Luminous Aspects put in Chains
What’s good? What’s evil? The third volume, entitled Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, is about Sirius Black, Harry’s parents’ best friend. On the one hand, the name indicates a shining star and on the other hand it points to darkness. Sirius had been wrongly accused of having betrayed the whereabouts of Harry’s parents at the time to Voldemort. So he sat innocently for 13 years in Azkaban, the most terrible prison, guarded by dementors who have no fixed form, but are misty creatures that spread cold around them.
Aspects of the true self in man have always been demonised. Much is being done to prevent man from returning to himself. With coldness, contempt and denial were those persecuted in history who deviated from the official religion on mystical and Gnostic paths. After his escape from Azkaban, Sirius Black is wanted by the Ministry. The guardians of the law are chasing him. Harry learns the Patronus Charm to drive the dementors away. When the forces of one’s own archetype become effective, they break the chains of prejudices, dogmas and power needs.
The more aspects of inner strength Harry releases, the closer also Voldemort gets. Harry has a scar on his forehead, he is marked by the death curse that Voldemort had cast on him when he was an infant. The love of his mother had saved him, her forces were like a shield around Harry which made the lightning bounce back on Voldemort, who lost his shape as a result. But the scar on Harry’s forehead was left behind and it proved to be a permanent link to Voldemort. The “third eye”, the supernatural vision, has its seat behind the frontal bone. It opens up again and again in the course of the story in Harry, when Voldemort plans and accomplishes terrible things.
The followers of Voldemort are called Death Eaters. They nourish themselves spiritually from all that has departed from eternal life. Their face is hidden behind a hood. Is it not one of the greatest fears of a person that one could look into him, into all that is hidden within him? On the left arm the Death Eaters are imprinted with a skull from whose mouth a snake curls out. They are striving to bring about the resurrection of Voldemort.
In the following volume, entitled Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, there is a decisive encounter with Lord Voldemort. The latter succeeds in regaining his shape. Harry had won a major international tournament. The victory cup, however, had been enchanted by the powers of darkness. The moment Harry touches the cup, the moment of the brilliance of the ego, the consciousness is carried away to a dark place, a graveyard. Voldemort and his followers are taking Harry prisoner. Peter Pettigrew alias Wormtail takes blood from him and mixes it with other substances in a cauldron. A dark ceremony takes place.
Everyone has such a chalice inside. In its highest perfection it would be the Grail, but in the many stages of development before that the vessel of the psyche shows itself as a chalice of fire in which many things are mixed. It is here that Voldemort regains his form. The ego principle rises in new strength, takes shape in Harry. In all this, however, he remains connected to the forces of his spiritual centre; the opening to the innermost core of his being is also maintained. From there great forces are now activated. Harry receives the help of a protective golden net and can escape. A tremendous arc of tension is now established within him. Light and shadow have become great.
The struggle enters into broader dimensions, Voldemort spreads into the fields of the conscious and unconscious. So Harry has to go through serious crises, in the course of which his awareness becomes more and more acute. The transformation of man, despite some frivolous promises, does not happen in a “fast track” way. In the volume entitled Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the paths and aberrations that Harry now travels are depicted. His deep ambivalence is reflected in a certain teacher personality who always faces him as an opponent and causes him pain and sorrow. It’s Professor Snape. At the end of the story, however, Harry learns to his great surprise that Snape has been protecting him from the darkest abysses all along.
Separated Soul Aspects
But now Harry must enter them. Abysses must be filled with soul power. Light bridging is not a permanent solution. It is shown that there are soul aspects split off in man, which are supposed to perpetuate the separation from the immortal center. They are called Horcruxes by J.K. Rowling. The immortal individuality (individuum means indivisible) has split up in its soul area, that is, split off from its origin in the most different ways. There has always been a murder connected with it, a mortification in the relationship with the immortal. The Latin word crux means cross or anchor, the Old English word hor or har means soul. The soul has followed impulses that want to anchor it in separateness from the divine.
In the volume entitled Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the name refers to Snape and indicates his ambivalence), Harry begins to trace the split-off soul parts with Dumbledore’s help. Significantly, it is seven, a number that also refers to the whole of the human being. Dumbledore suffers death as he tries to find and dissolve one of the Horcruxes, using his entire existence – and this is the wisdom of the past. He was Harry’s previous source of inspiration, was, as it were, his mediator to the innermost being. Now the consciousness has to become autonomous, has to strengthen itself from the intuition of the current moment towards the divine inner being. Connected with this is a bitter path through the darkness of one’s own being. Because in them the anchors are to be found that separate man from his inner God. In the process Ron also becomes temporarily unfaithful – the heart starts to falter. Harry’s wand had already been broken in battle with Voldemort’s snake. The magic wand is a symbol of the will.
Hermione, however, remains loyal to Harry; and Ron returns. New forces are activated in times of need. And so it becomes possible to dissolve five of the seven Horcruxes.
The last Stage: the great Sacrifice
The last two of them, however, go deeper. Here it is necessary to ascend into higher dimensions of the soul. Thus the last stage of the development that is possible on earth is reached. It is presented in the seventh volume, Harry Potter and the deathly Hallows.
The core of evil, the core of separateness, the essence of the impulse for self-exaltation is now rising in full magnitude. In order to overcome it, a spiritual quality must be attained which is prepared to make the greatest sacrifice a human being can make: the sacrifice of the earthly self. Voldemort has succeeded in gaining possession of the most powerful wand ever created. The human ego striving shows itself as an overpowering shadow. But at the same time the higher soul has awakened in Harry. And she is not concerned with the ego, but with the good of the whole, the human existence on earth.
The battle for Hogwarts begins, the battle for man. Does the consciousness succeed in becoming the image of the innermost being? The forces of good are concentrated in the same way as the opposing forces are. The deceased, who are close to him, accompany Harry, who is ready to sacrifice himself to Voldemort. Now the eternal, immortal soul is prevalent in him. Once again, Voldemort strikes Harry with his magic wand, unaware that Harry has immortality within him. Harry falls to the ground. The death curse has dissolved something in him: the sixth Horcrux, which rested in the scar on his forehead. Through his sacrifice, Harry has largely freed himself from being anchored in the world of transitory life.
The seventh and last Horcrux is dissolved in a solo act by one of Harry’s friends, who belonged originally to the weakest aspects of the soul. The weakest becomes the strongest. When the earthly humbles itself in the service of the whole, it is elevated by the divine. Neville, Harry’s friend, cuts off the head of Voldemort’s snake, his most important aspect of consciousness, in which the last Horcrux rested.
So it is clear: in a final battle Voldemort’s curse strikes back at him and kills him.
The transformation is finished on the level of the earthly. Original and image, the inmost and the human being, are attuned to each other. The further course takes place in the transcendent. For the hero’s journey knows no end.
Note: Detailed explanations of the symbolism in the Harry Potter books can be found at http://harrypotterforseekers.com/