Saturday, July 28, 2007

Thank you, Harry

My Debt to J.K. Rowling

I know many of us have been saturated with the media machine that is Harry Potter. But Byron Ballard's post at DeafPagan hit's the nail on the head. The books have been an incredible boon to tolerance and understanding of Wicca and NeoPaganism, even if not an accurate portrayal:

...As a Wiccan, I have watched with interest the attempts to ban the Potter books from school libraries...I’ve listened to the pronouncements from several religious leaders in this country and abroad who are concerned about the effects of Rowling’s work on the more impressionable members of their flocks. This foray into young adult literature has distressed people who haven’t even read them but certainly have an opinion of what witchcraft is, what Wicca is and how Rowling conflated the two to create the world of Muggles and Hogwarts that have taken the reading world by storm...

What really impresses me, is how this wonderful storm has completely drowned out the book burners such as Laura Mallory, making them look silly and ridiculous. But most importantly (emphasis mine):

...Rowling’s work has allowed an important dialogue to begin. When I am asked if witchcraft Hogwarts-style is what Wiccans and Pagans do, it is a starting point for genuine discussion...Adults who have either read the books or seen the movies now have a language in which they can talk about one of the fastest-growing and least understood religions. It has been easy to talk about the obvious differences between what we do and what Rowling has written and a challenge for Pagan leaders to dig into the aspects of Harry’s world that do reflect the work we do as Earth religionists. Though the series is ending, the conversation will continue, to the advantage of all concerned...

Now, I have to get going on planning that wand making workshop with my coven! :)


Gin said...

Thank you so much for your kind words! I apologize that your comment over at the Crossroads somehow ended up in my spam folder - I tried to de-spam it, but I'm not sure it worked out.

While I agree that Byron's post is excellent, just to let you know, there are other posts at Deaf Pagan Crossroads regarding Harry Potter which you might also enjoy, such as this one:

But in any case, thank you for stopping by the Crossroads, and I do hope you come again!

~ Ocean
Deaf Pagan Crossroads

genexs said...

OK,OK, I'll post another comment on your blog! ;)