grokrathegreen: Restoring degraded land. (Default)
As my main target audience is folks who are already in the know on John Michael Greer's writing, and my sense of the term 'Green Wizard' has come out of his writing, I didn't say what a Green Wizard actually is. I did leave a link to the post where Greer initially introduces the idea, but then decided it would be good to add to Greer's sense of the concept my own two cents.

"In ancient times, a wizard was actually a freelance intellectual whose main stock in trade was good advice, supported by a thorough education in agriculture, navigation, political and military science, languages, commerce, mathematics, medicine, and the natural sciences - in essence, the true Renaissance man."

Though actual historic wizards were often interested in the magical lore of their respective cultures, its not the defining characteristic. Nor is the mere fact of being educated, as there were then specialists in the various topics at that time, and there we are ever more troubled with specialists in our current era. Indeed a wizard, in this sense, is marked by their wide ranging curiosity and the breath of their education; for our own era this implies a vast degree in distinctiveness, as so great is the breadth of topics to study, that any attempt to sample widely will collect a unique managery of interests. Also the knowledge of a wizard is actionable, a wizard whose spells cannot actually do anything is hardly worthy of the title.

For the professional wizard the ability to personally apply their education to the world is an important practical concern; it is nearly impossible to make a living as a teacher or advisory specifically with out falling into one of two traps. Either one must seek sponsorship from one of various government or private sponsors -and their money comes on strings, strings that can very easily get tangled around ones neck!- or one must target your teaching to the idle, bored, and curious people of means, and become a petite celebrity. Though both of these options pay the bills for various specialists I know, the effectiveness of such paths at effecting the word often come to ruin, bound by the same tethers that the patrons wear. Therefore it is necessary that a wizard seeking to affect change be willing and able to labor as the worker of the ideas they carry, thereby one can receive compensation for the work, which means one can take clients who are not of the idle class, but those who seek do realize results; also a working wizard is advantaged by the fact that ones ideas are generally lies until one has tested then in the real world, and laboring to do them oneself is the ultimate feed back. What separates the wiz from the purely manual laborer is that they are the dreamer, inventor, crafter, and worker in one. Many a jack of all trades is a wiz in the context of their world; but mastery require more than knowing how to do something, and being able to do it; wizardry is primarily separated in the education to know what to do and why it is to be done. 

If you look back at the quoted list above, those skills include the liberal arts, that is to say the topics of education for a person who is self-directed in the world. And now having pointed in the direction of what a wizard might be, I can return to the titular question, what makes a wizard green? Merely actionable, machine knowledge, is the education on how the achieve a given goal. To achieve a given goal one need merely apply actionable knowledge. But the liberal arts are the part of an education that does the much more difficult thing, producing a goal. The difficulty in producing a goal, in contrast to producing a result, is that while a result is based on the goals, materials, tools, and skills, the goal itself is based on values. And what the defining values are is a wizard of a different color.

For the purposes of this blog a Green wizard is to be marked by their values, and talking about those values will be a perennial topic. Other writers could do well as defining a green wizard by ganja, greed, nausea, or envy if it suited their goals; to list some potential associations with the color which don't happen to be topical to my project. The emblematic use of green, for me is in the context of the color of a lush landscape. 

A Green Wizard is a wizard who is particularly focused on the relationship between their own livelihood, and by extension their clients and colleagues, with the greater living world. There are challenging ethical, religious, philosophical, and aesthetic questions which stand to be faced at the higher levels of Green Wizardry. In the mid levels there are certain extant traditions of knowledge, which can allow a Green Wizard to think clearly about the present and potential health of their living environment, and how their own livelihood relates to that health. But before diving further down those rabbit holes of wonder, I am going to go back to basics of showing the results of some basic Green Wizardry spells in the Grimmore.

In the next post you will meet Bregalad, summoned in response to the challenges of transportation in making a living as a Green Wizard.

grokrathegreen: Restoring degraded land. (Default)
As a child, playing fantasy games with friends, I always wanted to be the wizard. The magical one who understood mysteries only guessed at by his more worldly fellows, and commanded uncomprehended powers thereby. It was the archetype any nerd is apt to try out as a mirror. For the longest time it was nothing but a vague theme in what fiction and gaming roles I favored, until I came across a series of posts from the Archdruid Report on 'Green Wizardry', which made me realize that there was a real practicable livelihood that was reflected in the fancy of fictional and mythic wizards.

At the time I was introduced to the concept, I was holding on to one sense of identity and purpose which was rapidly disintegrating. Having left academia and the dream of becoming a philosophy professor, after finding academia to be an unsuitable environment, I was following a dream of starting an independent philosophy school, on a self sufficient farm, ideally in the Pacific North West. As I traveled and learned the ropes of basic farming and gardening, and tasted the various social scenes of different wwoof communities, I was dimly becoming aware of flaws in my vision. A snap shop of who I was at that time can be found in this, my first comment on the Archdruid Report, from 2011:

Shortly after that post, the various vague spirits whispering warning into the dimly lit alleys of my mind found an image to impress upon my soul the naivety of trying to live an idealistic country life running contrary to the cultural stream around me; the image being based in the film Jean de Florette. A French film, well worth watching for artistic value and excellent acting, about an idealist man's attempt to return to a country life, based on an abstracted understanding of agriculture, and the tragedy that follows from his failure to correctly integrate into the region. Too clearly I could recognize myself in Jean, and over a few months the impact of that film worked over me, dissolving my mental blockages against doubt in my all to similar dream. This dream thereby dissolving, left me like a plowed field, ready for the seeds of new visions to germinate.

Thereby the detour into who I was returns to Green Wizardry, which quickly took root and established a canopy over that bare soil. As much as I had learned about the difficulty of building the social relations needed for a separatist community project, I had learned more about the natural aptitude I had for riding the currents of the extant sub cultures, and for making a niche for my self as an experimenter of potentially sustainable modes of livelihood. Years of drifting and trial and error lead from that point to where I was last week when I resolved to start writing a Green Wizard Grimmore.

I found myself with a gig ranch sitting an up and coming property being developed along agroforstry and rotational grazing lines; working as a harvester for an intensive organic vegetable farm; working on my electric bicycle, my model of a transitory mode of transportation in sprawled out rural areas; stepping over the parts for a half finished solar dehydrator; tending an acre of hand cultivated staple crops; fire mitigating a friend's off the grid homestead; recruiting for a solar hot water mutual aid group; and coordinating a set of octi-annual folk-sustainability events. I realized that unlike the ideals I have held for myself in the past, which each existed in a comfortably distant future, freelance Green Wizardry was something that I have been actively living as my real livelihood for a couple years now. That being the case, I resolved that a good step to further level my self up as a wizard, and to serve the greater wizarding community I should write a grimmore.

'Grimmore' is a word for 'spell book' which alliterates well with 'green', and this blog is intended to be a guide to what I am doing in green wizardry, and lessons and observations learned. 'How to Guides' and 'What not to do' guides, based on things that I am actively trying will be shared as spells. Every D&D player knows that 'spells' are the powers a Wizard has to affect their reality; for my purposes doing a discrete project of green wizardry to completion counts as a spell. In addition to active spells, I have a lot to say about the theory behind the practice of Green Wizardry. This is meant as a continuation and expansion of Greer's origional project. Guest posts would be welcome from others trying to level up in the same tradition, or from Green Rangers, Green Druids, Green Bards, and other paths which would form natural allies to a Green Wizard on their quest.


grokrathegreen: Restoring degraded land. (Default)
Ray Wharton

May 2018

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