The Traditional Meaning of the Veil

In my essay on Harry Passing through the Veil, I neglected to make a link with an important website called “The Veil: Contemplating Christian Mysteries.” For understanding why Harry’s passage through the Veil has important Christian reference points and profound meaning, this site is a must visit.

Here is a small selection of what can be found there, on an introductory page entitled, “Why the Veil?

The veil, or more specifically its rending, as recorded in all three Synoptic Gospels (note 1) marks a moment in human history, and a turning point in the destiny of mankind. In his essay on Christian initiation, Marco Pallis noted its rending “marks the end of Christ’s human ministry … since all that follows … is of a miraculous order” (note 2). As such, it is most certainly a sign, in that it points to an event, even if its occurrence is instantaneous with that which it signifies. It signals the importance of the event, of that moment, in human history, in light of the purpose which the veil serves (note 3), because mention is made of it specifically, and nothing other. [Read more…]

Potter-porri: Potter Reading to Close the Interlibrum

While I am scrambling to put together my talk for Enlightening 2007 this weekend and write the Tale of Two Cities post that has been haunting me since March (the answer to what happens to Harry in Deathly Hallows?), I keep stumbling upon and reading works of brilliance from friends and friends-I-have-yet-to-meet in the blog-o-live-journal-sphere. I assume that everyone here has quit their job or taking a leave of absence from their senses until 21 July (August?), so here is enough challenging reading to last you until P-Day.

Let’s start out with my heavy hitting co-horts from Who Killed Albus Dumbledore? [Read more…]

St. Severus’ Feast Day: June 27/July 10

The Machiavelli! Snape post here at Hogwarts Professor last month continues to travel around fandom sites and I have waited until today to post the “equal and opposite” Potions Master allegiance possibility. What could counterbalance the idea that Severus is a Machiavellian power player?

That he is named for a beloved Saint in the Orthodox Christian Church. I waited until today because June 27th (July 10th on the secular calendar) is the Feast Day of St. Severus. [Read more…]

The New York Times covers Harry Potter?

Wow. A really great day for Harry Potter fans everywhere it is when the Newspaper of Record puts out some great guides and reading for serious readers!

In the Sunday New York Times this last week, we not only scored a Great Guide to the Potter Conventions and Events this summer but, incredibly, they printed four endings to the books by professional writers (not to worry, they’re all very funny in a sardonic way, no spoilers).

Read ’em all soon before you have to pay the Times to get them out of their archives!

Harry’s Hero Journey: Is He Going Through the Veil in Deathly Hallows?

If I have neglected one key here at HogPro that I discuss at length in Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader, it is Harry’s Hero Journey. In Unlocking I explain it in great detail (with other repeated story patterns and elements) in a chapter that is something of a break between the more challenging material in the literary alchemy and postmodern themes sections.

Events of last week, though, call for a closer look at Harry’s formulaic journeys here with special attention given the descent, literal or figurative, he makes in each book before his annual confrontation with the Black Hats. An article by Anne Johnstone in the Glasgow Herald reminded us (via Lisa and her ever industrious house-elves at Accio Quote!) that Ms. Rowling had told Ms. Johnstone in a 2000 interview that in Deathly Hallows we would see “how close we can get to the dead.” [Read more…]