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The Phoenix Files: Minerva McGonagall Libran

An Original Essay by Vanessa Victoria Kilmer (goldennib)

According to www.jkrowling.com, Minerva McGonagall’s birthday is October 4th. This makes her a Libra, and because my birthday is October 2nd, I’d like to see if Professor McGonagall is a true Libran.

The symbol of Libra are the scales. The Libra scales represent the need for the balance of opposites and the scales of justice. I believe Minerva McGonagall demonstrates both of these qualities.

She embodies many opposites within her personality. She is an academic who clearly values learning and education (she gives a great deal of homework and seems to be an excellent teacher) and yet she is an avid sports enthusiast (Quidditch is very important to her). She believes everyone should follow the rules (she gives detention easily to people who arbitrarily break the rules) but has no problem circumventing them when it seems prudent (she was able to get a Time Turner for Hermione). She is usually severe and proper but has been known to shed a tear and giggle. She pulls her hair back into a tight bun, but she carries a lace hanky. She is always on the job but got tipsy at the Christmas party. All of these behaviors create a balanced person.

Professor McGonagall is the epitome of justice. She believes that if you break a rule, you must accept the consequences. She took points away from the students of her own house when they were out of bed at night, but she also took points away from Draco for being out of bed too (the little tattle tale). She does not play favorites the way Professor Snape does, and she does try to take circumstances into consideration when assessing rule breaking. For instance, when Harry and Ron were caught in the hallway in CoS, they told her they were going to visit the petrified Hermione in the hospital wing. She allowed that to be a mitigating circumstance and let them go.

Libras believe in fairness and loathe cruelty. So, it is not at all surprising that she went alone to Hagrid’s aid in righteous anger when he was attacked and out-numbered.

Libra is ruled by the planet Venus, which rules cats, so it is appropriate that as an Animagus, Professor McGonagall becomes a cat.

Venus is the planet of love and rules the House of Relationships and Marriage. It is very unusual for a Libran to be alone, so I believe Minerva is married or has a life partner. Although Libras make good parents, because they are not smothering, it is not necessary for McGonagall to have children of her own to feel fulfilled.

It is also appropriate that Professor McGonagall teaches Transfiguration, as Libra represents the height of the year when all growth and hard work has produced the harvest, the change from seed to fruit, the ultimate transfiguration. The zenith has been reached before the emptiness of winter, the rest period before all things begin to change again.