The entire Harry Potter world is a prime example of occult influences being hidden in plain sight. They make no qualms about the ceremonial magick, alchemical processes, and occult doctrine present throughout the entire series.
Before I break down the symbolism in Harry Potter’s world, I’d like to briefly cover a couple of ideas about the occult doctrine. The occult doctrine was “hidden” from the masses for several centuries. Many argue it had started with Pythagoras around 500 BC when he began his Pythagorean Brotherhood after synthesizing secret teachings from Egypt and Babylon. These fused beliefs were taught within secret societies and priesthoods from the pagan world in places such as Greece, Rome, and Egypt.
When Christianity was adopted, the occult doctrine went underground and fractured into various orders and groups that are related to Hermeticism, Kabbalism, Neoplatonism, Rosicrucianism, and Gnosticism.
The Gnostics believed the human soul descended from the world of light into darkness. The material world is a Matrix-like simulation created by the Demiurge where humans can become influenced by negative entities known as Archons for evil purposes. The practitioner is obliged to find their way back to the light through various practices. The manipulation of matter includes the alchemical processes that seek to convert lead into gold, but it has a higher purpose (similar to that Gnostic reconnection to the light).
Alchemy is intended to spiritualize matter and believed to be the key to the soul’s release and reintegration. In other words, the initiate may become something greater by contacting the divine light- ultimately becoming a god in his own right through magick. Magick is spelled with the 11th letter from the alphabet ‘k’ based on Aleister Crowley’s teachings which suggest the 11th number is that of Magick in itself—a sacred number par excellence of the new Aeon of Horus, a prophecy of Crowley for the new age of man where the child god is worshipped (just look at how many child celebrities there have been since the beginning of this age in the 1930s).
For time sake, I’ll assume readers have a basic understanding of the Harry Potter series and its characters, so this is your spoiler alert.
The story is about Harry’s journey of awakening, or self-discovery—the archetypal quest of answering “Who Am I?” Given that Harry is living under the stairs in the home of adoptive parents, it seems he has no clue about his origin. The reader/viewer joins in on the ritualistic journey of Harry’s individuation. The main staple of Harry’s quest for knowledge is the practice of magick; something practiced by Satanists, witches, pagans, and the world’s most “wickedest” man, Aleister Crowley.
When the viewer/reader realizes that a wizard named Voldemort is the one who’s truly evil in Harry’s new world. This man is so evil the magicians refuse to utter his name. Dumbledore speaks the real-life magical truth to Harry when he tood him to “Call him Voldemort… Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
Thus, Dumbledore plays out the Hermes enlightenment role by explaining to Harry the beliefs that exist in the occult world. Aside from ritual magick; occultism could be best expressed with a few core systems: Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, and Kabbalism. The series has Neoplatonism ideas such as the Hogwarts school which is akin to Plato’s “Academy” and the mystery schools, which taught practitioners there was a world beyond our five senses.
Plato referred to our mundane realm as “The World of Being” and everything we experience through the five senses is actually just a reflection of eternal patterns existing in the World of Being. When speaking about an illusory world we have to point out the influence of Gnosticism. The Gnostics believe the human soul descended from the world of light into darkness. This material world is a prison because we are trapped by the evil god who created it (the Demiurge).
Humanity can only find salvation by rising above matter and ascending past the material world. This can be done through enlightenment of occult philosophies, alchemy, magick and astrology which leads the initiate to rebirth after connection with the divine.
One more connection to consider is that in the first book of Harry Potter we learn of a letter he receives from Hogwarts which has a lion, eagle and snake on the seal; symbolic of the houses in the academy. Curious enough the Gnostic Demiurge is personified as a lion headed snake while the eagle is symbolic of an alchemical transformation (typically shown as a phoenix).
Along Harry Potter’s journey we discover his super powers of the ubermensch- fulfilling all of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Adolf Hitler’s fantasies of seeding the super-man of pure-blooded occultists. Nihilist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche infamously wrote about the ubermensch as the embodiment for the death of God. When we look at the overall timeline of the religious push on the masses, we can see how science and atheism has gained a strong foothold. The logical conclusion is to support nihilism and the belief that there is truly no purpose or reason for our existence (thus the death of God and destruction of religion).
Since that is a bleak existence, man needs to find some form of spiritualism so that leads us to the occult spirituality that is present in the Harry Potter saga. The pitfalls of these ideas have already been explored with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party seeking the supermen of pure Aryan blood in accordance with HP Blavatsky’s teachings. The fact that JK Rowling released a book called Harry Potter: A History of Magic should tell us that she wasn’t bashful about the occult inspirations for the tale.
The school the magicians attend is called Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry but you’ll notice the term “witchcraft” doesn’t make its way onto the films in the same manner it does with the books. At this school the students learn all about the super powers like talking to snakes and necromancy.
Throughout the Harry Potter films, we see occult symbolism scattered about, such as the lightning bolt on Harry’s forehead and the tattoos on a character named Sirius a Black. The magical alphabet of the German pagans, known as Runes, were believed to contain magical properties-thus we see this character covered with these tattoos. Other symbols seen on Sirius Black include Saturn, which is an extremely significant, adversary concept for occultists.
Saturn embodies the archetype of antinomianism known as the “Other.” Believed at one time to be the furthest planet in the early solar system, it now sits as the sixth planet (Saturn=Satan; 666, to mock the Holy Trinity, fyi). However, it is also believed that Saturn is a dead brown dwarf star that was originally Earth’s first sun, before Jupiter knocked it back with the birth of Venus, which ushered in the Golden Age.
The name Sirius comes from a star constellation that the Freemasons adore, calling it the “Blazing Star.” Aleister Crowley also had much respect for it, referring to it as the “sun behind the sun,” for its hidden occult energy force. Kenneth Grant was an acolyte of Crowley and claimed Sirius was the source of Crowley’s Thelemic current, which makes sense in Harry Potter’s world because it’s all about ushering in the Aeon of Horus.
One more tattoo we see on Sirius Black’s torso is the “peace” sign. This inverted cross is taken from the Germanic rune Algiz which means “life”. However, when inverted, as we see with the “peace” sign of today, ironically means “death.”
With what has been revealed about the dark side of Hollywood and the film industry (and all entertainment, for that matter) if we look at the history behind the magic wand, we can see how appropriate it fits. The wand is a phallic object and Harry’s just so happens to be made from the wood of the Holly Tree (as many wands are). Here we see the real magic behind the Hollywood name which dazzles the subconscious of the masses with the influences desired. In terms of magick, any object could be a tool for the ritual. Often times a ritual knife, or an athame, symbolizes the male energies in the same way the phallic wand does.
The name Harry Potter, as well as others, can be connected to key players in the real world of the occult. Madame HP Blavatsky, who founded the Theosophical Society in 1875, is recognized as one of the early leaders of the revival of the magkical movement in the West.
Along with sharing the same initials, Harry has a spirit counterpart of a stag that is referred to as his “Patronus”—not far from Blavatsky’s middle name of “Petrovna.” The Patronus stag is also important in pagan expressions of the Horned God-a practice utilized by witches and warlocks who celebrate the stag with his consort moon goddess. The Horned God is an archetype of male powers for the protector (Harry Potter in this case).
Sherry Salman has an entry in the ‘Quadrant’ journal about the Horned God where the abstract spells out a clear understanding of Harry Potter’s stag spirit: “He is the elusive, transformative substance of the psyche itself—the adversary and the savior who, with one hand, protects the Mysteries from destructive influences and, with the other, protects the human psyche from contact with what it cannot bear.”
Harry Potter is in fact the protector of the Hogwarts mystery school. Another character in the Harry Potter universe is Cassandra Vablatsky (it’s very clear that Vablatsky must’ve been inspired by Blavatsky). This person makes an appearance in the Prisoner of Azkaban novel as the author of “Unfogging the Future.” If one looks on the website for the Theosophical Society, they even suggest this fictitious novel is a veiled form of Blavatsky’s book “Isis Unveiled.”
The inspiration of Blavatsky was ultimately seeking the wisdom of the ancients and all the mystery schools of the past. What we find is a consistent theme of Gnostic beliefs being rehashed in the name of defeating the evils of the material realm from which the false God has imprisoned us.
The Blavatsky Effect shows links between Harry Potter and the occult where the material world is viewed with disdain as an extension of the Abrahamic God, belief in a superior enlightened group (magicians), and their rightful place above the ignorant masses (the Muggles). The Ancient Wisdom which the theosophists promised to share is an eclectic compilation of Hindu, Egyptian, Gnostic and other exotic scriptures and teachings, neo-Platonism, and stories like the Atlantis myth.
These are philosophies and stories for those who shake and quiver at the sound of such words as secret, special, spiritual, enlightenment, transformation, esoteric, occult, divine, ancient wisdom, cosmic, vision, dynamics, golden, Isis, mysteries and masters. They promise escape from the evils of the world, especially the body, while providing an explanation for Evil. They claim to know that the reason spiritual progress is so slow in coming is because of all this horrible stuff in the universe called “matter.” They promise the power of divinity while providing an explanation for miracles which takes them out of the realm of the supernatural and puts the believer into the center of the spiritual universe. They promise union with some great moral purpose while offering membership in an isolated society of very special beings.
But, probably the biggest attraction to joining such an esoteric society is that you don’t have to go to college and you don’t have to read Kant. What you do need, though, is a penchant for the occult. This is dangerous stuff, according to Blavatsky, but theosophy can help: When ignorant of the true meaning of the esoteric divine symbols of nature, man is apt to miscalculate the powers of his soul, and, instead of communing spiritually and mentally with the higher, celestial beings, the good spirits (the gods of the theurgiests of the Platonic school), he will unconsciously call forth the evil, dark powers which lurk around humanity–the undying, grim creations of human crimes and vices—and thus fall from theurgia (white magic) into goetia (or black magic, sorcery).
According to Madame, “… no one can be a true Occultist without being a real Theosophist; otherwise he is simply a black magician, whether conscious or unconscious. ”
She even thought that mesmerism and hypnotism were occult arts. Occult sciences are not, as described in Encyclopaedias, “those imaginary sciences of the Middle Ages which related to the supposed action or influence of Occult qualities or supernatural powers, as alchemy, magic, necromancy, and astrology,” for they are real, actual, and very dangerous sciences. They teach the secret potency of things in Nature, developing and cultivating the hidden powers “latent in man,” thus giving him tremendous advantages over more ignorant mortals.”