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Harry Potter Turns 20

By which, I mean the movie franchise, which celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the release of its first film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, on 16 November.  Harry Potter the book series began publication four years earlier, and Harry Potter the character has been given a birthdate of 28 July 1980 by his creator, J.K. Rowling.  Rowling herself was born on that date, fifteen years before, giving her a strong identification with the character that made her famous, beloved, and incredibly rich.

Rowling’s is a rags-to-riches story unlike any other.  From the time the idea for Harry Potter emerged full-blown into her psyche during a four-hour train delay in 1990 until the completion of the first book in 1995, Rowling married, had a child, suffered domestic abuse, divorced, lost her mother, went on welfare, and moved three times.  Her agent received 12 rejections while shopping the property, until a small publishing company agreed to an initial print run of just a thousand copies in 1997, half of which were sent to libraries.

A year later, Scholastic Books bought the US publishing rights for what seemed a staggering $105,000.  Two years after that, the fourth in the series, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, sold three million copies in the US within 48 hours of publication.  Forbes magazine would shortly name her the first billionaire author, as the Harry Potter books became the best-selling series of all time, with more than 500 million copies purchased globally.  The movie franchise doesn’t lag far behind – with an estimated box office take of $9 billion, it’s the third-highest grossing film series to date.

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Born Joanne Rowling, the best-selling author adopted the middle name Kathleen for the purpose of using initials as her pen name; asteroid Jo-Ann squares the Sun, while Kathleen conjoins the Moon

J. K. Rowling was born Joanne Rowling, with no middle name at all, on 31 July 1965 (no verified time available, but a rectified chart for 9:10 PM GDT in Yate, England, yields an Ascendant of 15 Aquarius and a Rodden Rating of C).  Asteroid Jo-Ann (for Joanne) at 4 Taurus squares the 8 Leo Sun, a common connection for one’s own PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) to make.  Asteroid Rowling was named years later in her honor, and falls at 27 Capricorn in the birth chart, trine the 25 Virgo Moon, just wide of opposition to the Sun. 

Rowling’s publisher, anticipating resistance to a female author on the part of the pubescent boys who were assumed to be her prime audience, suggested using initials as her penname, and she chose Kathleen as her middle name, after her paternal grandmother.  Astoundingly, asteroid Kathleen appears at 29 Virgo, conjunct the Moon.  Though perhaps not so astoundingly, since the Moon also represents female relatives, so Grandma Kathleen was right at home there already.

Stationary points convey outsized importance in a life, becoming significant elements of character or biography.  Rowling has two points at station – asteroid Potter at 14 Sagittarius, and asteroid Albis (phonetic match for Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore) at 16 Sagittarius.  That these points should become so pivotal to Rowling’s story is only natural, but an amazing example of cosmic synchronicity nonetheless.  Both asteroids are returning to direct motion, with Potter changing direction at that degree a week after her birth, and Albis just four days later, making these embedded factors in Rowling’s psyche.

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Harry Potter and his mentor, Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, had many adventures together; in Rowling’s birth chart, asteroids Potter and Albis are conjunct, both at station, and in a Grand Cross with celebrity and fame magnet Jupiter, career-oriented Saturn, and transformative Pluto, which rules vast wealth

She chose the name Potter well – it’s at the fulcrum of a T-Square with Saturn, ruling career, at 16 Sagittarius, and Pluto, ruling total transformation, at 14 Virgo.  Pluto is also a financial planet, ruling the billions, and certainly the surname Potter has been productive of quite a bit of that.  In addition to the direct revenue from book sales and movie box office, an astounding range of “Potterbilia” merchandize has been produced, not to mention a theme park tie-in at Universal Parks & Resorts in Orlando.  Jupiter at 22 Gemini, a planet ruling fame and good fortune (and another fiscal heavy-hitter, ruling the millions) creates a Grand Cross of this pattern.  And if the rectification of her birthtime is valid, this puts Potter on the 10 Sagittarius Midheaven, ruling career, status and reputation.

When “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, the first book of the series (title changed to “Sorcerer’s Stone” for the American edition) was published on 26 June 1997, asteroid Jo-Ann at 11 Cancer conjoined both the highlighting Sun and writer-ruling Mercury, at 4 and 5 Cancer, with asteroid Rowling opposing from 5 Capricorn, and asteroid Potter with energizing Mars in T-Square from 4 and 3 Libra.  You can’t get much better than that, but the icing on this cosmic cake is asteroid Fantasia, representing the book’s fantasy genre, forming a Grand Cross from 2 Aries.

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When the first book of the series, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone“, was published, asteroid Jo-Ann joined the highlighting Sun and writer-ruling Mercury, in a Grand Cross with asteroids Rowling (named for her), Potter, and Fantasia, defining the book’s genre as fantasy

Also in effect, a T-Square with asteroid Fortuna at 6 Pisces on the fulcrum, squared Kathleen at 9 Gemini opposed Pluto at 3 Sagittarius.  Fortuna is named for the Roman goddess of chance, regarded as the bringer of prosperity and increase, and the root of our word “fortune”.  Pluto, again, relates to billions, and recall that Rowling adopted the name Kathleen specifically for the purpose of marketing this book.  Her natal Fortuna at 6 Libra (which conjoins natal Kathleen, by the way) was hit off by the Grand Cross described above, doubling down on the theme of fortune and success.

The hugely transformative role the series would play in Rowling’s life is confirmed at the premiere of the film version of her first book, on 14 November 2001, the twentieth anniversary of which prompted this article.  Asteroid Jo-Ann at 11 Virgo now opposes Kathleen at 8 Pisces, in a Grand Cross with Saturn at 12 Gemini opposing Pluto at 14 Sagittarius with asteroid Rowling at 12 Sagittarius.  This combination affirms the vast wealth (Pluto) accrued by Rowling’s (Jo-Ann, Kathleen, Rowling) career success (Saturn), as well as the longevity (also Saturn) of the work, just as popular today as at its inception, with the movies seemingly run on an endless loop on several cable networks. 

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When the film version of the first movie premiered, asteroid Potter repeated its natal pattern of squaring Saturn and Pluto, with asteroid Rowling now also in the mix, conjunct Pluto, with the franchise pulling in billions at the box office

Asteroid Potter at 16 Leo squares the 24 Scorpio Sun, in a T-Square with Mars and Uranus, at 13 and 21 Aquarius respectively, highlighting (Sun) and energizing (Mars) the movie (Potter) and creating an excited buzz (Uranus) among its loyal (also Sun) fanbase.  Jupiter, bringing fame and celebrity, and Fortuna, granting good fortune and riches, are both at station, exerting prime influence, with Jupiter at 15 Cancer in exact semisquare to Rowling’s natal Mercury at 0 Virgo, ruling writers and their output, and Fortuna at 28 Pisces in trine to the Sun, sesquiquadrate Potter, and opposed Rowling’s natal Moon/Kathleen conjunction.

Actors often display prominent PNA placements of asteroids representing parts which made them famous, won them awards, or with which they became iconically identified.  The tale of J. K. Rowling and her Harry Potter creation shows that the same effect can be seen in authors and their characters, sometimes with incredibly lucrative results.

Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book, detailing deep space points in astrological interpretation, and the forthcoming Heaven on Earth, a comprehensive study of asteroids, both mythic and personal. Alex is a frequent contributor to “The Mountain Astrologer”, “Daykeeper Journal”, and NCGR’s Journals and “Enews Commentary”; his work has also appeared in “Aspects” magazine, “Dell Horoscope”, “Planetwaves”, “Neptune Café” and “Sasstrology.” He is a past president of Philadelphia Astrological Society, and a former board member for the Philadelphia Chapter of NCGR.

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Amazing asteroid connections! And an amazing success story. Thanks for this, Alex!

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