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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
JK Rowling on Squibs

This tidbit of information answers one question, but I think creates more.

The stuff on wands is interesting in and of itself, but I'm not sure knowing this will make a true difference.


Well, it's interesting in itself and helpful if you need a quick way to decide on a wand! :)

Yes - at least for the wood.

But I like that she doesn't *just* rely on the date, you know?

But Neville's new wand should be holly, then - for his date and the prophecy.

It's funny, I did a post on this back in October:
Might not be of use as such, but it's interesting background, I thought. Struck me that holly is the perfect wood for Harry, and I was wondering if JKR realized it when she gave it to him. I associate holly with the warrior spirit and courage, "best in the fight" rather than protection, though. The tree calendar and the months associated with the woods are a very recent invention, Robert Graves created them for his novel The White Goddess. So I'd personally be a whole lot happier with giving the wizard the wood whose qualities are most suited to them rather than the one that's associated with the month of their birth.

But this is just my .02...

Um...sorry but...

Er. *glances at groaning bookshelves* The White Goddess isn't a novel, it's a compendium of mythology really. And the Ogham writing system, in which the characters had the names of trees, really did exist. He just made up a lot of stuff to go with it. Which has, of course, been elaborated upon and embellished by fluffbunnies all round the world...

Re: Um...sorry but...

Cool--hey, people add to existing systems all the time. As it should be, seems to me. It'd be silly to think that magical systems don't progress just as any other branch of learning does. But I've never seen a reference to the tree calendar that didn't go back to that book. Tree ogham, yes, but not a calendar. Which makes sense, an oral tradition doesn't think of time in that kind of linear way. A look at the early Irish histories--I'm thinking the Four Masters, but it's been a while, and I'm not exactly in a library right now--is a trip. All couched in cycles, not really a history as we think of such things at all. This isn't to say that a system of calendar associations for the trees can't be useful, because we do think that way, but as far as I've been able to find it wasn't part of the ogham system that was used in the bardic schools. Though there are an awful lot of oghams, for various purposes, and all of us have access to different sources. Do you know of one for the tree/calendar ogham that doesn't come from Graves?

The stuff on wands is making me nuts because I want to know which book she read. Unlike Kabbalah or runes, where there's actually primary source material you can check, the Ogham was an oral tradition, which means that the sodding newagers not only misinterpret it, they misinterpret it a thousand different ways.

Of course, this is the woman who took the serpent crawling through the skull, a traditional symbol of enlightenment granting victory over death to the Gnostics, and made it Teh Mark of All EVOL. :)

*sings MST3K theme* "I keep telling myself it's just a book, I should really just relax...."