Skip navigation.

Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 65 – Harry Learns About Unicorns
(HP Chapter 15)

Holding up his lamp for light, Hagrid pointed at a narrow, winding trail that disappeared into the thick, black trees. A light breeze gently lifted up the kids’ hair as they looked into the forest. This inferred that Jo is going to peel back the veil a little for us.

Hagrid pointed to a shiny, silver substance on the ground. “That’s unicorn blood,” he said. A unicorn was in the forest and hurt. It was the second one this week. Here, we learn why Quirrell said the things he did earlier when Harry overhead him in the empty classroom. “No, no, not again, please” reveals that Quirrell was in a servant/master relationship with someone who was making him do things against his personal will. A hurt unicorn described the condition of the Spirit. It’s bleeding.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Hagrid had found a dead unicorn, so they needed to search for the hurt animal. What we learn here is that the Spirit (our mental aspect, male energies, or Mercury) can die completely if we allow Voldemort to feed on it. However, Hagrid cautioned the kids that they might have to put the unicorn out of its misery. Death can sometimes be a blessing, but this also shows that for some individuals, there is a point of no-return. When the Spirit withdraws, or dies, then we do, too.

A unicorn is a symbol of purity. That’s why many spiritual traditions use it as a symbol for Jesus Christ. In Alchemy, the unicorn’s single spiral horn points to one-mindedness. When conscious intent meets the subconscious mind, that crisis or inner conflict is often depicted as the stag (Soul) confronting the unicorn (Spirit) in the forest. Since Harry’s Patronus is a stag, we are being given a glimpse of that future event.

The stag and unicorn initially are opposites. That’s because our ego gets in the way. If our heart softens and becomes flexible – if we allow our female side to tame our impulsive, self-indulgent drive, and arrogance – the polarities can unite, so the Seeker can travel The Middle Way, or up the middle pillar of the Tree of Life. Essentially, this path is one of interdependence. The ego and all other personalities yield their own will in favor of what’s best for the whole self. Me dissolves into We.

The Middle Way produces a balanced personality rather than someone who consistently experiences mood swings. It’s a more peaceful, shorter path to travel because there’s less distraction from both extremes.

The unicorn sometimes represents the White Stone because legend says a unicorn can only be tamed by a woman. Until then, he’s sometimes showed as being chained up. A woman tames the unicorn by showing him his reflection, or twin/double in a mirror. The mirror is the symbol of Venus or females in general. When Harry looked into the mirror of Erised, it showed him what was within his heart: the desire for family. But the goal is to be able to look into the mirror and see only yourself, exactly as you are at that present moment.

Unicorns also represent The Prima Materia, which is two-fold. One cannot be created without the other, so the twin is sometimes thought to be the divine pattern of our inner self. However, the ultimate goal of the Alchemist is for the unicorn (male/spirit) to meet up with the stag (female/soul) in the forest (body) and unite in holy marriage.

Draco’s fear was still in control. He wanted to know what would happen if whoever hurt the unicorn found them first. Hagrid told him that whoever was in the forest couldn’t hurt them if they were with him or Fang. Draco will have to eventually learn that lesson the hard way.

Hagrid cautioned the kids to stay on the Path. When wandering off into strange roads, you can wind up lost if you don’t stick to the Plan. Hagrid’s Plan was for them to divide into two parties (polarities) and travel in different directions. The idea Hagrid presents is that the polarity (or mental division) we create shortly after birth is part of the Plan.

Draco’s plan was to have Fang (his carnal nature or conditioning) protect him. Hagrid accepted Draco’s plan, but shared with Draco that Fang was actually a coward. That shows us how even our best ideas can fall short of reality, but placing our trust in Fang also parallels placing our trust in the arm of flesh. We follow spiritual leaders, those we have set up to be authorities over us, and even our conditioned self, rather than Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Harry Potter.

The two groups split up: Hagrid, Harry, and Hermione in one group, and Fang, Neville, and Draco in the other. As for three-fold groups, these were two interesting combinations of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Hagrid told Draco to send up green sparks if either he or Neville found the unicorn. Red sparks meant they were in trouble. If Hagrid saw red sparks, he would come and get them.

The forest was black and silent. When Hagrid and the kids reached a fork in the road, Hagrid’s group turned to the left, and Fang’s group went to the right. The two groups made me think of polar opposites: courage versus fear. But the direction each group went mirrors the left and right sides of our mind. Left is our rational mental ability (the unicorn), and right is our imagination and feelings (the stag).

Hagrid looked worried, so Harry asked if werewolves could be killing the unicorns. Hagrid assured him that a werewolf wasn’t fast enough to catch a unicorn. Until we overcome our dual natures, we remain slow, if we even progress in our journey at all.

Like carnal man, werewolves have dual natures. They swing back and forth between the two extremes. For Lupis, this swing only happened at a full moon if he forgot to take the potion that Snape made for him. The potion was basically a crutch, but allowed him to live a somewhat normal life. Once tamed, a unicorn is a balanced, powerful, magical creature. In fact, Hagrid had never personally known a unicorn to be hurt before, but that didn’t mean it had never happened. It obviously did.

While attempting to console the kids, Hagrid suddenly screamed for them to get behind a tree. Rather than wait for the kids to react, he shoved them off the Path and behind a towering oak. This showed how Masters of Compassion sometimes act as guardians. So maybe, they are more visible and play a larger role in our lives than we realize.

Hagrid pulled out an arrow, fit it into his crossbow, and raised the bow ready to fire. As the three of them quiet their minds and listen, something slithered over the dead leaves nearby. Slithering made me think of the snake in the Garden of Eden, but to Harry, it sounded like a cloak brushing against the ground. Hagrid tried to see who it was, but the noise faded away. Still, that alerted him that someone was in the forest who wasn’t supposed to be