Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

Reviews For Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

Whenever I’m having a rough day, this podcast always puts me in a better place mentally. I started listening at the beginning of the pandemic in March and now 7 months later I am on book 5. Each episode I listen to gives me a-ha moments and helps me reflect on my own life, relationships and decisions. Thanks for this spark of joy during a tough time Vanessa and Casper.
I’ve been listening to this podcast for a few years on and off. I will wait for a few months and then come back and binge episodes until I’m all caught up. It feels like going to visit some friends after being a part for a time. Casper and Vanessa both have such different perspectives and are willing to ask questions and be wrong sometimes, which is refreshing. I love HP and I have found that a deeper reading of them makes me love them more. (A bonus of the episodes is that after the ELF ad Casper’s laugh is literally the best and makes me lol/smile literally every time.)
I’m only on season five, but I cannot recommend this podcast enough. Casper, Vanessa, and Ariana create a magical space that is equal parts respectful and critical of the text, and so welcoming for readers/listeners. I have just moved to a city for the first time and am a little uncomfortable walking home from work by myself at night. I hold my phone up to my ear and listen to HPST on my way, laughing and contributing out loud to the conversation to make myself feel braver and it works without fail (although you guys always ignore my great points/sometimes make the same point seconds later and take all the credit). It’s really weird, but has become such a comforting ritual, and anyway thank you for your voices and walking me home :)
Omg I love this podcast I love the Harry Potter books and I just love this I love the talking because I lived in New York so it’s so helpful to sleep with but I would love a cursed child one please that’s my only disappointment besides that I love it please please cursed child!
I started listening to this podcast from the beginning just recently. There are a lot of references to tough times in our world and how they relate to the Harry Potter series. At that time no one expected 2020 and it’s amazing challenges. I am finding that Harry Potter is helping me get through these times and this podcast is adding such a wonderful layer of support. Thank you and your listeners for helping me in a time of such unrest. A blessing for all involved.
First off thank you for reading this review. Next, this is like the only podcast that I listen to non stop and I just love getting deeper into the actual story and recommend this to anyone who like Harry Potter. Ps. Vanessa is way better at 30 second recaps.


I wanna listen to the book but then you guys interrupt it
Once your done please do Harry Potter and the cursed child PLEASE. I love this podcast and I am a kid but, I have really really benefited as this has offered reflection and an opportunity for learning and it has made learning fun. I love the reading practices. I have jewish heritage and do all of these practices are really interesting and I have been learning about judisium so ya. And also Jam_135 you are wrong.
I love listening to this podcast so much it’s amazing and I’m so sad that there are only a couple of chapters left but I look forward to seeing what you have to say about the next couple of chapters. The only complaint I could make is there are a lot of adds but you are a company so I understand and it’s totally worth it for the amazing podcast I get to listen to after the adds.
Hi guys! Just FYI if this seems familiar, I am editing it for the third time as things keep happening. Vanessa is better at 30 second recaps (sorry Casper!) THIS IS AN AWESOME PODCAST! Thank you for doing such an awesome podcast. I was really upset about the new tweets that JK Rowling did, and how hurtful they can be for the trans and non binary members of the community. I have always looked up to JK and as a little kid I just thought she was the greatest. I am imperfectly struggling about how to be able to live the books, while also addressing the problematic parts, and also trying to grapple with the separating the author from the book. Please continue the podcast. I believe that the Harry Potter community has helped so many people, and changed so many lives, and the books, and the community can still be amazing, without the author. Most of the past year of the Harry Potter community has come from the fandom, not from the author. It is okay to love a book, and still treat it as sacred, while also completely shutting out the author. I completely support your decision to not financially support her at all, and I think that that is a hard choice that you guys are very brave to make. I would love if you could do some maybe fan fiction or fan made stuff. I recommend maybe getting Mike Schubert on the pod to discuss it with you. I was listening to the last episode on the theme of peace, and wanted to share what I thought in the sacred imagination. In the sacred imagination, I was Hermione. I was completely insecure and nervous and just awkward. I wasn’t sure if you should give Harry a hug, or put my hand on his shoulder, or keep quiet and just not knowing how to handle it. I was in someone else’s body, in a place that I had never been, and I just felt so out of place. Thank you so much! P.S. I don’t mind if you read this on the podcast if you want to but you don’t have to. -Anonymous


By jam_153
Politically childish and unlearned.


This is the best podcast ever! I wait for every Thursday when episodes come out. You guys are amazing! This podcast is so welcoming and fun, leaving nothing to be desired. You are wonderful people. I was so happy to hear you are continuing the podcast. This podcast gives me joy everyday. I suggest it to everyone who will listen to me going on and on about HPST. I love you all.
This show has been such a spark of light in my life. Everyone should have at least a weekly dose of Caspar and Vanessa!
I used to love the podcast but the last few episodes have been soured by constant demonizing of Rowling and treating her as she’s the worst thing to happen to the Trans community since the Republican Party. I get it, it’s for self-preservation and if I was in their shoes I would say what I would have to say. Let’s forget about all the good she’s done for the world. She’s canceled. Sorry but I can’t subscribe to that.
This thoughtful, probing, unvarnished and loving examination of the Harry Potter series is a treasure. I needed something positive in my life during Covid so I decided to reread the HP series. One of my students told me about HPST so I decided to try listening along as I read. What a gift! I found such utility in the sacred practices and learned to think about the books in a completely different way. This is a masterpiece, and, in my opinion, a requirement for all HP lovers. Thank you, Vanessa & Casper.
Listening to Harry Potter and the Sacred Text always centers my week. Even the little details like the music before commercials makes me feel homey and cozy, a feeling I visualize as entering The Shop Around the Corner with Kathleen Kelly waiting for me on a blue sky, crisp New York fall day.
Hi Vanessa and Casper and Arianna! You are all incredible. This is far and away my favorite podcast. It brings me so much peace and I look forward to listening every week to get my Harry Potter fix. Thank you for all the love you put out in the world. I love all of you. You are carrying me through quarantine as you have through so many difficult moments these past few years.
Hello Casper and Vanessa! I love your podcast. I know there are a lot of people who think Vanessa is sexist against men, but you guys are amazing. I love that Vanessa stands up for women’s rights. As a youth member of the LGBTQ community I find it very comforting that there is a podcast who supports people who are minorities. Keep up the great work, you make my week 🥳😘😀👍🏻👍🏻
Vanessa, Casper, and the whole team- thank you so much for your guidance and wisdom over the past several weeks. You have shown me a way to engage these books with integrity in the face of JKR’s violent rhetoric, a way to move forward with intention and awareness without having to guillotine the books and this community from my life. It’s a lesson that I think we can bring to so many pieces of art which come to us from less-than-ideal creators. Thank you for all that you do!
I like listening to this podcast every Thursday. I really liked the most recent owl post which is a good prospective to hear. However one thing that rubs me wrong is Vanessa, I’m a little sorry to say it. I agree with many issues y’all bring up but part of me doesn’t like how she bashes men. Call whatever you want but it’s true. I feel like her in her view many of them are evil. However many are just flawed. I have found myself saying, “Shut up” when a rant like that comes on. I believe people should be treated equally especially those that are trying to do better. I’ll still listen I guess. Casper you’re a really great host that’s very even keeled.
In reference to the episode y’all released on January 11, 2018: Trelawny isn’t wrong when she reads that Harry was born in winter. In that moment, she’s reading someone else: Voldemort, the Horcrux still within Harry. (I had to write this now, you probably point it out in the future lol). I absolutely LOVE this podcast. I suffer from a complex form of PTSD, anxiety, and depression. When I listen to y’all, it feels like I’m gaining coping mechanisms for all my fears and doubts. I’ve grown so much listening to your podcast, and I’m so excited to continue listening!!!
After finishing the Harry Potter series I was sad that this magical place was gone. This podcast has been such an amazing way to reconnect with the series on a different level. Very well done!
This podcast means a lot to me thank you💗
I adore this podcast. The very first episode struck such a chord with me because I have always turned to HP for comfort and coping, but I never thought of it as sacred until now (premise achieved). JK Rowling has really tarnished her work, but treating it as sacred has made coping with this particular hardship manageable. The HPST team has facilitated discussions that empower us as readers to continue engaging with this text as escapism and self care while acknowledging and condemning all of the problematic things about JK. Thank you for helping us reclaim our narratives within Harry Potter and practicing what the text truly preaches.
I have adored this podcast from the very beginning, first as a huge HP nerd and then more and more because of how funny and brilliant and loving and wise Casper and Vanessa and Ariana are. Over the years they have brought me so much joy and comfort. Again and again they have inspired me to think about the real world and how to better live in it. Along the way the team has also brought together an absolutely wonderful listener community. I have loved sharing this with friends every week and with big crowds at live shows. I really believe they have succeeded in creating something revolutionary. Casper, Vanessa, and Ariana have built a sacred space in which anyone can find a home (including so many of us for whom the traditional spaces have felt about as safe as a guillotine). It has meant so very much to me. I was utterly starstruck when I ran into Casper on the street and show off my HPST intro ringtone to anyone who will listen. But for what it’s worth, when this season is done, I think it might be time to move on. Rowling’s tweets can never truly take Harry Potter away from us, but her commitment to exclusion has made me want to look for other things to found a community upon. After all, what is magical about this podcast and about this community does not need her world to live on. We can grow and have grown beyond it. The Power of Ritual is amazing. And Hot and Bothered is amazing. And so are so many other things that members of this community have done and continue to do that have nothing to do with Harry Potter. I will miss this podcast if it comes to an end. But I know I will still have Casper and Vanessa and Ariana doing amazing things in the world. And I will always have all that their work has taught me about how to find meaning and community and love. Whatever decision the team comes to they will reach it thoughtfully and with integrity. Whatever they choose to do they will have my love and admiration and support. They have created something so beautiful here. And they keep working so hard to live up to the values and ideals it represents. And for that and for everything I will be forever grateful.
Two humble, caring, thoughtful individuals (and sometimes guests) elevate Harry Potter from a well-written, fun adventure to a sacred text. I could listen to Vanessa and Casper all day—their compassionate perspectives, passion for the books and for being good people in the world, and their humor are a comforting and enlightening and mind-opening—and powerful—force in my life. I deeply appreciate their humility in embracing, seeking, and honoring other perspectives, and in that, I think these two set an example for us all—luckily an example I can revisit again and again by re-listening to the podcast. These two are voices of reason and compassion, unity and support, and have built a phenomenal group of like-minded fans around them. I am incredibly grateful to them for bringing this concept to my life and sharing incredible wisdom and grace with all of us. I feel like they’re good friends, and this podcast is a source of warm and loving escape that provides me with real tools and deep thoughts to bring back to the real world—just like the books themselves. I love Harry Potter, I love this podcast, I love Casper and Vanessa and the community around this podcast. Thank you, Casper and Vanessa and Arianna, for creating something beautiful and putting it into the world. You are brave and wonderful people.


What a phenomenal podcast. It mixes meaning-making and Harry Potter. It’s an amazing way to read through the series again, while also using the text to reflect on our lives and society. I have learned so much and it is a podcast I listen to in hard days to make them better.
I have listened to Season One of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text so far and I love it! It’s such a good model of how to find meaning and reflection by approaching anything (in this case reading Harry Potter) with intention. So brilliantly structured and edited, and the hosts are witty and fun. Can’t wait to keep binging this
I started listening to this podcast via suggestion from a friend. I could get by the snooty attitudes, the wrong information (Harry was born in 1980, NOT 1982), and other things. But no more. I REFUSE to listen as they continue to condemn actual NATAL women in favour of the trans community.
Harry Potter and the Sacred Text is spectacular. Its emotional relevance to both my personal life and to the world as a whole is extremely potent, and it keeps getting better and better. Some episodes have come out at the perfect time to help me get through the troubles my life throws at me, putting the feelings I feel in context and helping me find the wisdom I need to move through everything with the text, its characters, and the two wonderful hosts. Fantasy worlds like Harry Potter have always been great escapes from life, but this podcasts absolutely guillotines the notion that escapism is all that fantasy is good for, reminding us all that every text can speak to us about the real world and our place in it and call upon each of us to make ourselves and the people around us better. This podcast reminds us that that which we treat as sacred is sacred.
Marie Antoinette’s famous last words before her death by guillotine were “Pardon me, sir, I did not do it on purpose”—after accidentally stepping on the executioner’s shoe. It is fascinating how small moments and a handful of words can change how we view a historical figure or character, by revealing an aspect of their personality or helping us to see their humanity in a new light. Similarly, in their podcast Casper and Vanessa tackle the characters and themes of Harry Potter with nuance and care, using sacred reading practices to uncover meanings that lead to deeper discussions about the world today. Can we learn to sympathize with unsympathetic characters like the Dursleys by admitting ways in which we might be Dursley-ish ourselves? Or understand the motivations of Narcissa, whose penchant for evil is ultimately overruled by her love for her son? As Vanessa and Casper help us see, so little in life represents a true dichotomy of good and evil, Versailles and guillotine. By reading this text as sacred, they reveal the possibility of sacredness in our own life, and open up new possibilities of understanding and connection with others.
When Meursault is contemplating having his head cut off in the name of the French people in Albert Camus' The Stranger, one of the epiphanies he has is that "you can get used to anything." I love the way Vanessa and Casper use the text of HP to have brave and heart-felt conversations about our shared humanity.
Absolutely love the content and concept of this podcast. Casper and Vanessa are excellent hosts and seem like even better friends. I love their willingness to learn in public and laughs they have along the way. The ONLY critique I have is that I despise- nay loathe entirely- all the ads not read by Casper or Vanessa. They’re mixed in too loudly and wreck the otherwise soothing and comfortable tone/vibe set by the show. (And I’m only saying something because you’ve told us you’re reading, Casper!) Otherwise I love everything about the this podcast and the people who make it happen! 🤩
It’s a really good podcast. It made me see things in the books I never saw before but make so much sense. BUTTTT the ads are a little repetitive and long. Still a great podcast
I love your podcast, even though I am politically on the other side of the spectrum than you are. In this episode you spent a lot of time on Creature being free because Harry gave him jewelry which is kind of like clothes. I learned a very important lesson at the feet of my father when I was a young man: No matter how eloquent a person speaks and no matter how persuasive they are, if their premise is wrong, their argument is wrong. Your premise that jewelry is clothing is wrong. Clothes are make of cloth and are sold in a clothing store. Jewelry is not made of cloth but of jewels and is sold in a jewelry store. Next, Casper make the statement that Creature isn’t in the battle of Hogwarts. Yes he is.
I hope you’ll keep the great podcast up. Even though I’m very far behind (around book 3), I still love the podcast all the same. I’ve become a kinder, smarter, more peaceful person. Thank you so much for keeping the podcast going for people who have a love for the Harry Potter books. Thanks again, a big fan.
I would have continued listening but it just kept devolving into woke identity politics.
this pod is my church. It has made me a kinder, smarter, more patient person.... has helped me grow more than i can say.
This podcast brings me so much joy. I love the spiritual practices, the careful consideration of the books, and the laughter along the way! When I feel a bit like I’m stuck in a guillotine, Vanessa and Casper (and the team) provide a breath of fresh air.
As a Harry Potter fan who just reread the series after their original releases, this podcast helps me dive deeper into some my favorite books from a critical and thoughtful lens. Particularly love the 30 second recaps! My only reason for a 4 star and not 5 is the ads. I know ads are needed to support the podcast but placing them right in the beginning is annoying and sort of dampens the excitement. They are also a bit long for a 20-30 minute podcast. Consider placing them later in the episode and shortening them so people can get right to the wonderful podcast content!
These people are smug and hypocritical. I expected them to sing 3 choruses of kumbaya and then just congratulate themselves on how progressive they all are! Enjoy the books or watch the movies but stay away from this podcast unless you want to be mired down in sappy nonsense brought to you by folks who have the intellectual depth of a mud puddle. The ads are endless but far more meaningful than what they try to pass off as “ content”.
I like this podcast, but I feel that they don’t focus enough on the fun aspect. I wish they spent more than a minute talking about the fun stuff(romances in Half Blood Prince, funny jokes, and the banter between Hogwarts students). I was quite disappointed when, for Half-Blood Prince, they barely touched upon the hilarious live stories.I know this is supposed to be a philosophical thing, but a small separate series of “fun” and lighthearted topics would be greatly appreciated.
As a person of color, I was so happy to see this episode. Thank you Casper and Vanessa for being so understanding, and not trying to understand our position, just trying to help. I’m always happy with your episodes about some of the obvious racism seen in these books, so thank you.
I am uncomfortable with the metaphor of black people as muggles and white people as wizards. Yes, the current (and historical) power imbalance holds true, but it sounds too much like white savior syndrome because of the innate differences between muggles and wizards. I appreciate your urging all of us to action.
This podcast delves into the Harry Potter books chapter by chapter with a loving and focused look at the text using spiritual practices. As a lapsed Catholic who doesn’t go to church for moral and political reasons, I appreciate how this podcast handles the intersection of faith practices and analysis of books that the hosts and so many people love.
Thank you! This podcast is everything. Both of your commitment and humor is so appreciated right now.
With the end of the podcast in the near future, it’s painfully obvious the producers of the podcast are milking it for all its worth. The content is great but 5 minutes of ads with shorter ads spread throughout the podcast sullies the content.
This podcast has been a balm for the soul for me during quarantine. I especially enjoy Kasper’s insight on these topics, and the interplay between the hosts is great. They always probe the theme deeply and with great respect for the source material. As a side note, I am really tired of the same five minute long ad at the beginning of every podcast. Usually I don’t skip thru podcast ads (unless it’s for a service or product I already use) because ads aren’t too obtrusive in podcasts the way TV ads are. but their ad for the summer camp thing is so long and repetitive. I understand they need to promote this event but I think more people would listen to it if it were more succinct.
Over five minutes of advertising at the start. Seriously? After hearing the pitch for the same events or types of events it becomes just white noise.