cover photo features someone wearing a zip-up jacket, fuzzy trapper hat, and goggles, left fingers placed thoughtfully on their chin while contemplating a luminous sparkler held in their right. © Matt Palmer


Hidden Powers (of Non-Magic People)

“We do not need Magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” – J.K. Rowling



{ MODULE #1 }

Power of Faith

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”Martin Luther King, Jr.

Presence is one of the a primary tenants of Faith. To be, or not to be? That is the question! Sometimes the smallest act of showing up, for ourselves and each other, is all you need to stay ahead of the curve. First things first, and one thing at a time.

If you have a background or previous interest in this area of Muggle Studies, you may be familiar with the chakras. A chakra (meaning “wheel”) is said to be a hub or vortex of observable energy that dwells in particular areas of the body, able to be influenced both internally and externally, as well as in relation to one another. Some suggest these are purely an invention of the non-magical world with no correlation to our own form as Witches and Wizards, while many believe these same chakras do exist in us, if perhaps not to the same degree. 

Generally I will be supplementing the term Energies instead, but each of our lessons will draw on a very similar structure of progression and category as the chakras because this is how it is frequently taught in the Muggle world. Today, for example, as we consider our relationship with Root Energies located at the Feet and Seat of the body, those powers associated with Physicality, Earth and the color Red, we can take a moment to honor history and appreciate that these are also a reflection of the first chakra.

It has been said that the universe is made of Energy. If we view Magic as a power that comes from outside of us yet also sparking within, might it be argued that in a similar way everything could be made of Magic? In which case it would be impossible for anything, including any single person to be seen as entirely separate from… Well, anything really! So when non-magical people speak of working with “energies,” they may in essence still be calling upon the same source as we do with our spells and charms.

From culture to culture and family to family all around the world, people celebrate many different holidays through a variety of traditions. We don’t need to know, understand, or believe in anyone else’s customs in order to appreciate what it means to get into the Holiday Spirit. This is part of speaking in conceptual terms like “energies” or referring to “the spirit” of something. We can know, understand, and believe in the essence of something without having all the specifics spelled out for us.

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? What about the 0 or the 1, and which is definitely the “first” number? How do we wrap our brains around the concept of Infinity (that perhaps even we ourselves are infinite, and that our notion of beginnings, middles and endings may stem from a currently limited perspective), could it be that everything is really born from what we could consider “Nothing” while nothingness is also “All” simultaneously?  Is Magic the illusive Alpha and Omega?

While some people could even think of Magic as a personified being, here we won’t assume one way or another that this person would lean toward the male or female strictly speaking. If anything, I’d be more inclined to guess them to be Both and Neither. In terms of feminine and masculine energies polarities between black and white, shade and light we can use analogies like soil and seed to ponder some of these roots for us to build a platform of further study. The coming together of things to create a ground level, or floor on which we find stability and structure in order for flexibility to come in, allowing us move about and explore the terrains ahead.

This sense of groundedness cuts straight to the core of the Power of Faith. Like a baby who doesn’t fully comprehend who their parents are, yet feels safe as they’re being held. Particularly when receiving skin-to-skin contact which is a basic survival need that many people get less and less of as we grow older.

It is not my perception that Faith is something to be taken “blindly” or seen as “unstable.” Rather we’re more likely to take Faith for granted because of how safe and secure it unknowingly makes us feel. Like accepting that without gravity we could up and float away, yet not walking around with a constant fear it will be gone from us at any moment. It’s presence is just assumed! So much so that we have the privilege of forgetting all about it while moving about.

If you show up each and every day, Faith will be there, only just like gravity there are rules. It would be unfair to say it is the fault of gravity when I fall down and hurt myself. Gravity certainly plays a role, but I wouldn’t go leaping off from greater and greater heights without safety precautions, then blame gravity when I’m injured on the other side. Similarly, Faith as a force may keep you grounded, but that doesn’t mean it’s meant to be tested with reckless abandon. You can have Faith that “everything will work out just fine,” but it won’t be the fault of Faith leading you astray if you’re the one taking unnecessary risks.

This is why Survival is a predominant issue when dealing with the powers of Faith. “Playing safe” is one of the first things we instinctively and unconsciously keep an eye out for. When someone or something in the atmosphere is giving off an unsafe vibe, our instincts kick in sending signals that something might be wrong. Even when we can’t place exactly why, we know what it feels like when our internal coding says “beware!” In fact, Faith can be thought of as a mixture of Fear away from and Excitement toward different directions.

Driving a car can be fun, but it also comes with a high amount of responsibility that you will follow traffic rules and signals. Red stop signs are a great illustration for this lesson, because they involve the “warning” of Fear (informing you to come to a halt and pay attention) with the understanding that you may Excite your engine again once you’ve observed the way is clear. Therefor, when we say that Fear is a part of Faith, we don’t mean that you should BE afraid. We mean to pay attention to signals, both within and outside of yourself. Your body is incredibly smart and gains wisdom with every experience. It takes care of a lot of this on its own. Think of a time when you immediately jerked away from burning yourself or stepping on something sharp before the injury could have been even worse. This is the kind of healthy, inwardly intelligent Fear that we refer to, just like when you somehow “know” to avoid something (or someone) that comes across as unsettling for you even if you can’t explain why.

You might say to yourself that these so called “powers” we’ll continue going over together in this course are things that all types of people experience and utilize, not just those who are Muggles. This is true! It is also fair to say that by experiencing them more acutely due to their separation, those who are non-magical are forced to explore terrain from a different and polarized lens, therefore giving them a varied perspective full of insights that support us all and offer many advantages. “The brighter the light, the darker the shadow” as it has been said.

Fear and Excitement are stimulants. Just as we’re more stimulated when we’re awake and less when asleep, being alive at all is a stimulating force. The idea that pretty much anything can Stimulate us to show up for (or to walk away from) something plays a huge role in the Power of Faith. You showed up! You’re here! You’re alive! The energy you bring to the world is uniquely stimulating, just like caffeine and sugar are uniquely stimulating, or music and books, singing and dancing. We are OH SO EXCITED to have you Here in general, as well as here with us at HOL!



30 points

please submit all work to with the subject "Module #1 - Your HOL Name"


Meditation (10 points)

"Half Scroll" / 50 words

Spend some time in reflection of this month's lesson. Rather than actively thinking about the topic, find stillness and simply notice. What comes up for you? Don't get too hung up on any particular memories, images, concepts, or feelings that arise, but do take note. Each time something pops up, acknowledge it, then return to centering yourself. Perhaps following your breath with each inhale and exhale as you re-anchor into the quietness. We can tend to have easily active Monkey Minds that want to jump around a lot, and we call it a meditation "practice" because over time it can become easier and easier to calm our inner chatter, as well as doing so for longer periods of time. Some days are more overactive than others, but just because we keep becoming distracted doesn't mean we're doing anything wrong. It's like any muscle, the more you work at it the more you see the strengthening benefits in other areas of your life. After you've spent five minutes or so seeing what bubbles up, spend another five minutes jotting these things down. This can be listed as short bullet points with or without addition details, essentially in any brainstorm style you prefer. The goal is to quickly write out as much as you can remember, however seemingly insignificant, or any last minute ideas to get it all out of your head without worrying too much about how cohesive your notes are once written down. You may include anything that has to do with preparing for, practicing, and wrapping up your meditation experience if you've used any music/props/scents, and such.


Monologue (15 points)

"Scroll-and-a-Half" / 150 words

Consider what you've written down from your brainstorm. What jumps out at you that's wanting to be explored a little more deeply? Come up with a topic based around these meditations and write an essay about your personal perspective on the matter. This could be a single aspect or multiple elements from your list. In addition to sending in via e-mail, if you feel like sharing with your peers go ahead and post this to the corresponding "Monologues" thread at the Class Forum with or without including your "Meditation" and/or "Mindfulness" responses added in together. This is voluntary and will not effect your points one way or another, however it will add to our community vibe and could stir up conversations or contribute toward any "Mining" points others may wish to accrue over time.


• Mindfulness (5 points)

"Quarter-Scroll" / 25 words

In what way(s) is this month's Power currently in- or out-of-balance in your life? Is there anything you could do, communicate, or adjust that would help either regain or maintain this balance, and/or in what ways might you already be doing this, whether you've fully realized it or not?


{ Extra Credit #1 }

30 points

Choose any TWO of the following prompts.

Extra Credit options may NOT be used in place of Assignment work.

In addition to submitting via e-mail, you are encouraged to please share these publicly in the corresponding "Extra Credit" thread over on the Class Forum wherever comfortable. While this will not effect your points earned, it will encourage interactions by providing additional ways for people to connect. Particularly those who take part in the "Mining" portions of these exercises over time if they enjoy or relate to your work and choose to touch base on something you may have shared within their own writing.


Manifestation (15 points)

"Scroll-and-a-Half" / 150 words

Write some kind of a Short Story or Poem that revolves around this month's Power. Let those creative juices flow! Please note that regardless of number of lines, even poetry submissions must adhere to the 150 word requirement for full credit.


Memory (15 points)

"Scroll-and-a-Half" / 150 words

Share a story from your past that reminds you of this month's Power. This may be from your real life (keeping privacy rules in mind), and/or experiences you've had here at HOL.


Media (15 points)

"Scroll-and-a-Half" / 150 words

Based on your reflections from this month’s lesson, choose one piece of media you find in any way to relate to these concepts floating around. This could be a book, television show, movie, musical album, etc., and doesn’t have to be something completely new to yourself, so long as it speaks to you as connecting to the vibe you’re associating with this energy. Perhaps you’ll go into detail about why you chose this in particular, along with what aspects correspond most appropriately with your sense of this month’s power. What’s your general opinion of your selection’s strengths or weaknesses? Anything unexpected or enlightening come up along the way? Include whatever you feel compelled to share!


Mining (15 points)

"Scroll-and-a-Half" / 150 words

Head over to the Class Forum and explore. If you find something written in a previous post that in your mind relates to this month's power in any way which inspires you to further expand or reflect upon, you can use this as an option for Extra Credit here. You're welcome to poke around or 'mine through' the past years of work shared from previous members of the class to find thoughts, concepts, theories, or stories that strike a chord in you and help point toward something you may wish to write about here.


++ Please Note: in accordance with official HOL School Timelines, NO EXTENSIONS are permitted past end of semester deadlines. “Muggle Studies: Hidden Powers” is a One Term ClassAny Assignment, Extra Credit, or Exam MUST be received by 11:59pm HOL-time on January 15th (for Fall), then June 15th (for Spring) in order to qualify for House Points or a Quill unless a minimal grace period has already been granted. ++

presented by Prof. Sindor Aloyarc