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Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard|
Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard
Author: Oberon Zell-Ravenheart
Publisher: New Page Books
Category: Magick Level: All
Foreword: The Grimoire and the Grey Council
By Raymond Buckland
A great number of us have been wanting—longing—to board the Hogwarts Express and to travel to an academy that teaches the really exciting things in life. Things such as magick, herbal lore, divination, conjuring, and so on. In a word, we have been wanting to learn WIZARDRY. It’s one thing to read about the experiences of someone else—even such a fascinating person as Harry Potter—but it’s quite another thing to be able to go through the whole magickal educational process yourself. To enter such a school and know that your teachers are the very finest Wizards and Witches in the world would be awe-inspiring. So, how to do this? How to find and attend such a Wizard’s academy?
You’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to wait for a special invitation to be delivered, be it by owl mail or otherwise. You don’t even have to be the child of a Wizard or Witch. In fact you can even be a regular Muggle child and still get into this school. (It has been rumored that even some grown-up Muggles have been so attracted to it that they, too, have slipped in!) Where is this school? It’s right here in your hands. The Course in Wizardry—at least the Apprentice Level of the course—is contained in this book. That’s like suddenly discovering that there’s a home study branch of Hogwarts Academy! Here may be found seven major courses, plus an appendix and bibliography, put together by the Grey Council of Wizards for you to study and learn.
Members of the Grey Council are living, breathing, famous Wizards and Witches of the present day. They are not “made up, ” or in any way invented by an author. They are alive and real and have been practicing their various crafts for up to forty or fifty years. When Harry Potter was first taking the Hogwarts Express to Hogwarts Academy, he was shown the trading cards of Witches and Wizards that came in the Chocolate Frogs packs. Ron Weasley introduced him to these, showing such famous personalities as Merlin, Paracelsus, Morgana, Circe, Cliodna, Ptolemy, Dumbledore, and Hengist. These were actually a mixture of real Witches and Wizards and those of fiction and legend. But in this book there are only real ones.
I have known Oberon Ravenheart for over 30 years. He is one of the pioneers of Paganism in the United States. I can’t think of a better, more qualified person to write a handbook for apprentice Wizards. Oberon is a Wizard (he always has been!) . With his many decades of experience he, more than anyone, is uniquely qualified to write this book, having been teaching for the majority of his life. His name is greatly respected in all of the varying fields of Paganism and Witchcraft. He is truly an Elder…of Paganism, Witchcraft, and Magic.
As a member of the Grey Council, I am perhaps typical of your teachers, so let me tell you a little about my background. I was first attracted to these subjects more than fifty years ago. (Half a century! How time flies!) What I wouldn’t have given to have had access to just such a book as you are now holding in your hands, back in those early days. But such knowledge was hard to come by then. I had to dig and search; follow-up ancient clues and long-lost trails. I had to beg and borrow, and to apprentice myself to the few knowledgeable mages I was able to find. Over the years I learned to use a crystal ball, to read tarot cards, to heal with my hands, to make use of herbs and potions, and to do many other things not normally taught or made available.
Over forty years ago I was initiated into a Witches coven. I learned spells and charms and I learned to do magick. It was a long, sometimes hard road I traveled. But it was very satisfying and, in practicing what I was taught, I was able to bring aid, happiness, and comfort to many others. Along the way I became a teacher myself and was thus able to pass on what knowledge I had so painstakingly acquired.
The other members of the Grey Council—those who are now, through this book, your teachers—have similar backgrounds to mine. We have all dedicated our lives to the magickal arts and to making our knowledge available to those ready and willing to accept it . . . those such as you.
This is a grimoire. The word comes from the old French word meaning “grammar.” It is, indeed, a grammar of magick. In other words, it explains exactly how magick is performed: how it is planned, prepared for, put together, and very carefully worked. You wouldn’t expect to be able to learn a foreign language without doing some study. You would need to learn new words and how to put them together so that they made sense. You would need to know occasional alternate words that could be used, and the correct way to pronounce them. If you didn’t do this study, no one would understand you. In other words, it wouldn’t be working. Well, so it is with magick. By learning the grammar—the grimoire—you will be able to not only make yourself understood (to the elements, the spirits, the animals, trees, plants, and all other aspects of nature—plus, of course, to other Wizards) , but you will be able to show that you are fluent in the language—that you are a master of it. This translates into becoming a master Wizard; a magician recognized by his peers (those of equal standing) as competent and knowledgeable.
In so many subjects in everyday school, you sometimes find yourself wondering “Why do I have to learn this?” “What use is this to anyone?” You resist doing the work, the study, the homework. But with the Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard, all that is changed! You will find yourself eagerly looking forward to the next step, and the one after that, and the one after that! Study will become a joy. You won’t want to stop. Imagine learning such things as Foundations of Magick, Magickal Skills, The Soul of Nature, Tools of Magick, Wizardly Regalia, Spellcraft, Conjury, Magickal Bestiary, and so on and so on. What wonderful titles! What wonderful subjects! Wortcunning; Mathemagicks; Skrying. New words and ancient teachings. This is not just a book about Wizardry; it’s a book of Wizardry!
Let this book take you on a journey. It opens on Wizardry—concerning Wizards, becoming a Wizard, foundations of magick, magickal skills, etc. It introduces you to ideas and concepts, then leads you along the secret path that wends its way through the sometimes fearsome appearing trees of the forest of ancient knowledge. Along the way you learn that all is not as it seems. What many people take as frightening, or scary, you will learn to be safe, inspiring, and power-enabling. The path through the woods goes on and on, but the deeper it goes, the more interesting you will find it. This is a little like venturing into the Forbidden Forest near Hogwarts. That is a place where “secrets are kept and mysteries can be unraveled.”1 There will be temptations along the way, yes. There will appear to be some short-cuts. But where do they really lead? The safest route is with your guides; with the Grey Council. You will not be led astray. Stay on the path and do what they suggest. Remember, Hagrid was not afraid of the forest, because he knew it and knew of its inhabitants. So with the Grey Council. We know the safest routes and will guide you safely.
In all the many wonderful and powerful instructions given in this course of Wizardry, there are two things that I would urge you to always bear in mind. The first is to always consider the results of your actions. The second is to accept the responsibility for those actions.
By considering the results of your actions I mean that you should always look ahead to see how what you do might affect other people. You’ve heard of the “domino effect, ” I’m sure. If you stand-up a long line of dominoes, whether in a straight line or a long, curving pattern, when you knock down the first one it will hit against the second which will then fall. In falling, that second one will hit the third, and knock it against the fourth, and so on, until the whole line—no matter how long it is—has been knocked over as a result of your pushing against that first one. This works not only with dominoes but with just about everything. It works with magick too. When you do magick that affects one person, that action may then, in turn, affect a whole number of other people. It might not be obvious, at first, just how this reaction will progress. But that is where the outstanding Wizard shows his superiority. He will have thought through his actions and will ensure that what is designed to work on one person will not adversely affect another. You won’t be doing negative magick—no Wizard worth his pointed hat does negative magick—so there should be little chance of you accidentally harming others. But it always behooves you to think things through.
As to taking responsibility for your actions, that should really be unnecessary to say. We should all, always, take responsibility for what we do. Never try to blame someone else for your mistakes. So if something goes wrong—especially magically—own up to it being your fault and immediately do all that you can to correct it. That is the Wizard’s way.
How powerful can you become? Forget that word “power” if you can. Let’s instead ask, how effective can you become? The answer is, very effective indeed. Let me give you an example. Back in the middle of the twentieth century (yes, this is a little bit of history—but very interesting) Europe was in the throes of a war that was to develop into a world war. It was the second of its kind and would destroy many lives and disrupt most of the world for many generations. In Great Britain, a small band of Witches and Wizards saw the threat of the enemy poised to launch itself across the narrow English Channel and to attack England. A powerful woman magician, whose name was Dion Fortune, organized a magickal program bringing together Britain’s most powerful Witches and Wizards. This program was designed to turn back the advancing tide of the enemy. The group was comprised of the most powerful of a wide variety of types of magickal people. There were Witches, Wizards, magicians, adepts (highly skilled experts) of different traditions. But they all faced a common enemy. They worked together to build a great magickal wall that would not only stop the enemy invasion but would actually turn them away and make them simply stop trying. The magick was performed on a number of occasions, working up to a major effort at one of the most powerful times of the year. The result was that the enemy stopped, turned around, and went away! The war was not over, but the immediate threat of invasion was removed. This was a mighty work of magic. It is to be hoped that you will never have to face such a menace. But know that the magick you are to be taught in this book not only works, but can work powerfully enough to change history!
Welcome to this unique course of magick, and know that you are setting your foot on the first step along the path that will take you out of the ordinary and into the special world of Wizardry.
Nov. 11, 2003
1 The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter, David Colbert (Lumina Press, Wrightsville Beach 2001)
Acclaim for the Author
“I’d heard about Oberon’s diligence in the magickal community since day one as a Witch over 18 years ago. I finally had the joy of meeting this wonderful gentleman and Elder in our community recently, who has obviously filled his life, spirit, and mind with all manner of magickal information, and more importantly, practical applications. The idea of his helping young men along the Path of Beauty is nothing short of brilliant.
“For too long Wicca has been mistaken as being a woman’s art, and indeed many books direct their writings to that audience. In so doing we have cut off the God, and made many men, both young and old, feel isolated and somewhat out of the loop. A book of this nature helps balance our Wheel, with honor, respect and gratitude as guides (not to mention a heaping dose of fun and fulfilling activities) .
“I couldn’t imagine someone more appropriate to write this book than Oberon Ravenheart. I have worked with him personally for over 25 years, and have found him to be an excellent teacher, craftsman, artist, scholar, and general creative genius. The boys who read this book will be lucky to have him as a mentor. His ability to organize information into nifty charts and easy-to-access language remains unequaled in the magickal community.”
“Oberon Zell-Ravenheart is, in my opinion, one of the most intelligent and creative people in modern Paganism. He has been doing this as long or longer than almost anyone else. He has been personally involved with many important historic events in the creation of the Earth-based spirituality that is important to so many people today. And he has the unique distinction of being probably the most influential male in the Goddess movement! He is the perfect man to teach young apprentice Wizards how to find their place in the world. He can help them to use magic in a responsible and respectful way.
“Oberon is a gifted storyteller, a powerful magician, and he is young at heart. He loves what he is doing and he will unselfishly offer to share what he has learned with those who are ready for it. I have known Oberon, or known of him, since 1969, and I am eagerly looking forward to his book and to what I can learn from it! Viva Oberon!”
“I have known Oberon Zell for a number of years and have had the pleasure of being in ritual with him. He is a pioneer, leader, and visionary among Pagans and within the magickal community. One of the founders of the Church of All Worlds, he also pioneered Green Egg, which was the premier Pagan publication. His work contained therein was thought-provoking, scholarly, and challenging.
“Oberon is an experienced writer and Wizard; he will bring years of practice, expertise, and highly principled, scholarly care to this endeavor. It is high time that he began work of this sort, and kudos to Career Press/New Page Books for being the company that enlists him as an author.”
—Dana D. Eilers
“Oberon Zell! Who better to write a young Wizard’s Grimoire than this living legend from the magickal world? Here is the man who recreated living unicorns, who traveled to the remote South Seas in search of genuine mermaids, who created the Church of All Worlds. If there is anyone who can bring magick to life for a million aspiring Wizards, it is Oberon. I recommend him to any publisher who wants to catch the rising tide of youthful interest in benevolent magick.”
“I’m excited to have been asked to contribute to Oberon Zell-Ravenheart’s Handbook for the Apprentice Wizard. There is no more important task than the awakening of wonder, magic and love for the inspirited Earth in the greater culture. And no one more ideal to pull it off than Oberon.
“There is a trend reflected in the interest in Harry Potter and The Ring Trilogy—with boys 8-18 experiencing a growing hunger for things heroic and vital. There’s never been a better opportunity for affecting and inspiring them. They’re looking for alternatives, for role models and inspiriteurs.
“Oberon has the talents as well as experience to make it happen, the way he brought together a church, a movement...and our Grey Council. He awakens a fire in every young person he comes into contact with, having long lived the life of a Wizard not only in image but in service. His enchanting art, writings and talks are themselves a magical manifestation, and his influence on our community is legendary.”
—Jesse Wolf Hardin
Author's Notes: The Third Wish
By Oberon Zell-Ravenheart
When I was a kid, I discovered the legend of the “Three Magic Wishes.” In just about every culture, there are stories about a magick wish-bringer that grants three wishes. It may be the genie of the magic lamp, as in the tale of Aladdin. Or the magic fish in the Grimm Fairy tale. Often it is a ring—from Solomon’s to Tolkein’s. In W.W. Jacobs’ famous short story (1902) , it’s a monkey’s paw. And in an upcoming movie (for which I just saw a preview last night) it's a magick wishing powder.
Sometimes the offer comes from the gods (as Hera, Athena and Aphrodite presented their respective bribes to Paris, resulting in the Trojan War) . And in Christian mythology, the deal is invariably offered by the Devil—starting with the temptation of Jesus (Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2) . The Medieval tale of Faust and Mephistopheles has given rise to modern literary and movie treatments of this theme, such as Terry Pratchett’s “Eric, ” and “Bedazzled” with Brendan Frazer.
In the Bible, Satan offers Jesus first Wealth; then Power; and finally, Fame. J.C. rejects them all, saying, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” But these three objectives remain the primary obsessions of humanity, and the basis of most people’s wishes and pursuits (including those of many preachers and politicians claiming to follow Jesus!) .
“Nine rings were given to the race of Men, who above all things desire Power.” In at least two film treatments that I’ve seen (“The Man Who Could Work Miracles” and “Bruce Almighty” with Jim Carey) , Godlike powers are temporarily granted to a mortal man, with humorously devastating results.
Every version of this story is a “wisdom tale, ” and the obvious lesson is always: “Be careful what you wish for; you may receive it!” Invariably, the protagonist totally ***s up the first two wishes (if not the entire set) , by wishing for wealth, fame and power—and getting them; but with terrible consequences.
In some versions of the story, however, the second and deeper lesson is conveyed, as the protagonist considers more carefully the third and final wish, and finally gets it right: instead of wishing for himself, he wishes for others. And that turns the curse of the three wishes into a blessing.
The purpose of such stories, of course, is to get us all thinking about our own goals, aspirations, and the work of our lives by which we each attempt to manifest what we wish for. This is what magick is all about—manifesting our wishes.
So when I came upon these stories as a kid, I began thinking about that final wish, deciding that it should be my first rather than last. And what I eventually came up with was a wish of ultimate magickal empowerment: “I wish for the full awakening of the psychic potential of every person in the world”—not just for myself. I figgered that there were far more good people than bad people in the world, and this would give us the edge.
Now, every magick-user knows that you can’t just make a wish and then go off and forget about it. You have to conjure it into manifestation by focusing everything in your life and thoughts to that end; to “Make It So!” I came up with this wish about 50 years ago, and virtually everything I have done in my entire life over the past half-century has been wrapped around its manifestation.
Starting in high school, I began writing and publishing thought-provoking articles and editorials, honing my wordsmithing skills so as to be able to reach into the minds and hearts of my readers, and plant seeds of psychic Awakening. To stimulate the opening of the eyes, the shaking of the head, and the looking around that is portrayed so exquisitely in the movie “Pleasantville” (an astonishing parallel of my own hometown and personal history in that era) .
Over the years I became a newsletter and magazine editor and publisher; a husband and father; a schoolteacher and school counselor; a youth and family counselor; a Priest of Gaea; an artist; and a Wizard. I founded a church, articulated a Gaean theology, and helped to launch an entire religious movement—to which I bequeathed the name “Pagan.” In our 30 years together, Morning Glory and I developed liturgy and rituals for small and large groups to awaken the divine within each participant, and we resurrected the ancient Mysteries of Eleusis. In the 1980s, we recreated authentic living Unicorns, and sent them out into the world as the stars of “The Greatest Show on Earth”—to touch the hearts of millions with a dream of hope made flesh.
All of this was in the service of the personal Mission Statement I conceived for myself and my life’s work when I started college in 1961: “To be a catalyst for the coalescence of consciousness.” I have been a meme gardener—cultivating soil, planting seeds, weeding, watering, pruning and nurturing a garden that has grown across the verdant face of Mother Earth.
In the early ‘70s, I expanded my original wish into a Vision of the awakening of planetary consciousness—of Gaea Herself. The Sacred Mission Statement of the Church of All Worlds (which I wrote) became “…to evolve a network of information, mythology and experience to awaken the Divine within and to provide a context and stimulus for reawakening Gaea and reuniting Her children through tribal community dedicated to responsible stewardship and the evolution of consciousness.”
And I have refined that original wish and a lifetime of work into a single word: “Awaken!”
Now I have composed a book to carry this lifelong mission into a new quantum phase: a Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard. It is due to be released in Feb. of 2004. To create it, I convened the Grey Council—elders, teachers, mages and sages of the worldwide magickal community. Several members are part of this Mystery Tribe. Over the past year-and-a-half we have poured into this work the best of our lessons, teachings, wisdom and expertise. One of our members—ceremonial magician Nelson White, a very old and dear personal friend—died just as the text phase was completed.
Combining the concept of the original Boy Scout Handbook with a seven-year junior high- through high school curriculum such as “Hogwarts” would provide, I wrote, wove, and edited all this material into a single 384-page volume of courses, classes, lessons, and exercises. It is profusely illustrated with my own drawings and those of others both ancient and contemporary. Charts, tables, diagrams, glossaries, and appendices make it an essential reference for a lifetime of magickal work and studies.
In short, this is the book I wish I’d gotten hold of when I began my journey as a youth, and had available all these years; and it’s the book I most want to have on my shelf right now. In my next incarnation, I expect to be given a copy upon my first Rite of Passage!
This is the first true Grimoire of the 3rd Millennium, and, like its Medieval predecessors, it is itself an act of magick. We are tailoring it specifically for the “Harry Potter generation, ” where the soil has already been richly cultivated for the planting of these seeds. Through it, I (and the Grey Council) intend to release an entire new generation of Wizards into the world—not just a few, as in times past, but millions. And their impact on the world will be incalculable…
To succeed in this ambitious magickal working, we will need all the help we can get. Together, we can change the world; this Grimoire is a catalyst. Advance copies are already being sold on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1564147118/qid=1072464302/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-9642956-7872042?v=glance&s=books) at a 30% discount ($13.29) . Please order your own copy, then review it and tell others about it! Give it to all the magickids you know—especially for their Rites of Passage. Spread the word—and spread the magick.
Wishes can come true.
So Mote It Be!
Where To Buy: Advance orders may be made at Amazon.com at a 30% discount, until the book is actually released. After that, it will be available at all bookstores and retail outlets, or directly from author at www.MythicImages.com
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