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 #5 }

Power of Peace

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” – Buddha

The first part of this class was put together a year ago over the summer, with the final section(s) being written toward the end of August 2020. In Module 04 we discussed loss. How the power of Love is wrapped up in energies of Grief and Attachment.

Beginning to write about that took place on an evening similar to this one with me coming home from yoga. On the way, I learned about the loss of Polaris and took a long, cleansing shower once home.

Today wasn’t similar in the sense of mourning, but a kind of letting go nonetheless. A purging, if you will. In no small part due to the fact that I literally threw up after class, something to my recollection I’ve never in my life done due to exertion from physical activity. In spite of decades of demanding expectations as a dancer and yogi.

I’d say “TMI” (too much information) but given this energy is located in the area of the throat, and also relates to what we do or don’t share from our most private and public parts of ourselves with others, it seemed worthy of relaying.

This module is about the Power of Peace, which is reflected in the communal energies of Truth and Deception, relating to the element of Ether and shades of the color Blue.

As it would happen, I woke up the day after beginning to write this module (having commented this wasn’t similar to last year in the sense of mourning) to discovering our betta fish, Craisin, had passed away. He’d been with us for three years. Wasn’t necessarily a surprise to lose him, however while I expected to be sad, it did hit me harder than expected.

Each unique individual we have a relationship with in any capacity help us make up our stories and patterns. Not always the ones we would choose, and frequently we’d probably just as likely wish to swap some people out of our circles from time to time. But they do play a role! And we do often have a certain amount of say in how we structure the community we keep. Bringing a fish into the home may not be a huge adjustment, but having that little guy around, he was like part of the family.

We all have our community of regular people, whether appreciated or otherwise, who keep things trucking along, and many times even the smallest act of good will from or toward another (even complete strangers) can pack the most power.

It’s our Honor and Duty to look out for one another, two qualities which are reflected in the power of peace.

So cut to me at Yoga the other night. We’ve just finished class, and the owner is talking to me when the wave of nausea overtook. I excused myself to the bathroom, and when I came back she offered to drive me the mile or so home (as she happens to live right next door to me).

During practice, the intention I set for myself was “acceptance.” By the end, it became clearer what I really meant wasn’t being able to accept things as they are, more so being able and willing to receive what’s being offered from others. To “accept” that what you want isn’t always what you need or what’s available, and sometimes it may come in a very different packaging, or from a very different source than you might expect, but that it’s okay to allow others to help, and to receive what “is” even if it isn’t expected or ideal.

In spite of this sentiment, I didn’t take Courtney up on her offer to drive me home. She had another class to teach coming up, I rationalized to myself, and the truth was that after throwing up, I actually did feel quite a lot better! Sadly that only lasted about a third of the walk home. Suddenly I could feel that queasy feeling coming on. Maybe I should have accepted that ride, I told myself.

Slowly putting one foot in front of the other, by the time I was halfway, about ten minutes from home, the sick feeling was only getting worse than it had been in the first place.

Then something really adorable happened.

A car pulled over where I was on the sidewalk. My first thought was, oh no, please don’t be asking for directions. That’s not really my area of expertise anyway, and since I wasn’t feeling well I didn’t have a huge interest in interacting with strangers. But I put a smile on my face as the man in the passenger seat rolled down the window.

He and his wife had received an extra frozen coffee from the local chain, and were wondering if I’d be interested In having it? Now normally when I get coffee I don’t take it with sugar, but here I was feeling like I’d pass out at any second, and there were these angels showing up on the side of the road with a big cup of sugared caffeine. Thank goodness!

I very happily and willingly accepted, thanking them for the gift. It was hazelnut (yum!) and while I only drank a few big sips of the thing over that next ten minutes, it really was just what I needed to get me to the front door, then inside to fill up the bathtub and let all the crazy shifting swirls of energy go, at least for a while.

Respect is often considered higher than love and like. We’ve all been in positions and seen others do that thing when we “turn on” our best behavior in public or around certain people out of courtesy or professionalism or wanting to be pleasant, while sometimes acting out in childish ways when we’re alone or with those we feel closest to. The ones we trust the most to love us unconditionally.

It is this “facade” version of ourselves, the one we present to the world, that’s sometimes tricky, because it can come across to those who know us quite well as inauthentic even when they know it’s just one layer of ourselves. But it’s true that we often put our best foot forward even for someone we’ve never met. Being the friendly neighbor or creating relationships. Maintaining a positive sense of our connection to the greater circle, while more easily slipping into the poor habits of taking ourselves for granted along with those we love the most. The people who become our safe space, and a safe space can sometimes feel like a cage.

How might we lead from the heart, being truly “ourselves” with both friends/family, as well as coworkers or members of our community? Which is the “real” version of ourselves? Are we the monster we sometimes unleash when somebody gets too close, or are we the angel others can see from a certain level of distance? Maybe it’s both, perhaps neither.

It’s interesting to me how interconnected these two energies are. Peace and Love. Often we are not as peaceful as we would like to admit with the ones we “love” or care about the most, and we can become so resentful. Putting up walls.

What we say and how we say it is immensely important. An incantation uttered with the wrong inflection can bring about disastrous outcomes. It’s important to remember that the words we use when we speak should be treated delicately as the tools and weapons that they are. How we wield our magic spells speaks to the reputation we uphold in the presence of others and within our own sense of identity

To be careless with our words and tone can be as dangerous as wielding a blade. “Truth” without honor is not true.

It’s easy now and again to slip into feeling trapped by the web of relationships and circumstances we find ourselves in, and it’s important we rise to meet our restrictions and resentments with a peaceful attitude, dancing along to the choreography of life, lest we become bitter and jaded, or lose ourselves from a grip on reality.

Perhaps the hand you’ve been dealt in the past has not gotten you ahead, and likely you’ll find more times of struggle to come, but as is the case all too often in life: it can take as many steps to get out of the woods as it did to walk in, and sometimes the only way out is through!



30 points

please submit all work to with the subject “Module #5 – 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, 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. ++