Harry Potter vs. Real-life Witchcraft |The Four W's Part 2|

8:47 AM

Hola readers!

Today, for the second part in my blog series, we're going to talk about real-life witchcraft vs. Harry Potter (if you haven't read part one in my series, you may want to drop in here at this link first).  I want to let everyone get an idea on real-life witchcraft as well as that portrayed in the franchise, so we can get an idea of the overall issues.
I'm also going to be briefly mentioning the Arthurian legend and magic with the BBC occult TV show, Merlin. Merlin is based on the Arthurian legend and because in the past I've really not had a problem watching the TV show about a boy wizard there, but have hesitated to watch Harry Potter, I thought it'd also be a good time to explain why in either this post or on the third, and final one in a week or so.
The basics of the show for BBC Merlin is, it's about a boy wizard in medieval times. There's King Arthur, magic, the sword in the stone, the Knights of the Round table, dragons, etc. Typical legend and I love it.

So, shall we proceed, because honestly I've been really excited for this post and the final one that's coming up!

Wiccans do a lot of their spells and incantations in a circle, which of course, doesn't really have anything to do with Harry Potter. And most Wiccans believe everyone has magic inside of them, but in both Harry Potter and Merlin, only those born with the Gift can do magic in the wizarding world.

And I know a lot of people compare Gandalf to Harry Potter, asking why Christians are OK with him but not HP?

Honestly, if you're a true LOTR fan then you will realize that Tolkien had a representation of God in Middle Earth, and the Wizards of Middle Earth were actually very much like angels. I think Tolkien had more Christian themes intentionally then Lewis did in Narnia, actually. AND if you know anything about C.S Lewis, then you realize he didn't actually mean (at first) to put Christian themes in his books. When he wrote Narnia, he was actually surprised about how it popped up. (Just thought I'd mention it since that subject comes up a lot when you're debating fantasy franchises...)

OK, now where was I at?

Oh, yes.

In Wicca they don't believe in evil or sin and they have/usually contact spirit guides. In Harry Potter, Voldermort is obviously evil and while sometimes the kids get away with lying or going behind their teachers' backs; darkness vs. light is is a very strong theme. I really hated reading articles about the faults of HP concerning magic and then the fact that they have to add about the kids getting away with breaking a few rules and make it such a factor. Yes, it's wrong, but a lot of children books have that aspect in it as well, so let's not just point it out in Harry Potter. We're talking magic here: let's not nit pick to other things.

Anyway, Wiccans also believe in The Force (we talked about this in New Age here) and none of that was present in HP. Of course, HP doesn't recognize a higher power, so that may bother some people, though I don't think Merlin did either. It is fantasy and in one or two of my books I don't have a "Higher Power" per say, though I do acknowledge good and evil and later I have The Light which represents Jesus. However, that latter aspect isn't present in my current manuscript I'm trying to get published, The Broken Prince. 

And I know a lot of people said the spells in HP were just like real spells cast in today's world by real witches and wizards, but honestly I couldn't find anything of the sort. I may be naive, but I did a lot of research and couldn't find anything. Rowling made up a lot of her words actually and if I'm not mistaken (and I'm pretty sure I'm not), she used a lot of Greek and Latin for inspiration.

Though she did use the names of demons from stories and legends for some of the darker sides of the stories, such as Slytherian. So there's that, though I'm sure many readers don't even catch it.
I think what bothers a lot of Christians though, is that Rowling did a great amount of research for her books. While research is good, her research was more on the magic side and on real witchcraft and demons and the spirit-world.
One wizard caller into a radio station Rowling was at, asked if she was a member of Wicca. When she told him 'no', he said, "Well, you’ve done your homework quite well!” He also told her that he loved the HP books because they had so much of the same occult formulas he regularly used.

| “I do a certain amount of research, and folklore is quite important in books. So where I’m mentioning a creature or a spell that people used to believe genuinely would work—of course, it didn’t . . then, I will find out exactly what the words were, and I will find out exactly what the characteristics of that creature or ghost were supposed to be . . [Much of sorcery material in the books] are things that people genuinely used to believe in Britain.”—J.K.R. interview on National Public Radio, October 20, 1999. |

In pretty much everything I read, Rowling doesn't believe in magic though or the occult - she just did a LOT of research for it. Maybe a little more then she needed to? I know Tolkien and Lewis knew a lot about mythology but some of the occult stuff is risky. We'll get into that in the next post, so for now I'll try not to let biased opinions leak through.... ;) 

Anyway, a lot of the HP stuff is light when it comes to learning spells. ear-piercing baby Mandrakes, cool brooms, funny ghosts, and spells gone wrong. The first book was one of my favorites - light fun that I could laugh at. And I really did laugh!
 Harry Potter and the Wizarding World was brilliantly done and the humor spot-on. And through the eyes of an adult, not a kid, reading the books for the first time was delightful. It was interesting to see how Rowling was going to take the whole, "witches and wizards thing," actually. 

However, I must admit, I did see some similarities with HP and the real-wizarding world - as I said above. Pretty much anything Rowling said was well researched and she knows what she's talking about - plus she's admitted that one third of her material is based on the occult. 
Also, things like wands became VERY popular after HP and one store in Britain that sells real wands to real witches and wizards, saying they're in high-demand, though he only sells wands to real followers of witchcraft - not fans. I also read the wizard/shop owner has a wand shop similar to the one in HP with the whole, "the wand chooses the wizard" thing that is talked about in the franchise. While I don't know how popular wand use is in the States, apparently it's active in the occult in Britain.   

Also the fact alone that HP must go to school to learn most of his stuff, is seen as a slight problem since then kids get a first-hand look at what real witches and wizards of today do, such as card and palm reading, fortune-telling, reading the stars, etc. 

At this point you're probably thinking....

but I have to be honest even if this post sounds a bit drab. I believe that witchcraft and the evil spirit world exists and I also believe that Wicca is a real, active, group of people today since the mid 1950s. There's continual interest in Ouija boards, the horror movies inspired by the boards, and even in TV shows such as I Love Lucy or The Andy Griffith show, you can see the rise of 'harmless' fortune telling and star reading. It's just been seen as harmless. 

And it's not. 

It's real. 

Especially where I live (and again, this will be something to get into for the next post), but kids really do believe in ghosts, demons, being sucked in by the dark world, and they are influenced by what they read and watch. A simple youtube video had at least twenty of the kids where I worked believing that if you talked to your cellphone after midnight, then evil would come. 
And these kids are even young teens  and they were terrified.  It may sound like a harmless joke from a youtuber but they believed Seri on their cell phone was controlled by darkness. 

As Christians, and as for me raised in a Christian home, it's easy to forget that kids who don't have guidance or aren't seeing Jesus over everything, including the darkness, often see witchcraft as either 'cool' and/or 'scary' and will believe pretty much anything they're told without backing it up with scripture.

And while it Satan and witchcraft and darkness is real, it doesn't have to scare us. We know Who is over all and that those who perform witchcraft hold no power of Light and Christ.

However, many don't believe that.

Many believe that Satan and darkness controls Jesus...and that's not only sad, but scary: who are they going to want to follow if they don't believe Jesus holds power over hell?

So there, my trying-to-be-unbiased-version of Harry Potter vs. real life witchcraft. I have ONE more post after this: probably my favorite to write as I can feel more free to fangirl, rant, be honest about the franchise (not that I haven't been honest now, but like I said, hopefully it's been as unbiased as possible). So be on the look-out for "Should Christians Watch and Read Harry Potter?" as well as my opinion on why I'm pretty much fine with Merlin.

 I'd love to hear your thoughts and thank you for reading my rambles!!!

What do you think about real-life witchcraft? Do you think it's taken seriously enough to Christians and the world or is it still being seen as harmless fun? - especially games like the Ouija board or episodes about the spirit world in black and white TV shows.

Let's chat!

Oh, and don't forget to check out my giveaway here!!!!

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8 of your thoughts

  1. You handled this tough topic so well! I loved reading your thoughts, thank you and great job. <3

  2. I like how you're analysing this and trying to give a balanced perspective! It's refreshing after the approach of arrogantly defending one's opinions.

    I definitely agree that witchcraft and evil generally isn't taken seriously enough. It's like because we can't see behind the scenes we forget there's a battle for our souls going on. I haven't looked into this topic enough myself to give an informed opinion, but I think what disturbs me most about Harry Potter and similar things is that it's making witchcraft more common, more normal. I know it's fiction, and it's not 'real' witchcraft exactly, but it sparks an interest, and makes these things more commonplace. We're not going to be shocked at real-life witchcraft because it's already a part of what we watch/read. I think there's also a difference between you, a discerning and aware adult, reading these things, and a younger person who may not take time to break it down into what is true and false, and what is good or evil in the real world. Anyway, I may be making some incorrect assumptions, because I don't know like I said, but those are my thoughts!

    I know what you mean about forgetting that others don't know about Jesus and His power though! It's crazy to think what that kind of life must be like. May we have opportunity to speak about His power and victory! Again, thanks for this post. I appreciated it. :)

    1. Oh I couldn't agree more with you which is why I'm doing a third and final post giving my thoughts more - it'll be more biased haha.
      So this was me trying to be unbiased and allow people to decide for themselves and then read my thoughts in a week or so. I still have two more HP movies to watch (I've read each of the books) so I can say I did.
      Thank you - as always - for sharing your thoughts, Jessica!

    2. Okay, I get it! I'll be looking forward to that post then. :)

  3. Thank you so much for this post! I went back and read the first one you linked to and I'm honestly looking forward to the next one. I've done a bunch of research myself on this topic since I've had so many people ask me my thoughts on LOTR and HP. It basically got to the point where I wanted to be able to back up my assertions with concrete evidence and Scriptural principles and not just spout off opinions.

    I agree completely that the spirit/demonic world is nothing to take lightly. It is very real. And it's scary. Much of my research looks like it's been the same stuff you've been researching.

    However, I do want to leave a quick comment on one of your points: it is true that Rowling made up the words to the spells she used in the books, with Latin mainly as the basis. For all intensive purposes, it's mumble-jumble. Unfortunately, witches in Wicca will tell you that's how they do spells, too. It's really not about the words; they can say whatever they want, and most of it will come from a Latin basis. The focus is not on the words, but the power controlling the spell.

    1. Ohh thank you for that info on the spells - I will be sure and put that into the next post. A lot of people were just focusing on whether or not HP had 'real spells' or not but it IS about the power behind our words - the Devil or Christ - not the words themselves.
      Makes a whole lot of sense!
      Thank. you.

  4. In HP, there doesn't seem to be any higher power, but there are Godfathers so at least Harry is supposed to be a Christian, right?

    Once again, this is really well written.


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