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23 Years of Harry Potter – How the Story has Changed the World

The first book in the Harry Potter series was released in 1997, and the story has since become an integral part of the lives of both children and adults. J.K. Rowling, the author of the series, is the first writer to become a billionaire, as a result of the popularity of the novels. The films have been no less successful, prompting the creation of real Butterbeer, Bertie’s Botts’ beans, and even a strain of marijuana called Harry Potter. Some of the other positive changes that have resulted from the release of the books are:

A Renewed Interest in Reading

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In the late 1990s, most children, teenagers and adults would spend a significant amount of their free time watching TV, playing video games or surfing the internet. Reading was at an all-time low. The Harry Potter books changed this and sparked a renewed interest in reading. As more books were published, countries would schedule the release of the novels for after school, to prevent kids skipping classes to buy their copy. In 2000, when The Goblet of Fire was released, it prompted the first ever worldwide midnight bookstore co-ordinated release.

Motivation for Writers

The unconventional nature of the Harry Potter stories, encouraged other writers to start experimenting with the fantasy genre. Authors began releasing more creative work and other popular series, such as Twilight and The Hunger Games, were published. The standard of writing has also increased, as many of these authors strive to equal (or at least come close to) J.K. Rowling’s story-telling skills.

The Creation of a New Sport

In the Harry Potter books, Quidditch is a competitive game played by two teams flying on broomsticks. The sport has been modified so that ‘muggles’ can play, eliminating the flying. Competitors run with their brooms between their legs, imitating the positions of chasers, beaters, seeker and keeper that are described in the story. This sport has become so popular that the real life Quidditch World Cup is currently held every two years, with Australia winning the title in 2016.

Introduction of a New University Course

The education department at Durham University was the first to introduce a module dedicated to the study of Harry Potter. In the course, the social, cultural and educational aspects of the novels are reviewed, and students explore the reasons why the story is so popular.

A New Platform at King’s Cross

In the Harry Potter stories, it is necessary for Hogwarts pupils to run straight through a wall in King’s Cross Station (one of the busiest in the United Kingdom) to arrive on Platform 9 3/4; to board the train that is taking them to school. Located at the far end of King’s Cross Station, near the left-luggage, there is now a trolley fixed to the wall and a sign for ‘Platform 9 3/4,’ where Potter fans pose on their way to school, as well as a large merchandise shop.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse- Part 2

The four horsemen are a symbolic representation of the upcoming doom and apocalypse in the Christian religion. People debate greatly on whether the horsemen have already arrived or are they to arrive in the future, however, most of the evidence points that the events of the horsemen are to occur later in the future. Below is the last horseman that will arrive before Jesus Christ will return on his white horse. He will eradicate all the destruction and problems that were created by the horsemen to test the true believers according to the book of Revelation.

Pale Horseman:

The pale horseman is known to come after all the other horsemen and bring the conquest he is bent on fulfilling. Prior to this, the red horseman will cause war and destruction and the black horseman will cause famine across the world. The last horseman explains the aftermath of the previous three horsemen. The pale horsemen will have the power to create plague, and will control wild beasts; all of this will lead to mass deaths. So, in other words, this horseman will bring death to believers and will be the aftermath of all the destruction that the other horsemen will bring. The color of the horseman also is a representation of death too.

Have the Horsemen already arrived?

Considering the chaos in the world and the terrible things that happening right now, many may consider that the arrival of the horsemen is close or they are already here. However, historians have concluded that the horsemen have not yet arrived. However, there is a chance that the apocalyptic events that occurred in the 14th century may repeat themselves when the horsemen do arrive, as they were similar to the events that will occur when the horsemen arrive.

The Importance in Christianity of the Horsemen

The horsemen are just one of the signs of the doomsday that is believed to come about in the Christian religion. The horsemen are one of the first to arrive and will mark the start of a chain of events that will lead to the end of time. The horsemen are also a representation of the Anti-Christ who will come to the world and mimic Jesus Christ and will torment people causing mass destruction and devastation.

In Christianity however, it is believed that Jesus Christ will come and save the true believers from these horsemen and the Anti-Christ, eradicating all the problems like famine, diseases and more. He will rescue the believers and restore things to their original form.

So to Christians, the horsemen are a symbol of the oncoming doom and the destruction they need to face. They are also a warning to keep their faith strong and true so that they can face the horsemen. As they are to wait for Jesus Christ to save them from the torment, hence instilling the qualities of resilience and patience within the Christian people.

Four horsemen of the Apocalypse (Part 1)

The four horsemen of the apocalypse are a significant part of Christianity and are mentioned in the Book of Revelation. These characters are known throughout the world as eerie and mysterious. There is an intrigue that has been built around them and people have even begun to capitalize on this for example in movies using these as a major part of their plot, such as in the X-men franchise.

The four horsemen are symbols of four disastrous occurrences that are said to happen before the return of Jesus Christ. There has been an ongoing debate between historians on whether or not the event has already taken place, is taking place at this current time, or will take place in the future. However, large evidence points towards the fact that they are to happen later. As there are four horsemen, we will try and explain each one and what it symbolizes briefly.

The White Horseman:

The first horse is said to be someone who is sent on a conquest according to the book of Revelation. The rider will wear a crown and will also be holding a bow. Some people have said that in the Book of Revelation, it is said that Jesus will wear ride a white horse, which is what it may represent. However many disagree and believe this is a reference to the Anti-Christ. The Anti-Christ is explained as someone who is like Jesus Christ, can perform miracles, and mimic him. He also has a quest that he is bent on accomplishing. It is said the bow that he carries is a nod towards the violence he will create.

The Red Horseman:

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The red horseman is someone who carries a large sword. He is symbolized by the color red, which is a symbol of war. He is said to be a symbol of war and violence. This is after the arrival of the white horse, which is said to be conquest driven, meaning that conquest is usually followed up by war. In terms of the Anti-Christ, it is said in the Book of Revelation, that he will wage war and create destruction for three and a half years. This is basically a reference to a war that is said to wreck the Earth.

The Black Horseman:

This rider is said to carry scales in his hands and symbolizes famine. This is a reference to the fact that wheat and barley will be wiped out which are the most commonly consumed crops. Wine and oil reserves have also been symbolized within the scales, symbolizing that the major products that are used for food consumption will eventually cease to exist. Historians attribute this to the fact that as there will be wars before this horseman’s arrival, the farmers and the people involved in the cultivation of these crops will be sent to fight the war. This is why; it will turn into a worldwide famine, causing many major civilizations to fall and people to die of hunger.

More next week…

More Old English Folklore

Old English Folklores are tales that have been told to children through centuries in England. These stories have spread around the world and been retold time and again at bedtime to children. However, the stories have been altered due to traditions, modernization, and globalization. We have decided to showcase some of the old English folklore and give an overview of their original versions.

Bran the Blessed

Are you one who loves giants and the stories that surround them? From Gulliver’s travels to Bran the Blessed, these stories have been a major part of childhood. The story of Bran the Blessed is of a giant who is said to be a king of the Island of the Mighty. The mythical legend claims that after he had died on the island, his head was buried deep in the Earth. It is said that the Tower of London’s White Tower was built upon it. It is said that while the head remains beneath the tower, London will be protected from danger. However, another legend suggests that King Arthur had dug the head up, just to show his confidence in his military.

The Ravens of the Tower

A Raven is a creature that has been known to be part of many different mythical stories because of its mysterious nature and is deep-rooted within our culture. The myth is that if ravens were to take flight from the Tower of London, then the crown and the country will fall. It is also related to the story of Bran the Blessed. In Welsh, Bran the Blessed can be translated to The Blessed Raven.

Loch Ness Monster

The story of the Loch Ness monster has been adopted by many different cultures and countries, and has even been depicted in the movies. The Loch Ness monster originates from Scotland, and is thought to be a green-headed monster, with a long neck that sticks out of the water. It is a serpent-like creature. Many believe it descends from dinosaurs or is a left over species from the dinosaur era. Even though it has been said that the Loch Ness monster is a myth and is something that comes from folklore, many people have claimed to have seen glimpses of the monster through history.

Whether or not these tales are true, what matters is that these stories are rooted within our culture and represent our traditions and history.

Old English Folklore

Most of us must have heard different stories during our childhood about the various fan-favorite characters such as Robin Hood etc, however, we never have realised that these are actually well known folklore – stories and traditions that have developed through centuries. These tales usually have a strong message behind them that is meant to teach the child a lesson and instill good qualities within the reader. This is why most of us have a very distinct sense of right and wrong. These stories with their subliminal messages help enforce various different values within the readers. Here is an overview of a few famous old English folklore that have been told time and again through centuries.

Robin Hood

All through the world, children know the name of Robin Hood. The character has been reinvented time and again but what was the real, classic story behind this character? The actual tale was written in the 15th century and was called “Robin Hood and the Monk”. This story is nothing like the story we know and love. It is about little John who places a bet with Robin Hood, who is in the King’s jail. He then kills a monk and a young boy to rescue Robin from jail. This story is a bizarre version of the tale we love and is nothing like what we expect it to be.

Tom Thumb

Ever heard of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina? It is a fan favorite and loved by children all over the world. It is known as the first ever folklore story told to children in England. It’s about Tom, a kid who is no larger than his father’s thumb. He goes on adventures all through the English countryside. What is shocking is that it is based on a real person whose grave is found in Trinity Church, Lincolnshire. However, we believe that he must have been larger than a thumb! This shows children that no matter what they look like, they can still have the adventures of their life without hesitation.

King Arthur

The tales of King Arthur are another one of those tales that have been retold again and again in various different ways. Movies and TV shows have been based on this old English folklore. Some believe he was a real English King that actually did exist while others believe he is just a myth. His story is like a fairytale, full of dragons, swords, mythical creatures and more. He is known as the chivalric hero who tries to save his people. His story is one that is used to instill bravery and righteousness within children.

Folklore is an excellent way to promote excellent qualities within children and keep cultures and traditions alive, as these are a treasured part of English heritage.

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – Part 2

Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis, in English means the ‘Ruby rose and the cross of gold’ and was the second of the three orders of the golden dawn which taught the underlying magic and spiritual regrowth in the studies of occult and metaphysics to its followers. Unlike the first order “the golden dawn” which was about philosophy and metaphysics, this inner circle of the hermetic order incorporated magic and schooled people regarding Alchemy, Astral travel, and Scrying.

Scrying:

Popular in Occult circles, scrying also known as “seeing” was an ancient way of connecting with the supernatural entities by using a special medium with a hidden purpose. These purposes varied from people to people, some performed it in order to know the future, some did it for personal guidance and some practiced it for inspiration or revelation. In ancient times, most people usually performed scrying to gain attention from people and to claim prophecy.

Astral Projection:

Another practice that sounds unusual and interesting at the same time is the traveling of the soul outside the physical body. This is a famous phenomenon in esotericism projection. It is a state that people intentionally reach to gain an out-of-body experience more specifically to travel along time as ancient people believed that soul is a conscious phenomenon that is separated from the physical body and has the tendency to travel through time. The means to perform the astral projection changed from time to time, some people entered this state through hallucinations and self-hypnosis, and some associated it with meditation and dreams. This phenomenon is categorized as pseudoscience because the claim that the soul is a distinct feature from the neutral body is not supported by science.

Alchemy:

This is an ancient branch of natural philosophy that emerged in earlier centuries and spread all over the world in Asia, Africa, Europe, etc. The people who are experts in this field of philosophy are commonly referred to as Alchemists and claim to have this ability to transform one material into another e.g. transforming lead into gold.

All these magical teachings of the inner circle of the hermetic order helped the followers in gaining a strong control on their psyche by creating an unbreakable link between themselves and the divine powers. Moreover, the followers of the hermetic order of the golden dawn used to believe that after learning the magical and philosophical phenomenon, they will reach their highest potential where they will have complete hold of their lives and even on the end of life. Thinking out of the box, crossing the human boundaries and becoming more than humans was the main motto of this school of thought. In order to make life peaceful, the important element was meditation which the followers usually practiced.