Archives For Grey School of Wizardry

Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So let’s get started!

AncestorsCoverThe Temple of Witchcraft and Copper Cauldron Publishing have announced the publication of a new anthology title: Ancestors of the Craft: The Lives and Lessons of Our Magickal Elders. First copies of the book were made available at the Temple’s annual Yule ritual, and will soon be made available at Retailers can order copies through Copper Cauldron Publishing. Quote: “Modern pagans are heirs to a rich confluence of traditions from numerous pioneers in the realms of Spirit who have passed beyond the Veil. Ancestors of the Craft honors these ancestors, some widely known, others obscure, but no less deserving. A wide range of authors have contributed looks at important figures and elders in the history of the modern Witchcraft and Neo-pagan movements, some four dozen in all […] Authors include Jimahl di Fiosa (Talk to Me), Storm Faerywolf (The Stars Within the Earth), Elizabeth Guerra (Stewart Farrar: Writer On A Broomstick), Raven Grimassi (The Cauldron of Memory, Old World Witchcraft), Galina Krasskova (Exploring the Northern Tradition), Deborah Lipp (The Elements of Ritual), Shani Oates (Tubelo’s Green Fire), Gede Parma (Spirited), Christopher Penczak (The Temple of Witchcraft, The Mighty Dead), Matthew Sawicki (Witch and Famous), Kala Trobe (The Witch’s Guide to Life), and many more.” Should be an interesting read!

Grey_School_of_Wizardry_-_crestThe Grey School of Wizardry has opened a virtual world campus incorporating the Second Life platform as a part of its online magickal education program. “The implementation of a virtual campus was driven by student feedback and demonstrates our commitment to provide an engaging, inspiring learning environment for the magickally-minded. It provides us with new ways to share our knowledge, and offers a more personal, interactive, and magical setting for our students,” said Stacey Aaran Sherwood, Campus Director at the Grey School of Wizardry. “This new program is supplementary and purely voluntary, and does not in any way alter the web-based system of instruction that our faculty and students are accustomed to using.” Students who elect to enroll in the optional program benefit from real-time interaction with participating teachers and fellow students.  The Grey School of Wizardry is a tax exempt organization, and was founded in 2004 by Oberon Zell, a founder of the Church of All Worlds. You can read the entire press release, here.



I’ve mentioned Stonehenge’s new visitors center a couple times now, looking at what it wants to transmit to visitors of the famous stone circle, and the pushback from some UK Pagans over their decision to display human remains. Now, Pagan musician Corwen Broch has visited the new center, and shares some reflections at his blog. Quote: “I personally am not opposed to the display and retention of human remains providing they are displayed sensitively. In fact I’d go so far as to say I am in favour of the display of human remains as I feel they can be a tangible link to the lives of our ancestors in a way nothing else can. All that said however the remains at Stonehenge are not displayed sensitively. They are in the same cases as antler picks and reconstructed arrows which seems to symbolically reduce them to the status of inanimate objects rather than what was once the remains of a thinking feeling human being. One person’s bones in particular are wired together and displayed upright fixed to a board in a way that made me viscerally uncomfortable. It is extremely saddening to me that English Heritage did not take a middle way with these remains and at least abide by HAD’s best practice guidelines. The current lack of sensitivity seems almost calculated to prolong the controversy and the protestations and plays into the hands of those most opposed to the display of human remains whilst making it difficult for those of us in favour of display to defend English Heritage.” Despite these concerns, Broch says the structure has “vastly improved” from its previous iteration, and has no concerns apart from the manner in which human remains are presented.

In Other Pagan Community News:

The Circle Sanctuary Winter Solstice Pageant

The Circle Sanctuary Winter Solstice Pageant

  • Solstice songs! T. Thorn Coyle has uploaded a new (free) song for the season, called “Invictus (Solstice)” to her Bandcamp page. Quote: “This is once again my Solstice gift to you. It started out a poem, but wanted to simplify into a song. Just me and GarageBand, baby. Pay what you will. All money supports Solar Cross temple and our justice work.” In other Solstice song news, Damh the Bard has a song up for you too!
  • Performer Lyra Hill, daughter of Anne Hill (you may know her through her work with Reclaiming), has been featured in the People 2013 issue of the Chicago Reader. Anne Hill says of her daughter that “Lyra’s exploration of dreams through art challenges me to keep looking for new ways to bring the power of dreams into waking life. I hope she inspires you, too.” 
  • Cherry Hill Seminary is seeking an artist in residence. Quote: “Cherry Hill Seminary, provider of distance education for Pagan ministry, seeks candidates for an Artist in Residence. Candidates working in any medium and who wish to be directly engaged for a period of two years in support of the CHS mission of distance education for leadership, ministry and personal growth in Pagan and other Nature-Based spiritualities may obtain full details or apply at this link.” Compensation? “Visibility,” promotion from CHS, and a quarterly feature in the official newsletter.

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.

Angel Silva. Photo by Dave Sanders for The New York Times.

Angel Silva. Photo by Dave Sanders for The New York Times.

  • The New York Times profiles Angel Silva, a practitioner of Palo Mayombe, who’s in a legal showdown over whether the healing crystals he sells on the street in Union Square are works of art, or if he’s simply vending without a license (as local police believe). Quote: “Mr. Silva insists he needs no city permit because his stones are artistic sculptures covered under the First Amendment, and he hopes to convince a judge of this in Manhattan Criminal Court at a trial next month. Lines of customers form on Mondays, when Mr. Silva offers free spiritual healing. He delivers his psychic readings of their life issues, from cheating spouses to chakra imbalances, and he treats some people at the nearby sidewalk tree, to better connect to the gods of the forest.” What’s refreshing about the story is that it steers clear of some of the sensationalism usually accompanied with reporting on Palo. For a perspective of a Pagan who moved into the practice and religion of Palo, check out the columns Stacey Lawless contributed to The Wild Hunt.
  • Back in June I spotlighted “America Bewitched: Witchcraft After Salem” by Owen Davies, which debunks the popular notion that we stopped killing and persecuting “witches” after 1692, and shows that belief in witchcraft persisted throughout this country into the 20th century (and beyond). Now, appropriately enough, The Salem News interviews Davies about the book. Quote: “Witchcraft beliefs and the persecution of supposed witches during the Salem trials era and beyond seem like another world, aspects of another time unconnected with ours, but they are not. At the heart of witchcraft accusations are fundamental fears, misfortunes, insecurities, uncertainties and personal experiences that people in America experience today.”
  • The Sault Star profiles the Wild Ginger WitchCamp in Ontario, and finds that people from “all walks of life” are in attendance. Quote: “Forget your Halloween and fairy-tale images of witches. The people gathered at Unicamp for the weekend are therapists, teachers, artists and students, nurses and midwives, computer programmers, parents and grandparents. Here there are no voodoo dolls, black magic spells, curses or consorting with the devil. The only bubbling cauldrons are in the kitchen, where Alta, who has cooked for Wild Ginger for years, works her own kind of sorcery, producing delicious meals for the seventy campers.” I think it is interesting that the mainstream press is finally starting to notice the international network of Witch Camps, a phenomenon that has quietly existed under the radar for some time, even within many corners of the Pagan community. 
  • At The Washington Post’s On Faith section, scholar Charles C. Haynes debunks the notion that the United States is a Christian nation. Quote: “Religious diversity at America’s founding made a necessity of religious freedom because no one group had the power or the numbers to impose its version of true faith – Christian or otherwise – on all others […] Any attempt to establish a Christian nation, therefore, always has been and always will be unjust, dangerous and profoundly un-Christian.”
  • Poet Annie Finch writes about her mother, the Witch. Quote: “My mother Maggie, as she likes to be called, has referred to herself as a witch for a couple of decades now — at least since she was in her early 70s. That was around the time she started adding 8,000 years to the date: She would date her letters to me 9989 instead of 1989 and 9992 instead of 1992, to signal that she was reckoning time from the estimated beginning of Goddess worship. Nowadays, at 92 years young, she talks about the Goddess often, keeps an altar with a Goddess statue from Malta, and regularly wears a large pentacle around her neck.”
Alley Valkyrie being arrested last December. Photo: Kevin Clark/The Register-Guard

Alley Valkyrie being arrested last December. Photo: Kevin Clark/The Register-Guard

  • Last year I interviewed Feri initiate, activist, and Wild Hunt columnist, Alley Valkyrie after she was arrested protesting for the rights of the homeless in Eugene, Oregon. Now, the verdict is in, and Alley Valkyrie has been vindicated. Quote: “Lane County violated the constitutional rights of a local activist last year when it had her cited for trespassing following her refusal to leave a public plaza after officials closed it, a Eugene Municipal Court judge has ruled. In her decision, Judge Karen Stenard said the county’s reason for ejecting protesters and shutting the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza — that the area had to be cleaned because human feces were smelled in the area — was too broad and did not pass the rigorous test required for government actions that restrict constitutional freedoms. As a result, Stenard dismissed the charge of second-degree trespassing filed against protester Alley Valkyrie.” You’ll no doubt be hearing more about this from Alley personally, but for now you can read a recent column she wrote about her activism on behalf of the homeless in Eugene. Congratulations to Alley Valkyrie! 
  • American Horror Story’s new season, subtitled “Coven,” will deal with Salem Witches escaping to New Orleans, Vodou practitioners, a serial killer, and how oppressed minority groups will sometimes attack one another instead of their true enemy. Quote: “This season, Minear said, will focus on themes of oppression of minorities of all kinds. ‘Within that idea, the idea of minority groups going after each other and doing the work of the larger culture for the larger culture [will be explored],’ Minear said. ‘While there is a strong feminist theme that runs throughout Coven this year, there are also themes of race, oppression and there is a very strong theme of family, specifically mothers and daughters.'” I would like to ask the television gods for this to not suck, because it actually sounds kinda interesting. 
  • There are so many problematic elements to these teenage exorcists under the leadership of Satanic Panic bottom-feeder Bob Larson, and ventures into just some of them. Quote: “What Duboc captures is troubling: Large groups of people come to these exorcism events, often because they are struggling with drug addiction or because they have long-term mental health problems, sometimes because they’ve been sexually abused. Larson and the girls blame all of these people’s problems on demonic possession, and proceed to play-act exorcisms on members of the audience.”More on this from Jezebel.
  • Famous paranormal radio host Art Bell is coming out of retirement to host a new show for Satellite radio company Sirius. Quote: “A Sirius representative contacted Bell through social media a few months ago, leading to the formation of his show, ‘Art Bell’s Dark Matter.’ He’ll talk about things like UFOs, ghosts, near-death experiences and weird aspects of science. He’ll do interviews and take calls from viewers. Scott Greenstein, Sirius XM president and chief content officer, said the show will be ‘uncensored, unrestricted, uncluttered and utterly unique.'” As someone who once worked a graveyard shift job, and heard Mr. Bell on the radio “back in the day,” expect lots of conspiracy theory, weird science, yeti calls, alien abduction stories, and Freemasonry allusions.  Oh, and he would bring Pagans on the show from time to time. 
  • The Huffington Post UK Student’s section features a story on Oberon Zell-Ravenheart’s Grey School of Wizardry. Quote: “As Headmaster, I cannot help but identify strongly with Albus in Harry Potter. He is so much like me that I have often been referred to as ‘the real-life Dumbledore’ and I was personally distraught upon reading the account of his death.”
  • Religion Dispatches asks: Why is the State Department opening an Office of “Religious Engagement”? Quote: “Constitutional or not, official interfacing with “faith-based organizations” will constitute a troubling form of government endorsement: the defining of some communities, among various porous-bordered normative and discursive communities, as “religions” and the anointing of some individuals as recognized spokespersons for those communities.”

That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.

A few stories for you to digest this Saturday, starting with the announcement yesterday from Isaac and Phaedra Bonewits concerning the closure of their Internet venture Real Magic School.

“Isaac and Phaedra Bonewits are sad to announce that Real Magic School is now closed. It was a wonderful experiment but it turned out to be too much for our time commitments (and our finances) to handle. We have arranged with the Grey School of Wizardry to take transfer student s from RMS. We apologize to everyone, but especially our lifetime members, that the life time of Real Magic School was so short.”

The school, which opened for business in February 2008, had an aspirational trajectory of academic excellence and eventual accreditation. A somewhat different M.O. from the arranged transfer school, the Grey School of Wizardry, with its Harry Potter-isms and courses that equip someone to become a “Journeyman Wizard” (as opposed to the associates degrees RMS was planning to award). No doubt the current fiscal climate made this new venture difficult to sustain, it would be interesting to know how other schools (loosely) built on the Witch School model are doing.

CBS affiliate WBOC in Delmarva, Delaware reports on this Sunday’s Delmarva Pagan Pride Day, interviewing author, Wiccan elder, and event co-organizer Ivo Dominguez Jr. in the process. Too bad they also felt the need to get some “balance” by also digging up a disapproving Christian pastor.

“Still, some like Salisbury Pastor Luther Hill disagree, and say nothing positive can come out of the event.” “Pagans in the Bible usually deal with witchcraft and sorcery and those types of things,” Rev. Hill said. “But even in the Bible when that type of thing has gone on, the power of God has always been victorious over it.”

I wouldn’t mind this somewhat mindless faux-viewpoint-balance if the standard was also applied to puff coverage of local Christian events as well. Needless to say, I’m still awaiting a call regarding my opinions on upcoming Christmas celebrations.

In a final note, it’s time once again to check in with our old friend Don “internationally recognized authority on Ritual Crime and the Occult” Rimer. This time he’s making an appearance at the Oklahoma Gang Investigators Association seminar to talk about Satanic and vampire-related crime.

“Guest speaker Don Rimer spent over three decades as police officer in Virginia, where he discovered crimes involving cult activity.  Satanists committed some of these crimes, but some culprits acted as vampires … Rimer says movies like “Blade” and “Twilight” made vampirism cool, and people commit themselves to being vampires.  Rimer shows the official vampire bible, and there are sanguine who legally practice the ritualist consumption of human blood by drinking each other’s.”

This time the paper also includes his disclaimer that Wiccans and Pagans are no more likely to be criminals than any other citizen, but that kindness is somewhat offset by the fact that attendees to Rimer’s lectures, like Lawton Police Gang Investigator, Tiff Poff, apparently believe that ” appearance is in beginning stages, and they don’t realize it leads to violence, and murder, and suicide and things like that”. So don’t get caught dressing goth in Lawton, they may think your on the fast-track to killing people.

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

I have a few items of interest in my daily scan of the news, starting with a profile of practicing Witch and Australian singer-musician Wendy Rule. Rule is coming to Florida to perform, and the Daytona Beach News-Journal explores her Wiccan identity, and how that influences her songwriting.

A Sydney native who calls Melbourne home, Rule says, “It’s not such an unusual thing for music to have a magical and spiritual purpose. All the ritual music of traditional cultures — Aboriginal Australian and Native American shamans, folk music from across the globe, Gregorian chants and gospel music — share this same goal: to alter our consciousness and bring us in contact with the divine.” But, she adds, “I’m no more a Wiccan songwriter than I am a Scorpio songwriter, or an Australian one, or a female one. I’m just living and writing and singing and exploring my heart and soul — and I happen to be an Australian Scorpio Witch.”

While it’s nice that the paper decided to give some ink to Wendy Rule’s upcoming shows in America, you’d think they would bother to do more than simply cut-and-paste from her web site while implying they interviewed her. Maybe a long-distance phone call was too expensive for their operating budget? After all, these are hard times for newspapers.

If you want to brag once and for all that you’re as smart as (or possibly smarter than) Oberon “Grey School of Wizardry” Zell and Don “Witch School” Lewis you’ll get your chance at the upcoming St. Louis Pagan Picnic. According to a press release, they will be holding a trivia contest about “all things magical” open to all comers.

“Oberon Zell of Grey School and Don Lewis of Witch School have agreed to a trivia contest about all things magical to test their students and all comers. They plan to meet on June 13th & 14th at the St. Louis Pagan Picnic, held at Tower Grove Park. The St. Louis Pagan Picnic is the largest Pagan gathering in the Midwest, and brings together thousands for a weekend of friendship, fellowship, entertainment, teaching and merchants. The Wizards and Witches Trivia contest will be just one of the many parts to this wonderful event, but for the students of Grey School and Witch School, it is a highly anticipated one.”

The winners will receive unspecified “prizes”, one hopes that it isn’t a gift certificate to their respective schools. After all, would the winner of such a contest really need such a thing?

In a final note, workmen in Florence, Italy, while digging a hole for a new water cistern in the courthouse, stumbled across a temple to Isis.

“Workmen inside Florence’s courthouse have stumbled across a spiral column and hundreds of multicoloured fragments that experts believe may have belonged to a Roman temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis.  According to Roman news agency ANSA, the remains, dating back to the second century AD, were discovered as the men dug a five by three meter hole, barely four meters deep, for a new water cistern for the courthouse’s anti-incendiary system … the remains were “comparable” to others found over the last three centuries in the immediate area that have also been attributed to the temple of Isis, the Egyptian goddess of motherhood and fertility who was later adopted by the Greeks and Romans.  The location of the temple is unknown, but it is believed to have been built just outside the Roman part of the city, near the current courthouse building…”

Florence’s archeology superintendency is currently overseeing the discovery, no announcements have been made as to what will ultimately be done with the find. Interesting that a courthouse was unwittingly built over the temple of a goddess that the Book of the Dead calls She who seeks justice for the poor people”.

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

News has come that Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, co-founder of the Church of All Worlds and the Grey School of Wizardry, has been diagnosed with colon cancer.

Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

“Oberon had a meeting yesterday (Thurs Aug 14) with his doctor, Stephen Denigris, to discuss the results of the biopsy they did on the golfball-sized tumor (lesion) they discovered during his recent colonoscopy. He says it is indeed cancerous, and colon cancer is aggressive and nasty. However, it is far enough up that it can be surgically removed along with about a foot of the descending colon (left side). He said that it appears to be less than a year old, so the chances of a complete removal of all cancerous tissue are excellent. There is concern that some of the cancer cells may have migrated into OZ’s lymph nodes, which would be a really serious problem, requiring radiation and chemotherapy.”

Zell-Ravenheart is currently undergoing further tests to see if the cancer has spread, and if radiation and chemotherapy will be needed. A group of practitioners who have been doing coordinated healing magic for Oberon’s wife Morning Glory (who was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2006) will be engaging in a “Rolling Thunder”* coordinated healing working tonight and tomorrow.

“So, tomorrow is the full moon, and I know that many of you will be doing ritual for OZ anyway, and I’d like to see us return to this tradition, so I’m calling a Rolling Thunder for Oberon to begin at 9 PM. That’s always local time, and that’s for Saturday, August 16th. For those across the international dateline, for whom it is already Saturday, or if it’s more convenient to pick it up when it rolls across to Sunday, August 17th, that’s fine as well. Generally we continue the roll for at least 48 hours, to accommodate people who hear about the roll late, and just to keep pushing the energy and accelerating the wave.”

We here at The Wild Hunt know just how horrible cancer can be, and wish Oberon a swift and easy recovery. Thanks to Michael and Lupa for bringing this to my attention.

* According to the healing list, a “Rolling Thunder” healing ritual is when “a date and time is set, and at that time (the local time for each member), each member does a ritual (alone or with others in their own way) for what the ritual is about. Because we have members all over the globe, the energies raise over quite a period of time. It’s known to be quite effective.” For more specific information, you can join the Morning Glory Healing Update list.

Author, Archdruid Emeritus of the ADF, and “polytheologian” Isaac Bonewits is opening his own online school on February 29th. The new online learning institution, Real Magic School, claims to offer “certain answers to a mysterious subject.”

“Real Magic School, named after Bonewits first groundbreaking book, begins with a purposeful program of study that offers a pathway to an Associates degree in Magic. Further, the school begins immediately the process to seek academic accreditation, a process that is both difficult and demanding but according to the school founders, worthwhile. P.E. Isaac Bonewits has chosen to take his degree, his lifetime of experience, and his driving energy to create an academy that is truly a benefit to its students and future alumni. This will be a life changing experience for everyone who gets involved.”

The new school has been built for Bonewits by Witch School, one of the oldest and largest (and some might say controversial) online schools aimed at teaching magic. Real Magic School isn’t the first online magic school to be built around a charismatic Pagan “headmaster”, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart’s Grey School of Wizardry comes immediately to mind, though it does seem to be aiming for a more academic feel while trying to avoid Harry Potter comparisons.

“While the Harry Potter Phenomenon swept the world and has offered a fictional view of a Magical Academy, Isaac is not Dumbledore and Real Magic School is not Hogwarts. Real Magic School is definitely real world and has a truly academic and educational philosophy unmatched in today’s world. Isaac Bonewits is a serious teacher, along with Phaedra, with lifelong experience, and is one of the most respected voices in the Pagan world today calling for academic truth and excellence in the study of magic and thaumaturgy, history, and Paganism.”

It should be interesting to see where this goes. Does an online school with only two teachers (so far) have a real shot at gaining academic accreditation? If they did gain some form of educational accreditation would any mainstream college or institution accept transfer credits from Real Magic School? Real Magic School’s web site doesn’t have any course information up yet, so we will just have to wait and see what sort of curriculum is planned.

The latest Harry Potter film is opening this week, and the last Harry Potter book is coming out later this month, so once again the press is looking for new angles in which to report on this cultural phenomenon. Some are counting down the top cinematic Wizards (and Witches), others are interviewing the stars of the film, and some are digging up possible spoilers from Harry Potter “hackers”.

“Harry Potter hackers say they have discovered the secrets behind the last book in the series, but the fact they disagree with each other casts doubt on their claims … One hacker-theory has Harry Potter deciding to end his life in order to kill his evil enemy Voldemort and also that Ron and Hermione will both die, after which the trio are reunited in the Deathly Hallows – the Ghost World – along with Harry’s late parents, Sirius Black and Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore. However, a hacker calling himself Gabriel claims Ron and Hermione are attacked by Lord Voldemort and Hermione sacrifices her life to save Ron.”

One might think that many modern Pagans would be eager to ride this press bandwagon, but due to the hostile reactions from some Christian communities, most modern Pagans have taken pains to explain that Harry Potter isn’t some sort of recruitment tool for the occult arts, and have avoiding equating themselves with the popular series. But others in the wider Pagan community aren’t so scrupulous, and have bent over backwards to insert themselves into Pottermania.

“If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re more Griffyndor than Slytherin or ever doubted whether you really are just a muggle? Then put down you Harry Potter book and meet Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. He’s regarded as the inspiration for the fictional professor in the Harry Potter series[No he isn’t. – ed]. Oberon has just set up the first real “Hogworts” style school, The Grey School of Wizardry. He’s also the founder of the Church of all Worlds … The junior wizard school resembles Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series. It has the exact four houses described in the book. Oberon says these “elemental houses” are named after the “elemental creatures”: Sylphs, Salamanders, Undines and Gnomes.”

Yes, Oberon “living unicorn” Zell-Ravenheart, co-founder of the Church of All Worlds, has been plugging away for some time now on his online “Grey School of Wizardry” that offers to teach the “secular” science of Wizardry to Harry Potter obsessed kids and adults (mostly adults, really). Two recent press releases try very hard to tie the school in with the latest film. The first does everything in its power to convince us of Oberon’s essential “Dumbledore-ness”.

“When J.K. Rowling first conceived of the idea of Harry Potter, it is unlikely she had ever heard of Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. Yet as the Harry Potter legend took flight, more and more people began turning to this wise old Wizard in recognition. Oberon Zell-Ravenheart is the cover story in the Summer, 2007 issue of PanGaia magazine. His Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard will be featured in all Barnes & Noble Bookstores from July 12 through August 8 (coinciding with the release of the next Harry Potter movie and the final book in the series.) … This esteemed Wizard is referenced or quoted in over 80 books, and he has inspired, enthralled, and enlightened many a curious mind, both young and old. In all his calm yet commanding power, in his gentle yet absolute wisdom, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart is truly the real Albus Dumbledore.”

The second touts the “real” Hogwarts that is Ravenheart-Zell’s Grey School of Wizardry.

“The fourth Harry Potter movie takes us back to J.K. Rowling’s fictional “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,” made famous as the setting for seven novels and four previous movies. These books and films have become the most popular literary phenomenon of all time. Millions of readers and viewers would love to board the “Hogwarts Express” and travel to a remote academy that teaches real magick, Witchcraft, and Wizardry. Well, as so often happens, fiction has become reality. A major online school has been established to meet these needs.”

Despite how “secular” one claims the online school to be, anyone can see that the vast bulk of its instructors are modern Pagans of one stripe or another. One also would question the editorial decisions of PanGaia to tout Oberon and his school when the magazine’s managing editor is also the Grey school’s “Dean of Studies”. But the larger question is, should we be intentionally mixing with Harry Potter? Isn’t using the books and films as a recruitment tool for a Pagan-run organization exactly what intolerant Christians blast J.K. Rowling for all the time? Isn’t it a bit unseemly to hijack an author’s work in order to make money for your own organization?