Posted by: Nyxks | July 17, 2008

Seekers Guide to Harry Potter

Seekers Guide to Harry Potter
by Dr. Geo Trevarthen © 2008
ISBN 978-1-84694-093-4
261 pages
$24.95 (U.S.)
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason

What’s this -another book about Harry Potter? Well, yes and no. Although it draws its inspiration from Ms. Rowling’s stories of a certain young wizard, it is an open-minded exploration of the symbolism and meaning (intended or otherwise) contained in those writings.

Is Dr. Trevarthen a Pagan? Probably. Is she magically trained? Obviously, if only from her presentation of the functions fulfilled in a magic ritual and her understanding of magical symbolism. From comments in the book, it would appear that she does come from a family involved in various forms of magic, but that is incidental to the philosophical discussions contained in this book.

I must warn you that if you are a Potter fan, but haven’t finished the books yet, do not read this book yet. Dr. Trevarthen discusses topics and themes as well as specific incidents from all seven books, including a large number of “spoilers” for those who haven’t reached the end yet.

She brings together themes from various religions and magical traditions, and thoughts from the Bible to Joseph Campbell. Her goal appears to be simply to show how JK Rowling can bring out the best in everyone and inspire greatness in everyone.

If you have ever felt that the Harry Potter books speak to you, and you feel like there may be more to them than “just” a good story, this book will explain why you have those feelings. As Dr. Trevarthen says, if you read the books one right after the other, it is more like reading one continuous book than a series.

There are themes of alchemy which run from beginning to end – in the names of some of the characters, in the appearance of dragons and phoenix, as well as in the experiences of Harry, Ron and Hermione. While the vast majority of readers may well be unaware of these influences, they will have an effect regardless. For those who are “in the know” the effects will be even more pronounced.

This is a book which deserves to be on your book shelf. Even more importantly, it deserves to be studied and integrated into your world-view.

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