Welcome fellow muggle!
We are the Munich local chapter of the Harry Potter and the Sacred Text Podcast. We meet regularily to treat the Harry Potter books as sacred, to build a community of love, respect and thoughtfulness. We support trans-liberation and oppose J.K. Rowlings hateful rethoric on the issue. We are not a cult, but of course that is what a cult would say, isn’t it?
Reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org, or join our Facebook group.
Our next meeting will take place at 7 pm on Sunday March 19 and focus on Book 5, Chapter 2 A peck of owls through the theme of frustration, using Lectio Divina.
Check out the wholesome fanfiction written by one of our members.
Skim through our official group canon, as collected over many meetings and muggle studies sessions!
Last updated on March 6 2023.
Meeting Agenda: Due to the pandemic – and for reasons of flexibility – we are currently meeting digitally via Zoom, reach out to us if you want to join a meeting. We start each session by solemly swearing we are up to no good and by – anyone who feels comfortable doing so – sharing a personal thorn and rose from since the previous meeting. Before entering the theme discussions, one of the participants does a thirty-second-recap of the current chapter. After the person moderating the day’s meeting guides us through the theme discussion, we finish it off with a sacred practice, followed by each of the participants blessing a character from the chapter. After a short miscellaneous section which mostly focusses on group-organisation, we officially finish the meeting with mischief managed, before we let the session derail into our many – optional – muggle studies tangents. While most of our members do speak German, the discussions are held in English, just like the original texts and the podcast. We are currently trialing a segment called critical-reading Havruta, during which we take a step back from Sacred Reading to discuss (issues with) the text as a piece of contemporary literary fiction.
Statement concerning transphobia: The Munich Marauders want to make clear that we stand unitedly against JKR’s and any other transphobia. Trans rights are human rights. We believe that the Harry Potter books teach us a different story than what JKR is perpetuating: They teach us a story of love and acceptance, of finding your true self and being comfortable in that, of Hogwarts as a safe home for everyone. Sacred reading has nothing to do with the author or her intent – the text belongs to the readers, all of us. We, as readers and interpreters, make it magic. And that is why we as the Munich Marauders feel comfortable condemning JKR in her transphobia, while still gathering around the books. This isn’t her story, it is ours. And it has inspired us to love more and better, to take care of our friends at the margins, to fight for what is right. As Jackson Bird so pointedly said in his opinion piece: “The real magic for me is what people have created around the books and the community we have built together.”. Some additional ressources we found helpful are the Statements by the HPST team and trans and non-binary listeners, Natalie Wynn’s Video (content warning: transphobic quotes) and this Essay by Brie Hanrahan (content warning: transphobic quotes).
Our favorite sacred practices:
- PaRDeS: Four-step jewish practice, in which we pick a word and discuss its (i) literal and (ii) allegorical meaning, (iii) track it throughout the texts and finally hope that (iv) a secret meaning reveals itself.
- Florilegium: Everyone brings a sparklet and we combine in pairs to read them back to back, quickly discuss and turn the sentences around. ✨
- Sacred Imagination: Someone prepares and reads a scene from the chapter, while the others are invited to close their eyes. Afterwards we discuss how we felt and whom we imagined ourselves as.
- Lectio Divina: Four-step catholic practice, in which we pick a random sentence and answer – in order: Where are we in the story? What allegorical images […] come to mind? What experiences from our own lives does this remind us of? And finally: What actions do we feel called to take?
- The Four Reliances: This re-interpretation of a buddhist practice urges us to – w.r.t. a passage of our choice – identify (i) a question raised for us, (ii) what it would have us do, (iii) what it truly tries to communicate to us, and (iv) which experiences from our lifes it raises.