This week’s Harrow card features a being of true mystery, The Foreign Trader. The Trader itself stands clothed in strange, colorful clothes that conceal everything but its hands and the top half of its face. The skin we see is an unnatural color, the ears are long and pointed, and the Trader even has a tail peeking through the hem of its outfit. The Trader is adorned with valuables and useful items, holding out a long length of gold chain for our inspection. At the same time, a menacing monkey sits on its shoulder, encouraging us to keeping a respectable distance away.
The Trader is a truly crafty and quick-witted individual, coming as it does from the suit of Books, which governs intellect and knowledge. The card itself is aligned True Neutral, and like all True Neutral cards, it represents the core, elemental nature of the suit itself. In this case, the Trader is intelligence that has no loyalties and no recognizable moral bent. That is not to say that the Trader is without morals, only that the Trader claims allegiance solely to knowledge without qualifying it or judging the intent behind it. The Trader is open to all, and it feels no obligation to favor any one customer over the other.
So what kind of knowledge does the Trader possess? Potentially anything and everything. The Trader always seems to have exactly the item we need, and it’s often willing to strike a deal to make sure we acquire it. But that’s where the Trader’s job ends. After we receive the knowledge or the tools we need, it is up to us to put them to good use. The Trader only cares about the sale, leaving the ramifications and consequences for us and us alone to work through.
When the Trader appears in the spread, it indicates that we’ll soon have access to exactly what we need to achieve our goals, and that can mean something physical, mental, or emotional. However, it’s also a warning for us to carefully consider “want” versus “need.” What we want isn’t always what we need, and vice-versa. Likewise, the Trader’s shiniest object might turn out to be worthless, while a seeming piece of junk may turn out to be a treasure. The Trader isn’t going to be the one to tell us which is which or how to use it; that’s entirely our decision, and likewise, our responsibility.
Similarly, the Trader comes and goes without warning, and the opportunities it presents are only available for a limited time. Again, we’re encouraged to think deliberately and rationally to avoid impulsively purchasing something that we don’t need, thereby passing over the thing that we DO need. In fact, after some careful thought, we may discover that we don’t even need anything from the Trader at all.
Rutilated quartz is an excellent stone to help us navigate the dealings we may have with the Traders we encounter. It helps to open our intuition and awareness, and it is especially good for letting us pick up on the good or bad vibes that others may give off. It is also an aid for helping us to manifest our desires, and where the Trader is concerned, this can mean helping us understand what we need to manifest in the first place. Another useful stone for dealing with the Trader is angelite, which is an excellent aid for communication of all types. Most importantly, it helps to contact our guides and our upper consciousness, helping to bring about clear judgment and honest communication.
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.