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Hermione (1)

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  • Hans Rieuwers
    Hermione s name is the female form of Hermes, the messenger of the gods in Greek mythology. The Roman equivalent was Mercury. It s fascinating to think that
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 19, 2004
      Hermione's name is the female form of Hermes, the
      messenger of the gods in Greek mythology. The Roman
      equivalent was Mercury. It's fascinating to think that
      this same word is used for a metal as well as a
      planet. This is not a coincidence I'm sure, but my
      esoteric knowledge does not extend far enough to
      explain this.

      As I've explained in my essay, Mercury is the stage in
      alchemical self-initiation where the candidate for
      liberation opens the door to a new mental faculty. It
      means he/she gains direct knowledge of the Divine
      Plan. If you have a messenger of the gods in your
      mind, this means you can see what God wants you to do.
      Jupiter - Jove - Jehovah.

      Jo constantly refers to Hermione as knowing
      everything. It also amuses me to see that Jo said
      somewhere that if she wants to say something to the
      reader, she either speaks through Dumbledore or
      Hermione. Very interesting!

      Another aspect of Hermione is that she symbolises
      mercury as one of the ingredients in traditional
      alchemy. This is an area I don't know much about, but
      John Granger has explained this in his book, "The
      Hidden Key to Harry Potter". This aspect of alchemy
      fuses together sulphur (Ron) and mercury (Hermione) to
      make gold (Harry). I would like to ask anyone who
      knows more about this to post it to the group.

      The point is that when the apprentice alchemist
      surrenders his desires, his feelings, his thoughts,
      his actions and his will to the new, divine soul,
      Harry, this will allow it to grow quickly and become a
      powerful force in the blood, the endocrine system and
      the nervous system. In the beginning the new soul is
      present in the heart region only, but as it grows this
      new force enters the head, and the alchemist begins to
      KNOW with more and more certainty what he has to do. A
      new consciousness begins to dawn.

      In the beginning of the Path of Liberation, there is
      faith. This is an emotional certainty that the
      apprentice alchemist is on the right track. But when
      Hermione becomes Harry's friend, there is also the
      mental certainty, the hope, that he will reach his
      goal. The aspirant on the path feels the hand of God
      leading him, giving him the experience that is
      described so well in Psalm 23:
      "The Lord is our shepherd. We shall not want.
      He makes us lie down in green pastures. (green: hope)
      He leads us beside still waters (the tranquil astral
      body).
      He restores our soul (Harry).
      He guides us in the paths of righteousness for His
      name's sake (Hermione guides him!).
      Yes, though we walk in the valley in the shadow of
      death (Voldemort), [mort = death - Latin]
      we will fear no evil, for You are with us.

      Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days
      of our lives,
      and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
      Yes, that's the purpose of Harry Potter and all the
      other road maps to Liberation: to return to the
      Kingdom of Heaven, to live in union with the original
      spirit, proceeding from a living soul to a life-giving
      Spirit. That's Harry Potter.

      Hans

      Find local movie times and trailers on Yahoo! Movies.
      http://au.movies.yahoo.com
    • Alison Williams
      I m no alchemist! But with some guidance I have done a little reading in the area, so maybe I can help to clarify a couple of points where Hans asks for more
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 19, 2004
        I'm no alchemist! But with some guidance I have done a little reading in
        the area, so maybe I can help to clarify a couple of points where Hans asks
        for more information.

        >Hermione's name is the female form of Hermes, the
        messenger of the gods in Greek mythology. The Roman
        equivalent was Mercury. It's fascinating to think that
        this same word is used for a metal as well as a
        planet. This is not a coincidence I'm sure, but my
        esoteric knowledge does not extend far enough to
        explain this.

        In ancient thought the seven (known) planets corresponded to - meaning that
        they shared essential characteristics with - the seven metals. In ascending
        order Mercury = quicksilver, Saturn = lead, Jupiter = tin, the Moon =
        silver, Venus = copper, Mars = iron and the Sun = gold. Mercury represents
        a catalyst to change and the others represent stages of the alchemical work,
        each an increase in purity.

        >Another aspect of Hermione is that she symbolises
        mercury as one of the ingredients in traditional
        alchemy. This is an area I don't know much about, but
        John Granger has explained this in his book, "The
        Hidden Key to Harry Potter". This aspect of alchemy
        fuses together sulphur (Ron) and mercury (Hermione) to
        make gold (Harry). I would like to ask anyone who
        knows more about this to post it to the group.

        The resolution of the 'quarreling couple', mercury and sulpher, often shown
        visually as a red king and a white queen, (thus the 'chemical wedding'
        image) works as a catalyst to purify the prima materia and make gold of it.
        (Probably a painful process for the poor prima materia!)

        My reading consists mainly of Titus Burckhardt's 'Alchemy' and 'Mirror of
        the Intellect', Mircea Eliade's 'The Forge and the Crucible', Lyndy
        Abraham's 'Dictionary of Alchemical Symbolism' and Adam McLean's 'Study
        Course on Alchemical Symbolism. Just so you know ehere I'm getting this
        from.

        Alison
      • Alison Williams
        I d like to add something to my hasty post earier (I m very much stealing time for this from other things!) I said... The resolution of the quarreling
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 20, 2004
          I'd like to add something to my hasty post earier (I'm very much stealing
          time for this from other things!)

          I said...

          The resolution of the 'quarreling couple', mercury and sulpher, often shown
          visually as a red king and a white queen, (thus the 'chemical wedding'
          image) works as a catalyst to purify the prima materia and make gold of it.
          (Probably a painful process for the poor prima materia!)

          What I'd like to add is that it may be of interest - although maybe not to
          HH shippers, sorry!) that there are several ways in which the resolution of
          sulphur and mercury can take place. It is probably most often represented
          as a royal wedding, although it can also be shown by a hermaphrodite figure,
          by the death and burial of the pair, or less often by the birth of a child.
          I believe The Alchemical Wedding uses both the death and wedding images.

          Just to casually open another can of worms for shippers, alchemical texts
          often speak of mercury being the uniting force in 'the wedding of sol and
          luna' (sol and luna = sun and moon = male and female).

          I can't help suspecting that Luna has a significant part to play in the next
          two books!

          Alison
        • Alison Williams
          As a PS on Hermione. It may (or may not) be a coincidence that the chemical symbol for mercury is... Hg! (I have to admit I didn t notice that until someone
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 21, 2004
            As a PS on Hermione. It may (or may not) be a coincidence that the chemical
            symbol for mercury is... Hg!

            (I have to admit I didn't notice that until someone pointed it out to me.)

            Alison
          • templar1112002
            ... ... often shown visually as a red king and a white queen, (thus the chemical wedding image) works as a catalyst to purify the prima materia and
            Message 5 of 13 , Feb 16, 2005
              Alison Williams wrote:
              >
              <snip>
              > The resolution of the 'quarreling couple', mercury and sulpher,
              often shown visually as a red king and a white queen, (thus
              the 'chemical wedding' image) works as a catalyst to purify the
              prima materia and make gold of it.
              > (Probably a painful process for the poor prima materia!)


              ****Marcela: I'm very new here and this is my first post. Sorry
              for bringing this old post back, but was busy reading the old
              threads....

              My question: How sure are you (Granger?) that Ron symbolises the Red
              (sulphur)? Isn't 'red' associated with thought and reason?
              Wouldn't Hermione be the 'red' in the alchemical symbology?
              Isn't Hermione's voice the one that Harry identifies as his voice of
              reason?

              Marcela
            • Alison Williams
              ... ... often shown visually as a red king and a white queen, (thus the chemical wedding image) works as a catalyst to purify the prima materia and
              Message 6 of 13 , Feb 17, 2005
                Alison Williams wrote:
                >
                <snip>
                > The resolution of the 'quarreling couple', mercury and sulpher,
                often shown visually as a red king and a white queen, (thus
                the 'chemical wedding' image) works as a catalyst to purify the
                prima materia and make gold of it.
                > (Probably a painful process for the poor prima materia!)


                ****Marcela: I'm very new here and this is my first post. Sorry
                for bringing this old post back, but was busy reading the old
                threads....

                My question: How sure are you (Granger?) that Ron symbolises the Red
                (sulphur)? Isn't 'red' associated with thought and reason?
                Wouldn't Hermione be the 'red' in the alchemical symbology?
                Isn't Hermione's voice the one that Harry identifies as his voice of
                reason?

                Marcela

                I've only got time for a very brief answer I'm afraid. Hope it helps.

                I can only speak for myself and I am quite sure. I wonder what makes you
                think that red is associated with thought and reason? I don't know of that
                connection. The red king and white queen are ever present in alchemical
                illustrations.

                In everyday terms (which often evolve from symbolism) red would be more
                often associated with emotion than with reason I would have thought.

                Can I recommend again Adam McLean's site for alchemical symbolism.

                Alison



                Alison
              • Hans Rieuwers
                ... ****Marcela: I m very new here and this is my first post. Sorry for bringing this old post back, but was busy reading the old threads.... Hans: Hi
                Message 7 of 13 , Feb 17, 2005
                  --- templar1112002 <templar1112002@...> wrote:
                  ---------------------------------
                  ****Marcela: I'm very new here and this is my first
                  post. Sorry for bringing this old post back, but was
                  busy reading the old threads....

                  Hans:
                  Hi Marcela, Please don't feel the need to apologise
                  for reading old posts. To the contrary, I hope that
                  our old posts will be a vast treasure of all our
                  profound thinking on the spiritual depth of Harry
                  potter. Anybody is welcome at any time to raise
                  previous issues.

                  Thanks for joining our group and I hope you're
                  enjoying your reading.

                  Sorry I can't answer your question. This is a part of
                  alchemy I'm not familiar with.

                  Warm regards,

                  Hans

                  =====
                  "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." JK Rowling
                  -------------------------------------------
                  See you at http://www.harrypotterforseekers.com
                  Hans Rieuwers



                  Find local movie times and trailers on Yahoo! Movies.
                  http://au.movies.yahoo.com
                • scoobytorch
                  ... Red ... of ... helps. ... Hello, everyone, I ve been lurking on and off here for awhile, but tonight I decided to jump in and add a few thoughts.
                  Message 8 of 13 , Feb 27, 2005
                    --- In harrypotterforseekers@yahoogroups.com, "Alison Williams"
                    <alison.williams@v...> wrote:
                    > Alison Williams wrote:
                    >
                    > ****Marcela: I'm very new here and this is my first post. Sorry
                    > for bringing this old post back, but was busy reading the old
                    > threads....
                    >
                    > My question: How sure are you (Granger?) that Ron symbolises the
                    Red
                    > (sulphur)? Isn't 'red' associated with thought and reason?
                    > Wouldn't Hermione be the 'red' in the alchemical symbology?
                    > Isn't Hermione's voice the one that Harry identifies as his voice
                    of
                    > reason?
                    >
                    > Marcela
                    >
                    > I've only got time for a very brief answer I'm afraid. Hope it
                    helps.
                    >
                    > I can only speak for myself and I am quite sure.
                    >
                    > Alison

                    Hello, everyone,

                    I've been lurking on and off here for awhile, but tonight I decided
                    to jump in and add a few thoughts.

                    <Marcela> My question: How sure are you (Granger?) that Ron
                    symbolises the Red
                    (sulphur)? Isn't 'red' associated with thought and reason?
                    From my limited knowledge of Alchemical symbolism I have to agree
                    with Allison. I can't speak for John Granger, but from my reading &
                    research Sulphur is generally considered to represent the male half
                    of the quarreling couple. I've never heard of red being associated
                    with thought and reason, but Ron is definitely associated with red in
                    the series - from his red hair to his maroon sweaters to how easily
                    his face turns red when he displays emotion (one of my favorite
                    descriptive lines is when he turns so red that "his ears resembled
                    curls of rare roast beef"). I've also seen Alchemical Sulphur
                    described as hot and dry, with the power to burn and consume - Ron
                    has a hot temper, and he certainly likes to consume his food. What I
                    find interesting is that description could also easily be a
                    description of the element Fire. If you equate each of the houses to
                    one of the four basic elements, Hufflepuff = Earth, Slytherin =
                    Water, Ravenclaw = Air and Gryffindor = Fire. Ron, I think, would be
                    almost pure fire. Harry was almost put in Slytherin and Hermione was
                    almost put in Ravenclaw (and Air tempers Fire, which is why Hermione
                    is more level headed than either boy – her intellect tempers her
                    fiery courage). But, the hat didn't hesitate to put Ron in
                    Gryffindor. Sorry to go off on a bit of a tangent there, but the
                    idea of the four houses representing the four Elements has intrigued
                    me for awhile. Especially in light of the Sorting Hat's warning,
                    since the Alchemist needs to unite the four elements before the Stone
                    can be achieved.

                    <Marcela> Isn't Hermione's voice the one that Harry identifies as his
                    voice of
                    reason?
                    Yes, but I think that reinforces Ron and Hermione as the Sulphur &
                    Mercury roles. Harry listens to Hermione because she possesses the
                    cool, clever intellect – more Mercurial traits.


                    --- In harrypotterforseekers@yahoogroups.com, "iris_ft"
                    <iris_ft@y...> wrote:
                    > Grawp is there to show him what he has to do. Educating him,
                    > transforming him, Harry will educate and transform himself.
                    > Harry has to grow up, spiritually. When it is done, he will be able
                    > to vanquish Voldemort.
                    > But first, he needs to work on himself, and what he will do for
                    > Grawp can help him.

                    What a lovely post on Grawp, Iris. There's not much that I could
                    add, but I like the above lines because it's example of Harry
                    transforming himself while transforming others (like the DA, and I
                    suspect the future unification of the four houses), and illustration
                    of the idea that the Alchemist is simultaneously an agent of change
                    and the one being changed.

                    I'd also like to add a big thank you to Hans for putting this group
                    together, to Aldo for the lovely website, and to everyone for posting
                    some of the most thought-provoking ideas I've come across in ages
                    (most of which I'm completely incapable of responding to). When you
                    grow up half Pennsylvania Dutch, half Irish-Catholic in a very small
                    town ideas like this don't pop up in everyday conversations, so it's
                    wonderful to be exposed to so many new ideas especially in the
                    context of stories that I love so much.

                    Thanks,
                    Julie
                  • templar1112002
                    Julie wrote: Hello, everyone, I ve been lurking on and off here for awhile, but tonight I decided to jump in and add a few thoughts. My question: How
                    Message 9 of 13 , Mar 1, 2005
                      Julie wrote: Hello, everyone,

                      I've been lurking on and off here for awhile, but tonight I decided
                      to jump in and add a few thoughts.

                      <Marcela> My question: How sure are you (Granger?) that Ron
                      symbolises the Red (sulphur)? Isn't 'red' associated with thought
                      and reason?

                      From my limited knowledge of Alchemical symbolism I have to agree
                      with Allison. I can't speak for John Granger, but from my reading &
                      research Sulphur is generally considered to represent the male half
                      of the quarreling couple. I've never heard of red being associated
                      with thought and reason, but Ron is definitely associated with red
                      in the series - from his red hair to his maroon sweaters to how
                      easily his face turns red when he displays emotion (one of my
                      favorite descriptive lines is when he turns so red that "his ears
                      resembled curls of rare roast beef"). I've also seen Alchemical
                      Sulphur described as hot and dry, with the power to burn and
                      consume - Ron has a hot temper, and he certainly likes to consume
                      his food. What I find interesting is that description could also
                      easily be a description of the element Fire. If you equate each of
                      the houses to one of the four basic elements, Hufflepuff = Earth,
                      Slytherin = Water, Ravenclaw = Air and Gryffindor = Fire. Ron, I
                      think, would be almost pure fire. Harry was almost put in Slytherin
                      and Hermione was almost put in Ravenclaw (and Air tempers Fire,
                      which is why Hermione is more level headed than either boy – her
                      intellect tempers her fiery courage). But, the hat didn't hesitate
                      to put Ron in Gryffindor. Sorry to go off on a bit of a tangent
                      there, but the idea of the four houses representing the four
                      Elements has intrigued me for awhile. Especially in light of the
                      Sorting Hat's warning, since the Alchemist needs to unite the four
                      elements before the Stone can be achieved.

                      <Marcela> Isn't Hermione's voice the one that Harry identifies as
                      his voice of reason?

                      Yes, but I think that reinforces Ron and Hermione as the Sulphur &
                      Mercury roles. Harry listens to Hermione because she possesses the
                      cool, clever intellect – more Mercurial traits.


                      ***Thanks for your input. My problem arises primarily because JKR
                      has a mix of symbols that is confusing, at least to me.

                      I've been trying to apply 'red/sulfur' to Ron, and though it goes
                      very well with Jo's descriptions of him, and can be safely
                      interpreted like so in the first two books, it really doesn't fit
                      with Ron's role from PoA on... in all honesty, Ron didn't do much to
                      further the plot in the fifth book, if anything, he didn't even
                      provide 'comfort' to Harry or to Hermione.

                      OTOH, I started seeing more signs or 'red/sulfur' in Harry,
                      especially from GoF on, what with all his anger and rashness, more
                      pronounced in OoTP. I have a hard time trying to place Harry
                      as 'lead' now.

                      Another thing that stumps me is that despite many signs that
                      Hermione has hermetical qualities, we can apply those better to
                      Sirius:

                      "...Hermes as a messenger, a god of the cross-roads, and finally the
                      leader of souls to and from the underworld. His phallus therefore
                      penetrates from the know into the unknown world, seeking a spiritual
                      message of deliverance and healing..."

                      and this other one

                      "...Hermes <snip> has attributes of the bird life to add to his
                      chthonic nature as serpent. His staff acquired wings above the
                      serpents, becoming the caduceus or winged staff of Mercury, and the
                      god himself became the 'flying man' with his winged hat and
                      sandals. Here we see his full power of transcendence, whereby the
                      lower transcendence from underworld snake-consciousness, passing
                      through the medium of earthly reality, finally attains transcendence
                      to superhuman or transpersonal reality in its winged flight..."

                      [Quotes from Man and his symbols, Carl Jung.]

                      Sirius, with his Black legacy (snake descriptions all around
                      Grimmauld Place), his flight with Buckbeak, then his passing through
                      the Veil to another (under)world, etc, make me think that he is the
                      Hermes in the HP series...

                      In brief, I'm trying to figure out if JKR has not 'played' with the
                      symbology attached to each character, has not 'switched' roles with
                      some of them, as the kids 'grew-up'.
                      Back to the 'red/sulfur' being Ron, if that is the case, it doesn't
                      fit IMO... Ron and Hermione's relatioship, sulfur/mercury =
                      quarrelling couple, was not shown very strongly in OoTP. (Plus,
                      Harry didn't like the idea of them together without him, and hated
                      it when they fought...) Furthermore, we saw Hermione gaining a more
                      important role (soror mistica) toward Harry, and Ron's character was
                      somewhat left behind (has been increasingly since PoA), both roles
                      (R/Hr) are not at the same level... OoTP showed that Harry and
                      Hermione, though teaming up very well, had differences of opinion
                      too, with Harry being verbal about them in many occasions -a new
                      thing in him.

                      I'm sorry if this is too mundane, I know that this site focuses on
                      hidden/symbological meanings in the texts, but I cannot disregard
                      some of those signs being a bit mixed up in them, and when they
                      don't fit that well, then I try to see if there isn't another
                      interpretation... Thank you.

                      Marcela
                    • Alison Williams
                      ... confusing, at least to me. ... As usual just a brief response but, hopefully, indicating something that could be explored more if and when I have
                      Message 10 of 13 , Mar 2, 2005
                        >*** My problem arises primarily because JKR has a mix of symbols that is
                        confusing, at least to me.

                        <snip>

                        >Marcela

                        As usual just a brief response but, hopefully, indicating something that
                        could be explored more if and when I have the time.

                        I think it's important to remember that what we are talking about is
                        symbolism, not allegory. In an allegorical tale each character has only one
                        simple meaning and, as a result, they will seem rather flat, not very much
                        like real people. JKR's characters are not like that, they are fully
                        rounded, just as real human beings are, and do not represent just one idea.
                        They will have a tendency to act in a certain way but will not do that every
                        time in a totally predictable way.

                        So in terms of symbolism we are talking about a characters overall role,
                        their general aspect, not absolutely everything they do. There will
                        certainly be opportunities to see aspects most generally exhibited by one
                        character in the actions of another in particular circumstances, if we look
                        for it. This is what keep the characterisation interesting and believable.

                        Symbolism is a much more subtle and complex technique than allegory.

                        Alison
                      • templar1112002
                        ... I think it s important to remember that what we are talking about is symbolism, not allegory. In an allegorical tale each character has only one simple
                        Message 11 of 13 , Mar 3, 2005
                          Alison Williams wrote:
                          >
                          I think it's important to remember that what we are talking about is
                          symbolism, not allegory. In an allegorical tale each character has
                          only one simple meaning and, as a result, they will seem rather
                          flat, not very much like real people. JKR's characters are not like
                          that, they are fully rounded, just as real human beings are, and do
                          not represent just one idea.
                          They will have a tendency to act in a certain way but will not do
                          that every time in a totally predictable way.

                          So in terms of symbolism we are talking about a characters overall
                          role, their general aspect, not absolutely everything they do.
                          There will certainly be opportunities to see aspects most generally
                          exhibited by one character in the actions of another in particular
                          circumstances, if we look for it. This is what keep the
                          characterisation interesting and believable.

                          Symbolism is a much more subtle and complex technique than allegory.




                          **Marcela now: Thanks for your answer Allison. I'm not sure that
                          it helped, though :D . Okay, when talking about allegories, my mind
                          jumps immediately to Plato's Allegory of the Cave, and also what I
                          studied (back 20 years ago, mind you) about allegoric and symbolic
                          writings... I remember some definitions paralleling allegories to
                          fables, mainly because there was a moral message within them.
                          I might dedicate some time this weekend to do some more reading on
                          that, but for now, I just Googled 'allegoric writings' and this is
                          one link I found interesting:

                          http://athena.english.vt.edu/~baugh/bosch/R-A-Main.htm#Fletcher

                          From the various definitions and interpretations of allegories and
                          allegoric writings in that link, I understood that the characters do
                          not have only one simple meaning, they are not flat, like what you
                          say above.

                          Then again, I'll work on this soon, and see if I can 'de-confuse'
                          myself :)

                          Marcela
                        • scoobytorch
                          ... wrote: ... to ... Hans has posted before that Ron also symbolizes the physical self (see message #139) and as the Alchemist
                          Message 12 of 13 , Mar 3, 2005
                            --- In harrypotterforseekers@yahoogroups.com, "templar1112002"
                            <templar1112002@y...> wrote:

                            Marcela wrote:
                            > I've been trying to apply 'red/sulfur' to Ron, and though it goes
                            > very well with Jo's descriptions of him, and can be safely
                            > interpreted like so in the first two books, it really doesn't fit
                            > with Ron's role from PoA on... in all honesty, Ron didn't do much
                            to
                            > further the plot in the fifth book, if anything, he didn't even
                            > provide 'comfort' to Harry or to Hermione.

                            Hans has posted before that Ron also symbolizes the physical self
                            (see message #139) and as the Alchemist progresses through his
                            journey the physical self becomes less important. That doesn't
                            necessarily mean that Ron won't still have an important part in the
                            last two books, but maybe not as active of a role as in the early
                            books.

                            > OTOH, I started seeing more signs or 'red/sulfur' in Harry,
                            > especially from GoF on, what with all his anger and rashness, more
                            > pronounced in OoTP. I have a hard time trying to place Harry
                            > as 'lead' now.

                            I think that Harry's emotional state in OOTP matches the Nigredo
                            stage that he seems to be going through. The Nigredo is a stage of
                            decay, dissolution (Disillusionment Charm!) and death, and Harry's
                            mood fits it quite nicely. Lead needs to be broken down before it
                            can be turned into gold. On an interesting side note, I was sitting
                            on my porch pondering this portion of your post when I heard a noise
                            overhead. I looked up just in time to see one of the largest crows
                            that I've ever seen land on the very top of the nearest tree. He
                            paused there for a moment, and looked directly at me before flying
                            off. Crows are often used to symbolize the Nigredo stage!

                            > My problem arises primarily because JKR
                            > has a mix of symbols that is confusing, at least to me.

                            Alison's post was perfect, so I'm only going to add that symbolism of
                            this nature is often intentionally vague. At certain times in
                            history that vagueness was necessary to avoid political and/or
                            religious persecution. But also, if symbols like this were too
                            obvious, there would be no work for us to do. We would miss out on
                            the personal learning and growth that takes place when we study them
                            in the context of a story like Harry Potter.


                            Hans wrote:
                            >Friends, do you see the tremendous significance of this? (In fact I
                            >half expected one of you to point this out) This is the legend of
                            >Prometheus! This is the powerful and sublime Greek legend of the god
                            >who stole fire from Mt Olympus (!) and gave it to humanity! Never
                            >mind about all the other symbolism for a moment, to whom did
                            >Prometheus give fire? Humanity! To whom did Hagrid give fire? The
                            >giants. Doesn't that prove I'm right about the giants symbolising
                            >the human race?

                            and
                            >the fire of course is not physical fire but spiritual fire. Have a
                            >look at the legend of Prometheus and you'll see how close it is to
                            >Hagrid's tale (i.e. my interpretation thereof). The Masters of
                            >Compassion want to give us the liberating spiritual fire; the fire
                            >that never ceases burning. How crystal clear this is.

                            Wow, Hans! And don't forget that Hagrid brings fire to Harry also,
                            but in a much less obvious way: "His eyes fell on the empty grate
                            with the shriveled chip bags in it and he snorted. He bent down over
                            the fireplace; they couldn't see what he was doing but when he drew
                            back a second later, there was a roaring fire there. It filled the
                            whole damp hut with flickering light and Harry felt the warmth wash
                            over him as though he'd sunk into a hot bath." (SS p. 48) After
                            living most of his life with the Dursley's – who never light a fire
                            in their fireplace – Harry's Alchemical journey is kick-started by
                            Hagrid's fire, which generates the gentle heat necessary for the
                            first stages. Note that this occurs away from the Dursley's house,
                            after Harry has been symbolically cleansed and purified by a "bath"
                            of sea water. Part of the entry for fire in "A Dictionary of
                            Alchemical Imagery" by Lyndy Abraham is "one of the four element, the
                            mastery of which brings the ability to express divine love; the chief
                            agent of transmutation in the opus alchymicum." Doesn't this
                            perfectly describe Hagrid?

                            >2. They resent magicians. Conclusion: humanity is pretty
                            >materialistic. People believe only what they see. They don't
                            >like "magic", which is Jo's code word for spiritual things.

                            Hans, I know you were talking about the giants here, but this point
                            reminded me so much of the Dursley's. They're so concerned with
                            their possessions, so afraid of magic that they pretend it doesn't
                            exist. As I pointed out above they never light a fire in their own
                            fireplace. Uncle Vernon had tried to start a fire in the shack, but
                            his empty chip bags just smoked and shriveled up. They ignore
                            spirituality in their daily lives, only calling upon it in an
                            emergency to find that they lack the proper fuel. By GoF they've
                            boarded up their fireplace and replaced it with an electric fire, but
                            those pesky Wizards bust right through it.

                            Thanks,
                            Julie
                          • Hans Rieuwers
                            Julie wrote: And don t forget that Hagrid brings fire to Harry also, but in a much less obvious way[...] After living most of his life with the Dursleys –
                            Message 13 of 13 , Mar 4, 2005

                              Julie wrote:

                              And don't forget that Hagrid brings fire to Harry also,
                              but in a much less obvious way[...] After living most of his life with the Dursleys – who never light a fire
                              in their fireplace – Harry's Alchemical journey is kick-started by Hagrid's fire, which generates the gentle heat necessary for the first stages. Note that this occurs away from the Dursleys' house, after Harry has been symbolically cleansed and purified by a "bath"
                              of sea water. Part of the entry for fire in "A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery" by Lyndy Abraham is "one of the four element, the mastery of which brings the ability to express divine love; the chief agent of transmutation in the opus alchymicum."  Doesn't this
                              perfectly describe Hagrid? [...] I know you were talking about the giants here, but this point reminded me so much of the Dursleys. They're so concerned with their possessions, so afraid of magic that they pretend it doesn't exist. As I pointed out above they never light a fire in their own fireplace. Uncle Vernon had tried to start a fire in the shack, but his empty chip bags just smoked and shrivelled up. They ignore spirituality in their daily lives, only calling upon it in an emergency to find that they lack the proper fuel. By GoF they've boarded up their fireplace and replaced it with an electric fire, but those pesky Wizards bust right through it.

                              Hans:

                              Brilliant, Julie! You've made me aware of a whole lot of symbolism I didn't see before!

                              Thanks so much for that. Contributions like yours are so much fun to read and this is what I was hoping for when I started the group. I hope we can look forward to hearing more form you.



                              "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." JK Rowling
                              -------------------------------------------
                              Hans Rieuwers



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