Classical Education

“The first and foundational purpose of education is not external but internal:
it is to make the little human a little more human, bigger on the inside.”
(–Peter Kreeft, “What is Classical Education?”)

“Wizard” literally means “wise one,” and wizardry (i.e., “wisdom”) implies no particular religious affiliation. Philosophers (literally, “lovers of wisdom”), scientists, inventors, professors, royal counselors and visionary geniuses have all been called wizards—as have the founding prophets of the world’s great religions.

Rooted in the traditions of Western culture from Greco-Roman or “Classical” antiquity, the Classical Education curriculum of the “Seven Liberal Arts” of the Trivium and the Quadrivium, was invented by Plato; developed during the Middle Ages; and systematized during the Renaissance. The goal was to provide a comprehensive framework for the teaching of all human knowledge.

The first known school of philosophy (meaning “love of wisdom”) was Plato’s Academy in Athens, founded in 385 BCE. Plato was Socrates’ greatest student. Later, in 335 BCE, Aristotle opened his Peripatetic (“traveling”) philosophical school at the Athens Lyceum. Other “Mystery Schools” were founded by Pythagoras (mathemagicks) and others. In fact, all early schools and academies were really exclusive “Mystery Schools,” and in that very mystique lay their appeal. It is this appeal the Grey School is seeking to revive.

The Trivium
In the Grey School, the Classical Trivium is accomplished in the first three levels. In this section, students learn the basic skills of language, thought, and description, all applied in a magickal context.
• Level 1: GRAMMAR: Speak it (think)
Students learn about the hidden Language of Magick in addition to learning the mysteries of communicating in each Department of study.
• Level 2: LOGIC: Do it (reason)
These are hands-on classes. Here, students learn ‘How To’s of magick in practical applications from each Department – and to recognize fallacies of thought, along the way.
• Level 3: RHETORIC: Explain it (persuade)
Students actively participate in the persuasive arts, exploring magickal ideas of communication in addition to the theory and history of your specific field of interest.

The traditional Tripos is an interview examination between the Trivium and Quadrivium with approval required for advancement.

The Quadrivium
In the traditional Classical Education model for the Quadrivium, first the subject is studied alone (Numbers, for example). Then we study the subject in space, or place so, geometry becomes Numbers in space. Music is Number in time, and Cosmology is number in space and time.

Quadrivium courses offered in Grey School provide a grounded Classical Education in history, mythology, geography, mathematics, literature, natural history, general science, astronomy, chemistry, physics, zoology, botany, and even Latin. The performing arts are included as well, with classes in poetry, music, theater, and illusion ~ all from a magickal perspective. The wonderful thing is, with the mystique of enrolling in a magickal “School of Wizardry,” our students eagerly study all these subjects which might bore them to tears if they were asked to take them in a mundane school!

Colleges of the Quadrivium:
Grey School students choose from 16 different departments of magickal study, and each has a place in the upper level Colleges of the Grey School Quadrivium. While each Department offers classes in all 7 levels, the classes within each Department are also arranged by level according to the traditional progression.

College of COSMOLOGY ~ includes Departments of
Mathemagicks (the subject is number)
Performance Magicks (including geometric perspective, or, number in space)
Bardic Arts & Lore (encompassing music, or, number in time)
Cosmology (number in space/time)

College of NATURAL PHILOSOPHY ~ includes Departments of
Natural Philosophy (subject = nature)
Wortcunning (nature in place)
Beast Mastery (nature in time)
Healing (nature in space/time)

College of WIZARDRY ~ includes Departments of
Lifeways (personal development)
Psychic Arts ( in place)
Wizardry (pers. dev. in time)
Alchemy (pers. dev. in space/time)

College of PRACTICE ~ includes Departments of
Magickal Practice (subject = practice)
Ceremonial Magick (practice in place)
Divination (practice in time)
Dark Arts (practice in space/time)

Wisdom Teachings
From Classical times through the Renaissance, no distinction existed between scientific and magickal studies. Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), described in his own day as a “natural philosopher,” is generally regarded as the first “true scientist.” His research also led him to become known as the last true Alchemist, a Rosicrucian, and one of the great Wizards of history.

In the tradition of Isaac Newton and the many generations of Wizards and Natural Philosophers going back to Classical times, the Grey School teaches all subjects, ancient and modern, in the larger context of “Wisdom Teachings.” The Grey School curriculum expounds the ubiquity of magick in the mundane arts and sciences. It is a holistic view as held by Newton himself, and today, modern theories in quantum mechanics bring scientific discussion back into the realms of probabilities, magick and mystery.

For more than 2,000 years, traditional Classical Education sought to reach beyond teaching mere information, data, and facts. It was an ultimate quest for Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. The purpose of school was instilling values, perspective, insight, vision…in a word, wisdom. Our modern public system has lost track of such concerns. Science and technology have given us awesome and terrible powers, but no consideration of how to use them, and for what purpose. This is what wisdom is about: consideration of the consequences.

The ultimate objective of the Grey School is to train new generations in the “Wisdom of the Ages,” and send them forth into the world to apply that wisdom in service to the issues and concerns of today and tomorrow.

The CiRCE Institute (Christian),
Classical Conversations, Inc. by founder, Leigh Bortins,
The Classical Education Movement,
Core Knowledge Foundation (secular),
Expanding Wisdom website and blog,
The Grey School of Wizardry,
Isaac Newton’s Occult Studies,’s_occult_studies
“A New Trivium and Quadrivium,” Dr. George Bugliarello (Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, Vol. 23, No. 2, 106-113 (2003)).
The Society for Classical Learning,
The Tapestry of Grace curriculum (Christian), by Marcia Somerville et al. (Lampstand Press, Ltd.)
“What is Classical Education?” by Peter Kreeft (secular and Christian),
“What is Classical Education?” by Susan Wise Bauer, The Well-Trained Mind (secular),

adapted from the article: Classical Education for Grey School of Wizardry
by Oberon Zell, Headmaster, Grey School of Wizardry
and Anne Duthers, Dean of Students, Grey School of Wizardry
published in Green Egg magazine, May 2016