Hogwarts isn’t Pagan, despite the loads of witch-chic imagery, including cauldrons, wands, spells, charms, and ceremonial robes. In fact, the story of “the boy who lived” is a world without religion.
Here’s how I reimagined Hogwarts as a Pagan School of Magick.
Magick (Magic with a K)
Let’s get one thing out of the way. We practice magick, raising energy and aligning intention with the gods and casting them into the world; not magic, the work performed by a stage magician, i.e. slight of hand or trickery.
Some of us may hold the title of magician, but none of us are trying to change teapots into a ferret, or believe we will be invisible to a grounds-patroller if we wear a spelled cloak. This means the Pagan Hogwarts would shift the focus away from the over-the-top, anything-could-happen, fantastical realm into the more real, corporeal and spiritual realm. I, for one, think this sounds way better. Which leads me to my next point.
The Gods Would be Celebrated
I can’t think of a single time in which any of the gods are mentioned in the Harry Potter books. Apparently, it was intentional. JK Rowling has said that there were already so many religions, and she didn’t want to add another one, or take from an old one.
While I understand her rationale, this omission has left a gaping hole in the story-world for me. Don’t get me wrong — I love the storyline, but I love the gods more.
Our imaginary Pagan Hogwarts would have several classes to studying the various gods and perform rituals to honor them. It’d be freaking amazing, and probably my favorite classes. There would also be giant statues of the gods in appropriate places, and temples as well.
“Happy Solstice, Harry”
Was I the only one who felt squigged out when the Hogwarts kids celebrated Christmas? I don’t have anything against celebrating Christmas, it just stuck out.
While we’re on the topic of winter holidays I have nothing against the Yule Ball, but it’s not a time of year that I feel like getting dressed up and going out. It’s more of an inward time for me, and a lot of other people feel the same way.
Perhaps instead of a Yule Ball, a rocking Beltane Ball could happen, with a may pole, bonfires, and fire dancers! That’s one dance I wouldn’t want to miss.
Call Yourself Whatever You Want
The binary gender nomenclature of females-are-witches and males-are-wizards would go down the toilet with all other gender-defining titles. At Pagan Hogwarts, you can call yourself whatever you want! Are you a witch, a wizard, an enchanter, an enchantress, a magician, a priestess, a priest, a sorcerer, a sorceress, or something else altogether? We’d respect that.
Pentacles, Trees, and Moons EverywhereThere’d be a sea of magical symbolism on jewelry and tattoos of the people who attend. The entire school would be marked with symbols. It’d be just like a big pagan gathering, only you’d be immersed in it for longer than a week. Let that sink in!
Hogsmeade Would Have Several Awesome Pagan Shops
Let’s be honest. Butterbeer sounds delicious, but how about a couple of specialty stores where we could buy our wares? How about a magickal bookstore with all of the pagan books ever written, or a crystal shop with the most beautiful of specimens from all over the world, in all colors and sizes. How about a greenhouse ran by a few hedge witches, stocked to the rafters with magickal plants (fresh or dried)?
The Classes Would be WAY Different
- Potions and Charms classes would center around the full moon and new moon cycles.
- Divination would also teach tarot, pendulum, and runes (real runes, not ones created by Rowling)
- “Flying Class” would become “Out Of Body Experience / Meditation Class”
- “Care of Magical Creatures” would change to “Care of Your Magickal Familiar”
- A new class addition would be “Working with Spirits and the Dead / Ancestors”
- “Magickal Healing Class” would also be another wonderful, and would include Reiki, Shamanism, Healing Herbology, and other pagan healing belief systems
- “Herbology” would include the Druidic appreciation of trees
- An Ethics class would be included
Additionally, the O.W.L. / N.E.W.T tests could change to initiation levels of your specific paganism. You could choose to have a school-supported self-initiation, or an initiation into an organized pagan religion you’ve worked with.
There’d Be No Such Thing as a Squib
It’s pretty universal that pagans believe everyone has the ability to channel their own magick. Even suggesting that someone can’t perform magick would land you in the Troll Dungeon, alongside the other people who make stupid comments on pagan internet pages.
The Issues of the Day Would be Different
- Instead of hunting down a dark wizard who kills people, people at the Pagan Hogwarts School would practice deflecting negative energy and activism for equality.
- There’d be a crackdown on love charms around Beltane. Anti-love charm spells would be cast by the masses.
- Slytherins might defend their right to summon demons and practice dark magic, much to the confusion and consternation of Hufflepuffs.
- Teachers would have to check on students to make sure they aren’t practicing a racist form of pagan worship or failing their Ethics class.
Those are my thoughts about what a Pagan Hogwarts would look like. What do you think? Can you think of any other changes to the school or classes? I’d love your input.
Edit: I changed the last bullet to have the teachers checking up on all students, not just Slytherin. Thanks to the reader who caught that.