If you’ve been reading this blog long, you may already know that I am a “solitary witch”. This is commonly regarded to mean that one practices magick on their own, without belonging to a particular coven or circle. However, what this also means is that the witch or magickal practitioner does not have certain failsafes to rely on in the case that they are physically or mentally unable to structure their own magickal studies. This had not been a problem for me up until a while ago when I suddenly fell into a debilitating depressive episode. During this time, I was left completely unprepared for how much this would impact my craft. I wasn’t exactly in the headspace to be preparing lesson plans for myself so I had to completely cease my craft for the duration of this time—which did nothing to curb the depression, let me tell ya.
Now, this is not the case for all solitary witches. There are probably others way better than me at creating a Plan B (no relation to the birth control), but personally I did not have any plan set in place. Mental illness is not known for its consistency or predictability, after all.
I’ve always loved learning new things and I am a big fan of structure when it comes to my education (self-initiated or otherwise), but physical school settings have been a source of way too much trauma for me to revisit even recreationally. Especially recreationally. So I turned to the internet, as I do, to help me find a solution. Of course, the majority of what I found were paid courses that I just could NOT afford, but then I discovered The Grey School of Wizardry (GSW) and it blew my mind…
Tuition: (Ages 11-17) $10 per month || (Ages 18+) $20 per month
Ease of Enrollment: Excellent √ √ √
Fields of Study: Wizardry, Natural Philosophy, Magical Practice, Psychic Arts, Healing, Wortcunning, Divination, Performance Magick, Alchemy & Magickal Sciences, Lifeways, Beast Mastery, Cosmology, Mathemagicks, Ceremonial Magick, Lore, and Dark Arts.
Extracurriculars: Defense Against the Dark Arts Club, Diggers In Real Time (D.I.R.T), The Fellowship of Magickal Arts and Wizardly Crafts, Healer’s Tea Room, The Lorekeeper’s Guild, Society for the Study and Care of Beasts, Tower of Babel Language Club, Outdoor Club || Interactive Student Forums || Quarterly School Newspaper
Headmaster: Oberon Zell-Ravenheart
The layout is very user-friendly and straight-forward, making navigation of the site and your classes + assignments quite simple. The elements of design used was a bit distracting at first, but after switching my theme to the MarbleScroll setting in the ‘Change Theme’ section it was a lot easier on the eyes. It may take you a bit of playing around with the settings to get it to work for your particular needs, but you should be able to get it to how you like easy enough.
The Magick Alley has been down for maintenance since I enrolled, but to my understanding the person in charge of that recently stepped down (?). Besides, you can find the required text at Thriftbooks or Amazon for (presumably) cheaper than the price it would be in a school store. And just about every other magickal tool you may need can be found around the web with a quick Google search.
I love the Lodge and House aspect of GSW as it resembles the House structure in Harry Potter. Instead of Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff, the Youth Houses are Gnomes, Sylphs, Salamanders, and Undines. The Adult Lodges are Earth, Water, Wind, and Fire. (#WindLodgeFTW, but I totally remain unbiased in my belief that Wind rules and everyone else drools.)
In GSW there are a few ways to interact with fellow students––vGSW, the Student Forums, and the Facebook group.
When I enrolled, I was given the option to attend the GSW virtual school (vGSW) via Second Life, for an additional fee I believe. Using Second Life enables the students to experience GSW in real time, receive a lot more interaction with professors, and a greater connection with the student body. Sadly, it cannot be downloaded onto a laptop with a Chrome OS and I use a Chromebook.
The Facebook group is a bit more active and is a good place to go for questions, but activity is generally photo posts of vGSW gatherings and such.
Gladly, by using the Student Forums you are able to connect to other students/instructors through the forums and keep in touch with those in your Lodge. I was hoping for a lot more activity there, though. There really isn’t much going on; at most there has been like three or four new posts and a couple of commenters here and there. The active posts, again, mostly relate to the happenings at vGSW.
As of December 22, 2016 I have completed two required courses and am currently working on four more (I haven’t had the funds for the textbook needed until now).
To start, the Core Energy Practices course I am enrolled in to fulfill Level 1 requirements have been incredibly useful thus far. The assignments provide you practical applications to incorporate into your craft and they are not written in super-poetic Shakespearean terms which is very useful to me because a lot of the resources I find for practicing magick come in very wordy, and unnecessarily ornate kind of way which is just not accessible in the slightest.
The course load isn’t too heavy and you essentially turn it it whenever you are ready. What self-motivation doesn’t get you to do, that monthly fee is sure to light a fire under your ass, if you know what I’m sayin’.
What first drew me to The Grey School of Wizardry was the price of tuition. At $20 per month, it was easily one of the lowest rates for a magick course I had seen up until that point. I was incredibly happy to see that tuition was also lower for youth ages 11-17! Young magicians aren’t often treated like serious practitioners within the community and that is something that has bothered me to no end. It was nice to see that the folx at GSW had taken them into consideration (as well as the fact that most youth aren’t old enough to have jobs) when determining pricing.
GSW is also the first magick school I have encountered that offers scholarships to those with financial need! You could see that everyone working at GSW truly has a passion for what they do and that making their knowledge accessible to others looks to be a priority for them.
Anyway, I hope this review was useful to you or at least informative in some way. I strongly urge any witch with the funds to do so to enroll in the Grey School of Wizardry, it has been an incredibly journey for me thus far and I hope it can be that for you too.
Peace, love, and spoons.
☽ ♡ ☾
To Enroll Visit: www.greyschool.com
Donate and help keep GSW affordable! https://goo.gl/idLZdl