Ilvermorny Pride: Only I Can Define Myself

Over the past couple of decades, Hogwarts House pride has taken off in the Harry Potter community, but where is our Ilvermorny pride? Your Ilvermorny House can say just as much about who you are as your Hogwarts House does, and when put together, both Houses can give a clearer, fuller picture of your personality. The four Ilvermorny Houses have been described as each representing a different part of the human being; Horned Serpent represents the mind and favors scholars; Wampus represents the body and favors warriors; Pukwudgie represents the heart and favors healers; Thunderbird represents the soul and favors adventurers. Whereas Hogwarts Houses describe which traits you value above all else, Ilvermorny Houses describe who you are and how you define yourself.



To me, “mind,” “body,” “heart,” and “soul” mean the following:

Mind: Horned Serpents are defined by what they know, how they learn, and how they think. They are idealists, philosophers, ethicists, and truth seekers. Horned Serpents keep an open mind, think their way through difficult situations, and use the knowledge they gather to become more courageous people, to fuel their creative drive, to inform their relationships, or to feed their ambitions.



Body: Wampuses are defined by their actions, by what they say, and by how they express themselves. They are experimenters, designers, architects, and servants; they lead by example, learn by doing, speak their minds, and live their truths. Wampuses are the central actors of their world, and their every action is deliberate, intentional, and representative of what they most value.



Heart: Pukwudgies are defined by their passions and desires, by how they feel, and by whom they love. They form deep connections, wholly commit themselves to everything they do, and defend their people and passions with ferocity. Pukwudgies are caregivers, protectors, and loyal friends. They will use all their talents, values, and potential to pursue their passions and protect the ones they love.



Soul: Thunderbirds are defined by their experiences, by their motives, and by the choices they make despite their circumstances. They are soul-searchers, travelers, breakers of boundaries, and those who defy expectations. To a Thunderbird, there are no coincidences or accidents; Thunderbirds can have grounded and self-possessed as well as trailblazing and tumultuous personalities.



The distinct personalities found in each Hogwarts House are united by a shared set of characteristics that they value above all else. Similarly, students of each Ilvermorny House define themselves in distinct ways, and Sorting allows students to be surrounded by like-minded people over the course of their education. The Hogwarts and Ilvermorny Houses do not match up one-to-one – other than in a few superficially similar areas, like House mascots – but they do complement each other in any combination. We already know that each Hogwarts House is made up of a diverse array of personalities; perhaps identifying people by their Ilvermorny Houses can help us to better understand that diversity and find commonality with new people.

The difference between what Hogwarts and Ilvermorny Houses represent can best be exemplified by the differences in their Sorting Ceremonies. The Sorting Hat looks into your mind, sees your potential, and puts you with the people it thinks can best help you realize that potential. The questions you ask the Hat or the choices you make, as in Harry Potter’s case, only further demonstrate your core values and potential to the Hat.



At Ilvermorny, sometimes the personality that steps forward onto the Gordian Knot is already well defined; in that case, there is really only one House that could accept that personality, and vice-versa. But oftentimes, it isn’t quite as clear what kind of person a young student may be. Though you can only take the Pottermore quiz once, the actual Sorting Ceremony allows you to choose where you belong if more than one carving responds to you. I finally chose Horned Serpent as my own House because as a Hufflepuff, I strive to be compassionate above all else, but I do so by learning more about the world and applying that knowledge to my actions.



You may not realize what you value most in life or know your true potential when you are Sorted, but only you get to choose who you are and how you define yourself. That, ultimately, is the value of Ilvermorny to me.

How do you define yourself? Mind, body, heart, or soul? Share and spread some Ilvermorny pride!

Richa Venkatraman

I'm writing from deep within the Harry Potter universe, into which I burrowed long ago with no intention of ever leaving. I enjoy reading, writing, making music, and learning about anything and everything. Now and in the future, like Hermione Granger, "I'm hoping to do some good in the world.