Harry Potter and the Major Arcana, pt 1

Remember when I used characters from Harry Potter to describe court cards? Yeah, I’m doing that shit again. But this time, we’re doing the majors. 

THERE ARE A MILLION WAYS TO DO THIS. For this series of posts, I’m going to use Harry’s entire journey through all seven books. 

THAR BE SPOILERS AHEAD.
0. The Fool

Ready? I’m skipping the first book entirely. Harry’s not comfortable enough to even venture forth confidently until the Chamber of Secrets, so that’s where I’m going to put him for the Fool. The Fool thinks he’s got shit figured out. He doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know. Harry sets out with his faithful little dog (sorry, Ron) with his eyes trained so confidently on his success that he just might step off a cliff. I can guarantee you that Harry never once thought, “Wow, I sure hope there aren’t any enormous fucking snakes rampaging around the school petrifying people this year!” He didn’t even know this was a problem one could have. This isn’t, of course, to say that it will lead to his downfall (it didn’t), but that he simply wasn’t prepared for the kinds of shit he might run into. He thought he was ready with his books and quills and wand, but wizardy bullshit was waiting just around the corner to pry his world right the fuck open. 

1. The Magician

If I were to give Harry a significator out of the majors, I would give him The Magician. And no, not because of the whole magic thing, but because the Magician is about taking action and knowing how to use what’s available to you. Harry’s fantastic at scraping and scrambling and stabbing possessed journals with fangs ripped from a dead snake’s head because that’s all he had at the moment. But even before that, he had decided that he wasn’t going to stand by and wait for someone else to save Ginny when she had been taken to the chamber. Something needed to be done, right fucking now, so he gathered his little resources and set out to fix this shit himself.

2. The High Priestess

The High Priestess generally represents a kind of self-awareness. Often times, self-awareness involves realizing that shit is much bigger than you originally thought, and that your part in it may be smaller than you had been thinking. Remember in the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry is crouching under a table in the Three Broomsticks listening to Fudge tell Madam Rosmerta about how Sirius Black betrayed Harry’s parents and that’s what led to their deaths? His day had just gone from cheerfully sneaking out of the school to go to a candy shop to suddenly wanting to kill a man. The High Priestess had just revealed to Harry the scope of the problem, and leaned in to whisper, “You ain’t shit.”

Harry Potter and the Court Cards

Help, help, I fucking hate the tarot’s court cards! Sincerely, everyone.

Court cards suck. There’s no getting around that shit. Is it an actual person? Does it just mean traits I need to have to endure whatever’s going on? I don’t know how to help you with that shit. But what I can do is help you (and myself) remember what their traits are by describing them as Harry Potter characters.

IF YOU HAVEN’T READ/FINISHED THE HARRY POTTER SERIES, BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD.

Let’s start with Cups. Cups are all about emotions.

The Page of Cups: Ron Weasley

What? Ron? Ron embodies the Page of Cups shortly in the beginning of the series. On their first train ride to Hogwarts, Ron discovers that Harry doesn’t have anything to eat, and promptly shares his sandwich. Ron and the Page of Cups happily start their journey by following their feelings. From his kindness to his anger, his pride to his feelings of inadequecy, Ron is driven by his emotions.

The Knight of Cups: Also Ron

What? Ron is evolving!

Ron takes the natural step from the Page to the Knight throughout the series. Driven by his emotions, he eventually lets his feelings get away from him, causing him to make downright shitty decisions. He shows this very clearly in the Deathly Hallows when he allows his stress to make him snap and leave the other two in the woods.

The Queen of Cups: Hagrid

(Gender is irrelevant) Always kind and caring, sympathetic and loyal, Hagrid is the dad Harry never had and never really gets a credit for being. But he didn’t do it for credit, he did it because he gave a shit.

King of Cups: Severus Snape

Master of potions as well as his emotions, yet fiercely driven by them, Snape embodies both light and shadow aspects of the King of Cups. His love for Harry’s mother guides his bravery and sacrifice, yet his hatred for Harry’s father causes him to be unnecessarily cruel.

 

Next, we’ll look at the suit of Swords. Swords are all about intellect and conflict.

The Page of Swords: Hermione Granger

Hermione’s not here to fuck around, she’s here to learn. With sharp wit and an adventurous spirit, she’s just like the Page of Swords.

The Knight of Swords: Sirius Black

Bold and intelligent and always looking for the next conflict, Sirius Black serially makes rash decisions until one literally gets him killed.

The Queen of Swords: Luna Lovegood

She might be strange, but she’s generally right. Luna is fantastic at stating the stark, uncomfortable truth, even if it makes those around her cringe. But, as Luna said herself, “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”

The King of Swords: Albus Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort

Duality at its finest…or is it? Both cold, calculating, and logical, Dumbledore and Voldemort command respect and make great leaders. They are both highly intelligent and ruthless in their attempts to succeed.

 

Now we’re onto Wands. Wands represent passion, fire, and creativity.

The Page of Wands: Harry Potter

You knew he’d show up somewhere. Harry begins his journey wide-eyed and curious. In fact, he’s so curious that it constantly leads him into harm’s way. Fluffy, the basilisk, trips into the pensieve… And yet he always comes up with something to get through it. His resourcefulness is astounding.

The Knight of Wands: Tom Riddle

With too many ideas for his own good, Tom Riddle is a great example of creativity gone wrong. In his haste to be the best, he failed to pause and get a little perspective on his path.

The Queen of Wands: Ginny Weasley

Confident and daring, Ginny takes the role of the Queen of Wands. She’s passionate and creative in pursuing her goals.

The King of Wands: Professor McGonagall

If ever there was a woman to be assigned the role of king, it’s Minerva McGonagall. Her power may have been quiet and smoldering for most of the series, but by the end there’s no denying her fiery might. Warm and stable, she waits for the right time to give her wise council.

Lastly, the suit of Pentacles, which deals with the material world.

The Page of Pentacles: Dobby

Innocent and loyal, Dobby knows what having nothing feels like, and his big-hearted quest to make sure that others don’t suffer the way he did is a true Page of Pentacles journey.

The Knight of Pentacles: Fred and George

Fantastic businessmen with a flair for extravagance and a bad habit of questionable decisions, they know what they want, but their plan to get there was a bit rough.

The Queen of Pentacles: Molly Weasley

The ultimate mother archetype, Mrs. Weasley is kind and loving, providing everyone she can with her warmth and care. She’s a master of sharing whatever she can, even though what she has is little. She’s wonderfully nurturing and fierce as fuck.

The King of Pentacles: Narcissa Malfoy

Yep, Malfoy’s mother. She doesn’t get nearly enough credit. She has a background of wealth, and the ability to do what she needs to do to get what she wants. But at the end of the series, when she lies to Voldemort and says that Harry is dead, she shows that she truly knows the value of things, and not just their monetary cost.

 

Got ideas of your own? Toss ’em out there in the comments.

Hermione Shouldn’t Have Gotten Married, Huh?

It’s International Women’s Day.

Which turns out to be the perfect day to discuss a Harry Potter article that I read a while back whose very title made me bristle.

It was something like 5 Reasons Hermione Shouldn’t Have Gotten Married.

Now hold the fuck up.

Just maybe…she did it…because she fucking wanted to.

The article spoke of how strong of a woman Hermione was and that she “didn’t need no man.”

You’re damn right she doesn’t. But maybe she wants one.

There are people out there expressing disappointment that Hermione Granger got married and had children. Like she was “too strong” and “too intelligent” for that.

These people are the problem. They parade around declaring themselves feminists, but at the same time they are disappointed by women doing things that, well, women do.

Women are made strong and powerful by what they do. They do not have to do traditionally masculine things to be powerful. Women doing traditionally masculine things to become “strong” makes what they’re doing no longer feminism.

Was Mrs. Weasley not a strong female character? Did the fact that she was married to Arthur Weasley make her weak? Was she weak for having had seven children? Was she weak for giving what little she had to those who needed it? Did it take away her strength when she stepped in as a mother to Harry whenever he needed one? When her boggart turned into each of her children lying dead before her, did you lose your faith in her? When she killed Bellatrix Lestrange, was she discredited because it was to avenge her son?

Not a fucking bit. She was strong BECAUSE of those things, not in spite of them.

And Hermione will be too.

And so will you.