For those who aren't aware, the Grey School is on online school of magickal studies and arcane lore. We teach practice and knowledge in the GS-- not religion. In addition to the Pagans you'd expect to see in a magickal school, we also have Christians, Muslims, Jews, and other practitioners of "mainstream" religion. In fact, this is one of the things our school prides itself on, i.e., honoring diversity via a shared, respectful understanding. We even ask new students to take classes in magickal ethics, focusing on these ideas.
The school itself is pretty cool. We have an international student body of around 800 and an international staff and faculty of some three dozen. Students can study virtually any magickal topic in the Grey School, from herbalism to astrology to the Tarot to magickal toolmaking to lore and comparative mythology to archaeology and archaeoastronomy. As part of a class, a student might create a labyrinth; make, consecrate, and use a set of runes; study Latin or another foreign language; explore ancient texts; build a sundial; or learn to brew herbal infusions, dedoctions, and tinctures-- and these are only a few examples of what the school offers in some 450+ classes.
This year's most exciting Grey School Conclave was held in France. I'd hoped to go, but a series of unfortunate circumstances not only left me unable to make it (insert tragically sad face here) but also faced with having a Conclave-free summer for the first time since 2006! (insert tragically sad face here) That just wouldn't do.... So, I chatted up with some fellow GS Conclavians, and we tossed together the first-ever GS "urban Conclave," with home base right here at my house.
Cartlandia food carts gave us some additional urban street cred, as did trips by a few members to Powells Books and the Willamette Jet Boats on Sunday. (The Jet Boats turned out to include a mini ghost tour. Who knew? Plus you get to go really fast and get wet!) All in all, it was a great time and fulfilled my need to Conclave. Even more important, it's always fun to hang out with my fellow/ette magickal beings, where it's perfectly normal to talk about astral travel or work with a new divination deck or practice telepathy. Good times....