Shay Adler – Harry Potter in the Jewish Wisdom’s Perspective

Today we have a very special Guest Post from scholar of the Talmud Shay Adler. This article has been enthusiastically previewed by “Dean of Harry Potter Scholars” – John Granger and the author of Snape the Definitive Guide – Lorrie Kim. I include John’s review down below and hope you will join Lorrie in joining the conversation in the comments. In the mean time, please enjoy Harry Potter in the Jewish Wisdom’s Perspective:


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St. John the Baptist Church – Twitter Header

New J. K. Rowling twitter headers are coming thick and fast, this time it is a lovely image of St. John the Baptist parish church in Aylmerton, Norfolk. Prof Groves quickly identified the church as a type typical of Norfolk and situated close to the A148 Cromer to Holt Road.

St. John’s is tantalisingly close to Cromer Pier, just 3 miles via a fairly busy main road. Two twitter headers showing Cromer Pier, and this new one showing Aylmerton church. We are sure to be seeing much of this area when The Running Grave is finally published.

Beatrice Groves – The Running Grave: Strike 7, the I Ching and the Yarrow Stalks

New information is coming thick and fast for Book 7, which we now know is called The Running Grave! Are you, like me, confused about ancient Chinese divination? Do you know your yarrow stalks from your divination coins? What on earth can this have to do with Norfolk? Help is at hand: Beatrice Groves, Research Lecturer and tutor at Trinity College, Oxford, and author of  Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, has written a Hogwarts Professor Guest Post: The Running Grave: Strike 7, the I Ching and the Yarrow Stalks.

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Title of Book Seven Revealed! – The Running Grave

J. K. Rowling has revealed the title of Book 7 and it isn’t one that was on our radar! @CormStrikeFan who administers the Strike Fans website and has had remarkable success in gleaning new details via the medium of coaxing new Twitter Headers asked for a clue, and Rowling responded with “Disentangle the hanging venturer”.

Our friends at The Strike and Ellacott Files podcast provided the solution with The Running Grave! A quick search of the phrase “Running Grave” reveals the somewhat obscure Dylan Thomas poem When Like a Running Grave.

When, Like a Running Grave
When, like a running grave, time tracks you down,
Your calm and cuddled is a scythe of hairs,
Love in her gear is slowly through the house,
Up naked stairs, a turtle in a hearse,
Hauled to the dome,

Comes, like a scissors stalking, tailor age,
Deliver me who, timid in my tribe,
Of love am barer than Cadaver’s trap
Robbed of the foxy tongue, his footed tape
Of the bone inch,

Deliver me, my masters, head and heart,
Heart of Cadaver’s candle waxes thin,
When blood, spade—handed, and the logic time
Drive children up like bruises to the thumb,
From maid and head,

For, sunday faced, with dusters in my glove,
Chaste and the chaser, man with the cockshut eye,
I, that time’sjacket or the coat of ice
May fail to fasten with virgin o
In the straight grave,

Stride through Cadaver’s country in my force,
My pickbrain masters morsing on the stone
Despair of blood, faith in the maiden’s slime,
Halt among eunuchs, and the nitric stain
On fork and face.

Time is a foolish fancy, time and fool.
No, no, you lover skull, descending hammer
Descends, my masters, on the entered honour.
You hero skull, Cadaver in the hanger
Tells the stick, ‘fail’.

Joy is no knocking nation, sir and madam,
The cancer’s fusion, or the summer feather
Lit on the cuddled tree, the cross of fever,
Nor city tar and subway bored to foster
man through macadam.

I damp the waxlights in your tower dome.
Joy is the knock of dust, Cadaver’s shoot
Of bud of Adam through his boxy shift,
Love’s twilit nation and the skull of state,
Sir, is your doom.

Everything ends, the tower ending and,
(Have with the house of wind), the leaning scene,
Ball of the foot depending from the sun,
(Give, summer, over), the cemented skin,
The actions’ end.

All, men my madmen, the unwholesome sind
With whistler’s cough contages, time on track
Shapes in a cinder death; love his trick,
Happy Cadaver’s hunger as you take
The kissproof world.

The very quick post is sure to be the start of much speculation. Let me know your thoughts down below!

J. K. Rowling and the I Ching

No sooner than the excitement for J. K. Rowling’s new Twitter header died down, then as a further mark of her esteem for @CormStrikeFan, a new header has been posted!

This time we have a portion of a mandala constructed along the principles of I Ching divination.

I am sadly ignorant of bot the I Ching and Carl Jung, but Jung is said to have taken an interest in the system, so this may be related to Jungian psychology.

Even to the most biased eye, it is obvious that this book represents one long admonition to careful scrutiny of one’s own character, attitude, and motives

Jung quoted in: Smith, Richard J. (2012). The I Ching: A Biography.