Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

My son and I went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. We enjoyed this latest installment of wizardry and magic like all the ones before, but this edition seemed somewhat darker than all the others. It introduces certain weightier elements not immediately obvious until now: distrust between friends, blood magic, the resurrection of evil beings, and unforgivable spells. I can certainly see why some people do not allow their children to watch any of the Harry Potter series.

On the other hand, Harry Potter also introduces powerful "old magic," such as love and the eventual triumph of good over evil.

I enjoy Harry Potter out of sheer enjoyment of the fantasy elements so abundantly presented throughout the films, but also because of the faint remnant of indigenous cultures buried under centuries of 'muggle' domination. As Christianity spread across old Europe, they replaced indigenous spirituality with Catholic dogma; and as they did so, they tended to label the old indigenous 'shamans' and 'medicine people' as 'witches' and 'wizards.' They accused indigenous people of consulting demons, but in truth, they simply practiced the old ways, based on communion with nature, and handed down from one generation to another for thousands of years. The ancient ways are nearly forgotten, but shadowy fragments are ironically preserved in the old Catholic festivals, like Christmas, Easter, and All Hallows Eve (Halloween).

In time, I believe people will reclaim their indigenous roots all around the world.

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