Is it a coincidence that Ned and Catelyn have five “trueborn” children, and thus, with their parents make a family of seven? I don’t think so. Can we map them? Perhaps not so easily, but we can make guesses:
Father and Mother – these two are easy enough because they are so darn straightforward. Warrior – can there be any doubt it is Robb? Maid? The same must be said of Sansa. That leaves Crone, Smith and Stranger. There is only one female left – what does Arya tell us about the nature of the Crone or vice versa – surely she seeks wisdom and many of her decisions demonstrate wisdom. There is much and more here to study. That leaves Bran and Rickon – and the Smith and the Stranger. Rickons anger, his un-know-a-bility, his angry black direwolf lead me to the conclusion he represents the Stranger. Bran – ever blocked in his desire to be a warrior must somehow learn to build. I read some promo note about “the Wall is broken” in book 6. That would be something different – and who better than Bran the builder (little b) to restore it?

This prediction seems like an easy one to make, Gendry embodies the essence of the Smith. And since Martin likes to use well understood themes, I feel fairly certain Gendry will reforge the sword that was broken – will – I don’t know – get spell support or learn the spell from Thoros, or Melisandre, or the dragon fire will be needed, or both of the above. However the details work out, Gendry will reforge Ice from the two pieces Tywin Lannister broke it into. And it will be the true flaming sword that Jon Snow will wield as Azor Ahai reborn. Will he have to temper it in Melisandre? Daenerys? Arya? I’m sure I don’t know.

I think I have read the Song of Ice and Fire enough times to put on my prognosticating hat. Since it isn’t really possible to prognosticate Harry Potter any more, and since I bet an awful lot of the Song of Ice and Fire readers were Harry Potter readers I hope they will forgive me that I repurpose this blog to something I can prognosticate about. hehehe

Well, it has been a while. I feel like I have digested Harry Potter a good bit and have done some other reading as well. In a similar genre I am on my second reading of George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire. Like the Potter saga, this one is apparently intended to run to 7 volumes – 5 already written.

On another website – capricious spirits – I’ve done some musing about numbers. In the same way that it seems that Rowling’s writings give clues to many areas of mystical knowledge (the elements, Tarot, numerology), the Martin books seem to have some things to say about numbers. In particular, 2, 3 and 7.

Two: The universal aspect of 2 seems to be most strongly conveyed in the R’hllor myth. The Lord of light embodying fire, life, light, goodness. The un-nameable Other death, darkness and cold. The two eternally struggle for dominion. I can think of a number of real world cases where a philosophy based on this same eternal struggle serves as the context for violent struggles which often seem more about power than religion. I’ll let that sit and try to return to it.

Three: The three headed dragon is harder for me to sort out but threes appear over and over in the Danerys story line. three blood riders, three attendants, three dragons, three slaver cities. Rather than being in opposition, the three notion seems to be bound up with a thing that is one in concept, but in fact consists of three different, but similar manifestations.

Seven: The number seven appears repeatedly but most clearly in the seven gods or seven faces of the god of Westeros. Three are male: Father, Warrior, Smith; three female: Crone, Mother, Maiden; the last, the Stranger, is ambivalent, both, either, neither.

I’ll attempt to return and elaborate after some further consideration.

My friend is going back over the series now and had some thoughts about Snape and some other items we discussed. Snape’s apparent animosity to Harry can be explained by Dumbly-dore telling him to intentionally distance himself from Harry so as to give the “dark side” no reason to further suspect Snape. Later explanations to children notwithstanding the sickness of the wizard society, and its members, can be explained as stagnancy resulting from a society of long-lived members only recently removed (150 years?) from Wizard Council rule. environmental pressures (muggles) are causing the wizarding world to diminish. how many giants are left in Britain, did you say? the reason dark wizards are often returned to society with no or light punishment is that, if light totally triumphed over ”dark”, the way voldemort envisioned his triumph, the world would be as surely destroyed. Some balance must be maintained and neither side must ever gain an overwhelming advantage over the other. Perhaps only a few wizards are aware of this fact. The reason life isn”t as cherished in the wizarding world is that death isn”t always death, permanent injury isn”t often permanent and it has always been thus. It doesn”t help that the fertile imaginations of children, combined with training, often allows for more powerful incantations. In history, children often make the best warriors (in the muggle world, as well) mumbling diminishment, also, a driving reason for the move towards accepting muggle-born wizards and anyone (at Hogwarts) that can do magic. As well as the Monsters are People too, movement. Harry was left at the dursleys, not only for his protection, or to be raised away from his celebrity status, but because he would not raised with the same prejudices as wizard-born. Even Ron had those prejudices. continues mumbling

We’ve started to receive comments based on the 7th book’s release and are anxious to jump right in ourselves. In the interest of not spoiling the book for those who have not finished, we want to alert you that you MAY find spoilers in the comments pages, so if you have not finished book 7 and want to avoid spoilers, don’t jump to the individual post pages where you MAY find spoilers.

I just got back from holidays to find a few comments in moderation which were real. I don’t know if any others out there run blogs but I get all kinds of spam posts, probably in a ratio of about 50 spam comments to each real one. It was good to see some real comments, thanks guys.

While on vacation the whole family took in the new movie and we are all excited about the new book, as I’m sure many of you are too. We’ll be at the local Barnes and Noble come Friday night and will have a great time with our many potter fan neighbors. Last time our B&N had actors portraying Hagrid, Snape, Dumbledore, McGonnegal. I hope you all have lots of fun with it like we will. 

I read this crazy little post on myspace which I commented about in For the Record – random predictions about book 7, and that got me to thinking about the locket. If it is at Grimmauld Place, then Harry will have Slytherin’s locket, and if he inherits from Dumbledore, as everyone suggests, he will have Marvelo’s ring, and will have had or destroyed all the items Voldemort had as his heritage, Harry will have “inherited” Slytherin’s treasures.

Is part of what Voldemort accidentally gave to Harry the “magic” of being the heir of Slytherin? There is something in the balance of having 3 Voldemort items (diary, ring, locket) with destroyed Horcruxes on one side and horcruxes of the other 3 founder’s items on the other.

As I noted in the previous post, while considering a post I had read on the card “the lightning struck tower” which appears in book 6 (Professor Trelawney read the card) it occured to me that this is card number 16 from the major arcana of the Tarot. Turning this over in my mind, I wondered what other tarot cards might have appeared in the series. A post in another blog drew my attention to the appearance of “the hanged man” card number 12. I cannot recall what lead me to connecting Harry’s age with the cards, but once I did, I mapped out cards 11-17 and felt I had found a sort of strong connection between the books and these cards.

Expanding on these thoughts further, I wondered whether there might be some sort of tie-in between the cards whose numbers match the volume number of the series, which also matches Harry’s year in Hogwarts. I’ve been re-reading the series to see how well these connections hold up.

Re-reading and recalling the books, I find that for my own purposes, the strand matching Harry’s age with the cards yields a connection so strong that I feel almost certain that they are a part of the underlying symbolic structure of the work, taken as a whole. Now my reasoning is not exactly objective here – I’ve come up with a theory and I find such compelling evidence that I believe it? Hardly making a great case for anyone else. The connection between cards 1-6 and their respective volumes is also fairly strong, but not nearly as strong, in my mind as the connections with cards 11-16.

Then I wandered farther out on the limb – if part of the basis for the storyline is to be found in the cards, could, perhaps, Ms. Rowling be using the books to teach the Tarot and fundamentals of other branches of “magical” knowledge. In addition to the Tarot, we have, quite possibly, a primer to the elements. I’m only a casual tarot reader, but finding these connections, I see that I have a much better grasp of this subset of cards from the larger deck. If it was her intent to teach this bit of divination, then I owe Ms. Rowling my thanks yet again – after all the thanks I owe her for a highly entertaining and enthralling story – these most recent thanks for expanding my knowledge of cards which I already used from time to time as a tool for meditation.

As in the previous post – here are those cards, with their number and overly brief descriptions of their meanings. Those of you who really do understad the Tarot please forgive my simplistic understanding of them. To see cards you may consider acquiring a deck (I have returned to a deck I used long ago, the Tarot of the Witches and a Polish deck Tarot Magow) or you may find the user submitted designs on aeclectic.net to be useful.

1: The Magician – Skill, Magic
2: The High Priestess: Wisdom, Learning
3: The Empress: Feminine Progress, Action
4: The Emperor: Accomplishment, Leadership
5: The Hierophant: Mercy, Humility, Kindness
6: The Lovers: Love, Beauty
7: The Chariot: Turmoil, Vengeance, Trouble and Adversity

11: Strength: Strength, Courage
12: The Hanged Man: Life in Suspension
13: Death: Transformation, Unexpected Change
14: Temperance: Moderation, Compromise, Patience
15: The Devil: Ravage, Bondage, Malevolence
16: The Lighning Struck Tower: Sudden, complete change, Calamity
17: The Star: Hope, Bright Prospects

Volume 1

If my theory holds, then I should be able to demonstrate strong connections. Let’s begin with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone for UK readers). Since, as you may already have figured out from my previous rambling essays, I am already convinced (self deluded?) that writing according to her own interpretation of a classic formula, JKR lays down the foundation and predictor of each book in its opening section. In book 1 she begins before the beginning. On this latest re-reading, I wondered if that gave me some clue to look at card 0 – the Fool. As I read I found plenty of evidence to let me connect several characters to this card, and not wanting to hold anything back I linked Vernon and Dudley Dursley, and as I continued to read, Peeves and (in the next book) Cornelius Fudge. The link between Vernon and Cornelius Fudge seems particularly strong. But I did not dwell on what OTHER cards she may have plugged into the books, I was looking for the Magician an for Strength. Soon enough, in the first section we are exposed to Dumbledore (the Magician) and Hagrid (Strength). It seems to me that the lower number cards are first shown to us as a force which begins outside of Harry, something to which he is exposed, and which, in the course of the book he must become – or grow into. Thus, we are given to understand what magic and skill are through Dumbledore’s demonstration, and over the course of the volume, we see Harry grow into. Thus, while identifying the Magician with Dumbledore, the themes of magic and skill aren’t strictly confined to him.

If Dumbledore illustrates magic and skill, Hagrid embodies strength. He even looks sort of like the strong man on the Strength card in my Tarot of the Witches deck. Where – with the lower numbered card I see the characters that Harry needs to grow into through the volume, with the higher numbered card matching his age, I see the major theme of the book. While we see him exhibiting some athletic strength as he becomes a quidditch player, we see more a theme of courage and bravery – even to the point of recklessness – fairly permeating the challenge/duel meeting with Draco, the facing of the troll, the detention in the Forbidden Forest, and the facing of the 7 challenges culminating in facing Quirrel/Voldemort. I link these challenges to the 7 tasks of Hercules – is that JKR’s intent – probably a stretch but it fits into my interpretation that this volume is themed Strength.

Still, one could argue convincingly that courage is what we see from Harry throughout the series and it would be hard for me to argue against that notion with much conviction.

As for the elemental connection of volume one I see as being associated wsith fire. If it were, we would expect to see fire reflected in the work and indeed we see it in Hermione’s portable fire, a lot of fiery themes associated with Hagrid’s dragon, both its incubatin and after hatching, in the black and purple flame in the final trials (potion test). But the case for the first volume being a “fire” theme is not terribly strong. Fire’s association is power – so we might expect to see the “power” part of the story and indeed we see Harry’s allies demonstrate power (Firenze drives away voldemort at the unicorn’s corpse, Ron strikes down the troll) and Harry shows power strong enough to defeat Voldemort again.

Volume 2

Here I begin to look for cards 2 (the High Priestess) and card 12 (the Hanged Man). The element I associate with volume 2 is Water. Now clearly my thinking on the lower series of cards is in trouble. If the high priestess is associated with a character – it seems like it ought to be McGonnegal. But she doesn’t figure in the first part of the book as I would have expected. If it is someone who figures in the first part of the book – it seems like it almost has to be Gilderoy – but that doesn’t seem right at all. I’ll hold onto the McGonnegal thought – she is the one who appears at crucial moments. Rescuing Ron and Harry from Snape, one of the first to turn up when Mrs Norris is found and again when Justing and Nick are found petrified. Now it may be that this number relates to a different character that I haven’t divined. O Professor Trelawney where are you when I need you?

The Hanged Man is, however, so strongly related that I think I really am on to something with this card. I use Dobby as my emblem – his life is suspended by the slavery that binds him – but could anything be more emblematic of life in suspension than the petrified students, cats and ghosts? Doesn’t life in suspsension say just about everything there is to say about the existence of the piece of Voldemort’s soul hidden in the diary?

This is also Ron’s book – and by that I mean that he is given mor eemphasis than Hermione. Right from his rescuing Harry in the flying car rescuing Harry, then flying it to Hogwarts, being the one to turn into slytherins with the polyjuice potion, the trip to Aragog’s lair and then right through the outer gate of the Chamber of Secrets.

And if water were associated with this book, that should also be reflected – and we find it so with the freqent flooded hallways and Myrtle’s bathroom. We would also expect to see the love part of the story prominently displayed. Taken for its part in the whole series it does so, laying the groundwork for the love story growing between Ginny and Harry, not to mention the “family” that forms around Harry enclosing him in its love (and constrasted with his “real” family).

Volume 3

As book 2 was, in my opinion a Ron book, so book 3 is (again, in my opinion) the Hermione focused book. The long lead up to the disclosure she has the time turner, her pivotal role in the ending through the use of the time turner, and as with Ron in book 2 – she is the one with Harry Potter almost to the end of his “book ending climactic battle.” I peg book 3 as having an elemental association of air. Before I go further – I should say that all the elements play in every book, but they have, a cycle to them – a symetry eminating from the middle of the series with all elements heavily displayed in the 1st and 4th volumes, and resumably in book 7, which I guess, owing to the symmetry I believe I detect, will be a “fire” volume once again. The cards I associate with this volume – number 3: the Empress and Number 13: Death.

If you have not practiced Tarot reading, you probably carry with you the results of long media obsession with the Death card as a death omen. And indeed, Professor Trelawney tells us early on of this horrible death omen – the Grim. However, Tarot readers are aware that you can’t have a big death event as often as card number 13 turns up and its normal meaning has to do with great, unexpected changes. If I wseren’t going to assign Sirius as the character embodying this card at the start of the novel I would consider him for the feminine progress figure, since he stands in for Lily – but I’m probably wrong on this count, especially seeing how well he fits one of the most commonly accepted meanings for the card – and indeed if you were using the novels, as I postulate, as a primer for learning these things – Sirius wonderfully embodies the sudden unexpeted change. Really, I think he stands in for James.

And as a theme for the book – sudden unexpected changes fairly well defines it throughout. The change of scabbers from a non-entity pet to the dangerous Peter Pettigrew/Wormtail, Wormtail’s change from a friend of James to the villain, Harry’s saving the villain instead of taking revenge, Lupin’s exposure as a werewolf, Sirius’ transformatin from villain to persecuted hero. Then there is Professor Trelawney repeatedly pronouncing death and doom, as if to remind what the point of this primer is, with her own sudden change from “a right old fraud” to a real oracle, if only briefly (actually, I think JK uses her to give us accurate predictions – a side note – see how she demonstrates how to read tea leaves, how diviners use a crystal ball – another part of my notion this is a primer in addition to an epic story).

This time, there is a strong candidate for card 3 – the Empress, from early in the book as I expected, although not as early as I originally imagined. In this case I find myself extending the beginning of the book up until the arrival at Hogwarts so that I can confidently (well, nevermind) name Lupin as the embodiment of the card and as the stand in for Lily. The word action is exemplified and displayed by Remus Lupin, although asleep when the trio finds him, he is the one who springs into action when the dementors come aboard the train, takes remedial action immedately (feeding the kids chocolate to the later approval of Madam Pompfrey) and has an active practical lesson as his first defense against the dark arts class for Harry and the 3rd year Gryffendors. Could we say there is something of a feminine style in his teaching Harry the patronus charm? As it plays out in the book, do we see feminine progress represented in the mercy Harry shows to Wormtail? I could try to pitch the notion of “action” coming to a clmination in the end of the book – but that would be true of each volume.

As Chamber of Secrets was (imho) Ron’s book – Prisoner is Hermione’s. From the beginning when she buys Crookshanks, through the book as we see Ron protecting Scabbers (turns out to be the bad choice) and Hermione sticking up for her cat (the right choice in the end isn’t it?) Especially in the end, when Ron is incapacitated and Hermione contiues with Harry almost till the very climax of the whole complex double timed story.

As for elements, if this was an air focused segment, what would we expect to see? Flying on hippogrifs? The pre-eminence of wisdom? Flying on and saving Buckbeak seem to combine these two notions although there are plenty of pointers to other elements in the work. Still, between floating dementors, exceedingly great attention to quidditch, the gift of a Firebolt, the “flight” of the fat lady, repeated flying on Buckbeak and the outro on the astronomy tower – it does satisfy me that I may have hit upon the elemental symmetry of the series.

Volume 4

Now we have set a pattern, when we consider the Emperor (card 4), Temperance (card 14) and earth influences my case will fit what we’ve seen before with one rather glaring exception. Major Arcana card 4 – the Emperor – signifies accomplishment and leadership, card 14 – Temperance – moderation, compromise and patience. Earth is associated with wealth. See if these associations make sense to you.

The Emperor, card 4 – according to the way I’ve built my understanding of the lower series card’s place in organizing the work, will have serving as an emblem a character we meet early – and here I find myself drawn to the notion that it is Moody, although I might also have guessed it to be Viktor Krum. In either case, it is a quality(qualities) that I expect to see Harry internalize, as indeed I see accomplishment and leadership abounding. Moody is the highly accomplished Auror and all the people whose judgement we are led to trust in the series acknowledge his high level of accomplishment. Viktor Krum shows the same type of accomplishment as do the other champions – Fleur and Cedric.

Temperance – card 14 – I read the given meanings, patience, (self-)moderation but what keeps coming to mind is the tempering of steel. It is repeatedly put to the heat and then cooled again, and in the process becomes stronger and stronger – and this appears to my mind to be exactly what Harry is going through in the Goblet of Fire, while the trials “test” him he becomes stronger, becomes a better wizard. Patience? It doesn’t seem like Harry does it? The interesting thing is that in my deck, the card features two goblets, calling to mind the Goblet of Fire.

Speaking of which – you might reasonably ask how I can possibly identify a book with Fire in its title as being the earth focused book and you would be on to something because I beleive that while it shows signs of earthiness, this volume at the very middle of the series features not only earth, but all the elements in a series of element focused “waves of themes.” But first, the simple earth focus. If the work is earth focused, we might expect to see coin, pentacle, money and wealth themes. These themes come into play early and stay with us right till the end. Insinuation of great wealth required for Quidditch World Cup tickets, The Weasley twins’ wagers, the leprauchans showering gold on the world cup audience, the thousand galleon prize for the Tri-Wizard tournament. Ludo Bagman seems especially emblematic of the earth focus, wearing what we are told is the Wasps’ colors but which elsewhere we associate with Hufflepuff (yellow and black – and of course Hufflepuff, with its badger symbol, is the earth house at Hogwarts), his wagering – shall we call it an obsession? – and frequent appearances with goblins – who we’ve been trained to associate with wealth – the wealth of Gringotts. If it weren’t for the four Tri-Wizard tournament trials with their changing elemental focus I’d feel on very solid ground but as it is, even here – we conclude with earth.

The tournament leads off with the “impartial” selector – the Goblet of Fire – so here we do see the element properly associated. Next task: dragons and Harry turns it into a feat of flying (air). Next, Harry has to take the egg into a tub of water (where he encounters Monaing Myrtle – who as we know lives in a u bend under a toilet – a very watery ghost she is) in order to be able to enter the lake for the rescue from the merpeople – how watery can you get? Finally, we end up in the maze – so earthy with its plants sinking their roots into the ground, so much earthier with a prize (the trophy) and winnings (wealth) waiting at the center for the winner. So I emphasize again that the four elemental trials – the trials tempering Harry’s elemental strengths – end with earth. The coming together of the elements in volume four seem to me to presage a similar series to be seen in the last volume – since we are led to believe there are four horcruxes left to be found and they seem likely to fit nicely into an elemental profile. I’ve already made elemental predictions in earlier posts and won’t revisit them here – check them out through the categories selections.

So, while I see Goblet of Fire as being an earth focused “primer” its place in the middle of the series force all the elements through its “center” – the center of the whole series as it were, echoing similar “all element” series in book one and presumably to come in book 7. Let’s ust leave it there and proceed.

Volume 5

Continuing a theme I’ve already overworked we find outselves facing as theoretical suppliers of theme elements for the Order of the Phoenix – major arcana card 5, the Hierophant (mercy, humility, kindness), card 15, the Devil (ravage, bondage, malevolence) and a return to air element – in my imagining of the series elemental themes I’ve laid them out in symmetry from the middle.

We meet a few new characters early in book 5 who might, according to the principles of my search, be candidates to serve as the early emblem of card 5 – the Hierophant. I’m inclined towards Tonks, but Luna Lovegood may be a better choice. Continuing on my fanatical focus on symmetry, her own kindness is revisited upon her in the end by Harry who may show he has learned this character strength – the part of what is necessary for his learnign to face Voldemort. As with book 2, however, it seems a lot less clear. this may be owing to my abysmally poor understanding of the cards, or perhaps because I’m completely on the wrong track. Harry does have to exercise patience, learn humility as he becomes teacher to his fellows in DA- and his lack of patience leads him and his friends into danger. However, as all the other emblems thus far have been teachers, I’m inclined to think that this time around it may be Firenze. He makes his appearance late, but lacks pride (as Ronan and Bane pointed out in Sorcerer’s Stone). Perhaps, if it must be a teacher, it is Dumbledore himself – modestly leaving Hogwarts rather than showing his full power.

Card 15 however, continues the strain of cards 11-14 – in being very strongly related to the overall theme of the book and finding an emblem early on. Dolores Umbridge is the very devil to Harry and to everyone who is concerned with fighting against Voldemort – of standing up to evil. She appears to enjoy nothing more than tormenting Harry – of tormenting anyone within her power. And as the volume progresses, voldemort is building a trap of malevolence into which he draws Harry. Sirius faces his ow devils in the isolation at Grimmauld Place and the restrictions dumbledore puts him under and as always there is Snape’s malevolence towards Harry (and Sirius).

Air? Again we find many airy themes throughout – the flight to London from Privet Drive, the thestrals, quidditch, the locking away of Harry’s broom, the second flight to London on the thestrals. Another aspect of air is wisdom – which Harry alternately exhibits the possession and the lack of. Sometimes this wisdom is alternately described as “skill” and certainly Harry demonstrates skill and imparts it to his friends in DA.

What to make of the love interest storyline and Cho Chang. She is a Ravenclaw – to be sure the air element house but otherwise I haven’t yet sorted out ust how she might fit in all this unless it is that the elements are the basis of the minor arcana of the tarot and I may have missed a whole assortment of minor arcana lessons as I focus on the “big picture” of the major arana cards and the main elemental focus of the books.

Volume 6

The card for the first series – 6 – the Lovers (Love, Beauty), is easier to hang a hook on at this juncture. The Lightning Struck Tower (card 16 – sudden, complete change, calamity) is so obvious – it is postively introduced by Professor Trelawney, defined for us – that it is what put me on to the second series of cards in the first place. I started from that point, realized it was also Harry’s age and worked my way out, only connecting the lower numbered series with the volume number later. I perceive many watery connections as well.

Which lovers could I narrow my search down to for my emblem? Harry and Ginny? Ron and Hermione? Lupin and Tonks? Bill and Fleur? Perhpas the thematic display of lovers is simply that and I should focus on a teacher – in which case my atention turns to Horace Slughorn. His own love of Lily (not romantic, but real) is key the advancing the plot. I’m more inclined to think he is part and parcel of the water focus of the book as I’ll go on about below – so let Harry/Ginny be my abiding emblem for the lovers.

The Tower – card 16 sums up the outcome of the book – Dumbledore dies. What greater calamity could befall all the characters we have been led to love, that the loss of their best true protector? His early calamity – the wounding and shriveling of his hand foreshadows the ultimate calamity of his death. The place where he is killed – the tower really makes it even more obvious. I sort of feel like th dog who has to have his nose rubbed in the scent before he comprenhends he is supposed to follow it.

The water element focus of the book is most obvious n the ocean/lake scene where Harry and Dumbledore overcome the obstacles to getting the (false) horcrux. Other watery associations – the emphasis on potions, and the playing out of love in its primacy. Recall that Water is – as best I can tell – Slytherin’s element – and water’s big association – at least in tarot (cups) is Love. Up till volume 6 we see little of love in slytherins, but with the introduction of Slughorn we see that it can indeed be found there and probably even belongs as central focus. We see love between Narcissa and Bellatrix, Draco for his family.

Where does this leave us for Volume 7 – the Deathly Hallows? I will be looking for card 7 (The Chariot: Turmoil, Vengeance, Trouble and Adversity) as a character and a characteristic which Harry needs to grow into, card 17 (The Star: Hope, Bright Prospects) as the environmental setting for the book with its emblem as a person, and a fire focused book but with trials in all four elements.

The only other thing I can really do at this juncture is to thank JKR for helping me internalize lessons about cards I’ve casually read for years and for an excellent primer in divination and all things (neo)pagan. Was this on purpose – to be a primer for folks like me on the Tarot? Was it more of an organizational tool for building the series? Or am I just wrong? Comment away you readers.

This is not a narrowly limited speculation, nor a grand theory, but rather a place where I want to record ahead of the release of THE BOOK some notions that I have about it. One of my biggest reasons for doing this owes to my remorse at not doing so before book 6. Before book 6 – I predicted that Snape would be the DADA teacher (yay, one right!) that he would be killed by the end of book 6 (wrong) that Dumbledore would teach DADA in book 7 and would be killed (can I get a partially correct?). Two out three isn’t bad but you still wouldn’t catch me pressing my luck by playing texas holdem online. Besides, I had no notion whatsoever about Horcruxes and missed numerous other details. This was when I was merely obsessed. After the release (and multiple readings of) book 6, I moved into the more intense fanatically obsessed phase.

So here let me commend for your consideration several notions that I have turned over in my mind enough to believe they are beyond the realm of possibilities, they are my forecasts (but not yet rising to the level of religious convictions). Where I’m right, I’ll be happy to say so. Where I’m wrong, I’ll be equally happy to admit it. I reserve the right to claim I’m correct until publication. =)

On Dumbledore teaching DADA – believe it or not, I still hold to the notion that Dumbledore will be Harry’s teacher. If you’ve read my other post here, predicting that Harry will be the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, you will wonder how I can square these two statements, especially since I accept the premise that Dumbledore is indeed dead. Well, here goes. First, let’s go back to the beginning (you thought I’d let the cat right out of the bag didn’t you, sorry, I want to relish this). The things I’ve read about JKR lead me to believe the entire epic is a classically constructed story – and she has hinted much about her own use of well used themes to organize her work. If that is the case, then we should expect to find some of the most important bits right up front, and more throughout book 1.

At this moment, I focus on something Professor Dumbledore said to Professor McGonnegal as he prepares to deliver Harry to the Dursleys – “I would trust Hagrid with my life.” I pin this prediction on that statement because by the time I had reread book 6 and then returned to book one, it struck me that this could mean one of two things – that Hagrid was in possession of Dumbledore’s Horcrux, or was in possession of Dumbledore’s history, his magical life story. It would be easy to dismiss the first of these possibilities out of hand, since Dumbledore is too “noble” to do certain magic. On the other hand, much is made among PC (Potter Cogniscenti, hehehe) of Dumbledore’s defeat of the Dark Wizard Grindenwald. Many PC believe the story of this battle will be revelaed in book 7, a reasonable supposition. It might also be reasonable to believe that a powerful dark wizard was attempting to make his own horcrux, and that with all the preparations made, that after an epic battle retulting in the death of this dark wizard (I go so far as to suppose that he was the Dark Lord previous to Voldemort) that Dumbledore might have taken the opportunity to make a horcrux of his own. This would make his statements about the “mutilating the soul” all the more poignant and might explain why he, himself could not defeat Voldemort. Continuing on this train of thought, it is imaginable to me that Hagrid, loyal to Dumbeldore, was with him when he defeated Grndenwald and is himself the horcrux. How interesting would that be considering his statement about how unwise it would be to make a horcrux of a living thing. However, after constructing and imagining these notions, I reject them, trusting that, as JKR says, Dumbledore is not going to pull a Gandalf, that he is indeed too noble to perform dark magic, and believing that Harry must take out the Dark Lord on his own.

If that is NOT the sense in which Dumbledore has entrusted his life to Hagrid then in what other sense could he mean it – and in a way that is important to us readers. What if he has entrusted to Hagrid his life story? Not only does this seem reasonable, but we have been repeatedly shown a mechanism which makes this possibility seem not only likely, but a contination of a pattern we’ve already seen – the pensieve. If Hagrid was Dumbledore’s companion in the defeat of Grndenwald, then his memories could show Harry how he prepared to overcome a dark lord. All this entrusted in Hagrid’s head. Other possibilities are also suggested – the memories of some of his DADA students stored in Hagrids vault at Gringotts, Dumbeldores own memories entrusted to Hagrid. How specifically it is set up, I’m not sure, but I think this is the likely method by which Harry will receive instruction from Dumbledore on DADA (see my predictions before book 6 above – hmmm maybe I’m just trying to save face on an earlier prediction?). Possessing this learning, this knowledge, I now conect back to Harry as the DADA instructor. What he learns from Dumbledore, he will teach the other students. As an aside, I think it a reasonable possibility that we will see “special, available only to Hogwarts Professors” magic come into play – Harry will gain access to elements of the “bastion of ancient magic.” As for Harry’s statement that he isn’t coming back to Hogwarts – I say Hogwash (hahaha, I had to say that). JKR will give him an out (I imagine many possibilities) and as with the other 7 books, the lions share of the action will happen at Hogwarts, with other bits at the Weasleys, the Dursleys, the Ministry of Magic, St Mungos, Grimauld Place and elsewhere. I could go on and on, as a matter of fact, I already have gone on and on, I’ve said the important bit, let’s move on to the next thing.

Myrtle. Moaning Myrtle. Poor pathetic Myrtle. Notice how she has glasses (in the movies very similar to Harry’s), and dark hair. I think she is going to turn out to be related to Harry on his mother’s sided. Where does this come from, you ask? Attend to the names of his aunt and mother – Lily and Petunia – flowers. As is Myrtle. His great aunt or great great aunt I suspect – which will let us make sense out of the lack of surprose when Lily’s and Petunia’s parents are delighted – “we have a witch in the family.” Will she prove useful to Harry – wanting revenge for the one responsible for her death – not very I’m inclined to think, but neither will she be entirely trivial – more or less in keeping with her roles in books 2 and 4.

What else has the Horcrux Citizen got for you?? Ron – the seer(!?). Ron (and Professor Trelawney) have a knack of making accurate predicitons of the future. Ron’s vision in the mirror of Erised will combine with Dumbledore’s statement about the mirror as a roadmap. “The happiest man in the world would see himself exactly as he is.” Thus Ron will be Head Boy, Quidditch Captain, and will win (with his team) the Quidditch Cup. He will be the “happiest man in the world.” Just before his death.

We all (us PCs) regard the deaths of Harry, Ron and Hermione as possibilities, ones we don’t want to happen but which might. I believe JK mapped this for us in book 1 – making Ron Harry’s best friend, showing us the mirror, and most importantly prefiguring the final confrontation with the Dark Lord in the climactic finale of the first book. Recall the tasks (when I count them will I find 7 – hmm, how did I predict that?) 1) An Enchanted Creature; 2) A magical plant; 3) Charmed objects; 4) the Transfigured Chess Game; 5) the Dark Arts used to control the troll; 6) Potions in a logic problem; 7)the actual confrontation with the Dark Lord. Recall that when the Fab 3 win in chess, Ron (the knight – oh so many symbols in Ron as a knight, Hermione as a castle and Harry as a bishop) is “taken” by the opposing queen. If the ever so popular “McGonnegal is a Death Eater” theory is correct (possible but I’m counting on it not being the case – then the “queen” who will kill Ron in the fourth stage of the final confrontation will be McGonnegal – if it isn’t her, then we have had Belatix Lestrange set up for ages as the queen of the dark lord’s forces and it is Lestrange I am counting on to kill Ron. However, she will be defeated just at this stage, and the love and sorrow that wll up in Harry will propel him through the next set of impossible hurdles and to defeating Lord Voldemort. Hermione, in this scenario, will be able to continue with Harry until the 6th task, from which he alone will continue on to face the Dark Lord in the final confrontation.

The shrunken school – as I noted – it seems reasonable to think that many students (and perhaps teachers) will forego returning to Hogwarts. I suggest we will see all of Dumbledore’s Army (the one’s who haven’t graduated) and a certain portion of the Gryffendors, Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws will be back and only a very few Slytherins, and those, mostly the proper proportion of the few first years who brave the newly dangerous environment and are sorted into the Potion Master’s house (yes I think Slughorn will be back, too (he may be my fallback for DADA – that isn’t equivocating is it?).

There are so many other things I could lay down, but the one I want to establish here, before I go on the elaborate in the next post, is the realization of an epic series of what amount to textbooks of neo-pagan (here I use the phrase overly broadly, including both recent and revived spiritual practices) thinking and learning. I divide these, in my own mind, to information conveyed n dates and festivals, colors and elements, the divinatin – especially the tarot/card reading. I will elaborate especially on the (as I preceive it) realtion of certain Tarot cards to the construciton of the series in the next post, let me just call attention o these items. The storyline is centered around dates important in the neo-pagan calendar. They start near Mid Summer and most prominently feature something “a couple of weeks into the term” (autumnal equinox), Halloween (samheim), Christmas (Yule – winter equinox), the cold of mid winter, Eater (Ostara – vernal equinox), and they climax near the Summer Solstice. Even more striking, to me anyway, is the reflection of a theme in neo-pagan discussion – the quesiton of pure blod. Today, the strega, some native/aboriginal peoples and others, reserve teachings and “secrets” to themselves – even to particular bloodlines. What seemed at first to be the recycling of the venerable theme in British literature – contrasting “virtuous commoners” with aristocrats who hold position (and wealth, power, prestigbe) by right of birth and blood – could equally apply to current debate among neo-pagans.

Since this touches on the overall organization of the series, I’ll add a note on my perception of its organizaiton. If I’m extremely lucky, prehaps these thoughts will come to the attention of someone who actually “knows” how JK planned the organization of the series and they can smash my theory to bits or confirm parts of it. They relate to the thought I’ve given to neo-pagan themes mentioned above (I should note that the understanding of the elements, Tarot cards, numerology, color associations, and so on predate the emergence of the term neo-pagan and the movements, such as wicca that are associated with it. Indeed the associations of the four elements, cardinal directions, meanings in cards, and so on are more ancient even than the traditions neo pagans follow). I’m even boning up my photoshop skills so I can make a picture to illustrate what I am about to convey in my very wordy way.

First – elements. In an earlier post I’ve already described elements, houses and color associations. To recap:
element house color tarot suit prime elemental association (tarot suit meaning)
Fire Gryffendor Red/Gold Swords Power
Water Slytherin Green/Silver Cups Love
Earth Hufflepuff Black/Yellow Coins (pentacles) Fortune/Wealth
Air Ravenclaw Blue/brown Wands(clubs/sticks) Wisdom

I hope I already mentioned that the characters are often associated with their own archetypes, the founders of the four houses – and not necessarily with the one into which they are sorted. For instance Lily and more especially Harry are often linked to the color green – their archetype is Slytherin – they are strong in potions (kind of watery – eh?), and Hermione’s strength is Wisdom so very Ravenclaw of her.

The volumes are arranged in a sort of symetry as follows:
Volume:prime element
1: Fire
2: Water
3: Air
4: Earth
5: Air
6: Water
7: (predicted) Fire
Moreover, in books 1 and especially 4, all the elements really come together. I expect this will be the case in book 7 as well.

In addition to the elemental association, I see cards from the major arcana of the tarot associated with the volumes – these would be the ones matching the volume number (cards 1-7) and the ones matching Harry’s age (11-17) and I sense that JKR hazs given us characters to associate with each of these cards. The cards 11-17 seem to be very strongly correlated with the overall theme of each book. Since the elaboration of this theory is the entire oint of the next post, I will, for now, let this sit as it is and just give a brief note on the card and an overly brief description of its meaning:

1: The Magician – Skill, Magic
2: The High Priestess: Wisdom, Learning
3: The Empress: Feminine Progress, Action
4: The Emperor: Accomplishment, Leadership
5: The Hierophant: Mercy, Humility, Kindness
6: The Lovers: Love, Beauty
7: The Chariot: Turmoil, Vengeance, Trouble and Adversity

11: Strength: Strength, Courage
12: The Hanged Man: Life in Suspension
13: Death: Transformation, Unexpected Change
14: Temperance: Moderation, Compromise, Patience
15: The Devil: Ravage, Bondage, Malevolence
16: The Lighning Struck Tower: Sudden, complete change, Calamity
17: The Star: Hope, Bright Prospects

Well, there you have it, the Horcrux Citizen – just for the record.

As an aside, today I was in New York City for a work trip (you will not find it hard to beleive that I am NOT a professional literary critic). However interesting Harry Potter is, and it really is interesting, entertaining, even educational – there is no magic on earth quite like the magic of cities like New York, London, Paris, Tokyo – let’s just stop here and assume I also mean the world’s other great cities. The world’s brightest people, its best thinkers, most skilled managers, greatest artists (let’s stop here and imjagine all the other greats) are drawn to these cities, there to erect great new edifices, to build new companies, to lauch new causes – as if “by magic.” There is no magic in the books to equal the magic of the Rocky Mountains, of Lake Superior, of the Austrian Alps, of Hokkaido’s volcanos. There nature and creative energy fill every niche with things so amazing as to be barely imaginable. I only mention places I know from personal experience. As Dumbldore would say, “it doesn’t do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” So get out there and see the real magic of the world.

As for the elaboration of the abbreviated theories here presented, as Gilderoy Lockhart would say “see my collected works.” =)

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