Cassandra Trelawney

Cassandra Trelawney was a gifted Seer who was highly celebrated and renowned in the wizarding community. She was also the great-great-grandmother of Sybill Trelawney, the Divination professor at Hogwarts.

The Definitive Glossary for Harry Potter

Very little is known about Cassandra Trelawney and her past besides her gift for divination. She was believed to possess the Inner Eye, which could be described as a specialized skill among Seers which gives them access to make predictions and even make a prophecy. She was considered a legendary Seer and a witch with second sight and the Inner Eye who had made groundbreaking contributions to the wizarding world, almost like an Oracle in mythology.

There also exists a possibility that the Trelawney name was taken by her after marriage and that her actual name was in fact Cassandra Vablatsky because there existed an author by that name who wrote one of the prescribed textbooks for Divination named Unfogging the Future. This textbook was compulsory for the students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who studied divination.


In ancient Greek Mythology, Cassandra was the name of a princess in Troy. Her beauty enchanted the god Apollo, who bestowed her with the gift of foretelling the future. However, when she did not reciprocate his advances, he cursed her so that no one would believe her predictions, even if they were true.

The name Cassandra comes from Ancient Greek culture and roughly translates to “oracle.” This may be an obvious reference to Cassandra’s gift of prophecy. This word has other meanings, too, including “someone who entangles men.” 

Her surname Trelawney may just be a name taken from her husband, as there is speculation that Cassandra Trelawney and Cassandra Vablatsky are the same people.

Sybill Trelawney

It is possible that several other members of the Trelawney family line were also gifted Seers. Cassandra was a celebrated Seer with the gift of the Inner Eye, but by the time her gift was passed on through generations, it had dimmed down. Sybill Trelawney, her great-great-granddaughter, was more gifted than she knew, as she sometimes made strong prophecies that came out to be true. But for the most part, Professor Trelawney was just a fraud who randomly spewed warnings after looking at a crystal ball or tea leaves. 

However, several students like Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil adored her a lot, especially after Sybill predicted the death of Lavender’s pet rabbit. Hermione Granger didn’t like Sybill’s classes and would eventually leave the classes. Ron Weasley and Harry Potter stayed for the classes but did not enjoy them as much.

However, sometimes, Sybill would go into a trance and actually predict some grave details.

Sybill Trelawney predicted that Harry Potter would challenge Lord Voldemort, and the latter would mark him as his equal during the job interview at Hog’s Head Inn, which she attended for the post of Professor of Divination at Hogwarts. This prediction was overheard by Severus Snape, who immediately reported it to Voldemort, and the cycle began. Even though this prediction could have referred to Neville Longbottom, Voldemort chose Harry. She also indirectly predicted Harry’s death in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Sybill predicted that one of her students would leave them, and Hermione did leave the Divination classes in October. She also predicted indirectly that Peter Pettigrew would run away and that Lord Voldemort would rise again. This prediction came true as well, and Lord Voldemort rose again at the Riddle graveyard, summoned his Death Eaters, and even killed Cedric Diggory.

During the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Sybill predicted that Harry had a difficult and sad life filled with disaster because he was born mid-winter. However, Harry was born in July, so it made no sense. However, this prediction came to be true as Harry was housing a part of Voldemort’s soul in him and was his unintended Horcrux. Voldemort was, in fact, born in December, which was mid-winter.

Sybill Trelawney was indefinitely suspended from her post as a Professor by Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixDolores Umbridge was appointed as the High Inquisitor at Hogwarts by the Ministry of Magic. However, Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall prevented Sybill from being banished from the school campus.

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Firenze, a centaur from the Forbidden Forest, was hired as a Professor of Divination by Albus Dumbledore and later taught alongside Sybill Trelawney. 

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceSybill Trelawney is attacked by Draco Malfoy when she tries to enter the Room of Requirement. However, he uses the Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder to prevent being discovered.

Cassandra’s School Days

Cassandra Trelawney was most likely a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and probably went there either in the nineteenth or twentieth century. It is possible that she was sorted into Ravenclaw house as her great-great-granddaughter Sybill Trelawney was also sorted into Ravenclaw. 

If the possibility of Cassandra Trelawney being the famous Seer Cassandra Vablatsky is, in fact, true, then Cassandra must have joined Hogwarts around the year 1905 when she was eleven years old. It is also possible that she went to some other wizarding school or that she didn’t go to school since there is no mention of her childhood anywhere in the Harry Potter series.

A Celebrated Career

Cassandra Trelawney, no doubt, must have had a celebrated career, especially because of how popular she was in the wizarding world. Albus Dumbledore was on the verge of closing the Divination department at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as the subject was highly reliant on Astrology and was of limited credibility. 

However, when Dumbledore received an application for the post of Professor in Divination for Hogwarts, he decided to consider it solely because of the applicant being Sybill Trelawney. Sybill had Cassandra Trelawney as her ancestor, and that mere fact was enough for Sybill to be granted an opportunity to be interviewed. 

Furthermore, she proved worthy of Cassandra’s ability to some extent when she made a prophecy in a sudden trance about the child who would defeat the Dark Lord Voldemort. This prophecy eventually came out to be true despite it being random and unexpected. Sybill was eventually given the post of Professor of Divination at Hogwarts.

Psychics in the Muggle World

Just like Cassandra Trelawney who was a Seer with the gift of predicting and seeing things that were otherwise not obvious, there have been several people in the Muggle world who have claimed to possess similar talents. They are usually referred to as psychics. While the scientific evidence on actually possessing such an ability is very rare, there have been some very successful predictions made by some of these people. 

However, most of these predictions have been through mentalism, a field of study that uses cues unknowingly or subconsciously given by a person to read them. Skills like cold reading, which assumes a likely possibility of great precision, and hot reading, which involves researching a person beforehand, can give surprisingly good results and mimic the work of Seers from the wizarding world.


When was Cassandra Trelawney born?

Cassandra Trelawney was a gifted Seer and the great-great-grandmother of Sybill Trelawney. She was most likely born in the nineteenth century or the early twentieth century. There is a possibility that Cassandra Trelawney got her surname after marriage and that Cassandra Trelawney and the author of Unfogging the Future, Cassandra Vablatsky, are the same people.

Who is Sybill Trelawney, and what is her connection to Cassandra?

Sybill Trelawney is a Seer on rare occasions and the Divination teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She was considered a fraud by many but sometimes made some very accurate prophecies, including the one about Voldemort, which became the cause of most events in the Harry Potter series. She was the great-great-granddaughter of Cassandra Trelawney.

Who played Cassandra Trelawney?

No one is credited with playing Cassandra Trelawney because she never appears in the Harry Potter movie adaptations. However, Cassandra Trelawney is briefly mentioned in the Harry Potter series as she is the great-great-grandmother of Sybill Trelawney.

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