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Chapter 14 Discussion: Feix Felicis

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  • C Wise
    At first, I wasn’t too excited about being assigned this chapter. I believe my comment to Hans was that I wasn’t much for ‘shipping, but I’d do my
    Message 1 of 19 , Jun 3, 2006
      At first, I wasn’t too excited about being assigned this chapter. I believe my comment to Hans was that I wasn’t much for ‘shipping, but I’d do my best. Happily, the more I’ve reviewed it together with information gleaned from your posts as a group and the group website, the more I’ve come to see that it’s a very fertile chapter for discussion.
       
      Synopsis:
       
      Briefly, the events covered are as follows (I’ve divided them into what I hope are manageable sections):
       
      Weird Wriggling and Pulsating:
       
      Harry relates the details of his most recent visit with Dumbledore to Ron and Hermione as they go to their Herbology class. They have a hard time finding their greenhouse due to the “weird mist” on the Hogwart’s grounds. Once in class, while the trio attempts to wrestle a Snargaluff stump into surrendering its pods, they discuss Horace Slughorn, the Slug Club, and Slughorn’s up-coming Christmas party. Ron, who resents Slughorn and his club, berates the party until Hermione reveals that she’d intended to take him as a guest. Harry examines his feelings about this new manifestation of his friends’ complicated feelings for each other. He observes that Ron and Hermione behave more politely toward each other for the next few days.
       
      Harry the Confident leader:
       
      Harry finally addresses his Quidditch team’s problem of their missing member, Katie Bell. After contemplating the issue, he takes the opportunity to ask Dean Thomas to fill in for her in a transfiguration class, though he realizes he has upset Seamus by doing so. The Dean decision also causes grumbling in Gryffindor house at Harry’s apparent preferential treatment of his friends, but Harry, very maturely, takes it in stride, and the correctness of his decision seems to be confirmed by Dean’s ability to work well with Ginny on the pitch.
       
      Ron’s Frustration:
       
      Meanwhile, as the team nears its first match of the season with Slytherin, Ron’s play becomes “wilder and wilder” Ron takes his frustrations out on other team members, despite Harry’s attempts to cajole him. To make matters worse, on their way back from one Quidditch practice, Harry and Ron accidentally encounter Ginny and Dean making out in a passageway that Harry frequently uses as a short cut to the common room. Ron becomes irate with Ginny and Harry becomes acutely aware of a savage clawing beast awakening within himself, which he desperately tries to rationalize to back to sleep by telling himself he’s developed strong protective feelings for Ginny from spending so much time with her family.
       
      Ron’s and Harry’s Growing Frustrations:
       
      Ginny dismisses Dean from this scene and engages Ron in a shouting match, berating him for his lack of romantic experience and, incidentally revealing that Hermione’s had some experience “snogging” with Victor Krum, which doesn’t improve Ron’s mood. He becomes even surlier, especially toward Hermione and his Quidditch play is even worse. Ginny and Peakes, and finally Harry (privately in Harry’s case) confront him about his behavior on the Quidditch pitch, at which point Ron breaks down and becomes despondent in his lack of confidence, offering to resign. Harry won’t accept Ron’s resignation.
       
      Harry the Trickster:
       
      The night before the match Harry stays up wracking his brain for a plan to boost Ron’s confidence, and he comes up with a good one – a sort of non-trick trick. The morning of the match Harry leads both Ron and Hermione to believe he has spiked Ron’s pumpkin juice with some of the Felix Felicis he won from Slughorn in their first Potions class of the term. This combined with other propitious signs the day of the match, good weather and the absence of Draco Malfoy, apparently due to illness, leads Ron to believe he is lucky and Ron plays spectacularly. Harry, however, nearly loses the snitch to Malfoy’s substitute, a “Harper,” due to inattention to his own play, but manages to save the game by tricking Harper at the last moment and snagging the snitch.
       
      Backfiring Trick:
       
      Harry reveals his non-trick trick, that he only pretended to spike Ron’s juice, to Ron and Hermione in the locker room after the match, but is dismayed to find that rather than restoring Ron’s and Hermione’s friendship, the revelation only escalates their conflict. In the House celebration that ensues, back at the common room, Ron manages to connect with Lavender Brown  (or, perhaps and probably Lavender manages to connect with him since she’s been eyeing him aggressively all semester), and Hermione, seeing them entwined is upset and leaves the common room abruptly. Harry finds her in a class room by herself “practicing” conjuring little yellow birds. Ron “accidentally” stumbles into the room to find himself, ultimately pursued and attacked by Hermione’s canaries.
       
      Discussion:
       
                  The opening scene of this chapter thoroughly lays the groundwork for the rest with it’s various themes of , the ambiguity, confusion, purity and pain of the Albedo phase of the Alchemists work, and the under-developed love, including acne-ridden teenage eros, the fertility and power of all love, and manipulation (successful and gone awry). 
       
      The Weird Mist
       
      The chapter begins with a reference to a “weird mist” hanging over Hogwart’s grounds. If this is part of the national mist caused by the Dementors’, it’s a depressing, nevertheless fertile image. However, I think its symbolism goes beyond Dementors, to suggest the white or Albedo phase of the Alchemical process as noted in a previous chapter discussion about mist. (Leah, Iris, and Hans, posts 1430, 1434) What is “weird” about it? It is ambiguous, indicating a certain wooliness (see previous reference) or confusion, rather than the clarity usually associated with whiteness. It confuses the trio on their way to Herbology (another fertility reference) so that they have trouble finding their green house. This ambiguity is further reflected in Harry’s musings about whether Ron’s and Hermione’s romantic interest in one another will ruin the trio’s friendship or become embarrassing in this scene.
       
      The whiteness of the Alchemical process is associated with purification, but the purification comes at a painful cost, as a result of repeated decantation or separation. This stage has also been associated with cleansing fire. (Iris, post 1700; Alison Williams, post 1924) There is a direct reference to separation when Ron beats back the Snargaluff’s vines with secateurs (a kind of pruning shear – I had to look it up). Therefore, this misty whiteness is also associated with a certain pain and sadness.
       
      Horace Slughorn
       
      The mention of Slughorn and his upcoming party are metaphorically significant here too. Slughorn has previously been discussed primarily in negative terms by this group as associated with the slugs Ron coughs up in CoS , and with young Tom Riddle’s trophy-hunting tendencies. (Leah, post 1430) I’m afraid I don’t really have anything positive to add. However, in the ambiguously erotic context of this particular chapter I do have another, somewhat different, take.
       
      At the risk of causing controversy, I’ve wondered if Slughorn doesn’t also represent a kind of immature and underdeveloped sexuality/love, a sort of flaccid lust. As already discussed, the extent of his love seems to be a fondness for people as a means to obtain more crystalized pineapple, his yen for which recalls a certain childish hunger for Turkish Delight in C.S. Lewis, even if his treatment of his “favorites” is not as blatantly base Tom Riddle’s (who loves no one and has no friends).
       
      Added to this, he is associated with a taste similar to that of a “fussy old lady” (HPB, chapter 4), and with the color lavender (he uses lavender ribbons to tie his invitation scrolls). The other character in the series I’ve associated with lavender is Lockhart, whom I believe is another excellent example of stunted and/or twisted love, from CoS. Both Slughorn and Lockhart are, to put it bluntly, big old fops.
       
      But, beyond that, both Slughorn and Lockhart suffer from a kind of severe impotence in the series, reflected in their deep flaws. However, whereas Lockhart is magically impotent, Horace Slughorn is morally impotent, having to be persuaded by extreme efforts to stick his neck out the slightest in support of Dumbledor’s and Harry’s, and ultimately, the entire Wizarding World’s, cause. And “stick his neck out” is the right term. Slughorn’s comment in Chapter 4, that “… the prudent wizard keeps his head down in such times …’ indicates his complete unwillingness to sacrifice, to love. Alchemical sacrifice requires decapitation, because it involves sacrificing old consciousness for new, but Horace is not interested in anyone’s growth, not even his own. In terms of fertility, he’s dead.
       
      Decapitation and the Alchemical Wedding
       
      Toward the end of their Slughorn discussion, Ron’s Snargaluff pod slips out of his gloved hands and flies across the green house ultimately knocking Professor Sprout’s hat off, a symbolic decapitation recalling scenes from the Alchemical Wedding. Immediately following this, Ron jokingly suggests that Hermione get together with McLaggen to become “King and Queen Slug,” again mirroring an image from alchemical Wedding, and, perhaps foreshadowing Ron’s and Hermione’s future relationship and roles.
       
      Snargaluff Stump
       
      The Snargaluff stump is a tremendous metaphor in this chapter. It’s ambiguous, somewhat like the mist, described after its battles with the trio as looking “innocent,” though it’s really violent and full of whipping, prickly, dangerous vines. All three of our main characters, working in unison (which they do not do particularly well here) are required to subdue it. However, unlike Slughorn, it’s very fertile, harboring large, tough, slippery pods full of wriggling tubers that look like green worms. Its juice is precious and best fresh, although we’re not told what it’s used for.   
       
      Serpentine Character
       
      The whipping, serpentine motion of the vines of the Snarguluff stump is echoed again and again in this Chapter. That the vines are also “prickly” recalls previous chapter discussions dealing with Snake, Medusa and Hydra images. I feel that snakes, like the weird mist in the opening of the chapter, are somewhat ambiguous, or perhaps, like many other things in this book, they are just becoming so. Although the snake associations have been primarily negative so far (with Slytherin and Voldemort) snakes are also associated with healing. (Allison Williams, post 1924) And, of course, the blood of a white serpent feeds the embryos of the young king and queen in the Alchemical Wedding, In addition, Harry, himself is a parsel-toungue – recalling the many, still somewhat mysterious connections and parallels between Harry and Tome Riddle, the heir of Slytherin who becomes the snake-like Lord Voldemort, that run throughout the series.
       
                  Hair
       
      The Snargaluff scene also contains the first reference in this chapter to women’s hair (Hermione’s, when it’s tangled in the Snargaluff’s vines). This somewhat sensual motif will be repeated twice in this chapter combined (later) with a whipping motion by both Ginny and Hermione (I really can’t help but admire Rowling’s architecture here). Note the proximity of the hair to the head/decapitation theme.
       
      Blood
       
      In addition, this scene contains the chapter’s first reference to blood, another sacrificial element of the Alchemical Wedding (see comment on the white serpent above) when Hermione’s face is scratched. A series of superficial wounds will also become a motif in the chapter. Blood has been associated in general in this group with emotion and love, and love, in many manifestations, is certainly a subject of this chapter of the series’ “love Book”. In addition, blood’s red color may be interpreted as some reference to the Rubedo stage of the Alchemical process, also matched by later references in the chapter.
       
      Disgust
       
      Although the Snargaluff stump ultimately (if temporarily) brings Ron and Hermione together (“’Gotcha!’ yelled Ron, pulling a second pod from the stump just as Hermione managed to burst the first one open,…”) it also elicits a certain sense of disgust (particularly it’s pod’s contents) from Harry, another note that sounds rhythmically  throughout the chapter. The fertility of love, particularly of the fresh, teenage, variety, in all its awkward, hairy, bloody violence is, in some sense grotesque, and J.K. Rowling drives this point home here repeatedly.
       
                  Growth           
       
                  Growth is a potential result of fertility, and I think the next four sections of Chapter 14 have to do with the maturation of the main characters in the work.
       
      Harry as Confident Leader
       
      Discussion in previous chapters has noted that Harry has been increasingly taking a leadership role at Hogwarts. (Karen Nagy/Hans Andrea, post 1864) To that end he has given some thought to the problem of the Gryffindor Quidditch team’s missing player and manages not to wait as long as he did before the second task in GoF, to address it. Harry chooses Dean as Katie Bell’s replacement although he knows this will aggravate both Seamus, Dean’s best mate, and the rest of Gryffindor house due to its apparent favoritism. However, this time Harry is ready to weather the disapproval on all sides gracefully. He believes the correctness of his decision to be confirmed in Quidditch team practice when he sees how well Dean works with Ginny, but, ambiguously, he will yet be surprised that he comes to regret this decision on a personal level to some extent.
       
      Twittering Birds
                 
      The scene in which Harry invites Dean to join the team is our first introduction to Hermione’s conjured, twittering yellow birds. Although the text does not really say so, I associated these birds with canaries, because canaries are noted to have a pleasant song. The pleasantness of the image is detracted from however when the birds poop on Seamus head – another ambiguous, and disgusting image, the first in the chapter of several scatological references.
       
      Ron’s Development
       
                  Unlike Harry, Ron has not developed rapidly in many areas. This is to be expected to some extent if Ron represents Harry’s old self. J.K. Rowling illustrates this very effectively, when she shows that Ron’s Quidditch game becomes increasingly wilder as the teams first match approaches, a frustration that causes Ron to give Demelza Robbins a bloody nose. This is our second chapter reference to blood from a superficial wound. Ron’s subsequent characterization of his play as “dragon’s dung” is the second scatological reference in the chapter.
       
                  Harry as Healer
       
      More significantly, however, and, again, in contrast to Ron, Harry demonstrates additional maturity, when he offers to and very efficiently heals Demelza’s wound. I believe this is the first time in the series we see Harry acting as a healer, but I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong. Note that this healing function also recalls Harry’s connection to snakes – in their healing capacity (see above) and is mirrored later in the book by Snape’s healing of Draco.
       
                  Developing (Frustrating) Love
       
      Harry’s and Ron’s encounter with Ginny and Dean in the short-cut hallway recalls snakes again in the closeness of their embrace and in Harry’s sudden awareness of the large scaly thing in his stomach prompting him to “jinx Dean to jelly.” After witnesses Ron’s humiliating confrontation with Ginny and watching her red hair (second reference) whip out of sight, Harry contemplates the power of his feelings here (are they love, per se?) when he feels “…disoriented, dizzy; being struck by a lightening bolt must be something like this.” This meditation recalls both the powerful symbol of Harry’s scar in the series and the function of love in Book VI. I think J.K. Rowling is reminding us (as she has before in this book (Chapter 9, “The Half-Blood Prince”) that love is a very powerful and sometimes dangerous force. This suggests clearly (to me anyway) that the love theme will, ultimately, play the key role in the overall plot of the series. At the end of this scene Harry and Ron run into a little girl (whom we later discover to be either a poly-juiced Crabbe or Goyle) drops a bottle of frog spawn, again suggesting fertility, in the hallway, as they flee this scene.
       
                  Ron Regresses Further
       
      Of course, Ron becomes even surlier toward everyone after his confrontation with Ginny. He’s compared to a Blast-Ended Skrewt (third scatological reference). I hadn’t really fully contemplated this creatures name in all its disgusting scatological lewdness until I re-read this chapter, though it first appeared several books ago. Ron is particularly nasty toward Hermione, as Ginny has kindly pointed out that he has less snogging experience than just about anyone, Hermione included. The quarreling couple of the Alchemical work are, after a brief hiatus, back to quarreling.
       
      Harry Becomes a Trickster
       
      Harry becomes increasingly worried about his team’s first match and wracks his brain for a way to help Ron. In doing this, we see Harry at what I believe is his most consciously tricky so far in the series. He spins a very subtle and very effective plan, involving a sort of non-trick trick. Furthermore, in devising this plan, Harry goes beyond his leader role and adopts that of the trickster, sometimes symbolized by the spider. I think Valky first brought this association, gleaned from Native American myth, to my attention, but it’s in my notes on Chapter 11. (Karen Nagy/Hans Andrea, post 1864)  Again, and unlike some others here, I view the spider as and ambiguous symbol, by far more morally neutral than the snake. Aragog, after all, opposes the Basilisk, like all spiders, tells Ron and Harry the blunt and hairy truth in CoS , and operates according to his own code which does exclude attacking Hagrid. In addition, his venom is valuable and is a means by which Harry obtains valuable information later in the book.
       
      Book’s Theme (Aside from Love): Who’s Spinning Whom?
       
      In acting the part of the trickster, Harry also reminds us of another overriding question of Book VI, which is “who’s spinning whom?” We see spiders associated with Snape and Dumbledor, as well as, now, Harry. Spiders, along with snakes and rats are one of the animal mega-metaphors in the series, but, as such, I don’t think their meaning is set in stone yet, if it’s fixed at all. They are more interesting still as they are a symbol traditionally associated with the devouring female in a series with a male protagonist. I think their full meaning has yet to be revealed.
       
      Felix Felicis
       
      Harry’s non-trick involves Felix Felicis, the title of the chapter, although, Felix is never really used. Felix himself is ambiguous, in that too much of him is poisonous. (saraquel, post 1774 [?]) J.K. Rowling’s attitude toward Felix as demonstrated here, however, seems fairly unambiguous. Consistent with her attitude toward divination and the prophecy, she seems to be saying there’s no such thing as luck, or, at least, we make our own luck in some sense. On the other hand, Felix is actually used to Harry’s apparent benefit later on in the book.  
       
                  Moral Evolution in Harry and Hermione - Toward Ambiguity?
       
      Harry’s words to Ron at breakfast, the morning of the match (“Tea?’ Harry asked him. ‘coffee? Pumpkin juice?’”) distinctly recall those of Umbridge, an unmitgatedly negative figure, in OotP when she’s about to try to feed Harry veritaserum. Yet Harry’s exchange with Hermione at breakfast, referring to her surreptitious “helping hand” in a previous chapter reminds us of the mirroring evolution of both of their moral codes. Is this part of the yet unresolved, but ambiguous white phase? Is it merely a growing sophistication? Is ambiguity their final moral destination?
       
      Alchemical Phases
       
      On the way to the match the sky is pale blue and Harry notices the red and gold Gryffindor colors. I’m not sure what the pale blue symbolizes, but the red and gold may point ahead to a future Rubedo phase, or perhaps Harry thinks he has achieved a kind of Rubedo success already. On the way to the pitch Harry hears Ravenclaw Luna’s infamous lion-hat roaring. Do Luna and her Gryffindor hat represent something of an alchemical conjunction here in their marriage of opposites? Perhaps Harry has achieved a Rubedo phase accomplishment. Ron’s success on the Quidditch field seems to indicate that Harry’s plan has worked perfectly.
       
                  Backfiring Trick
       
      Alas, however, it’s not so. Apparently part of Harry’s plan included healing the rift between Ron and Hermione, the quarreling couple, but when Harry explains that he hasn’t actually spiked Ron’s juice, the plan backfires in that Ron and Hermione find fresh grounds for their continuous bickering. Does this scene indicate that while Harry has matured, he is not yet quite the alchemist he thought he was? Does it also underline, again, in its ambiguity, the confusing, deceptive quality of the white stage, in which we (and Harry) are still, seemingly firmly ensconced?
       
                  Lavender
       
      The closing scenes of the chapter find Ron entwined snakelike and grotesquely (Ginny remarks that he looks like he’s eating Lavender’s entire face) with Ms. Brown. I’ve already discussed what I believe to be an association of Lockhart and Slughorn with the color lavender. Do these alleged associations in anyway jibe with the nature of the character Lavender, herself? With the nature of Lavender’s relationship with Ron?
       
      Where are We?
       
      Harry follows Hermione’s whipping hair (third reference) out of the Gryffindor common room. He finds her in an empty class room under a halo of little yellow birds she has just conjured.  I’ve wracked my brain, and searched this site, others, and “The Alchemical Wedding” for a definitive meaning of theses little yellow birds.
       
      They are not, as far as I can tell associated with the traditional phase-specific birds of Alchemy (raven, white swan, pelican, peacock, or phoenix), although they are referred to as “golden” toward the very end of the chapter. They do recall a golden crown, and specifically a scene in the Alchemical Wedding where Cupid alternates between hovering near the crown hanging over the young king and queen (prior to their execution) and tormenting a flock of little bird flying around the room. Of course, there’s the head proximity/pending decapitation association. They also recall the King and Queen (Slug) reference at the beginning of the chapter. On the other hand, I’ve come across descriptions of a distinct “yellow” phase to the alchemical process, though I’m not too clear on it.
       
      Other suggestions I’ve found (these are from HPfGU) are that they suggest Hermione’s supposed romantic innocence (relative to what?) as opposed to her intellectual maturity, or her pride. Perhaps they are the equivalent of her thoughts of her love for Ron floating in a cloud over her head as the thoughts of a character in a comic strip’s might.  
       
      Harry observes them as a “strange, feathery model of the solar system” hovering over Hermione’s head, recalling both the weird mist from the beginning of the chapter and pointing (I believe)to the cosmic scale of the import of love in the series. They also neatly suggest an image of a microcosm.
       
      In any case, love’s and the birds’ ambiguous and dangerous nature is demonstrated again when they are turned on Ron to peck and claw at his face after he stumbles into the room. Though Hermione tries to maintain her dignity, Harry thinks he hears a sob as Hermione leaves the room.
       
      Conclusion and Questions:
       
      This is a really interesting chapter, addressing multiple themes, on multiple levels. It’s also an example of some of the best of J.K. Rowling’s writing and deserves many re-readings. I’m certainly glad I had this opportunity to look at it more closely.
       
      What have I missed? What are your perspectives on the issues raised in the discussion?
       
      Specifically, please let me know whether you think my comments about the nature of the Albedo phase as illustrated in this chapter are close to the mark or not, and, if not, why.
       
      In addition, please let me know what you think, especially about these birds.
       
      Are the multitude of colors in this chapter, ranging from pale blue to yellow, to deep red foreshadowing? Or do they represent a more deceptive “peacock” phase for the characters? If so, why?
       
      I’m looking forward to your enlightening feedback.
       
      Yours,
       
      Candy

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    • Marianna Marinda
      First of all, thanks very much to Candy and everyone for all the great new insight about the HP alchemical connections that can be made. There is just so
      Message 2 of 19 , Jun 5, 2006
        First of all, thanks very much to Candy and everyone for all the great new insight about the HP alchemical connections that can be made.  There is just so much! 

        C Wise wrote:
        In addition, please let me know what you think, especially about these birds.
        In seeking a possible answer to this, I was interested to find HP Blavastky's work ( The Secret Doctrine at http://www.sacred-texts.com/the/sd/sd2-3-09.htm ) come up promptly in my search.  It discusses observable facts that support the Atlantean theory (the idea of the continent of Atlantis), and the Canary Islands are specifically mentioned in conjunction with this idea, in a 'direct descendant' capacity.  Additionally, I found that the Canary Islands were not named for the birds that are found there, but that the birds were named for the islands they originated from.  This suggests that the Canary reference finds its source in the islands, and thus perhaps in the Atlantean mythology linked with it. 

        Since the Atlantean legends are all about the history of mankind, especially including humanity's having come from a godly origin, I'd say Hermione's halo (or crown) of birds indicates her own direct link to this divine/royal origin via mind instead of via body (as Ron's Arthurian lineage would suggest for him [thanks, MTR!])... and that they are truly equals being simply frustrated by the yet immature aspects of their complements.  (The mind has as much difficulty appreciating the values/abilities of the body, as the body has appreciating the values/wisdom of the mind.  No wonder they clash.)

        What the mind could most hope for from the body is true confidence (in his quidditch ability and/or social actions, the kind that corresponds with an undeniable awareness of his divine royalty)- which confidence, when immaturely expressed (as with Lavender Brown), is also the greatest frustration Hermione has with Ron.  (The mind recognizes the immaturity of it even though the body does not.)  The biggest frustration the body has with the mind is her difficulty totally seeing the inherent royalty within him, before he has yet matured into the part (which is why Harry's felix trick backfired in regards to them).  Sigh, life goes on.

        :)
        Marianna


      • Deborah
        ... Excellent insight! I didn t realize just how much Mercurical/Trickster tasks Harry took on in that chapter! ... Good white phase reference. ... I am of
        Message 3 of 19 , Jun 5, 2006
          --- In harrypotterforseekers@yahoogroups.com, C Wise
          <caseypenrodlife@...> wrote:

          > Harry the Trickster:

          Excellent insight! I didn't realize just how much
          Mercurical/Trickster tasks Harry took on in that chapter!

          >Mist

          Good white phase reference.

          >Ron coughs up in CoS, and with young Tom Riddle's trophy-hunting
          >tendencies.
          I am of the opinion that the trophy that Ron coughed up slugs in COS
          on is a horcrux. The safest places for items in the wizarding world
          is Gringotts and Hogwarts. Throwing up on the Tom Riddle trophy
          indiciates that the trophy RIddle gained from killing Moaning Mrytle
          is unbelievably vile.

          > Slughorn crystalized pineapple, his yen for which recalls a
          >certain childish hunger for Turkish Delight in C.S. Lewis, even if
          >his treatment of his "favorites" is not as blatantly base Tom
          >Riddle's (who loves no one and has no friends).

          Pineapple = the king of fruit! I like the Turkish delight
          reference. (Sluggy would give Edmund Pevensie a run for his money.)

          >"King and Queen Slug," again mirroring an image from alchemical
          >Wedding, and, perhaps foreshadowing Ron's and Hermione's future
          >relationship and roles.

          Totally agree.

          > Harry as Healer
          Good catch!

          > Lavender

          Purple and white = lavender. The king, Ron, has to go through this
          whtie phase. Harry, as alchemist and good friend, is
          captaining, "potioning," and tricking Ron into becoming a better
          Quidditch player and more confident person just in time for book
          seven.

          >I've wracked my brain, and searched this site, others, and "The
          >Alchemical Wedding" for a definitive meaning of theses little yellow
          >birds.

          ...And all the other Canary references! You are right, it has got to
          add up to something! Love as "language of the birds?"

          Also, it is a fun image when you compare that scene to the Beaubatons
          and their bird entrance in the Goblet of Fire film!

          Question: When Ron and Hermione get married and they throw birdseed
          at the couple after the wedding, will canaries be there for the
          birdseed feast!:)

          > They are not, as far as I can tell associated with the
          >traditional phase-specific birds of Alchemy (raven, white swan,
          >pelican, peacock, or phoenix), although they are referred to
          >as "golden" toward the very end of the chapter. They do recall a
          >golden crown

          Yes, there is a yellow and a purple phase for alchemy along with the
          red, white, and black.Some of the alchemists believed in the extra
          two phases.

          I agree with the crown symbolism. Good catch.

          Here is a joke inspired by this chapter:
          What did the Ten Ton Canary Cream say to the Ten-Tongue Toffee?
          Answer: CHEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          (Sorry...had to let some silliness escape.)
        • C Wise
          Marianna Marinda wrote: C Wise wrote: In addition, please let me know what you think, especially about these birds. In seeking a
          Message 4 of 19 , Jun 5, 2006
            Marianna Marinda <marianna@...> wrote:
            C Wise wrote:
            In addition, please let me know what you think, especially about these birds.
            In seeking a possible answer to this, I was interested to find HP Blavastky's work ( The Secret Doctrine at http://www.sacred-texts.com/the/sd/sd2-3-09.htm ) come up promptly in my search.  It discusses observable facts that support the Atlantean theory (the idea of the continent of Atlantis), and the Canary Islands are specifically mentioned in conjunction with this idea, in a 'direct descendant' capacity. 
             
            Candy:
             
            Hi Marianna!
             
            I'm glad your search re: canaries yielded a lot more than mine. I found many references to the Canary Islands, but never would have found the Blavatsky-Atlantis connection. How'd you do it? Looks like I'm going to have to spend some more serious time with Mme Blavatsky.
             
            Marianna:

            Since the Atlantean legends are all about the history of mankind, especially including humanity's having come from a godly origin, I'd say Hermione's halo (or crown) of birds indicates her own direct link to this divine/royal origin via mind instead of via body (as Ron's Arthurian lineage would suggest for him [thanks, MTR!])... and that they are truly equals being simply frustrated by the yet immature aspects of their complements.  (The mind has as much difficulty appreciating the values/abilities of the body, as the body has appreciating the values/wisdom of the mind.  No wonder they clash.)
            What the mind could most hope for from the body is true confidence (in his quidditch ability and/or social actions, the kind that corresponds with an undeniable awareness of his divine royalty)- which confidence, when immaturely expressed (as with Lavender Brown), is also the greatest frustration Hermione has with Ron.  (The mind recognizes the immaturity of it even though the body does not.)  The biggest frustration the body has with the mind is her difficulty totally seeing the inherent royalty within him, before he has yet matured into the part (which is why Harry's felix trick backfired in regards to them).  Sigh, life goes on.
            Candy:
             
            This mind/body comment is brilliant! I've never understood the conflict/compliment relationship so clearly as you've expressed it here.
             
            Thanks, so much for this Marianna


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          • C Wise
            Deborah wrote: Ron coughs up in CoS, and with young Tom Riddle s trophy-hunting ... I am of the opinion that the trophy that Ron
            Message 5 of 19 , Jun 5, 2006
              Deborah <weaslediva@...> wrote:
              >Ron coughs up in CoS, and with young Tom Riddle's trophy-hunting
              >tendencies.
              I am of the opinion that the trophy that Ron coughed up slugs in COS
              on is a horcrux.  The safest places for items in the wizarding world
              is Gringotts and Hogwarts.  Throwing up on the Tom Riddle trophy
              indiciates that the trophy RIddle gained from killing Moaning Mrytle
              is unbelievably vile.
               
              Candy:
               
              Hi Deborah!
               
              I tend to agree with you about the Riddle trophy's being a possible horcrux, though I haven't decided what all the rest of them are yet. I have to admit, however, that in addition to the excellent reasons you've presented, part of my intuition (I haven't really formulated an argument of my own yet) in this respect is based on my feeling that the trio must return to Hogwarts sometime in the next book, even if the return is preceded by a long detour to Godric's Hollow, or detours to other Wizarding World locations.
               
              Deborah:
               
              Pineapple = the king of fruit!   
               
              Candy:
               
              I had no idea - good catch right back atch'a!
               
              Deborah

              Purple and white = lavender.  The king, Ron, has to go through this
              whtie phase. Harry, as alchemist and good friend, is
              captaining, "potioning," and tricking Ron into becoming a better
              Quidditch player and more confident person just in time for book
              seven.
              Candy:
               
              Another great observation. Don't know how I missed this, since painting is one of my favorite hobbies.
               
              Deborah: 

              >I've wracked my brain, and searched this site, others, and "The
              >Alchemical Wedding" for a definitive meaning of theses little yellow
              >birds.

              ...And all the other Canary references! You are right, it has got to
              add up to something! Love as "language of the birds?"

              Also, it is a fun image when you compare that scene to the Beaubatons
              and their bird entrance in the Goblet of Fire film!
              Candy:
               
              I missed this one too - and I'm really into studying the films. I'm going back to review the most recent one.
               
              Deborah:

              Question: When Ron and Hermione get married and they throw birdseed
              at the couple after the wedding, will canaries be there for the
              birdseed feast!:)

               
              Candy:
               
              Don't know, but it's an excellent idea - especially for film 7. Hope someone involved in that production notices this comment on this great site.
               
              Deborah:
               
              Yes, there is a yellow and a purple phase for alchemy along with the
              red, white, and black.Some of the alchemists believed in the extra
              two phases.
               
               
              Candy:
               
              Wow! I wasn't even aware of a purple phase, but I'm going to start looking for info. Can you direct me to any specific (beginner level) references that include some information on these additional phases?
               
              Deborah:

              Here is a joke inspired by this chapter:
              What did the Ten Ton Canary Cream say to the Ten-Tongue Toffee?
              Answer: CHEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              (Sorry...had to let some silliness escape.)
               
              Candy;
               
              Ha! Definitely Fred and George worthy!
               
              I'm a big fan of frequent, copious silliness, the loonier, the better!
              Yours,
               
              Candy
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            • Jayne
              Boy, you guys are a brilliant bunch--so wise and adept at gleaning the symbolism from the books and analyzing them. I am thoroughly enjoying all of the posts!
              Message 6 of 19 , Jun 8, 2006


                Boy, you guys are a brilliant bunch--so wise and adept at gleaning the symbolism from the books and analyzing them.  I am thoroughly enjoying all of the posts!  I started with Post #1, and am only at Post #70.  They're so good that I don't want to miss anything.  However, I did want to break from reading the old posts to join in the current discussion of Chapter 14.  Well, that is, I have questions.  I don't actually feel enlightened enough yet to do any indepth analysis.  So, enough about that, and on to my questions.:)

                -- In harrypotterforseekers@yahoogroups.com, C Wise <caseypenrodlife@...> wrote:

                The Weird Mist

                The chapter begins with a reference to a "weird mist" hanging over Hogwart's grounds. If this is part of the national mist caused by the Dementors', it's a depressing, nevertheless fertile image. However, I think its symbolism goes beyond Dementors, to suggest the white or Albedo phase of the Alchemical process as noted in a previous chapter discussion about mist. (Leah, Iris, and Hans, posts 1430, 1434) What is "weird" about it? It is ambiguous, indicating a certain wooliness (see previous reference) or confusion, rather than the clarity usually associated with whiteness. It confuses the trio on their way to Herbology (another fertility reference) so that they have trouble finding their green house. This ambiguity is further reflected in Harry's musings about whether Ron's and Hermione's romantic interest in one another will ruin the trio's friendship or become embarrassing in this scene.

                Jayne here:

                I knew that there was some significance to the mist in HBP from the first chapter when JKR, through the muggle Prime Minister, mentioned "a chilly mist in the middle of July" and "a thin mist that was pressing itself against the glass" (HBP, US hardcover, Page 2).  This mist was mentioned several times throughout the books, and was attributed to the dementors being on the loose.  I read the aforementioned posts, and I still don't understand.   What is the significance of the mist and what does it have to do with the albedo phase of the chemical process?

                Casey wrote:

                Felix Felicis

                Harry's non-trick involves Felix Felicis, the title of the chapter, although, Felix is never really used. Felix himself is ambiguous, in that too much of him is poisonous. (saraquel, post 1774 [?]) J.K. Rowling's attitude toward Felix as demonstrated here, however, seems fairly unambiguous. Consistent with her attitude toward divination and the prophecy, she seems to be saying there's no such thing as luck, or, at least, we make our own luck in some sense. On the other hand, Felix is actually used to Harry's apparent benefit later on in the book.  Does this scene indicate that while Harry has matured, he is not yet quite the alchemist he thought he was? Does it also underline, again, in its ambiguity, the confusing, deceptive quality of the white stage, in which we (and Harry) are still, seemingly firmly ensconced?

                Jayne here:

                I got the impression that Felix Felicis represented faith and the Holy Spirit.  If you're filled with the Holy Spirit, you have the faith that you can do anything.  You know, with God, all things are possible.  And, when you have no fear, and have the faith that you won't fail, you don't fail.  I know that Ron did not actually drink the Felix Felicis; but, he thought that he did.  He was filled with the faith that he could do anything because he thought that he was filled with Felix Felicis, i.e., the Holy Spirit. 

                On the other hand, in HBP (US hardcover, Page 187), there is this exchange:  "Yes, it's a funny little potion, Felix Felicis," said Slughorn.  "Desperately tricky to make, and disastrous to get wrong.  However, if brewed correctly, as this has been, you will find that all your endeavors tend to succeed...at least until the effects wear off."  "Why don't people drink it all the time, sir?" said Terry Boot eagerly.  "Becaue if taken in excess, it causes giddiness, recklessness, and dangerous overconfidence," said Slughorn.  "Too much of a good thing, you know...highly toxic in large quantities.  But taken sparingly, and very occasionally..."

                Okay, assuming that my theory is correct, I believe that if "the effects wear off," that means that one has lost faith and is no longer filled with the Holy Spirit.  And, if Felix Felicis does represent the Holy Spirit, why would people not drink it all the time; and, how could being filled with the Holy Spirit be "too much of  a good thing?"  Maybe I'm totally off base here. 

                So, can someone enlighten about the significance of the Weird Mist and the Felix Felicis?  The Felix Felicis, in particular,  strikes me as being something that is going to be crucial to Harry's battle with Voldemort in Book 7.

                Jayne

              • Marianna Marinda
                ... the Felix Felicis?
                Message 7 of 19 , Jun 8, 2006
                  Jayne wrote:
                  >So, can someone enlighten about the significance of the Weird Mist and
                  the Felix Felicis?<

                  There have been a lot of great observations about this odd white mist,
                  and I find especially the 'cloudy' quality of it to be quite
                  interesting. I find the clear and cloudy properties of the white
                  imagery to compare very well to the pure and misdirected efforts (of
                  Harry & Voldemort) to have LIFE. Life is the goal they both share, but
                  it is defined with them in very different ways. The pure way to seek
                  life is through the path of liberation, wherein one learns how to truly
                  Live in whatever condition they are currently manifest. On the other
                  hand, Voldemort's effort to the same goal is to kill unicorns and
                  dominate people for his own tangible existence. It can broadly be said
                  for both of them that the goal is worthy (the goal of Life), though one
                  way is clear/pure/holy, and the other is
                  cloudy/confusing/suspicious/dangerous/destructive. Trying to tell
                  Voldemort that his white stage of liberation is flawed is not going to
                  get you very far. He sees it as a liberating milestone to the goal as
                  much as Dumbledore's path is a liberating milestone for Harry. It is
                  all a matter of perspective, the way it is seen by each candidate, even
                  though when looking at the entire picture it is evident that only one
                  way will truly accomplish it (NOT Voldemort's! However, I think
                  Voldemort may be the pardoned emperor figure when it comes to Harry
                  mastering the scales (compare to CR in the Alchemical Wedding, day 3)).

                  Jayne wrote:
                  >Okay, assuming that my theory is correct, I believe that if "the
                  effects wear off," that means that one has lost faith and is no longer
                  filled with the Holy Spirit. And, if Felix Felicis does represent the
                  Holy Spirit, why would people not drink it all the time; and, how could
                  being filled with the Holy Spirit be "too much of a good thing?"
                  Maybe I'm totally off base here. <

                  As for Felix Felicis, I think you're on the right track, but missing an
                  important point. The potion is an *outward cause* for realization of
                  the Holy Spirit that comes from *within*. If one uses the potion too
                  much, they will learn to always look for that Holy Spirit outside of
                  them (putting their energy into the works of their hands and in support
                  of recognized authority in order to maintain the buzz), and lose hold on
                  the real thing within. In that case, too much really is toxic. (This
                  is starting to sound like Merlin's recent comments about the power
                  cycles of religious movements.) A little bit, however, is an important
                  catalyst to success, for one who is endeavoring to know it from within.

                  Thanks for some great thoughts!
                  :)
                  Marianna
                • C Wise
                  Jayne wrote: I knew that there was some significance to the mist in HBP from the first chapter when JKR, through the muggle Prime
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jun 8, 2006
                    Jayne <naniejay@...> wrote:
                    I knew that there was some significance to the mist in HBP from the first chapter when JKR, through the muggle Prime Minister, mentioned "a chilly mist in the middle of July" and "a thin mist that was pressing itself against the glass" (HBP, US hardcover, Page 2).  This mist was mentioned several times throughout the books, and was attributed to the dementors being on the loose.  I read the aforementioned posts, and I still don't understand.   What is the significance of the mist and what does it have to do with the albedo phase of the chemical process?
                     
                    Hi Jayne!
                     
                    It's very nice to meet you. I'm quite new here too, and have to admire your determination to go back and read each and every post. I've not undertaken that yet, but should.
                     
                    In preparing to introduce Chapter 14 (and not wanting to make a complete fool of myself in such "brilliant"  - as you note - company),  I went back and reviewed each HPB chapter introduction and a lot of the subsequent discussion by the other group members, which, as I've told Hans, turned out to be one of the best things I could've done.
                     
                    My information on "the weird mist" was actually picked up from a post by Leah, # 1430,  regarding her reading of HPB Chapter 4, which I hope I cited correctly in the chapter introduction. If not, my apologies to Leah, and I'll certainly try not to let that happen again.
                     
                    I too had wondered about the significance of the mist in several of the chapters of HPB, though I tended to take Rowling's explanation given through her characters (Dumbledor in this instance, I suspect, but haven't doubble-checked yet) that it simply indicated the Dementors' breeding, at face value. I've read through the entire series at least twice, and now I want to go back again just to look for mists and analyze them -ha! But that's another project that will be on hold for awhile.
                     
                    In any case, after reading Leah's post (see above) I came away with a deeper understanding of it in the context of HPB, anyway, as having to do with the white, or Albedo phase of alchemy, which has to do with purification, and is alot more complicated than I'd understood, and can be, if I have understood correctly, quite confusing. I'm not sure if the potential confusion for the seeker is to mix-up purity with spirituality, as in some religious practices where extereme dietary or associational codes are observed, and that's the extent to which some of their followers ever understand their own religions, or not. A possible example of this would be taking the attitude that "since I'm now completely pure having followed all of my religion's rules strictly, I'm must be truly enlightened," when, in fact, purification is but one step, in the process of becoming "new," and not the real end. I would love some expansion on this subject from more seasoned members.
                     
                    Jayne here:
                    I got the impression that Felix Felicis represented faith and the Holy Spirit.  If you're filled with the Holy Spirit, you have the faith that you can do anything.  You know, with God, all things are possible.  And, when you have no fear, and have the faith that you won't fail, you don't fail.  I know that Ron did not actually drink the Felix Felicis; but, he thought that he did.  He was filled with the faith that he could do anything because he thought that he was filled with Felix Felicis, i.e., the Holy Spirit. 
                     
                    On the other hand, in HBP (US hardcover, Page 187), there is this exchange:  "Yes, it's a funny little potion, Felix Felicis," said Slughorn.  "Desperately tricky to make, and disastrous to get wrong.  However, if brewed correctly, as this has been, you will find that all your endeavors tend to succeed...at least until the effects wear off."  "Why don't people drink it all the time, sir?" said Terry Boot eagerly.  "Becaue if taken in excess, it causes giddiness, recklessness, and dangerous overconfidence," said Slughorn.  "Too much of a good thing, you know...highly toxic in large quantities.  But taken sparingly, and very occasionally..."
                    Okay, assuming that my theory is correct, I believe that if "the effects wear off," that means that one has lost faith and is no longer filled with the Holy Spirit.  And, if Felix Felicis does represent the Holy Spirit, why would people not drink it all the time; and, how could being filled with the Holy Spirit be "too much of  a good thing?"  Maybe I'm totally off base here. 
                     
                    So, can someone enlighten about the significance of the Weird Mist and the Felix Felicis?  The Felix Felicis, in particular,  strikes me as being something that is going to be crucial to Harry's battle with Voldemort in Book 7.
                     
                    Candy:
                     
                    I doubt I can enlighten you about Felix either - he stumped me to a degree - which is why I added the counter-example. I have no problem with your initial guess that Felix represents faith, but that theory does tend to fall apart in the context of an overdose.  Can one have an overdose of faith? Actually, I'm inclined to think you can, if it's of a pre-packaged variety (maybe the bottled variety, is not real faith, like Amortensia is not real love), but that's another discussion.  Maybe Felix should just be read as "confidence," which most of us can probably agree, can be harmful when excessive.
                     
                    I hope some other posters will help us out here too.
                     
                    Yours,
                     
                    Candy_._,_.___
                    .


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                  • Jayne
                    ... wrote: I find the clear and cloudy properties of the white imagery to compare very well to the pure and misdirected efforts (of Harry &
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jun 8, 2006
                      --- In harrypotterforseekers@yahoogroups.com, Marianna Marinda
                      <marianna@...> wrote:

                      I find the clear and cloudy properties of the white imagery to compare
                      very well to the pure and misdirected efforts (of Harry & Voldemort) to
                      have LIFE. Life is the goal they both share, but it is defined with them
                      in very different ways. The pure way to seek life is through the path of
                      liberation, wherein one learns how to truly Live in whatever condition
                      they are currently manifest. On the other hand, Voldemort's effort to
                      the same goal is to kill unicorns and dominate people for his own
                      tangible existence. It can broadly be said for both of them that the
                      goal is worthy (the goal of Life), though one way is clear/pure/holy,
                      and the other is cloudy/confusing/suspicious/dangerous/destructive.

                      Jayne wrote:

                      Thank you, Marianna for your clarification. What I'm hearing you say is
                      that the mist, in general, represents the present mood/feel of things in
                      the wizard with the rise of Voldemort cloudiness, confusion and
                      suspicion); and, in particular, the mist is symbolic of the conflict
                      between Voldemort (dangerous and destructive).

                      Marianna wrote:

                      The potion is an *outward cause* for realization of the Holy Spirit that
                      comes from *within*. If one uses the potion too much, they will learn to
                      always look for that Holy Spirit outside of them (putting their energy
                      into the works of their hands and in support of recognized authority in
                      order to maintain the buzz) and lose hold on the real thing within. In
                      that case, too much really is toxic.

                      Jayne now:

                      Marianna, this makes a lot of sense, if I'm hearing you correctly. In
                      other words, one needs to have faith in their faith, so to speak, and
                      not rely on outside forces to validate or sustain their faith. Because,
                      if you are relying on outside forces/authorities to validate and sustain
                      what should come naturally from within, then you really have no faith.
                      In this case, Felix Felicis really would be only temporary, and the
                      effects could eventually wear off, as Professor Slughorn stated, because
                      it was never something sustainable to begin with. Whew! That sounds
                      like a riddle. I hoping that I'm clear in what I'm trying to say.
                    • Jayne
                      ... wrote: Hi Jayne! It s very nice to meet you. I m quite new here too, and have to admire your determination to go back and read each
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jun 8, 2006
                        --- In harrypotterforseekers@yahoogroups.com, C Wise
                        <caseypenrodlife@...> wrote:

                        Hi Jayne!

                        It's very nice to meet you. I'm quite new here too, and have to admire
                        your determination to go back and read each and every post. I've not
                        undertaken that yet, but should.

                        In preparing to introduce Chapter 14 (and not wanting to make a complete
                        fool of myself in such "brilliant" - as you note - company), I went back
                        and reviewed each HPB chapter introduction and a lot of the subsequent
                        discussion by the other group members, which, as I've told Hans, turned
                        out to be one of the best things I could've done.

                        Jayne here:

                        Hi Candy! It's very nice to meet you also. I wouldn't have guessed
                        that you were new here, judging by the quality of your post on Felix
                        Felicis. You are one of the brilliant posters to whom I was referring.
                        Your post was great--thorough, well-thought out and exceptionally
                        well-presented.

                        Candy wrote:

                        I doubt I can enlighten you about Felix either - he stumped me to a
                        degree - which is why I added the counter-example. I have no problem
                        with your initial guess that Felix represents faith, but that theory
                        does tend to fall apart in the context of an overdose. Can one have an
                        overdose of faith? Actually, I'm inclined to think you can, if it's of a
                        pre-packaged variety (maybe the bottled variety, is not real faith, like
                        Amortensia is not real love), but that's another discussion. Maybe Felix
                        should just be read as "confidence," which most of us can probably
                        agree, can be harmful when excessive.

                        I hope some other posters will help us out here too.

                        Jayne here:

                        Candy, I just replied, a few minutes ago, to Marianna's response to my
                        questions regarding the Weird Mist and Felix Felicis. What I said about
                        Felix Felicis is basically what you just said above; i.e, if your faith
                        is not real/true, it would be possible to overdose on it, and Felix
                        Felicis could potentially be destructive.
                      • Jayne
                        I m really busy in the discussion group today! That s good, though. It s a testament to my enthusiasm in being a Seeker and discussing the spirituality in
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jun 8, 2006
                          I' m really busy in the discussion group today! That's good, though.
                          It's a testament to my enthusiasm in being a Seeker and discussing the
                          spirituality in HP. I'm actually editing my Post 2024 here, since I
                          don't know of any other way to do it. I should have proofread more
                          carefully.

                          I previously wrote:

                          Thank you, Marianna for your clarification. What I'm hearing you say is
                          that the mist, in general, represents the present mood/feel of things in
                          the wizard with the rise of Voldemort cloudiness, confusion and
                          suspicion); and, in particular, the mist is symbolic of the conflict
                          between Voldemort (dangerous and destructive).

                          What I meant to write is:

                          Thank you, Marianna for your clarification. What I'm hearing you say is
                          that the mist, in general, represents the present mood/feel of things in
                          the wizard world with the rise of Voldemort (cloudiness, confusion and
                          suspicion); and, in particular, the mist is symbolic of the conflict
                          between Voldemort and Harry (dangerous and destructive).
                        • Hans Andréa
                          C Wise wrote: I doubt I can enlighten you about Felix either - he stumped me to a degree - which is why I added the
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jun 16, 2006
                            C Wise <caseypenrodlife@...> wrote:
                            I doubt I can enlighten you about Felix either - he stumped me to a degree - which is why I added the counter-example. I have no problem with your initial guess that Felix represents faith, but that theory does tend to fall apart in the context of an overdose.  Can one have an overdose of faith? Actually, I'm inclined to think you can, if it's of a pre-packaged variety (maybe the bottled variety, is not real faith, like Amortensia is not real love), but that's another discussion.  Maybe Felix should just be read as "confidence," which most of us can probably agree, can be harmful when excessive.
                            I hope some other posters will help us out here too.
                             
                            Hans:
                            I was going to leave this for when we discuss Chapter 22, which is when Harry actually experiences what it's like to use Felix Felicis, but that's a long way away, and I would like to know whether you're happy with my explanation now.
                             
                            I would like to quote post 1479 here:
                            >>It was as though the potion was illuminating a few steps of the path at a time. He could not see the final destination, he could not see where Slughorn came in, but he knew that he was going the right way to get that memory. HP6
                             
                            Harry Potter is a complete road map to liberation. Or at least it will be when it's finished. It shows the true seeker exactly what to do, where to go, and what happens to him. We just have to read with the heart.
                             
                            The word magic means the ability to work with non physical forces. One of the most potent means of practising magic is prayer. However it is a mistake to think that every prayer reaches the ears of God, i.e. Tao, the causeless cause of the Kingdom of Eternal Light. The height, i.e. the vibration level, the prayer rises up to depends on the motivating force which causes the prayer to be sent up. Should the prayer be sent up by the ego, symbolised by Peter Pettigrew, it will reach only Voldemort's ears. For a prayer to reach Tao it must come forth from the pure white Lily in the heart, motivated by a deep thirst for the Living Tao, personified by James Potter. The Lily is a thought-spark of Tao and so only that is capable of causing a prayer, i.e. a magnetic impulse, which has a vibration rate capable of reaching Tao. If we are truly on the Path of Liberation and we need help to decide what to do, we can turn to the pure centre of the heart, and, motivated by a humble and totally honest desire to do God's Will, we can send out a cry of help by means of a silent mental prayer. Then we will receive help directly from Tao. This will be in the form of an illumination. The answer to our prayer will be as though it is illuminating a few steps of the path at a time. We can not see the final destination, but we'll know that we're going the right way to get there.<<
                             
                            Some skeptics amongst you must be wondering how I've come to associate Felix Felicis with prayer. There's no mention of prayer anywhere. The answer is that as soon as I read this passage for the first time I recognised it immediately as what happens as the result of prayer. The whole of Harry Potter is written on a very high spiritual level but its message is accessible only to those who are truly seeking for spiritual purity and for unification with God. You have only to read Jayne's and Chris's introductory posts to see how powerful the spiritual message in Harry Potter is.
                             
                            Most people think of prayer as a way of asking God to do things for them. However I remember something from a film called Shadowlands. It was about CS Lewis, and he is quoted there as saying something like, Prayer doesn't change God; it changes the person praying. I agree with that. Prayer should start of by giving, not asking. When we surrender our whole being to God that doesn't change God, but it certainly changes us. Dedicating and devoting one's entire microcosm to God raises one's spiritual level and is very purifying and enlightening. It develops intuition and the ability always to do the right thing. In other words: wisdom. This means constantly being aware of God and mentally holding aloft the words: Not my will but Your will be done and What is it that you want me to do? Then, when there is a problem to solve, one can ask for help; not in any way to benefit oneself but to find out how successfully to accomplish God's will. Then what happens is exactly what is described in the quotation above. You know what to do next but not how it's going to help you get to your (i.e. God's) destination. It's like having a miner's lamp on your head. The lamp illuminates the next step but no further. If you take the step the lamp will move but if you don't, the lamp will stay in the same spot. It's the same with prayer. If you take the step suggested to your intuition as  the result of prayer, you'll know what to do next. If you don't do it, you'll never get any further. So actually the idea of Felix being faith isn't far off. Faith is a prerequisite for prayer.
                             
                            The idea of an overdose may be simply a plot device to make Felix a credible potion for the narrative. After all, the story has to look like a good yarn for teenagers and so all sorts of things have to be put in to make it believable. There may be more to it, but in my mind it's just a device to make people believe it is a potion.
                             
                            Notice that in the narrative Harry takes the real Felix and Ron the pretend one. To me that means the New Soul born in the seeker can use Felix to achieve the return to God, which means first defeating Voldemort. Ron as the earthly biological personality doesn't need prayer; he just needs confidence. This is also a good opportunity for Jo to show what a wonderful leader Harry is. It's a glorious bit of writing in my opinion.
                             
                            Now for the mist. I don't think the mist is an Albedo symbol. I think it just symbolises the exact opposite of Felix Felicis. Felix symbolises illumination as the result of self-surrender and prayer; the mist symbolises obfuscation, depression, darkness and despair. As a matter of fact the aura of a person suffering from depression is grey and looks like a very thick fog. Remembering that Jo once said that when she wrote about the dementors she was thinking of a depression she had had, it all falls into place.
                             
                            I also gave the image of the person going the Path of Liberation, learning to fly, and then looking down into the mist below to see people who are clinging to transient things. When I wrote that I wasn't consciously thinking of the mist in Harry Potter but it's an image that comes readily to mind when talking about spiritual things, especially illumination and freedom from an earthbound state.
                             
                            Candy and Jayne, have I satisfied you to some extent? Please let me know whether I should write more on this. Your feedback will be welcome.
                            Warm regards,
                            Hans


                            "Rowling said she couldn't answer the questions about the book's religious content until the conclusion of book seven." CST 99
                            "If I talk too freely about whether I believe in God I think the intelligent reader, whether 10 or 60, will be able to guess what's coming in the books." JKR
                             


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                          • C Wise
                            . [harrypotterforseekers] Re: Chapter 14 Discussion: Felix Felicis Hans: I was going to leave this for when we discuss Chapter 22, which is when Harry actually
                            Message 13 of 19 , Jun 17, 2006
                              .
                              [harrypotterforseekers] Re: Chapter 14 Discussion: Felix Felicis
                               
                              Hans:
                              I was going to leave this for when we discuss Chapter 22, which is when Harry actually experiences what it's like to use Felix Felicis, but that's a long way away, and I would like to know whether you're happy with my explanation now.
                               
                              I would like to quote post 1479 here:
                              >>It was as though the potion was illuminating a few steps of the path at a time. He could not see the final destination, he could not see where Slughorn came in, but he knew that he was going the right way to get that memory. HP6 [Snip]
                               
                              The word magic means the ability to work with non physical forces.
                               
                              One of the most potent means of practising magic is prayer. [Snip]
                               
                              “Most people think of prayer as a way of asking God to do things for them. However I remember something from a film called Shadowlands. It was about CS Lewis, and he is quoted there as saying something like, Prayer doesn't change God; it changes the person praying. I agree with that. Prayer should start of by giving, not asking. When we surrender our whole being to God that doesn't change God, but it certainly changes us. Dedicating and devoting one's entire microcosm to God raises one's spiritual level and is very purifying and enlightening. It develops intuition and the ability always to do the right thing. In other words: wisdom. This means constantly being aware of God and mentally holding aloft the words: Not my will but Your will be done and What is it that you want me to do? Then, when there is a problem to solve, one can ask for help; not in any way to benefit oneself but to find out how successfully to accomplish God's will. Then what happens is exactly what is described in the quotation above. You know what to do next but not how it's going to help you get to your (i.e. God's) destination. It's like having a miner's lamp on your head. The lamp illuminates the next step but no further. If you take the step the lamp will move but if you don't, the lamp will stay in the same spot. It's the same with prayer. If you take the step suggested to your intuition as  the result of prayer, you'll know what to do next. If you don't do it, you'll never get any further. So actually the idea of Felix being faith isn't far off. Faith is a prerequisite for prayer.”
                               
                              Candy:
                               
                              Hi Hans!
                               
                              Thank you for the expanded response to these issues, and the Lewis information. They made me think a lot. I find myself  agreeing with most of what you say, although I’m still finding the equation of Felix as “faith” a bit strained. Having had some time to think about it, I have developed a theory, which I think is not too far from yours, so let me know what you think.
                               
                              I too recognized the description you cite above from Harry’s experience of Felix as part of what “happens as the result of prayer,” or letting oneself be guided by what I would call the light of Christ. To me it has to do with focusing on and following one’s inner voice that can communicate with and be in tune with God. I think when this happens it is as a direct result of genuine faith.
                               
                              However, Felix still seems to me to be more similar to confidence, in that while confidence is very similar to faith (confidence can be interpreted as either trust in oneself or another or both) I don’t think it’s exactly the same. I think the difference has to do with the fact that faith usually refers to trust in another, or, most often in our context, in God. Similarly, while Harry’s experience of Felix is very similar to that of exercising faith, I don’t think Felix himself is faith. For one thing, the illusion of Felix and Felix seem to work equally well. Moreover, Rowling seems to me to describe both Ron’s and Harry’s experiences more as matters of self-confidence. Ron’s belief in the benefit of Felix caused him to trust his instincts on the Quidditch pitch and Harry’s belief in Felix causes him to trust his instincts in his greater quest. I don’t see how it can be argued that this confidence/trust equation does not work equally as well for Ron and Harry in the text. Both are completely successful.
                               
                              But since faith to me requires something more than mere confidence, and certainly a lot more than self-confidence, I think the issue really has to do with where the inner voice Harry ultimately heeds really comes from. In other words, is it just coming from Harry, or is it coming from God? I think this is the difference between Harry’s experience and Ron’s and their development. If Harry is the “new man” than God truly and more and more dwells within Harry and the voice Harry heeds is God’s voice or at least God’s voice too. Crucially though, and this is my point, Felix is not what makes make it so. God and Harry make it so. Hence, I think the strong parallel Rowling creates with Amortensia, which while mimicking real love is not real love and her emphasis on the dangers of excess Felix. Because, true faith can only be exercised with humility, no? And that can never be compatible with over-conficence in one's self. In any case however, I clearly do agree with you that “actually the idea of Felix being faith isn't far off,” though I still think it is slightly so.
                               
                              Hans again:
                               
                              “Now for the mist. I don't think the mist is an Albedo symbol. I think it just symbolises the exact opposite of Felix Felicis. Felix symbolises illumination as the result of self-surrender and prayer; the mist symbolises obfuscation, depression, darkness and despair. As a matter of fact the aura of a person suffering from depression is grey and looks like a very thick fog. Remembering that Jo once said that when she wrote about the dementors she was thinking of a depression she had had, it all falls into place.”
                               
                              Candy:
                               
                              I think the contrast you draw between the mist and Felix is wonderful. You are right: in a way, they are opposites. Faith is certainly the opposite of depression, and so is confidence. However, I don’t think that this excludes the association of the mist with the Albedo phase as well, because I don’t think depression is necessarily the opposite of the Albedo phase, which, I have come to understand, necessarily entails some depression. As I understand it, the Albedo phase is one of purification and the repeated separation of and elimination of impurities, and I think that all separation involves some grief or depression. I do think there is a difference however, between healthy acknowledged grief and depression and the overwhelming, life threatening variety of the Dementors.
                               
                              Notice that when Harry, Ron and Hermione encounter the mist at the beginning of the chapter, they face it, wade into it, and find their greenhouse, instead of panicking (as occurs with Ron and Harry with the Devil’s Snare episode in PS/SS) and running around in confusion. In addition, notice the Snargaluff’s vines’ similarity of action to those of Devil’s Snare. Is this a deliberate parallel on Rowling’s part? I think the trio’s handling of the mist at the beginning of chapter 14 symbolizes a healthy way of dealing with depression, by acknowledging it, feeling it, but (dare I say it?) keeping their heads on and moving through it. Therefore, I think the mist can be accurately interpreted as associated with both depression and Albedo phase issues, and I think Rowling’s association of the Dementors with this phase through their “breeding” (and breeding is also a part of the Albedo phase at least in the Alchemical Wedding with the new embryos isn’t it?) is pure genius.
                               
                              Of course, if I’m way off in my Albedo phase understanding, please – someone - set me straight now! I’m still struggling with the meaning of all of the phases, and I’d greatly appreciate more information. In particular, I’ve been looking for more on information on the mysterious yellow and purple phases, and either haven’t come to a good source yet, or missed it in earlier readings. So any help here would be greatly appreciated.
                               
                              Thanks again Hans, for a very enlightening response. It’s greatly appreciated.
                               
                              Yours,
                               
                              Candy


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                            • chris
                              Candy wrote: « However, Felix still seems to me to be more similar to confidence, in that while confidence is very similar to faith (confidence can be
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jun 18, 2006
                                Candy wrote:
                                « However, Felix still seems to me to be more similar to confidence, in that while confidence is very similar to faith (confidence can be interpreted as either trust in oneself or another or both) I don’t think it’s exactly the same. I think the difference has to do with the fact that faith usually refers to trust in another, or, most often in our context, in God. Similarly, while Harry’s experience of Felix is very similar to that of exercising faith, I don’t think Felix himself is faith. For one thing, the illusion of Felix and Felix seem to work equally well. Moreover, Rowling seems to me to describe both Ron’s and Harry’s experiences more as matters of self-confidence. Ron’s belief in the benefit of Felix caused him to trust his instincts on the Quidditch pitch and Harry’s belief in Felix causes him to trust his instincts in his greater quest. I don’t see how it can be argued that this confidence/trust equation does not work equally as well for Ron and Harry in the
                                text. Both are completely successful. »

                                Chris now:
                                When Jayne posted her questions, I wrote a few exploratory words about the white mist, and a confident and cocky little paragraph about Felix Felicis, and put the email aside for half an hour. By which time I'd asked myself the same question about Felix that you are asking, and had to junk my potential post. So I've done a bit more thinking about Felix and have a few thoughts to add to the mix, and I'm throwing in my two cents' worth of speculation on the white mist.

                                Felix Felicis

                                The difference between Ron with fake Felix and Harry with real Felix? So far, the only thought that I have come up with is the difference between the tasks they're undertaking. Ron is doing something where he knows exactly what to do, he's just doing it rather better than normal because lack of confidence isn't interfering with his actions. He's operating under instructions from his ego and demonstrating faith in himself.

                                Harry is setting out to do something God has asked him to do, with no idea how to achieve it. He is just carrying out one of God's instructions at a time. It is not comparable with what Ron is doing - Harry has given up controlling with his ego and surrendered the driving seat to God. Put Harry in Ron's position as goalkeeper in the Slytherin match and give him a dose of Felix. If the first instruction was go and have a shower, he would have done it. If the first instruction was go to the other end of the pitch and turn your back on the match, he would have done it. And he would have saved all the goals this way if that was what God required. That's faith in God. Ron could not have done this, because with him it is just a question of the presence or the absence of faith in himself, God doesn't get a look-in.

                                Just a bit more to think about. It's a very interesting question. Our views on Felix may have changed a lot by the time we get to Chapter 22.


                                White Mist

                                I'm a bit tentative on the white mist. If it is generated by the dementors breeding, it must be astral, so are we looking at the thought clouds that we generate through our ideas about the nature of things, which are all illusory, and prevent us from experiencing the universal consciousness that we'd experience in Year 7? The first flashes of universal consciousness that were experienced in Year 3 through the time-turners, and then again in Year 5 in the Department of Mysteries? And that Dumbledore is using throughout Year 6 to collect his information about the history of Tom Riddle and Voldemort? By Year 6 we'd be clear-headed enough to recognise that we couldn't yet 'see' our way clearly, clear-headed enough to recognise that the white mist exists and that we have to dispel[l :-) ] it.


                                Love to all,

                                Chris

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                              • Hans Andréa
                                C Wise wrote: I’m looking forward to your enlightening feedback. Hans: I ve finally had time to read your chapter summary
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jun 18, 2006
                                  C Wise <caseypenrodlife@...> wrote:
                                  I’m looking forward to your enlightening feedback.
                                   
                                  Hans:
                                  I've finally had time to read your chapter summary thoroughly and reread chapter 14 with your notes in mind. I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed. Your analysis and commentary have been so thorough and detailed that there's hardly anything I can add! It's really marvellous, and of course your post will be added to the list of chapter discussion posts on the website. Anybody anywhere in the world who wants to penetrate to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the symbolism of each chapter will be able to do so by consulting the website.
                                   
                                  As soon as we finish Part 6 I want to start at Chapter 1 of Part 1. I'm quite willing to do all the chapters myself, but I hope a few others, especially you, will be willing to help.
                                   
                                  Here are only just a few comments to add to yours. They all seem to be about colour.
                                   
                                  Ron and Ginny are having their screaming match, and this is a sentence that strikes me: '"Shut your mouth!" bellowed Ron, bypassing red and turning maroon.' This colour is often associated with Ron, isn't it? He's always getting hand knitted jumpers in that colour from his mum, isn't he? I didn't think much about that until I read a post in HPfGU saying that maroon is a royal colour. This was part of a post listing all possible references to Ron as king. Is this another one then?
                                   
                                  We should not forget that Felix Felicis has a golden colour. I believe that is of special significance because when the Spirit manifests itself in a human being, this result in the person's whole microcosm turning a most wonderful golden colour. The astral and etheric bodies turn golden, as does the aura. Also the head is surrounded by a golden sphere. This is the radiation of the pineal gland that is accessible to the Spirit. This golden sphere can be seen on very old paintings of holy people, although it often appears to be 2 dimensional there. This is the origin of the belief that a good person has a flat ring-like halo floating above his head. And this leads me straight on to the next point: Hermione's halo of canaries, which Jo describes as golden when they fly off to attack Ron. This little extract given me cold shivers of spiritual intuition, but I don't know what it means. However there is undoubtedly a reference to the halo here, especially when we realise that Hermione (among other things) symbolises the head of the seeker for the Philosopher's Stone. In this context Harry symbolises the heart and Ron the biological, i.e. the abdominal area. All this needs more pondering.
                                   
                                  Finally something not actually about the chapter, but about something that is mentioned in the chapter quite often, namely Demelza. As we probably all know, Demelza House is Daniel Radcliffe's favourite charity, and he's always asking people to make donations there instead of sending him presents. Do you people agree with me that putting Demelza's name in Part 6 is a tribute from Jo to Daniel? It seems obvious to me, but I just want to know what other people's thoughts are. There is a precedent for this, because Jo put a dying little girl's name in one of the books. This name is McDonald. You probably all know the story better than I.
                                   
                                  Anyway, my profound thanks to you Candy for your wonderful chapter summary. You've set a very high standard for others to follow!
                                   
                                  Warm regards to you all,
                                  Hans


                                  "Rowling said she couldn't answer the questions about the book's religious content until the conclusion of book seven." CST 99
                                  "If I talk too freely about whether I believe in God I think the intelligent reader, whether 10 or 60, will be able to guess what's coming in the books." JKR
                                   


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                                • ornadv
                                  ... confidence, in that ... interpreted as ... exactly the same. ... refers to ... Hi everybody – I haven t posted for a long time, so welcome to the new
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jun 18, 2006
                                    >Candy wrote:
                                    >« However, Felix still seems to me to be more similar to
                                    confidence, in that
                                    >while confidence is very similar to faith (confidence can be
                                    interpreted as
                                    >either trust in oneself or another or both) I don’t think it’s
                                    exactly the same.
                                    >I think the difference has to do with the fact that faith usually
                                    refers to
                                    >trust in another, or, most often in our context, in God.


                                    Hi everybody – I haven't posted for a long time, so welcome to the
                                    new members, and I am happy to join again – not only by reading.

                                    I wanted to underline this illusion-Felix character – I agree it
                                    borders on overconfidence. And there is another thing – when
                                    Hermione confronts Harry with using Felix illegally, and Harry tells
                                    it was actually Ron's ability, Ron instead of digesting this
                                    information, gets infuriated with Hermione. He isn't even honest
                                    enough (with himself) to admit it was his belief in being assisted
                                    by magic. That reminds me of Harry's 9different) reaction to being
                                    able to produce a patronus who drove the dementors away – he was
                                    quite thoughtful, when Hermione was amazed, and then said
                                    hesitantly, that perhaps he was able to produce a patronus, because
                                    he thought he had done it.

                                    Which brings me to another – not-humble thought: maybe Harry was
                                    able to be humble and thoughtful about it, and not touchy and
                                    boastful – because Hermione appreciated his performance, believed
                                    that much as it was unbelievable it was in his capability to do it.
                                    While she didn't give room for the possibility that Ron could
                                    achieve this keeper-ability – without her magic or Harry's is being
                                    involved in it.

                                    So Ron couldn't admit to himself that some kind of inner magic had
                                    taken place.

                                    In both places, JKR seems to think that inner belief and external
                                    belief in you form a powerful magic. Which is true, in a way –
                                    because unless you have someone (even imaginary), who trusts in you
                                    and in your ability, or worth or whatever, it is impossible to
                                    become this someone worthy of this trust or belief. Which brings me
                                    back to Voldemort, wondering why Dumbeldore's trust (I wonder,
                                    perhaps just chance) (who is a great believer in second chances),
                                    wasn't enough for him to become a great wizard in a positive sense.
                                    Did Dumbeldore just give him a chance, without really believing in
                                    his ability to choose another path, what does it take to trust
                                    abilities. After all – Harry's trust in Ron had a bit of reality
                                    ground – since Ron did play well – when nobody looked…but it was
                                    also a "leap of faith". Perhaps that is what makes the "trick" work –
                                    in a way it isn't a trick and it still is.

                                    Just adding my thoughts,

                                    Orna
                                  • chris
                                    Candy said: «the trio attempts to wrestle a Snargaluff stump into surrendering its pods ... The Snargaluff stump is a tremendous metaphor in this chapter.»
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Jun 18, 2006
                                      Candy said:
                                      «the trio attempts to wrestle a Snargaluff stump into surrendering its pods ...
                                      The Snargaluff stump is a tremendous metaphor in this chapter.»

                                      Chris:
                                      I did wonder earlier whether the Snargaluff stump might represent the tree of life, but it definitely doesn't - Jo calls it a 'flesh-eating tree[s] of the world'. Presumably, then, it represents the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and although it looks dead at this stage of our hero's career, there is a great deal of life left in it and it is quite dangerous. There is also a job still to be done to wrest a seed from the heart of it and puncture it with something sharp. Notice that Neville carries out the task marginally before Harry, which must be connected with his role as the medulla oblongata and possibly means that some force is entering the body - you'd expect it to reach Neville before it reached the trio.

                                      Just as an aside, did you notice the reference to the Holy Head Harpies? I have to thank Stephen Fry's pronuniciation for this - if I had the books with me I wouldn't have noticed, as the place name is usually pronounced Holly Head.

                                      Candy said:
                                      «Unlike Harry, Ron has not developed rapidly in many areas. This is to be expected to some extent if Ron represents Harry’s old self.»

                                      Chris:
                                      During Book 1, Ron was knocked out before the sixth trial, and Hermione was the one who remained by Harry's side, helping him. At the end of the trial she went back to join Ron. That seems to be the pattern of Book 6, too.

                                      Candy:
                                      «Harry, however, nearly loses the snitch to Malfoy’s substitute, a “Harper,” due to inattention to his own play, but manages to save the game by tricking Harper at the last moment and snagging the snitch.»

                                      Chris:
                                      Harry's remark put Harper off because he registered that Harry was correct. In effect, Harper lost the snitch because his actions were not pure

                                      Another aside - Harper and Vasey are quite suggestive names, aren't they? (No, I didn't mean Royston Vasey, although that's suggestive too, but rather the Holy Grail!)

                                      Candy:
                                      «After witnesses Ron’s humiliating confrontation with Ginny and watching her red hair (second reference) whip out of sight, Harry contemplates the power of his feelings here (are they love, per se?) when he feels “…disoriented, dizzy; being struck by a lightening bolt must be something like this.” This meditation recalls both the powerful symbol of Harry’s scar in the series and the function of love in Book VI. I think J.K. Rowling is reminding us (as she has before in this book (Chapter 9, “The Half-Blood Prince”) that love is a very powerful and sometimes dangerous force. This suggests clearly (to me anyway) that the love theme will, ultimately, play the key role in the overall plot of the series.»

                                      Chris:
                                      Are we seeing Harry as the serpent force of the kundalini making his way down through the body? At first he is unable to get past Ron (the spleen-liver system) but by the end of the Chapter he reaches Ginny (the Sacral Plexus). This would explain why he takes leave of Ginny at the end of Book 6 - he has to make his way back up the body to the pineal gland for enlightenment to take place.

                                      The lightning bolt image also suggests the conversion of St Paul to me - it's referring to part of the same process, I think.

                                      Candy:
                                      «At the end of this scene Harry and Ron run into a little girl (whom we later discover to be either a poly-juiced Crabbe or Goyle) »

                                      Chris:
                                      At first Harry does not recognise the two strings of the autonomic nervous system, but by the end of the book he knows who they are, because he needs their help for the journey to the pineal gland. The fact that they look like little girls is interesting - is this something to do with the cleansing of the astral fluid of the seeker's past, that must take place before the serpent force can begin its return journey?

                                      Hans said:
                                      «Hermione's halo of canaries, which Jo describes as golden when they fly off to attack Ron. This little extract given me cold shivers of spiritual intuition, but I don't know what it means.»

                                      Candy said:
                                      «Harry observes them as a “strange, feathery model of the solar system” hovering over Hermione’s head»

                                      Chris:
                                      I think it is something to do with both of these aspects taken together but as yet I don't know what. If I work anything out, I'll post it!

                                      The other thing I noticed particularly about this chapter, because it's something I've been thinking a lot about lately, is the amount of criticism in it.
                                      There's the criticism of popular opinion over Harry's Quidditch team selection, Ginny's criticism of Ron and Smith, Ron's criticism of Hermione and vice versa, the entire Quidditch team's criticism of Ron, and finally Zacharias Smith's criticism of almost everybody. Harry's own criticism of Smith blinds him for a moment when Smith is actually right. I don't think any of this barrage of criticism benefits either the aggressors or their victims, does it?
                                      I'd be very interested in anyone's comments on this.

                                      Candy said:
                                      «J.K. Rowling’s attitude toward Felix as demonstrated here, however, seems fairly unambiguous. Consistent with her attitude toward divination and the prophecy, she seems to be saying there’s no such thing as luck, or, at least, we make our own luck in some sense. On the other hand, Felix is actually used to Harry’s apparent benefit later on in the book.»

                                      Chris:
                                      I loved the way you put this, Candy. The combination of those two attitudes seems to me to be very Rosicrucian. You make your own luck by surrendering entirely to God's will.

                                      And I don't think Jo's panning divination or prophecy per se - remember Firenze? She just seems to me to be saying that trying to use them at a narrow, egocentric level is not going to be beneficial - you have to take everything into account and address them at a universal level, the level of cosmic consciousness. For which we will have to wait for Book 7.

                                      You must have put a tremendous amount of work into that Chapter; thanks for all the stimulating ideas :-)

                                      Chris

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                                    • C Wise
                                      Hans has asked me to do a summary of the Chapter 14 Discussion by all the members. I am a bit later than anticipated (I had a very long week), but not, I
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Jun 25, 2006
                                        Hans has asked me to do a "summary" of the Chapter 14 Discussion by all the members. I am a bit later than anticipated (I had a very long week), but not, I hope, too late.
                                         
                                        All of the discussion related to Chapter 14  was excellent and enlightening. The major topics covered seem to be as follows:
                                         
                                        HEADS AND BOARS
                                         
                                        Temple Richmond (MTR) added some extensive insights about decapitation; this discussion branched off into some fascinating threads about boar’s heads, Francis Bacon, and the Celtic tradition. (posts 1984, 1985, 1997, and 1996) Hans also added an enlightening post about the boar symbolism in connection with the Hercules myth. (post 2003)
                                         
                                        Decapitation
                                         
                                        MTR observes that the severed human head is a Celtic religious symbol and that according to Malcolm Godwin (“The Holy Grail,” page 54) it represents otherworldly powers of divination and prophecy. (post 1984)
                                         
                                        Boars
                                         
                                        She also observes that a severed Boars head is the symbol of the bar where the trio forms Dumbledore’s Army in OoTP.  (posts 1984, 1985)
                                         
                                        She notes that the boar was a Celtic warrior symbol and wonders if the Hogwarts symbol of the winged boars indicates that Hogwarts exists to perpetuate Celtic tradition. (post 1996)
                                         
                                        She also notes that Arthur is supposed to have slain a massive boar in Arthurian tradition, and wonders if the wild boar does not symbolize magic in its primal state. (post 1996)
                                         
                                        Hans reminds us that the slaying of the Erymanthian boar was one of the twelve labors of Hercules. Hans believes that the boar in this myth symbolizes Hercules’ lower, animal nature. (post 2003)
                                         
                                        In addition, Hans notes that, in the myth, Hercules begins to subdue the boar by driving it into a deep snow, which Hans believes symbolizes purity and the Albedo phase. (post 2003)
                                         
                                        MTR adds that Alice Bailey’s writings on the labors of Hercules associate the boar with the astrological sign Libra, and that in the myth (in perhaps another version?) Hercules encounters a centaur on the way to fulfill his task and is distracted into breaking into a sacred cask of wine and getting drunk. MTR believes that the centaur also symbolizes Hercules’ animal nature. (post 2004)
                                         
                                        Francis Bacon
                                         
                                        MTR notes that There are frequent references to bacon in the books (this was incorrectly attributed to me). She also notes that Sir Francis Bacon is the purported secret son of Elizabeth ! of England ( England ’s last Tudor monarch) whose adoptive family used the wild boar as its crest. (post 1985)
                                         
                                        In addition, she notes that Bacon is believed by some to be the true author of works attributed to Spencer and Shakespeare. (post 1986)
                                         
                                        She notes that Deborah has pointed out that Bacon was an alchemist, astrologist, and knowledgeable of invocative ceremonial magic, and Kabala, and a clairvoyant, to boot. In other words, Bacon was a master of the Hogwarts curriculum. (post 1997)
                                         
                                        In addition, Bacon may have been the adept behind the Rosicrucian tracts “The Fema” and “The Confessio.”
                                         
                                        Finally, she makes reference to an alleged fake death of Francis Bacon, which the “Dumbledore is not really dead” theorists over at Harry Potter for Grown-ups would really appreciate.
                                         
                                        TWITTERING YELLOW BIRDS
                                         
                                        Several theories were advanced with regard to these birds. MTR gives insight on the yellow phase associations of the alchemical process; Marianna associates them with Atlantean legend; Deborah associates them with love, and agrees with the crown symbolism I noted.
                                         
                                        Yellow Phase
                                         
                                        MTR notes that Godwin (see above) associates the yellow phase of the alchemical process with knowledge gathering. She associates the birds pecking at Ron with knowledge pecking away at a problem. (post 1999)
                                         
                                        Atlantean Legend
                                         
                                        Marianna Marinda (Marianna) points out that the birds which I associated with canaries, if they are in fact canaries, are named for the Canary islands, associated by H.P. Blavatsky with Atlantis, and, therefore, with mankind’s origin as “Godly.” She also offers a brilliant incite regarding the closing scene of the chapter's (which features the birds) illustration of the mind’s (Hermione’s) relationship to the body (Ron). (post 2005)
                                         
                                        Love
                                         
                                        Deborah believes the birds may possibly be associated with “the language of love” (post 2007)
                                         
                                        Crown
                                         
                                        Deborah also agrees with me that the circle the birds form above Hermione’s head may also symbolize a crown. (see original Chapter 14 Discussion post). (post 2007)
                                         
                                        MIST
                                         
                                        This topic turned out (together with Felix Felicis – see below) to be one of the most controversial in the chapter. Deborah agreed with me that the mist is connected to the Albedo phase of the Alchemical and process, and Jayne noted the mention of the mist at the beginning of Book VI, HBP, and also mentions that mist features in other books. Marianna contrasts the cloudiness of the mist with the clarity of the white phase and compares these relatively to Voldemort’s and Harry’s approaches toward having life. Hans contrasts the mist with Felix and believes that it symbolizes depression (this seems to be the majority opinion). I don’t believe that the mist as a symbol of depression contradicts its association with the white phase. Chris (Merlin) believes that the mist must be astral and points out a significant pattern in the books.
                                         
                                        Albedo Phase
                                         
                                        I originally associated the mist with the Albedo or white phase of the Alchemical process based upon an earlier post. Deborah agreed with the association (post 2007), but most of the group did not. I later clarified that I do not think associating the mist with the white phase is incongruent with associating it with depression (possibly based upon a gross misunderstanding of the white/purification phase). (post 2050) I am still looking for further information on the phase itself.
                                         
                                        Recurring Theme
                                         
                                        Jayne believes the mist to be a symbol that recurs throughout the books. (post 2020) I’d love to see further information on this possibility also.
                                         
                                        Contrasting Alchemical Methodologies
                                         
                                        Marianna saw the mist as symbolizing the cloudiness of Voldemort’s approach to having life as opposed to Harry’s clarity of approach. (post 2022) Again, I’d love to see some amplification.
                                         
                                        Depression
                                         
                                        Hans believes the mist symbolizes the opposite of Felix Felicis which he sees as prayer and/or faith (see below). In other words, he believes it represents depression and notes its strong connection with the Dementors in support of this position. (posts 2050, 2047)
                                         
                                        Astral Mist
                                         
                                        Chris sees the mist as being “astral” in nature, and notes that a pattern of “flashes of universal consciousness” occur in Books III (PoA) and V (OoTP). (post 2051) I would love to see some amplification on both the astral nature of the mist and the flashes. 
                                         
                                        FELIX
                                         
                                        I originally associated Felix Felicis with a kind of false confidence. Jayne sees Felix as the Holy Spirit. Marianna in a very nuanced view sees Felix as an “outward cause” for the realization of the Spirit within. Hans sees Felix as prayer and/or faith. Chris in another very nuanced view points out that Ron’s and Harry’s experiences with Felix are really quite different. Orna, in an excellent post, associates Felix with trust issues. As previously stated, this was one of the more controversial subjects.
                                         
                                        False Felix
                                         
                                        I originally believed Felix to parallel Amortensia in imitating luck. In response to further posts, I stuck ever more incoherently to my guns, but did eventually come to see Felix as possibly genuine luck.(post 2050)
                                         
                                        Holy Spirit
                                         
                                        Jayne made a strong case for associating Felix with the Holy Spirit, but did not explain why an overdose of Felix as such would be dangerous. (post 2020)
                                         
                                        Outward cause
                                         
                                        Marianna agrees with Jayne but offers an explanation of why a Felix overdose is dangerous. (post 2022)
                                         
                                        Prayer/Faith
                                         
                                        Hans postulates very eloquently that Felix symbolizes prayer reviewing its effect on Harry in a later chapter in depth. (post 2035)
                                         
                                        Nuanced Confidence/Trust/Faith
                                         
                                        Chris again, gives a very nuanced and much more coherent view of a position somewhat closer to mine that I’ve come to lean on more and more. (post 2051)
                                         
                                        Orna discusses Felix in terms of trust issues, and connects him back to faith. (post 2053)
                                         
                                        SNARGALUFF STUMP
                                         
                                        I originally discussed the Snargaluff stump as a metaphor and scene setter for the chapter, adding a comparison with Devil’s Snare later. (post 2050) Chris made some very interesting observations on the stump as a flesh-eating plant and its possibly symbolizing either the Tree of Life or the tree of knowledge. (post2053)
                                         
                                        OTHER MISCELLANEOUS (BUT FASCINATING) INSIGHTS
                                         
                                        In addition to the subjects listed above, many interesting comments on a variety of other subjects were offered. I’ve listed as many of them as I could note with references.
                                         
                                        Pineapples
                                         
                                        Deborah pointed out that Pineapples are the king of fruit. (post 2007) I originally implied that Slughorn may have some claim to that title as well.
                                         
                                        Lavender
                                         
                                        Deborah also pointed out that purple (associated with Ron) mixed with white (Albedo phase) make lavender, a much more definitive comment on the subject of Lavender in the Chapter than I managed to come up with. (post 2007)
                                         
                                        Purple Phase
                                         
                                        Deborah also pointed out that some sources include a “purple phase” in the alchemical process. (post 2007)
                                         
                                        Neville’s Role
                                         
                                        I believe I mentioned that Neville manages the Snargaluff stump more effectively that Ron and Harry in my original post, but neglected to discuss it. Chris expands on this comment and its possible meaning significantly. (post 2056)
                                         
                                        Holy Head Harpies
                                         
                                        Chris points out the correct pronunciation of this named, which I'd completely missed. (post 2056)
                                         
                                        Harper and Vasey
                                         
                                        Chris finds a reference to the Holy Grail here, but doesn't explain it. (post 2056) I hope he will.
                                         
                                        Lightening Bolt
                                         
                                        I also mentioned this reference in the chapter discussion, but again, Chris expands significantly. (post 2056)
                                         
                                        Two Strands of the sympathetic Nervous System
                                         
                                        Again, Chris has a great comment on this that certainly hadn't ocurred to me. (post 2056) 
                                         
                                        J.K. Rowling’s Attitude Toward her own Subject Matter
                                         
                                        I’d originally made an off-hand comment about what I took to be Rowling’s attitude toward luck/Felix. Chris has a much better comment on Rowling’s attitude toward divination. (post 2056) I have often wondered what, exactly, Rowling is saying on the subjects of magic, divination etc. It seems to me that she must hold some consistent view and that it must be integrally related to any message she's trying to convey
                                         
                                        Well. I hope this is somewhat useful. I’m sure I’ve missed a lot, but I think the post references should be reasonably accurate. If not, please feel free to correct them.
                                         
                                        Yours,
                                         
                                        Candy


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                                      • Marianna Marinda
                                        I ve been collecting a lot of previously unfinished responses to various posts or ideas, and so I am compiling them here to share. :) ... approach to having
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
                                          I've been collecting a lot of previously unfinished responses to various posts or ideas, and so I am compiling them here to share.  :)
                                          ---

                                          C Wise wrote:
                                          >Marianna
                                          saw the mist as symbolizing the cloudiness of Voldemort’s approach to having life as opposed to Harry’s clarity of approach. (post 2022) Again, I’d love to see some amplification.<
                                           
                                          .

                                          OK.  :)  One thing I find important to observe about the Harry Potter series (and any hero's adventure, for that matter), is the inherent emotional quality of it.  Just like history gets written from the winner's perspective, so does a hero's tale get written from the hero's viewpoint.  Hence, the bad guy is characterized and described as evil according to what the hero recognizes to be evil.  Now, inasmuch as a judgment of any thing as 'good' or 'bad' is important to the ultimate 'right-use-ness' of our choices (or, the ability to make a choice at all!), such a judgment is also inherently partial, and doesn't (usually) give the antagonist credit for the heart-felt goodness that is also inherent in his motivation. 

                                          Voldemort, for instance, is painted as evil as anyone can be painted, and the drama of the story has lots of popular excitement potential as all that he stands for is destined to be thoroughly beaten (hopefully transformed).  I agree with the observation that Voldemort's actions are highly destructive, but the idea that any thing or person can be absolutely evil is, in my estimation, an idea that promotes division rather than alleviating it, since people will transfer that association onto whatever persons their perspective deems to be of inferior (inferi?) character, and the division remains and/or is strengthened.  (To Jo's credit, however, much-needed insight into his character from OOTP & HBP is putting more of a personal face on him, which encourages within the reader the transcendence of this divided/polar emotional attitude to one of unity, while at the same time promoting the realization of its opposite concept: that there is absolute good (God).  She is nurturing the best of both worlds!)

                                          Anyway, the point I'm trying to get at is that both sides of an opposite pair are equal (else they couldn't be opposites!), and that Voldemort's effort for Life somehow has as much rhyme & reason to it as Harry's does, though from an opposite perspective.  If he was all in one piece (meaning, a Whole soul), I'm sure Tom/Voldemort could tell his side of it quite thoroughly and we would be able to understand the perspective behind his actions.  But, he is not (which puts any part of himself in a state of ignorance as to the wholeness/holiness of the effect of his actions, which ignorance permits those actions to be blindly magnified [notice the dementor imagery!] until they become as unholy as we see them to be.)  I have to wonder if, in the greater scope, even undivided Tom Riddle was only a part of a greater soul (else, how could he have had tendency to evil in the first place?).

                                          How much trouble do we cause ourselves when we don't realize who we are in the greater (whole/holy) picture?  When we think we are a whole while yet being only a part?  How about when we don't realize what we're doing is based in a partial perspective, and thinking it instead to be whole/complete/absolute, proceed with confidence and power?  That is why 'absolute power corrupts absolutely':  the individual part/person (Tom Riddle), in ignorance thinks he is whole (or otherwise functioning with a whole perspective), and thus empowers his biased perspective to the further biasing/division and conquering of the world around him.  (It is his ignorance that gives Voldemort his great capacity for division!)  Harry, on the other hand, has never felt whole without his friends/family- and in that awareness, is not inclined to use his power in a dividing fashion, but in a uniting one (which is what parts do to be whole!).  Love is the glue of Unity, and is what makes Wholeness holy.

                                          Its a lot easier to have compassion even for Voldemort, when you can trace his actions to ignorance, which unfortunate but non-evil aspect of perspective I think we all have been able to identify with at some time or another.  It's just part of growing up.

                                          Anyway, being that my idea of this post was to show that both Harry and Voldemort are pursuing the path of Liberation as best they know it, I hope I have shown how it is reasonable to observe that they will both go through their black/white/red stages in the process of it, and that (being opposites) probably the corresponding stage for one will be in the form of exactly what confuses the other (White stage:  Albus for Harry, dementor mist for Voldemort).  It's as if they are a quarreling couple, preparing for an alchemical wedding wherein they will achieve at-one-ment (i.e. come into harmony) with each other and their Fathers. 
                                          ---
                                          Harry is and is not a child by virtue of his youth, at the same time as Voldemort is and is not a child by virtue of his ignorance; reconciliation of them, together with their fathers, would be the solution to the Potter Riddle (good vs. evil).
                                          ---
                                          I recently watched the movie 'Hook', about a grown-up Peter Pan who goes back to never-never land to save his children, and has to re-learn what it means to be Peter Pan... and I made some interesting associations.
                                              The key to Peter Pan's ability to fly is his having a 'happy thought'.  His happy thought turns out to be the moment he became a Daddy (with the birth of his oldest child, his son), or in other words, a Father.
                                              In HP, the key to safety around dementors is a 'happy thought', in coordination with a spell that means 'Look to the Father'.
                                          This happy thought is not just any happy thought, but one of transcendent joy- one that is based in a higher reality...
                                          The child becomes one with the father, by realizing his own divine nature as a Daddy (wherein he gets in touch with his own ability to Love).
                                          ---
                                          Here's a 'what if' scenario- grim though it may seem, it is yet interesting to contemplate.  (For understanding, keep in mind my conclusions from previous dementor discussions.) 

                                          What if, in the course of the final battle with Voldemort in book 7, Harry was subjected to a dementor's kiss?  What would happen?  What would that be like?  I imagine that it would be like having one's awareness transported to a dark place of nothingness, like floating blindly in empty space, which is at once both absolutely silent and yet filled with innumerable voices in the same conditions- the kind of reality that would freeze one with terror.  Captive here in an indefinite/ happiness numbing/ comparable way as was Sirius in Azkaban, it seems the key to freedom would be along the lines of the 'I was innocent' thought.  In Harry's case, however, he doesn't feel innocent any more (being so connected with Voldemort in ways that have distressed him)... so what could work for him?  Love.  Even more, the thought: 'I Love'.  It is not a specifically happy thought; it is a simple statement of fact, no different than the 'innocence' thought was.  But it is a powerful truth- one that can build upon itself:  'I love that I love', and be the cause of happiness.  It seems, only truth can stand the dementor's grip (and therefore only truth can release it).  It would have to be a statement of knowledge, not just hopefulness.  And where would Harry learn such a truth beyond a doubt?  Perhaps through involvement with the room of Love.  In any case, it would be a total awareness of his own loving nature, which would then become visible as light in the reality of truth (which is what the dementor reality is/requires, though the truth it magnifies has hitherto been devastating).  I think, Love is only seen in the light of Truth, and that is what the dementors 'see'- the truth of the mortal world.  I could picture such a thought being what 'turns the light on' within the mortal/dementor reality, making it totally transform.  This also addresses the overcoming of what I think may prove to be the last horcrux:  the dementors themselves (mother nature being their enlightened forms).
                                          ---
                                          On another note, I find that book 4 of the HP series is also going to be a mirror of book 7, which brings me to the final task:  the maze.  Jo has said that two more people were going to die than she originally thought, and we knew that some/one was going to die already.  In the maze, both Krum and Fleur get put out of order, Cedric is killed, and Harry does his thing with Voldemort.  All 4 of these people represent an element, like the Hogwarts houses... and probably will have an associated identity in book 7.  Are the people who associatively connect with Fleur & Krum (related to the elements of water & air) from book 4 going to be the ones that originally weren't expected to die?
                                          ---

                                          Candy wrote:
                                           >Hi Marianna!
                                          >I'm
                                          glad your search re: canaries yielded a lot more than mine. I found many references to the Canary Islands, but never would have found the Blavatsky-Atlantis connection. How'd you do it? Looks like I'm going to have to spend some more serious time with Mme Blavatsky.<

                                          Well, I haven't done much research into her writings.  I've run across them before via a link from this list, and found them quite good- but tedious to follow.  Anyway, that's how I knew it might be of interest to the group.

                                          As for Atlantis, that's always been an intriguing legend to me, because of its divine connections, and I've made my own associations regarding it.  It just caught my eye enough to read through it for the canary reference.  :P
                                          ---

                                          Candy quoted:
                                          >>Marianna:
                                          >>What the mind could most hope for from the body is true confidence (in his quidditch ability and/or social actions, the kind that corresponds with an undeniable awareness of his divine royalty)- which confidence, when immaturely expressed (as with Lavender Brown), is also the greatest frustration Hermione has with Ron.  (The mind recognizes the immaturity of it even though the body does not.)  The biggest frustration the body has with the mind is her difficulty totally seeing the inherent royalty within him, before he has yet matured into the part (which is why Harry's felix trick backfired in regards to them).  Sigh, life goes on.<<
                                          >Candy:
                                          >This mind/body comment is brilliant! I've never understood the conflict/compliment relationship so clearly as you've expressed it here.
                                          >Thanks, so much for this Marianna<

                                          My pleasure!  Thanks for the compliment.  :)  It is simply a relationship phenomenon I notice at work in my own life.  Relationship communication is deep enough to fairly identify the perspectives at work on both sides, but it doesn't make the frustrations easier to live through.  :)
                                          ---
                                          Inasmuch as a boy needs to get in touch with his inner Father to realize Love, a girl feels the need to get in touch with her inner Mother.  When both of them truly can, humankind will have gotten in touch with its inner God.
                                          ---

                                          Thanks for being here,
                                          Marianna




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