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 #2 }

Power of Hope

“Nothing is hopeless; we must hope for everything.” – Euripides

Have you ever felt at the end of your rope? Ever wanted to give up on your dreams? Sometimes when things don’t seem to be going our way it can be very discouraging to maintain a hopeful attitude that things will work out in our favor, at least to some degree. When we feel justified in our hopelessness we may begin to embody and taken on a victim mentality. If we feel guilty for something we’ve said or done it can also bring us down. “Why bother?” we might say to ourselves. “It’s no use trying, or hoping. It’s never going to be good enough. I’m never going to be good enough.”

Without hope, the challenge to push forward can leave us crippled with doubt and discomfort. Yet hope is a tricky thing! Often times we can feel hopeful, and then have to wrestle with our guilt for wanting something different than we have because aren’t we supposed to be content? Shouldn’t we feel satisfied with what we have without always striving or reaching for something else? Yes, and also no. It is possible to reach forward without straining so far that we lose balance and fall over. It is possible to practice gratitude for what we have now, where we are at today, while also dreaming up where we might be moving toward. To recognize this juxtaposition is to give yourself permission to live in two worlds at once.

The coin of Hope is comprised of the side of Pain and the side of Pleasure. What do I like, yet also feel uncomfortable about liking? What do I not like but feel bad for or wish that I did? Am I supposed to feel guilty about what I’m saying or doing, and/or is there some part of me that feels kinda good about it? Balance, balance, balance, as always. If we add black to a color we can make it darker, or make it lighter by adding white. Working in incremental amounts of lightness and darkness can help us find balance in the same way that finding the right amount of struggle and ease for ourselves in any given situation helps keep us aligned.

This sacral energy is represented by the color orange, and the element of water. It’s located in the hips, and is helpful to stretch this area regularly (along with the rest of the body) to set ourselves up for a more hopeful framework as we tend to carry a lot of emotional baggage and pain from the past here. Yin yoga is great for this, because it works by holding seated and lying down postures for longer periods, giving our muscles time enough to relax so that we begin stretching into our connective tissues. Even those of us who move and stretch regularly can forgo these kinds of slow-paced exercises, yet we’re actually losing out on more than half of our flexibility by ignoring these long held, deep stretches.

Hope is not as much about specific moderation, deciding what we say yes to and in what quantity at what times, it’s more about vibing. Flowing in flexibility. Taking new shapes and trying on new experiences. If we allow fear to control this, then yes, we may overdue it and feel guilty, while too much excitement can cause us to over-indulge. Too many sweets will make us sick to our stomach, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy these things at all. Hope is about trying what we feel is going to be a positive experience, sometimes realizing that it isn’t quite what we expected, whether for better or worse.

It is wise to consider others when learning about our guilt and pleasure, because the opinions and experiences of someone else can be valuable in our journey toward self-reflection and discovery, however it is not someone else’s place to decide what is worthy of these labels. Only you can look inside yourself and decide what feels comfortable for you. When something feels uncomfortable, you can ask yourself if that’s because you yourself have an issue with what you’ve said or done and wish to try things another way. If you simply regret that it bothers someone else or that they’re allowing themselves to hurt because of it, you may inadvertently take on the pain of another and run the risk of choosing their adventure over your own story. The life you were born to contribute to this world, because you are a valuable and amazing part of this technicolor family.

There’s an excellent story about a person who continues to fall upon “good” and “bad” luck. Every time something bad happens, their community says “Oh, that’s so awful!” and whenever something good happens, the community says “Oh, that’s so wonderful!” In either case, the person always response “Perhaps.” Now, this could be seen as indifferent or even pessimistic, yet as each seemingly good thing leads to something bad, and that bad thing leads to something good, then back and forth and on and on, it illustrates the fact that there are peeks and valleys in life for a reason and usually many lessons to be gathered along the way.

Whether we “like” or “dislike” what is happening may play a huge part in our attitude toward it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t part of a bigger picture that we might not fully understand until we look back from another point in the road. To take an attitude of “Perhaps” is to find balance between what we are attracted to or repulsed by. For attraction feels good in appropriate degrees and repulsion feels yucky yet can be incredibly helpful, but for the most part who are we to say what is objectively good or bad? Even if someone else agrees with us, or we feel there is evidence to prove our point, it is still merely our current perspective. One that may change over time as we perceive things with a different version of the same senses we’ve always traveled with. And travel we most certainly will!



30 points

please submit all work to with the subject “Module #2 – 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?



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