Skip navigation.

Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 43 – The Three Headed Dog Wounded Snape
(HP Chapter 11)

Snape limped over to them and wanted to know what Harry was hiding. He wasn’t fooled by their move to draw closer together. Snape still didn’t see the fire, though. It’s internal. He only saw what he wanted to see: a smaller James. While he had faced the three-headed dog within himself, and gotten bit (a technique that’s often used to help us wake up), the fire of Calcination had not yet ignited. Hermione will do that for him later in the chapter.

Harry only had the book that Hermione loaned him, but Snape insisted that students couldn’t take books outside the school building, and confiscated it. This mirrors the standard Mystery School instruction to not reveal what one learns or knows to the outside world at large. Hermione had learned through her experience with the troll that books didn’t always live up to personal experience. Snape now attempted to teach Harry the same thing.

Books are useful in a school setting, but a Quidditch game wasn’t exactly the way Harry’s path will play out. Books present us with ideas, but they are possibilities that we have to experiment with and discover their truth or error for ourselves. Healing our fractured awareness cannot be done by reading a book, so Snape subtracted five points from Griffindore. This infers that when we place too much importance on a book’s ideas, that dependence can cause us fall, and/or move backwards.

Harry didn’t get it. He had made the Quidditch book important, so he felt angry at losing the book. His expectation wasn’t realized, so his disappointment and loss caused him to look for blame. Harry believed that Snape had made that rule up, so he could mistreat Harry. He was looking at the situation literally, and believed Snape was picking on him. However, he didn’t allow his emotional condition to overshadow the importance of Snape’s limping.

Ron hoped that Snape’s leg was hurting him badly. Ron identified with everything that happened to Harry, and reacted as if it had happened to him. This is why Harry Potter is symbolism, rather than allegory. The actual principle is that Harry identifies himself with Ron. At this first level of the path, the physical level, we are unable to react to painful situations from a loving position. We strive to rid ourselves of any discomfort by blaming, judging, and we attacking those we believe are to blame. Our need to see others suffer is quite strong.

Later that evening, the trio sat together in the Common Room. Hermione was checking over their homework, offering the boys intellectual enlightenment. She didn’t do their homework for them. She didn’t allow them to copy from her, either. She just went over what they had done and shared with them the right answers.

Despite all of her faults, Hermione understood that the boys needed the experience of doing it for themselves. This is the true basis for the secrecy connected with Mystery religions. Hermione evaluated what the boys had done and provided appropriate correction, when necessary. Harry didn’t understand how that differed from just giving them the right answers to begin with.

He also felt restless. He wanted the Quidditch book back. He believed that reading it, or holding it in his arms, would make him feel less anxious about the game tomorrow. To Harry, the book represented comfort. He also realized that his fear of Snape was what had prevented him from receiving the comfort he felt he needed from the book.

Why was he afraid of Snape? We fear what we don’t understand, but we also fear people who make us feel uncomfortable. People who do things that prevent us from receiving the pleasure we seek after. Snape’s behavior and tone also reminded Harry of the Dursleys, so there were emotional triggers also involved with this experience.

We are unconsciously programmed to always seek pleasure and dissolve discomfort, so Harry came up with a plan to get the book back.

Making his way to the staff room, Harry hoped the other teachers would be around, so that Snape would have to give him back the book. He still believed that “no books outside of school” was not a rule. Although he was in action mode, the motivations behind how he planned to retrieve the book were less than pure.

He knocked on the staff door twice, but no one answered. Unknown to Harry, the two knocks represented a Second Knocking experience for Snape. During a Second Knocking experience, Christ knocks on the door of our heart, asking for entrance, but Snape didn’t answer the knock. Thinking that Snape might have left the book unattended and he could easily get it back without a hassle, Harry pushed the door ajar and peeked inside. The inference is that the Christ force doesn’t necessarily stay outside once it knocks.

Harry wasn’t prepared for what he saw. Snape was holding his robes up above his knees. One of his legs was bloody and mangled. Legs represent our power of movement, so the three-headed dog had crippled half of Snape’s power to act. One of the two sides of his mind was in full control of him.

The three-headed dog guards the gate between hell and the Tree of Life. His job is to prevent people from getting out of hell. His three heads are in direct polarity to Keter. They represent everything we are before we enter the Path that leads to Liberation. At the physical level of being, they symbolize our divided consciousness, our fractured awareness, our belief in separateness, and that our Will and desires reign supreme. In essence, fallen man.

Snape had faced the three-headed dog, but the dog wounded him in the process. The wound reminded me of the wound that CRC received on his forehead as he was pulled out of the pit on the first day, as well as Harry’s scar. In some spiritual traditions, this would is given by a snake. Snape’s wound, however, wasn’t in the same place as Harry’s, but it still symbolized that the Alchemical process for him had begun.

Filch handed Snape some bandages to cover up the wound. “Blasted thing,” Snape said. “How are you supposed to keep your eyes on all three heads at once?” The black phase is a time for self-reflection. Just as Harry came to realize that Hogwarts was more important than physical food and a room of his own, Snape will have to face the darkest parts of his own ego and self. In addition, when we first begin to observe the false aspects of the self, we will still get wounded because the number of false beliefs we have about ourselves, others, and reality are Legion.

Harry tried to shut the door quietly, hoping that Snape wouldn’t see him. “POTTER!” Snape screamed. Although Snape didn’t open the door for Harry, he still had become aware of Harry’s presence, the purest part of himself. Amid the screams, Harry asked if he could have his book back, but Snape couldn’t hear him. He wasn’t acting consciously. He was reacting to his feelings of helplessness.

Harry had caught him in a vulnerable position. He was embarrassed. Snape’s ego didn’t know how to handle that, so he continued yelling at Harry to get out. It was the only way that Snape’s mind could keep Snape safe. Obviously, Harry had triggered emotional memories tied to James and Sirius. Snape’s mind was reacting as if “now” is “then.” Back in the common room, Harry revealed to Hermione and Ron what he’d seen. He assumed that Snape had tried to get past the dog on Halloween, and believed Snape was after what the dog was guarding. He also believed that Snape let the troll into Hogwarts as some type of diversion on Halloween.

But Hermione didn’t believe it. Snape wouldn’t try to steal something that Dumbledore was trying to protect. It didn’t make sense to her. That contrary position only angered Ron.

Fallen man has difficulty accepting an opposing position as valid. What we think and believe is all there is. When the mind perceives our environment in black and white, shades of gray are not an option. But Ron and Hermione represent our fractured awareness, so they are prone to suggestion almost 100 percent of the time.

Siding with Harry, Ron criticized Hermione’s belief that all teachers were perfect and could do no wrong, but he also wondered what the dog could be guarding. Harry went to bed wondering the same thing.

Neville was snoring loudly, making it difficult for Harry to sleep. Harry tried to empty his mind because he knew he needed to sleep since his first Quidditch match was only a few hours away, but the expression on Snape’s face when Harry saw his mangled leg was not that easy to forget. This pointed to that expression being a replay of the earlier expression Harry experienced at the Sorting banquet. To Harry’s mind, they were one and the same. To Harry, “now” also was “then.”