Rowling Finishes Strike5 — Big Hint? Aleister Crowley’s Horoscope Header!

The Official Announcement this afternoon on twitter:

It has been a busy day at the neglected Rowling twitter feed. Careful observers will note that she re-tweeted a posting from American comedian (and hard core leftist and atheist) Patton Oswalt a few hours before this book announcement and that she changed the header and cameo on her page as well.

Nota bene: her global social media following post TERFing controversy has grown on the twitter platform by 200,000. So much for the disappearance of Rowling fandom…

Three quick notes that we will discuss here at greater length in the next week:

(1) Nick Jeffery has ID’d the horoscope in the header as the natal chart of Aleister Crowley.

I’d love to think she is trolling us here at HogwartsProfessor because of the Baphomet posts I put up earlier in the month (in which I explained that she isn’t a Satanist or Crowley disciple), but have to think that it really is a pointer to the return of Jeff Whittaker in Strike5, in parallel with Career of Evil, and that a la the death of Harry’s godfather in Order of the Phoenix, we will be seeing the death of Cormoran’s step-father in his fifth adventure. Whittaker is the ardent satanist and Crowley devotee in the series. Good news for Shanker fans!

(2) Rowling is back on twitter, it seems, with the first real postings of note — with the exception of 19 December, of course — since January 2019. The sabbatical seems to have been a New Year’s resolution along the lines of, “I won’t post again until I have submitted the Strike5 manuscript.”

‘Da Tweet’ on transgender overreach? That may have been a family passion, it turns out. See Dr Neil Murray’s private twitter account, @Slowfinger45, for his several re-tweeted postings on transgender matters here, here, here, and here (there are more; hat tip to Nick Jeffery again for discovering both Murray’s ‘Fat Cops’ rock band — husband plays the keyboards, hence ‘Dr Slowfinger’– and his hidden twitter account).

I wonder, though, if the new cameo picture of her with hand over mouth isn’t a joke of sorts, a signal to her Universal Studio handlers, that she isn’t going to be speaking her mind here about social justice and political issues; Patton Oswalt is covering the impeachment hearings for her…

(3) I have been re-reading the Strike novels this past week, and, half-way through Lethal White for the umpteenth time, I realized who killed Leda Strike. It was Uncle Ted. More on that tomorrow and in days to come! Let the full bore conversation about Strike and speculation about the new novel begin!




  1. Louise Freeman says

    Uncle Ted killed Leda. Ok, John….. I should know better than to doubt you by now but….

    It would certainly be one of the biggest good-guy-turns-out-to-be-bad since Scabbers and Professor Moody turned out to be Voldy minions….

    Next, I presume you’ll be telling us Whittaker sent the roses, and secretly pulled strings to get his stepson into Oxford.

    And that Matthew will generously give the full bank account to Robin in the divorce negotiations, before sacrificing his life by taking a bullet for Strike and whispering to Robin, with his dying gasps, that he hopes they’ll be happy together….

    Although, if you can figure out a way to save poor Shanker, I will consider that your highest accomplishment.

  2. After giving it some thought, it is just possible to form at least something resembling a rough sketch of what “could” be expected from the next “Strike Mystery”. My guesses (and that’s all they are) for Book 5 amount to the following:

    The case itself “could” involve the investigation of a poisoning murder. My reasoning behind this is a clue left behind by Ms. Murray herself in the form of a brochure for the Chelsea Physic Garden. The Garden itself was founded by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. In 1917, one of Rowling’s sources and inspiration, Agatha Christie, applied for and won a pharmaceutical degree from the Society. It is this series of linking historical facts that makes me think Strike and Robin could turn to the same real life Society for help in cracking their next fictional case. It would form a perfect in-story wink and acknowledgement of the Queen of Mystery from one of her most successful pupils. And now I’m stuck with the idea of Ms. Christie herself as teacher of Potions at Hogwarts.

    The investigation could center in and around an academic setting. This idea is not my own, but rather all credit is due to the insightful thought of Dr. Louise Freeman. It was her hypothesis that went as follows: “the storyline will involve some sort of scandal, corruption or crime in an educational setting”. Therefore I’m willing to say that the fatal poisoning itself will take place in this very same University setting. It also is not entirely out of the question that the murder victim “could” be some erstwhile teacher who probably never lived up to the profession.

    The final possibility, in addition to all the others, is that we will see the return of at least two characters from the previous books in the series. The first predicted return, as stated in the article above, is Jeff Whitaker. To this I think a second could added. We could just see the return of Supermodel Ciara Porter. The reasoning behind this is yet another picture clue left behind by the Presence. It’s the copy of an (overly self-dramatizing) rock album by a 80s band known as The Smiths. On that album was a song entitled “Shakespeare’s Sister”. The writer of the song once explained that the subject of the piece was a girl who is always overshadowed and how it was easy for others not to take her seriously. This is just how Ciara described herself in “Cuckoo’s Calling”. She also mentioned in that book that she was gearing up for taking a degree at Cambridge. This plot thread would make a perfect fit for Dr. Freeman’s theory that Book 5 would involve Strike sleuthing in an academic setting.

    It is the return of Whitaker, however, which I think may be the most important potential plot element. It would make sense that Strike could uncover a clue that ties Whitaker to the poisoning. If this idea should figure in any way in the plot of the next book, it would serve as what I can only describe as a crisis catalyst for the main character. The knowledge that Whitaker is connected with the case he is investigating would be just the thing to throw him off balance. Strike could then make the tactical mistake of turning the investigation into a crusade to see if he could bring to justice the man he’s convinced is responsible for the death of his mother. Sometimes in crime investigations, certain investigators will be taken off the case if it is felt that they are too personally involved with the proceedings for their own good. Their professionalism will crumble, and their ability to work properly may be impaired. These are the stakes that could wind up happening to Strike if Whitaker is involved. It is all too easy to see both men involved in a nerve-wracking game of cat and mouse, with the desperation climbing as the stakes rise higher. It is at least one way in which Strike 5 could serve as the series Black Text, similar to function “Order of the Phoenix” played in the “Potter” saga.

    This brings us to the question of what happens beyond that. All is speculation at this point. Therefore all I can do is maintain my previous stance re: Blue Oyster Cult and Rokeby as a courier in a drug operation. I expect that Strike will be able to corner Whitaker and place him in a metaphorical checkmate. Whitaker will be forced to reveal (through Strike taking the law into his own hands?) that the poisoning was tied up with a drug cartel, and that his bosses were just trying to close accounts. Maybe they promised Whitaker they would leave Switch alone if he did them this favor. In that sense, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. He could then drop a bomb on Strike by declaring he knows who really killed his mom. Before he can do that, he’s taken out of the series, either by an assassin’s bullet, or by other professional means. I just can’t shake the idea that this installment will be the last we see of Whitaker before he’s shuffled permanently off-stage. However, Strike is able to learn, to his horror, through the Blue Oyster Cult album, that Whitaker was telling the truth, and, eventually, that Rokeby is the guilty party.

    This is far as I can go with things, however. Just remember that in the end it’s all down to the writer. All I can do is just the final product is entertaining.

  3. This is possibly a long shot, but I have a theory on why Rowling’s twitter profile may be what it is and it has to do with the Giant Squid. In order to explain why I think this, I’m sharing a link to a article where I worked out my theory. (If you’d prefer that I work out the whole theory here in the comments, please let me know. I receive no compensation for any writing that I do, please do not think I’m intending to market myself or distract from this community. It’s just easier to work out ideas in long form, with images.)

    To summarize–my theory is that J. K. Rowling is in an ongoing intertextual conversation with Alan Moore, author of Watchmen (and From Hell, V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and much more). From Moore, Rowling adapted several of the devices she uses in Harry Potter, including using mystery embedded in a fantasy narrative, using ring composition, using in-world product placement, hiding symbols in plain sight, starting the story in the second generation of the conflict and much more (note that both Moore and Rowling share many of the same influences, so the Moore connection is not required but it is compelling). Here’s where I work out my theory (with lots of credit given to John Granger for his insights):

    The reason I think she’s put her fingers over her mouth has to do with the Giant Squid, which is her nod to Alan Moore. The Giant Squid is the climax of the Watchmen plot. It is also the climax of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen story arc which features both Aleister Crowley and Alan Moore’s parody of Harry Potter. I believe that Rowling and Moore, as authors who steep their work in Hermeticism, alchemy and the occult, are engaged in a back and forth with one another. Rowling did not give credit to Moore as an influence in Harry Potter with the exception of the presence of the Giant Squid (which she placed in the lake as a nod to Moore). Moore took note of the slight and then took aim at Rowling in LXG vol. 3. Now Rowling is winking back at Moore with a squid-like profile picture and an Aleister Crowley star chart (although Moore does not engage on social media and likely would never actually see this and although the star chart also obviously has to do with Whitaker). Note that it is not any one of these things, as all of these things are also critical parts of the unfolding narrative. But I do think that there is substance to the fact that there is a hitherto undiscussed back and forth happening between Alan Moore and J.K. Rowling, two of the greatest creators of the last century.

    Thanks for letting me participate in the fun!

  4. Hello
    With all due respect, I don’t believe this birth chart belongs to Crowley. Although it’s pretty close but doesn’t perfectly match the coordinates that the Twitter header shows us. I’m sure Mr. Jeffrey has noticed this subtle differences but for unknown reasons decided to ignore them.

    I strongly believe that this chart belongs to the one and only Albus Dumbledore given the ascendant conjuncts perfectly with fixed star Asellus Borealis which makes the native a “heroic and defiant leader”
    And u can use this exact coordinates to see for urself that the numbers perfectly match with the one presented by JK.
    12 October 1875
    Exact time : 23:41:16
    Latitude : 52’17 N
    Longitude : 1’20 W
    The green, broadwell, Rugby, UK

  5. Nick Jeffery says

    Hello Albi,
    I know almost nothing about astrology but I am willing to learn. What are the subtle difference I missed? Also very keen to know where the birthday, time and location for Dumbledore’s nativity comes from.

  6. Hello
    Thanks for ur reply 🙂
    I do not know much about astrology either but there are numerous websites that one can use as a reference like

    And abt those differences, I tried to understand the time and location of the numbers and degrees on the right side of the chart given, using a horoscope app to find out when was the last time that the North node was in the Aires whilst saturn in aquarius, The result gave me the time.

    And then I used Google earth app in order to find the location, starting from coordinates of 4 corners of the UK and then putting those coordinates and the time in a to produce the exact numbers which is on the right side of the picture JK posted. It wasn’t fun because not only with little differences in coordinates those numbers differ, but also within minutes. Finally the result was, The Green, Broadwell( with approximately 1 mile radius).

    “From this point forth, we shall be leaving the firm foundation of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guesswork”…

    Please try those coordination in one those free birth chary calculator and read the interpretations carefully and see if there are some similarities between Dumbledore’s eccentric characteristics and life events in them.

    Stay safe.

  7. Nick Jeffery says

    Hello Albi,

    I’m sorry but the date and time of birth, and indeed the location of Royal Lemington Spa are all for Crowley.
    From Astrology Seek:
    Date: 12th October 1875 23:42
    Location: 52 degrees 12 minutes North; 1 degree 31 minutes West.

    Much as I would love the chart to belong to Dumbledore, Harry Potter Lexicon have Dumbledore’s birthdate as 1881 in July or August.

    Busy washing my hands and being as safe as I can!

  8. Hello
    Dear Mr. Jeffrey,
    I thought that those dates on HP lexicon or anywhere else are nothing more but speculations.

    I tried the date and time for Crowley’s birthday on different horoscope apps but, it was impossible to produce those exact numbers provided by the Twitter header.

    Those subtle differences :

    Fortune : 4:23 in the header
    Fortune : 4:24 Crowley’s

    5: scorpio :26 degrees and 24 minutes in the header
    5: scorpio : 26 degrees and 25 minutes Crowley’s

    11: taurus : 26 degrees and 24 minutes in the header
    11: taurus : 26 degrees and 25 minutes Crowley’s

    As I said before it’s pretty close to the Crowley’s but not a perfect match.

    And I think astrodatabank says ascendant for Crowley is 8 degrees 00 minutes exactly. I can’t understand why JK didn’t use that?

  9. Nick Jeffery says

    Hello Albi,

    Here is the very chart that Rowling used:

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