An Interview/Review…more or less.
Hi! It’s me again, K’Nita Skooter, reporting for the *Mandrakefields News Journal… I recently had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing some of the wonderful folks at Mandrake Academy. As I entered the grounds, I heard an eery voice whisper in my ear; “Surrounded by rolling fields and emerald-green woods, with enchanted stone walls and mystical creatures roaming the grounds, the Mandrake campus welcomes you as its newest initiate….” A bit spooky really, when you think about it. ((shiver))
I was handed a brochure upon arriving with the following information: Welcome to Mandrake Academy–where you are the student, and tarot is the teacher. You will meet your professors in the Major Arcana cards, other students in the minor arcana. Don’t be surprised when you meet the elemental beings (the court cards) that guard the school. A word of caution, Do not antagonize these creatures, they can be unpredictable.
Illustrated by John J. Blumen
Published by Llewellyn Worldwide
Greetings one and all and thank you for joining me today as I will be speaking with a few of the fine folk here at the renowned Mandrake Academy. The Academy, as you may know, specializes in teaching young initiates in the art of Magic. Studies are concentrated on four main schools of magic-fire, water, air, and earth. I hope to be able to meet some of the professors as well as students during my visit. My guide today will be Queen of the Witches, aka The World. I do hope she isn’t running late, there is a LOT of ground to cover, after all. Ahhh, here she comes now.
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. I know you have a very busy schedule, and my readers really do appreciate your agreeing to this interview and tour. Shall we begin?
I understand that you began your magical career here at the academy as a young initiate, and I can see that your accessories denote the achievements of your studies. Can you tell me about them?
Queen of Witches: “I would be happy to. My crown is a wreath of wisdom and resembles a victory wreath. It is held together by ribbons in the shape of a lemniscate, a figure 8 which is sometimes called the symbol of infinity. My gauzy scarf represents three milestones in the journey of life: a swaddling cloth for a newborn, a veil for a bride, and a shroud for a corpse.”
Lovely, just lovely, thank you. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a young man creeping across the grounds carrying what looks to be swords. Can you tell me what he is doing? It looks very dangerous. I can’t imagine what lesson he could be learning.
Queen of Witches: “Yes I saw him too; (she grins) so obviously he has not yet mastered his lesson in stealth. You never know when you may need the ability to blend into your surroundings. He is learning how to use his environment as well as magic, for the desired effect. He must learn to use other tools available, like his dark cloak and the fog that is swirling around him.”
Yes, I can see where that might come in handy. I understand that you have some Royalty on the grounds. I saw a very interesting looking Knight as I passed by the lake. Would you care to discuss the Royals and their roles here?
Queen of Witches: “Ahh yes, the Royal Guardian Courts. The members of the specific courts are dedicated to their elemental guardianships, and they take their roles very seriously. As you mentioned earlier, there are four main schools of magic study that is taught here. The Knight you mentioned is an undine and as you can guess, he is only concerned with Water Magic and the emotional side of things.
The fiery, lizard-like salamanders are the elemental guardians of Fire Magic. The realm of Air Magic is ruled by fairy-like creatures called sylphs, and the Earth Magic is governed by a race of troll-like gnomes.
And for Merlin’s sake, please don’t make the mistake of confusing any particular elemental court with another, they are quite sensitive about this.”
Thanks for the tip, I will certainly keep that in mind. Now, I would like to bring up a potentially touchy subject that in recent months, there has been an increase of partying going on involving some Mandrake students. Would you care to comment?
Queen of Witches: “No actually I would not, but since you have tactlessly brought up these ugly rumors, I guess I had better try and set the record straight. Someone from the nearby village, who doesn’t appreciate the art of magic, and who shall remain nameless, started this rumor after witnessing a group of young ladies working together on a water magic assignment. The liquid in question was simply some pumpkin juice they were toasting to their continued success in their studies. And that is all I have to say on that subject.”
I had hoped to meet and speak with some of the professors, but I guess they are all just too busy.
Queen of Witches: “Yes I’m afraid so. We are always in a bit of a dither welcoming new students and promoting the existing students to their next level of study. But, I will give you a copy of our student handbook which includes portraits of all the professors and their titles, as well as a section on the Royalty, and students demonstrating their chosen disciplines. Also included in the handbook, you will find practical applications for each lesson, numerous exercises, (spreads) and lots of other useful information on magic charms and key symbols. In addition to the elemental dignities of the four disciplines, there are also tables throughout on astrological associations and time calculations.
Now, if you will excuse me, I really must return to my duties, I’m afraid they never end. Just when I think I’ve completed a task, it seems I’m just beginning all over again. Ta’Ta.”
Then, in the blink of an eye and a smell of acrid smoke up my nose, she was gone. Please join me in thanking the Queen of Witches for taking time out of her busy schedule to have this little chat. Lets take a moment now to look through the handbook and take a peek at some of the staff, shall we?
- The Magician – Professor of Basic Magic
- The Empress – Professor of Herbal Magic
- The Chariot – Professor of Astral Travel
- The High Priestess – Professor of Divination
- The Moon – Professor of Lunar Magic
- Strength – Professor of Familiar Creatures
- Judgement – Proctor of Final Exams
- The Hierophant – Professor of Mythology
Thank you for joining me on this interesting and informative journey into the lives of those at Mandrake Academy This is K’Nita Scooter, reporting for Mandrakefields News Journal, and I hope you have been enlightened. Ta’Ta! ((wink))
*Mandrakefields News Journal is obviously a made-up newspaper and (a shameless use of the name of the esteemed academy) the only one that would hire K’Nita Scooter as a budding journalists. Any resemblance to an actual journalist is purely coincidental. No students, professors, or magical creatures were harmed in the writing of this article.*