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The Alchemy of JK Rowling

In the light of the Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosycross

by Hans Andréa


Chapter 56 - Gilderoy Lockhart

There are some remarkable similarities between The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosycross and Harry Potter. For example when Christian Rosycross enters the castle he sits down at a meal served up by invisible servants, just as happens at Hogwarts. And just like Harry, he sees candle-lights suspended in mid-air. Very soon after their entrance into the hall both parties are tested; Christian Rosycross by seven weights, Harry by the sorting hat.

I want to draw your attention to the behaviour of some of the people whom Christian Rosycross observes just after he enters the hall. In this hall there was a multitude of guests, emperors, kings, princes and lords, noble and ignoble, rich and poor, and all kinds of rabble. […] When the braggarts had satisfied their hunger somewhat and the wine had taken away their restraint, they began to vaunt and boast. One would prove this, another that, and the most sorry idiot made the loudest noise. […] They boasted about deeds which neither Sampson, nor Hercules with all their strength could ever have achieved. The one would discharge Atlas of his burden, another would draw forth the three-headed Cerberus (HP!) from Hell. […] There was one who heard the rustling of the heavens; a second said he could see Plato’s ideas, and a third could number Democritus’s atoms. There were also not a few pretenders to perpetual motion. Many of them had a good understanding but unfortunately assumed too much of themselves.

Does this bring anyone to mind? Later in The Alchemical Wedding these people are called ‘makers of the Lapis Spitalauficus’. This is an imitation of the Lapis Philosophicus, the Philosopher’s Stone. This is what Gilderoy Lockhart symbolises. He is the seeker who enters the School of Liberation with the motive of using it for his own selfish gain. He tries to impress everyone with his false Philosopher’s Stone. He uses Harry to further his own ends and we learn that he in fact can’t do anything that he claims he can do in his books. But his end is the same as the false seekers in The Alchemical Wedding: he loses his memory. In Harry Potter Gilderoy (‘gold-leaf covered king’) blows out his own memory by chanting ‘obliviate’ with Ron’s defective wand. In The Alchemical Wedding these false seekers are given the ‘oblivionis haustus’, the draught of oblivion. The maker of the Lapis Spitalauficus has his hart locked up, while Harry’s hart is what saves him and Sirius.

Alchemy in Harry Potter - End Chapter Snitch