This week’s Harrow card, The Paladin, is a paragon of virtue and strength. The card shows a knight in full armor that shines like gold. He holds a sword in one hand, while his other is held forward, waiting for someone to grasp it. Under his helmet, he appears to be smiling.
The Paladin is a warrior who lives by a code of honor and with a love for justice. They have dedicated themselves to the greater good and to helping those in need. Paladins keep their word, and they offer respect even to their enemies; you will never see a paladin stab a foe in the back. To many, the presence of The Paladin is quite welcome, a sign that there is still a champion for the oppressed and the forgotten.
The Paladin card exists in that same framework. It is about working for the greater good of all, but it is a very practical kind of card. The Paladin comes from the suit of Hammers, which corresponds to physical strength. The Paladin may have strong convictions, but they are ultimately defined by their deeds. The Paladin is a card not just of courage and willpower but of using that courage to bring about real, tangible, and lasting change.
The presence of The Paladin in a spread reminds us to stay strong in the face of adversity, even when the odds are overwhelming. It is a reminder to us that in order to do what’s right, sometimes we must wade into battle and be prepared to make sacrifices in order to bring about harmony and order. While the path of The Paladin is exacting and difficult, a paladin is made, not born. Any of us has the potential to be the symbol of righteousness and valor that paladin represents just as long as we are willing to devote ourself to the exacting code the paladin lives by.
When misaligned in a spread, The Paladin still stands for courage and virtue, but their devotion is either misplaced or their mission is one that cannot possibly succeed. The Paladin never backs down, even when they probably should. Some paladins confuse strength for virtue, ending their career by making empty sacrifices or bringing dishonor to themselves by following the letter of their code but not the spirit. The Paladin is a strong and loyal ally, but only if they fully understand how and where to direct their strength.
Carnelian, with its fiery and passionate energy, is a boon to anyone seeking to bring The Paladin’s strength into their lives. It can bolster our courage, renew our enthusiasm, and help to spur us into action. It helps to harmonize the lower chakras, which are vital to keeping us solid and centered. Hematite is also a friend of The Paladin. It’s primary use is to help keep us grounded, and this helps to keep us tied to the real, practical world where the Paladin’s strength is best suited. It can help to dispel confusion and the self-sabotaging thoughts that keep The Paladin from striding onto the battlefield.
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.