Real Witches and Wizards Speak Out on the End of Harry Potter

Categories: Fun
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Literary geeks and fantasy fans across the nation are lining up to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which opens in theaters at midnight tonight. Anyone who's read J.K. Rowling's book series already knows how the final battle pans out, but there are some locals who might have a higher stake in this epic battle of good vs. evil: real-life witches and wizards.

No, we're not talking about the nutty Potter cosplayers who cut their hair like Severus Snape and buy replica wands, or the Dungeons & Dragons player who's convinced that the powers of his Level 80 mage translate into real life.

Pagans, druids, witches -- whatever you call them, many local magic-workers are sad to see a series that made their lifestyle more acceptable to the general public come to an end.

"I have seen a definite change in attitudes towards magic and being a witch," says Jade, a 38-year-old witch and suburban mom who was once criticized for allowing her kids to dress up as witches and wizards. "The Harry Potter world has done wonders to bring witchcraft out of the realm of devil worshiping (which it never was) and into mainstream society. Unfortunately, everyone now wants to be a witch or wizard."
 
Depending on whom you ask, that might be possible.
 
More witches weigh in, after the jump.

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Flying brooms: This Harry Potter myth is busted.
According to practicing witch Heather Frazier, owner of Tempe metaphysical shop A Magickal Moon, all of us are born with the ability to alter the world, whether by casting spells or participating in a Christian prayer circle.

Other practicing witches argue that some natural talent is required -- much like in the world of Harry Potter, where witches and wizards are either born into magical families or muggle-born with some innate ability that allows them to cast spells and fly on brooms.

As far as we can tell, no one's flying on brooms or drinking vile-tasting potions that turn them into Mad-Eye Moody in the real world.

But witches are at least open to the possibility. "I've never seen a levitating book, but that doesn't mean it can't happen," says Frazier. "In all reality, magic is very scientific. It's a matter of using energy, and there are people who can focus and use their energy so much that they can cause things to happen."

So if there are no Patronus charms and "expelliarmus" commands to disarm your enemy, what aspects of Harry Potter's magical world are true?

Mark, a Druid living in Glendale, says he was able to make a miraculous full recovery from an accident in Iraq that completely severed his Achilles tendon, just by using the power of pagan prayer. And Jade describes the use of an actual invisibility spell.  

"The magic on screen has been taken to a fantastic extreme, but there is some basis in the real world," she explains. "For instance, the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron and Sirius' home are always there, but not visible to anyone without the knowledge of their existence. Invisibility spells work much the same way.  It is not that the person or object is rendered invisible; it is more of a distraction, a way of making you look past or away from the object."



Though it might seem obvious that the nature-loving, "do unto others" pagans that have become more widely accepted in the Potter generation would be on Harry's side in the climactic final fight, not every witch agrees.

Jade is a fan of the sharp-tongued yet somewhat misunderstood Professor Snape, while Mark believes the black-and-white Harry vs. Voldemort dynamic isn't very realistic. "I root for Harry," he says, "but I wish that there [was] someone in the series who knew all of what both of these characters knew and did not do too much 'good' or 'evil'."    

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11 comments
Aunt
Aunt

The role of nature in paganism is often a source of conflict when Modernization and it's role in society comes up. harry Potter side steps this issue by making historical naturalism evil. And I have yet to read one thoughtful or inspired pagan article confront that dialectic.

PROWEST
PROWEST

Ironic, seeing as JK Rowling is a devout born-again Christian and says that she based Harry Potter on Christian values. 

Harry is a Christ like figure. His friends are like Christian disciples. Voldemort is Satan. The Muggles are like the unsaved non-believers.

Matt Andrews
Matt Andrews

Eh. Wicca is no different than Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or any other religion: belief in stuff that isn't real.

Kilmrnock
Kilmrnock

we practice our perspective religions just as you do or don't 43211. just b/c we're pagan dosen't make us losers . paganism is a blanket term for earth centered , prechristian usually polythiestic belief systems , that includes wicca, druidry , asatru to name a few. as far as history is concerned , the monothiestic faiths , christianity , islam, judism are the new kids on the block . the so called pagan beleifs , w/ a few exceptions predated the monothiestic faiths .wicca is relativly new but is based on old pagan ideals .

Chibinium
Chibinium

Magic is the placebo effect. Someone can grasp a sunstone and kick ass at a management meeting. What the hell happened? Placebo happened, and they made it happen. I have a plushie, given by a lady friend, and it brings me luck.

...Does it really? No, it itself has no luck. But I cannot deny it makes me more popular with women. Call it magic, preselection or whatever.

"Conjuring confidence" like this may sound silly, but it is another trick to emulate it without relying on the trinkets. Managing placebo should be accorded its proper respect.

Me
Me

"We make things happen"... rather than "Stuff happens"

Imaginati
Imaginati

As a practicing pagan, I agree that the movies and books have made things more out in the open and made being a "witch" more acceptable. However, I think that it sheds an unrealistic light on things, making witchcraft seem fictional and fake. Real magic isn't about patronus charms and transfiguration. it's about being a part of the world around you. All in all, I enjoyed the books and the movies as pure entertainment, just not as an example of real witches. I'd like to think other people did the same!

43211
43211

Now we know what these losers do when the Ren fest isn't in town.

Me
Me

Funny how someone always feel it necessary to attack someone else's beliefs rather than ask questions about that belief. 43211, you would have probably been the person lighting the bonfire back in the Middle Ages. Sad that such prejudices still exist today, I guess we'll never get past some people ignorance and intolerance will we?

prof
prof

Really, 43211? 

I don't dress up in robes and pointy hats. I don't belong to a coven.   do not proselytize.  I do not harangue people and ask for money.

I am a chemistry and physics professor at the university level. I'm a published poet. My colleagues tend to refer to my belief system  as "noetics" or "noetic science".  I am a practitioner of the Craft. My path is solitary.

As to who is a "loser", 43211, I would point out that I am not the person making snide remarks.

 And, FYI, I've never been to a Ren fest or fair.

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