Many years ago when I was in psychoanalysis I spent a lot of time examining my various attractions to characters from movies, stories, and literature.*
Luna Lovegood from “The Harry Potter” books is coming up a lot recently in my thoughts and in my counsel with patients. I thought I would write out some of my thoughts to solidify ‘why she’s popping up so much’. She is touching on something archetypal.
For the Spo-fans who may not know who she is, she is friend of Mr. Potter’s whom he meets later in the series. It is no coincidence she makes her appearance when Harry is feeling isolated and people are turning against him. She is first seen as strange, for she has unorthodox and fantastical beliefs- even by wizard standards. She is shunned and harassed by her peers who steal her shoes.**
Upon closer examination what makes her unsettling is she is direct and honest. She doesn’t sway to style or the collective beliefs and fears.’In this lovely scene she counsels Harry about the danger of succumbing to the temptation to isolate himself :
She is a contemporary form of the Jungian archetype of the ‘Honest Friend”. She is not ashamed of what she is or what she believes. She knows people find her quirky; she endures the ‘price of being different’. I like Luna Lovegood as a representative of the Honesty archetype for she is neither perfect nor a conformist. She calmly counsels The Ego (Harry) not to fear but to be true and most important: do not be ashamed of what you believe. It is the archetype that says ‘come out! ’ whether you are gay, or suffering from depression, or hiding who you are.
I see many Harry Potter-patient types who think no one is on their side. Like Harry they are stifled by Shadow (Lord Voldemort) into feeling bad and to stay down. I counsel patients what they are feeling is nothing shameful, and they should not to be afraid to ‘come out’ as it were.
So, when you are feeling isolated out of shame of something about yourself, channel Luna Lovegood. Come out and find the others. No one is alone.
* This was a major disappointment when I was in Freudian-based analysis. One is supposed to analyze dreams, but I seldom had any. It was a sign my case was hopeless. Later, in Jungian-based analysis, my approach was viewed as marvelous.
** This makes her barefoot and more connected to the earth than the others. Her bare-feet status makes her a ‘prophetess in the desert’.