For me, in the Harry books it is not a different world, it's simply a world we can't see: we're muggles, it's right under our noses. (J.K. Rowling)
In the third book of the Harry Potter series, The Prisoner of Azkaban, we find ourselves hurdled into the Nigredo phase of the Great Work.
Harry Potter's age always corresponds to the Tarot card he's currently experiencing--he turns 13 at the beginning of Azkaban, which indicates his encounter is with Death (Osiris is a Sirius Black God). Here, Harry is constantly reminded that he has been marked for Death, pursued by Dementors and the Grim.
The first stage of the alchemical work is dissolution, usually called the nigredo or the black stage. In this black, initial stage, “the body of the impure metal, the matter for the Stone, or the old, outmoded state of being is killed, putrefied, and dissolved into the original substance of creation, the prima materia, in order that it may be renovated and reborn in a new form.” Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black, is named for this stage of the work. (John Granger)
The Dementors are clearly meant to represent the depression of the Dark Night of the Soul. After Sirius Black escapes, the Muggle world and the Wizard world start to interpenetrate.
The third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, contains the Dementors, the most frightening creatures who destroy every happy memory you ever had and whose kiss sucks out your very soul. 'They represent the coldness and dreadness of clinical depression. Anyone who's had it knows that feeling of emptiness. You can't imagine not having it. (Rowling)
We have gazed in the Abyss, and now the Abyss seems to gaze back and wrap its icy fingers around us—but who is doing the gazing? It is Osiris, the Lord of the Dead, and he holds the mystic rose. In the distance, we see the Secret Sun of the Self (i.e., Sirius) rising out of the abyss. And yet Osiris is man himself in his natural state (Sirius is played by Gary Old-Man), a being of half-flame and half-darkness. Thus there is joy in death, for we have come to understand the Hidden God, the dark primordial source of all things within ourselves. And we know that a new life will emerge from it.
The previous paragraph is nearly verbatim from my article in The Sync Book, and describes the content of Azkaban with uncanny accuracy. Osiris is, most naturally, Sirius Black, Harry's hidden Godfather. In the end, the significance of all of this is revealed: Dumbledore tells Harry that he discovered his father within himself. Rowling is hitting us over the head with this stuff, and no-one is listening. They wouldn't, of course, because they would have to "become as little children" to get the message.
You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? You father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him.... You know Harry, in a way, you did see you father last night.... You found him in yourself.
Sirius Black the Godfather is Barack Obama--once feared as the enemy (Iraq Hussein Osama), he now becomes the King. Anyone who had read these books should've been able to predict the election. (*...speaking of Black...*)
There is a new teacher (Hierophant) for Defence Against the Dark Arts, or DADA, representing the current Father-imago. Harry's discovery in Azkaban is that Remus Lupin has a dark shadow aspect, representing the untamed beast within--he is a werewolf. Sirius Black, too, has a dual nature, being able to transform himself into a black dog. (Rowling endlessly multiplies characters; when they embrace in the last part of the book, it is evident that they represent a similar idea.)
John Granger submits the idea that Lupin is further meant to represent an ideal sort of Jungian psychoanalyst, one who has learned how to keep his Shadow in check and lead a relatively normal life, but not how to overcome it. (To do so will require the path of Temperance, which is the subject of the next book, Goblet of Fire.) This is the most that the majority of people can aspire to.
Remus instructs them on how to confront Boggarts, who take the form of one's worst fears and lurk in dark and enclosed spaces (of the psyche, we might add).
James Potters' choice of the stag form to preserve himself deserves comment. The stag has archaic symbolic links to the Tree of Life due to the resemblance of its antlers to the cyclic life of branches. It is also seen as the forerunner of daylight or guide to the light of the Sun; it is a harbinger of supreme consciousness. In alchemy the cervus fugitivus, the fugitive stag, is often the name for the highly elusive, metamorphosing Spirit Mercurius. (Gail Grynbaum)
Harry's father and his school chums never really died; they became animals. In other words, Harry's father is the Hanged Man--the latens deitas in nature. To defeat the Dementors, Harry must learn to conjure a Patronus with his wand, which esoterically takes the form of his father (Superdickery). This recalls the story of King Nebuchadnezzar, who was transformed into a beast in the 4th chapter of Daniel. The Olympian gods were said to have transformed themselves into animals in Egypt in order to hide from an even more horrendous force.
She sings, from Earth's dark womb how Typhon rose,
And struck with mortal fear his heav'nly foes.
How the Gods fled to Egypt's slimy soil,
And hid their heads beneath the banks of Nile:
How Typhon, from the conquer'd skies, pursu'd
Their routed godheads to the sev'n-mouth'd flood;
Forc'd every God, his fury to escape,
Some beastly form to take, or earthly shape. (Ovid)
Man, as a mortal god, is caught between beast and angel.
|Inside the Clock Tower.|
The subject of Azkaban is time, and the possibility of reversing it. Time represents entropy; in a completely closed system, the universe will eventually decay into chaos. Fortunately for us, Harry is an alchemist and can reverse this process.
Hermione, or alchemical Mercury, is the agent by which Harry is able to rescue his Godfather Sirius (and, by extension, himself) from a fate worse than death at the hands of soul-sucking Dementors. Hermione, thanks to her Time-Turner, has the ability to turn back time.
|Prof. Huey Lewis would indicate that the power of love (or perhaps plutonium) is what makes time travel possible.|
THOTH (Mercury) is 88 in Greek Gematria, and the speed at which Marty McFly must travel to go back to 1955 and perform the Alchemical Wedding on his parents.
If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour... you're gonna see some Sirius shit.
And yet everything that happens in Azkaban due to the Time-Turner had already happened before they went back in time. (The Predestination Paradox.) Therefore, one can't go back in time to kill Tom Riddle because none of the characters have free will, being Rowling's puppets. But esoterically, of course, one is indeed "going back in time" and reversing the process of entropy that would have eventually destroyed the universe. This is Jacob stealing Esau's birthright.
Chamber of Secrets, which we previously saw, is a retelling of the Esau and Jacob story in Genesis. (The students, by the way, are studying Transfiguration.)
- Rebekah schemes to take away the blessing from Esau by disguising Jacob.
- Hermione concocts a potion to temporarily transform Harry and Ron into Slytherins. (This motif will be duplicated in later books.)
- Later in the book, Harry (Jacob) must defeat Tom (= "twin," i.e. Esau) Riddle, the Heir of Slytherin.
That is, in order to claim the blessing of the Father, Jacob (the Ma Son) has to become just as "Harry" as Esau (the randy savage) is. A mess of Potterage? Mythologically, Horus (Jacob) steals (takes back) the blessing from Set (Esau), with Isis' blessing.
|Time, as in Captain Hook with his Saturnian scythe, is the enemy of Peter Pan.|
Quidditch, illogical though it is, is a metaphor for life. It doesn't really matter what the other players battling it out in the checkerboard of duality do; only the Great Work (represented by the Snitch) is important.
The introduction of Quidditch in the world of Harry Potter is steeped in alchemic and archetypical symbolism. As the Seeker for the Gryffindor team, Harry’s job is to find and catch the Golden Snitch. However, the word Seeker describes Harry wonderfully–he truly is a seeker, a seeker of truth and enlightenment. The Bludgers represent the obstacles along the way, as he tries to duck and dodge the events that conspire to keep him from his goal. The Golden Snitch, however, is the most important object in the game. A tiny gold ball with wings, the Snitch represents the higher planes of consciousness—the Philosopher’s Stone. The Harry Potter Lexicon describes Bowman Wright, the man who invented the Golden Snitch, as a “metal charmer,” which is another name for a metallurgist, or alchemist. (Arianhrod)
But it is also a metaphor for sex. Quidditch is Harry's Charioting, wherein he has to fight Draco, or the reptilian "I" asserting itself, in order to win the golden ball (a perfect fuck) . . .
But mind, never at ease, creaketh "I".
This I persisteth not, posteth not through genera-
tions, changeth momently, finally is dead.
Therefore is man only himself when lost to himself
in The Charioting. (Alastor "Mad-Eye" Crowley, Book of Lies)
In the second book, Harry's arm goes "limp" in the second book after falling off of his "broom" and he has to regrow his "bones." In the third, it is the Dementors who cause Harry to "fall." (Who said these books were for kids? They're filthy.)
Quidditch is a dirty, filthy game that should not be viewed by anyone at all, let alone children. Let's start with the obvious: The game is played by having each player climb on top of a long wooden shaft. Then everyone rides their shafts around, trying to "beat off" the other shafts flying all over the place and chasing balls around the field.
(This, however, is the Lesser Mystery, the Greater Mystery of the Philosopher's Stone inside the Snitch will be revealed in the seventh book.)
Hermione transforms into a cat in the second book; in the third she gets a cat. Again, the Lunar Mercury is implied; a "cat" being cathar, or purified animal energy. (And rightly so, as blue fire is Hermione's trademark. The Patronus has a similar significance.) Harry the alchemist, as usual, must spend a great part of the book getting the "quarreling couple" of Mercury (Hermione) and Sulphur (Ron) to talk to each other. Ron mistakenly fears that Hermione's cat has "eaten" his rat, i.e. that the Mercury has completely absorbed the Sulphurous energy into itself.
The alchemical work purifies a base metal by dissolving and recongealing the metal using two principal reagents or catalysts. These reagents reflect the masculine and feminine polarities of existence. “Alchemical sulfur” represents the masculine, impulsive, and red pole, while “quicksilver” or “alchemical mercury” represents the feminine and cool complement. Together and separately these reagents advance the base metal to gold.
Harry’s two closest friends are Ron Weasley, the redheaded, passionate boy, and Hermione Granger, the brilliant, cool young woman. They are also living symbols of alchemical sulfur (Ron) and mercury (Hermione). Together, and more obviously, in their disagreements and separation, Harry’s friendships with Ron and Hermione transform him from lead to gold. Sulfur and quicksilver are frequently called “the quarreling couple,” an apt name for Ron and Hermione. (John Granger)
|Half-lit spinal columns resonate half-risen Kundalini.|
|"Death" in the Thoth Tarot, showing, again, a half-risen Kundalini serpent (left) and spinal column in prominence.|
While in the first book Ron's rat (RATS=STARS backwards) was described as sitting on his lap (lap-sit exillis), in the third book Rowling makes a point of telling us that it sits in a pocket on his chest--meaning, of course, that the Sulphur has now risen to the level of the heart. Esoterically, Ron is Scabbers, who is revealed to be Peter Pettigrew. "Peter," or "Wormtail" (that is, the "tail" end of the Kundalini) betrayed Sirius (i.e. committed a naked act of lust), just as Peter denies Christ three times. Set slew Osiris.
Peter Pettigrew was the Potters' "Secret-Keeper," which obviously relates to the Secret Word of the Master-Builder Hiram Abiff (James Potter). The Word is the Logos. (The Three Ruffians who murder Hiram-James perhaps being Snape, Voldemort, and Wormtail.)
In this play, Hiram is presented as being the chief architect of King Solomon's Temple, who is murdered by three ruffians during an unsuccessful attempt to force him to divulge the Master Masons' secret password.
In subsequent books, Ron becomes a "Keeper" in Quidditch, echoing Peter as "Secret Keeper," which both point to the Biblical Peter as "keeper of the keys." For Harry to repair the breach in the Godhead, Ron is no good; he needs to be transformed into Ginny. (Rubeus Hagrid, as another "randy savage," is Keeper of the Keys at Hogwarts. These indicate the method of the Work.)