Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter’

the Magic World of Harry Potter

October 6, 2013


The novels of Harry Potter deal with an under-culture of magic in our modern world. Why is it then that the magical sub-culture lives in a medieval setting?

I would assume that if they had separated from us in the Middle Ages they would have evolved along similar lines even if they had kept separated from the muggle world. So wouldn’t they have evolved more than they have?

And the flying brooms… is it the power of the magician to make the broom go, or is it the spell in the broom?

Or is it both?

It seems that the scene where Harry makes the broom jump up into his hand makes one of those hypotheses wrong but the later appearance of the more powerful broom makes the other one wrong.

Even all the spells seem to be in Latin… another medieval hangover.

Can magic exist in a scientific world and if so, where is it?

Has science put something into the ether (some sort of mental magnetic fields) to prevent magic or is it just the scientific attitude that dominates our present world?

Strange, but the Star Wars franchise also seems to be steeped in the medieval flavor as well. Jedi knights, light-sabers, and channeling the force.

Why do we see so much of the “magical” clothed in medieval garb?


Harry Potter and a ‘real’ Magical World

March 24, 2010

J.K.Rowling’s wonderful books about the steadfast young wizard, Harry Potter, have awakened in many people the idea that magic is possible in our world, somehow, somewhere.

All ancient cultures have had tales of magic and powerful wizards, all dismissed by the modern “intelligent” world as being myths and dreams, ways of ‘explaining’ natural phenomena to those early illiterate people.

Those same uneducated illiterates who constructed Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid… you know, those primitives.

And yet most ancient cultures were quite knowledgeable about their environment, their world, their universe. After almost 2,000 years of intellectual backsliding (thanks primarily to the dominant Catholic church), mankind has once again begun the journey toward understanding the wonders around us. The unfortunate part of this is that the framework of modern scientific thought is based on the structures dictated by the Church. As much as science would like to deny and distance themselves from religion, it still operates on the rule of the old school.

Sir Isaac Newton, so famous for his work on physics, was actually attempting to understand God in his studies of the natural world. The Big Bang theory was first derived by a Catholic priest who also happened to be an astronomer.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the corelation of science and religion, as any study of the universe IS a search for the creator. Pythagorus tried to find ways to use mathematics to understand the Almighty, whoever he saw it to be. The drawback of modern science is the preconceived notions about the universe. I see this adherence to strict structures and systems, this rigidity of thought, as based in the mechanics built into the Catholic faith.

A more free-flowing, shamanistic view of the universe (and thereby of the Creator) harkens back to the older times, when the energies surrounding us were found more malleable. I figure if you can SEE or FEEL the energies, you can learn to utilize them. But these “chaotic” views do not fit in well with the precisely structured universe of the modern view born of mathematics (see Numbers Don’t Lie for a different view on mathematic theories) and so we have been trained to ignore and overlook them as “just feelings”. Strange, I do not think of ‘feelings’ as “just”. As a poet and musician, feelings are everything!

Creative people know this as well. The moment of creativity is beyond anything science can put their fingers on. It is a clarity and an emotion almost like touching the divine. Creative people understand the moment of creation… akin to a Creator.

But it cannot be “measured” and is ignored by science. Perhaps science ought to find a different measuring device or a different concept of measurement – in other words, put the yeardsticks, micrometers, and calculators away. Perhaps then they would gain a more complete understanding of the world, the universe, and the people who live here. We, like the other creations here abounding, cannot be measured in such a clinical manner.

People remember the older days primarily when children, before the neoscientific indoctrination. In their world, magic and wonder abound, as well as endless possibilities. Yet still a glimmer of this world remains in enough adults to have made the Harry Potter books a pleasant read for those beyond childhood, who was the original target audience. And it is this glimmer of the real magical world that can bring it back into existence.

Magic in the Harry Potter Books

February 28, 2010

I have enjoyed reading the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling and love the portrayal of characters she has created and their marvelous interactions. The films have also been enjoyable, although not so much as the books as much has been trimmed out for the film version.

Since magic is a subject not currently taught in curricula in any public supported school, her handling of it has been a little lax. Understandably, she is NOT writing primers for young wizards and as such cannot be taken to task for works of fiction – such as Dan Brown’s being taken to task for his work of fiction (can you imagine Britannica suing an author for using data from their encyclopedia in a best-selling novel?).

But for interested readers, I would like to point out a couple of misleading trifles.

First is the importance Hermoine placed on pronunciation of an incantation, telling Ron he should have accented a different syllable. In the next film (not in the book), students are pronouncing the spell “ridikulus” any way they wanted, usually as ‘ridiculous’. An oversight on the part of the film’s director rather than the author. For consistency sake, it should have been as important in the third film as in the first and second.

Another sticky point is teaching the young wizards in the exactly correct way to hold or wave the wand. Much of the attention is put on the wand as if it were in and of itself magical. If it were the wand doing the work, why would it matter how you held it, how you said the spell, or if you did anything at all – in other words, why bother training if the wand IS the magic.

Fortunately, you see Dumbledore performing all sorts of majicks without a wand, a spell spoken, or even a hand raised. THAT shows what the craft is really all about. The use of a wand is to help concentrate your energies… once that is learned, the wand is unnecessary. Wizards would not say “oh, no, they took my wand and I am now powerless!” Spoken incantations are for the same purpose: concentrating the energies. Incantations are primarily used for groups as it sets up a rhythm for everyone to attune their energies into one. Groups that do this often enough do not need to use the chanting.

And what is about using Latin in all their spells? Don’t they tell us that the magical world has been around longer than the language? Why would they use such a thing? Surely their spells should have been in Enochian, or Tocharian, or Linear B, or maybe even Atlantean.

These minor objections aside, I eagerly await the final film of the Potter series. Although there seems little magic in our present world, perhaps this fictional creation can help create more of it here.