Skip navigation.

Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 66 – Harry and Hermione Meet the Centaurs
(HP Chapter 15)

As Hagrid, Harry, and Hermione walked deeper into the forest, they continued to listen. Something suddenly moved ahead of them. Hagrid hollered to the intruder that he was armed. A centaur, another dual-natured being, walked into the clearing. Harry was confused. He couldn’t tell if the person was a man or a horse. But Hagrid was relieved. “Oh, it’s you, Ronan.”

Hagrid explained to the centaur that there was something bad running around the forest. Hagrid was talking in terms of duality – bad versus good – which doesn’t actually exist. It’s just part of the deception and illusion we call life. Hagrid’s duality reflects our own faulty thought process and enables us to see ourselves more clearly. Most of us see the world through a lens of good and evil, but that doesn’t make it accurate.

Hagrid introduced Harry and Hermione to the centaur, but Ronan flung back his head and stared at the sky. “Mars is bright tonight,” he said. Hagrid agreed but quickly changed the subject. He didn’t understand what the centaur was trying to tell him.

Hagrid didn’t appear to have a gift for interpreting symbols and riddles, but he was more interested in whether Ronan had seen the hurt unicorn. Like us, Hagrid was projecting everything outwardly. Mars was the god of war. Its brightness would alert those who understood its meaning that trouble was brewing, but Hagrid’s concern was only for the unicorn.

Ronan didn’t answer. He just continued to stare at the sky. He didn’t blink. Not blinking reminded me of how Snape didn’t blink when performing the counter-curse at Harry’s first Quidditch game. In a way, Snape was like the centaur because he couldn’t reveal what he was actually doing, and had to speak in riddles.

Eventually, the centaur sighed. “Always the innocent are the first victims,” he said. It had been that way in ages past and was so now. The Path has always been the same. In terms of Harry’s Path, his parents were the first innocent victims of the game, but in a way, Quirrell could also be considered a victim.

We’re not told exactly how Voldemort overcame Quirrel. We just know he did. In order for Voldemort to save himself from death, he had to steal life from several innocent victims. Apparently, he had to continue doing that. If the unicorn in our life dies, Voldemort becomes king.

Hagrid didn’t understand any of that, nor did he realize how worried the centaur was. Ronan was speaking of what the heavens were revealing about Voldemort’s attempt to return to physical life and Harry’s ultimate safety. Instead of asking for further clarification, Hagrid pressed Ronan again. “Anythin’ unusual?”

“Mars is bright tonight,” Ronan repeated. “Unusually bright.” A war between light and darkness was on the horizon – a war in heaven. That was unusual because Voldemort usually sleeps through or ignores our initial steps of progression. He awakens or arises later on, somewhere around mid-Path, to oppose us. But I’m thinking that the centaur’s surprise at what they saw in the heavens meant few people at any one time are at Level 4, or more. The majority of humanity remain stuck in their karmic cycles.

Hagrid couldn’t see the internal or cosmic significance of what the centaur was sharing. Like many of us, Hagrid was only interested in the outer world – something closer to home like the animals he cared for. “So yeh haven’t noticed anythin’ strange?” Ronan took a while before he answered. “The forest hides many secrets.” What we are searching for is internal, and so is the war in heaven.

A movement in the trees caused Hagrid to raise his bow again. It was a second centaur, Bane. Since it wasn’t going so well with Ronan, Hagrid decided to ask Bane instead. Bane walked over and stood next to Ronan. He looked up into the sky. “Mars is bright tonight,” he said. At that, Hagrid gave up.

The centaurs were witnessing Voldemort’s return at the Mars Initiation and feared the worst, but Hagrid was irritated because he could never get a clear answer out of a centaur. Centaurs appear to represent the secrecy found among Initiated individuals. Hagrid didn’t believe in keeping secrets, however, especially when it interfered with what he needed to do. “Ruddy stargazers,” he said angrily as Harry and Hermione followed him out of the clearing.

As they walked, Harry kept looking over his shoulder because he felt like they were being watched. He was glad that Hagrid had his crossbow.

When they went around the next bend, Hermione saw red sparks, so Hagrid commanded the two kids to stay put, and he took off running for the others. Hermione and Harry were scared. Red sparks meant the others were probably in trouble, but they stayed where they were. Harry didn’t care if Draco got hurt, but he felt that if something happened to Neville, it would be their fault. Harry was showing us conditional love. He loves those who are nice to him, or helpful, but he cannot love those who are not.

Eventually, Hagrid returned with the others, but he was fuming. Draco had snuck up behind Neville and grabbed him as a joke. Neville had panicked and sent up red sparks. This symbolized how many of our fears are unfounded. We panic and call for help, even though we could easily take care of the problem our self.

Hagrid was irritated because Draco’s prank had now made it almost impossible for him to catch whoever was hurting the unicorns, but he reorganized the groups anyway. He traded Neville for Harry because it would be harder for Draco to frighten Harry. This rearrangement showed that resolving the polar opposites was what we’re trying to do. Each group was now a mixture of courage and fear, a mixture of mind and emotion. Harry’s group was also a combination of Gryffindore and Slytherin.

Harry set off into the heart of the forest with Draco and Fang. When they came to a clearing, Harry noticed something white on the ground. He put out his arm to stop Draco. Although Harry had previously said he didn’t care if Draco got hurt, his actions proved otherwise. As the pair drew closer, they became aware that the unicorn was dead. Harry thought the unicorn was beautiful, but his death made Harry feel sad.

Even though the story of Harry Potter portrays our inner war in heaven, some aspects of the story are simply demonstrating principle. In the beginning, looking at Harry in terms of Alchemy was difficult because I kept trying to make the story fit into an allegory, but that’s not what Jo is doing. Were the body’s mental ability/unicorn to actually die, the game would over, and both Harry and us would lose.

Harry stepped toward the unicorn. His ultimate goal was to meet up with the unicorn in the forest and unite with it in holy marriage, but a slithering sound made him freeze. A hooded figure (a Voldemort/Quirrel conjunction) came crawling across the ground, out of the shadows. When the figure reached the dead animal, it lowered its head and began to drink the unicorn’s blood. In both biblical and symbolic terms, we become what we eat and drink, but the hooded figure was stealing the unicorn’s life force, his blood.

Draco let out a terrible scream at the frightening sight and bolted from the scene. So did Fang. This mirrors Harry’s condition at the very end of the series. He will face Voldemort alone. Hearing the scream, the hooded figure raised its head and looked straight at Harry. Draco’s reaction had put Harry’s life in danger. The hooded figure stopped what it was doing, stood up, and moved toward him.

As the figure advanced, Harry was paralyzed with fear and unable to move. Fear does the same thing to us. We can’t adequately defend or protect ourselves from what we’re afraid of, nor can we move forward in that condition. But that’s when the pain in Harry’s head hit. Fear always results in discomfort and pain. To Harry, it felt like his scar was on fire. The pain was so intense, it half blinded him, and he staggered backward.

This backward movement seems to indicate that blindness, pain, and fear can actually move us backward. That’s worse than a roadblock. What Harry feels is physical pain resulting from the horcrux trying to get out of his head through his scar, but it reminds us how paralyzing pain and fear can be