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The Alchemy of JK Rowling

In the light of the Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosycross

by Hans Andréa


Chapter 3 - James

In Chapter 2 I discussed Lily as the personification of the Eternal Principle in the human being.

We experience Lily as the voice in the heart that makes us feel special, royal, full of spiritual potential. It also speaks to us as the voice of conscience. I’m not talking about fear of consequences or fear of breaking rules. The conscience I’m talking about is the inner urge to do the right thing morally because of self-respect, or because we just want to do the right thing to other people for its own sake. We just don’t want to hurt other people. We know others have their own ineffable worth and we respect that deeply. When we transgress that inner law of the heart it hurts and we feel remorse. Remorse in its purest form is a deep regret at causing detriment to others, even when they don’t know we’ve done it, and no one else knows. The conscience can be a hard master, as most of us will know.

Rejoice, for if you have a conscience and know what remorse is, you know Lily, and have her in your heart. Then you have the potential of going the Path of total Liberation which Harry is walking. This voice is fairly passive in most people. It stops them doing the wrong thing rather than prompting them to do the right thing. However there comes a moment when this inner voice becomes active: James is born! James is what turns a person into a seeker. The word ‘James’ comes from the Hebrew name, ‘Jacob’. It means ‘supplanter’. James is the active force that supplants the passive voice of the conscience. James is the personification of the force in the human being that makes him actively search for the meaning of life. There is an intuitive feeling that our true destination does not lie in this world and that the latter is illusory and basically cannot satisfy the inner hunger for peace, for goodness, truth and justice. What turns the passive voice into an active one? It’s the end product of many incarnations full of disappointment, disillusionment and suffering. It’s the subconscious realisation that nothing in this world can really satisfy the inner core of our being. That all our endeavours are just mad rides on the merry go round atVanity Fair. That’s James.

James Potter learns to turn himself into a stag. The stag is the age old symbol for the thirst for the Water of Life. The word ‘hart’ is sometimes used and I love that because it’s so close to the word ‘heart’, where Lily lives and where this thirst comes from. This word is used in the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, and Psalm 42 has a fantastic little piece which sums up everything I can say:

As a hart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

The Water of Life is the symbol for the original, pure immortal lifeforce which enters the heart of those who have this longing for it. I’ll come back to that later.

First I want to briefly discuss Grimm’s fairy tale, The Glass Coffin. In this fairy tale the hero wakes up one morning to the sound of a stag and a black bull fighting. The stag wins and lifts our hero up with its antlers and takes him to a desert (John the Baptist!). The stag puts the hero down and he finds a cave with a glass coffin and a miniature castle. The princess (Lily) wakes up and tells the hero what to do. They kiss, everything comes back to life, and they live happily ever after.

The symbolism here is extremely clear. The black bull symbolises the force that imprisons us in this universe and the stag our longing for liberation from it. The fight between the two symbolises the many experiences we have through innumerable incarnations until the stag wins. In this fairy tale the stag is the brother of the princess while in Harry Potter they’re husband and wife.

Lily and James marry and settle in Godric’s Hollow. A hollow is a small valley or dell (as in Rivendell). Godric is a legendary figure who had a pet. It won’t surprise you to know it was a stag!

Harry is born from the union of the lily and the stag. When the heart actively thirsts for the Living Water, its cry is answered and, like a quickening shower after years of drought, an inflow of imperishable life-force touches the heart. This enters the blood and commences its journey through the whole body. Harry is the new, immortal soul, our personal Messiah promised to us since the time of the Fall. The forces which keep us imprisoned in this universe know what happens when a child is born to the lily and the stag, and they try to kill it. The stag dies and the lily sacrifices itself. The forces of imprisonment, personified by Voldemort, are neutralised and incapable of further harm for a long time while the New Soul demonstrates its immortality.

Of course in real life the immortal, eternal Thought-spark in the heart and the longing that emanates from it don’t actually die. They live on in the New Soul. When the New Soul is born in the seeker, it takes overthe two roles. It becomes the personification ofthose two forces: its inherent goodness and its yearning for the Living Water and liberation from this universe. This is why it is said so often that Harry is like his parents. His appearance is almost identical to his father’s, except that he has Lily’s emerald green eyes.

Lily’s sacrifice is a wonderful symbol of the seeker’s relationship to the New Soul when it’s born. The seeker has to be prepared to sacrifice himself totally to the New Soul. This New Soul is capable of liberating the entire human being, as Harry shows.

When the New Soul has reached a certain maturity it can use the longing for liberation to free itself from the forces imprisoning it on the astral plane. Lupin teaches Harry to invoke the Patronus, which is in the form of a stag. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry is attacked by 100 Dementors. He invokes the stag Patronus and this drives them all away. The Dementors symbolise the black, demonic forces in the atmosphere that can not only immobilise the New Soul, but can even totally suck out its vital Light-power. However what Harry Potter tells us in this part is that the New Soul is indestructible as long as it mobilises its longing for the Living Water, for liberation. Another way to put this is to express it in the words of Psalm 121:

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord.

The hills symbolise the spiritual height the seeker attains to and the help is the spiritual power which drives all opposing forces away. What gives the stag the power to drive all evil and opposing forces away? All forces in the astral plane, i.e. all desires and emotions, have a certain frequency of vibration. Selfish and evil feelings have a lower vibration while unselfish, noble ones have a higher one. However the longing for the life-force from the Real World outside our universe is much higher in vibration than any force in this world, and so it is supreme. It’s scientifically invincible.

That is the message of Harry Potter. Drink the Living Water and you shall return to your Divine Origins.

Alchemy in Harry Potter - End Chapter Snitch