Harry’s Journey Through Tarot: From the Sacrifice of His Parents to Voldemort’s Defeat
What if in 1980, Professor Trelawney had read the wizarding world’s future with tarot cards rather than prophesying to Dumbledore? What cards might she have pulled, and how would those cards relate to the life of Harry Potter?
The Lovers card represents not just romantic love, but also sacrifice and union. When Voldemort goes to Godric’s Hollow to kill Harry Potter, James and Lily make the ultimate sacrifice for their son and subsequently the rest of the wizarding world. Their sacrifice saves Harry and ends the reign of Voldemort and the dark times, uniting witches and wizards everywhere in celebration.
The Sun card signals a time of happiness, joy, and vitality, sometimes after a long struggle. Harry, who miraculously survives Voldemort’s attack, becomes a symbol of joy, freedom, and celebration throughout the wizarding world. In the days that follow Voldemort’s fall, Harry’s name is at the center of witches’ and wizards’ celebrations across the country, some of which do not escape the Muggles’ notice. The wizarding community’s great esteem for Harry lasts for 14 years until he claims that Voldemort has returned.
The Eight of Cups
The Eight of Cups is a card of departure. As the suit of Cups is the suit of emotion, this eight sometimes signals a time of moving away from emotional fulfillment and toward a difficult stage in life. When he takes Harry to live with his Aunt and Uncle, Dumbledore knows it won’t be the happiest of circumstances. What he doesn’t know is just how miserable Harry’s next ten years will be. Harry is taken from a loving home and a world where everyone knows his name to live in a house where he is reviled and punished for magic he doesn’t know he possesses. For Harry, the Dursleys’ house is the furthest thing from a loving home.
The Ace of Wands
The Ace of Wands signifies passionate creativity, new beginnings, opportunities, and adventure. When Hagrid tells Harry that he is a wizard, he is given the opportunity to leave the Dursleys’ and return to the wizarding world. Going to Diagon Alley to get his school things is the first in a series of adventures to come. He gains his wand – a symbol of this new beginning; his owl – his first best friend; and his parents’ small fortune – a way to support himself in this new world. Once at Hogwarts, Harry forges friendships, finds that there are adults who care about him, and discovers talents he never knew he had, including his passion for flying and Seeking.
The Two of Swords
The Two of Swords sometimes represents being blind to the truth of a situation. After years of peace under the Sun card, Voldemort returns. However, much of the wizarding world, including the Minister for Magic, flatly denies it, refusing to see the truth of the matter. As a result, Harry endures classmates, teachers, and the Daily Prophet calling him a liar for claiming he saw Voldemort return in the graveyard. At the same time, Harry is blind to Dumbledore’s thoughts and plans surrounding his true role in defeating Voldemort.
The Ten of Swords
The Ten of Swords indicates senseless destruction, violent death, loss, and despair. Once it is proven that Voldemort has returned and he can no longer lie low, he and his Death Eaters resume their ruthless rise to power by means of intimidation and force. The apex of the Death Eaters’ destruction is the Battle of Hogwarts where over 50 people are killed, tearing apart families and friends in the search for Harry Potter.
The Hanged Man
The Hanged Man shows a man hanging by his foot from a T-shaped post. It signifies what hangs in the balance, the reflection needed to find a solution, and ultimately the sacrifice necessary for resolution. In Harry’s journey, what hangs in the balance is the fate of the wizarding world and the impending reign of Lord Voldemort. When Harry takes to the Pensieve and discovers that he is a Horcrux, he realizes the sacrifice that Dumbledore knew Harry would have to make in order to defeat Voldemort – his own death.
The World represents reaching the pinnacle of a situation, the completion of a cycle, new hope, and peace. After the resurrection of Harry and the fall of Voldemort at the Battle of Hogwarts, their destructive cycle is at an end. It is a new day in the wizarding world, and though there has been loss, there is opportunity to rebuild physically and emotionally in peace. The epilogue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows shows us that the wizarding world returns to a relative normal, with students excitedly boarding the Hogwarts Express to return to school.
One of the great things about tarot is that it is an archetypal system with meanings that can be applied to almost any situation. Harry’s journey through tarot is just one interpretation related to the Harry Potter series. Let us know where you see similarities between tarot cards and the wizarding world!