This week’s Harrow card, The Idiot, is not quite as harsh as it may appear. And like many Harrow cards, it does appear rather harsh. The card is dominated by a man wearing an oversized mask resembling a clown. His clothes are in tatters, his hands are tied behind his back, and he has been wounded by arrows. On either side of him, a goblin with a wicked grin is taunting him.
The Idiot’s meaning might be apparent just from the card’s title, but like many Harrow cards, it goes deeper than that. The card is from the suit of Books, which corresponds to intelligence, which is somewhat of a given. The card’s alignment of Neutral Evil, however, hints at its layered interpretation. While Neutral Evil is usually associated with evil performed for its own sake, it is also associated with a supremely self-centered outlook and an inability to see beyond our most immediate needs. This is especially true if we fulfill those needs with no regard for how it may affect those around us.
In that respect, The Idiot often signifies a kind of mental and even moral myopia. The man in the mask can’t see anything and has no idea where he’s going. He’s hurt and confused, and he’s being prodded along by goblins, a notoriously nasty, greedy, and brutish race. In essence, he’s being forced to go along with the goblins just to survive. He has no thought except the immediate and no urge except for survival. The Idiot in this way represents a very basic, instinct-based mentality that can’t see or refuses to see the big picture.
The Idiot can also represent any outside force that makes us act against our interest or engage in self-destructive behavior. This includes everything from blackmail to bribery to people who enable bad habits or our worst indulgences. In all cases, it leads to behavior that seems less than intelligent in the grander scheme of things, fulfilling base and immediate needs with no regard for their broader impact.
When The Idiot appears in a spread misaligned, it can also be an indicator that we are not utilizing our mental abilities to their fullest capacity. This could be intentional, as it sometimes wise to play dumb, or unintentional. The latter is often an indicator that we need to step back from our day-to-day stress to refocus our attention in a more productive way.
Few stones are better at fueling our mental agility than fluorite. Also known as “The Genius Stone”, fluorite helps us to focus our mental energy and to dispel confusion and anxiety. It also helps us to make wiser judgments over which energies we want as part of our lives, helping to ferret out the goblins in our midst. Ametrine can also be a good stone for keeping The Idiot from taking hold in our lives. A combination of amethyst and citrine, it combines the best qualities of each stone: it helps to avoid bad habits, see things clearly, and then to act in the most positive of ways.
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.