Pointers to Dante in Harry Potter (A): On Florence and Hermetic Artistry

Pointers to Dante in Harry Potter (B): Green Eyed Lily and Beatrice, Dante’s Griffin, and the Death of Severus Snape

Pointers to Dante in Harry Potter (C): The White Rose and Trinitarian Architecture of Harry Potter and the Commedia

Green-Eyed Beatrice and Lily: Gauging the Depth of the Dante Influence in the Harry Potter Novels (A, B, & C)

Photos Never Lie? Ms. Rowling’s Seeming ‘Literary Alchemical’ Transformation

When I was a much younger man, I studied the alchemy of food and traditional cosmology with a man named Michio Kushi. One of Kushi sensei’s remarkable abilities was the ability to diagnose physical health and illness in an individual by looking at his or her face, as unbelievable as that may sound. My experience studying and working with him for two years and my reading in traditionalist literature since has convinced me that this is anything but hokum. The adage that “the face never lies” reflects a reality, though, certainly, when practiced by dilettantes or the uncharitable, facial diagnosis can be and often is abused. Mr. Kushi, as a rule (to which I saw only one exception in kindness), never shared what he saw in a person’s face unless asked in a private or public consultation. The legend of Socrates’ meeting with the “face reader” Zopyrus is instructive in understanding the value and the limits of this traditional art.

All that is only to explain my being simultaneously intrigued and skeptical when a post here suggested that a review of photographs taken of Ms. Rowling since the beginning of her success with Harry Potter ten years ago reflect an internal transformation of some kind. Here is that post and, with this person’s permission, the photographs she had posted on another Harry Potter site: [Read more…]