Welcome to the Grey School of Wizardry: real life Dumbledore's Harry Potter haven
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Many of us were left crestfallen when the much vied for Hogwarts letter never dropped into our letter box at age eleven. But for empty handed Potter fanatics Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, the real life Dumbledore, offers an alternative: a place at the Grey School of Wizardry! The Grey School was incorporated as a non-profit educational institution in the State of California in 2005 has since opened its doors to wannabe wizards from across the globe. Currently The Grey School takes even the most far flung sorcerers and has pupils in 42 countries—including 43 in the UK. After delving into the enchanting world of Harry Potter, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart alongside his wife Morning Glory and a team of skilled sages and mages decided to make our Hogwarts dreams a reality. We sat down with Oberon to find out more about the Grey’s School of Wizardry. What first inspired you to create the Grey School of Wizardry? Well, I was actually inspired to create such a school clear back in 1962, when the “X-Men” comics first premiered! The idea of a “School for Gifted Youngsters”—especially those gifted with psychic abilities, etc — appealed to me greatly. So much so that I studied all the experimental theories of the time and later earned a teaching certificate and taught in public school for several years. And then came Harry Potter. I hadn’t noticed the books early on, but in Dec. of 2001 my wife and I were invited to give a presentation about real-life Witchcraft and Wizardry. After the talk, we all went to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Morning Glory and I still were in our full magickal regalia, but many of the kids were also wearing cloaks and pointy hats. The first thing that came to me was that many of the kids in this audience are going to be inspired to become Witches and Wizards themselves. And I thought, how can I, as a practicing Wizard, offer something to help? You see, throughout the venture, I have had in the back of my mind the image of Merlin teaching young Arthur what he needed to know to become High King of England. Somewhere out there, I know there are new generations of Arthurs, Lukes, and “X-Men” who, with the right mentoring, will be able to realize their destiny towards shaping the world into a better place. In your essay Esoteric Education: Restoring the Wonder you talk about how many students feel disenchanted with education. Why do you think this is, and what do you think can be done to counter this trend? Well, as I said in that essay, education was once considered a rare privilege to be earned or granted, a dream to fulfill, a goal to achieve. Schools were seen as repositories of esoteric knowledge that would unlock the keys to the universe, and the secrets to success. Whereas now, in an era of universal education, 60% of American high school graduates cannot find their own country on an unmarked globe of the world! Pop Culture has supported disdain for education; consider that a terminally depressing song — “The Wall,” by Pink Floyd, with the dismal refrain, “We don’t need no education” — became the hit of a decade, and the theme song of an entire generation! I believe that the entirely laudable demand and trend towards a universal education diluted the mystique of learning itself. When a thing is available to everyone and mandated by law, it ceases to be regarded as something special; it becomes “common.” What is needed today, I believe, is to restore the wonder and mystique that once surrounded the very idea of education. And that’s what we’ve done with the Grey School of Wizardry.
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