...life can be translucent

Yi reading Harry Potter

Spoiler warnings here!!
I’ve been talking with Yi about the situation at the very end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, so if you don’t want to know what that situation is before you finish reading the book, please go and read something else now.

Where Harry stands at the end of the Half-Blood Prince

(When I asked Yi about this, I was thinking especially of Harry’s realisation that there is no parental figure to protect him any more, and his declaration that even if Hogwarts stays open, he won’t be coming back. And also, in the background, that he has actually been exactly what Snape called him, ‘a liar and a cheat’, for most of the book, and no-one except Snape has really told him so.)

Where does Harry stand at the end of the book?

Yi says – 27, Nourishment, changing at lines 1 and 5 to 20, Seeing.

Hexagram 27, I’ve found, is not just about being nourished, but about major changes and transformations in the ways in which you connect with that nourishment. Do you look outside yourself (line 1)? Are you the source (line 6)? And between these two extremes, there are people ‘rejecting the canons’, the jing or ‘usual channels’ through which nourishment flows into life – this at the lines where Nourishment connects with the cycle of Decrease and Increase, or Offering and Blessing.

Harry’s at line 1:

‘Simply putting away the magic tortoise,
And seeing my jaws hanging down:

Not good. Dumbledore went to lengths to show him that fighting Voldemort was his own choice, not something defined for him by the prophecy. But he still hasn’t got a firm hold on his own ‘magic tortoise’, he’s still looking outside himself. Where? I’m not sure. Maybe Dumbledore’s orders, maybe the desire for vengeance on Snape? (In the aftermath of the fight, we have Harry asking about Snape, ‘feverishly collecting more reasons to hate him, to swear vengeance.’)

And he’s at line 5:

‘Rejecting the canons [jing].
Staying put with constancy, good fortune.
Not possible to cross the great river.’

The ‘canons’ are the framework life has been built around, the way nourishment has come to him thus far. He’s just said he won’t be coming back to Hogwarts again – so where does he belong, what will nourish him? He needs to stop long enough to find out: a quest for vengeance won’t do the job. And in this state of flux, he’s not ready to cross the river into an adult confrontation.

Hence, I think, Seeing as the relating hexagram. Of course this is where we all are, looking on and waiting to see what will come next – this is a great hexagram to represent the cliffhanger. It’s also where Harry stands, paused before action, looking ahead.

If you’re wondering why (on earth) I would be divining about a children’s book – it’s because this is one of the ways I get to know the oracle and myself better. Light cast from the oracle onto any scenario, including fictional ones, reflects back to illuminate the oracle again. On this occasion I’ve learned more about 27.1, I think – Harry certainly thinks he’s self-motivated, but this line says he’s still not getting it. (Whether this is how his creator sees it is anybody’s guess, of course.) And this little bit of extra light, this extra example of ways not to get it, may come in useful in future readings.

7 responses to Yi reading Harry Potter

  1. Thank you for doing this! \clipart{spin} I’ve been wondering about that very thing lately – asking questions about TV shows specifically. Like ‘Why is doing/not doing such-and such?’ but I thought I’d probably get answers along the lines of ‘Because the writer \i{wrote} it that way, silly.’ (Whatever that would be in hexagrams.) Not necessarily, it appears.

    I love this Harry Potter stuff. I actually considered showing up at a bookstore at midnight just to take in the spectacle. I didn’t, though. \clipart{sad}

  2. Or angle brackets, I guess? That one sentence was supposed to be ‘Why is ANGLEBRACKETcharacterANGLEBRACKET doing/not doing…’

    I’ll catch on someday, I sincerely hope….sorry….

  3. No forum-style formatting, but you can use basic html formatting. Html tags are enclosed in angle brackets, so if you used those, that might be why your word disappeared.
    The emoticons you can use here are at

    But not to worry, I know exactly what you mean by \clipart{spin} anyway. 😉

  4. Hi Hilary…

    So what do you think of the Yi as book critic? Maybe I’ll try the Yi as movie critic… or have you done that as well?



    PS… You never know when to take me seriously or not if I don’t add a grin… do you?

  5. I always take you entirely seriously, Val, as the absence of emoticons in this response would indicate.

    Never tried Yi as film critic, but then I never really watch any films. I have tried it as commentator on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, however.

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