This week’s Harrow card, The Cyclone, is the embodiment of the phrase “force of nature.” The Cyclone itself is a towering, menacing whirlwind, complete with a pair of clawed hands and a pair of glowing red eyes. At its base, a village is being ripped apart and slowly burned to the ground.
Few things are more frightening than a natural disaster, since there is little we can do to control it, and it’s impossible to place human motivation behind its destructive nature. The Cyclone card at first seems to add that motivation by anthropomorphizing the storm itself, but that’s a little deceptive. The card is aligned Chaotic Evil, which is associated with acts of pointless cruelty, destruction, and malice. However, the alignment applies not to The Cyclone but to the perception of it and its behavior from humans on the ground.
Therein lies the true meaning of The Cyclone. A storm is just a storm, but it’s our response to it that gives it definition. If we see the storm as a destructive force, as many do, then it lives up to the card’s alignment. If, however, we see beyond the storm and focus on the larger picture, the storm’s nature becomes a little murkier and nebulous.
Make no mistake, when The Cyclone appears, it is usually a sign of catastrophe, especially caused by a force we have no control over and destroys everything it touches. In many ways, it acts like The Tower card from the Major Arcana of the tarot. But like The Tower, The Cyclone can also represent a chance to rebuild and start again in the wake of its ravaging power. For despite all its strength, a storm doesn’t last forever, and it’s what we do when it’s over that determines the future. We can rebuild, we can make changes, or we can move on, but something new will always come from The Cyclone’s presence. This is especially the case if the card appears misaligned in a spread, as that often indicates renewal after a trying ordeal.
To help withstand the might of The Cyclone, stones that strength our root chakra and give us grounding are called for. Garnet is an excellent aid to keep panic and anxiety at bay and to keep ourselves strong and resolute. It can help keep us rooted to practical reality and away from unrealistic daydreams. It is a stone of “what is” and not “what if.” Similarly, onyx is a very earth-centered stone that helps to bring calm, strength, and a quiet kind of confidence and power to an otherwise stormy situation.
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.