This week’s Harrow card, The Courtesan, is a master of disguise. The card itself shows a bizarre humanoid creature slowly revealing itself behind a white, feminine mask. The creature’s gender is unspecified, but it wears elaborate jewelry that is normally associated with women. Most disturbing of all, the creature has a third eye on its forehead.
The Courtesan is the card of political intrigue on any scale, from international to personal. Whether acting as a lover, an intellectual companion, or a diplomat, a courtesan’s job revolves around interpersonal interaction. So, too, does the Courtesan card focus its energies around the trade of ideas and emotions between two people or groups. The card is from the suit of Crowns, which governs Charisma, the ability to project ourselves into the world. At the same time, though, the card is aligned Chaotic Neutral, indicating that those interactions do not have any positive or negative attributions in and of themselves.
The being at the center of the card is reminiscent of a strange creature called a doppleganger. These shapeshifters are easily able to appear as any race, any gender, or any specific person. While they are not inherently malicious, they follow their own mysterious agenda that others cannot understand. They seem to delight in causing intrigue and in subverting existing order and social structure. Their ability to masquerade as anyone makes them dangerous opponents.
When the Courtesan appears in a spread, it is often a warning to beware of the true motives of others that hide behind social niceties. Just as the Courtesan hides its true face behind a mask, so too do many people hide behind social convention, playing on the assumption that the public persona matches the private. When the Courtesan does its work, it can shake our faith in those around us and lead us to suspicion and paranoia.
We can counteract the Courtesan’s influence by staying true to ourselves and communicating our own truth with confidence. If we are able to tap into our own emotional strength, it makes it harder for the Courtesan to take advantage of us. Knowing our own truth helps to recognize the truth in others. At the same time, while it is always wise to be aware that the Courtesan may be hiding behind social decorum, we do a disservice to ourselves and others if we expect the Courtesan behind every face we meet.
Blue dumortierite is an excellent aid for discovering our true selves. It helps to enhance all mental abilities and our ability to learn and find solutions to our problems. It can help to communicate our desires not just to others but to the universe at large by encouraging a calm mind and self-awareness. Chrysocolla also helps to facilitate a calm and serene mind as well as aiding us in connecting with our own inner wisdom and communicating that wisdom to the world. Possessed of a very gentle energy, it is excellent for helping to balance the throat chakra with the heart chakra.
Bright blessings, and may the cards be in your favor.
The Harrow deck is part of the Pathfinder RPG and is a fun alternative to a traditional tarot deck both for those familiar with the game, or those looking for a different framework for divination.