Start your 2018 right by organizing a Harry Potter Week with your friends and family! For the first week of January 2018, get folks together to watch all eight Harry Potter movies - one every night, with a double bill on the final day.Read More
In this week's episode, Casper talks about getting rejected, trying again, and then getting rejected AGAIN. (We've all been there.)
Vanessa and Casper wonder if it is Amos Diggory's lack of acceptance that leads Cedric to putting his name in the Goblet of Fire. They ask when are we not being accepting of those around us whom we love and when do we feel rejected? When is rejection simply an opportunity?
They also thank two AMAZING people who brought peach pie to our Atlanta Live Show (thank you! Nom nom nom.)
Listen to this week's episode by clicking here!
Talk soon, goons.
In this week's episode, Vanessa makes mention of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. They discuss the difficulty in pronouncing Weasley's Wizard Wheezes (need a rebrand, much?) and that it would be easier if it was called Veasley Vizard Veezes.
They talk about the gender dynamics around sports fandom and whether or not we should ask what the sex of a baby is. (Casper says, 'no'. It's weird.)
Lastly, they ask: Where is Bertha Jorkins? Why aren't we looking for her?
Listen to this week's episode by clicking here!
This week's episode we have special guest, Zach Kerzee. Zach is the founder of Simple Church , an amazing bread baker and is foster dad to two amazing girls. He says:
Foster Care is an opportunity to impact the life of a child and make a small dent in many of the social problems in our country.
This week we think about the mystery that the Dursleys hold for the Weasleys and vice versa. We discuss the great episode of Radiolab that talks about trying to be good first, and we bless Petunia and Arthur, somehow for the same reason.
Listen to this week's episode here!
In this week's episode Casper tells his amazing engagement story, which includes an accidental proposal. Casper and Vanessa discuss the body issues and awareness around Dudley, Harry's keen awareness about how to manipulate Vernon and that Vanessa knows when to ask Ariana for something and when to ask Casper.
Listen to these amazing manipulation strategies here!
Call to action: Write to someone who has taken a public stand for something to thank them! Send a nice email to someone who may be experiencing a lot of backlash for something that you actually think is awesome.
We love our current t-shirts, but we think that you all can design better ones! Help us diversify our amazing merchandise by designing a t-shirt for us during our T-Shirt Design Contest!
HERE ARE THE RULES:
- Submissions are due November 15th, 2017
- No more than 3 colors
- Feel free to use the logo
- Somewhere incorporate the words "Harry Potter & the Sacred Text"
HOW TO SUBMIT:
- Mail your submissions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Put in subject box: “Design Contest”
THE DECISION PROCESS:
- We will pick our top 3 and then we'll open it up to public opinion. Listeners will vote for a winner!
- You will only hear from us if you are a finalist, and if you are, you'll hear from us by 11/30
- Voting will be from 1st-15th of December
- New t-shirts will be available early in the Spring
- Two tickets for The Puffs in New York City! (must be used before they close)
- One free ticket to a Harry Potter and the Sacred Text live show of ours of your choice!
- A big thank you on our website and link to your website if you have one
- A free t-shirt :)
This week, Vanessa starts the episode by talking about her experience with the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.
She says that she had to miss her Latin final because of the earthquake. She probably wished that it meant she missed it entirely, but she didn't. She had to take it. And still remembers how to decline, "Puella". But that's the only declension she remembers: puella, ae, ae, am, a, ae, arum, is, as, is. (She bows)
Casper calls out Vanessa for breaking one of the basic rules of HPST in her 30 second recap. She mentions JK Rowling. (WHO???) When we KNOW that when treating a text as sacred, we do NOT consider authorial intent. So, Vanessa gets paused and has to start back up again for her 30 second recap.
Casper shares a great Div School quote: "Preach from your scars, not your wounds"
On this week's episode, Casper and Vanessa discuss questions like, What is instinct? What is a mob mentality? When do we think we feel something in our gut when really, all we feel is fear?
Casper opens the episode with a story about when he was frustrated and kept a secret. But everybody knew he was withholding, and knew with their instinct to talk to him. They had a big discussion in the room, and something that he didn't tell in the episode is that the lighting fixture in the room fell right after the meeting. It couldn't handle the intensity of the conversation.
Lectio Divina, this week, leads us to discuss Mads Mikkelsen in Casino Royal, obviously. Isn't he so handsome?
This week Casper blesses Frank and Vanessa blesses Bathilda Bagshot (RIP).
This week we have some announcements on our episode!
1) Episodes will now be released on THURSDAYS because of teaching and learning schedules
2) Our new VIDEO is LIVE! SHARE SHARE SHARE!
3) We have a live show in Somerville, MA on 10/18 at 7PM. Buy tickets here!
4) We have a live show in Atlanta, GA on 11/8 at 7:30PM. Buy tickets here!
5) We have a fight club. But it's with rose petals. So don't worry about it.
SEASON FOUR LAUNCHES NEXT THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5TH! See you then!!!
We had a fantastic time at Sixth and I and so please enjoy the audio from the evening if you weren't one of the 600+ people who could make it! We had special guest Rabbi Scott Perlo who told an amazing story about Elijah the Prophet who takes the form of a thief.
Casper won the 30 second recap because the crowd was a bunch of anglophiles and maybe he did a better job, but mostly the anglophile thing.
We had so much fun in DC. Here is the link to the show. We hope to see you live soon!
In our continued quest to make meaning of suffering, this week, Vanessa and Casper tackle the theme of isolation in Chapter 18, Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. Despite its brief length (just seven pages in my edition) it’s a chapter that packs a wallop. Full of big reveals about the Marauders, The Shrieking Shack, and Snape — it’s basically The Whomping Willow of chapters.
Get it, because The Whomping Willow also packs a wallop? Fine, okay, the joke wasn't a big hit. (Get it? Because the whomping willow hits people? I'll just stop.)
At the beginning of this episode, Casper asks whether we can find hope in isolation. He draws upon popular figures like Nelson Mandela and Eli Wiesel, who were able to turn their own nightmarish situations into social change and empathy. But Vanessa cautions us against always trying to find the "good" in suffering. She reminds him (and us) that there are many people who never make it out of the darkness:
Of course, it turns out you can either be wise or be good at the 30 second recap. This week, Vanessa was only one.
Well, we can't all be Hermione Granger (no matter how much we want to be *cough*).
There was a lot to discuss in the theme conversation: Sirius' false imprisonment, Lupin's werewolf-ness as a metaphor for disease, and Peter Pettigrew's life as Scabbers.
This is our first time diving into Peter Pettigrew, the villain of Prisoner of Azkaban. (Though we're open to the argument that the real villain of this book is Snape.) Was Peter lonely as Scabbers? Does he have any options now to redeem himself, or has he condemned himself for the rest of his life? In our video trailer for Sorcerer's Stone we asked the question "Can You Forgive Petunia Dursley?" This episode, we came up with a parallel question: "Can you Pity Peter Pettigrew?"
Resources and Recommendations — There are a lot this week!
- Casper's opening story this week was about Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who was detained for fourteen years in Guantanemo Bay without ever being charged. We highly recommend his book, Guantanamo Diary.
- Also in his story, Casper made a passing reference to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Before divinity school, I had no idea who Bonhoeffer was. It turns out he was a pretty rad dude! (And by 'rad dude' I mean a man of radical integrity.) For those who are unfamiliar: Bonhoeffer was a German theologian who tried (and failed) to assassinate Adolf Hitler. His Letters and Papers from Prisoner, written before his execution and published posthumously are a modern classic.
- In talking about Lupin's isolation, Casper cites a study that says that loneliness is a higher cause of mortality than obesity. You can read more about that in this Boston Globe article.
- During our sacred practice, Vanessa and Casper discuss the invisible beauty of the world around us. Specifically, they marvel at the stories behind city plans and architecture. If you're into that kind of thing, you might be interested in the podcast 99% Invisible.
- Here's an article about those cool nuns who are building a chapel to block the path of a gas pipeline.
- Finally, Vanessa's favorite scene from Men and Black II.
This week's Florilegium: It was planted because I had come to Hogwarts Even I don't understand
You can listen to the episode to hear what Vanessa and Casper interpreted between these quotes, but what do you see?
Remember early when I said that our question of the episode was "Can You Pity Peter Pettigrew?" I lied. The real question of the episode was "What would Dumbledore's drag name be?" The best answer so far was from @noahds17 who said "Lemon Drop." Think you can do better? Tweet us your answers (and keep it clean folks)!
This week's voicemail was thanks to Keeley Harris. Next week we're reading chapter nineteen, The Servant of Lord Voldemort, through the theme of Mercy. Have a good week, ya'll!
This week we read chapter 16 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban through the theme of wonder. In the chapter, our beloved trio faces a prophecy, an executioner, and (most importantly) finals. Over the course of the season Vanessa has gone back and forth on Trelawney, this week we are definitively back.
Vanessa opens the episode with a story about her best friend Stevie (who happens to be a 3 year old). Stevie, among other things, is a great question asker. His question this week, for Vanessa and our audience was, "why are there no pink cars?" I imagine right now your mind is blown. That's pretty much how Vanessa felt.
Stevie, who is a budding Jungian therapist, also asked, "What do you dream?"
Casper starts the conversation about wonder, and where he sees it in the text. The first place he points us is to the actual word 'wondering' in this sentence:
Based on inspiration from this sentence, Vanessa and Casper break down wonder into two categories:
- Wonder of Curiosity: Wondering about something. The way we wonder about something you can Google or otherwise verify
- Wonder of Awe: Wondering at something. They way we wonder at the beauty of nature, or how many Oreos you can fit in your mouth at once.
Casper and Vanessa see both of these types of wonder in the above sentence as well as in the ethos around Divination. Divination can provide comfort in the face of the unknown while still leaving room for unanswerable questions. Thus, we can see Parvati Patel and Lavender Brown as the priestesses of the Harry Potter books.
Our sacred practice this week is Florilegia. The sparklets:
- He had provided a large tub of fresh flobberworms
- tonight before midnight
Somehow Vanessa and Casper turn these into a meditation on mortality and Hagrid's sadness over Buckbeak. But to find out how... you'll have to listen to episode. Enjoy!
Did you have an imaginary friend when you were a kid? How about an imaginary... grandmother? Well, Vanessa sure did, and her name was Other Grandma Nancy. Grandma Nancy had a puppy, and baked cookies, and lived nearby. She was really the grandma we all deserve.
In this episode, Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of imagination. Can imagination be insidious -overtaking what is 'real' in the world? Or is it the breeding ground for truly revolutionary action?
As evidence of the power of imagination, Vanessa and Casper put their heads together to brainstorm some new international policy. Together they came up with a proposed law: Every baby gets a puppy, every puppy gets a crown, and there are free cuddles for everyone. So basically they fix the world. All in a day's work over here at HP Sacred Text.
For our spiritual practice this week, we return to the Jewish practice of Havruta. Together, we unpack the puzzling encounter between Snape and Lupin over the Marauders' Map.
The episode rounds out with two blessings for Hermione. She is outcast and unpopular in this chapter, but she maintains her commitment to doing what's right for Hagrid and for Harry. Maybe we all be more like Hermione, Amen.
Before we launched our podcast, when Harry Potter and the Sacred Text was just a twinkle in our eye, we would sit around and talk about The Vlogbrothers.
If you're not familiar with the project, The Vlogbrothers is a YouTube channel where Hank and John Green create videos that are nerdy, funny, earnest, and often political. Over time, they have built an internet empire based around youtube channels, educational tools, charitable foundations and fan conventions. They even have their own podcast, Dear Hank and John. Through their work, they've cultivated a group of fans who are passionate about learning, social justice, and un-ironically loving the things that we love. When we first started brainstorming Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, we often talked about Hank and The Vlogbrothers as a model for the kind of work we want to do.
Which is all to say, we were like, whatever, kind of excited to have Hank Green on the show this week.
(DON'T TELL HIM. WE'RE TRYING TO PLAY IT COOL.)
Oh, and did we mention he loves Harry Potter? Swoon.
He even writes songs about it. Double swoon.
Hank opened our episode with a story about rivalry, our theme for the week. He took us back to middle school and introduced us to a character from his past, Aaron the Puncher. We won't spoil the punchline (sorry, had to), but its a story about bullying, growth spurts, and power dynamics.
But even before we got started with Hank this week, there was a huge development in the pod. During the 30 second recap, Casper let it slip that he has a thing for Cho Chang! Juicy, right?!
And over the course of the episode, Casper, Vanessa, and Hank did nothing but fall deeper in love with Cho. Vanessa even blesses her at the end of the episode, and says that she's the perfect example of what a rival should look like.
This week's spiritual practice was Sacred Imagination. It's our last Sacred Imagination for a while - next week we're switching over to Havruta. Here's the passage Casper chose:
Hank did a wonderful job in his first ever Sacred Imagination. He and Casper both imagined themselves into Lupin and talk about what it must be like to be a surrogate father to Harry.
- When talking about productive rivalry, Casper mentions a book, Team of Rivals, about President Lincoln's cabinet.
- Some bullying resources:
- Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning
- "Prior to the Columbine school shootings in 1999, no state had legislation addressing bullying in schools. Since 2000, more than 160 new state bullying laws, or revisions to current laws have been passed or revised; all states currently have laws concerning bullying in schools."
- Not in Our Town
In this week's voicemail, Kathy Kavanaugh helps us think about the difference between optimism and hope. Thanks Kathy!
Join us next week, when we'll be reading chapter fourteen, Snape's Grudge through the theme of imagination. See you then kiddos.
We like to pride ourselves on knowing the Harry Potter series fairly well. Like, on the scale from J.K. Rowling herself to your grandfather who thinks Harry Potter is "poisonous pagan tomfoolery," we'd probably rank in around an 8.5. But, if there is one chapter we know better than any other, it is chapter 13 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Patronus.
What you hear in this episode is our first deep-dive into the chapter. We sound pretty knowledgeable, right? But that was just the beginning — then we took the chapter on tour to Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. We re-read this chapter almost every day for a week, excavating new questions, finding new characters to bless, and somehow consistently being bad at the 30 second recap! Even your prejudiced grandfather would be impressed.
But in all seriousness, thank you so much to everyone who came out and read this chapter with us. It was such a pleasure to gaze out on your beautiful faces and meet you after the show. Words can't do justice to the massive amounts of fun we had, so here are a few photos:
In just a few short weeks, we'll be heading out on the East Coast leg of our tour. We'll be in New York at the Fourth Universalist Church on July 16th, in Philadelphia at PhilaMOCA on July 17th, and in Washington D.C. at 6th and I Synagogue on July 18th. Together we'll be getting to know Chapter 17, Cat, Rat, and Dog, through the theme of trust. Come join us!
Did you know that Casper co-founded an activist organization, the UK Youth Climate Coalition? In 2009, he led a delegation to the UN Climate Talks in Poland, and again to Bonn and Copenhagen. He opens our episode with a story from that time.
This week in our 30 second recap, Vanessa isn't up to her usual standard. But it's not her fault — she gets a a bit of a frog in her throat, which impedes her usual speed and precision. In the episode, Casper says that she sounds like she has a rat in her throat, which makes no sense and is disgusting. Sure, he's making reference to the book. Scabbers is a key character in this week's chapter. But, have we forgotten Trevor? Trevor is a toad and is always getting lost... perhaps he was lost in Vanesssa's throat?
Casper, who doesn’t have any animals in his throat during his recap, is free to make detailed observations like “Lupin is nice.”
And is Lupin nice in this chapter? In their theme conversation, Vanessa seems to disagree. She wonders why Lupin starts his Patronus lesson with a Boggart. She thinks that Lupin should let Harry master the spell first before confronting him with a Dementor (real or otherwise). This leads to a whole conversation about how Boggarts work exactly, and Casper makes an analogy between Boggarts and trauma:
Bringing the conversation back to our theme for the week, optimism, the two wonder how optimism can help us confront big issues like trauma:
For their penultimate Sacred Imagination practice of the season, Casper selected a juicy passage about the Dementor's Kiss:
Vanessa and Casper wonder if Lupin is projecting his own fears on this image, and discuss real-world equivalents of the Dementor's Kiss, such as Alzheimer's disease.
They end the episode, as always, with blessings. Vanessa blesses Hermione for not telling Lupin's secret to Ron and Harry. Casper blesses Harry for his tenacity with the Patronus charm, and getting up after being knocked down so many times. (Because earlier in the episode, Casper compared Hermione's role in this story to that of Cassandra Agamemnon, I thought these allegorical representations might be appropriate for this week.)
Next week we're reading chapter thirteen, Gryffindor Versus Ravenclaw, through the theme of rivalry. Tune in for a special guest story by Hank Green! Our voicemail this week is thanks to Dave Lawson. Don't forget to buy tickets for the live tour: harrypottersacredtext.com/live-show
Vanessa opens this week's episode with a story about when she was a spiritual care chaplain intern and prayed with a dying, devoutly Christian woman. For Vanessa, an atheist, the idea of praying made her squeamish. But, because this woman was dying, because it was her job, because it was her duty, Vanessa prayed.
In order to be accredited, hospitals must have chaplains on staff. According to the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations: "Patients have a fundamental right to considerate care that safeguards their personal dignity and respects their cultural, psychosocial, and spiritual values."
In her story, Vanessa explores the idea that duty gives us clarity of purpose and aligns with our values.
In this chapter they also discuss Hermione's decision to tell on Harry about the Firebolt, and that Harry feels a sense of duty to avenge the death of his parents.
You can also listen to this week's chapter to get a sense of how awesome Vanessa and Casper think that a blood battle between Sybill and Minerva would be. (Who would YOU bet on?)
This week we practice Sacred Imagination in Hagrid's Hut after learning from the amazing man himself (no, not Ignatius, but Reverend Jim Martin) a Jesuit priest and author of such books as "The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything" and "My Life With the Saints". He has met Stephen Colbert, who is tied with Rev. Martin as the best Catholic alive, so that's awesome.
This week's episode is sponsored by Verizon Go90. Next week we are reading Chapter 12, "The Patronus" through the theme of optimism. Our voicemail this week is thanks to Sophia Charan.
This week, Vanessa and Casper read chapter ten of Prisoner of Azkaban, The Marauder's Map, through the theme of escape. Casper set the tenor of the episode with his opening story, in which he read the below tumblr post about Harriet Tubman. If we didn't already have a Harry Potter podcast, we would consider making a podcast about Harriet Tubman. At the very least, we can spread the gospel: Harriet Tubman was a capital-B-Badass and you better recognize.
Inspired by this beautiful internet artifact, Vanessa and Casper asked some new questions: Why do Fred and George give Harry the Marauder's Map? Where does that generosity in them come from? Are the Dementors slaves? And should they be treated ethically? Listener Jessica Harmon responded with some interesting thoughts on Twitter:
This season, Casper and Vanessa have been trying to be more cordial in their 30-second recaps — to varying results. A little bit of competitive raillery came back into play this week and Vanessa somehow was able to insult Casper by comparing him to the Wizard of Oz.
Our spiritual practice this week was Lectio Divina and our randomly selected sentence was:
This sentence made Casper talk about adopting a child (!!!!) and made Vanessa wonder about the things she could have done differently in life. Casper helpfully pointed out that, perhaps if Vanessa had made some different decisions down the line, maybe she could have been a Hungarian gymnast.
Casper's been very busy traveling this week. While in London, he held our first ever listener meet-up and it was a great success! They all did Lectio Divina together and took this adorable photo. More meet-ups are coming down the pipeline along with our tour next week. If you're in Seattle, Portland, or Los Angeles, check our Live Events page for show and meet-up details.
Casper isn't the only one having fun. In this week's episode, Vanessa recommended that Harry take up a "creative writing practice" to help him find inner peace and quiet. This isn't a recommendation pulled out of thin air — Vanessa and Ariana have both started writing romance novels as a self-care practice. It is, definitively, the best thing they’ve ever done. It's the perfect escape. We highly encourage you to try it yourself and, if you do, send it to us. We want to read every juicy detail.
Next week we're reading chapter eleven, The Firebolt, through the theme of duty. We'll be joined by special guest, Jim Martin, who is going to teach us a little more about our practice of Sacred Imagination.
This week, Vanessa and Casper read chapter nine of Prisoner of Azkaban, Grim Defeat, through the theme of frustration. The chapter itself centers around a harrowing quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. Drama (!) arrives when the dementors show up and Harry faints, falling off his broom and plummeting to the ground. That’s what the chapter’s about, but this week’s episode…well, it isn’t really. This isn’t because Vanessa and Casper have no idea what’s going on in the chapter (um, have you heard their recaps? They’re obviously experts) but because this week’s theme led us beyond the main story line. We got deep. We got esoteric. We quote Macbeth. All in a day’s work, my friends.
The first esoteric box we ticked? You guessed it, Latin grammar. Casper and Vanessa battle it out over how to properly pluralize the word Patronus. Is it Patroni? Patronuses? Or, as my autocorrect would have me believe, Patroness? Usually Vanessa is our resident Hermione, but Casper pushed up his glasses this week and informed us that it all depends on what declension the word is:
Vanessa and Casper often employ elaborate hypotheticals in their explanations. This week was no exception and they were in particularly fine form. Here are a few of the very specific hypotheticals that they trotted out this week around the theme of frustration:
- "...kind of like Sir Cadogen, or like 'I tried to open the door this way, but it's a pull door and there's a sign that says pull door, but I was still pushing.' I do that all the time." (Casper)
- "When does frustration become a signal of injustice, and when is it 'my foot is itching and they won’t let me unbuckle my seatbelt because we haven’t reached altitude'?" (Vanessa)
- "When I'm frustrated, it’s because my expectation was different from reality, and now I have a choice how to react…Maybe if I’m caught in the rain be like ‘isn’t it lovely to be caught in this warm summer rain and I could be in a country music video if only I didn’t have to try to get to the doctor’s office in five minutes time." (Casper)
Following our obsession with the esoteric this week, Casper and Vanessa spend a lot of time talking about Sir Cadogen. Before we started this season, I don’t think I could even tell you who Sir Cadogen was, let alone muse about how his ‘bravery’ and bravado farcically reflect Gryffindor’s values, all while annoying the bejeezus out of them. Why is it that Seamus Finnigen finds him so annoying? How is that he takes his job so seriously and is so bad at it? What can he teach us about injustice? We got real deep with Cadogen. Vanessa ends the episode with the revelation that maybe she could be more “Cadogen-y.”
- Our voicemail this week is from Camyrn Kessler in Austin, Texas. She sent in her message on May 3rd, after the stabbings on the University of Texas campus. The Washington Post reported the events.
- When talking about Cadogen (of course) Casper compares mental health care to imprisonment and Vanessa talks about how mental illness is socially constructed. If you want to read more about the institutionalization of mental health, may we suggest Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilization? Or Erving Goffman’s Asylums? Both are classic texts in sociology.
Our spiritual practice of the week is Lectio Divina. Vanessa and Casper spend more time talking about Sir Cadogen (I promise they talk about other things…like the unsubtle stalking of Head Boy Percy Weasley, and Snape’s reprehensible pedagogy) and Vanessa quotes Macbeth. Here’s the full soliloquy that she excerpts:
This week's blessings go to esteemed professors Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall.
Next week we're reading chapter ten, The Marauder's Map, through the theme of escape. We’re only two weeks away from our live tour (pardon us while pinch ourselves repeatedly)! We released individual tour posters last week on social media. If you live in one of the cities we’re visiting, it sure would be jolly good of you to share them. And if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, what are you waiting for?! A personal invitation? Well this is it. You’re invited and we can’t wait to meet you!
This week on the podcast, Casper and Vanessa read chapter eight of The Prisoner of Azkaban through the theme of Desperation. With the rest of the third years off to Hogsmeade and Harry stuck in the castle, things do feel pretty desperate to our young hero. Casper and Vanessa mull through his tête-à-tête with Professor Lupin, Hermione's deep dislike of Divination, and why Oliver Wood is such a drama queen.
- Nobody is that surprised about Oliver Wood, to tell the truth. Casper has been insisting that he's a queen for a long time.
Our story for the week comes from Casper's time living in Berlin. Above, a picture from that era. (No, not the picture of Oliver, above that.) Doesn't he look so handsome and European? Casper tells us about a trip he made to Berlin's Holocaust museum, and a letter he encountered there. The letter was written by Hannah-Helene Goldberg, thrown from a train on her way to Auschwitz. Casper reads the whole letter in the podcast, and you can read it for yourself here:
Throughout the episode they consider the question: How do you prevent desperation from going hand and hand with isolation? Casper introduces the idea of 'desperation tunnel vision' and Vanessa talks about the loneliness that goes along with that. In her explanation, she mentions a speech from Joe Biden, the entirety of which you can watch here:
Vanessa has ruffled a few feathers in the past few episodes by taking a harsh stand against Snape. However, in this chapter, he is actually decent towards Lupin - brewing a potion to deal with Lupin's mysterious illness. Thus, Vanessa is forced to admit that he can be kind of 'classy.'
This week is our last week with the spiritual practice of PaRDeS. Next week, we'll be doing Lectio Divina. For PaRDeS, Casper selects the below quote from the our beloved poltergeist, Peeves. The Fat Lady's painting has just been torn up by Sirius Black, and Vanessa and Casper talk about the nature of shame, body positivity, and domestic violence.
Our blessings this week are for Neville's grandmother and Professor Flitwick. Did you even remember that these who were in the chapter? Can you guess who blessed whom?
Next week we're reading chapter nine, Grim Defeat, through the theme of frustration. Our donor of the week is Mikhela Ungerleider and our voicemail this week is thanks to Sara Cochennet.
Finally, don't forget about our upcoming live tour! It's only a month away. (Pardon us while we run around like chickens like our heads cut off...) If you are in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia or Washington D.C., we will be coming your way! You can see dates and buy tickets on our Live Events page. We can't wait to see your beautiful faces!
In this episode, Casper and Vanessa (with the help of the amazing Dr. Chloe Angyal) discuss the power of humor. Humor is how we amuse ourselves, it can be found in satire where we try to reassert our power, it is a sign of intimacy; but then it can get mean. Where is that line? I'm 18,000% sure that Snape does not understand where that line is because he is willing to kill sweet, little Trevor in order to amuse himself. Not funny, Snape. Animal torture is a sign of sociopathy, just FYI.
Do we mock the things that we hate most about ourselves? Is Snape mocking Neville because he sees himself in Neville? DO WE CARE?
Casper and Vanessa also wonder about pedagogy at Hogwarts. They think maybe it isn't research based.
In this week's episode we do PaRDeS, thinking about Hermione and her time-turner. What in our lives feels like a gift, but is actually not so grand?
Don't forget to vote in this week's 30 second recap challenge. Vanessa is currently (as of 5/9/17) in the lead, and she is writing the post this week, so she'll just say it: if you're a feminist, you will vote for her.
This week's episode is brought to you by Bombas and Spotify's Showstopper. Next week we're reading chapter 8, the Flight of the Fat Lady, through the theme of desperation. Our donor of the week is Andrew Stairs and our voicemail this week is thanks to Duke Lambert.