Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Real Harry Potter Spells?

From the "Are you even remotely serious?" department comes this gem, which I thought was over and done with five years ago or so. But I guess not. A Catholic school recently removed the Harry Potter series of books from their library because they contain "real spells" that "risk conjuring evil spirits." That's sure news to us actual conjurers!

St. Edward Catholic School opened a new library for the 2019-2020 school year, The Tennessean reported. The books were removed when the school moved from the old library to the new library.

In an email to parents, Rev. Dan Reehill, the pastor of the church associated with the school said, “These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.”

Reehill said in the email that he consulted with several exorcists who recommended removing the books. The process of removing them started after an inquiry from a parent, according to the Catholic Diocese of Nashville.

I understand that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that any magical operation (besides their own operations, like the Tridentine Mass and Rite of Exorcism) is evil, and however dumb that position might be, if they are uncomfortable with a book featuring a wizard hero in their library I suppose they have every right to remove it. But believing that these fictional books contain "real spells" is a level of stupidity that I thought died out a while ago.

What that tells me is that whether or not the Roman Catholic Church once knew anything about magick, those days are long gone. It especially surprises me that exorcists, who are the closest thing the church has these days to ceremonial magicians, apparently think that you can kill someone by saying "Aveda Kedavra" (a portmanteau of "abracadabra" and "cadaver") or levitate a feather by saying "Wingardium Levio-SAH" (fake Latin that sounds like "wing" and "levitate").

Obviously neither of those things work. Go ahead. Try them. They don't even work if you're a practicing magician, because, you know, they're not real spells. Those of us who teach magick actually spend a lot of time pointing out that real magick is nothing like the (totally not real) spells in Harry Potter. And as for evil spirits, the magical system in Harry Potter doesn't even work with spirits for the most part.

Really this is just sad. There's more to a spell than waving a wand and saying some nonsense words. But clearly a lot of folks who should probably know better don't.

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