Where it all started…..
My fascination with Harry Potter began with the first movie! Oh, how I wanted to jump into the scenes and eat at that 'great Hall' long table and be in that lovely room and sit on the wonderful mahogany with all those pictures floating on the walls around me.
How can you NOT want to enter the wizarding world of Harry Potter?
Stepping into the movie…..
I actually attended Oxford one summer and lived that dream. It was a writing program and our meals were spent just like in the movie. Life at the college is amazing. The various Houses are all unique and equally as lovely. No, we did not get the glow of hundreds of suspended candles in the air, or pumpkins but it really is Magical every day.
One only has to tour Christ Church College up close and personal, walk around in awe, and see for yourself that this part of Oxford is as huge as the movie. Walking toward it takes a long time. Once inside, the stair cases and winding, ornate edifices are right out of the Harry Potter movie bringing it to life. The huge dining hall is called the Buttery and words cannot do justice to how long this room and table really are. Inside the courtyard of this immense college, marveling at the length of the four walls around makes it easy to envision Harry and his classmates playing Quiddich,swirling through the air. It is spectacular and grand, but DO NOT step on the grass in a quad, it's an unwritten rule here, and stern words will keep this fresh in your mind cause I did when my photographic muse hit me. These ancient halls and walls really do talk, be prepared.
The pubs, libraries and dorms at Oxford can kindle any muse. Harry Potter life is all around here.
Everywhere you look is like a scene out of one of the movies.
You can take Harry Potter Oxford walking tours now. There is even a tour that blends Warner Bros. Studio in London and Oxford so you can capture more of the Magic.
Here is a video showing the real Oxford locations used in the Harry Potter movies.
Oxford inspired other fabulous children’s books , including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia.
Universal Studios is waiting…………….
Needless to say, I was overwhelmed at getting tickets to The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter at Universal Studios LA as one of my Mother's Day gifts. It just opened in early April.
Exploring the village of Hogsmead with the Hogwarts Express right in front of you, visiting the shops of Diagon Alley and eating in authentic pubs is like a passport to the UK. From magical spells to magical creatures, from dark villains to daring heroes, it's all here. Hogwart's Castle sits bigger than life too and to explore the inside is an attention to detail and a labor of love. They left out nothing. Library, dorms, classrooms full of Dark Arts, Astronomy, you name it, it's been included. The rides are just icing on the cake, you can spend more than one afternoon here. I did not want to leave.
“What a beautiful place... to be with friends”. Dobby the house elf
The magical takeaway…….
There is so much in Harry Potter that mirrors what real witches do, as well as lessons for all of us.
Harry Potter has the benefit of an organized world that teaches him what he will need to know about magic. Practitioners in the real world have to learn from each other and the vast amounts of information on the Web and in books. Though it can be harder, the benefit is that unlike Potter and his uniform magic, the magic we learn will be diverse and unique, allowing everyone to find their own relationship with Deity.
In the real world Witches do often use a variety of external elements as Keys which help them to access inner abilities –inner abilities everyone is born with, but only some learn to use. As they grow more skilled, these external keys are no longer needed, though they may still be used if desired. The difference is that these external keys are not regarded as the source of the magic, or as being truly necessary for it – they merely help one access ones own power.
Who can't use a-
Accio (Summoning Charm)
Alohomora - Used to open and/or unlock doors
Anti-Disapparition Jinx - to prevent an enemy from entering a defended area, or used to trap an enemy in an area.Confundo (Confundus Charm)- Causes the victim to become confused, befuddled, overly forgetful and prone to follow simple orders without thinking about them.
(Jelly-Brain Jinx) Presumably affects the target's mental processes.
A Cloak Of Invisibility
Before publishing the first Harry Potter novel, J.K. Rowling spent five years establishing the limitations of magic - determining what it could and could not do.
In the world of Harry Potter the “Wizarding World” exists side by side with the ordinary world, but is hidden from non-magical eyes and so is unknown to all but a few “muggles.” To be honest, the real magical community sometimes feels this way. We live side by side with everyone else. There are lots of us. We have stores of our own, and our books can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as many libraries. We have been the subject of movies like “The Craft” and televisions shows like “Charmed” often in distorted form. Just as fear of persecution, real or imagined, forces some in the real magical community to hide in the “Broom Closet”, it causes some others who are more public in their beliefs, to become extremely flamboyant. Between these two extremes of behavior fall many people who are pretty much ordinary except for being part of the magical community. They live their lives in varying degrees of openness without being either pathologically secretive or wildly flamboyant. They are “just like everybody else.”