This week’s Harrow card, The Brass Dwarf, is someone who is cool in the hottest of times. On the card, we see an elemental being called an azer, who appears to be a dwarf made of living brass. His hair and beard are made of the same bright orange flames that color the background. The dwarf holds a mug in his hand as he calmly smokes from a hookah that’s taller than he is.
The Brass Dwarf is perhaps the true embodiment of the suit of Shields as it relates to everyday life. He represents ultimate endurance in the face of overwhelming danger. The True Neutral cards tend to represent the pure essence of their respective suits, but the Lawful Neutral cards usually represent the practical application of that essence. This is especially true of The Brass Dwarf, who is as symbolic of the process of enduring adversity as he is symbolic of the endurance itself.
The Brass Dwarf is surrounded by flames, but he is not bothered in the least. In fact, he seems pretty relaxed. Fire is both a creative and a destructive force in equal measures, but in any form it is dangerous and deadly. This bothers The Brass Dwarf not at all. He knows he can survive whatever danger the fire poses, and he’s content to wait it out even while in the middle of it, since he knows that every fire eventually gets extinguished.
When The Brass Dwarf appears in a spread, he is often a symbol of staying strong through dark times, encouraging us to maintain our composure even while we feel like everything is lost. Just like the fire surrounding the dwarf himself, dark times don’t last forever. Everything comes in cycles, and if we can remember that, we can find the strength to carry on. In some cases, The Brass Dwarf can even indicate someone or something that is willingly sacrificing itself for the greater good in a very zen kind of way. The Brass Dwarf has removed his attachments to everything outside the fire, content to stay within it and ride the pain so that others don’t have to.
Hematite and black obsidian can both help us to access The Brass Dwarf’s perseverance, both of which have a strong connection to the dwarf himself. Hematite, being a form of iron ore, brings to mind the dwarf’s metallic skin. Energetically, it is one of the best stones around for grounding. It helps to avoid confusion and spurs us forward to productive and useful action. Black obsidian is a product of volcanic activity, finding its roots in the same fiery furnace that the Dwarf lives in. While it does have some grounding properties, it’s true strengths lie in helping us to avoid self-judgment and self-sabotage by helping us to reconcile the dark and light sides of each of us into one.
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.