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 #8 }

Power of Familiarity

Family is a life jacket in the stormy sea of life.” – J.K. Rowling

Looking back at the end of a lifecycle, nobody will ever be as familiar with you quite the same as you are. Yet are we not in many ways still an ongoing mystery to ourselves? Whatever versions of each other we think we know to be true are simply that: versions. Interpretations of stories and characters to connect with, but we cannot claim to truly know anybody or anything when it’s quite apparent that the journey toward learning about ourselves in the first place is a complex ride.

What makes familiarity different, or in any way uniquely special compared to previous powers like love and understanding? This vibration is often listed as “higher” because it’s the accumulation of the peace, wisdom, and understanding we’ve been considering this semester, built on the love and other qualities discussed in Part I of this class.

This familial sphere of energy is located above the physical body, hovering just over the top of the head. Often called the “soul star” it’s represented by the element of divine spirit and color gold, balancing between the coin of Harmony and Chaos.

We are not our relationships, jobs, or homes. And yet we’re not NOT these things. This accumulation of features in our life which we come to identify as part of who we are over any given period.

I believe the saying “you are what you eat” is fairly sensible, and also that we are who we meet. On some level, even the most apparently insignificant of crossings with a seemingly foreign, different, or unusual person can shed an immense amount of light into what we know about ourselves. We are humans together, after all. Members of a family that is our species. Rowing ‘merrily, merrily, merrily’ down the stream of life, surrounded by the ghosts of past, present, and future.

Not all family members consider one another friends, while many times our closest friends are like family. Those who we do consider to be part of our closest, innermost intimate circles are often also the ones we allow the most space for the flaws of their human experience.  We not only love and understand them to a certain degree, perhaps even differently than others, but we are familiar enough with what makes them tick and how to navigate different circumstances, that we’re willing to indulge or humor them beyond what we might with somebody else.

Similarly we can tend to showcase some of our innermost flaws around these people who’ve been there through a variety of the ups and downs that come along with being alive.

Ironically, as previously discussed over the power of peace, much as we’re willing to cut a little extra slack for the ones we consider family, we’re often quite quick to showcase a much more personable attitude with complete strangers who we see in small doses here and there throughout our daily or weekly routines. Just close enough to be afforded a certain amount of care and respect, but distant enough that we don’t feel much need to let down our walls and be vulnerable with them.

Paradoxically, is it not sometimes easier for people to share their darkest, most vulnerable secret with someone they’ve never even met?

I’m much more likely to snip at my partner for getting on my nerves versus a stranger who rubs me the wrong way. Who cares if a stranger has an irritating personality? I’ll probably never see them again, and I don’t need to unleash my demons on them arbitrarily. But with my nearest and dearest, the demons are sometimes hiding just beneath the surface. They get to see parts of myself the stranger likely never will, while the stranger might be privy to details I’m too afraid to share with close friends and family.

There will from time to time be those random people coming into our lives even for the briefest spans of time who we feel an immediate and intense, familiar attraction toward. Completely opposite to the times when we know somebody over years or decades, and for whatever reason the relationship just doesn’t really “click” together.

Often we seek out novelty while frequently still craving nostalgia. Because of this, many times discovering ways of combining fresh innovation with traditional classics in our lives can bring us a great deal of comfort and joy.

While not always the case, grandparents are one of the greatest examples of the power of familiarity. How they interact with and care for their grandchildren is more often than not a noticeable leap from how they were with their own child(ren). This is part of a personal growth process, the ability to care at this level for another being. It isn’t necessary for their to be a grandparent/grandchild dynamic to experience and exhibit this energy. We demonstrate the same quality to our plants and animals. To the people in our lives we adore and find the most precious.

When we don’t just treat somebody with kid gloves but with “grandkid” gloves, we really up the ante. Have you ever had a stranger do something so nice for you that you couldn’t believe it? Doesn’t always happen to everyone, and certainly not all the time, but it does happen. For some, and perhaps you can relate, they’d be equally as surprised to receive the same level of time and attention from their own blood relatives.

Imagine if we all had the capacity, skill, and desire to treat each other (regardless of variables such as age, gender, or race) with that same level of love and understanding? To see the pure, innocent heart of a child inside of every person. Responding to each new interaction with the maturity and kindness we might hope and expect to find from an elder.

This isn’t to diminish the care of a parent, mind. It’s simply different. In the same way that the heart dwells the center of all these energies, the higher and lower powers are there to support this system and vise-versa, not to be superior. Things always circulate in and out from the magic of Love.

This infinity loop from the outer levels of Faith, through the heart of Love, to the outer levels of Familiarity has lead us through a variety of topics. All of which sound on the surface to be different, only to reveal themselves as quite similar to one another the more we consider them. Hope and Courage, or Wisdom and Understanding may invoke different images and ideas initially, but when we discuss them, they tend to bleed together.

As stated at the beginning of our journey, this class is about self reflection and subjective interpretations. My version of these powers are not the same today as they have been in the past, nor will they stay entirely the same over time. In truth, it is probable that I haven’t quite conveyed myself entirely the way I’ve meant to, and it will be received differently by each new reader.

At the end of the day, what you glean from our time together will have been influenced by me, but only in certain degrees. I have been guided to put myself out there in the same fashion that you have. We have learned for, with, and because of one another, and for that I am truly grateful.

Together we are Alone, and we are All One together.

Thank you for your friendship and familyhood.



30 points

please submit all work to with the subject “Module #8 – 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 te 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. ++