I saw that Harry Potter didn't have a thread, so I thought I'd start one. I'm a huge fan of Harry Potter. I remember talking to someone who was Wiccan and mentioned I was a fan and he got all offended and said that it was a mockery to the Wiccan religion. So, I hope I don't offend anyone by bringing up the series. I know that magick isn't really a point-your-wand-say-an-incantation-sparks-fly-and-things-happen kind of thing, I just really like it.
Me too -- LOVE Harry Potter! Of course, I don't think that magic works at all like it does in the Harry Potter universe (although I can't imagine why your friend got offended -- clearly Rowling wasn't attempting to depict Wicca at all). But it does hold a special place in my heart because I think it illustrates a lot of very beautiful spiritual truths that I take into my own practice. For example, the idea that love is the most powerful magic of all, and can even conquer death; that the true way to master death is not to deny it and live forever, but to accept its inevitability. A few quotes from Dumbledore have made it into my Book of Shadows, including:
-- "Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and above all, those who live without love."
-- "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" <--- this I believe to be a perfect description of archetype work!
-- "It does not do to dwell to on dreams and forget to live."
I should make a disclaimer here first obviously I don't believe in literal dementors, or that waving a wand will make things happen like it does in the books, or that Harry Potter is real, but in my pop culture magic practice, I like to use pop culture icons as metaphors in ritual drama ... in large part because Harry Potter emotionally resonates with me, a woman in 21st century America, far more than, say, the Iliad. (so just FYI, I don't do much with thoughtforms or anything like that, and I approach my pop culture magic with my tongue firmly in my cheek)
But one thing I've been toying with is the idea of using "Expecto Patronum" to banish depression. JK Rowling expressly invented dementors as a metaphor for her experiences with depression (in the way that they suck out your joy and make you believe you will never be happy again). She also invented a perfect metaphor for (temporarily) banishing depression -- by summoning your happiest memories as an energetic shield against them.
So I've been thinking about doing exactly that -- when I'm feeling down on myself, using a wand (or my pointer finger, if the wand's not handy), thinking about my happiest memories, saying "Expecto Patronum!", and then visualizing an animal that I love emerging and banishing my depression*. Yeah, it's silly, but that's the point! Guaranteed to make me smile at the very least, right?
*Obviously, this is not a substitute for professional treatment for chronic depression, just a temporary measure to help one lighten up a bit.