Archives for April 2016

Index: The Allegory of Fantastic Beasts, Parts 1-9, Links to the Complete Run

FB1Part 1: Rowling and the Puritans

Part 2: Rowling’s American Gothic

Part 3: Scourers and PotterMore

Part 4: Meet Newt Scamander

Part 5: Newt-on and Tina Goldstein

Part 6: The Alchemical Big Apple

Part 7: The MACUSA Easter Egg

Part 8: Son of National Treasure?

Part 9: MACUSA and the Founding Fathers

Thanks to Chris Calderon for this speculative adventure!

Guest Post: The Allegory of Fantastic Beasts, 9 (MACUSA and the Founders)

FB 9Throughout the entire run of this now nine part series examining the potential allegory of Fantastic Beasts, I have operated under the assumption that J.K. Rowling isn’t just spinning an empty yarn, but is making a point about the historical connection of the United States to the alchemical aspect of Christian esoteric doctrine, what I call Mythopoeia (after Tolkien).  The idea may sound strange, because so far as Americans today are able to tell, there’s nothing remotely esoteric about any of their Founding Founders.  Even their religious allegiance is easily challenged in the public square.

This concluding post takes as its jumping off point that the founding members of the 1st Continental Congress were all devoutly religious as Christians and Deists and that they were believers of a particular stripe, namely, those steeped in a conscious knowledge of the alchemical Prisca Theologia tradition.  I further contend that it is part of J.K. Rowling’s intent to make us aware of this Framing awareness.  In order to grasp the full implications of this post, it helps to read its first part, which can be found here.

Even if the Founders were Christians, I hear you asking, how could they know anything about literary alchemy?  Besides, Mythopoeia was the word Tolkien coined for it, and he arrived two whole centuries too late.  The simplest and logical answer to the question is that Mythopoeia or Christian Hermeticism was the very background of the all the Founders’ growth, education, religious instruction, and upbringing.  Join me below the jump in putting several puzzle pieces together. [Read more…]

Guest Post: The Allegory of Fantastic Beasts, 8 (Son of ‘National Treasure’?)

FB 5by Chris Calderon

At last, the main course, the essential Allegory of Fantastic Beasts, the film adaptation.  Believe it or not, a possible deep hidden meaning of Rowling’s first screenplay will be her portrayal of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)  and, in this depiction, a sideways look at the philosophical and religious roots of the American Nation. I’m half-convinced we’ll be able to see this in a veiled form behind her portrayal of the wizards of New York.

BurkeI’ll have to go into a bit of history and philosophy in order to make Ms. Rowling’s potential point clear.  It involves the American Founders and their relation to what the Inklings referred to as Mythopoeia and Warburg scholars Frances Yates and D.P. Walker called “The Ancient Theology”.  I will suggest that the Constitutional Framers had a familiarity with the Tradition through their reading of Adam Smith and John Locke, as well as a working knowledge of this Theology in the work of George Berkeley, Alexander Pope, and Edmund Burke.  This post is a brief overview of these various historical influences in turn on the Founders and the nation they shape.   [Read more…]

Guest Post: The Allegory of Fantastic Beasts, 7 (The MACUSA Easter Egg)

foundingFathers-cornerstone01By Chris Calderon

Politics and politicians have never fared well in the writings of J.K. Rowling.  Whether making a veiled attack on the polices and person of the late Margret Thatcher or denouncing the British press as a willing tool of Parliament, the picture she presents of modern government has always tended to the negative.  It’s enough to make any American fan nervous.  After all, Fantastic Beasts is her first work of fiction to be set stateside.  Every official synopses makes it clear the plot revolves around Newt Scamander’s trouble with a magical version of the American government.

nicolas-cage-national-treasure-book-of-secrets-poster-2Is it time for patriots and lovers of our country to brace for the worst? Isn’t she just going to use the story as an excuse to insult Americans and air the skeleton’s in our National closet?

Maybe not.  Perhaps if we give her a chance, she might just surprise us with an Easter Egg of history, a subliminal version of National Treasure and the esoteric backdrop to America’s founding fathers. Read on!  [Read more…]

Guest Post: The Allegory of Fantastic Beasts, 6 (The Alchemical Big Apple)

FB2By Chris Calderon

The release of the adapted for cinema Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will mark the first time J.K. Rowling has set any of her stories in America.  It may be a bit of a puzzle to her fans why she would choose to set any of her stories stateside, as she’s perceived by most people as a UK based phenomenon.  Then again, there’s also the possibility that many fans will either worry or take offense at exactly what kind of treatment they can expect from an author who often writes with various cultural sacred cows in mind, and whether or not this means the U.S.A. itself will wind up as her latest target.

Let’s take a look Rowling’s fictional version of New York to start this discussion.  Here are a few of points about the first film’s setting that may turn out to be meaningful with respect to the author’s aim in moving from Hogwarts to Harlem — to include some thoughts on alchemy and the Big Rubedo Apple. [Read more…]