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Harry Potter is full of rich alchemical symbolism. For example the stone mentioned in the title of Part 1, The Philosopher's Stone is a very ancient alchemical symbol. Nicholas Flamel was a real person living in France in the 14th century, and is said to have made the Philosopher's Stone. The name of another historical alchemist, John Dee, is hidden in the text of Part 5 (Hagrid goes to Dee John = Dijon in France). But one of the greatest indications that Harry Potter is an alchemical story is its similarities to a book published in 1616: The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosycross. Further down is a table of characters out of The Chymical Wedding and their corresponding characters in Harry Potter. That is followed by a table of other similarities and symbols which occur in both books.

Nicholas Flamel and John Dee

What is Alchemy

Alchemy is not a boring study of musty old books and manuscripts full of mysterious diagrams and indecipherable texts as you might think. The living Alchemy we're talking about here is a method of changing a human being from a mortal, biological phenomenon of nature into an immortal Child of the Divine Spirit. This is symbolically referred to as "turning lead into gold". To do this you need a Philosopher's Stone. Where can you obtain this? You have to make it!

Every seeker has in his heart a pure, eternal spark of God. With this spark you can create the Philosopher's Stone within yourself!

In Harry Potter this divine spark is symbolised by Lily. The way to open the bud of the lily is to:

  1. realise that this universe is not the real universe, the universe of God, but a three dimensional world of nature where everything turns in unending circles of birth, life and death, and
  2. start longing for life in the universe of God, sometimes called the Kingdom of Heaven, or Tao, or Nirvana, or the Sixth Cosmic Plane (we live in the Seventh Cosmic Plane).

Stag This longing for God is symbolised in liberating Alchemy by a stag. When Lily marries James, in whom lives a stag, this is telling us that the maker of the Philosopher's Stone has taken their first step: he or she is longing for God. Longing for something means attracting spiritual (which we call astral) forces of a certain quality. The highest and purest longing a person can possibly have is to long for God. This attracts an immensely powerful light of an extremely high vibration into the heart of the Alchemist. This causes the Lily bud to burst open and give birth to a New Soul, symbolised by Harry. He is in fact the living Philosopher's Stone.

The New Soul, which is born in the heart, in "God's hollow place", slowly spreads like a fire through the whole body - if the alchemist surrenders himself to the New Soul, making it the most important thing in his or her life. It's a purifying fire that cleanses and purifies the alchemist. This is a process called "transmutation". It spreads through the blood, the autonomic nervous system, and the hormones of the endocrine glands. It builds up a new "tree of life" in the spinal cord.

When the process is complete, i.e. when the alchemist has "made the Holy Grail", which means he is totally pure and selfless, the Holy Spirit can enter into his tree of life and give him a New Consciousness. This means union with God, and therefore total Liberation from death, from this three dimensional universe, from time, from suffering, and from evil. The seeker has used the Philosopher's Stone to turn his own leaden being into gold, and to make the Elixir of Life, endowing him with eternal life in the Universe of God.

The Alchemist then enters a process of "transfiguration", in which the old biological personality is systematically dissolved and replaced by a Perfect Man, a Child of God with an indestructible body, a mind linked to God, and the Divine Spirit.


To help us understand alchemy, symbols are used. However Alchemy itself is not symbolic. It's a real process happening in the physical body, as well as in the invisible ones: the etheric, astral and mental bodies. JK Rowling uses symbols to describe the whole alchemical process. She hides them in the story, but to those familiar with alchemical symbols, they stand out like familiar faces in a crowd.

Here is a list of some symbols in Harry Potter and what they stand for,

Symbol Meaning
Harry Potterthe new, immortal Soul
Hermione Grangerthe new mind of the alchemist
Ron Weasleythe earthly, biological personality
Albus Dumbledorethe radiation from God: the Gnosis, the Divine Spirit
Rubeus Hagridthe Bodhisattva, the Gatekeeper bringing seekers to the Path
Lily Potterthe Divine spark in the heart
James Potter the longing for God
Voldemortthe immortal but sinful higher self of the human microcosm
Sirius Blackthe living Plan of God
the Weasley familythe seven chakras and their associated endocrine glands
Neville Longbottom the medulla oblongata
Severus Snape the "black" side of the personality
Remus Lupin the "grey" side of the personality
Draco Malfoythe serpent fire in the spinal cord
Vincent Crabbe & Gregory Goylethe left and right string of the sympathetic nervous system
Narcissa Malfoythe physical body
Lucius Malfoythe brain and its feeling of superiority
Dobbythe liberated etheric body
Kreacherthe remnant of the old, earthly etheric body
12 Grimmauld Place The remnants of the old, earthly part of the microcosm
The snitch The new, divine consciousness

If you read Harry Potter with this symbolism in mind, the story will transform from an exciting battle between good and evil to a method of absolute liberation from death, suffering and evil.

Each symbol is linked to a short explanation on the Symbols Page.

Where are the roots of Alchemy?

The real roots of Alchemy are not in the earth. It’s just one of many symbolic ways of showing humanity how to get back to the Original Spirit - God.
God has been calling His children to come back to Him ever since the Fall of Man. People who have found the way home keep contact with humanity and have been working hard to let us know how to get back to God and Divine Life.

They do this by passing on symbolic stories that resonate powerfully in the subconscious mind of millions of people. These stories are NOT historical accounts but guidebooks on how to go on the return journey to man’s real home.

Examples of these symbolic stories are the ones in the Bible, the Greek legends, many well known fairy tales, the Holy Grail myths, the creation myths of many nations and peoples, the scriptures of all the ancient religions, and many ancient and modern epics of hero’s journeys or quests. The most powerful Alchemical story of the past is The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosycross, and, of course, Harry Potter is currently the most popular Alchemical work ever written.

We can see now why people from different religions see their own teachings in Harry Potter: They are all messages from God to tell his lost sons and daughters that He loves them and wants them to return to Him.

What is the way back to the Divine Life, free of death, suffering and evil?

The Dream To put it simply: we have to break up our earthly self, and rebuild the new, eternal human being right from scratch. The old earthly self that we are is a biological phenomenon of nature and is no use to God. This is why Jesus says in the Bible, Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.

Deep inside the heart is the eternal, indestructible seed of the perfect child of God who died after the Fall, but who can be brought back to life by our self-sacrifice. Just as Jesus and Harry and many other mythical heroes of the past have sacrificed themselves in order to enter the resurrection, so can we all “go through the Gate of Saturn” as the Rosicrucians call it, and bring back to life the Original One, the child of the Original Spirit.

This death of self-sacrifice is not at all painful, as Sirius tells Harry in Part 7. What is painful is the purification of the whole human being and the severing of ties that bind us to this three-dimensional universe. This is the process of transmutation, which is divided into three phases, in Alchemy called Nigredo, Albedo and Rubedo.

The self-sacrificial death of the old human being is symbolised in Harry Potter by the death of Voldemort’s eighth soul fragment behind Harry’s scar. Harry comes back from this death and liberates the world of evil. What this means in actual practice is that the old biological consciousness is swallowed up in victory; it is taken up by the New Divine Consciousness like a candle flame merging into the sun.

That is what Harry Potter is really about: death and resurrection!

Entering the resurrection is an experience of unbelievably joyous rapture that never ends. The human being with the New Consciousness experiences God living in his heart, and this means total Love is in his heart, radiating from him, embracing all creatures, and working towards bringing all of them back to God. This state is like a permanent orgasm of the heart, making the person want to dance and shout with ecstasy, and wanting to embrace everyone to bring them back into the Father’s arms.

Harry Potter and the Chymical Wedding

There are too many similarities between Harry Potter and The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosycross to be coincidence. There are many other books containing themes or symbols also occurring in Harry Potter, but the main structure, the foundation story, comes straight from The Chymical Wedding. “So what?” you might ask.

If The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosycross is the foundation of Harry Potter, and we assert that it is, this is of the utmost importance in determining what Harry Potter is about, and what its effects on the world will be. In the title alone there are three very important reference points:

  1. The story is alchemical;
  2. it’s Christian, and
  3. it’s Rosicrucian.

Here follow two lists of similarities between the two books:

Alchemical Wedding Harry Potter
Black king (dies)Snape (dies)
Grey King (dies)Lupin (dies)
+ young wife (dies)Tonks (dies)
Bridegroom Bill
Christian Rosycross (CRC)Harry
Alchymia McGonagall
The old man in the towerDumbledore
Gate keeper Hagrid
Bragging kingsGilderoy Lockhart

Other symbols and similarities:

Alchemical Wedding Harry Potter
ancient castleHogwarts castle
CRC receives invitation during stormHarry receives invitation during storm
CRC's story lasts 7 daysHP's story lasts 7 years
CRC 'chooses' one of four pathsHarry 'chooses' one of four houses
Meals are lit by floating candlesMeals are lit by floating candles
Phoenix present at a funeral (on a flag)Phoenix present at a funeral (in the smoke)
Bird in Tower of OlympusFawkes
Tower of Olympus Olympe (Maxime)
Sea near castleLake near castle
Nymphs in the seaMermaids in the lake
Gate of Saturn: Eighth floor Arch with the veil
Temple of Venus Room of Love
Symbol of Eternal Life (skull with snake in its mouth)Dark Mark (skull with snake in its mouth)
CRC has dream of trying to push a door openHarry has dream of trying to push a door open
Bragging kings given "haustus oblivionis"Lockhart's curse: "obliviate!"
Animals mentioned:Animals mentioned:
unicorn, griffin, lion, 3 headed dog, snake, phoenixunicorn, griffin, lion, 3 headed dog, snake, phoenix
golden head (statue of Nebuchadnezzar)golden head (statue in Ministry = portkey - Pt 5)
dream involving scissorsdream involving scissors
Moving imagesMoving images (paintings)
CherubCherub (at Madame Puddifoot's)
Paracelsus mentioned Paracelsus mentioned (chocolate frog card)
CRC opens golden globe with diamond Harry opens golden globe with "I am about to die."
John Dee's monad symbol appears in marginJohn Dee's name hidden in text (part 5)
John Dee's Symbol of the Monad

All these similarities are not surprising in view of what JK Rowling said in 1998: I've never wanted to be a witch, but an alchemist, now that's a different matter. To invent this wizard world, I've learned a ridiculous amount about alchemy. Perhaps much of it I'll never use in the books, but I have to know in detail what magic can and cannot do in order to set the parameters and establish the stories' internal logic.

The most important similarity between the two stories is:

  • that the symbolism in both of them is veiled;
  • that the stories are not religious on the surface, and contain violence, amorous adventures and things that can’t happen in real life.

The symbolism in The Chymical Wedding, once understood, points to an alchemical journey that takes the earthly, mortal human being to absolute reunion with the Divine Spirit. It points to an alchemical process that leads to the dissolution of the biological human being in the original, heavenly Man, resulting in the indissoluble union of the Spirit, the Soul and the personality.

That is the hidden message in The Chymical Wedding, and that is the hidden message in Harry Potter. It’s a conspiracy; a secret mission that Jo is carrying out for God. The aim of this website is to show those who have an open mind and a heart thirsting for the truth that Harry Potter is a road map to liberation. It can lead every true seeker to discover himself and the world we live in, and to help him begin the exciting and immeasurable journey back to God.

The Father of 20th Century alchemy: Jan van Rijckenborgh

The father of twentieth century alchemy is a relatively unknown author, Jan van Rijckenborgh. In a series of books he described the process of alchemical transmutation and transfiguration which can change the human being from a biological creature to an immortal and perfect Child of God. It is certain that JK Rowling used The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosycross as the basis for the story of Harry Potter, but the deepest layer of meaning, the symbolic foundation of Harry Potter, comes from the writings of Jan van Rijckenborgh.

His The Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosycross explains the symbolism in The Chymical Wedding published in 1616. Without this explanation, the story of Christian Rosycross is meaningless to most people. We believe JK Rowling has read van Rijckenborgh's explanation and has been greatly influenced by it in writing Harry Potter.

His The Coming New Man describes the story of Sirius. The Gnosis in Present-Day Manifestation describes the main events in The Chamber of Secrets, and when reading The Egyptian Arch-Gnosis one can see many familiar ideas, such as the symbolism behind the Weasleys and Harry’s scar.


The Resurrection How does Harry Potter show liberation from death, suffering and evil? Each Part of Harry Potter shows Harry involved in a liberating act, and also the 7 Horcruxes are chains to this universe, which Harry and his friends break.

The sevenfold composition of man and the seven parts of Harry Potter

The human personality consists of seven parts, each of which is made up of atoms and forces of a different “plane”. Of these, only the physical plane is visible and recognised by current empirical science. The following table shows the seven planes in order of the vibration rate of their atoms, and the corresponding part of Harry Potter and how Harry achieves liberation on that plane.

Physical plane

Philosopher’s Stone

Harry gets the stone because he doesn’t want to use it: detachment from physical wealth & life

Etheric plane

Chamber of Secrets

Harry frees Dobby, symbolizing the etheric body

Astral plane

Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry learns the Patronus, which enables him to drive off Dementors - astral creatures

Mental Plane

Goblet of Fire

Harry’s wand, symbolizing his will power, overcomes Voldemort’s wand

Mental I (or ego)

Order of the Phoenix

Harry’s love for Sirius liberates Harry’s mind from possession by Voldemort

Emotional I (or ego)

Half-blood Prince

The locket, symbol of the emotional I, is missing from the cave, symbol of the heart.

Consciousness-I (or I-consciousness)

Deathly Hallows

Voldemort kills the Horcrux behind Harry’s scar, symbol of the I-consciousness


This list of the sevenfold composition of man is taken from The Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosycross by Jan van Rijckenborgh, Vol. 2, page 167. In The Chymical Wedding the Tower of Olympus has seven levels, each of which represents one of the seven planes in the table above.

It’s important to realise that each step in liberation is a tremendous advancement towards reunion with God and entrance into the Universe of Light. It takes many years and requires complete dedication. Just try to imagine what it would be like if you had completed the first step – detachment from physical wealth and life. You would not ever be greedy or care about possessions, nor would you wish to live longer than the time God had given you.

In the third step you would be absolute master of your emotions, and no invisible force could steal your happiness or make you feel depressed. You would no longer have any fear.

Similarly in the next steps your mind and will would be under control and you could choose not to think about things you don’t want to.

In the last step your old I-consciousness (i.e. your feeling of individualized self) would be dissolved into the great Divine Consciousness which makes you feel part of the universe, part of God, part of every living being. This would give you an inextinguishable feeling of joy and love for all of creation.

The seven Horcruxes and liberation

Here is a table of the Horcruxes and what they symbolise. It’s important to understand what Voldemort symbolises before reading this. We all have a Voldemort living in us. He is the unholy force living in our microcosm and survives between our incarnations. He is often called “the higher self” and is, simply put, the accumulation of the results of all our past actions outside of the Divine Plan. The Horcruxes symbolise seven chains which the higher self uses to tie us to itself. Just like Harry we all have the job of killing the seven Horcruxes, after which we must face our Voldemort, now mortal, for the last duel.

The diary of Tom Riddle

The subconscious mind

The ring of Peverell

The ring or wall of the microcosm with its 12 strong focal points

The locket of Slytherin

The emotional consciousness in the heart

The cup of Hufflepuff

“The Holy Grail”, i.e. the chest and throat region

The tiara of Ravenclaw

The head

The snake: Nagini

The serpent-fire in the spine

the scar

The I-consciousness


It’s important to realise that this is not as complicated and difficult as it looks. Our job as earthly human beings is to devote our lives to Lily and, as a hunted stag thirsts for fresh flowing streams, yearn for God to be born in us. Then Harry, son of the Potter of the Universe will be born in our heart, and we can leave the job of liberation to him. All we have to do then is follow Harry, like Ron, and just be loyal and supportive. In other words, we must make the New Soul our master, our guide, our closest friend. We must surrender our whole being to him. He will then grow in strength and grace, and liberate our whole being, step by step. He will have Sirius to guide him. Sirius symbolises the divine light of wisdom, the divine plan of liberation which has been in our microcosm since it was created by God. Our mortal personality will be like a blueprint for the heavenly, multidimensional man.

A warning is due here: we must not try to emulate Snape. He symbolises the person (also living in each of us) who wants to reach liberation by great mental power, by supreme effort of will, by dark magic. As you know, Harry can’t do this. He can’t learn occlumency and legilimens. Harry acts by intuition, meaning that he knows what to do when it needs to be done. If we allow the New Soul to be our leader, we will always know what to do under all circumstances, and the Room of Requirement will supply our every need.

Harry Potter contains further clues about how to go the Path of Liberation. For example the last three books contain clear indications about the 3 steps every seeker needs to take.

The 3 Phases of Alchemy

To make the Philosopher's Stone, Alchemists distinguish 3 phases:

Nigredo - Albedo - Rubedo.

Negredo The Nigredo phase is the Black stage – Order of the Phoenix. This is where the alchemist has to lose everything. He must give up all attachments and become like a child again. Remember how Harry loses everything in Book 5? His God-Father, his broom, the pedestal on which his father stood, Cho, and his esteem by the wizarding world.

Albedo The Albedo phase is the White stage – The Half-Blood Prince. Now the alchemist must purify himself totally. He must "wash his robes white". There must be no earthly desires or selfish thoughts, feelings or actions. In Book 6 Harry's motives intensify and purify. He really becomes determined to help Dumbledore in their quest to find the way to defeat Voldemort. Harry becomes Dumbledore's Man.

Rubedo The Rubedo phase is the Red phase – Deathly Hallows. The alchemist, now totally purified and without attachments to earthly life, is able to make the Philosopher's Stone. In this phase he overcomes the chains tying him to the higher self, and so totally purified and cleansed he has become the living Philosopher’s Stone. With this Stone he can make Gold and the Elixir of Life.

The Titles

An interesting clue to what Harry Potter is really about is the hidden symbolism in the title of each book.

Hermes A spiritual teacher called Hermes Trismegistus, living in ancient Egypt, said the universe is made up of 7 elements. He placed them in a certain order, and we have discovered that each element relates to the title of a book, in the same order. This is not surprising, because Jo has told us the four houses of Hogwarts symbolise the first 4 elements! Here is a table showing the relationships.

Element No. / Book





AZKABAN (island)


A short explanation of the table:

AZKABAN (island)
  1. EARTH is made of stone.
  2. A chamber is a container of AIR
  3. Azkaban is on an island, remember? An island is in the WATER.
  4. Is identical - FIRE
  5. The QUINTESSENCE is the element that contains the previous 4 elements and unites them. The phoenix is a traditional symbol for this element. Note the previous element is fire!
  6. Rosicrucian Alchemists describe blood as an aspect of the soul.
  7. The word Hallow in the title of Book 7 is a less common word for Holy. By putting this word in the title Jo is telling us that Book 7 deals with something holy. What is more holy than the Divine SPIRIT? Absolutely nothing!

Starting the journey of liberation

What’s to stop you doing the journey of liberation that Harry and Christian Rosycross go? Read Harry Potter again from beginning to end with the above key to the symbols in mind. Read The Chymical Wedding and The Alchemical Wedding to help you understand. Then read the letter in your heart, and it will tell you what to do. See you there! Preparing For The Journey