame On!

Update from

Club D.I.R.T
by NinthDragon

Solemnly the harvest season is coming to end. Those
in cooler regions must soon put their gardens to bed
for a winter rest. The last of the harvests are coming
in, vegetables are being stored for winter use, herbs
are dried for cooking and winter magick, and seeds
are carefully sorted and placed away until Ostara
again arrives. It is a bitter sweet time for Dibblers
as we must put away our favorite spade and hoe;
but it is also the season when the new years seed
catalogues arrive and we can do our dreaming and
planning for the next year’s grand garden.
Many new Dibblers have arrived, but there is still
room for more. …and just in time to partake in the
bounty of this years harvest as Dibblers sharing
seeds harvested this year in the seed swap. Grab a
pumpkin, or spud if you like, and join us as we start
preparing for next year and figure out what we are
going to do with all those vegetables stored down in
the root cellar!

Oh, and just in case you want to actually grow Solanum tuberosum, just pick a sunny well drained
spot when all chances of frost are gone. Chop up a
tuber leaving at least one eye per section and plant
the pieces about 2 inches deep. Don’t let them stay
wet at any point or they will tend to rot on you. You
wouldn’t want blight in your garden would you?
You don’t need a green thumb or an expanse of land
for planting, just bring your desire to learn and share
about gardening. Even if the first frost has nipped
your tomatoes, there is still much to do and much to
learn. If you love gardening, flowers and magickal
plants; then come join Club D.I.R.T. (Diggers In Real
Time) and be a Grey School Dibbler.
See page 23 for the D.I.R.T. Club’s
Magical Plant of the Quarter:
Solanum tuberosum!

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

W

hy

ant to Be...
W
I

16

SAMHAIN 2007

...A WIZARD!

Anna Byington
Why do I want to be a wizard? Well, that’s a question I could’ve answered since I was 4, maybe even
younger. You see, ever since I was small I’ve always
believed there was another world out there...a world
that I knew many people didn’t know was real, or
didn’t understand. I knew there was something out
there, and whenever I thought of knowing it was
there, it made me feel determined to know what it
was and how it came to be. I felt the need to learn
what this was and how to do it. That’s when I suddenly jumped to the conclusion that this thing, this
unknown world that seemed so unreal, was the world
of magic and wizardry.
As I got older, I stared to get books on magic and
wizardry, trying to pick out the real magic from the
non-real magic. I started getting into the Harry Potter series and seemed to be drawn to any fantasy
book I could get my hands on. All magic, real and
fake, seemed to amaze me. I soon wanted to go to
some sort of magic school, and I desperately wished
Hogwart’s was real. At a train station, you would
most likely find me slamming hard into platform
nine, holding a toy owl stuffed in a bird cage!
Anyway, as the years held on, I found it hard to keep
holding on to my goal of learning magic. Now that
my peers were getting older, they started to worry
more about their clothes and hair than, for instance,
worrying about their parents not letting them buy
a wand off the Internet. I felt like everyone left me
as I got into many debates (more like fights) on the
existence of magic. Most people left me because I
wanted to be a wizard (pretty dumb way to lose a
friend, right?). The people that still wanted to be wizards seemed to think we were all playing a game
now and magic is really fictional. But no matter what
people do or say, I knew that by now I was too determined to give up. I soon learned to keep my mouth
shut about magic in school because it seemed to attract big problems. (But wait until I get into GSW
and show them proof it’s real, I can’t wait to see the
looks on their faces!)
At home I continued my long search of finding a
magic school. I soon resorted to looking for magic on the Internet. Anything I could find about it I
would read. But it was hard to figure out what was
real and what was not. Meanwhile someone I knew,
who also fell in love with magic, found the GSW and
signed up. I would have signed up too, but I was too
young!!! I longed to go to your online school, but
knew I wouldn’t understand the lessons! And now,
when I’m finally old enough, you have a writing contest I can enter, and all my teachers say I’m a really
good writer!!! So why do I want to be a wizard? Because I have some strange connection with magic. I
feel like I need to learn it, I need to know it’s really
there. And so there you have it, The End!

ESSAY CONTEST
WINNERS!
Congratulations!
...and welcome to
The GREY SCHOOL
of WIZARDRY!

Danny Scopelliti
(Earthwise Firerune)
There are many reasons why I want to be a wizard.
I feel passion for this path and I think that I should
go with my heart and follow it. I want to be a wizard
so that I can become closer to Mother Earth and her
beings. Become closer to the pulsing web that we are
all part of, closer to the divinity from whom we all
sprout. To become one with the universe. I can feel
in every corner of my body, I can hear every whisper
of nature telling me that this is what’s right for me.
I want to be a wizard so I can call the help of magic
whenever it is needed and know that it is there. I
believe that this is what being a wizard is all about
– feeling the flow of the universe, using it to benefit
the world.
Change is one of my goals for being a wizard. I think
that a wizard has a tremendous power to change the
world, even the universe! To better the world and
the beings who call it home, that is my aim. Whether
it’s a subtle act of random kindness, or leading a
revolution, I know that every act we perform is vital.
I greatly admire the immense wisdom of wizards.
Wisdom is a treasure that not many find. I want to
be a wizard so that I can find this treasure and put
it to good use. After all, wizard does mean wise one!
Not only do I want wisdom, but I want knowledge.
Knowledge is power. A power that can be used to do
great things! I want to learn the secrets and mysteries of wizardry so that I can apply them to life. Every
time I hear or read the words “arcane,” or “mystery”,
I get this feeling in my chest that makes me want to
discover and preserve every secret in the universe!
I have a giant curiosity of the world and what’s in
it. I believe this is part of what being a wizard is all
about: figuring out how the world works!
I want to be a wizard so I can learn nature’s language...hear it in every stone, stream and tree. Listen and know that I am surrounded by beauty. Feel
within me that I am one with everything and everyone. I believe that by being a wizard, I can better
attune myself to nature’s cycles.
Whenever I step outside on a sunny day and feel
a breeze run past me, I get this amazing sense of
oneness and passion for the earth. I climb trees,
go swimming in ponds and lakes, hike up hillsides,
and sit in groves, just out of sheer enjoyment of the
earth!
Last but not least, I want to be a wizard, not just to
better the world around me, but to better myself.

GSW

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

Lauren Phillips, age 17
(Aceotes)
In legend, wizards were always around to advise
kings and heroes. They would show up when most
needed, to offer words of wisdom, healing powers
and protection, all the while clouded by mystery. Today, in an era of terrorism, climate change and war,
the world seems like a frightening enough place to
warrant a visit from such a mythical personage.
Merlin rode to Camelot, but who will ride to the White
House and offer aid now? We need magic more than
ever today. To solve our worldwide problems, be they
poverty, disease, war or extremism, we need every
tool available. Wizards hold those tools, and can help
make the world a better place. I believe they are doing just that now, if not in such an obvious manner
as Merlin did in legend.
Wizards have always been there, preaching unity of
people, magic, wisdom and religion, reminding us to
overcome false barriers that society has developed
over time. They unite the magical and the mundane
to make something universal. It is that kind of alliance that we need now, both in geopolitics and in
everyday life.
By aligning the magical and the mundane, we can
unite as people, and move forward together. It sounds
idealistic, but my belief is grounded in the real world.
For example, some individuals today choose to use
alternative therapies to fight their diseases in addition to more mainstream practices. As a result of this
and further advancements in pharmaceuticals and
treatments, cancer death rates are falling and more
and more people are living their lives in more dignity
and comfort than they would have thought possible
when they were diagnosed. Treatments like Reiki and
acupuncture are no longer considered so “alternative,” and herbal supplements line the shelves of our
pharmacies. Suddenly, they aren’t so “alternative”
after all, and everyone is benefiting.
Wizards are in the same cutting edge class, because
they unite all knowledge worth knowing and advance
it further, not for the benefit of themselves or a select elite, but for everyone. They offer wisdom and
hope for those who seek it, and their discoveries and
experiments, like those of great philosophers and
scientists, challenge preconceptions and help move
humanity forward. Wizards make our troubled times
seem a little less turbulent, a little saner and more
rational, exactly the comforts that we need now.
They are not modern, but timeless, as ancient as
stone but as refreshing as the breeze.
The legend is real. Wizards are riding to the aid of
the world as I write, and due to modern conveniences and communications like the Internet, they are
doing it faster and more efficiently than ever. I find
it an honor and a privilege to know that they and
the magical arts they work aren’t the products of
imagination, and I would be so blessed if I could join
them, and help reshape the world for the better.

17

SAMHAIN 2007

Jonathan Daley, Age 16
(Essence)
For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in things that are more than what meets the eye.
If it has depth, I’ll be intrigued. If it has mystery,
then I’ll study until I’ve grasped its meaning.
My interest in the metaphysical began around the
age of eight, when I became interested in ghosts
and haunted locations. It was the first time I started to believe that there was more to existence than
just what typical society showed me (no, I definitely
wasn’t like the other kids.) I knew that there had to
be more to life.
Eventually, after immersing myself in all the knowledge of the paranormal that I could comprehend, my
interest began to sway to the world of magick. What
I once believed was only in fairy tales was actually
proving to be real. After some research, I realized
that real life magick wasn’t like it is portrayed in the
movies, yet that’s what interested me more about it.
The fact that there is so much more depth to it that
just a flick of the wand. I was also happy to know
how integrated magickal energy is to nature, considering that I have always appreciated the beauty that
nature bestows upon us.
One of the main reasons why I want to be a wizard
is to be knowledgeable of something so mysterious,
and so sacred. I yearn to take in information that has
become so distant to modern day society. I also want
to practice what I learn. I believe that our planet is in
danger if humans don’t act fast to save it. Magick can
be used as a very powerful tool to help heal the damages that have been done to Earth in recent times.
I’d like to contribute to the healing.
I’m so interested in the wizarding community and
the beliefs its members have. I’d love to have the
chance to become part of that community. Someday
I hope to have the wisdom that many wizards have
had throughout history.
Unfortunately, in the small town that I live in, it is
hard to find anyone who is interested in wizardry,
so it’s next to impossible to learn anything about it.
I believe the Grey School of Wizardry gives me the
chance to quench my thirst for knowledge. It also
gives me the chance to become part of the wizarding
community.
Overall, the reasons why I want to be a wizard are
quite basic: to know the abundance of information
of such mysterious subjects, to be able to practice
types of magick that I have to learn, to be a part of
the wizarding community, to learn life’s lessons and
have the wisdom to truly understand what they really mean. Thank you very much for the opportunity
to express my passion and interest. It has truly been
a pleasure.

timuioapeqwryu

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

18

SAMHAIN 2007

Areeya

South Africa Attempts
to Ban All Forms
of
Witchcraft
Sapphire Soleil
The South African government has introduced a
piece of legislation that would attempt to curtail the
practices of traditional healing methods in that country with the Mpumalanga Witchcraft Suppression Act
of 2007.
In this attempt to control the use of human tissue
and other body parts in the healing traditions of that
country, the act makes wide-sweeping assumptions
regarding witchcraft, forcing all practitioners to register themselves, allows unannounced searches of
their property and forces them to be subjected to
broad, ill-defined, definitions of the term Witchcraft.

“Witchcraft.” Stemming back to the early missionary
and colonial days of the continent, every new culture
would bring with them a new definition of Witchcraft
as well as their pre-conceived ideas of what witches
do.(2) For example, traditional healers thought to
cure the sick, might also be accused of cursing someone, causing them to fall ill. Many find no difference
between people using so-call black (evil) magic, evil
curses and the like, and those who use witchcraft for
the good of the community.
SAPRA’s objections state that because the definition
is so broad, the act will discriminate against religious
practices such as those that modern witchcraft practitioners use in Wicca and other Earth-Based religions.
A detailed description of the Mpumalanga Witchcraft
Suppression Act of 2007 can be found at the SAPRA
website listed below as well as full details of the objections by SAPRA.

The South African Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA) has
filed an objection to the proposed act stating that it
is unconstitutional in accordance to the South African constitution that states, among other things:

Anyone interested in signing a petition protesting the
implementation of this Act should contact: http://
www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-the-witchcraft-suppression-bill

The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or
indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds,
including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, color, sexual orientation,
age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture,
language and birth. (South African Constitution Section 9, statement 3)

REFERENCES

South Africa, as well as several other African nations, have multiple and varied meanings of the word

1 South African Pagan Rights Alliance discussion on
the MWSA
http://forum.mg.co.za/showflat.php?Cat=&Number
=1801974114&Main=1801974111
2 Religious Tolerance.org. http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_afri.htm

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

The
Unknown Superstitions
By Spirit of Youth, 1st Year Waters
This once great celebration of the gifts from the earth
and sun and its superstitions have been lost to most;
this Samhain/ Halloween Holiday has become a celebration of the different and the scary, but originally
it was one of the harvest festivals celebrating the
prosperity of the harvest, and petitioning for survival
through the impending cold dark winter.
Searching the dictionary for ‘superstition,’ I found:
‘an irrational belief, usually deep seated, in the magical effects of a particular action or ritual.’ So Samhain/Halloween itself can be defined as a superstition, a ritual celebrating our ancestors, our history
and a magical petition to ward off evil; but are the
symbols and their associations irrational?
Many of the magical community bemoan the sale of
the haggard old witch, wearing old rags with wild
unkempt hair, black cats with their fur up and back
arched, bats flying over the bonfire, and skeletons
in coffins singing party songs as disrespectful of the
history and superstitions of the old days.
I find the witch an attractive look to strive for; she
is clearly a wizened lady of many years, strong and
healthy. The picture we have of her was obviously
taken as she was harvesting her garden, I don’t know
about you, but I don’t wear my best outfit to garden
and I’m certainly not going to the salon first. Personally, I like my hair free and blowing in the wind, a
symbol of my freedom and connection with the elements; this is a celebration of the way it was!

19

SAMHAIN 2007

0000
The animals of the season, all associated with evil
in one way or another; the cat is considered either
Satan or a witch, obviously a medieval superstition,
but my cat behaves in this manner only when danger
approaches, witch hunters perhaps? I definitely want
the bats collecting mosquitoes over my bonfire, and
the owl has, at sometime in history, been acclaimed
for its wisdom and seen as an omen of death.
The skeleton and coffins are our connection to the
dead who are said to walk on ‘All Hallo’s Even’ and
foretell the future, but singing party songs? Well, I
would never celebrate without inviting my family,
and I hope they would be happy and enjoying themselves, perhaps its irrational to believe those ‘dear
departed’ have chosen to attend.
The ever present Jack-o-Lantern known world wide
with many superstitions, usually about drunkenness,
surely we can’t exclude him as a ‘party’ fellow. Trickor-treating; this is my ‘deep seated, occasionally irrational belief’ in the magical effect of acknowledging
the ‘monsters’ of the world, and offering chocolate
gifts of appeasement rather than clean the eggs from
my car in the morning.
No matter how aware we are of the superstitions we
hold dear, I have found that the superstition is not in
what you see and know, but how you see and know
it.

s:
awk
erstition
Our Sup ryphon SnowH
G
Artemis
inside.
umbrella pened
n
a
n
e
r op
lla o
We neve r has the umbre d luck to
e
a
v
b
e
r
m
fo
in
Who
head is n them.
ir
e
th
r
e
ov
no
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be show

Our Sup
e
JanicaJ rstitions:
ayne
We neve
r
or walle give an empty p
t to som
urse
e
ways pu
t at leas one. We alta
to promo
te prosp $1 in them
erity.
Areeya

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

20

Friday the 13th - A medieval

took matters into his own hands and had the entire
order of Knights Templar arrested for any number
of offenses against the Holy Catholic Church. The
leader of the Templars, Jacques DeMolay, was also
arrested and tortured as an example to his brothers.
Hundreds of Templars were burned at the stake as
heretics and blasphemers, and those who confessed
to the trumped-up atrocities, were killed anyway.
This would certainly be a cause to fear Friday the
13th-- if one was a Knights Templar.

superstition or modern hype?
By Sapphire Soleil

It is a popular myth that any Friday that falls on the
13th of the month is doomed to be a day of bad luck.
As with most superstitions, this one has some roots
in truth, but mainly 20th century hype has made it
synonymous with ill fortune.
A version of why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky
has gained popularity recently with the phenomenal
success of books such as The Da Vinci Code, by Dan
Brown and The Templar Legacy, by Steve Berry. The
story of what happened to the Knights Templar on
Friday, October 13, 1307 is becoming more wellknown and further cements it as a day of bad luck.
The Knights Templar was a sect of Christian monks
specially trained to fight the so-called infidel Islamic
troops during the many Crusades. The Knights Templar became so good at their job that they began to
ignore the advice and directions of the rest of the
Catholic Church. There was no separation of church
and state in medieval Europe, so as the Knights Templar’s power grew, the Pope and a cadre of kings and
nobles felt their own power threatened.
On that fateful October day, King Philip IV of France

SAMHAIN 2007

As David Emery points out on his Urban Legends
website, there is an interesting phenomenon around
this and other superstitions. While this horrific event
occurred 700 years ago this October, only recently has it been used as one of the many reasons to
fear Friday the 13th. It indicates that perhaps, what
modern humans like best about their superstitions,
is making them up, getting themselves scared by fitting together unrelated experiences that suit their
purpose, and ignoring those that do not fit.
For further proof of this modern delight in getting
scared over nothing, one need look no further than
Friday the 13th movies!
Work cited
Emery, David, http://urbanlegends.about.com/cs/
historical/a/friday_the_13th_4.htm, 2007

India’s Hogwarts-Style School
for
Performance Magic
By Belenus
PC Sorcar Jr. is perhaps, the most famous “performance” magician from India. He gained international notoriety in 2000, by
making the Taj Mahal disappear for almost 90 seconds. Another
of Sorcar’s feats of magic was to be sealed in a box and crushed
by a street roller. Needless to say, he survived...somehow.
Now Sorcar Jr. plans to open a Hogwarts style school of Magic,
hoping to keep the ancient art of performance magic alive for
generations to come. As he envisions it, his school will offer
masters degrees in magic or “Dramagic” as he puts it.
He also hopes that much of the funding for his school will come
from the Government of India. He argues that it will bring in
tourism. Indian magic has been world renowned throughout the
centuries, and Sorcar Jr. and his daughter Maneka have plans
for other magnificent illusions in their attempt to keep the art form alive and well.

Areeya

Next year, he will begin to teach dramatic illusions at the government-run Visva-Bharati University, and after
that, he hopes to begin building his own university of magic. If Sorcar Jr. succeeds in creating a school for
magicians, it might be his biggest feat yet.
References:
Bhowmik, R. (July 2007). The Daily Telegraph, Master of magic to open school of illusion. Retrieved on September 7, 2007 from:
http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22069307-5001028,00.html?from=public_rss

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

21

SAMHAIN 2007

Superstition or Tradition?
By Areeya
And so the seasons of the wheel turn as the
seasons will...Now is the final harvest of Mabon
and we are traveling steadily to Samhain, year’s
end, reaping what we have sown at the beginning of the year.
Moving with industrious intention of storing our
energies; filling our reserves with that sustaining bounty to see us through another winter. We
find ourselves trekking along the wheel, through
a season that can be filled with superstitions
and traditions. I’ve enjoyed myself immensely
trying to discover how many of my traditions
are rooted in family superstition, It seems to
me that if anything can be made into a tradition, then it would be quite wonderful to take
the time and create our own traditions to pass
down to those who shall follow our footsteps. I
love all the seasons, but Samhain can be a lot
of fun as well as spiritually enriching. Perhaps
carving a pumpkin the night before All Hallows
eve and keeping it lit all night from both front
and back house entrances will keep the ghost of
Areeya
Sleepy Hollow or Ichabod Crane from collecting
your head. Okay that superstition is purely fictional for me, but fun, eh? Along with the love of black cats
and candy apples, we can perhaps look a little deeper at what Samhain means to each of us and create a
tradition of year’s end transformation to begin anew.
So dust off your sages sticks and pull out your skulls and cobwebs. For me decoration is always a big
part of any season. Getting in the habit of cleaning out the old season to shepherd in the new always
feels like I get a wondrous shift of energy and I am rejuvenated. I use my besom to sweep throughout
the house, cut apples in half and leave them at each door entrance and on the alter to protect my sacred
space. I adopted the cut apple for many a reason, and though some could say it is only a superstition I
would have to ask of them a question. Who decides? If my ritual has no place in another’s belief system
and they decide it is a superstition to create doubt in the ritual, is that true? Only if I agree with what
the other decides and enforce such a self limitation. I believe if we perpetuate learning ones Self, then
perhaps we can move away from thinking it is okay to tell someone what it is they believe. So break out
your red and black striped stockings worn only on Friday, because it is a day of love and red is passion,
but the black can temper the red so that it is a balanced slow, yet sustaining love. Have fun with what
you live and learn.
For it is only ourselves that decide whether we are living with superstitions or traditions. It is for the Self
to decide what world it visits or lives in, and perhaps that is the best tradition we can create and pass to
our children. But that is just this writer’s opinion. What do you think?

Our Sup
erstit

aR

ions: Jym
i X/0
I always
knock on
statemen
t. Actua wood when I ma
ke
ll
statemen
ts withou y, I try not to m a fate-tempting
t some k
job mark
ake fateet
in
te
any troub APPEARS to be g d of vague qualifi mpting
le finding
ood; I do
er: “The
n
the prese
w
nt mome ork.” That entire ’t THINK I’ll have
sen
nt
about the
future. T and makes no d tence is true for
e
hen I kno
ck on wo finite predictions
od anywa
y.

en:
llowe
a
H
f
o
Parts
orite
v
a
F
a
Our Bear
s had
alway I knew
s
a
Quiet
h
ain)
fore
(Samh e even be Circle has
n
e
e
Hallow feel for m veil. Our ves doing
l
g
l
specia the thinnin l that invo well as a
a
s
t
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a
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t
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er
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c
a
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r
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fo
of
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some
divina supper to c . I’ve had t way.
a
r
dumb rossed ove my dad th
h
c
t
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e
w
v
ha
ns
rsatio
conve

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

22

tions: Irye
Our Supersti
t of the law”
“write that ou d or negag
n
yi
sa
f
el
ys
I find m
g very ba
ink somethin before I think, so
if I say or th
n
ki
l at spea g come out, then
tive. I’m awfu
ry bad things rite it out of the
frequently ve
“w
to stop and
someone has from coming true.
it
law” to keep

SAMHAIN 2007

Our S
upe

rstiti
ons:
I tend
Calas
anja
ment to not m
ru
ake o
s. I s
eem
I’m to
verly
t
o
wron o optimist be a Mur positive st
g! W
ic som
phy m
atee
fake
wood also use t ething alw agnet. If
’ at w
real w
he ph
ays g
Murp ood to kn ork, since rase ‘Knoc oes
hy at
k on
bay. ock on, a we have
little
s way
to ke
ep

FOODS:
FACTS AND MYTHS
By Donella Lyonesse
We have all been inundated by the myths, superstitions concerning foods as nutrition and in diets. It seems
every season a new super legend food comes out that guarantees weight loss if you only eat this wonder
food; then too, there’s always a new fad diet. The “mish-mash,” of myth, legend and outright lies is enough
to confuse anyone. Let’s see which of the following myths, lies and superstitions you know about and are
sure of....
Myth: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Fact: eating fruits and vegetables will balance your diet and reduce your risk of cancer by 50%, even if
cancer is hereditary in your family. For example, having just
half cup of a orange vegetable, a half cup of a green vegetable,
a banana, an orange or an apple will do just that. So this one is
sort of true.
Myth: If I skip a meal here and there, I’ll lose weight faster.
Fact: Usually if you skip a meal, let’s say breakfast or lunch,
you wind up grabbing something at the vending machines in the
lobby, cafeteria, or at work, and you end up increasing your daily
caloric intake, because you are starved, rather than decreasing
it.
Myth: Fresh food is healthier for you than processed food.
Fact: The fact of the matter is that flash frozen vegetables seem
to hold their nutritional value better than “fresh” produce we
purchase at our local grocery store, which can get old during
transportation, during shelf life and from the time you take it
home, to when you actually prepare it to be consumed.
Myth: Body builders know that protein builds muscle.
Areeya
Fact: Exercise is what builds muscles, not protein. The proteins we ingest can aid in repairing the damage
that we do to our muscles when we exercise or over-exert ourselves, they do NOT build them for you.
So there you have it, how did you do?? Hope you got them all right.
References:
“Nutrition and Food Safety Myths and Facts; Nutrition and Food Safety Resource. Food Insight, September/October
2006
http://www.ifc.org/foodinsight/2006/so/mythsandfacts506.cfm
“Nutrition Facts-Understanding Myths You’ve been Taught to believe.”, by Chester
Nutrition Facts-These Myths Could Mislead You., Veggie Cook
http://www.vegetable-recipes-by-cooking-method.com/nutrition-facts.html
Van Dusen, Allison, “Cleaning out the fridge: Toss these food myths”.
Forbes updated 6:33 a.m. March 2, 2007
http://www.msnbc.com/id/17390027/



Myths and Facts of Exercise and Nutrition, Myths and Facts., Wednesday September 12, 2007
http//:www.chicagopersonaltraining.com/mythsandfacts.html

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

The D.I.R.T. Club‛s
Magickal Plant
of the Quarter
by NinthDragon

Solanum tuberosum
Planet: Moon
Element: Earth
No one really knows when I was first cultivated or
when my relationship with human kind first started.
But memory serve me correctly, it is known that I
was common place as early as 5000 B.C. I have a
dodgy past and my not so fair family is darkened
with others such as my cousin Belladonna (Atropa
belladonna). She has been known to cause visions,
but more frequently poisoning and death.

23

SAMHAIN 2007

year. Be careful how you use me. My eyes can see
and make sure it is you that is using them for the
watching.
For Samhain is afoot! Be guarded that trouble not
brew and enjoy the harvest festivities! Dig deep in
the ground beneath my wilting boughs. Pull out a
spud and heat me well in the cool crisp on the Samhain night. Enjoy my gift to you, the baked potato!
Works Cited:
Cunningham, Scott. Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Woodbury: Llewellyn Publications, 1985
Briggs, Mathew; Flowerdew, Bob; McVicar, Jekka. Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit, An Illustrated Encyclopedia. New York:
Fire Fly Books Ltd, 2006.s

I typically flower with lavender, blue or pink flowers
atop my leafy foliage. But even that I am little known
for and I prefer to keep my best assets safely hidden
away. My auspicious cousin Datura is rather lovely
and she chooses to boast with bright flowering umbels that can not be missed. Alas, be warned: she is
also fatal to those that choose to develop too close a
relationship with her and wise wizards would be well
guarded against trying to use her magic.
I too have not been without scandal over the centuries. It seems my foliage and flowers are not without their dangers. But worse yet I am susceptible to
blights and other diseases that have tarnished my
innocent reputation. For centuries I was believed to
be the very harbinger of human disease incarnate
in a cultivated plant. The one fateful year when humanity was depending on me most, the blight came.
Then, too, I let humanity down as I was no match
for the blight and well hidden gifts withered away.
Many many starved that year. It saddens me that my
harvest failed so.
It turns out my inner magick is the very opposite of
the superstitions that once surrounded me. I have
the ability to pull away disease and even cure a tooth
ache or rheumatism. Simply carrying a portion of me
around may even protect you from the common cold.
But if that is not enough for you, I’ve been known to
make lovely poppets. Though, on second thought,
that may not be so desirable this darkening time of

NinthDragon

Our Supers
titio

ns: Lilyth R
ose

Jymi X/0

My husband
h
doesn’t like as a superstition that
he
outcome in to verbalize a favora
ble
a situation
for fear it w
come to pa
on’t
ss.
gance, got to Sort of like karmic arr
owatch out fo
r that!

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

24

SAMHAIN 2007

Seven Years Bad Luck:
The
Truth Behind Breaking a Mirror
by Tiger’sMoonDiva
We have all heard the superstition. If you break a mirror you will have seven years bad luck! Most of us see
this as an awfully stiff penance for breaking a piece of glass. What is the truth behind this superstition?
At a time before mirrors existed people scryed in the water, much as we still can do now. At that time many
people thought that when they were looking into the water they were seeing their soul instead of a simply a
reflection of this plane. This was not a problem at that time because you can’t break water. However when
mirrors became popular the same idea was attributed to them. Therefore whenever a mirror was broken
they assumed they had shattered their spirit. The Romans believed that spirit renewed itself every seven
years. We can see how they believed seven years of bad luck would ensue!
Interestingly enough for a while breaking (or even TOUCHING) certain mirrors could defiantly cause (at
LEAST) seven years of bad luck. At one time mirrors were painted with mercury on the back. The mercury
was the cause of their high reflectivity. Breaking one of these mirrors can cause mercury leaks and can be
quite dangerous, especially in enclosed spaces! If you have one of these mirrors, please be VERY careful
with it!
*Antique mirror, Ryebrook, New York.* In 2001, approximately 30 mL of mercury leaked from the back of
an antique mirror onto the carpet in a home. The resident vacuumed the spilled mercury, contaminating the
vacuum cleaner and likely increasing the indoor air levels of mercury. The resident contacted the local health
department, which responded. The mirror and vacuum both were bagged for disposal as hazardous waste,
and the spill was cleaned up within 1.5 hours of discovery. Air sampling confirmed cleanup.
(This example provided by the Center of Disease Control:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5623a2.htm)
Don’t break an antique mirror. If you do, you won’t have seven years bad luck but you may need to call for
some help cleaning it all up!

Protecting Cats Leads to
Killing
Them
by Sapphire Soleil, Flames Lodge
Several animal shelters throughout the country have instated a
ban on all adoptions of cats, especially black cats, on or around
the 31st of October.

Areeya

As reported in the June 11th issue of People Magazine as a sidebar to a story on the discrimination of black
dogs in society, writer Jill Smolowe mentions that several places around the country have actually banned
the adoption of black cats during October in fear that those animals would be used as “holiday props, or
worse, sacrifices for those who practice Witchcraft.”
As all those in the Grey School of Wizardry know, no real pagan, witch, wizard of any variety would even
consider using any animal, let alone a black cat, as part of a ritual sacrifice, and yet the stereotype exists
and is continuously spread.
The sidebar did mention that Los Angeles had recently changed their “no adoption in October” policy when
it was proved that there was little or no documentation of animal torture during that month. Indeed, the
“no adoption” policy led to hundreds of unnecessary killing of cats by the pet adoption agencies themselves.
Since the animals could not be adopted and the number of cats was increasing rapidly, many animals had
to be euthanized to make room for others.
One may hope that with education other pet adoption agencies will see the harm they are causing in their
effort to protect animals from a superstitious threat from practitioners of Witchcraft that does not exist.

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

25

SAMHAIN 2007

Tarot Terror: Don’t Fear the Reaper!
By Jymi X/0

Offer any of your ‘mundane’ friends a Tarot reading.
What’s the most common response?
“I don’t know if I want to – I’m scared that I might
see the Death card!”
Poor, lonely Death. No one ever seems glad to see
him! But that’s not fair – the Death depicted in the
13th Trump doesn’t usually* refer to the physical
death of a person, but of the end of one phase of
life.

Life is full of changes. As you gain new experience
and knowledge, you’re not the same person from
one minute to the next – but most people don’t think
of life as a constant ‘death’!
Even physical death isn’t really a true ‘ending’. For
those of us who believe in a spirit, the physical body
is a temporary home. At some point, the spirit has
to leave the body behind so that it can change into a
new form and have new experiences.
So give Death a break. S/He’s trying to help!

When you stopped being an infant and became a
toddler, did the infant version of you die? The baby
is gone, but a newer, stronger, smarter being took
its place. The toddler then became a child, then
a young man or woman, who will one day become an adult. Life is a series of transformations from one phase to the next.
Like the Tower, the Death card predicts
change. But while the Tower usually
indicates some kind of volatile, possibly traumatic upheaval, the Death
card is more closely associated with
the natural flow of things – nothing
is lost; it just changes form. For example, perhaps you’ve gone as far
as you can in your present job, and
your spirit desperately wishes for
change and new opportunities, while
your mind worries about stability and
paying the bills. We know what happens when the practical mind disagrees with a desperate spirit...
The Death card in a ‘future’ position in the spread could alert you to
an impending change in your situation, but can also remind you that this
is something that needs to happen for
your growth and development. You can be
sure that there are other, better opportunities
waiting for you, and Death lets you know that
it’s time to accept one of them.
Areeya

*Usually. Anything’s possible, but telling a querant
that they’re going to die isn’t recommended! Divination is an inexact science: all future predictions are
necessarily vague, since there are so many variations of the future, all dependent on choices made
beforehand, like a temporal maze. A strong warning
can, if heeded, help avoid the paths that lead to injury or death.

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

26

SOME OF THE REASONS
BEHIND A FEW
HALLOWEEN
TRADITIONS
By Donella Lyonesse
Halloween originally started out as Samhain or summer’s
end. It is also the end of winter and the beginning of
the Celtic New Year. In the time of Julius Caesar,the
Celtic people defined time, not by the number of days in
a month but by the number of nights in the month.
Another tradition of this season was the preparation pf
great feasts by the wealthy. This feast was then distributed to the poor, who dressed up in costumes to represent the community’s dead and went door to door to
receive their treats. Also, if the offering was refused to
be given, there would be a destruction of property. This
was called, “The Embassy of the Dead,” and we can see
how this festival relates to trick-or-treat.
Another tradition of the past, still honored today is the
setting aside of a plate of food, breads or cakes of a specific type for the ancestors. Eating this food that was set
aside for the ancestors constituted a dreadful sacrilege,
equal in effect to an excommunication of a horrible nature.
The holiday, of course, wasn’t just about food, treats or
eating, as the ancestors had to be entertained. These
festivities varied from town to town but the general theme
remained the same. Many of the games, like apple bobbing originated from these ancient customs.
The myths and legends of our past plan an important role
in our present day customs as well as what will occur in
the the future. These ancient reasons for celebrating
and the special preparation of food, as well as the giving
of treats remain a vital part of most communities today.
It is quite interesting to research the reasons behind our
customs of today.
REFERENCES:
Keating, Geoffrey, ed. by Padraig de Brun Foras Feasa ar
Eirinn. Dublin, 1982.
Danaher, Kevin, The Year in Ireland. Cork, 1972.
MacNeill, Eoin, On the Notation and Chronology of the
Calender of Coligny, Eriu 10 1926.
MacNeill, F. Marian, The Silver Branch, Glasgow, 195366.
Owen, Trefor M., Welsh Folk Customs. Cardiff, 1959
Rees, Alwyn and Brinley, Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales. New York. 1961.

SAMHAIN 2007
lloween:
Parts of Ha
te
ri
o
v
a
F
r
u
O
heCross
Nicholasoft
amhain)
alloween (S
H
t
u
o
b
a
rt
a
p
. Having
My favorite
k-or-treating I never
ic
tr
e
th
t
u
sehold,
is all abo
hristian hou
C
a
cance
in
d
e
is
iritual signifi
been ra
sp
l
a
re
e
th
ut
dressed
learned abo
that people
ly
n
o
y
y,
a
lid
o
o really enjo
about the h
candy. I als
t
o
g
d
n
a
e
in costum
dressing up!



Our
Spir Supers
it of
ti
You tions:
th
Our
belie family,
or s ve one old Pen
in in cissors must n nsylvan
er. Hjury to as a gif ever giv ia Dutc
h
t
clud oweve he rece t, this we a kni ,
r
f
e
,
i
e
v
i
l
er a
l
trou scisso it is
nd t result
c
s
r
u
s
s
s
e
h
t
as p
au s
pare
e gi
oma
v
y
a
ting ntal tie mboliz rt of th ry to in ’ the
ing
s an
e
b
t
scis
sors pain o d if giv he cutt ride’s
brid
/kni
ing
en l
f ch
e
o
f
or a /mothe e(s) ar ildbeari ater ‘cu f
n
noth
t
e
r
g
.
t
of
o
be ‘
I
purc er fami -be by fered t f the
ly m
by t
o th
has
her
h
one e ‘give ed’ for ember t paren e
t
offe else, e r’, usua the pric hey mu s
xcep
r a
st
l
e
l
y
n
o
knif
the
ame
t fa
ne
e
imp bride a or sci mily sh cent. N d
ssor
s th
end
ould
o
in
is
even
s
tual g marri is a ‘c as a g ever
ift
ag
ur
seve
ring e, sym se’ on to
the
of th boliz
in
e co
uple g the
.



ions:
uperstit

riter

Moonw

a sharp
receive l, etc.
u
o
y
e
y tim
t too
mily, an
, pocke
he
In my fa knife, scissors ediately give t y
m
in
object - t, you must im ably, a nice sh if
o
r
e
g
fe
p
a
e
t
r
s
a
P
a
h
.
t
y
me
penn
ld
o
a
t
as
r
r
e

e
iv
p
h
ar
ot
gift-g
grandm at giving a “sh er-rey
M
.
y
n
h
iv
t
pen
e g
believed
er of th
ed.
ple once ught the dang g cut or sever t;
o
in
r
e
e
b
e d b
ip b
a gift
lationsh ated a one-sid nt nee
r
’s
t
n
cipie
cipie
p cre
he shar
, the re
Giving t back a penny hings intact.
t
g
by givin debt and kept
e
h
t
gated

Our S

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

27

SAMHAIN 2007

Frightful Decorations
By Spirit of Youth
What would Halloween be without the decorations,
the skulls and bats, witches and cats, monsters and
ghostly cloths floating in the light evening breeze?
But as I was sorting through my black table cloth,
ghosts, skull candle holders, and gauzy witch decorations I began to wonder just what superstitions were
associated with the delightfully frightening designs.
I suppose some meanings are lost to time, but the
skeletons and ghosts are representative of the dead
returning to visit with living. It was even once believed that the dead would sleep in the beds of the
living and gather in their former homes to share a
meal. Many people remained awake over the night to
serve refreshments and allow the dead to rest, and
the skulls of the departed were used by the ancients
to guard the grain after the harvest.
It is said that Halloween is the time to clean the cemetery and acknowledge those who have gone before,
however, to see a coffin on Halloween is an omen of
death within the year and a coffin dripping blood tells
of an impending violent death.
Black cats and bats and owls all have their frightening superstitions, a black cat crossing one’s path was
an omen of bad luck, and bats are associated with
the ‘undead’ vampire. Owls and other birds are also
foretellers of death by their call or flying into a home
on Halloween.
Our
Fa
Xyaid vorite Pa
rts
a

of Ha
llowe

Candle light keeping the darkness at bay is said to protect against the power of a witches’ spell, and a fallen
candle foretold death for a member of the household.
A candle that blows out, or whose flame should turn
blue, warns of
evil spirits near.
The superstitions
associated with
these decorations
follow us through
the year, but part
of the fun of this
holiday is the fear
that these ‘superstitions’ may
just be true.
Resources:
A Treasury of Superstitions, Claudia
Areeya
DeLays, 1997 Gramercy Books a division of Random House
Publishing, NY, New York
The Halloween Encyclopedia, Lisa Morton, 2003 Lisa Morton, McFarland & Company Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina

Poor Ghoul
By Belenus

Oh Ghoul, of monsters you are trash,
Look at the Vamps, they have such class,
You have not the strength of the were,
Ugly, look at you? I won’t dare.

xX

en:
Childr
en dre
s
s
and g
up in a
et
the fro to be hidde ll kinds of co
st
n
n
nice e t doors of th as they sc umes
ream
nough
ose su
at
spectin
sion! T
to be
h
h
g folks
the pr e goblins, g ome for th
in
e
h
of nig cesses all o ouls, monst occaht hop
ut to p
ers an
ing fo
sacks
r the t lay in the d d
they c
usk
re
arry f
that t
or the ats to fill th
he sile
eir
ir boo
nt sup
strong
ty.
pe
t
I have hing for me r thing has I find
been
too ov
used
a
t
those
who h his time to er the year
s.
ave go
celebr
remem
ate w
ne
b
ith
share. ering those on and spe
n
le
Lettin
d
s
t
s
im
o
ns the
e
g them
loved
y can
an
still
have s d missed m know they
are st
hown
akes m
ill
th
know
they a em the resp e feel as if
re with
ect du
I
the m
e since
ulled c
me all
ider ..
I
t
h
e
t
ime. A
. oh th
nd
e joy!

Spiders have been believed to house the souls of the
dead who watch the living and learn their secrets
from a web in a high corner of the home.

Quick though you are,
Blind, you can’t see far,
Your keen sense of smell?
It won’t stead you well.
For I tell you now,
You monster of trash,
The Basilisk is coming,
To turn you to ash!

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

28

S
W
E
I
REV

Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows

By Xyaida, Flames Lodge

‘Year Seven at Hogwarts’ is another amazing book
by J. K. Rowling’s released this Summer, 2007. With
what should have been Harry’s seventh year at Hogwarts; he along with Hermoine and Ron go on the
adventure of finishing the tasks he had started doing
with his Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, before he
died in the last book.
Voldemort has become very strong after Dumbledore’s death. Death Eaters and even Dementors
are working with him trying to regain chaos and
mayhem for Muggles and even the Magickal Community as well. Many a soul at the Ministry of Magic
is affected by spells of control by the Dark Lord’s
command.
The Order of the Phoenix is still standing strong
though in a lot of heat due to the ties of trying to
stop He-Who-Must-Not Be-Named. Those who are a
part of this effort try to stay safe but many a person
dies for this cause.

SAMHAIN 2007

The Malfoys get a good taste of what the Dark Lord
does for those who follow him and don’t do as he
had wanted. Their lives are different to such a degree only reading the book will explain the depth
they have gotten themselves into trouble with Voldemort.
Any of the supporters of Harry are squeezed to
‘change their minds’ and to now support the Dark
Lord and the Death Eaters will do most anything
to change their minds including kidnapping of family members. Those who had supported Harry have
been clearly persuaded to give him up if he had come
to them for assistance.
Needless to say this is a highly active and very interesting adventure once again from our beloved J. K.
Rowling and in the epilogue we find out why Harry
Potter books have come to a conclusion. I worried,
I laughed, I cried, I slammed the book closed a few
times, but overall it is one of the best in this series!
Personally, I thank her for such a lovely boy to watch
grow up and how she has brought magic to a new
light for many!

Illustration by Mary GrandPre. © 2007 Warner Brothers

Pssst...You can still catch Professor Moonwriter’s review of Harry Potter and the Deathly
Hallows published in the July 29, 2007 edition of The Oregonian newspaper!
“I was one of 11 ‘guest reviewers’ who won the paper’s “Why I Should Get to Review
HP#7” contest,” says Moonwriter. “Included in my entry was the fact that I teach at the
GSW; I’m betting that helped me win!”
Here’s the link:
http://www.oregonlive.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/entertainment/1185582561237980.xml&coll=7

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

Just
My Luck
By Xyaida ~ Flames Lodge
2006, PG-13, 103 minutes
20th Century Fox presents this cute film
about two young adults and their adventures surrounding Luck! Ashley Albright
(Lindsey Lohan) and Jake (Chris Pine) seem
to be total opposites when it comes to luck.
Ashley is the lucky one who seems to be the
one who has just had great luck all her life.
Jake is that poor guy who seems to have a
sign around his neck reading ‘Murphy’s Luck
Resides Here’ since he can have anything go
wrong and even knows to plan for that.
The movie is based in New York City and
both are employed. Ashley is in the business world and Jake is a maintenance man
for a bowling alley.
Ashley saves her company with loosing a
potential deal by offering to throw a party
and here is where the whole story changes!
Ashley ends up with a fortune teller flipping
cards about her and tried to warn her about
her luck changing. Ashley meets up with
Jake who is masked at the time and everything is her world changes.
Jake on the other hand seems to finally be
having a lucky streak and finally gets closer
to accomplishing his goal he had been working so hard for.
As Ashley searches for her ‘Good Luck’ back
she experiences one misfortune after another. How she goes about it is one crazy
moment after another and the way she
checks to see if there is any change is oddly
hilarious too!

29

SAMHAIN 2007

Our Favori
te Parts o
f Hallowee
Moonwrite
n:
r
I haul out a
ll of my rea
lly
films -- the
1930s Dracu old horror
la, Wolfman
Frankenste
,
in, etc. -and put a
of soup or
pot
stew on th
e stove, alo
with a kett
ng
le of cider,
mulled wit
cinnamon a
h
nd star anis
e and lemo
slices and a
n
bit of brown
sugar. Then
I just kick
,
back, and e
njoy the ev
ning, answ
e
ering the tr
ick-or-treate
as needed
rs
. Samhain
ritual com
later.
es
ons:
erstiti ross
p
u
S
r
Ou
eC
or
asofth
tition f
Nichol
supers tanding
a
o
t
ng-s
osed
en exp
ctor/
t’s a lo
I’ve be years now. I e to tell an a ish
w
r
l
severa in the Theat g.” You never use
a
n
e
c
L
io
e
it
b
a
d

k
a
tr
“Brea “Good Luck
o
pen
t
s
a
s
to h p
actre
ess
s
r
d
t
c
n
a
e
t
/
r
s
o
the act g bad alway form.
in
r
h
o
t
e
e
p
m
a
so
y, sh
a
to
w
e
he car
in som
ad in t metery,
o
r
y
il
ce
fam
pass a until we
ime my
h
t
Every t lace and we
a
e
p
our br
ry.
some
ys hold ntire cemete
a
lw
a
e
e
h
we’d
rough t
pass th

This cute story has many twists and turns
yet the paths seem to be able to work out
in fates own strange way! Definitely one to
see!
Our
Jym Favor
ite
i X/
Par
0
ts o
I lo
f H
ve b
allo
of t
we
he eing ab
en:
b
the
l
ent oundar e to fe
ire
ly th
el t
ies
m
h
bre e latte onth o betwee e ‘thin
ath
r
nes
n
f
O
w
e b half.
this
ette
It’s ctober orlds s’
p
lane
, es
f
alm
r w
the
pe or
he
o
i
e
som nd of s less n the st as if cialo
a
I
pro ething llergy ppres thickne can
fou
s
s
s
t
i
v
o
s o
e
e
a
relie nd
feel do wit son m (thou f
v
e
h
d
i
in
eve
it, t ght h gh
ryth , a blo g of
av
oo
for
me ing jus cked c pressu ). It’s e
r
t se
aro
h
a
e b
ann
und
e
Hal ms to el clea eing
low
een work b red:
.
ette
r

Jymi X/0

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

30

SAMHAIN 2007

Whispers
By Belenus

My mystic ties
Before from them I’d run
My fear of her
Just had to be undone
The old ways now are new
And we were called the fool
Superstition now?
To follow every clue
Yes be true to self
We learned at old Grey School
Magic’s off the shelf
We shed the king or fool
And so black cat so fine
When you pass my way
Will it be a sign?
Only time will say
The Mystery
Somewhere beneath the
No fear of
Now to it I

lies
sun
her
run

Yes be true to self
No matter king or fool
Magic’s off the shelf
We learn at old Grey School

en:
of Hallowe
s
rt
a
P
te
ri
Our Favo
ryphon 22
Shadow G
ry favorite
It is my ve t. 21st)
).
in
a
h
m
a
ween (S
on (Sep
I love Hallo rt celebrating on Mab on and Sama
st
M
een ab
holiday. I
time of
e time betw
th
r
e
d
si
This is the
n
”.
ch
it
W
and I co
ear
e
eason of th le accept us. We can w
hain the “S
p
o
e
p
en most
ith it.
the year wh Shirts and get away w
Ty
our Witch
itch. I
en-faced W til I
re
g
e
th
r
o
n
reotype un
time I ho
During this er, I saw her as a ste “The Hallowh
t called
never liked
the Interne e explains how we
n
o
m
e
o
p
found a
is is
Angel. Sh
written by
, because th
een Witch” the green-faced witch h the villages
r
g
should hono seen - paraded throu n, with misss
te
a
a
e
w
b
e
,
d
sh
e
is
w
o
ru
ar
h
ials - b
tr
ch
y altar, I we I
it
m
W
n
e
o
r
e
h
t
u
during th
n
p
e
d sick. So I
llect her wh
ing teeth an n my jacket and I co
ork.
o
y desk at w
her as a pin I even have her on m
.
go shopping
een is
ting Hallow
ra
b
le
ce
f
o
iend
favorite part h my mother and a fr ur
I think my
it
o
h
w
lf
e
a ha
trip I tak
’s a two and “Practical
It
the annual
s.
tt
se
u
ovie
assach
to Salem, M e soundtrack to the m d our witchy
n
th
a
h
r
it
e
y
drive, w
CD pla
also
ing on the
pping. We
Magic” play and then a day of sho is is our town
h
ns
conversatio ig pentagrams to say, “t a great time.
e
b
v
r
a
a
h
like to we
e always
iagon Alley.
ng here”. W
and we belo e going shopping in D
lik
It would be
Jymi X/0

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

Re-teaching a Child,
Why???
By Xyaida, Order of the Dancing Flames Lodge
I have been watching people all week wandering
around the Erie County Fair (in New York) with little
kids; some families just with little babies and others
with our young youths. Now I may just have been a
single Mom with something to prove while raising my
son but I don’t understand why parents teach their
children to speak twice.
I know from being here in America that we speak
the English language (or what we call English) as
our primary language. I know children when they
are learning to talk have to be taught syllables and
this does cause many to speak slower or even try to
use words which have similar sounds But, why do
so many folks seem to try to teach little ones some
non-existent language as well and then re-teach the
English language?
I don’t understand why a pacifier is called a ‘binky’ or
why a bottle is a ‘baba’; this just doesn’t make sense
to me. I personally talked to my son with softer
tones and such, but I always used regular words with
him. I was told when he was born to remember that
children learn faster than we do when they are first
born so teaching them the right words to begin with
is a better choice than all those odd made up words
so many use.
Mind you I got a lot of information from many people
since I had my son at sixteen but my stepmother
clearly stated to me that if I felt the need to teach
him other words to actually chose another language
instead of the made up stuff so he doesn’t get confused when others speak to him. Teaching a child
twice the same language, though clearly having to
teach them once wrong then try to re-teach them

31

SAMHAIN 2007

the same language properly, can cause utter confusion to those we love and help raise.
Now when it come to younguns who are learning
to speak, why do so many adjust to speaking incorrectly when a child calls something/someone
wrong? I have a friend’s son who is five who calls
his Aunt Barb, “Aunt Bob.” The Mom calls her Barb
but Grandma still refers to Aunt Barb as Aunt Bob.
Pronunciation is something each child has to learn
and assisting them to speak incorrectly seems to me
to be something which will defeat ones goals to have
a child who can communicate well with others.
What about issues with calling items by names they
really aren’t known by others by? I had to ask a
little girl who was yelling to Mom she wanted to go
home to play on the ‘jumpy’, what a jumpy was. She
described a trampoline to me. I also saw a little girl
tell her Mommy she wanted her ‘zippy’, which come
to find out was her sweatshirt jacket. Both of these
kids were about 6 years old.
The worst thing I saw this week, which is why I have
chosen to write this, is when I watched an adult male
tell his son/nephew of most likely 12 that the word
‘business’ was actually ‘biz-nitch’ and I had to walk
away. It is one thing with an infant but what are
we teaching our youth by correcting them for using the English language with slang? It really floors
me when I see this since it is our responsibility to
raise children for the future and to know there are
so many who almost negate such a task as an adult
influence makes me question so much of our countries/societies ethics within the whole.
Mind you all, this is just my opinion, but if you are
going to raise a child and use those sweet little
made up words remember your are aiming at teaching them twice. If that is the case, maybe teaching
them a second language would be a better choice
and a helpful start for a successful future.

Areeya

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

32

SAMHAIN 2007

Now I See
by Kental Lorewalker
Through the school I see my path.
Before my ritual a cleansing bath.
Cleansed of sin and soot
With new robes from head to foot.
Lighting flashes and the thunder rolls,
While my incense burns in its bowl.
With a spark in my eye and fire in my chest,
I set out to do my very best.
People say it’s the devils work,
But that is only ignorance’s perch.
King Solomon once commanded demons at his feet.
So to now do I attempt his feat.
Through smoke I see a face
from where I yet can place
All is distorted within this image I see
But through it’s voice I hear it’s plea.
“Don’t meddle in the unknown
Without the power of the throne.
Wisdom and knowledge I know you seek
You will find it at educations peek.”
Through my school I see my sight
Its knowledge may be my might.
But its wisdom is of the soul
And that is my ultimate goal.

Areeya

come
e to
d
i
er
c
e
dd
, nev t
n
e
l
a
d
i
e
,
s
a
Sig
out
s late
id th
Lady
door ck to the It is sa
:
t
ad
s
u
d
n
o
rt.
ba
My
ust
o
j
titio
.
r
s
s
d
r
u
l
r
o
e
o
o
e
y
ow
h
th
e,
Sup
with thing or
thres don’t kn ,
e lat
n
e
m
i
Our
h
o
t
any
k. I
ter
ome
ng h
them
comi always c ards, or ion to en king bac it repels eave
e
r
a
l
o
s
w
t
,
u
o
s
If yo e house lk in back of permi nd not l aying tha r is don’t t get
h
a
s
h
e
t
a
noth
into ack or w ome type alking in
s mig
r him
mbe home. A at spirit nts some
b
s
w
e
s
k
e
t
m
o
i
r
e
r
h
i
o
t
r
lo
t
t
e
f
p
r
a
a
I
e
y
s
a

h
t
sa
s b
es
bu
nt
yp
ng
it giv ometime ith that wanted i fall. They child. M ope, layi pirits
w
s
r
t
s
t
e
spits ole story y are no fter nigh harm th f cloth of eep evil
a
e
h
k
o
d
h
e
w
n
the
hat t s outsid othing a h a piece door, to
ow t
l
e
e
t
to kn n’s cloth ess the c is tied wi ont of th
Our Superstiti
e
r
s
t
r
f
s
a
d
ons: Gemma
po
th
l in
,
chil
o
a
t
m
n
Greene
d
o
o
te
ro
ag
temp leave a b lean it di
Si
nce living in Ja
s
or
pan, I’ve gotten
time
floor, .
a little avoidant
the number 4,
e
h
t
g
of
w
n
hich is unlucky
i
on
r
te
n
th
ere and in Chin
be
e
cause it is a ho
a
monym for “dea
from
th.” I will usua
prefer 5 if I ha
lly
ve a choice--lik
e buying 5 oran
instead of 4. As
ges
for theatre supe
rstitions, we ne
say “Macbeth”
ver
if we’re inside
a theatre. Som
terrible is then
ething
likely to happen
, or someone m
even die durin
ight
g the productio
n. We refer to
“The Scottish Pl
it
as
ay.”

h

a

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

33

SAMHAIN 2007

Jymi X/0

Standing Among the Giants: The Old ByGrowth
Forest
Moonwriter
Two of this summer’s Conclaves were held in old growth forests—the first amidst Washington’s cedar groves
and the second beneath the massive redwoods of northern California. Camping under these magnificent
trees gave students a chance to experience the old growth forest first-hand.
The first thing one notices in an old growth forest is the present of trees. Really big trees. The standard
definition of an old growth tree is that it’s at least 30-32” in diameter and 200 years old. In truth, most such
trees are older and bigger. Some of the redwoods we visited were over 2000 years old, and big enough to
drive a car through.
Are all trees in an old-growth forest massive in size? Nope; in fact, one characteristic of these forests is the
presence of a variety of tree species of varying sizes and ages. Patchy sun dapples the forest floor, and in
these small bits of light, deciduous trees (like aspen and alder) take root and grow. Young, shade-tolerant
conifers then push up from the rich organic soil, thriving in the shade provided by the young deciduous
trees. As the conifers put on bulk, the deciduous trees are shaded out and eventually die from lack of sun;
they fall to the ground and decompose, adding their nutrients to the soil.
And that soil is a miracle in itself. Formed of decomposing material, old growth soil is black and crumbly
and often three to four feet deep. It supplies a fertile substrate for growth and keeps the upper soil layers
cool—a vital function as most conifers have shallow root systems. The organic mulch also filters and purifies
rainwater and holds water in reserve.
Study the old growth forest floor. On one side might be a mound several feet high, on the other a deep pit,
and on another a fallen, decomposing trunk covered with shrubs, moss, and ferns. This type of arrangement is called “pit and mound” topography, and it’s a classic marker of old growth forests. When an ancient
tree dies or is toppled by external forces, its shallow root ball rips out of the ground, leaving a pit behind.
The tree settles to the forest floor and slowly decomposes, a process taking hundreds of years. As it disintegrates, new plants take root and grow from the decomposing wood, and the fallen tree becomes a “nurse
log.” Eventually, the tree melts into the Earth, leaving behind a typical mound or swale. Each of the pits and
mounds in an ancient forest are ghosts of massive fallen conifers. The fallen tree also tears open a “hole” in
the forest canopy; sunlight reaches the floor, deciduous seeds take root, and the forest cycle begins anew.
Next time you visit an old growth forest, look for these features. Feel the springiness of the forest floor.
Breath in the damp air. Lean against a tree and listen to its voice, meditating on the cycle of life around you.
Glory in the presence of these ancient, gracious giants.

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

34

SAMHAIN 2007

Necronomicon
the Real

by Jymi X/0

This past summer, Grey School student Shadow of
Night started a thread in the “Book Chat” forum that
drew several of us into a fascinating conversation
about that infamous Grimoire, The Necronomicon.
Most people know that the Necronomicon is closely
associated with author H.P. Lovecraft, but the questions and rumors abound: did he make it all up, or
was he privy to dark magical secrets that leaked out
in his fictional stories? Is it real? Does it contain actual rites used by ancient Sumerian Wizards to invoke unthinkable horrors from other dimensions?
Who was the Mad Arab? Will reading it make you go
crazy?
There have been quite a few Necronomicons published since Lovecraft introduced the idea for the
book in his story “The Hound”, which appeared in the
Weird Tales magazine in 1923. (Our own Professor
Opsopaus has composed a version, the Necronomicon Novum, which can be found at: http://www.
cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/NN.html.)
The original Necronomicon (the one everyone’s looking for) doesn’t exist. It’s a literary prop that Lovecraft invented to spice up his fiction stories. He did a
lot of background research on ancient cultures and
magic to give it the ring of truth, erring on the side
of entertainment value rather than authenticity when
he had to make a choice.

But the idea of such a book struck a strong chord in
the collective imagination, and things began to happen...
Lovecraft’s peers started referring to it in their own
works. (Many fiction authors enjoy putting references to bits and pieces of each other’s stories in their
own, for fun and as tributes to one another.) The
background references were so thorough that few
bothered to check facts, and the book was such a
great idea that the general public were keen to let
themselves be fooled. Everyone wants miracles to be
real, even if they take the shape of nightmares.
Inevitably, other authors began publishing books
claiming to be the real Necronomicon. The most
well-known version today is the “Simon Necronomicon” (named for the mysterious monk who supposedly delivered the manuscript to the editors), first
published in 1977. But even though it was his idea,
Lovecraft himself never wrote any Necronomicon of
his own. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“As for bringing the Necronomicon into objective existence ... one can never produce anything even a tenth
as terrible and impressive as one can awesomely hint
about. If anyone were to write the Necronomicon, it
would disappoint all those who have shuddered at
cryptic references to it.” (Gonce & Harms 22)
Does this mean the magic in those other books is
worthless? Absolutely not. As we’ve all seen, belief in
something can shape reality. On pages 243-4 of The
Companion for the Apprentice Wizard, you’ll find more
information from Headmaster Oberon and Professor
T’shirai about the Elder Gods, the Ancient Ones, and
real Necronomicon magic. As stated therein, Necronomicon magic can work just as well as other magic
– but the energy raised by so many people believing
in the accompanying dangers makes it very risky!
Heed those warnings!
REFERENCES:
Harms, Daniel & Gonce, John W. The Necronomicon Files:
The Truth Behind the Legend. York Beach: Weiser Books,
2003.
Barnes, H. (Ed.) & “Simon”. The Necronomicon. New York:
Avon Books, 1977.

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

35

An Interview with
Professor Estara T’shirai, Dean
of the Department of Dark Arts

forces invoked. In your opinion, are they indeed
‘unbanishable’? Do their powers and abilities
depend only on the positions of the stars? Have
you come across any reliable ways to protect
oneself and/or banish these entities?

With all of this interest in the Necronomicon lately,
we figured we’d better call in an expert. Professor
T’shirai agreed to answer a few questions about the
dark book and the magic therein...

There is a huge difference between “this is unbanishable” and “no banishing method is provided.” In theory, if you know what you’re doing and have enough
contingency plans, you can banish about anything
under any system you already know. The thing is
that the most classic and available Necronomicon
doesn’t provide these tools within the book. Now,
that may not be a problem for someone who already
knows another full magical system, is aware that this
is a flaw in the book, and makes plans for getting
around that...but then again, that person probably
doesn’t need the Necronomicon at all, because they
have other means of doing anything that book promises to do. Meanwhile, people who don’t know it’s a
problem may be left scrambling at a very inopportune moment.

By Jymi X/0

JX0: We know that any magical system can
work if the practitioner gives it enough energy.
Do you feel that the older, more established
systems automatically have more power than
the newer ones, or does it just depend on the
Wizard?
Prof. T’shirai: I wouldn’t go so far as to say that older
systems are automatically more powerful: there are
several relatively young magical and magico-religious
systems around today that seem to be quite effective for a lot of people. Some people with sufficient
talent and moxie are even able to make up effective systems as they go along. The advantage of an
older system is that you know what you’re getting.
You know that it has been effective for other people
in the past, and that there’s been time to work out
some of the bugs. You don’t have to figure everything out from scratch yourself.
JX0: What version(s) of the Necronomicon, if
any, do you feel are the most valid?
I can’t honestly say that I consider any one more
“valid” than another. Ultimately, they’re all works of
fiction, put together by people with more or less real
occult knowledge. They’re all “invalid” in that they’re
all fiction, and they’re all “valid” in that someone with
enough ancillary knowledge and determination could
probably get some sort of result out of them if that
was really what they wanted.
JX0: The Companion for the Apprentice Wizard hints that you’ve had some first-hand experiences with Necronomicon magic (p. 243).
Would you be willing to elaborate at all?
I have had one encounter that I could conclusively
connect to someone messing around with a Necronomicon, and several others that were maybes meaning I never got to talk to the original mages to
know for sure what they thought they were trying to
do at the time, because I only showed up afterward
to clean up the mess, and had to guess the cause
based on second-hand accounts and the flavor of
the energy. “Mess” would be the one word that carries the theme of these situations for me. I’ve never
seen anyone manage to conjure up a really dangerous soul-eating horror, but I’ve seen ample evidence
of people screwing up their lives and the energies
around them.
JX0: It’s often said that some Necronomicons
are a little lax in providing ways to banish the

SAMHAIN 2007

Any full, responsible, and non-fictional magical system contains a variety of techniques for protection and banishing. Basics from several of them are
taught at Grey School.
JX0: What advice do you have for people wishing to use the Necronomicon in their magical
work?
Honestly? Don’t. Think about it - the whole premise
is that these are entities with a history of extreme
hostility toward humans, typically driving their followers to madness or worse. I’ve never understood
why anyone finds this tempting. It’s not as if this is
the only promise of occult power out there: if you’re
really interested in arcane ceremonial practices and
gaining secret knowledge from nonhuman entities,
there are plenty of better-built methods. Read the
Greek Magical Papyri; read the Keys of Solomon; if
you’ve got the background to handle it and really
want to play with the darker beasties, try the Goetia before you try the Necronomicon. By the way, I
would recommend the book Secrets of the Magickal
Grimoires by Aaron Leitch for understanding these
older ceremonial systems and how they really work.

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

36

SAMHAIN 2007

Ghost Stories
By Belenus

I live just outside of our nation’s capitol, and haunted
buildings are a part of the rich history of Washington DC. One such is the Octagon House, “built between 1798 and 1800, by Dr. William Thornton, the
architect of the U.S. Capitol...for John Tayloe...at the
prompting of George Washington.”

“A second Tayloe daughter died in the same place, in
similar circumstances, after the war. She also clashed
with her father over marriage, but this sibling ignored
her father and eloped. According to legend, she was
pleading with him for forgiveness and slipped on the
infamous stairs, fell and broke her neck.”

In grade school, after a field trip to the place, my
friends came back with some stories. One told me
that he felt a chill breeze and odd smell where they
should not have been. But the weirdest, was story of
the door to a library, which was always kept locked.
When the tour passed by, the door opened on its
own. The guide quietly stopped, walked over, and
closed the door, relocking it. When asked, she just
said, “That happens sometimes.”

Another ghost story came to me from a friend who
had a not so pleasant encounter with a spirit, while
parked with a girlfriend at one of the Manassas, VA
(Civil War) battlefields. He told me they both felt a
strong presence and added with conviction, “that
thing wasn’t human!” Feeling like he was having a
heart attack, he drove away as fast as he could. Afterwards, for several days, he felt an energy surrounding him that others could feel too. He said,
“I have a new found respect for battlefields.” After
informing police, they replied, “It has been a while
since that thing had caused problems.” I personally
believe that it is the “Spirit of the Battlefield.”

Most haunted places have some history of tragedy,
and the Octagon House is no exception. “Tragedy
struck the Tayloe family before the War of 1812. One
of the colonel’s daughters had fallen in love with a
British officer, but Tayloe had denied permission for a
marriage. After an argument, the daughter stormed
up the spiral staircase. She never reached her room.
Whether she threw herself down or slipped is not
known, but the family heard her scream. She fell
through the stairwell to the floor below, where she
died.”

Sources:
Washington DC, Octagon House, Retrieved on July 17,
2007 from:
http://www.nps.gov/history/Nr/travel/wash/dc22.htm
Time Travel Channel, Spooky Cities, Retrieved on July 17,
2007 from:
http://travel.discovery.com/convergence/hauntedtravels/
interactives/washingtondc/octagon.html

Areeya

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

lyth
en: Li
llowe

37

SAMHAIN 2007

Rose

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Jymi X/0

Apollo

By Aamber Phoenix
Apollo a god of healing divine,
Whose hands were gifted by wellness sublime,
Worshipped by ancients throughout the lands,
He dispensed his gifts freely, always unplanned,
Called by a prayer for those truly in need,
Appearing in an instant to answer each plea.
So regal in appearance, golden it seems,
A pleasure to gaze at, fulfilling all dreams,
Can we not call him from the realm of the past?
To bring forth his wisdom on earth we have cast.
To heal mother earth from the damage we’ve done,
By only her wholeness can our saving be won.
I, for one, by simple prayer do I plead,
For Apollo’s wisdom and wellness on all be decreed.
So gather all wishes to be rid of life’s greed,
To honor each other and by passion be freed.
Tis my wish that this rendition will be passed to all who would know
the presence of the Great God Apollo.

Get
ready
for a summer
heat
wave...
the YULE
issue of WGM
will soon be
here !

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