The Boy Who Lived: Harry Potter as Self-Care?

Hello, dear readers! Today I thought I’d share with you a mini- “What I Got for Christmas” haul plus a companion podcast that I have come across.

 

Anyone who has known me for any length of time past the fifth grade knows that I’m a Harry Potter nerd (we’re talking I’m in a HP group on Facebook, and we legit have a house cup tournament every month. You should check it out, it’s like nerdvana). I had a rough time in middle school not only with puberty and all that fun stuff, but I lost an aunt and both my grandfathers in the span of two years. Then came high school, and with it more bullying, as well as my father’s declining mental and physical health (2 suicide attempts, a hip replacement, and 6 coronary bypasses in one operation. Harry Potter’s world always felt like a safe place to escape to, and still does to this day.

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Knowing how important the series was to my life growing up, my husband bought me the illustrated editions of the first three books in the series for Christmas. We also found the illustrated version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them yesterday at our local warehouse store of all places, so we grabbed that too.

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First of all, the illustrations in these books are AMAZING. You can tell the artists absolutely did their research. The characters in both the series and Beasts look a lot more like they’re described in the books than their on-screen counterparts. Also, not sure if they’re all like this, but my copies of the series seem to be written in the original British version. It has traditional British spellings, and uses words that if I hadn’t read the US versions, I’m embarrassed to say, I’d have to look up.

I also recently rediscovered the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. I had found it months ago, but I must have misread what it was about. At first I thought, “oh great, a bunch of nerds talking about how Harry Potter is their religion…” Well, I was very wrong. The podcast is narrated by two Divinity majors from Harvard, and they talk about Harry Potter as if it were a “scared text” like the Bible or the Torah. It sounds like blasphemy, but think about it: aren’t the stories in those text intended to teach us life lessons? So can Harry Potter.

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In each episode they intelligently and eloquently discuss each chapter as it relates to a particular theme. For example, they take the first chapter of Sorcerer’s Stone and discuss it in the context of “commitment.” If you’ve read the books or seen the movies, you know that the Dursleys were committed to having a normal life and didn’t want anything to do with the Wizarding World. McGonagal sat on a cold, hard wall all day waiting for Harry to be brought to the Dursleys as an infant. Dumbledore was always committed to the greater good, even if it meant sacrificing the lives of others.

 

I’m so happy my husband bought me the series, and now as part of my self-care I’ve started trying to read one chapter at least every other night and listening to the companion episode of Sacred Text.

So, where are my HP people? Do you own the illustrated books? Do you listen to Sacred Text? I’d love to discuss it in the comments!

 

Thanks for reading, and until next time…

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