Mythical Creatures In Harry Potter
There is no "one interpretation" of any symbol and they don't belong to any single person or group. They are public property and anyone can use them for any purpose. Nevertheless the creatures symbols in the Harry Potter story have a very strong power and they speak forcefully to our unconscious. There are very strong traditions about some symbols and we have strong associations with some of them.
By clicking on the name of the mythical creature symbols found in Harry Potter below you can read a summary of their alchemical interpretation. Each summary shows links to a
fuller explanation in the
Yahoo discussion group.
- Fawkes the Phoenix
- Buckbeak the Hippogriff
- The Unicorn
- The Basilisk
- The Werewolf
- The Troll
Fawkes the Phoenix
The phoenix symbolises the force which enables the original divine human being asleep in the heart, to "rise from the dead". Harry, as the new, immortal soul of this nascent human being, invokes Fawkes the phoenix in the Chamber of Secrets by his loyalty to Dumbledore, the healing Spirit. Fawkes helps Harry defeat the basilisk. He gives Harry the sword of Goderic Gryffindor, and he kills the basilisk. When Harry is wounded by a poisoned fang, Fawkes drops his tears on the wound and Harry's life is saved. He comes back from certain death. Fawkes flies all the people out of the Chamber of Secrets by his incredibly strong tail feathers. In Goblet of Fire, Fawkes' song gives Harry new hope, and in Order of the Phoenix Fawkes carries messages for the Order. This bird is truly immortal and indestructible, a perfect symbol for the immortal unassailable human being who will one day resurge from dormancy in the heart of every seeker.
Buckbeak the Hippogriff
The hippogriff has its legs firmly on the ground, and is clumsy and greedy - until it spreads its majestic and magnificent wings and soars high into the sky, where it is king. It is therefore a beautiful symbol for the Christ-force which raises us up from egocentric beings to heavenly human beings who can rise to tremendous spiritual heights. But beware! The hippogriff has sharp claws. The Christ-force needs to be shown great respect and caution. Harry, as the new soul born in the seeker, is accepted by Buckbeak, but Draco, the symbol of the egocentric person, is disdainful of Buckbeak and so is injured. The Christ-force comes for a resurrection or a fall, and Harry and Draco each experience one of these each.
When a seeker discovers that the purpose of life is not in this universe but in the original divine universe, he begins to long for that life as a hunted stag pants for the fresh, cool water of the flowing stream. The bud of the lily in his heart opens up and the stag courts her. From their union a new soul is born, a child who is destined to purify and cleanse the seeker's whole miniature world of all that is earthly, finite, fallen, and not part of the original purpose. Such a new soul, because it is divine, radiates a wondrous light, a magnificent lustre of ineffable beauty and purity. This is symbolised in Harry Potter by Hedwig, Harry's faithful, loving and intelligent companion. Of course Hedwig could only be a brilliantly white snow owl, symbolising Harry's inner purity. The fact alone that Harry has Hedwig is enough proof that Harry will be victorious over the accumulated evil in himself, personified by Voldemort.
The unicorn is a magical creature mentioned in both Harry Potter and "The Alchemical Wedding". It is pure white, symbolising its purity. Some paintings show the unicorn wearing a golden collar, pointing out its divine ownership. For the unicorn is symbolical of a person who is totally devoted to God and His Divine Plan. His horn symbolises the new Will which is all-powerful. Every seeker who undergoes the transfiguration as taught at Hogwarts and as performed at "The Alchemical Wedding" will have this horn. This means he can carry out God's will under all circumstances. The new Will is the most powerful instrument a human being can possess.
The giants symbolise the human race. Although they live together they all speak different languages and are constantly killing each other. Hagrid brings them three gifts: everlasting fire, an indestructible helmet and a dragon skin. The fire refers to the legend of Prometheus who stole fire from Mt Olympus to give to humanity. The three gifts symbolise what a Master of Compassion like Hagrid wants to give to humanity: a complete renewal of spirit, soul and body. The fire is the new soul-fire born in the seeker, the helmet symbolises the new spirit, and the dragon skin the indestructible body that a person constructs after liberation.
Grawp is Hagrid's "brother". He symbolises the part of humanity susceptible to being taught spiritual renewal. When Harry and Hermione first see him he is asleep and tied to trees around him. This is the perfect symbol for the unconscious masses. Hagrid is covered with wounds. This symbolises the rewards the Bodhisattva can expect in his struggle to bring spiritual renewal to the human race.
Aragog and the Spiders
How can a bodhisattva, a Master of Compassion, such as Hagrid, bring utterly dangerous, man eating, giant spiders into an area so close to a school?
This mystery relates to the tragedy that any Master of Compassion will encounter when he brings the Divine Light into the world. When a Master of Compassion such as Jesus, Gautama the Buddha or Lao Tzu brings the Light into the world, a group of people forms around him and puts the Word of the Master into practice. This results in people creating the Philosopher's Stone for themselves, and thus entering eternal life in the Gold of the Spirit. These people enter liberation with the Master.
However there is always a group of people that stay behind, nursing the Word which they have not put into practice, but which they take literally. The Master has given them the teachings of liberation, but through its inability to understand their real meaning, this left over group uses a literal interpretation to form an earthbound church. It nails the symbolic story of the resurrection of the Inner God to the calendar, saying this really happened historically. Thus the new church uses the story of liberation to imprison humanity. Such a church gradually splits into pieces because of internal disagreements, and very soon there are hundreds of churches, denominations and sects.
These groups have etheric and astral force fields which extract spiritual energy (especially etheric energy) from their worshippers. This human energy is used to increase the power of the force fields and also to enable the leaders who have died to stay in their force field without having to return to earth in the process of reincarnation. Jo uses the spider, which sucks out the blood of its victims, to symbolise these exploiters of humanity's spiritual energy.
That is the tragedy of the Master of Compassion: he brings the Light of Liberation into the darkness, but the darkness doesn't understand it. The darkness takes the Light and converts it into its opposite: a colony of blood sucking giant spiders.
The basilisk symbolises a force within every human being. It is rolled up like a snake, at the bottom of the spine, in the sacral plexus. This force is often referred to as the kundalini, and represents our entire karma accumulated over thousands of incarnations spent in deviating from the Divine Plan. When the New Soul Fire (Harry) has achieved some degree of maturity, it comes down along the right string of the sympathetic nervous cords (Crabbe & Goyle), which are situated left and right of the spinal cord (Draco). When it reaches the sacral plexus (the Chamber of Secrets) it is confronted by the kundalini. A battle ensues; the battle between the force of sin and the New Divine Soul. If the New Soul is loyal to the Holy, Sanctifying Spirit (Dumbledore), the Phoenix will come to the rescue. This is the divine force which ensures the resurrection of the Son of God. When the serpent of the kundalini has been destroyed, all the karmic ties with this fallen universe are broken. This is what forgiveness of sins means.
Once a month Remus Lupin loses control over himself and turns into a wild beast. His biological nature takes over. The idea of the "moon" is the clue. No matter how hard we try to be "good", no matter how desperately we try to nurture the Divine within us, our biological nature periodically takes control and wipes away our best intentions. What is the strongest force in our biological make up? What have seekers in the past fought hardest to get under control? That can only be biological man's drive to survive as a species, nature's deepest urge to create new life; in other words, our sexual drive, which is regulated by the moon. We can learn from Harry Potter that our sexual drive is a part of our "good" side, but that we can't hope to master it completely. The best we can do is adopt the highest possible moral code, and listen to the advice of our inner Harry Potter, as Lupin did in Part 7. When we go the Path of Liberation as symbolised in the Septology, both our Grey King (Lupin) and our Black King (Snape) will die. That will also be the end of the domination of our biological drive. Nothing except the Original Spirit will be our master, and "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom".
In Part 1, Harry and Ron manage to overcome a troll in the girls’ toilet and save Hermione from being killed by it. After this the three of them become friends.
When the New Soul, symbolised by Harry, is born in the alchemist, one of the first things that changes is his way of thinking. The alchemist develops a new mind, personified by Hermione. The troll is the old mind, the old way of thinking that is “really stupid” as Ron puts it. By its description we can see that it is clumsy, extremely smelly, and with purely animal instincts.
When the alchemist starts his Great Work of making the Philosopher’s Stone, he has to overcome his old mentality and open his mind to the Mercury way of thinking. This means he has to stop looking at everything from an egocentric and polarised point of view that stems from the biological instinct for survival and change to an intuitive mentality which yields to the impartial voice of Divine Love in the heart.