This week’s Harrow card, The Beating, is a clear example of how the Harrow deck doesn’t pull any punches. On the card itself we see a man being attacked by a multitude of hands that have suddenly erupted from the ground. The setting appears to be a desolate stretch of land, as a withered and lifeless tree sits in the background. In the corner, the man’s candle falls to the ground.
Make no mistake: The Beating is not a subtle card. While it has layers to its true meaning as does every Harrow card, it’s also fairly obvious from first glance what to expect when it shows up in a spread. At its most basic level, The Beating is about being under attack from all sides and on all fronts. While it is part of the suit of Hammers, corresponding to physical Strength, it can indicate a physical or mental attack…or even both at the same time.
Often, The Beating does not have an immediately verifiable source or cause, and that further magnifies its impact and power. Like the man at the center of the card, we often feel panic and fear under the effects of The Beating. Indeed, The Beating is not only about the attack but its effects as well, a powerful assault that leaves us broken and unsure of ourselves. This assault can lead to a dissolution of self, and like the attack itself, this can mean a physical or mental breakdown or even both at the same time. Indeed, one may lead to the other, as it often does.
The key to surviving The Beating is to remain sure of ourselves and to keep our guard up. When The Beating shows up misaligned in a spread, it means that we will likely find a new strength as a result of the attacks, even one that can survive The Beating we may currently be in. The Beating thrives on the blind panic that it causes us, the flight-or-fight instinct that it sets off, and if we keep our wits about us and our hearts strong, we can survive any attacks The Beating throws at us.
Hematite is the one of the best stones for grounding ourselves and keeping us centered. Because The Beating gains power from the fear it causes, the best way to combat it is to keep calm and collected. It also encourages a solid sense of self, preventing the identity-dissolving effects of The Beating. It can also help keep us connected to our dreams and hope while also helping us to manifest those dreams into reality.
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.