Elegant tapers summon spirits, illuminating obscurity.
Elegant tapers summon spirits, illuminating obscurity.
They have tried very hard to ban Harry. Time after time. According to the American Library Association, Harry Potter is the number one most often banned/ challenged book of the 21st century. Why all the hate? Especially in a world where I personally have never met anyone who did not love Harry.
The banning craze that developed around Harry Potter books supposedly has its origin in the fear of witchcraft and sorcery. Apparently, many people are concerned that Harry is promoting the occult, and beliefs like Wicca and Paganism that have NO DAMN BUSINESS in the good old You Ess of A . ( Call in the National Guard!!!! Witches and Wizards and Students! OH MY! )
This hatred of witches, of course has its origins in the bible. ‘Thou Shalt not suffer a witch to live’. So says Exodus 22:18.
I read that in the original Aramaic language this passage should have been translated as ‘Thou shalt not suffer a ‘m’khashepah’ (translated as ‘evil doer’ connotation of murderer) to live’. No mention of the word ‘witch’. The word ‘witch’ by the way, originally meant ‘wise ‘.)
But the good folks over at Bible Translation Service, Inc. (also known as Puritans Rope ’em and Grope ’em — or The Spanish Inquisition Burning Machine) decided to throw in the word ‘witch’. Just for fun.
That one little mess up of a word caused the deaths of approximately 100,000 men and women throughout Europe and the Americas between the years 1450 -1700. Witch genocide still takes place in Africa and the Caribbean.
But back to Harry. Is the fear of witches still so prevalent in the US that people go up in arms over a children’s book? Is America still that Puritanical?
Personally I think there may be more to it. Harry’s story itself may be what upsets people.
Harry is a disenfranchised orphan who is left to the mercy of his evil relatives until he discovers his unique and special abilities at Hogwarts. He happens to be taught by witches and wizards but that is not really the point. The point is empowerment. Harry undergoes a fantastic transformation. He becomes capable, powerful, whole. And the idea of the disenfranchised becoming empowered is enough to scare the be-jesus out of the Powers That Be.
Harry is the every man, the working girl, the average Joe (or Jo) who somehow unleashes potential within him/herself. And if Harry can do it, maybe we all can do it. This is the true gift of Harry and also the reason why they would ban him.
But in the end Harry wins! That is because you cannot keep the light down. Go into any public library in the US and chances are you will see Harry. Go into any bookstore and you will find him, sitting on the bookshelf, peering through his little round glasses. Maybe even riding a broom in a game of Quiddich. He says “Come with me. Do not be stifled by their small view of you! Unlock your wizardly powers and be free!”
Yep. The most subversive stuff in America.
Equal parts dark and light, equal parts day and night. As the sun wanes in the North so do we. The long
sleep jumps from the tilt of the sky.
Crops harvest, land rests, hot beat of summer gone. Painted now in cool splashes. Citrine
amber, scarlet. Rich jewels to ripen and brighten
the oncoming night.
Have a Blessed Mabon.
Could Queen Elizabeth I, who was in many ways a force of nature herself, actually command the elements?
Here is a scene from one of my favorite movies Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Queen Bess confronts her ambassadors about impending war with Spain. As it turned out, Bess did command the wind — she had the last laugh when fierce hurricane-like gusts actually overtook the Spanish Armada, bringing victory to England.
Was Bess a witch? You decide 🙂
This post is in response to the Daily Prompt Wind
Do you say ‘White Rabbit’ on the first day of the month? In my family we have this tradition. We do it as a fun competition. The first one to say it wins. (We don’t actually win anything, we just Win — if you remembered first you are the smartest smart guy. )
I got to thinking about this tradition and wondered if anyone else practiced it, where it came from, and if it make any sense at all. Actually, it always made a lot of sense to me, because as an Alice in Wonderland fan, I knew Alice found all her adventures by following the White Rabbit!
I did some sleuthing and found out that the rabbit utterance apparently started out as an ancient Celtic tradition. It was used at the beginning of the lunar month to honor the sacred animal. This animal was not exactly a rabbit, but something other-worldly that resembled a rabbit. The image of this rabbit-like animal could then be found in the full moon.
In some parts of Scotland and northern England, children are still taught to say ‘White Rabbit’ at the beginning of the month as a magic charm to attract money through unexpected means.
This quote comes from a ‘Notes and Queries’ book dated 1909:
“My two daughters are in the habit of saying ‘Rabbits!’ on the first day of each month. The word must be spoken aloud, and be the first word said in the month. It brings luck for that month. Other children, I find, use the same formula.”
Another tradition holds that ‘Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits’ should be spoken as the first words and the beginning of the month, and ‘Hares, hares, hares’ as the last words at the end of the month.
Interestingly, the tradition was also adopted by RAF bomber aircrews in WWII, who believed uttering ‘white rabbit’ as their very first words upon awakening would keep them from harm.
I found this quote from the 1922 novel ‘Solomon in all his Glory’ by Robert Lynd:
“Why,” the man in the brown hat laughed at him, “I thought everybody knew ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.’ If you say ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit’—three times, just like that—first thing in the morning on the first of the month, even before you say your prayers, you’ll get a present before the end of the month.”
So this month I am going to be the first to say White Rabbit. Maybe I will even get a present 🙂
Try it and let me know if it works for you!
“Never underestimate a great superstition.”
So let’s say you are a seventeen year old girl and you live in Puritan New England, circa 1630. Your family are radical separatists. In fact, they are so pure, even the Puritans can’t handle them. Your family is banished from the colony. For being too religious.
Forced to live out in the wildest of wilderness, your life pretty much sucks. You do non-stop chores from dawn till dusk. This includes stuff like washing clothes in the river and grinding corn. You have no time to yourself, no chance to voice your own opinions, no creative outlets. “Women should be seen and not heard.” Then of course, there is that pesky problem of your budding sexuality…
Your father is clearly nuts. All he does is chop wood and quote the Bible. All day long. Your young siblings are acting strange. Your mother is also nuts. She talks of sending you off to be a maid for some other family, where you will have even MORE chores to do.
Your family are Calvinists. They are very concerned with Heaven and how to get there. They insist upon living a pious (read: dull, boring, repressive) life in order to reap their heavenly rewards. The only trouble is — God has already chosen His elect and you may not be one of them. You will not find out until you die. All your piety could be a big fat waste of time and you just may end up in Hell. It’s a real game of Russian roulette, eh?
Then along comes this goat named Black Phillip…
The question here is not WHY would a Puritan woman sign a blood contract with the Devil. The question is WHY WOULDN’T SHE?
This film is beautifully shot, meticulous in historical detail, and a spine tingling, psychological thriller! Now out on DVD.
“Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?”