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The Mysterious Septology Symbol

by David Haber

One month ago, on March 28, fans finally got to see the artwork for the covers of the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and intense debate about the meaning of the imagery on the covers immediately ensued. But there is one small, obscure bit of the new images of the Book 7 cover art we haven't yet discussed.

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Reader Comments: (Page 5)

To me also the symbol looks like engraved on marble, ossibly Dumbledore's grave... however its quite possible that this symbol is of some place or thing we havent been introduced to yet... for example, we had never heard about Marvolo's ring before HP6 or about a hippogriff before HP3...

Posted by Stephanie from Mexico on May 4, 2007 9:21 PM

going through my jewelry today I found a pair of earings with a Triquetra on them. It's a Celtic symbol often associated with God. On a site I found on the web I noticed it said the symbol was used in the TV show Charmed as it is associated with witches, but also as it shows the "power of three, acting as one", symbolizing the sisters. Perhaps a similar reference to our fave trio? Maybe the spine picture is a very crude Triquetra. Also, does the spine of HP6 show a lightning shaped crack in Marvolo's ring? If so how is this relevant to Harry?

I also found this on the web beside a picture of a circle in a triangle.

"The triangle of art is theprotected space outside the magic circle, into which spirits are compelled to appear in Solomonic ritual magic. Typically, the central circle is inscribed with the sigil (seal) of the spirit to be invoked. The usual form is of a triangle, circumscribed with various words of power, containing an inner, blackened circle.

The purpose of the triangle is to contain the manifested entity. In some cases, the triangle is created as a physical object; sometimes, the central circle is replaced with a black scrying mirror."

I then looked up scrying, with is a form of Divination that involves gazing into crystal balls, or mirrors (Trelawney? Sirius?), and a "the word today usually denotes a magical sigil, a glyph used in ritual or sympathetic magick as a focus, or for summoning angels, demons, or spirits." could this mean Dumbledore?

Posted by mmc from sa on May 5, 2007 12:00 AM

But we know dumbledore has an instrument like that symbol, so couldn't it just mean that instrument. maybe they can track horcruxes with it.

Posted by claudia on May 5, 2007 07:27 AM

I wonder if the sign is a two dimensional representation of a three dimensional pyramid enclosing a sphere.

Posted by Patty from Quincy MA on May 5, 2007 09:56 AM

it could be dumbledores 2 horcruxes that he made. the line dividing 1 from the other.

Posted by ronak j. from india on May 5, 2007 11:44 AM

Patty... You may be on to something. If you look at the spine illustration directly on the book.. it is geometrically imperfect. The Circle does not FIT within the triangle. The Circle is off center to the right.. This means that the central line also does not equally bisect the circle.

At first I thought that this was simply a draughtsman's error for this article (Apologies Dave) but in following up another theory I looked at the cover jpeg itself and it is indeed off center.

So.. does this mean: 1. they are careless in drafting and editing? 2. That this is yet another clue? 3. Does it mean that it represents a glass or other pyramid containing a sphere? That could account for the circle being under one of the triangle edges on the right side.

If it were an object it would be more in line with the prior covers depicting physical things as opposed to symbols. I would be grateful to hear if this is also seen by some of the rest of you....

Posted by Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg, Pa on May 6, 2007 07:59 AM

The symbol could have something to do with Gringotts if the background is meant to be marble.

Or perhaps it has something to do with Ravenclaw. We know that Ravenclaw have their day, so maybe it is a mark on the object that once belonged to Ravenclaw.

When I first saw it, I thought the line was the most important part. The line that goes down the middle divides the two shapes (the triangle and the circle) in half. Even if the circle is not divided in equal halves, the idea of a circle divided means the opposite of eternity to me. If we look at it as a symbol of what happen in the book instead of as a symbol that is etched on an object, it could mean two things at once. First, the line dividing the circle could mean the end of Voldemort's immortality. Second, the line in the middle of the triangle could mean the dividing of our trio. I prefer the first option of course, so if it is emblematic of what occurs in the book, the trio work together to divide the circle of immortality that Voldemort is currently enjoying. When the three come together (at the top point of the triangle) they pierce the circle of immortality.

This is not a well devised theory, but it all depends on how we look at the symbol. If it is a symbol on an object in the book, none of this is relevent. If the symbol is emblematic of something that occurs in the course of the book, what could it mean?

Posted by LMN from Fayetteville, NC on May 6, 2007 08:48 AM

i think it is also important that the line is contained in the triangle, you dont see it run all the way through, so in essence, it is diving the circle and the triangle, but not all the way through (if this makes sense to anyone)

Posted by Dvin from Glendale, CA on May 6, 2007 3:26 PM

Just a couple of more things to throw into the mix.

The circle is the symbol of the sun in some cultures.
The triangle is a symbol of fire.
The triangle pointed up is a symbol of the male.
A straight vertical line is a symblol of mankind.

A circle with a vertical line is the Greek letter Phi. It is the representation of the mathematical formula (the Golden Ratio) used to create the golden mean. The golden mean is a representation of the spiral found everywhere in nature.

The triangle is also a symbol that represents stability and completeness.

Do these things have anything at all do to with the symbol on the spine? I have no idea. But it is fascinating to research, isn't it?

Posted by Michael Brinkley from Oceanside CA on May 6, 2007 7:45 PM

I forgot to mention something about the vertical line inside the triangle which I just noticed thanks to Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg. The vertical line could also be a number (not just an alphabet). Any guesses which number? Not 1 Ė but itís 7.

In some European countries a vertical line was the glyph for the number 1, which can lead to confusion with the glyph for 7 in other countries. As is the case with the European glyph, the Cham and Khmer glyph for 7 also evolved to look like their glyph for 1, though in a different way, so they were also concerned with making their 7 more different.

This even makes sense now because itís the seventh book, there are seven horcruxes, seven is the most powerful magical number and etc.

Posted by Javed from Vancouver, Canada on May 6, 2007 11:44 PM

But about that lilly was a seer. If she was, she would have fleed from voldemort, or otherwise put harry out of danger.

Posted by Claudia from Holland on May 7, 2007 04:04 AM

Thanks Charlie, and good observation about the off-center circle. That suggests to me a floating sphere within a pyramid.
It could symbolize a horcrux -- a spirit, or soul fragment, enclosed within an object. I wonder if Voldemort see his end drawing near and offer Harry the chance to make a horcrux and obtain immortality and power, to try to sway him. To paraphrase Dumbledore, Harry's choices are what define his difference from Voldemort, and his ability to love protect him from Voldemort's evil.
Alternately, the symbol could have something to do with Dumbledore's spirit being held, waiting until Harry's final battle. If Dumbledore planned for his own , he may have known of a way, or devised a way to stick around for Harry's sake. This could be a reason for his sleeping portrait.

Posted by Patty from Quincy MA on May 7, 2007 05:30 AM

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