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Alchemy and Harry Potter

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Old August 24th, 2011, 9:28 am
me_potter_fan  Male.gif me_potter_fan is offline
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Alchemy and Harry Potter

I am really surprised to find that we dont have an active thread on this topic.

I would like to discuss weather there is any achemical symbolism in Harry Potter. Clearly alchemy has had an impact on the books as the title of book 1 is called the "Philosopher's Stone", but I believe that there is even more alchemical symbolism such as in the structure of each book.

It is interesting that Rowling has said: “I’ve never wanted to be a witch, but an alchemist, now that’s a different matter. To invent this wizard world, I’ve learned a ridiculous amount about alchemy. Perhaps much of it I’ll never use in the books, but I have to know in detail what magic can and cannot do in order to set the parameters and establish the stories’ internal logic.”


‘And now – piertotum locomotor!’ cried Professor McGonagall. And all along the corridor the statues and suits of armour jumped down from their plinths, and from the echoing crashes from the floors above and below, Harry knew that their fellows throughout the castle had done the same.
‘Hogwarts is threatened!’ shouted Professor McGonagall. ‘Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!’
Clattering and yelling, the horde of moving statues stampeded past Harry: some of them smaller, others larger than life. There were animals too, and the clanking suits of armour brandished swords and spiked balls on chains.

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Old August 25th, 2011, 11:10 am
MsJPotter  Undisclosed.gif MsJPotter is offline
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Re: Alchemy and Harry Potter

Rowling may have read a great deal about alchemy but I don't think much of it trickled into the books. I don't know that much about alchemy in real life, except that it is IMO a load of very dodgy theories. In the books the reality of magic is that there is certain things you can do and certain things you can't do. I think, I could be wrong but I don't think you can convert base metal into gold and that seems to be the main aim of alchemy. A rather strange get quick rich thing. As for imortallity, which is what the Philosopher's Stone was supposed to do, I seem to recall that it worked in conjunction with a potion. This doesn't stretch how magic could be seen to work too much. But gold from lead is never going to happen.

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Old August 30th, 2011, 8:35 pm
RosieWildsmith  Female.gif RosieWildsmith is offline
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Re: Alchemy and Harry Potter

I found a really good website about this...*goes to find*


I was thinking earlier about how each of the houses seems to be linked to one of the four elements. In the Pagan belief system, each of the elements has various associations, so here's what I've come up with:

Gryffindor house: corresponds to element of fire. Direction: South. Properties of fire: Active/Masculine, daring, energetic, purifying. Corresponding tarot suit: Wands

Ravenclaw House: corresponds to the element of air. Direction: East. Consider that the Ravenclaw common room is located in one of the towers. Its symbol is the Eagle, the only animal on the Hogwarts coat of arms with the power of flight. Qualities of Air: Active/Masculine, quick, related to communication and wisdom. Corresponding Tarot suit: Swords

Slytherin House: corresponds to the element of water. Direction: West Consider that the Slytherin common room is under the lake. The house symbol is a snake - many snakes can move through water and sea snakes live in water. Properties of Water: Passive/Feminine, cleansing, rules the emotions. The element of water and the direction of West also correspond with death. Corresponding Tarot suit: Cups

Hufflepuff House: corresponds to the element of earth. Direction: North Notice that the Hufflepuff common room and dormitorties are underground. The house symbol is a Badger, which makes its home by digging setts in the earth. Qualities of Earth: Passive/Feminine, enduring, stable. Corresponding Tarot suit: Pentacles

Last edited by RosieWildsmith; August 30th, 2011 at 8:37 pm.
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