Harry Potter and Alchemical Symbolism

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Harry Potter and Alchemical Symbolism

Post  spectre on Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:33 pm

Here's an interesting article by John Granger about the possible alchemical symbolism in Harry Potter:

The Alchemist’s Tale: Harry Potter & the Alchemical Tradition in English Literature
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Re: Harry Potter and Alchemical Symbolism

Post  BeautifulEvil on Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:54 pm

I don't have time to read the whole article now, but I skimmed it some. I should also say I have never read a HP book yet, and I'm not sure I will. The whole mess was just too capitalized/consumerized (yes that's a new word) for me.

I highly doubt J.K. Rowling could pierce the veils without actually practicing laboratory alchemy or atleast some form of psychological alchemy. She might've had a basic overview of the work, but I highly doubt there are any "secrets" or "keys" inside the book.

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Re: Harry Potter and Alchemical Symbolism

Post  spectre on Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:49 pm

BeautifulEvil wrote:I don't have time to read the whole article now, but I skimmed it some. I should also say I have never read a HP book yet, and I'm not sure I will. The whole mess was just too capitalized/consumerized (yes that's a new word) for me.

I highly doubt J.K. Rowling could pierce the veils without actually practicing laboratory alchemy or atleast some form of psychological alchemy. She might've had a basic overview of the work, but I highly doubt there are any "secrets" or "keys" inside the book.

I agree with you. I've read some of the books but never thought about any symbolism but just for the entertainment, so I was surprised when I found that article since I'd never given it a thought. Rowling isn't really someone practicing alchemy but she did use small alchemical references in her books... however this article would mainly be interesting for those that love the Harry Potter series already. Like you say Harry Potter is definitely not going to teach anyone alchemy. You can't really extract "The Alchemy" from Harry Potter.. but it loaned some alchemical references and the story itself might be considered a psychological transmutation of sorts.

The same goes for many other works of fiction or art, such as Lord of the Rings and Star Wars that are based on mythological archetypes. J.R.R. Tolkien was very interested in mythology, especially Norse mythology and George Lucas was interested in Joseph Campbell's work: The secret behind Star Wars
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Re: Harry Potter and Alchemical Symbolism

Post  BeautifulEvil on Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:22 pm

I agree with you. I've read some of the books but never thought about any symbolism but just for the entertainment, so I was surprised when I found that article since I'd never given it a thought. Rowling isn't really someone practicing alchemy but she did use small alchemical references in her books... however this article would mainly be interesting for those that love the Harry Potter series already.

Ah, I understand. That reminds me, some of the Harry Potter fans are INSANE, especially the hardcore fans. Rowling has had numerous issues with them. Weird stuff.

The same goes for many other works of fiction or art, such as Lord of the Rings and Star Wars that are based on mythological archetypes. J.R.R. Tolkien was very interested in mythology, especially Norse mythology and George Lucas was interested in Joseph Campbell's work: The secret behind Star Wars

Hehehe, actually I would say there are more occult and arcane secrets in the work of the Lord of the Rings & Star Wars than there is in Harry Potter. The Lord of the Rings is definitely filled with some interesting stuff.... Third Eye

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Re: Harry Potter and Alchemical Symbolism

Post  deviadah on Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:17 pm

Alchemical symbolism can be found in most art, and not because the artist is aware of the alchemical meaning, but because alchemy is such an ancient artform... its roots are everywhere!

This also creates a lot of trouble for those trying to interpret the symbolism since they [the symbols themselves] all get confused, mixed up and watered down!

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