What's with the Name Wizard Academy?
Are You Guys a Cult, or What?
Sigh… We get asked that question a lot.
No, we don't have anything to do with witches, warlocks, séances, Harry Potter or Halloween. We're simply a school of the communication arts.
Our mission is to improve the creative thinking and communication skills of educators, ministers, authors, inventors, journalists, business owners, architects, artists and musicians. Not surprisingly, a lot of salespeople, public relations professionals, internet consultants and ad writers are attracted to our school as well.
Any student of language will tell you that “wizard” simply means “wise man.” A person who cowers is a coward. A person always drunk is a drunkard. A person who is dull is a dullard. A person who is wise is a wisard.
Since the “s” is pronounced as a “z,” it came to be spelled with a “z.”
Any person who gathers and catalogs information so that he or she might be able to give good advice at critical times is a wise-ard, or wizard. The insights they provide might seem like magic, but they're merely the result of careful investigation fueled by curiosity.
Arthur C. Clarke describes the function of wizards in his famous Three Laws of Technology:
“1. When a scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently developed technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
At Wizard Academy we push the boundaries of what is known. From these efforts emerge insight, knowledge and new technologies. It only seems like magic.
Sadly, the translators of the 1611 King James Bible opted to use the word “wizard” throughout the Old Testament to describe persons who speak to demons or the dead. Please know that we neither practice nor teach these things at Wizard Academy.
Now before you get all holier-than-thou and say something silly like, “If the King James Bible was good enough for the apostle Paul, it's good enough for me,” remember: these same King James translators used the word “spirit” to describe a frightening apparition, (Matthew 14:26) and “ghost” to describe the presence of God. (Matthew 1:20 and throughout the New Testament.) Today these words have precisely the opposite meanings, do they not? Ghost is the frightening apparition and Spirit is the presence of God.
Remember John Milton of Paradise Lost? Barely 21 years old, Milton stayed up all night on Christmas Eve in 1629 to write On the Morning of Christ's Nativity. It was the first thing he ever wrote. This is the fourth stanza:
“See how from far upon the eastern road
The star-led wisards haste with odours sweet:
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his blessed feet.
Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the angel quire,
From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire.”
Obviously, Milton was speaking of the magi (magicians) or “wise men” spoken of in Matthew chapter two who somehow knew that star to be a sign that Christ had been born. These wise men, or wizards, received no annunciation from an angelic choir. The angels appeared to “shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night,” remember?
Yet not only did these wisards know that Christ had been born, they knew exactly what gifts to bring: Gold, the gift given to a king, Frankincense, burned as an offering to God, and Myrrh, resin harvested from the skin of the commiphora tree, used to embalm the bodies of the dead. The wise men believed that this newborn baby was king, that he was God, and that he was born to die.
And they came to worship him.
Here's the exact passage from the King James Bible:
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, 'Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him…' And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” – Matthew chapter 2, King James Bible, translated in 1611
Roy H. Williams
PS – Why did I write this in October?
1. Because I'm currently seeing Halloween decorations in every store I enter and they keep me in constant remembrance of that endless parade of people who visit the campus for weddings each week and ask, “So what, exactly, do you Wizard people teach? What do y'all believe in?”
2. We're currently carving The Journey of the Wise Men through the woods of the Wizard Academy campus. This Thanksgiving-to-Christmas guide-led Journey will conclude at a dripping-with-white-Christmas-lights Chapel Dulcinea where the journeyer will encounter Joseph and Mary surrounding a manger from which beams of light explode into the evening sky. Meanwhile, the immortal Karen Carpenter will sing He Came for Me, the most magical and haunting Christmas song ever written. Ron Nelson, the song's composer, is scheduled to be our guest at the next Advanced Thought Particles encounter.
Do you know where the wise men came from in the East?
And why did they know what the star meant, but didn't know that the messiah was to be born in Bethlehem? Yes, the world's greatest researcher (just one of my many titles) has found the answers for you.