Harrow of the Week: The Sickness

Harrow of the Week: The Sickness

Heal thyself. 

This week’s Harrow card, The Sickness, highlights an unpleasant yet often unavoidable trouble that we all experience. The card itself features a haggard-looking woman wasting away from a disease. In her left hand, she holds a clump of picked vegetables, while in her right are a pair of dice rolled to “snake eyes.” Flies buzz around her head, and she wears around her neck an amulet that appears shinier and newer than anything else on the card. She wears fur and costly jewelry, none of which appear to be in disrepair.

When The Sickness appears in a spread, it can sometimes represent a tangible sickness of the body. In fact, the card is from the suit of Shields, which is associated with Constitution, the measure of physical health and endurance. Just as often, however, The Sickness can indicate a disease of the mind, heart, or spirit, especially one that has a secondary, physical manifestation.

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Harrow of the Week: The Forge

Harrow of the Week: The Forge

Bring the hammer down. 

Fire is the element of choice for this week’s Harrow card, The Forge. We see a dwarf blacksmith beating mightily on an anvil. Molten materials pour out of a large pipe in the background. The blacksmith himself is being observed by two small, winged fire spirits who may be helping or hindering him.

The meaning of The Forge might seem quite apparent just based on the image on the card, but it has a surprising depth to it. The Forge is about surviving adversity to emerge into something new. Quite simply, we are the item on the anvil, and the forge is the difficulties of life. This isn’t a new metaphor, but it takes on a new life in the context of the Harrow Deck’s structure and imagery.

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Harrow of the Week: The Carnival

Harrow of the Week: The Carnival

Something [adjective] this way comes… 

This week’s Harrow card, The Carnival, is like a world turned upside down. At the center of the card is a scared child, running from a menacing harlequin. The child holds a fresh lollipop in his hand, and in the background we can see a shadow figure in stilts towering over everybody.

The circus and the carnival are two things that have been associated with fun and frivolity but are just as often as associated with chaos and uncertainty. It’s this last quality that The Carnival expounds upon, the kind of sinister, macabre carnival featured in films and stories like Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” It’s the atmosphere in which the colorful dreams of the circus become vivid illusions that hide a hidden, unpleasant truth.

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