Grey School of Wizardry . . . . . . . Whispering Grey Matters
Volume 2, Issue 1
“A Magickal Whisper Spoken in Every Word”
December 20, 2005
The Winter Solstice takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 10:35 p.m. (Pacific time, USA). Official
weatherworking report: Wool cloaks and jerkins are recommended, along with a stout draught of wassail!
In the black season of deep winter
a storm of waves
Crashes along the edge of the world.
Sad are the birds of the meadow,
Save for the ravens that feed
on crimson blood.
At the clamor of harsh winter––
Rough, black, dark, smoky––
Dogs vicious in cracking bones;
The iron pot is put on the fire
At the end of the dark black day.
Natalis Solis Invicti- “Birthday of the
Unconquered Sun” (Rome)
Alban Arthan- “Light of Arthur”
(Irish, attributed to Amergin, 11th century)
What is the Solstice?
What is Yule?
By Prof. Moonwriter (Taken from the “Wheel of the
Year: Yule and Imbolc” class)
In Norse, the word for “wheel” means
Yule occurs on the astronomical Winter
Solstice—the shortest day and longest night
of the year—which usually falls on Dec. 21
or 22. The great Wheel has reached a turning
point, and now rotates toward the light. With
Other names for Yule:
Geol- “Wheel” (Saxon)
Yula- “Wheel” (Anglo-Saxon)
the passing of the Winter Solstice, the days
begin to lengthen and the temperatures to
slowly rise. It’s not surprising that ancient
peoples rejoiced at Yule, for they knew that
warmth, light, and abundant food would
soon come again.
Evergreens are another important seasonal
symbol. Since evergreens stay green
throughout the winter, they have long
appeared in winter celebrations as
representations of the still-living world. The
“Christmas tree” and the wreaths and
garlands that people hang during December
all reflect this meaning.
Stone-aged people lived their lives
according to the changing seasons. In the
spring, they planted crops, harvesting them
through the summer and fall. As fall
progressed, they stored food, gathered fuel
for their fires, and put the fields “to bed.”
When winter came, the people took to their
caves, huts, or other dwellings, where they
passed the cold dark months living off of
their stored bounty, hunting for scare meat,
and hoping that they would have enough
food and firewood to last until spring.
Wreaths of evergreen, cones, seeds and
berries also reference the cyclical revolution
of the seasons, the wheel of the year.
The Yule log is an ancient symbol of waxing
solar year. Traditionally made of oak
(although a Yule log of ash is said to bring
luck), the Yule log is lit on solstice eve
(ideally lighting on the first try) and burned
until morning for the best of luck. Wishes
and toasts may be made over the log.
In those times, winter celebrations centered
on the coming of the winter solstice. Solstice
is a compilation of the Latin sol and sistere,
literally, “sun stands still.” At the winter
solstice the sun is above the horizon for
fewer than 12 hours each day and doesn’t
climb very high, making it appear to stand
still in the sky.
clumps in oak
trees, was sacred
to the Druids.
golden sickles to
ideally on the
sixth night of the full moon before either
Solstice, while maidens gathered beneath the
trees with bolts of white linen to catch the
Light is the most
important symbol of the
winter holidays, and
relates back to the
ancient peoples’ joy at
the lengthening days and
the return of light and
life. Candles, firelight and even strands of
holiday lights help symbolize the
importance of light at this time of year.
Believed to be a magickal aphrodisiac,
bunches of mistletoe are hung over
doorways today to bring luck and fertility.
The tradition endures today with mistletoe
exacting a kiss from anyone who lingers
Today, most religious traditions hold some
sort of celebration around the time of the
winter solstice, and most of them feature
light, e.g., the Christian holiday of
Christmas, the Wiccan Yule and the Jewish
celebration of Hanukkah.
The winter solstice stands opposite to the
summer solstice on the seasonal wheel of
the year. In earth-based traditions the Sun is
considered to represent the male divinity,
and the solstice has been widely celebrated
as the “return of the Sun God,” reborn of a
mother figure or Goddess.
Teutonic All-Father who rides the sky on an
eight-legged horse), Frey (the Norse fertility
god) and the Tomte (a Norse Land Spirit
known for giving gifts to children around
the Solstice time).
Midwinter has always been a time of joyful
feasting. When faced with the shortest day
and longest night of the year, early peoples
feared that sunlight would not return to
nourish the land and banish the cold. It was
this apprehension that led to phrases like,
"Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow may
Many past and present cultures honor a
“mother and child” at this time of year,
including Tonantzin (the Native Mexican
corn mother), Holda (a Teutonic earth
goddess of good fortune), Bona Dea (the
Roman women's goddess of abundance and
prophecy), Ops (Roman goddess of plenty),
Au Set/Isis (a multicultural Ehyptial
Goddess whose worship continued in
Christian times under the name Mary),
Lucina/St. Lucy (the Roman/Swedish
goddess/saint of light) and Befana (an Italian
Witch who gives gifts to children at this
season). The Christian nativity scene
likewise honors the Madonna and child.
Feasting celebrated the return of light and
bounty and provided a festival to allay the
boredom and depression of the long winter.
Gift giving became another way to share
wealth and bounty with ones companions.
Caroling arose when young children
honored the winter solstice with song, going
throughout their villages and singing door to
door. The villagers rewarded them with
tokens, sweets and small gifts.
Winter festivals are
closely linked to the
Roman festival of
includes New Years
Eve and Day, and
the image of old
(Saturn) and his
Claus and Father time are images of “Old
Man Winter” and the Sun God.
Bells are often used to decorate homes and
trees. When a bell rings, legend says that a
spirit is present. As the angel says in the
film, It’s a Wonderful Life, “Every time a
bell rings, and angel gets his wings.”
This holiday season, whether you kindle a
Yule log, decorate a Christmas tree or sit
down to a holiday feast, knowing that you’re
part of a rich history of tradition might make
the experience even more wonderful.
Santa also embodies characteristics of
Saturn (the Roman agricultural god), Cronos
(a Greek god, also known as Father Time),
the Holly King (a Celtic god of the dying
year), Father Ice/ Grandfather Frost (the
Russian winter god), Thor (the Norse sky
god who rides the sky in a chariot drawn by
goats), Odin/Wotan (the Scandinavian/
Witness the Winter Solstice Sunrise
and Sunset at the Umass Sunwheel
The festivities take place at sunrise (7:00
a.m.) and sunset (3:30 p.m.) on Wednesday
and Thursday, Dec. 21 and 22, 2005.
Members of the general public and the
University community are invited to join Dr.
Judith Young of the University of Massachusetts Dept. of Astronomy to watch the
Sun rise and set over the tall standing stones
in the UMass. Sunwheel for the winter
solstice. This is when the Sun is at its most
southerly position in rising and setting.
Sunrise and sunset gatherings will be held
on both Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 21
& 22, 2005. Visitors for the winter solstice
sunrise viewing should arrive at 7:00 a.m.
and visitors for the sunset viewing should
arrive by 3:30 p.m. For those interested in
learning about the sky, there will be a
presentation that will include the cause of
the seasons, the Sun's path in the sky, the
phases of the Moon, and the story of
building the U.Mass. Sunwheel.
In those days we depended upon each other
as a community, not just for the pleasure of
social activities but for our survival.
Everyone in our community contributed for
the benefit of the whole. If one in our group
was sick, we pitched in and helped him until
he was well, knowing that one day he might
do the same for one of us. We protected one
another, watched out for each other, and
shared with one another.
Every spring, the new green shoots came out
and the new baby animals were born. These
things meant our survival. As the days grew
longer and warmer, and Father Sun grew
brighter, the green things matured and the
fruit ripened. Gradually, the plants began to
die as the days grew shorter and the nights
grew longer and cooler. We gathered what
we could of the last of the plants and stored
them for the long, dangerous days ahead.
Soon, Father Sun began to seem weaker and
further away, and we knew that he was
dying as he did every year. The days became
short and the nights became long and cold.
This was the time of year that those of us
who were sick, old, or weak were the most
likely to die. We clung to one another,
depending on each other for survival more
Bring your questions, your camera, your
curiosity, and dress very warmly. A $3
donation is requested to help cover the cost
of additional stonework for the Sunwheel.
For more information, see http://www.
The Story of the Yule Log
By Chasmodai, Waters Lodge
Long, long ago, when our people could
remember the days when Mother Earth
never lost her blanket of snow and ice, we
were more connected to her than we are
now. We had no computers, no cell phones,
no airplanes or radios, no cars or microwave
ovens. This was in the days before the fall of
the Roman Empire, even before King
We knew that after Father Sun died, Mother
Earth would deliver us a newborn baby Sun.
Gradually our Sun King would grow
stronger and brighter, until the days were
longer and warmer again, and once again the
new green shoots would return.
But some of us were fearful. We had seen
some of the women among us die in
childbirth, and we saw babies born dead, or
worse, born weak and destined to die shortly
after birth. Some of our winters were very
harsh and spring was late. A weak baby Sun
could make survival difficult.
Those were the days when everything we
wore, and everything we ate, and all that we
used to shelter ourselves was gathered with
our hands, made with our hands, or killed
with our hands.
and sang. Soon our Sun King grew strong
and warm, and as Mother Earth grew
warmer the green plants began to grow.
Every year after that, we burned the fire at
Midwinter, which came to be known as the
Fortunately, there were Wise Ones among
us. Our Wise Ones understood many things
that were mysterious to the rest of us. They
could help women in childbirth and predict
the weather. They could brew medicines that
would help us when we were sick and weak.
They engraved strange symbols on rock and
wood, and only they understood what these
For many thousands of years, we celebrated
the Yule fire. As time passed, we learned to
grow crops and raise livestock so we no
longer depended so much on the hunt and on
gathering. Our dependence on each other
became less pronounced, less essential. But
we continued to burn the Yule fire each year.
Because we retained a sense of community,
the Yule log had to be a gift from a neighbor
– not bought or sold, or else it was not lucky.
And because we valued hospitality, when
the Yule log was brought into the house it
was sprinkled with our finest mead or ale, as
we would give an honored guest. We
adorned it with evergreens because the
evergreen symbolized eternal life. And we
kept a piece of it from the fire to bring good
luck to the house throughout the year.
Because we valued the passing of tradition
to each new generation, we used the piece
from the previous year to light the next
So we went to our Wise Ones, and we
requested they help us help Mother Earth
bring the newborn baby Sun into our world.
We told them of our concerns, and they
agreed to help.
They said we should build a huge fire, the
greatest fire Mother Earth had ever seen.
The fire would melt the snow and ice, and
help our Mother with what she had to do.
We would tend the fire all night and day,
until Mother Earth brings the baby Sun into
Our Wise Ones were indeed wise. They
knew that we had to give up something to
get something, and that asking for
something was the first step toward
receiving it. So they showed us how to
throw grain into the fire, in order to ask for a
year of abundance. They looked into the
flames and saw the future of our group. As
we danced around the fire, we rejoiced,
because the warmth of the fire felt like the
warmth of Father Sun, and this gave us
Gradually, there were changes over the
years, and we were encouraged to discard
our old ways for new. And when many of us
came to the New World, we left our old
ways behind. Later, modern technology
separated us further from our old ways and
our Mother Earth. For some, today's Yule
log is nothing more than a chocolate pastry,
rolled and decorated to look like a piece of
wood. They eat the pastry but they don't
remember its significance.
fire, and on
newborn Baby Sun rose. Again, we rejoiced
Snow days: Love'em or hate'em
9. It's a scientific fact that 98.2 percent of
snow days result in bad hair days.
8. Who likes to shovel?
7. Snow always gets in your shoes and
melts. Wet socks + cold toes = cranky
6. Think the drivers on interstates are rotten
on non-snow days?
5. It only fuels the ever present temptation
to binge on marshmallow fluff. (Or
Starbucks Creme Liquor)
4. Where's the blasted ice scraper?
3. Emergency room co-payments!
2. Brrrr. And furthermore, BRRRRRRRR!!
1. Snow day—no school.
By Cashew, Stones Lodge
If our weather folk are worth their weight in
snow, the ground ought to be coated with
white stuff by now. For snow lovers, the
season's first real snowfall is cause to cozy
up and celebrate nature's chilly beauty. But
for snow loathers, that slippery, freezing
mess is about as welcome as an ice cube
down the back.
Here are some reasons to
celebrate or curse the snow.
Pick your powder poison!
A Man of Wonder and Mystery, Ted
10. Snowball fights and snowmen aren't the
same without snow!
9. Snow equalizes the haves and have-nots
8. Snow waters (and insulates) plants.
7. It’s beautiful.
6. It provides the perfect backdrop for a
rousing medley of "Let it Snow" /
5. It offers the olfactory reminder of what
the color white might smell like - in a
burning wood sorta way.
4. You can make a batch of snow cream by
adding (non-yellow) snow to 1 cup milk,
1/2 cup of sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon of
3. The presence of snow magically improves
the taste of hot chocolate and chicken
Sledders in sweaters head for the
hills. Make that hill, here in Kansas.
1. Snow day-- no school!
By: Solaris, Waters Lodge; Special to the Yulesletter
I am here in Naples, North
Carolina, talking to Mr. Ted Andrews, a
spiritualist, writer, and teacher. On behalf of
the Grey School of Wizardry and
Whispering Grey Matters, I would like to
thank you for this opportunity and your
Ted Andrews: My pleasure.
S: What is your perspective of the world?
10. Too bright! Eyes hurt!
TA: Very young. I’ve always felt spirits. I
just assumed everyone did.
I had a
grandmother to show up with some kind of
an animal, often a wolf and crows.
I don’t think of it as unique. I don’t think of
myself as unique or special. The fact that I
was too stubborn to accept what others were
telling me wasn’t true.
What I was
experiencing was real, and they weren’t
going to convince me otherwise.
S: How would you define your path in life?
TA: To teach people about these things, that
what they’ve experienced isn’t something
that’s out of the ordinary, isn’t something
that is just a figment of their imagination;
that is has a reality, that they can take it,
develop it, and work with it. Part of my path
of teaching is taking both the metaphysical
and the scientific and finding ways of
bringing them together because people
won’t accept one without the other well -not a path that I ever intended to take.
TA: I am a spiritualist. I believe that there
is a spirit associated with everything we
encounter in life – every plant, every animal
has some kind of spirit. There is some kind
of spirit that manifest through all aspects of
the phenomenal world. If we recognize that,
then begins to, opens us up to a whole lot of
different possibilities, and begins to change
our entire perspective of life, on how we
view people and how we view the natural
world. I promote a lot the idea that the
plants and the animals are our brothers and
sisters, but because we are humans and at
the top of the food chain, we have a
responsibility to be what I call a steward. A
steward is someone who watches over. We
begin to look at ourselves like an older
brother/sister. Yes, the plants and animals
are our younger brothers and sisters.
Sometimes have to watch after our younger
brothers and sisters in our families to keep
them out of trouble, and that with the plants
and animal kingdom. We begin to recognize
that every aspect of the phenomenal world
has a spirit associated with it, then that
becomes a lot easier.
S: In one of the articles I read, the author
called you a “true Renaissance man.” Why
do you think the author gave you this title?
TA: Nice title. I really like it. I think it is
because a true Renaissance person draws
from all avenues, doesn’t just lock
themselves into one particular avenue. I
make an effort to stay schooled in as many
different things as possible. This does not
make me a jack-of-all-trades because when I
explore something, I explore it intensely and
completely. Very practical minded, musical,
scientific -- all these aspects, I think,
together kinda makes me a way of taking
whole teachings and giving them a new spin
so that people today can understand them.
Renaissance is a good beginning. It is a way
of taking those old teachings, finding a way
of expressing them so that the average
S: How old were you when you realized
that you had this unique ability, and what
was your reaction?
person can take them, and use them, and ran
with them, in ways that is suitable for them.
will present the outstanding characteristics,
will do it in a nice simple manner. You got a
start. Start with one animal per week; by the
end of the year that’s fifty-two animals. You
really start to connect. Start with the
animals you have been most drawn to.
S: What advice would you give someone
who is thinking about majoring in healing?
TA: I would encourage them. Anybody
involved with anything in the magickal field
should be involved in some kind of healing
for several reasons. Keeps you grounded
and balanced while you are developing and
growing. It also gives you an opportunity to
give back as you are growing and learning.
Something that is often neglected: the
giving back aspect, the best thing in the
world for developing your own intuition.
S: What advice would you give a young
person on how to deal with people who
don’t understand metaphysical and spiritual
TA: Don’t try to convince anybody of
anything, and especially don’t try to prove to
anyone about your abilities, because that
does nothing but sow doubts, and doubts
will close down and short circuit your
abilities. Just live your life. Be creative and
productive with your magick, and psychic
intuitive, and healing energies.
people begin to see how much more
productive and creative you are in your life,
they are going to get curious. When they get
curious, then the opportunity will come
S: Regarding scrying – which method is
your method of choice and why?
TA: I will often use my own clairvoyance
and not use a tool. I will often use one of
two techniques or both. 1) Take a walk in
nature to see what stands out. 2) Go to my
bookshelf. Choose a book. Open the book
and see what it said.
S: What is the Young Person’s School of
Magic and Mystery series?
S: What advice would you give someone
who is beginning to see animal spirits and/or
communicate with animals?
TA: There are six books currently out.
There will soon be ten. Ten books dealing
with various aspects of magick, spirituality,
intuition, psychic development. Exercises
that are designed specifically to help those
that are young, whether they are teens or
beginners. A series of books designed to
present this stuff in a way that wasn’t
frightening, that could show, “Look, this is
normal experience,” and they could have fun
with the process. Bringing in the family,
parents, and teachers, to say, “Here. Look.
This is what I’m doing. This is not
something scary.” In the premise of every
book, your parents concerned, let them read
the book because there is nothing wrong
TA: Spend time in nature. Get out in the
natural world. You can develop it with pets,
but to really open animal communications
you need to spend time out in nature because
it is grounding. Nature is the one element of
where magick and that energy is so strong
that it opens us up intuitively and does so
while at the same time grounding us. Spend
more time in nature. It is the one thing that
will do it more than anything else.
Take one animal a week and study
something about it. I usually recommend to
the children’s section of the library, and get
a children’s book. Most children’s books
I also had the pleasure and opportunity to
attend Ted Andrews’s Animal Speaks
workshop at Crystal Visions in Naples,
North Carolina. For two hours, Andrews,
with his enthusiastic charm, lectured about
how animals help us out in our everyday
lives. Andrews said, “Nature speaks to us
all the time. We’ve just forgotten how to
listen.” He included a segment on animals
that you fear the most, which make your
most powerful totems. Andrews led the
group in mediation to find our totem
animal(s). I truly enjoyed the workshop and
found it quite useful. I highly recommend
the workshop, or any of Ted Andrews’s
S: Tell me about the book Music Therapy
TA: Designed for someone who doesn’t
know anything about music, or even those
who already have a musical background, it
provides simple pieces of music, notes, and
instruments that we now know affect
systems of the body, affect the way different
organs of the body and the rhythms of the
different metabolic rhythms within the body,
and how they all work. There are tones and
rhythms and instruments that will affect
them and can bring them into balance. It
goes through each system of the body:
simple musical remedies that can be applied
to help ease a condition or facilitate the
healing of a condition, along with the
physical movements that will enhance the
music’s affect upon the body.
Speaking of Generosity…
S: Is there anything else you would like to
tell the students of Grey School?
By Prof. Moonwriter, Whispering Grey Matters
I hope you’re all enjoying reading your way
through this paper. It represents the
combined efforts of not only the WGM staff
but also many Grey School faculty and
TA: Have fun. Learning and exploring
should be fun. Yeah, you have to put forth
the work. There will be teachers they
encounter that will make it look like it’s real
easy; it doesn’t mean that they didn’t work
at it. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve
developed this ability in a previous life or
not, you’re still going to have to redevelop it
in this life and learn to express it in present
life circumstances. You probably have
learned to read in a dozen different lifetimes,
but you still had to learn to read in this one
all over again. In the process of doing that
work, make sure that you have some fun
doing it because it’s supposed to be. Yeah,
we have to work, but we should be enjoying
Generosity usually refers to actions that are
unexpected, that go above and beyond “the
call of duty,” that extend themselves with
grace and giving when they aren’t actually
required to do so.
I saw generosity in action over the last two
weeks, as this paper came together. Our
editor-in-chief, Merana, was working to
build a brand new staff and get a paper out
only 8 weeks after the Samhain edition
published—no easy task! To complicate
matters, just as things were beginning to
ramp up, she became ill, and had to turn the
final publication work over to yours truly.
S: Thank you, Ted.
This is where “generosity” came in. When I
approached people, letting them know of our
fallen editor and that more content was
needed, I didn’t hear one single “NO” or
“CAN’T.” All I heard was, “When do you
want it?” Or, “What do you need? Or, “How
can I help?”
then some? It is no wonder people resent
being the recipient of such “gifts.”
For example, a company I used to work for
would, every year, pass around a form
soliciting contributions to United Way. The
company required every employee to fill out
the form and return it to their supervisor
within a certain timeframe, even if the
employee did not wish to contribute. Every
year that I worked for the company, locating
the option to say, “No, I do not wish to give”
became more obscure and complex. This is
not an example of charity, nor is it a symbol
of my, or the company’s, generous, giving
spirit. It is duty, and a miserly one at that.
Generosity on the hoof, folks. We’re rich
with it here in the Grey School.
WGM staff and Grey School students and
faculty pulled together to supply a rich trove
of content for this paper. I think that as you
read through the 50-plus pages, you’ll agree.
We’ve started with the groundwork laid by
Crowhawk and Solaris in the previous
editions of WGM, and have taken it further.
That’s what newspaper work is all about,
after all: change, evolution, and, if we’re
The point of the giving end of charity is to
give because we want to, not because it is
demanded of us. That is what makes charity
an aspect of generosity: the desire to share
personal blessings and bounties with others.
Many thanks to Merana and staff for their
efforts in building this paper. Many thanks
to those who went above-and-beyond to
craft articles, interviews, recipes, and more.
And many thanks to all of you who—
especially at the last minute—shared stories,
recipes, or other inspirations to make this
paper into a great holiday read.
As students and explorers of magic, we have
already stepped away from the standard
societal expectations that say, “Go to church,
say your prayers, and, if you are more than
five years old, it is not ok to clap for
Tinkerbell.” It is time - and more than time
– to take another step and say we will not be
coerced into giving to others. We will give
freely or not at all.
It is time to find for ourselves how we
choose to manifest our generosity. We can
spend time serving our communities or
donate goods to local charities. We can
always donate money to an organization we
choose. The point, however, is that we
choose when and where to express our
Reflections on Generosity
By Deianaera, Stones Lodge
I was reflecting on this issue’s theme of
generosity, trying to decide what I wanted to
say about it and, every time, I came back to
charity. After all, that’s the measuring stick
used by others to determine how generous
people are: what we contributed to others,
especially in money. Did we give until it
hurt, never mind if we wanted to or not?
Did we give all we could afford to give and
This holiday season, instead of brushing past
the Salvation Army volunteer with downcast
eyes because we do not want to drop our
pocket change into the cauldron, let us walk
by with our heads held high. We did not feel
compelled give at the office and we will not
do it here either.
some reason I could not comprehend. I
expected her to lay a dollar on the counter
with it, assuming her parents would have
given her the money. You're adorable, kid,
but please hurry…I'm already starting to
forget where I was, I thought.
Unless, of course, we want to.
After all, the true spirit of charity is
Then it happened.
The popkin started pulling pennies out of
her coat pocket and laid them on the counter,
tiny handful by tiny handful. I didn't care
how cute she was at that moment: I was
exasperated. I desperately needed to get
back to what I was doing because my boss
wanted it finished before he returned from
lunch, and clearly this was going to take
forever. I contemplated paying for the pen
myself and simply giving it to her so I could
get back to work, but something deep within
me advised against it. This little girl had
come with a purpose and a plan. She
intended to buy that precious pen all by
herself like a big girl; she had not come all
that way to have some impatient,
patronizing creep give it to her just to get
her out of the way. So I took a deep breath
and gave her what she came for, what she
rightfully deserved--I treated her like a
By Aaran, Lodge Captain
“500 or so words about generosity.” Hm. I
suppose I could write the standard patter
about the spirit of giving, but it's really been
overdone, if you ask me. I've never been
one to follow the conventional approach to
anything anyway. So while others may
write articles for the school paper about the
more common views of generosity, I would
like to talk about something else: the virtue
of sacred selfishness. Some of you may
understand this, others may not. If not, I
sincerely hope one day you will.
I first discovered sacred selfishness when I
was about 20 years old. I worked as a clerk
in a little office supply store in Wisconsin at
that time. I was in the middle of some rather
important data entry work when a little
blonde-haired girl who couldn't have been
more than five years old appeared out of thin
air and approached the counter. I wonder
where her parents are, I mused. I was in a
place where I really could not afford to be
interrupted, but I stopped what I was doing
and greeted the little girl anyway. She stood
on the tip of her toes and sweetly peeked up
over the counter at me. Having caught my
eye, she then very carefully and somewhat
timidly placed the pen she held in her hand
upon the counter for me to ring up.
She was very proud to be standing at that
counter purchasing her first treasure, this
five-year-old angel who had obviously
emptied her piggy bank in exchange for the
promise of this one Bic pen. I marveled at
her choice: a pen, of all things--not candy or
a toy from the dime store next door, mind
you, but a pen.
I rang it up on the register and told her the
price. Being so small, she had absolutely no
concept of money, so I proceeded to silently
count out the money she had laid on the
counter for her. When I reached the bottom
of the pile of coins, she was short ten cents.
It was very clear to me that this crappy, 75cent pen was an absolute treasure to her for
The child looked a little worried that she
might not have enough as I counted the last
few pennies. The concern and hopefulness
on her face tugged at my heart. I smiled
broadly, for obviously ten cents was no
matter to me. If she had put only five cents
on the counter, my response would have
been the same.
friend or two. Carols will be playing in the
background. Everyone will be excitedly
talking over one another, and there I will be,
right in the thick of things, yet invisible as
always, greedily waiting. At some point, we
all will have eaten too much and the
conversation will wind down briefly as the
hour that we all open our gifts arrives. Now,
I must confess: I have always been a
stranger in my own land. Chances are
excellent that almost no one in my family
will have gotten me anything I might
actually want or use, but I don't care. I'm
selfish. I've already given myself the best
gift of all--it's sitting under the tree now,
waiting for my partner, Cathy, to open it.
"You have exactly the right amount!" I said
as I put the change in the register drawer.
Her face lit up brighter than the lights on my
Yule tree. "Would you like a bag for this?"
She quickly regained her composure and
resumed her impersonation of a grown lady.
"Yes, please. Thank you."
I put the pen in a bag with her receipt and
handed it to her. Beaming, she accepted it
and headed for the door. As soon as she was
outside, she started to skip, and I watched
her from the window as she skipped right on
out of sight.
A Review of the new film, The
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the
Witch, and the Wardrobe
That's when I realized I was beaming, too. I
stood there in amazement with tears in my
eyes. I didn't care about the data entry I
needed to finish anymore--how could I? I
had just sewn seeds of self-reliance and
dignity in the spring of a little girl's life.
They could not help but bloom. There was
no mistaking it: I had just made the deal of
a lifetime with a five-year-old child-inexpressible joy for only ten cents.
By Prof. Elizabeth Barrette
I watched “The Lion, the Witch, and the
Wardrobe.”. It's a magnificent movie, and
exceptionally close to the original novel. I
was delighted to see how thoroughly the
Christian and Pagan motifs are woven
together, just as they are in Lewis' writing.
Plus the special effects are breathtaking.
Ever since that day, I have been terribly
selfish--sacredly selfish--giving of myself,
my talents, my time, and my money, solely
for the joy I receive in exchange.
The holidays are upon us once more. Our
tree is bright and beautiful as always, and of
course, a log will be burning in the fireplace
on Christmas Eve. Our apartment will soon
be full of family members and perhaps a
The [film] makes brilliant use of technology,
to support the plot instead of distracting
from it. You know how, in most movies, you
barely get a glimpse of the creatures and
then the camera cuts away and it's really
frustrating? Not in Narnia. There are
wonderful close-ups of centaurs, minotaurs,
and much more. The Talking Beasts are
eerie in a fascinating sort of way; they act
like people, and yet still like animals. Most
What is your
Go to this site to download free Podcasts of
the unabridged story, “A Christmas Carol,”
by Charles Dickens. Read by actor Geoffrey
Palmer, the entire text has been divided into
five installments. First published in 1843,
the novel features the miser Ebenezer
Scrooge, who is visited by a series of ghosts.
Check this link for a wide variety of
podcasts oriented toward Earth-based
"The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" -and not only because I just saw it and fell in
love with it. The novel has always been a
favorite winter read for me, and the movie
did a brilliant job of capturing both the
shivery mood of winter and the anticipation
of spring. (Prof. Barrette)
The New Book is Ready to Print!
By Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, Headmaster
I honestly cannot tell you why this is either
why I thought of this movie or why its my
Christmas.” ‘Sure to be found in the kiddiesection, [it] reminds me of being a wee one.
(Skye, Winds Lodge)
It is Dec. 16, and I have finally completed
my work on the next book, Companion for
the Apprentice Wizard. I have checked all
the graphics and links, and burned all the
files to CDs, which I have mailed off to our
Publisher, New Page Books, along with
printed proofs of all 288 pages. Morning
Glory and I did a special working last night
to ensure its success. The book is due out in
late Jan., and advance sales on amazon.com
have already been moving briskly.
“The Polar Express” (Prof. Solaris)
My favorite is “How the Grinch Stole
Christmas.” I have watched this through my
growing up years and my kids and I get
together to watch it every year.
(Dreamweaver, Waters Lodge)
has taken this
of moving to
a new home
costing nearly two months of work. I have
been putting in many all-nighters, and have
Interested in holiday cooking? Information
on movies or books? Check out this link for
a directory of podcasts from NPR, including
their “Holiday Story of the Day”!
had time for little else! I deeply appreciate
how well the Administration and Faculty
have taken over all aspects of the Grey
School in my absence. Soon I will be able to
return to teaching and occasionally even
drop into the Great Hall and catch up on
what everyone's been talking about.
Companion for the Apprentice Wizard
A sequel and supplement to the Grimoire for
the Apprentice Wizard
By Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and the Faculty
of the Grey School of Wizardry
In related news, New Page is now talking
about issuing a special fancy hardbound
limited edition of the Grimoire! They are
planning 2,000 copies, with an embossed
leatherette cover stamped in gold foil. It
should cost about $39. Many students have
been complaining that their copies of the
current paperback version are already
beginning to fall apart from constant use, so
here will be the perfect answer! I'm very
excited about this, as it is what I envisioned
from the beginning, with the cover design.
Age range: teen-adult
288 pages (including 24 perforated pages of
Page size: 7"x10"
We are pleased to announce the upcoming
release of the companion volume to Oberon
Apprentice Wizard: the Companion for the
Apprentice Wizard. This new work consists
not so much of informational lessons and
teachings, as with the Grimoire, but rather
focuses on practical exercises derived from
them to develop psychic skills, plus
instructions and templates for many projects
to make and do. If you've wanted hands-on
magickal training this is the book you've
been waiting for. Inside you will find
materials and exercises from the vaults of
the Grey School, and instruction by many of
the faculty as well as from the Headmaster
himself, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart.
practical Companion is profusely illustrated.
Oberon and other contributors have also
drawn a number of full page diagrams of
magickal objects to copy, cut out, and
To this end, I am now asking everyone here
to let me know of any typos or other
corrections you may come across in the
Grimoire, as I'll be going through it
carefully to upgrade and fine-tune it for this
special edition. I'll give merits to houses and
lodges for useful feedback. Please email
comments to me at [email protected]
New Page's newest catalog devotes two full
pages (center spread!) to the next Grey
School book projects: Dragonlore, by Prof.
Ash "LeopardDancer" DeKirk; and Creating
Circles & Ceremonies by Morning Glory
and I. Both of these are due to be released
next Summer, and other Grey School books
will follow. We're going to be quite busy for
the foreseeable future.
May you all have a very happy Yuletide
Season, however you celebrate it!
Thaumatropes & Fantascopes
A Magic Production Box for conjury
A Planetary Hour Calculator
A Mariner's Astrolabe
A Pocket Sundial
A model of Leonardo da Vinci's
likely to be in overdrive this week,
remembering details. This week is a good
opportunity to carry a pen and paper,
possibly categorizing lists in advance. A
small, spiral notebook may be a useful tool
toward this end.
Great Goddess paper dolls
Yule Astrology Forecast
By Majashia, Winds Lodge
Yule marks the shortest day of the year in
the Northern Hemisphere. I often ask
questions such as: What makes this
particular Yule special? Why do I feel
different this year? What can I look forward
to in the Spring? The planets can help
answer these questions.
Mars in Taurus is opposite Jupiter in
Scorpio. Our generosity may be centered on
our unique gifts as a person, but may seem
stifled by persistent anger or fear. If we
choose to ground and center and transcend
the obstacles, instead of reacting, we can
meaningfully share our insights with others.
The Moon in Virgo is opposite Uranus in
Both of these indicate that
environmental responsibility is likely on our
minds. We may wish to minimize waste and
celebrations. I wrap gifts in old magazines
or calendar pages, and give living, potted
plants instead of cut trees and flowers. The
past year has sapped energy from many of
us. If in doubt regarding gifts, stress relief is
Meditation music or
natural soundscapes, artwork of natural or
certificates, or wooden massage tools are
Wednesday marks the
passage of the Sun
from Sagittarius – the
joyous, fun, generous
archer, into Capricorn
– the professional,
mountain goat that helps us ensure our
“ducks are in a row” for spring. This
contributes to the paradox that we prepare
for Yuletide festivities with a joyous spirit,
and may end up worrying about the costs
associated with the holidays soon
afterwards. Fortunately this year, we have
Venus in Aquarius, and Pluto and Mercury
close to the sun in Sagittarius, to help us
hold positive emotions together, pushing us
with good tidings into 2006.
The planetary weather is mostly sunny this
Yule, presenting an opportunity to be present
with family and friends and share good
The Numerology for this year’s Yule date,
12-21-2005, is a 4 (condensed from 13).
Four is a powerful number; it is a square, the
number of elements in some traditions, and
the number of suits in the tarot. Four
empowers many aspects of two, which are
harmony and togetherness. Four is likened
to empowerment over sorting, organizing,
I relate this tangent
because pragmatism will be amplified by the
moon’s position in Virgo, keeping us
grounded and bringing our attention to
holiday details. Our subconscious minds are
Tlingit version of “Raven Steals the
A long time ago, the Raven looked down
from the sky and saw that the people of the
world were living in darkness. The ball of
light was kept hidden by a selfish old chief.
So the Raven turned itself into a spruce
needle and floated on the river where the
chief's daughter came for water. She drank
the spruce needle. She became pregnant and
gave birth to a boy, which was the Raven in
disguise. The baby cried and cried until the
chief gave him the ball of light to play with.
As soon as he had the light, the Raven
turned back into himself and carried the
light into the sky. From then on, we no
longer lived in darkness.
Along with its neighboring portal tombs
Knowth and Dowth, Newgrange is open to
tourists as part of Ireland’s Board Failte
(analogous to our National Park system).
What is Newgrange?
One night, over the dark embers of a
campfire, a wizened old lady speaks softly.
The eager younglings, studying to be Bards
themselves, gather round.
A Campfire Tale
By Merana, Winds Lodge
(A wonderful tale to read around your fire,
when the wind howls outside….)
“It is said that these very isles upon which
we rest are sacred, my students. Heaven
herself commanded the land to rise out of
the ocean, and Gaea obeyed.” (A long pause
as she wearily takes a breath)
“In those days this land was known merely
as Myrrdinn. Can anyone tell me why?”
Newgrange is a 5000 year old passage tomb
in Ireland’s Boyne River valley. Built by
Ireland’s Neolithic peoples, it is a superb
example of archaeoastronomy, tracking the
occurrence of the rising sun of the winter
solstice. At the time of the winter solstice,
the light from the rising sun enters a special
"window box" and travels down a 60 foot
tunnel to illuminate an altar stone deep
within the structure.
One bright eyed firebrand speaks up,
“because Merlin lived here?”
“That’s right, my dear. Myrrdinn means
‘place of Merlin’, and Merlin, as you know,
was one of the best of us, and considered by
many to be Heaven’s favorite.”
“Listen now, to tales of the Mabigon, a great
and famous history of our land. Once there
were four great men: Pwyh, Pryderi,
Manawyddan, and Gwydion.
adventures of each of these heroes form a
portion of the whole, called by the ancients
‘Branches’. For like tree, they all sprang
from the same source; their lives affect not
only each other but us all.”
Newgrange is huge–– about the size of a
football field–– and is about 3000 years
older than Stonehenge. Besides its
astronomical functions, it also serves as a
mortuary and contains several wonderful
examples of Neolithic pottery and rock art.
“Pwyh won a kinship and a bride in
Rhiannon, Pryderi’s mother. She marries
Manawyddan and takes them to the other
“Now, as you should remember I told you
that Pryderi father’s, Pwyll, won his
kingship in Annwn. As token of this,
Arawn, the new king of Annwn gave Pryderi
the gift of the pig. This enraged Gwydion,
the king of the Don. He stole the pigs and
restarts the ancient war between Ireland and
A baleful glare silences the chattering. The
elderly Druidess continues “Rhiannon was
her name, and she was had a golden beauty
that made many jealous. She was falsely
charged and punished for eating her own
“Gwydion is important, not only because his
was the King of the Don, but also because
he was the foster father and mentor of Lleu.”
Math, a fellow king, was under geas. He
had to place his feet at all time in lap of a
virgin, unless he was at war. His current
virgin was raped, and Arianrhod, Gwydion’s
sister, gallantly offered to take her place.
However, the test of virginity was to step
over a particular magick wand. When she
did this, she gave birth to two sons: Dylan,
and an unnamed blob. Arianrhod was
incensed, and insisted the pregnancy was
trickery, and that she was indeed a virgin.
She refused to claim the boys. Dylan was a
sea being and returned to the sea.
Arianrhod refused to name the other boy,
and placed a geas on him: he shall have
neither name, nor human bride, nor
weapons, unless Arianrhod herself gives
these essential of manhood to her child
herself. Gwydion takes the boy in, and
tricks Arianrhod into giving him a name and
weapons. He fashions a bride for Lleu
himself, out of blossoms. Unfortunately,
this wife is not faithful, but that is tale for
“eeeewhhhhhh” The children squirm.
“Pryderi was not dead, merely kidnapped.
Once he came of age, he returned, married
Kieva, and became fast friends with Bran,
the son of Lyr. Together with Manawyddan,
the next hero of the Mabigon, and Taliesin,
another of our great forebears, they traveled
the world and had great adventures.”
“Word reached Bran that his sister,
Branwen, was being mistreated by her
husband, the King of Ireland. Pryderi, Bran,
Manawyddan, and Taliesin form a host and
race to the rescue. In the fierce battle that
follows, all the Irish are slain, but Bran takes
a fearful wound by poisoned spear to the
foot. Delirious with pain, Bran orders his
head severed and carried to White Mound in
London. The head remained there, guarding
the French border until a brash young Arthur
had the head disinterred. Along this comic
journey, Pryderi, Manawyddan and Taliesin
converse freely with the Bran’s head,
brought back to life the sweet sounds of
Rhiannon’s three birds.”
“Upon returning to Ireland, disaster strikes
for our three friends. All of their allies have
been killed; the Children of Don have taken
over the kingdom. They are reduced to
wandering as outlaws, but are rescued by
for mankind three boons: a magick bird, the
dog, and the deer.”
“Gwydion reminds me of another hero you
should know well: Arthur. More accurately
his name was Artorios. This one is more
modern, and he changed his name to a more
Latin version: Arturios. This was when the
Romans ruled the world; scholars thought
that everything educated must be Latin. No
other culture or language was quite as
good.” She sighs. “Rubbish.”
The old woman slowly stretches to her feet,
“Artorios was war-hero, made emperor by
conquering his neighbors. Like Gwydion he
was imprisoned by his enemies, this time in
the Castle of Oeth and Annoeth, a horrific
creation of human bones. Like Gwydion,
he also went pig stealing, but failed to
succeed. And like Gwydion, he made war
on the Other world, and managed to win a
this time a magick cauldron.
Artorios, by these and other his brave deeds,
managed to win the loyalty of the old gods:
Llud and Arawn. He also won the four
sacred treasures of Ireland.” She pauses,
and notices the children drifting to sleep. “In
the end he retired to Avalon.”
“Aww.. grandmother, please don’t stop
now!” the children cajole.
Her soft eyes twinkle, and she cracks a
toothless grin. “It is good to see younglings
that know the value of the past. Very well, I
will tell you another tale, and then you must
off to bed. Do I have your word?”
“Yes, Mam.” “Yes, Grandmother.” “Yes,
Elder.” Yes, Mum.” Once each and every
child has consented she sits back down.
“Now, where was I? Ah, yes, Gwydion.
Well, we learn of his adventures from other
scattered histories as well. The wars were
not kind to our records, and we must make
what we can of them.”
“All right children… off to bed with you.”
“Gwydion attempted once to sneak to the
Hades. He was caught by Pwyll and
Pryderi, and imprisoned on the isle of Caer
Sidi. His sufferings there inspired him to
become a great poet. He then uses this gift
to escape, with the other Children of Don,
make war upon Bran and Arawn.
children of Don used their magic to make
the very trees into warriors, but it is not
enough. Just when things look their worst,
Gwydion guesses Bran’s true name, saving
the day. Gwydion, Lleu, and their allies
defeat the forces of the underworld, and win
Welcome to Winter!
By Skye, Living Editor (Winds Lodge)
What can compare to waking up in the
morning of Yule or Christmas and looking
out to find big, beautiful snowflakes falling,
making it a winter wonderland? It’s the
season of giving, generosity and love. In this
“Seasonal Living” section,” we have a
few gifts that are easy to make and fun to
give, delicious foods, and even some
remedies for seasonal sniffles. If you
the smells of the season, we also
essential oil recipes for you. And for
who like to play games, there’s
something for you. Enjoy!
2 tbsp. butter cut into 5 pats
Syrup of choice
Grease well a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cut
bread into 1 inch slices.
Arrange slices in one layer in bottom of pan.
Beat eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla in large
bowl. Pour over bread in pan-bread will
Cut each pat of butter into 4 pieces (making
20 pieces). Put a portion of butter on
each slice of bread. Sprinkle each piece
of bread with cinnamon.
Cover and refrigerate over night. Place dish
uncovered in cold oven and turn oven on
Bake 45-50 minutes or until bread is puffy
and light brown.
Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before
serving. Serve with your choice of syrup.
Breakfast Casseroles a la Luna
By Luna, Stones Lodge
For Christmas morning, our family has
found that we are hungry but busy. These
casseroles can be done ahead of time. Just
pop them into the oven while you are doing
other activities and when the oven timer
goes off, breakfast is ready!
Savory Breakfast Casserole
1 lb breakfast sausage
2 c. grated mild cheddar cheese
1 c. milk
1 tbsp. mustard
3 slices of bread
1 can mushrooms
Mediterranean Spinach Pies
By Skye, Winds Lodge
I always make the next recipe on Yule, as
my family loves it!
5 oz fresh or frozen chopped spinach,
drained. (I like to use fresh baby
8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 med tomato, diced
1 medium onion, chopped and sautéed.
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp fresh basil
1/2 tsp fresh oregano
1/2 tsp minced garlic
6 premade turnover shells, cut in half
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg beaten
Crumble and brown meat. Tear apart the
bread and soak it in milk. Beat the eggs
well. Add in cheese and mustard. Put bread
and meat together and add egg mixture. Pour
into 9x13 buttered pan and refrigerate
overnight. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at
Sweet Breakfast Casserole
1 10 oz loaf French bread (about 18 inches
3 c. of milk
1/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vanilla
Preheat oven according to the turnover
Mix spinach, feta, tomato, onion, dill weed,
basil, oregano, and garlic in bowl.
Beat egg and butter in another bowl, then
brush inside and outside of turnover with
liberal amounts of egg and butter mix.
Spoon filling into shell, folding each corner
so that they both meet in middle of shell.
Brush top with butter and bake according to
package. (Makes about 1 dozen)
By Skye, Winds Lodge
1 jar (10 ounces) beef gravy
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
5-10 whole cloves
1 cup water
1/2 crushed gingersnap cookies
2-3 cups sliced cooked pot roast*
Combine the gravy, apple cider, vinegar,
sugar, water, cloves and gingersnaps in a
saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring,
about 6 minutes. Add the cooked pot roast
and heat gently until warmed through.
By Luna, Stones Lodge
This recipe was one of my Mom's signature
dishes. It is the dish requested by my friends
and family for any occasion when I am
asked to bring a dish. Enjoy!
Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered
12 oz. fresh domestic mushrooms-baby
portabellas work well
1/4 c. chopped onion
4 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 bulb chopped garlic
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs
3 tbsp. parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
*Moonwriter’s Mother’s Simple-ButAmazingly-Delicious Pot Roast
By Prof. Moonwriter
One 3-5 lb. pot roast (your choice; I like a 7blade)
1 packet Lipton dry onion soup mix
Heavy duty aluminum foil
1-2 onions, peeled and cut into thick slices
Optional- Vegetables as desired: potatoes,
carrots, turnips, rutabagas, parsnips, etc.,
peeled and cut into chunks
Heavy roasting pan with lid
Wash mushroom caps. Remove and chop
Sauté mushroom stems, onion and garlic in
olive oil until onions are transparent.
Combine sautéed mixture in bowl with the
Put mushroom caps in baking dish sprayed
with non-stick cooking spray.
Lightly salt inside of mushroom caps. Fill
Bake in 400° oven for about 20 minutes.
Place the uncooked (and unbrowned) pot
roast in the middle of a double layer of
foil about 2 feet long.
Sprinkle the soup mix over the meat. Top
with sliced onions.
Fold the foil up around the meat, using a
drug-store seal. The idea is to create an
air-tight packet around the meat. Note:
just before closing it, add ½ cup water to
Put the foil-wrapped meat into the roasting
pan. Put the lid on.
Roast in a 300° oven for four hours. You
won’t even believe how good this is
going to taste! Plus, it makes it’s own
pan drippings, which are delicious over
potatoes or noodles.
Note: If you want to add vegetables, take the
meat out when it has roasted for two
hours. Carefully open the foil (watch out
—steam will escape!) and add the
vegetables on and around the meat. Rewrap the foil as best you can, replace the
lid, and roast for another two hours.
gives this ice cream a little bite—if you can't
find this kind, use ordinary cinnamon and
add a couple drops of cinnamon extract or
1 pint mixed berries
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup and 2/3 cups sugar, divided
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
By Prof. Elizabeth Barrette
I've always loved kitchen equipment. Good
tools make cooking a lot more fun, and a
lot more successful. Over the years, my
partner and I have collected pretty much
everything we want, from
waffle irons. Last Christmas I decided,
entirely on my own, that I wanted an ice
cream maker; and indeed I got one.
In small bowl, combine mixed berries,
lemon juice, and 1/3 cup sugar. Stir gently.
Allow berries to macerate for 2 hours,
stirring occasionally. In a medium bowl,
whisk the milk and 2/3 cup sugar until sugar
dissolves. Stir in the heavy cream,
cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Add any
accumulated juices from the berries, and stir.
Now, making homemade ice cream takes
some doing. I figured that if I wanted plain
old chocolate, or strawberry, or whatever
then I could just buy it at the supermarket.
So after the first test batch, my ice cream
recipes got very whimsical very fast. I use a
lot of ingredients found growing in my yard
("You have *everything* growing in your
yard!" a friend observed this summer) plus a
few things from international food stores.
Turn ice cream machine ON. Pour mixture
into freezer bowl through ingredient spout,
and mix for 25 minutes. Then add the mixed
berries through the ingredient spout, and
mix for another 5 minutes. Transfer softfrozen ice cream to a lidded container and
freeze until set firm, about 1-2 hours.
Makes about 1 quart.
The following recipe was inspired by pie
filling. I usually use a combination of black
raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries;
but any berries will work. "Beebleberry" is a
family nickname for any mixed-berry blend,
inspired by a reference in the "Little Lulu"
comic books. The Saigon cinnamon is what
By Prof. Moonwriter
Rumpleminze is a peppermint liqueur—the
alcohol in this recipe is more of a flavoring
than anything else, and is suitable for hungry
people of all ages!
3/4 cup molasses
1 cup beer
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup diced candied orange peel
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
Thin chocolate wafer cookies*, crushed into
fine crumbs (1 1/4 C. of crumbs)
Scant 5 T. butter, melted
30 large, fresh marshmallows
2/3 C. milk
1 oz. each crème de cacao (chocolate
liqueur) and Rumpleminze (peppermint)
1 C. heavy cream
Optional: red food coloring
Optional garnishes: crushed peppermints,
fresh mint leaves, chocolate curls, etc.
Combine crumbs and butter. Press into the
bottom and sides of a pie plate. Bake at
350° for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Stir together the flours, spices, and baking
In a double boiler, heat milk.
marshmallows and stir until dissolved and
smooth. Cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, cream the butter or
margarine with the sugar and molasses. Beat
in the eggs, then the beer. Beat the flour
mixture into the creamed mixture. Stir in the
raisins, orange peel, and almonds. Turn the
batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13 inch
When marshmallow mixture is cool, whip
Gently fold the crème de cacao,
Rumpleminze, and whipped cream into the
marshmallow mixture. (If desired, add 1-2
drops of food coloring at this time; 1 drop
makes a very soft-looking pale pink pie.)
Bake at 325°F (165°C) for 40 minutes, or
until done. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Harris Wine Cellar’s Peanut Butter
Pile the mixture into the cooled pie shell.
Cover and freeze for 10-12 hours, or
10 oz. full fat cream cheese (at room
2/3 C creamy peanut butter
3/4 C powdered sugar
1/3 C milk
9” graham cracker crust
1 container Cool Whip
Hershey bar and/or Hershey’s syrup
To serve, remove from freezer for about 10
minutes (for easier slicing). Garnish as
desired, slice, and serve while still frozen.
Kalla’s Favorite Gingerbread
By Kalla (Stones Lodge)
Makes 1 - 9 x 13 inch cake
Combine cream cheese, peanut butter, and
powdered sugar until blended. Cream until
light and fluffy (1-2 minutes).
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
Slowly add milk, beating to a smooth
In a large (4-6 qt) saucepan, melt the
butter/margarine over low heat. Cool to
room temperature (butter should still be
Spoon into pie crust and top with the entire
container of Cool Whip.
Freeze to firm up.
Stir in 2 C. sugar (reserve the other 1/2 C.),
molasses, and eggs and beat well with a
To serve: cut into wedges and garnish with
chocolate shavings (use a potato peeler to
shave the Hershey bar) and a drizzle of
Stir in soda, salt, and spices. Beat smooth.
Stir in flour 1 C. at a time, beating smooth
after each addition.
Serves 8 generously.
Notes: This could be made with heavy
cream instead of Cool Whip. If so, I’d
stabilize the cream with some gelatin (see a
real cookbook for instructions on doing this)
Cover and chill at least 3 hours (you can
chill overnight if desired).
Preheat oven to 375°.
Roll dough into walnut-sized balls. Roll
balls in reserved 1/2 C. sugar. Place on
cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes, until
The pie may be served frozen or simply
chilled. Both are delectable!
NOTE: Letting the cookies cook just until
'set" and "done" will yield a softer cookie,
while cooking a bit longer will make them
crispier. But beware-- with the sugar and
molasses, they will scorch easily.
Moonwriter’s Molasses Crisps
The neat thing about these is that you stir
them up in a saucepan with a wooden spoon.
No beaters/mixer, nothing else. They have
to chill for at least 2-3 hours, so start early.
This makes a LARGE recipe and can easily
be halved. The cookies are "textbook"
crisps-- round with a cracked, sugared top.
By Skye, Wind’s Lodge
1 1/2 C. butter (may use part margarine)
4 C. flour
4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
2 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. dark molasses (use dark-- "light" isn't
5 egg yolks
1 qt milk
8 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 cups cognac (optional)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
dash of nutmeg
2 drops yellow food coloring
Beat eggs yolks with sugar until done. Add
vanilla with milk which has to be heated to
hot. Stir in Cognac, food coloring and
By Skye, Winds Lodge
1 envelope of hot chocolate mix (or enough
hot cocoa mix [from a multi-mug
canister] to make 1 cup of cocoa)
3 Hershey Kisses
15 or more mini-marshmallows
1 candy cane
Winter Cinnamon Tea
For each 1 1/2 Cup boiling water:
Place all of the items in a baggie and tuck
into a mug or jar. Attach this poem:
1/2 Tablespoon freshly-grated ginger
1 teaspoon freshly-grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon freshly-grated orange zest
1-2 cardamom seeds
1-2 drops vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick (or a dash of powdered
Honey to taste
‘Was told you've been real good this year,
Always glad to hear it.
With freezing weather drawing near
You'll need to warm the spirit.
So here's a little Snowman Soup,
complete with stirring stick.
Add hot water, sip it slow
It's sure to do the trick!
Combine all ingredients except honey. Steep
for 5 minutes. Sweeten with honey as
By Prof. Moonwriter
Christmas Wassail (non-alcoholic
1 C. powdered non-dairy coffee creamer
1 C. hot cocoa mix (the kind that you only
need to add water to)
2/3 C. instant coffee powder
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Optional: dried orange peel, powdered
By Skye, Winds Lodge
1 gallon apple cider
25-30 whole cloves
6-10 cinnamon sticks
1 quart pineapple juice
1 6-ounce can frozen
Mix all ingredients well.
Spoon into a tightly-lidded glass container.
Or, fill a baggie and tuck into a new
Attach a card with this information:
Serve chilled. Garnish with citrus slices, if
“For a special coffee break, add 2-3
heaping spoonfuls of the mixture to a mug
and fill with boiling water. Enjoy!”
The chocolate has antioxidants that nourish
the skin while sugar sloughs away dead skin
and cells, leaving skin soft. (And smelling
Easy Coconut Bon-bons
By Prof. Moonwriter
1 can Eagle brand (sweetened condensed
1 C. butter, softened
2 lbs. powdered sugar
14 oz. package flaked coconut
12 oz. package chocolate chips
1 Tbs. paraffin (buy paraffin bars in canning
section of grocery)
To use as a gift, double the recipe, add small
amount of carrier oil (almond, light
vegetable oil), and place in a tightly-lidded
Beat Eagle Brand and butter on low to
medium speed until blended smooth.
Turn mixture into a large bowl.
Add powdered sugar and coconut. Use
hands to knead mixture together until
Form mixture into small balls (about 1”).
Place on cookie sheets in freezer to firm
Melt chocolate chips and paraffin, either in
the microwave (slowly!) or in a doubleboiler. Stir until melted and smooth.
(Note: the paraffin will help stabilize the
chocolate and gives the candies a glossy
Dip the candy balls into the chocolate. Cool
on waxed paper.
Store at room temperature for several days,
or in the refrigerator for a month.
When my children were little, they made
these patties as gifts for teachers and family
members. They really are delicious, and
No-Cook Mint Patties
By Prof. Moonwriter
1/3 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. powdered sugar (4 3/4 cups)
Red and green food coloring (or colors of
Blend corn syrup, butter, extract, and salt.
Add sugar. Stir in with spoon and then mix
with hands until smooth.
Divide into thirds. Add 1 drop of a different
food color to each third (one third can be
left un-colored). Knead in color until
Shape each third into small balls (about 3/4
Place balls on waxed paper and flatten with
the tines of a fork.
Let dry for several hours.
Makes about 72 patties.
Chocolate Sugar Scrub
By Skye, Winds Lodge
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs unflavored cocoa powder
Small amount of water
Combine sugar with cocoa and add just
enough water to form a thick paste.
Massage into dry skin, then shower as usual.
1/2 tsp. dried blended sage (whatever types
are at hand)
1 tsp. dried hyssop flowers
1/2 tsp. dried chamomile flowers
Pinch tsp. crushed anise seed
Tiny pinch dried stevia
Cold and Flu relief
By Skye, Winds Lodge
I wanted to print a recipe for cold and flu
relief as this is now the season and
sometimes people can be generous in giving
others their sickness. You may use this
remedy when you feel as if you’re coming
down with something or when you’re fullblown sick. It takes awhile to make, so start
Steep 5-7 minutes. Drink while hot. Repeat
3-4 times daily.
By Skye, Winds Lodge
Note: this recipe contains alcohol. Youth
apprentices should have their parent’s
permission before making or using this
1 tsp flaxseed
1 cup hot water
2-3 slices lemon juiced
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp lemon jam
1/2 oz orange rind
2 whole cloves
2 pints brandy
1 tsp sage
1/2 oz peppermint leaf
3 to 4 eucalyptus leaves
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 inch of bruised ginger root
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup honey
Steep flaxseed in hot water for 15 minutes
then strain and add lemon, jam, cinnamon,
and honey. Try to drink this while it is as
hot as possible.
Eat too much on Yule?
Don’t worry—a brisk 30-mile walk
will solve the problem
Warm the brandy and honey together until
honey is melted.
Add the rest of the herbs and fruit, place in
airtight container and wait a fortnight,
Use only 1 or 2 teaspoons as needed.
If your stomach is also upset, substitute1
Tbs. chamomile for the eucalyptus.
By Prof. Moonwriter (from an article written for the
PSU Daily Vanguard, Dec. 2005)
For most people, the winter holidays—
Thanksgiving, Yule, Christmas, etc.—are
strongly linked to eating. And to stretching
out on the couch after eating. But how about
a different suggestion? Instead of hitting the
couch, why not go for a 4-hour run, a 30mile walk or a 5-hour swim?
Boil 1 C. fresh cold water. Remove from
heat and stir in:
1 tsp. dried mint (any variety)
According to the American Council on
Exercise, that’s what it will take for a 160lb. person to burn off the calories consumed
in a typical holiday feast.
The average feast meal—turkey, stuffing,
cranberries, mashed potatoes, candied sweet
potatoes, gravy, butter, rolls, salad,
vegetables, pie, whipped cream, and various
beverages—is loaded with 3000 calories. If
you add the fact that most people also snack
before and after the meal, the total zooms to
indulge, they exercise and eat sensibly for
several days afterwards as a means of
compensating for the caloric glut.
Besides calories alone, the dinner can
include up to 200 grams of fat: the
equivalent of six Big Macs, 3 pans of
brownies, or 4 sticks of butter.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a good
idea to skip meals when planning to indulge
in a larger meal. After skipping a meal, most
people actually end up overeating in
response to the fast. Fasting also shrinks the
stomach, which only increases the pain
quotient when one overeats.
But for the person heading for Aunt Mary’s
legendary holiday meal, the immediate
worry is how to prepare for the onslaught of
The tendency to overeat stretches over the
entire holiday season between Thanksgiving
and New Year's. The average person
consumes an extra 17,500 calories during
this time, an amount that creates a five to
seven pound weight gain if not burned off
Many people approach the meal in
comfortable, roomy clothing. Everyone
knows that loose dresses and elastic waists
are a plus on Thanksgiving. Think back to
the ‘Friends’ episode where Joey finished
off the turkey single-handedly, having made
a pair of maternity slacks into his own
There’s nothing wrong with the traditional
holiday meal in and of itself. Turkey is
naturally low in fat and full of valuable
antioxidants, while sweet potatoes—a
“super food”—and pumpkin are full of
vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, potassium,
and fiber. Pecans are a good source of
monounsaturated fats, thought to help lower
levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol.
On the medical side, some sources
recommend a small dose of aspirin before
the big meal, to keep the blood “slippery”
and minimize the sludginess that occurs
when the dietary fat-load hits the
All hints aside, the best solution probably
lies in sensible moderation.
No, the problem isn’t with the foods
themselves, but with the butter, gravy,
mayonnaise, sugar and heavy cream they’re
often covered in. The second and third
helpings aren’t much help, either. Nor are
the midnight turkey sandwiches, the eggnog,
and the extra wedges of pie and ice cream.
Starting with soup is one strategy. Soup
creates a sensation of fullness and lessens
the desire to overeat. Ditto for pre-meal
noshing on raw veggies and fat-free dips.
Drinking a glass of water before the meal
fills the stomach temporarily, which helps
control the urge to eat too much at once.
Most health professionals agree that a big
meal now and then isn’t harmful, and
approach holiday feasts as a rare
extravagance, suggesting that if people do
Specific food choices will help diminish the
meal’s overall impact. For example,
choosing white turkey meat (sans skin),
roast beef with the fat trimmed, mashed
potatoes without butter, steamed veggies,
water instead of wine and a small piece of
pie with no topping can cut the meal’s
caloric value in half.
in South America and the West Indies. It
tastes and smells a bit like cloves and is used
to season meats, curries and pies. You can
make a remedy for stomach upset and gas by
simmering 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 teaspoon of the spice in
a cup of hot water for ten minutes. Be sure
you use a non-aluminum pot with a tight lid.
When the tea has cooled strain it through a
coffee filter and take in a tablespoon dose.
Dilute it with water if it is too strong for
Portion sizes count, too. By choosing small
portions and bypassing second helpings, one
can sample a wide variety of holiday foods
without too much guilt.
If you know someone with arthritis or
rheumatism they might feel better if they
add three or four cups of strong allspice tea
to their bath water - it is warming and it
eases pain. You can also soak a washcloth in
the hot tea and apply it as a compress to an
Even better: after the meal, and before
football and pie, families might consider
taking a thirty-minute walk. The speed of
the walk isn’t important—it’s the activity
that aids digestion and helps the body deal
with the food load, all while fostering family
togetherness. Walking also stimulates
circulation and increases alertness, fighting
against the post-meal lethargy that occurs
when digestion causes a detour of blood
flow to the gut, and away from the brain.
Cinnamon is the fragrant inner bark of a
tree that grows in Sri Lanka and other
Cinnamon water helps with chronic
indigestion and gas. Put one quarter
teaspoon of the ground bark into a cup of
freshly boiled water, stir, cover, and allow to
steep for fifteen minutes, strain and drink.
For those who are troubled by indigestion or
heartburn, antacids will help, as will a
soothing cup of peppermint or ginger tea.
In summary, whether your preparations for
the coming holidays include exercise,
aspirin or your own Thanksgiving pants,
remember this bit of advice from Benjamin
Franklin: “Eat not to dullness, drink not to
Cinnamon tea is very helpful for diarrhea
and to stop vomiting. Simmer a quarter
teaspoon of the ground bark or a small piece
(about 1⁄4 inch) of cinnamon stick in a cup
of water for ten minutes, strain and drink.
Now, get on out there and enjoy that feast.
Cloves are actually the dried flower buds of
a plant that grows in tropical areas. Cloves
aid digestion and they are often stuck into
foods like cooked apples and peaches and
By Prof. Hopman (From the “Kitchen Witchery 101”
For gas and indigestion you can place three
whole clove buds in a cup and pour freshly
Allspice comes from the unripe fruits of an
evergreen tree (Eugenia pimenta commonly known as Pimentos) that grows
boiled water over them, steeping for ten
minutes and then sipping the tea.
water. Simmer for 20 minutes and strain the
liquid, either into a bathtub or into a
If you like black tea you can flavor it with a
few buds of clove and a small stick of
cinnamon in the pot. Another thing to add is
a little cut up ORGANIC orange peel.
On a very cold day eating some pieces of
candied ginger will actually help keep you
Cloves can be used as aromatherapy - place
a few cloves in a vaporizer or in a dish of
hot water placed on a radiator. They will
fragrance the room.
Oils and Incenses
By Skye, Winds Lodge
Ginger is a very warming spice. The part
used is the root. According to the Chinese it
“causes internal secretions to flow”,
meaning that it loosens phlegm and other
internal liquids. Ginger should always be
thought of in the event of a cold or the flu.
Be careful not to overdo it, however. Too
much ginger tea can actually irritate the
lungs. Take no more than two cups of the tea
2 parts frankincense
2 parts pine
1 part cedar
1 part juniper berries
Place in open saucer or bowl to infuse the
Ginger tea can be made by adding 1⁄2
teaspoon of dried and powdered ginger to a
cup of freshly boiled water with a little
honey and lemon. Another way is to cut up
the fresh roots and simmer them for 20
minutes in a non-aluminum pot with a tight
lid using about 1⁄2 inch slice of ginger for
every cup of water. You can save the used
ginger slices and add water a second time to
make another batch.
By Skye, Winds Lodge
2 drops pine
1 drop cinnamon
1 drop myrrh
1 drop frankincense
Burn in diffuser.
You can use ginger tea to make “ginger
beer”. Make a very strong tea (using more
ginger per cup of water, about 1-2 inches of
root) add brown sugar, lemon and honey,
and fill a glass about 1⁄2 full with the
resulting liquid. Then fill the rest of the
glass with a good quality sparkling water
like Evian or Perrier.
By Skye, Winds Lodge
15 drops lemon
15 drops juniper
30 drops frankincense
30 drops myrrh
10 drops cedar
Mix well. Store in tightly-closed bottle. Add
1-2 drops to refresh dried incense, to infuse
a tub of hot bathwater, to dress a candle,
If someone has a cold or the flu try grating
fresh ginger root into a pot and adding
etc. The mixture can be used in many
5. Take an ordinary teacup and tie it to the
handle of a door with a piece of string. Now
can you cut the string in two places without
letting the cup fall? Once the string is tied to
the door, you may not touch it except with
the scissors. You must cut clean through the
string in two places, and you cannot hold the
cup when you do this. What is the answer?
By Prof. Moonwriter
Use this in drawers and closets, particularly
where woolens and furs are stored.
6. A young man states " The day before
yesterday I was 17, but I will be 19 this
year'. Is this possible?
4 cups lavender flowers
4 cups dried cedar shavings (purchase at pet
2 cups peppermint leaves
2 cups rosemary leaves
1 cup patchouli leaf
1/2 cup whole cloves
1/4 cup thyme leaves
Answers will appear at the end of the
Astrology Word Search
Find the words (below) that have been
hidden in the grid:
Chop the dried herbs together finely. Make
sachets of muslin (old nylons work, too).
Fill sachets with herb blend. Hang in closets
or tuck in drawers.
Games and Mind
1. What's the difference between an iceberg
and a clothes brush?
2. What do you call fifty penguins in the
3. What lives in winter, dies in summer, and
grows with its roots upward?
4. A man turned off the light and went to
bed. The next morning he heard of a
tragedy where more than 100 people had
been killed. He realized it was his fault.
Why? (Note: he didn’t wake in the night or
Here at the Society for the Study and Care
of Beasts, we discuss, debate, and share
knowledge on all types of animals, including
pets, wildlife, familiars, totems, cryptids,
mythological animals, and extinct species.
Animals are an integral part of both the
mundane and magickal worlds, and as
apprentice Wizards, it is our responsibility to
try to understand and respect all of these
wonderful and often mysterious creatures.
Winter Sodoku Puzzle!
The rules: Below are the four animals that
may be used to complete the puzzle. Your
task is to use them to fill in the blank
squares so that….
1. Each group of four individual squares—
surrounded by a bold line—uses each
animal only once.
2. Each horizontal or vertical line in any
direction uses each animal only once.
3. Each animal must appear four times in the
So whether you have a PhD. in Zoological
Sciences, a small zoo at your house, or just
want to learn more about our animal friends,
stop by and visit our club. I think you'll be
glad you did.
Defense Against the Dark Arts
By Vi; Scriptor, DADA Club
The Defense Against the Dark Arts Club is
currently working on a protection charm for
the holidays that everyone can make at
home, and carry around with them. With the
help of WillowRune, Vi, and Professor
Barrette, we have created an initiation ritual
to become a 'Defensor' of the DADA, as we
affectionately call it.
We have four officers, our President, or
Defensor Amplus, Gero, our VP, or
Defensor Secundus, Dark Eagle (a position
previously held by Lilyth), our Tabularius,
Huntress, and our Scriptor, Vi.
News from the “Society for the
Study and Care of Beasts”
By Firesnake, Flames Lodge
The DADA, also performed its very first
ritual in October. It was a Samhain ritual,
meant to protect GSW and its students from
unwanted energies during Samhain.
Do you need help with what to feed that new
pet Armadillo of yours? Maybe you need
help with a puppy that won't stop chewing
on the new Wand you just got. Ever wonder
if Tasmanian Tigers still exist? Well, this is
the club for you.
Another project that we have been working
on since the start of our club, is the making
of a school egregore. We know the egregore
will be a gargoyle, and that its name will be
Cuthbert, lovingly provided by our advisor,
interested, come and be initiated as defensor
for our school!
reference library of herbs. We currently have
information on aloe vera, bay, clove, dill,
eucalyptus, and feverfew.
By popular demand, and because there was
so much interest in Reiki, our very own
Valdis has created a column on it. We also
have a self-healing techniques article,
contributed by Skye, featuring information
on alternative healing methods.
The Power of Words!
By Vi; Speaker for Italian, The Tower of Babel Club
The Tower of Babel club has finally chosen
its first officers! Julia Star is the President of
the club, while Myrddin Earth dragon is the
Archivist. It seems that Celestial Wildfire
has had to resign as Vice President, but we
all hope she will be back soon.
A very new section, called Healing Words,
was contributed by Valdis in our November
ritual. It consisted of a beautiful prayer
composed by him for healing purposes. Of
course, we cannot forget our section,
Recipes & Potions, that is contributed by
Skye as well.
The TOB has asked for volunteers to serve
as 'speakers' of different languages. So far,
we have Wolf Loresight as speaker for
Fantasy Languages, Mihail for Greek, Vi for
Italian, Professor Apollonius for Latin, and
Professor Bramble and Shadowdragon for
Spanish. They are currently in their third
lesson plan of their languages, so if you are
interested in learning any of this languages,
stop on by.
Our newsletter also features our monthly
ritual. Every month, club members vote on a
topic for a ritual, and we assign duties for
the research and assign a date to get for
performing the ritual. So far, we have done a
ritual for 'Healing hearts, minds, and bodies
who are in the midst of natural disasters' and
'Those who will be alone or have no family
during the holidays'. At the moment, we are
currently working on our third volume of the
Healing Thymes, with our ritual on 'Healing
those in need here at GSW, and bringing in a
happy and blessed New Year'.
We are still in need of speakers for Asian,
Native American, African, Gaelic, and
eastern European languages (e.g., German or
Dutch). If you know any of these, and are
interested helping students learn more about
them, contact our advisor, Solaris
By Morgan Felidae; Dean, Dept. of Beast Mastery
What child's face has not been alight with
joy to see a puppy whining mischievously
from under the Christmas tree, or a kitten
tangled up in the ribbon in which it is
wrapped so festively? But what happens
when the twinkle and glamour fade, and
Spot and Fluffy need to be walked, cleaned,
and trained? Choosing a pet is a tricky
matter, and should be done with much
Grey School Healers
By Vi; Co-Vice President, Healers Tea Room Club
The Healers Tea Room Club has been rather
busy since we started almost three months
ago. We have our very own newsletter, the
Healing Thymes, which is comprised of
information researched by our club
members. We have an Herbal, and are
hoping one day to make it into an extensive
thought and care. There are several things
you must take into account before bringing
home a new animal addition to your family.
wheels and tubes, but can sometimes be
temperamental. Guinea pigs are slightly
more playful and loving. But for sheer
sociability, I cannot recommend rats highly
enough. Rats, especially female ones, are
extremely outgoing, sociable, and very
intelligent, as well as clean. Best of all for
younger children, they can live quite well on
weekly check-ins of food, water, and litter.
Ferrets are also very sociable, but can also
be quite the handful if left on their own (due
to their immense curiosity) and are illegal in
some states. Rodents are also a short-term
investment, most not living more than 5
Are there any other pets in the house? Some
animal breeds can be taught to get along
together, but others are just a bad mix.
Unless you have experience with animal
training, it is inadvisable to put hunter and
prey animals in the same household,
especially natural enemies (cats and birds,
cats and rodents), unless the animals will be
kept in separate rooms or contained (like in
How do the other members of the household
feel? Find out in advance if anyone has
allergies. Even if someone is allergic to
cats, you don't have to give up. There are
some cat breeds out there that are bred for
Birds are very pretty to look at, but not all
can or should be handled outside of the
cage. Finches and parakeets are nice and
small, as are lovebirds, but are not terribly
sociable with humans. Cockatiels, on the
other hand, as well as other parrot breeds,
are extremely lovable and can bond instantly
to their human (though you need to watch
out for possessive, jealous tendencies ;)).
Dogs are way up there as one of the most
popular, if not the most popular, pets out
there. But there is a big difference between
a Great Dane and a Chihuahua (and I don't
just mean size). Different dog breeds were
bred with different needs and behaviors, so
it is always best to research a dog's breed
before picking one out.
Fish are extremely popular for a first pet, as
children can learn responsibility with simple
tasks, such as feeding and bowl cleaning.
Just keep in mind that some fish can be
terribly short-lived, and not the most
interactive of pets. And never put different
breeds of fish in the same habitat without
checking how they interact (sometimes they
will fight or eat other fish).
Cats are also up there for the most popular
pets, and again an arena where breed can
mean everything. Not all cats are standoffish and uncaring. Siamese, for example,
can be very intelligent and affectionate. But
they also tend to be rather noisy (meowing a
lot). Russian Blues are also very smart, and
in some cases have been known to play
Reptiles (snakes, lizards, geckos) and
amphibians might be cool-looking, but they
can have some very specific needs regarding
temperature, environment, and diet.
If you want a pet that
doesn't require a lot of
work, I recommend
caged rodents. Hamsters
are fun to watch on their
One last tip for the holiday season: there are
thousands of animals on the streets and in
shelters all over the world. If you can find it
in your heart to adopt from a shelter instead
of buying from a breeder, you will be a saint
to your new family member because you
may have saved them from almost certain
death. There will almost always be buyers
for purebreds. And remember to spay &
neuter your animals!
Prefect: Dark Eagle (First Year)
(For more information on pet choice, look
for the upcoming class "Choosing Your
Animal Companion or Familiar" in the
Department of Beast Mastery)
Prefect: Stormhealer (First Year)
Houses & Lodges
Prefect: ShadaKyte (First Year)
Head: Morgan Felidae
Prefect: Kalla (Fifth Year)
Head: Estara T’shirai
Rolling Stones Gather No Moss!
(And it keeps us off the streets, besides…)
Prefect: Rain (First Year)
Head: Amber Jasperheart
Where to begin, where to begin? So
much has happened in the last three months.
First and foremost, the Stones took on a new
Lodgemistress: Estara T’shirai, and a new
Prefect, Kalla. Our past prefect, Aaran,
began service as the Grey School’s first
Lodge Captain. Several Stones excelled in
their studies; seven are currently on the
Prefect: Cdub (First Year)
Head: WillowRune (Temporary Head: Onyx
We’ve had fun, too…. We’ve held two
cyber-parties on our Lodge forum, most
recently on Samhain. And we love to
decorate the virtual “Stones Home” that
we’ve created for ourselves. Here is our
current “Yule-ish” description:
As you approach the entrance to the cave,
torches edge the path, emitting golden
streamers of light that spiral into the air. Ivy
winds around the torches and lines the path
below them. The path is edged with
multicolored miniature lights that begin
traveling as you approach them, drawing
you closer to the cave entrance.
Prefect: Quiet Bear (Third Year)
Merry Meet all,
It seems like only yesterday when we
were getting ready for Samhain. I'm proud
to report that we have a new section in our
Forum called "Waters of Inspiration". It's a
place for our members to submit poetry or
Willow Silverhawk and
Windstone have graciously stepped up to
help with any editing and proofreading, so
don't be shy about submissions!
Quiet Bear, Waters Lodge Prefect
A semicircle of stone pillars about two-foot
high and three feet in diameter stands in
front of the cave’s entrance. Atop each stone
is a golden urn, each filled with a display of
brilliant green holly, with deep red berries
that glow from within. As you pass through
the pillars, snow begins to fall. It is an
enchanted snow, and disappears as soon as
it touches you.
The cave spiders have been hard at work
weaving a web banner over the front
entrance. The banner displays an automated
count-down to the Dec. 21 Solstice. Jingle
bells woven into the banner fringes ring
cheerfully in the slightest breeze.
To either side of the entrance, one ceramic
wolf wears a Santa hat, while the other
wears reindeer antlers and holds an
armload of homemade treats, wrapped in
silver and gold foils. (You bend to take one,
but shy away quickly when the wolf growls a
Prefect: Vi (First Year)
Head: Crow Dragontree
The Society of the Four Winds has been
busy this past couple of months. Our offsite
forum now has a name, The Spire of the
Winds, and we have our very first official
online get-together on December 30th. We
have also compiled our very first lodge
anthem! It was a collaborative effort
composed to the melody of Greensleeves. If
you would like to view it, please go to
We’re currently working on our Second
Annual Lodge Spell, which will be all about
A huge wreath of fragrant balsam hangs on
the stone door to the cave. It holds a
miniature photo of each of the Stones’
apprentices. A welcome mat lights up and
plays “Jingle Bells” when you step on it.
The delicious smell of Kalla’s gingerbread
issues from the cave entrance….
Prof. Moonwriter; Dean of Students and a
proud member of the Stones Lodge
health during the winter season. Our last
spell, which was “Promoting global
harmony through advances in the space
Every week, Professor Dragontree posts
a riddle in our Gollum’s Cave, and we all try
to crack our brains figuring it out! They’re
very fun, and it always inspire discussion.
Our Patron Spirit is Aeolus, the father of
the four winds, Eurus, Favonious, Zephyr,
Our Totem Animal is The Raven, which
is often seen as a traveler to the
Otherworlds. As such, the raven is
frequently regarded as a messenger for the
gods and ancestors.
Our Motto is Animo et Fide, which
means Courageously and Faithfully.
And our Mascot is Myrddin, Professor
Dragontree’s slightly eccentric 3-year-old
quaker parrot. We love him!
C=Credits S=# of Students, M=House Merits
Avg (Average Score) = (C+M)/S
C:447 S:102 M:187 Avg: 6.22
C:381 S:105 M:113 Avg: 4.70
C:428 S:119 M:397 Avg: 6.93
C:347 S:96 M:258 Avg: 6.30
C:114 S:36 M:15 Avg: 3.58
C:78 S:35 M:32 Avg: 3.14
C:99 S:34 M:56 Avg: 4.56
C:102 S:31 M:131 Avg: 7.52
So You Think You Might Want to Be
Vi; Prefect, Society of the Four Winds
By Prof. Moonwriter
The grand wheel of time rolls on, and in the
next month or two it will be time once again
to begin the Prefect selection process.
House and Lodge Standings
Have you thought about being a Prefect?
The Prefect system is the heart of the Grey
School. Prefects work with the “Head of
House” to run their House or Lodge.
Prefects serve a six month term—from one
equinox to the next (fall to spring, or spring
If you’d like to be a Prefect, you should be
able to log on to your House or Lodge forum
at least every day or two. You will be
required to take the Prefect classes,
“Leadership 101” and “Leadership 102.”
You’ll work with your Head to run special
House/Lodge Standings as of
Monday evening, Dec. 19, 2005:
activities within the House or Lodge, and
you’ll be a resource for your House/Lodge
mates, especially for the newest students and
and they’ll want to be part of our
Thus, I am asking any and all of you to
participate. I am requesting any stories,
writings, or poems for this website. Your
writing should be aimed at those that may
not have the exact magickal experience as
you do but who wish to learn. Share your
experience with the World out there, thereby
informing others of the wonderful World
you have found. Share with them your
Prefect candidates should have finished the
four required classes for Year 1: “Core
Energy Practices,” “Ethics of Magick,”
“Tehcnomagick 100,” and “Wizardry 100.”
If you think you might like to become a
Prefect, make sure to complete these classes
in the next month or so. You should also talk
to your Head, letting him or her know of
Please do take note that the website is still
under construction, and as soon as I get your
writings, the full development of this site
may be possible. Should you require any
further information with regards to this
website and its contents, please visit the
website at www.greyshoolsa.co.za. You’ll
find a brilliant writing from our very own
Lady Moonwriter. Thank you, Lady!
A Call for Student Action: South
African Website for the Students of
the Grey School
By Helega Austrinorum Africae, Stones Lodge
Do you want to share your magickal
experience with the world? Do you have a
life story you wish to share of how you
became involved within your chosen
magickal path? I ask all of you to think
about what you can offer others, helping
them see behind the veil Mundania has
placed regarding our magick!
For details regarding submissions – or any
other questions – please email me on
I thank you!
I have recently – with the consent of
Headmaster Oberon and Prof. Elizabeth
Barrette – developed a website in addition to
our current one. This website has been
developed with the main purpose of
informing others about the Grey School of
Wizardry. Its information comes directly
from students and faculty members within
the school. People will be able to read truelife stories of those who are currently
studying through the GSW. They’ll be able
to read exactly what we get to do: our
challenges, our forum parties, and our
Lodges and Houses. They’ll read about the
fun and excellent things we get to do.
They’ll live with us through your writings
Scientia Protestas Est!
From the Faculty…
Congratulations to Morgan Felidae, who has
become the new Dean of Faculty.
Welcome to two new teaching assistants:
WillowRune (gold) and Greycloak (grey).
Merry Meet the Professor!
An interview of Grey School
By Helega Austrinorum Africae, Stones Lodge
open and clear awareness is essential to
wizardry; we cannot afford to ignore any
side of reality, or pretend that it does not
exist. In the Grey School, the Dark Arts are
assigned the color Black and Ceremonial
Magick is assigned the color White;
therefore, I understand the Dark Arts in
contrast to Ceremonial Magick (the
department of which I am Dean).
Ceremonial Magick, in the strict sense of the
term (High Magick), seeks to elevate the
Mage's soul into alignment and unity with
Divinity, so that the Mage cooperates in the
unfolding of Universal Providence (the Tao).
By these practices Mages discover the
illusory nature of their own egos, and
discover their Higher Souls, the divine parts
of themselves, which are emanations of the
Universal Mind. In this way they discover
their True Will, which is to fulfill their
individual destinies, as agents of this
Providence, in the unfolding of the cosmos.
Therefore Mages understand that their
separation from other people is illusory and
that they are indeed one with the universe
(everything is interconnected: omnia inter
se conexa). Therefore their magick is
directed toward the fulfilling of their
individual destinies as aspects of Universal
Providence. That is, it is directed toward the
needs of the Higher Self, not necessarily
those of the ego.
There are definitely students whom have not
yet had the privilege to get to know you.
Please share with the school… Who is Prof.
Apollonius, a.k.a. Prof. John Opsopaus?
I have been practicing magick since my
early teens, when I began to compile my
first (hand-made!) grimoire from a variety of
sources. By the time I was in college in the
late 1960s I was practicing ceremonial
magick, both group and solitary.
remember especially studying an old copy of
the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage,
which I found at that time. Over the
following decades I devoted myself to a
variety of magickal and spiritual practices,
Eastern as well as Western. I follow a
Hellenic Neo-Pagan spiritual tradition
(hence my name "Apollonius"), and in the
1980s I began to research the foundations of
Western Magick in the ancient world. Since
then I have concentrated on the magickal
practices of the classical Greek, Roman, and
Egyptian cultures, although in addition I use
the techniques of the great Renaissance
Mages, who also looked back to the classical
tradition. Some of this ancient lore is
incorporated in my Pythagorean Tarot,
which I published a few years ago. My
current interests include theurgy, a magickal
art that developed in the ancient world, was
refined by the Neoplatonists, and
modernized in the Renaissance. (I teach
about theurgy in several Grey School classes
already online; several others are under
In contrast to this, the Dark Arts are oriented
toward the needs and desires of the ego.
These are not necessarily incompatible with
Universal Providence, but they may be. The
question is one of priorities. Certainly there
is nothing wrong with satisfying our
individual needs (that is why the Gods have
given us the means to satisfy them); we must
eat, find shelter, and do many other things to
fulfill our destinies as incarnate souls.
Magick is just one of the tools we use to do
so. The difference between Sorcerers, with
their Dark Arts, and Mages, with their
The words Dark Arts bring shivers to most
people. You are one of the Professors within
the Grey School lecturing on this subject.
Please share with us your perception of
Those shivers are a sign that there is
something here you shouldn't ignore! For
Magick of Light, is primarily one of
motivation: the former are motivated
primarily by their own selfish concerns, and
the latter by their role in the unfolding of
Universal Providence. Certainly, however,
in order to fulfill our higher roles, we must
pay attention to our individual concerns as
well, and the Dark Arts are useful for this
necessary for Wizards to study? Please
elaborate on your answer using examples.
I think they are an essential topic. The dark
does not exist without the light, nor the light
without the dark; neither can be understood
in isolation from the other. If we imagine
that only the light exists or that we can avoid
the dark, then we are fooling ourselves. An
important maxim is: Vocati atque non
vocati, daemones aderunt, "Called or not
called, the daemons will be present." (This
is my paraphrase of Jung's paraphrase of a
Delphic oracle.) As I said, daemons are
intermediate spirits between Gods and
mortals; they may be good or evil (from our
perspective); in this sense they are like
germs: some cause bodily disease, but others
are essential for health. Likewise, daemons
can be agents of psychic health as well as
disease. The point of this maxim is that
regardless of whether you have invoked
them or even believe in them, there are
daemons around you, influencing the
behavior of you and other people.
Therefore, just as we might encourage
helpful bacteria (e.g., by drinking
acidophilus milk) or discourage harmful
bacteria (by taking an antibiotic), so Wizards
should understand and be able to deal
skillfully with the daemons surrounding
(and inside!) them.
You have studied Dark Arts. Please share
with us your motivation and/or inspiration
for studying this subject.
To paraphrase Terence, Mundi sum: mundi
nil a me alienum puto, "I am of the universe,
and consider none of the universe to be
foreign to me." Also, as I indicated before,
the Dark Arts may be a useful tool in
achieving the less selfish goals of High
Magick. Beyond this, however, I am a
student of Theurgy, which puts one in touch
with the Gods and especially with various
intermediate Spirits (known in different
magickal traditions as Angels, Daemons,
Heroes, etc.), which serve as messengers
and mediators between Gods and humans.
However, some of these entities are
unhelpful with respect to both our individual
aims and the greater aims of High Magick.
Further, some entities (especially Nature
Spirits), may not understand the norms and
limitations of contemporary society. Others
are, in fact, evil, for they are the inevitable
spawn of our conception of evil, and feed
off of it. Therefore Theurgists must learn to
discriminate among the Spirits whom they
encounter, and to scrutinize and strengthen
their own ethical commitments so that they
are not pushed into acting wrongly. Like an
explorer planning an expedition into the
wilderness, one must be prepared for
everything one might encounter, dangerous
as well as helpful, ugly as well as beautiful.
Furthermore, since some negative daemons
(indeed, those we are most likely to consider
evil) are born of the attitudes, traits,
behaviors, beliefs, and so forth that we have
rejected, they may be an untapped reservoir
of enormous creativity and power, which is
our own but normally out of reach.
However, if we can establish an appropriate
relation with these daemons, we may tap
into their power without compromising our
ethical commitments, for these powers are
not evil in themselves. In this way Wizards
may learn to use all their powers with
Do you feel that the subject Dark Arts is
The Current Dean’s List:
When we fool ourselves into thinking that
the darker daemons do not exist or that we
have banished them, then we blind ourselves
to their intervention in our lives; when we
don't tend to them, they may manifest in our
lives as neuroses, obsessions, fears,
anxieties, guilts, and so forth. They may
provoke us into outbursts of anger or
violence, or drag us into the depths of
depression. They may color our perceptions
of other people, so that we see them as evil,
cowardly, untrustworthy, or possessing any
of the traits that we (consciously or
unconsciously) reject. This is an especial
trap for well-meaning Wizards, who may
find themselves in conflict with Sorcerers or
others whom they perceive to be evil, but
these Wizards may be, in fact, unconsciously
combating their own projected shadow
Aaran (Stones Lodges)
Aguila (Waters Lodge)
Amra (Stones Lodge)
Beth (Winds Lodge)
Brother Sagus (Stones Lodge)
Cashew (Stones Lodge)
Chandni (Waters Lodge)
Coldrayne (Flames Lodge)
Crowhawk (Flames Lodge)
Grey Panther (Flames Lodge)
Grey Panther (Flames Lodge)
Kalla (Stones Lodge)
LeopardDancer (Flames Lodge)
Merana (Winds Lodge)
Moonwriter (Stones Lodge)
Oakmyst (Waters Lodge)
Phoenos tricorn (Flames Lodge)
Quiet Bear (Waters Lodge)
Rainmaker (Waters Lodge)
ShadaKyte (Gnomes House)
WillowRune (Winds Lodge)
Wizardling (Gnomes House)
Xander (Stones Lodge)
Lastly – What advise do you have for our
There is an old alchemical maxim (found,
for example, in the Mutus Liber, the "silent
book"), which I like: Ora, lege, lege,
relege, labora, et invenies. That is Latin for
"Pray, read, read, reread, work, and thou
shalt discover." Beyond that, I would advise
them to have an open mind and to be
skeptical; listen to everyone, learn from the
wise, but think for yourself! Never forget
your Shadow (your family of dark
daemons); if you neglect them, they will
intervene in your life in their own ways.
Finally, be modest. The ego is the enemy of
the Wizard, so seek your Higher Self!
The following classes have been added since
Create A Harry Potter Garden (Green; Prof.
Blessed of Bast: Cat Myth, Lore and Magic
(Brown; Prof. LeopardDancer)
Pride and Pard: The Beautiful Big Cats
(Brown; Prof. LeopardDancer)
The History of Astronomy (Violet; Prof.
Stress Management (Blue; Prof. Ahern)
Level 2 then you may declare a
Major/Minor, and you must do so by Level
3. Students at Level 1 may not yet declare a
Major/Minor, BUT you may contact the
Dean of the Department that most appeals to
you. Letters of interest from Level 1
students may help us decide which
Departments to focus on next.
The Personal Retreat (Pink; Prof.
The Wheel of the Year: Mabon and Samhain
(White; Prof. Moonwriter)
Nature's Fury 401: Air (Silver; Prof.
Phenology 401: Natural Cycles (Silver; Prof.
Seven Wonders 401: Secular Buildings
(Grey; Prof. Rainmaker)
New Department Logos!
Our Headmaster has just finished
developing logos for each of the sixteen
Grey School departments. See if you can
match each new logo with the correct
department name. (Answers at end of
Seven Wonders 501: Religious Buildings
(Grey; Prof. Rainmaker)
Update on Majors and Minors
By Prof. Elizabeth Barrette, Dean of Studies
My main project through November and
December has been developing the
Major/Minor program in more detail, with
the help of the Department Deans. So far,
the Lore Minor is outlined and completable
with current Classes. The Lore Major and
the Nature Studies Minor have been
approved in outline form, but still need more
Classes. Several others are in revision. Our
present goal is to fill in the Lore Major by
the end of 2005.
Closely related to this is the advent of the
Practicums. These very special Classes cap
off the Major program. Each Dean is
responsible for securing a Level 7
Practicum, where the teacher will help the
student design a personal project advancing
the Department's field. This will be the last
Class you take in your Major, so finishing it
is a big feather in your cap!
Note that we are working on Major/Minor
outlines, and filling in Classes, in order of
student enthusiasm. If you have reached
l. Cosmology and Metaphysics
o. Magickal Practice
How to Make a Wish Jar
By Prof. Rainmaker
Take a small jar with a tight-fitting lid
(could be screw top, like a baby food jar, or
one of those clamp-down jars). Fill it almost
to the rim with rubbing alcohol. Get the
items ready you want to use in it and design
your ritual for your purpose (adding a plug
here for the "About Ritual" class ...;-)
Design your ritual, planning for a time to
add the magickal items to the prepared
bottle. Conduct the ritual and add the items
to the bottle. Close the circle. place the
bottle in a place where you will see it at least
once a day (such as your dresser, next to the
sink, on the kitchen window sill, etc.) and
shake it at least once a day or as often you
see it, visualizing your purpose every time
you shake it.
For an extra boost, if you should ever need
it, take a small heat-proof container and add
some rubbing alcohol (about a half-cup will
burn for about 15 minutes). PLACE THE
CONTAINER ON A HEAT-PROOF PAD!
Add a few drops of the liquid from your
wish-jar, strike a match and set it ablaze! Let
it burn out while you meditate on your
purpose. (Youth apprentices: Do not try
this without first getting an adult’s
d. Ceremonial Magick
e. Beast Mastery
f. Performance Magicks
h. Nature Studies
i. Dark Arts
For my "provide me income" spell I used:
myrrh, incense, star anise, rosemary and
At the New Moon, and every night until the
Full Moon, take a silver coin and place it on
a window sill where the light of the moon
will reach it. Visualize the light of the moon
shining on your coins and filling them with
abundance. On the night of the Full Moon
place the coins in blessed water in a dark
bowl, and 'catch' the Full Moon in the bowl.
Visualize the Full Moon if you can't see it.
Wash the coins in the water, visualizing the
Moon filling them with its power. Meditate
on the abundance you want in your life.
Take your time.
Choose herbs, rocks, incenses, etc.,
according to what spell you are trying to
A House Spell
By Prof. Rainmaker
a few years ago, I found a metal canister
(similar to a tea tin or small cookie tin),
shaped like a house. I have had to find
lodging for myself (and also, separately,
some friends) on short notice during the past
five years. Every time this happens, I fill the
canister with something representing every
person (that includes four-legged persons
and sometimes rooted persons) in some
form. If I can get something the person is
closely connected to (a signature, a drawing,
a written spell), that's great, but writing their
name in a small piece of paper works too, if
they are long-distance. Also include some
fur of the animals, a leaf of the plants, and
any symbolizations of other requirements
(good schools, church or coven, community
acceptance, etc.), if at all possible. Include
the creation of this jar in part of a ritual, and
afterwards, light a purple candle before it
every day until the house is found.
The next day, or as soon as you can, spend
all the coins. As you do so, visualize each
coin spreading out through the community,
blessing each person who handles it with
abundance. Visualize the coins increasing in
value as they are spent. Visualize the coins
returning to you a thousand fold or more.
This is even more positive if you can donate
some of the coins to a worth while charity,
such as an animal shelter, etc. (your choice).
A Spell for Memory Enhancement
By Prof. Onyx Ravenclaw
As each question tests my mind.
All the answers I shall find.
Set in neurons as in stone,
Governed by my will alone.
I found the duplex I now live in, which is
managed by a professional company (!) and
still lets me keep 4 cats and a dog, within
one weekend. It was the first property I
found while searching, the first one that
responded to my calls, and the first one I
looked at ... and it was just right!!! I also
used the jar when the Headmaster asked for
spells to help him find a place ...
The winter holiday season is always a busy
time, and, for many, one filled with stress.
The Grey School faculty recently put their
heads together and came up with the
following ideas for magickal stress
A Spell for Abundance
From Prof. Barrette:
By Prof. Ahern
leavening is not strong enough to deal with
the gluten developed from kneading, but
yeast does just fine with it ... in fact, yeast
doughs need the gluten development or they
turn out crumbly and dry.
“I used to do a "settlesand" spell for calming
contentious family space. Fill a jar with
water, throw in a cup of sand, screw the lid
tight, and shake vigorously. The muddy
water represents emotional turmoil. Watch
the sand slowly settle and the water clear.
Meditate on the importance of serenity.”
From Prof. Onyx Ravenclaw:
Eye of Horus
Heart of God
Bless us now
With peace and love
Pour over us
The protection needed
Make it so!
“Another good trick is lighting a cinnamon
candle, or putting on potpourri that smells
edible. Food-flavored scents make a home
seem warm and inviting, and help people
“For shielding, there is nothing better than
the "Protection" oil offered by Kamala
Perfumes ... popularly nicknamed "shield-ina-bottle." I know more than one person who
wears it in an aromatherapy pendant. <g> I
keep mine in my purse, in a metal flask.”
Meditation for the Winter Solstice
By Prof. Ahern
“For people who prefer homeopathy, the
usual recommendation is Rescue Remedy,
suitable for relieving all kinds of stress.”
From Prof. Rainmaker:
If you're having to deal with your own
emotions, bake a (yeast) bread ... from
scratch! The dough will take (and
appreciate) all the frustrations you can beat,
punch, fold, knead and otherwise
incorporate into it ... it only gets better the
more you abuse it ... and it has been proven
that one of the best smells you can have in
your house when trying to sell it is the scent
of freshly baked bread, but it still smells
nice even if you don't want to sell your
home just now! Now, you could go for the
double whammy and turn your bread dough
into cinnamon rolls.
As Winter Solstice approaches we come to
the Longest Night. The sun appears to wane
and die. Ancient peoples feared the sun
would disappear and never return with its
warmth and life-giving power. People all
around the world, of all religious beliefs,
celebrate birth and renewal at this time of
Place a cauldron or bowl, with sand or kitty
litter in it, in the center of your space, or on
a table in front of you. Have a candle, paper,
and pen ready nearby. If you wish, light
incense. Breathe deeply a few times to
release all tension. Feel deeply relaxed, all
P.S.: Please note the caveat of making yeast
bread. Breads using baking powder/soda as
leavening do not like a lot of handling as the
worries and concerns gone. Sense a sphere
of protective white light surrounding you.
A Meditation on Spirit
Visualize yourself walking through a
woods in the dark of the longest night. You
are at peace and in harmony with all around
you. As you walk you come to a small
Within the clearing you see a stone circle,
about nine feet in diameter, with eight
spokes radiating from the center. You see
your own cauldron or bowl sitting at the
center of the circle.
By Merana, Editor-in-Chief (Winds Lodge)
Sit back and get comfortable. Relax your
body step by step, starting at your feet.
Breathe deeply. Sense the air flowing
through your nasal passages, your throat and
into your lungs. Your diaphragm expands to
expel the air. Breathe in and out several
times, following the path of this air. As your
mind stills, you begin to hear your heart.
Tha- Thump, Tha- Thump, Tha- Thump.
Blood travels from your heart to your lungs
and back to your heart again. Blood trickles
in from alveoli in your lungs into your heart
until the chamber is full. Blood is forced
into your arteries as the heart pumps it into
your body. Your blood, your life force,
feeds your body. Notice the weight of your
body as you sink into the ground. Feel the
stability and strength of flesh and muscle
Spend several minutes
connecting to your body completely and
totally. Let yourself become aware of the
natural warmth of your body. It is this
warmth that sustains you and nurtures you.
It is this warmth that powers our metabolic
reactions and allows us to live. The warmth
encloses you and keeps you safe. Continue
Sit near the center of the circle, along the
north-south axis, the axis of the Solstices. In
this longest night of the year, with distant
memories of ancient fears that the sun will
never return, think now of your own deepest
fears. Examine them gently, unhurriedly, one
by one. As you do so, write each one on a
piece of paper.
In the silence and dark, trust that the sun will
return and grow stronger. Light the
candle and place it in your cauldron or bowl.
When you are ready, take the pieces of
paper, one by one, and release your fears
into the flames of the Cauldron. As the
paper burns, realize that your fears have no
power over you, unless you yourself allow
it. Listen for the wisdom of the Cauldron to
We have connected our bodies to the four
elements that comprise it. But something is
missing. Can you find it?
Sit in silence and feel the rays of the
newborn sun warming you, filling you with
strength and energy and power. Sense the
rising sun blessing you. Celebrate the rebirth
of the sun!
That missing something is you. Find the
bright spark of you that is your center. It is
usually between the heart and solar plexus in
the center of the body. If you can’t find it
there, cast further out. You will know when
you have found it. It is usually seen as a
glowing ball of light, but could be a flower,
a flame, a star, or any other image. You will
find that this is your core, your true self,
When you are ready, visualize yourself
leaving the stone circle, and the Cauldron of
Wisdom. Return along the path through the
woods. Return to your own space, renewed.
May the blessings and wisdom of the
Cauldron remain with you!
By Prof. Ellen Evert Hopman
(Excerpted from her class, “Tree Medicine, Magic,
Once you have found it, look closely at it.
How do you look? Are you brilliant or
dark? Are you stable or bouncing about?
What color are you? Where is it? Do you
feel ‘right’ there? Why?
Insight: Holly reminds us to sharpen our
wits and strengthen our resolve as we face
life's spiritual battles.
Down with the Rosemary and so,
Down with the Baies and Mistletoe,
Down with the Holly, Ivie, all,
Wherewith ye drest the Christmas hall.
--by Herrick, a Devon villager
Once you have examined your center self
thoroughly, open yourself to the divine.
Expand your consciousness and see deity.
You start with surprise as you realize you
are looking into your own eyes. The figure
before you slowly melds into a reflection of
you: a divine reflection of everything that
you are and everything that you can be. Get
to know this person, this god, this goddess.
What do you have to say to yourself?
The ancient Gaelic word for Holly, "Tinne",
is related to words for fire such as "tinder".
Holly wood was once used for charcoal to
make axes and swords. Holly was a
Chieftain tree of the ancient Celts associated
with Taranis, the Gaulish Thunder God,
Tina, the Etruscan Thunder God, Taran, the
Pictish Thunder God and the Scandinavian
Spend several minutes in communication
with your divine self.
Thank the divine and withdraw back to the
center. Has it changed from your recent
the home to
protect it from
and hexes. It's
used in door
sills to repel
chariot wheels were made from Holly wood.
Feel the energy pulse from your center. This
energy bleeds into the warmth, the fire, of
your body. Your body is strong, steady, and
sure. Reconnect to your flesh and muscle
and bone. Become aware of your body, your
heart, your heartbeat. Your blood swishes
through your veins and returns to your heart
as you return to consciousness. Return to
your breath. Breathe in and out again
following the path of the air.
Slowly come back to the world we live in.
Feel the people in the room. Feel the air
pass over your skin. See the light on your
eyelids. Slowly start twitching your hands
and feet. Stretch and open your eyes. Be
here and now.
In English tradition a ritual combat was
enacted every year involving the Oak King
who rules in summer and the Holly King
who rules in winter. At Midsummer and
Midwinter these Divine Kings would battle
for the hand of the Goddess (Queen). The
Oak King always won in summer marking
the season of green and the Holly King in
The Magick of Holly
winter, marking the dark season when only
meat was available as food.
The bark of the root of the Mountain Holly
was used in decoction for jaundice and
intermittent fever. The bark and leaves were
used for fevers and the leaves alone as a
In ancient Rome gifts were decorated with
sprigs of Holly at the Saturnalia, a
Midwinter festival. The use of evergreens as
decorations has traditionally been associated
with good luck - Holly and other evergreens
in and around the home are a signal to the
Nature Spirits that they are welcome to find
shelter and comfort within. A round
evergreen wreath on the door is a solar
symbol and a sign of faith that life, like the
sun, is cyclical. A dark phase such as the
apparent "death" of the trees and herbs at
winter is merely temporary.
English Holly leaves were used as a tea
substitute in Europe and for coughs, colds,
Divinatory Meanings: If Holly has come to
your awareness today you are being offered
assistance in life's trials. As a Spiritual
Warrior you may feel abandoned from time
to time, as if you have been left to face life's
battles alone. Holly reminds you to take
heart from your plant allies who are always
with you if you but take the time to
In English tradition it was unlucky to bring
Holly into the home before Christmas and
unlucky to take it down before Twelfth
Night. A sprig was kept in the home to
perpetuate luck in the coming year. By
Imbolc (Candlemas) on February second, all
greens were to be out of the house.
Affirmation: Spirit of the Holly, I call on
you now. Give me the courage to face life's
trials with strength, determination, and
The color red having intense magical
significance, Holly's with their red berries
were regarded as powerful protectors by the
ancients. A branch was placed in the
cowshed to keep the cattle from harm. The
common English Holly was regarded as a
male tree and the variegated variety a female
tree. In the forest of Bere, Hampshire, herbal
potions to treat whooping cough were drunk
from a bowl made of variegated Holly.
Brigid and Imbolc
By Kalla, Stones Lodge (written as an assignment for
the “Wheel of the Year: Yule and Imbolc” class)
One of the most important Goddesses of the
Celtic pantheon, Brigid is the traditional
patroness of healing, poetry and smithcraft.
She is referred to as Bride, Bridey, Brighid,
Brigit, Briggidda, Brigantia, and of course
Brigid. She represents the maiden aspect of
the threefold Goddess. Today she is most
widely known as the Christianized "fostermother" of Jesus, and called St. Brigit, the
daughter of the Druid Dougal the Brown.
Native American herbalists used the
Mountain Holly (Nemopanthus mucronatus
L.) and the Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) as
medicine. Winterberry buds and wood were
used in decoctions and externally as a wash
for herpetic eruptions, gangrenous ulcers,
jaundice, fevers, and diarrhea. The berries
were used as purgatives and to expel worms
(lubrici), especially in children.
Brigid herself is often pictured as a threefold
Goddess. One aspect of Brigid is of poetess
and muse, goddess of inspiration, learning,
poetry, divination, witchcraft, and occult
knowledge. A second aspect is as goddess of
smithcraft, carrying a cauldron for this
purpose. The third aspect is that of healer,
goddess of healing and medicine. These
three aspects are united through the symbol
of fire; thus she is considered a fire
Goddess. In various places she is also know
as goddess of fertility, the hearth, all
feminine arts and crafts, and martial arts.
most awe inspiring figures in Paganism is
K, Amber and K, Azrael Arynn. Candlemas:
Feast of Flames. St. Paul, Llewellyn: 2001.
Monaghan, Patricia. The Red-Haired Girl
From The Bog: The Landscape of Celtic
Myth and Spirit. Novato, New World
celebrated on or
ushers in the
drank from the
Well of Youth at dawn on February first and
in that instant was transformed into her
Maiden aspect, Brigid. Other legends hold
that Cailleach holds Brigid prisoner during
the winter and that Brigid elopes with
Cailleach's son at winter's end.
“Brigid: A Goddess and a Saint.”
By Ceisiwr Serith, from A Book of Pagan Prayer
This is the long night.
This is the dark night.
This is the cold night.
This is the night of last hope.
This is the night of the little spark.
This is the night of turning from darkness.
This is the night of turning toward light.
This is the night of wonder.
The long night is here:
come to us, you spirits;
together let us fill the long night with light,
calling all beings to warm themselves at our
In times past Brigid had a female priesthood
at Kildare, in Ireland and an eternal sacred
flame in her shrine. At Kildare there were 19
priestess, each priestess tended the sacred
fire in turn, through a 20-day rotation. On
20th day of each cycle the sacred fire was
said to be tended by Brigid herself. The
sacred flame was kept burning even after the
shrine became a Christian nunnery, until
1220 when Archbishop Henry of Dublin
ordered it extinguished. However in very
recent times this flame has been relit.
Chris Stevens on “Snow”
From Northern Exposure. Episode 5.10, “First Snow”
Oh! The snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and earth below.
Brigid presides over the fires of inspiration,
hearth, forge and healing, some of the most
important aspects of daily life. That as a
pagan Goddess, she was able to survive the
coming of Christianity at all speaks of her
power and tenacity. That she is one of the
Over the housetops, over the street,
Over the heads of people you meet.
Oh, the snow, the beautiful snow,
How the flakes gather and laugh as they go.
Whirling about in their maddening fun:
It plays in its glee with everyone.
Chasing, laughing, hurrying by,
It lights on the face and it sparkles the eye.
But this life will find a purpose
And in time we'll understand,
When the river meets the sea…
When the river meets the almighty sea.
And even the dogs with a bark and a bound
Snap at the crystals that eddy around.
The town is alive and its heart in a glow,
To welcome the coming of beautiful snow.
Looking for Some Seasonal Music?
“It’s happening, people. Say hi to the
for a list of free (and/or very low cost) music
Lyrics from “Emmett Otter’s Jug Band
Magickal Ceremony Of Yule
By Helega Austrinorum Africae, Stones Lodge
When the mountain
touches the valley,
All the clouds are
taught to fly,
As our souls will leave
this land most
Though our minds be
In our hearts we'll understand
When the river meets the sea
A magickal festive ceremony of release,
manifestation, and thanksgiving. A circle of
candlelight in the pitch-black night of a farm
with the sounds of the nightlife all around.
Flickering candle-lights inviting Ancient
Wise Ones and Ancestors to join this
magickal ritual of Yule…
This is how Estelle Koch, a Personal
Transformation Facilitator and a respected
lady within our community, decided to
celebrate the year.
She organized an
evening get-together to honor those teachers
who have gone before us and for us to
release what we have taken on and seed
what we want for the future. Special
attention was paid to the Earth Mother who
feeds and sustains us.
Like a flower that has blossomed
In this dry and barren sand,
We are born and born again most gracefully.
Plus the winds of time will take us
With a sure and steady hand,
When the river meets the sea.
The ceremony was held in a circle, and
everyone attending brought a small gift,
placing it in the center. It was to be a ritual
of preparation for Christmas festivities and
the New Year. The available options were
either to partake in the activities of only that
evening or to prepare yourself for the period
between Christmas and the New Year. For
the evening-only option, two candles were
Patience my brothers
And patience my son.
In that sweet and final hour
Truth and justice will be done.
Like a baby when it is sleeping
In its mother's loving arms,
What a newborn baby dreams is a mystery
necessary, preferably white. Alternatively,
for a broader ceremony, which one would
uphold by lighting a candle a day for seven
days, seven candles and a container filled
with sand were needed. These candles could
be the colors of the chakras or, if preferred,
seven white candles with the numbers 1 – 7
carved on them. Two additional candles
were needed for use during the ceremony.
and the year died.
And everywhere down the centuries
of the snow, white, world
came people, singing, dancing,
to drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees
They hung their homes with evergreens.
They burned beseeching fires all night long
to keep the year alive.
And when the new day sunshine blazed
They shouted, reveling.
Through all across the ages you can hear
echoing behind us. Listen.
All the long echoes sing the same delight
This shortest day.
As promise wakens in the sleeping land
They carol, feast, give thanks, and dearly
love their friends.
And hope for peace. And so do we here
now this year.
The dress code was
were allowed. Circle
was entered barefoot.
Everyone gave thought
wished to release, and
brought along a list of
these things for personal use. Added to this
list was a list of things they wished to
receive and/or achieve in the year to come.
After the ceremony, journals, meditation
cd’s, and other small gifts were on sale.
It was another brilliant evening filled with
the magickal folk of our community.
Although I could not attend this ceremony
myself, it was a wonderful sight to see from
Here are some suggestions for your own
winter solstice celebration, taken from the
class, “The Wheel of the Year: Yule and
Thank you Estelle, my dearest friend, for
bringing this magickal time to us all!
Decorate an indoor Solstice tree. You’ll
definitely want to start with lights! Icicles or
tinsel will add to the effect. Your decorations
can be anything that suits you. For a
traditional Yule tree, use ornaments that
focus on the natural world: birds, animals,
pinecones, suns, stars, citrus fruits, blownout or painted eggs, etc.
Omnia in arte magica est!
Decorate an outdoor Solstice tree with treats
for the birds and Faeries. Spread pinecones
with peanut butter, roll in birdseed, and hang
from a tree outside. String cranberries,
popcorn, and dried fruit. Scatter sunflower
The Shortest Day
By Susan Cooper
So, the shortest day came
seeds. Also make sure that your wild friends
have a clean source of water available to
them—and make sure to keep it thawed
during sub-freezing weather.
damage and house fires. On the next Yule,
add the talisman to the kindling fire for that
year’s Yule log.
When taking down your Solstice tree, cut off
a portion of the trunk to serve as next year’s
Yule log. Label it clearly (so no one
mistakes it for ordinary wood) and put it
away until the next Yule.
Hang a sprig of mistletoe above a major
threshold and leave it there until next Yule
as a charm for good luck throughout the
Family Solstice Ritual
From the class, “Wheel of the Year: Yule and
The family gathers in a circle around a card
table or dining table. There should be an
unlit new red taper candle in a candleholder
for each family member, plus a larger new
red taper or pillar candle in a candleholder to
represent the family as a whole and the
Solstice Sun. Individual candles are
arranged evenly around the central larger
Decorate your Altar to honor the Solstice.
Use an altar cloth of red, green, or gold.
Create a winter tableau, using a base of
white quilt batting (from the fabric store)
and arranging tiny lighted ceramic houses,
Santa figures, animals, trees, etc. Small
mirrors make excellent frozen ponds.
Surround the Altar with lots of tiny lights or
use candles of red, green, gold, silver, white,
The parent(s) begin the circle by sharing
some background about Winter Solstice,
such as how it has been celebrated across
time and cultures, and how its celebration is
reflected in contemporary secular and
religious Christmas customs. Then parent(s)
describe the focus for this candlelight circle,
such as to attune the family members to each
other, to the ways of ancestors, nature, etc..
Stay up all night on the Solstice. Welcome
the dawn with songs, meditation, or the
ringing of bells. Enjoy a yellow breakfast
feast to honor the sun: orange juice,
bananas, cornbread or muffins, pancakes,
and (of course) sunnyside-up eggs.
Go caroling with friends and family. Serve
cookies and hot cocoa or mulled cider
All lights are extinguished. The family
stands or sits in darkness for a few moments
and contemplates the reduction of daylight
at this time of year, the importance of the
Sun to life on the planet, and the symbolism
of light as indicators of renewal.
The day after burning your Yule Log, gather
the cooled ashes. Sew them into a small
packet as a talisman against lightening
Then, the parent(s) light
the central candle with a
blessing of renewal for
the family and the planet and guide a short
meditation on light and renewal.
so it didn't fall off the clove by creatively
maneuvering their heads and someone else
would have to "bite" into a single clove and
pull the orange away without pulling the
clove out :) If someone failed, there was
generally some creative consequence.”
Next, the parent(s) invite each family
member to light her/his personal candle and
give a thanksgiving for something in past or
present or a blessing for the year to come.
When all the candles are lit, the family joins
hands and chants or sings. The song, "We
wish you a Merry Christmas" can be adapted
to "We wish you a Happy Solstice" and sung
to end the circle.
“My family cooks a big meal and we get
together and play board games and things
like that. We make it a family day.”
(Dreamweaver, Waters Lodge)
Candles can be left burning if in a safe,
attended location, throughout the rest of the
Solstice celebration, if there are other
Updated Contact Information
By Onyx Ravenclaw, Prof. of Cosmology
I want to thank all of those who responded
to me regarding updating the student files.
However, out of the 546-plus students that
the Grey School has, the response is less
than half of the student body. There are
instructors that need to get a hold of their
students, as well as House/Lodge Prefects
and Heads that cannot communicate with
their respective Houses/Lodges.
To extinguish the candles, have one family
member say, “The light of renewal remains
in our hearts.” Them everyone extinguishes
their own candles simultaneously.
Question: What is you favorite Yuleish Tradition?
We don’t have a lot of food on Yule or
Christmas—we have Appetizers. But my
Meme makes a great French meat pie, and
we have that and pickles on Christmas.
(Skye, Winds Lodge)
In order for the statistics to be accurate for
Houses and Lodges, the Staff needs to know
who is actually attending classes. This
process is going very slowly, hence a
challenge. Any House/Lodge that responds
with all their house-/lodge-mates names,
magical names, and e-mail addresses
accounted for will receive 10 points from
me. In short, each house/lodge will receive
“Does New Year's count? It isn't a family
tradition, but I went to a party at a friend's
once and they had this holiday tradition that
I fell in love with. A few hours or the day
before the party, they would take an orange
and cover it with cloves, then put it in the
fridge to chill. At some point in the party,
someone would get it out and the fun would
start. The "game" was that you had to pass it
around from person to person, each taking a
clove. The tricky part was, you can't use
your hands. So people would take the clove
in their teeth and have to support the orange
Send the lists to [email protected]
Note that those who have already responded
do not need to resend their information.
Thanks again, and Happy Holidays!
Answers to Riddles and
1. One crushes boats and the other brushes
2. Lost! REALLY lost! (Penguins live in
4. The man was a lighthouse keeper and it
was his responsibility to keep the light on
at all times. When he shut the lighthouse
light out, a passenger ship hit the rocky
shoreline with deadly consequences.
5. Before you tie the string to the door, tie a
bow in it. Cut both loops and cup will
6. His 18th birthday was yesterday. On New
Year’s Eve, so he was talking on New
Year’s Day, and he will have another
birthday in the current year.
Managing Editor: Paxx
News & Opinion: Deianaera
International: Helega (editor),
Living Section: Skye (editor), Luna,
Copy Team: Oracle (editor), Wolf
Loresight, Violet Bushido
Advisor: Prof. Moonwriter
Letters to the editor accepted—please send
to [email protected]
The WGM staff is always looking for new
staff! If you like to interview people, write
stories, and track down the latest news, this
may be the spot for you. If interested,
contact Prof. Moonwriter,
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© 2005 Published by the Grey School Press