Harry Potter - A Hero's Journey
by Karin Hoffmann
A character in a novel who has a 'real' chart? Hard to imagine. Still, a character like Harry Potter whose story has been a bestseller for years, whose destiny is followed by many, is of interest to the astrologer. What is it that makes this story so successful? Well, obviously, fantasy is a popular genre, J.K. Rowling's style is very gripping, and of course, good marketing and the films add to the success story.
Still: I wonder if there is more to it than meets the eye. Rowling appears to hit a nerve with her story of the "magician's apprentice", she touches on collective themes that reach people. The story is about finding an identity and a purpose, finding a place in society, it is about values, about 'good and evil', about meeting one's own shadow, about life and death, and not least it is about love.
So, what about Harry? Can we calculate a chart for the boy? This article is admittedly a very associative journey through Harry's potential horoscope. As the time of birth is unknown, we are entering the realm of speculation. However, I have found fascinating and symbolic coincidences.
Harry Potter was born in 31st July 1980. The place of birth is Godric's Hollow, a town inhabited exclusively by wizards and witches. Muggles (non-magical people) will hardly be able to find it on a map. According to the Harry Potter Lexicon, Godric's Hollow is most likely situated in South Wales, in Glamorgan or Dyfed. For simplicity's sake, I will take a town in the central part of that area: Ammanford. 
Now, what is the birth time? There is no reference to the exact time in the books nor in the lexicon, so my colleague and I have played around a bit. Harry is part of the generation with Uranus in Scorpio. A Scorpio ascendant conjunct Uranus? Why not? Harry has black, bushy and uncontrollable hair sticking up at the back - that could suit a Scorpio AC with Uranian influence quite well. He is quite small for his age, which fits with A.T. Mann's description of the 20th - 25th degree of Scorpio. Uranus is at 21°30' Scorpio. Uranus on the Ascendant: Since age one Harry has had a lightning-shaped (!) scar on his forehead. There is hardly anything more Uranian than a lightning bolt ... So, let's assume the hypothetical birth time at 15.25 local time, which places Harry's Ascendant at about 20 degrees Scorpio.
If we look at the transits, we find that Chiron - also known as the "wounded healer" - is almost exactly conjunct the Descendant when Harry receives his wound. This happens on 31st October 1981. The progressed Ascendant has advanced by a little more than a degree and is exactly conjunct Uranus. This is the day when Lord Voldemort forcefully enters the Potter's house and kills Harry's parents. His father - in the chart represented by the Sun - is killed instantly when he tries to protect his wife and child. Harry is left without a male example to follow and to help find his own identity (Sun). His mother Lily then courageously shields her son from Voldemort's curse and sacrifices her life for his. It is her love and self-sacrifice that protects Harry from the deathly curse. With the assumed birth time, Harry's Moon is in the last degree of Pisces, a sign which symbolises like no other sacrifice from love. When Voldemort wants to kill the child, the fatal curse rebounds onto himself. Lord Voldemort loses his body and his power. Harry survives but he receives a permanent wound: a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead.
The Descendant in the chart represents the opponent, the 'other', the one whom we meet on a par; and on a par they meet because Harry is the first human to survive the Avada Kedavra curse. The Descendant also marks the cusp of the 7th house, the house of open enemies. Voldemort finds in Harry an opponent who is his equal, despite his young age. This is the beginning of a fated and painful connection between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort. The prophecy states: "Neither can live while the other survives". Chiron on the Descendant: the wound is received by 'the other'. 
At this time, the progressed Medium Coeli is exactly conjunct natal Jupiter. Harry's future holds a great task which concerns the whole of society, and it all begins on this 31st October 1981. For this task, the "boy who lived" needs a good measure of luck and foresight, and he needs to believe that there is a higher meaning to it all, that he has to live his life purposefully, and that he has to outgrow himself. These are certainly some of the characteristics provided by Jupiter conjunct the Midheaven. And at the same time we can see the toughness and difficulty of the task. With Saturn in the 10th house, Harry is not able to escape his "duty to society" and his responsibility for the part he plays in it. In one of the later volumes, his divinity teacher Sybil Trelawny tells him that he has a "dominant Saturn" and that therefore he will have to face hardship and misfortune.
It is also interesting that on this 31st October 1981, transiting Saturn is conjunct the midpoint of the old and the new ruler of the Ascendant, Mars and Pluto. Saturn, the protector of the threshold, formerly known as the master of death, is placed between aggression and metamorphosis. Through aggression Harry loses his parents, his survival is endangered and his life takes a completely different course. This is a foreshadowing of Harry's duty (Saturn) to fight (Mars) the dark side of the soul (Pluto).
Transiting Pluto and Jupiter, however, are conjunct in the eleventh house: blessing in disguise, and a grand task for the wizarding world, even for humanity, including Muggles, is ahead of him.
But for the moment, Harry is unaware of his fated future, and he spends the next 10 years of his life in the cupboard under the stairs at his aunt's and uncle's house (pure Muggles!). To them he is all but welcome, and his origins as a son of a witch and wizard are not appreciated, even perceived with suspicion. In their eyes, Harry is a "freak", an outsider (Uranus on the Ascendant).
This state, however, cannot be permanent. With a Leo Sun in the 9th house, it is essential for Harry to enter the archetypal hero's journey, in order to find his own core, his own identity. He has to conquer strange and foreign territory, and his most important drive and strongest protection time and again is his confidence in what his heart (Leo Sun) tells him, his trust in his inner fire. And with Chiron transiting the Sun during this year, it is an appropriate time to start. His task, set 10 years ago, is about to begin. Seven times, through seven school years and seven volumes, Harry makes his journey, the departure from home, the adventures and the return - each time becoming a little more mature and grown-up, finding a little more of his identity.
On his eleventh birthday the extraordinary thing happens, and history takes its course. Harry receives an invitation to visit Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. For a second time, his life's journey surprisingly changes - or rather: it continues where it stopped when he was one year old.
Saturn, the strict teacher, has entered the third house of learning. It is not surprising that it is an usual kind of learning, as the third house cusp in Harry's chart is in Aquarius - and Aquarius is certainly associated with the extraordinary and eccentric. Transiting Saturn also makes a creative but hard to access bi-quintile to the Midheaven which represents the life's task or vocation.
The North Node of the 1991 solar return chart is opposite Harry's natal Mercury in Cancer in the 8th house. The nodal axis on Mercury completes a T-Square to natal Pluto. Harry has intuitive access to occult wisdom, to mysteries which remain unknown to the ordinary mind; he has faculties which he and his Muggle relatives cannot explain or comprehend. For example, on the occasion of a visit to the zoo, he sets a Brazilian Boa Constrictor free - to the utmost horror of his cousin Dudley. The snake of course being a fitting symbol of Pluto and the 8th house. The transiting nodal axis brings these unusual gifts to light.
In the solar return chart, Jupiter is conjunct the Leo Ascendant, and both of them are in conjunction with Harry's natal North Node. With the nodal axis in Leo-Aquarius (houses 9 - 3), the title of Harry's book of life is "self-realisation through insight". The main task is to develop his own unique identity, his solar creativity, his true Self (Leo), by continually challenging the ideals and ideologies of society (Aquarius). He has to find a balance between his place in the wizarding world and himself as an individual. This life's theme is triggered now.
And: Jupiter conjunct Ascendant in the solar return chart: this is the happiest day in Harry's life. He breaks out from the constrictions of the Dursley's home, and sets out to conquer a new, big, exciting and unknown world.
Solar Uranus trines and Solar Mars conjuncts the natal Midheaven. Uranus brings liberation from the current way of life and indicates a sudden and radical change of direction in Harry's life path. Solar Mars conjunct the Virgo MC acts a starting shot, indicates struggles but also pioneering - in a Virgoan way: Harry always reaches his goals with the gifts of flexibility, quick analysis of the situation and pragmatic use of the available resources; and of course, with a good portion of luck which is provided by his natal Jupiter on the MC.
Also in 1991, transiting Pluto has reached the opposition to natal Chiron. This is the beginning of a long struggle with his opponent - for life and death (Pluto). Wounder and Wounded engage in a struggle for survival, the issues at stake are metamorphosis (of Voldemort who regains his human form, and of Harry who grows a boy to manhood - rather more quickly and intensely than is the case for his fellow students) and letting go (of fear, of power, of innocence). It is a struggle about life and death, and not least about the darker sides of life, the dark sides in oneself which mercilessly penetrate Harry's life. Now is the time to look at an old wound once more, to confront it and finally to accept it, in order to allow change to happen. The theme is also represented and gains momentum through the conjunction of progressed Mars with natal Pluto - the old and the new ruler of the Ascendant finally meet. The theme which started at Harry's birth (represented by the Ascendant) will be dominating the next seven years of his life.
Much could be written about these important years of leaving home and travelling into the unknown, of great adventures with the help of his friends and his mentor Dumbledore, and of coming back home to the place of security. Each year being a story of initiation, a preparation for the last, decisive meeting with Lord Voldemort, with the dark side of humanity, of the soul, a meeting with his own shadow side.
During his last year at Hogwarts, in 1998, Chiron transits Harry's natal Ascendant and Uranus. 17 years after the first encounter, they meet for a last time. In the end, it is a duell between the two "heroes", a painful fight for Harry's own existence, his identity and at the same time for humanity. It is all about life and death, about "I" and "Thou" - no, it is even necessary for both to die in order to regain the balance.
Like Chiron in the myth, Harry chooses death. Why? A part of Voldemort's soul continues to live within Harry. It is only through Harry's death that Voldemort can die as well. After all, the Descendant is the 'other' as well as part of the self. Voldemort is prepared to pay every price to attain immortality. However, what he doesn't know: when the fatal curse he cast on Harry 17 years ago failed, a part of his own soul has passed to Harry. With Harry's death, another part of Voldemort's soul will die. And now Harry gives away his own life, and with it Voldemort's chance for immortality. He gives it from a free heart. The individual who fights for the greater good of human kind (Sun in the 9th house). With transiting Chiron on the Ascendant, Harry is prepared to leave his body (Ascendant), in order to bring liberation for humanity (Uranus conjunct AC!). Only by giving the "I", the physical form, can the "Thou" - Voldemort - finally die. Only by accepting his destiny unquestioningly, can he bring heal the woes of the world. This is Chiron.
Chiron in the myth gives his life to free Prometheus from eternal suffering and is placed by Jupiter/Zeus in the constellation of Sagittarius. Prometheus/Uranus is free, the spirit of humanity and of the individual has defeated the ideology of the "super-human", the pure-blood wizard. The latter could also have been a Uranian-Scorpionic ideal - and it is not by accident that Harry and Voldemort are so closely linked - two sides of a coin.
Now that neither can live while the other survives, the symbol of the wound can be integrated as part of the Self. By accepting the connection with Voldemort, the dark side, and giving his own life, the connection can be dissolved and Harry resurrect. Ascendant and Descendant are integrated, are part of his own identity.
Harry survives. A second time. He survives, exactly because he has given his life voluntarily. Yet another time, the power of self-sacrifice of the Pisces Moon is demonstrated. But this time, it wasn't the mother who has given herself but Harry himself. He has integrated the Moon as part of himself and left the realm of childhood. And at the end of his 7-year-struggle, his hero's journey, Harry emerges with his own, undivided identity. During the whole year transiting Uranus/Prometheus has opposed Harry's Leo Sun in 9.
At the decisive moment, Harry's parents were with him - they accompanied him (in spirit) to the end and gave him the strength to give his life and resurrect. Moon and Sun, mother and father, soul and spirit.