Harrow of the Week: The Unicorn

Harrow of the Week: The Unicorn

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Even in the deepest forests, a friend. 

Don’t be fooled by the gentle demeanor of this week’s card, The Unicorn, for a fierce strength lies beneath. The card itself is simple enough. A unicorn is laying down in a lush green field. On the end of its horn sits a single pear, its juice slowly dripping down. Curiously enough, it appears that someone or something has already had a bite of the succulent fruit. In the background, we can see what appears to be vines or brambles.

The Unicorn is a creature of legendary beauty and grace. It’s no surprise then, that this card belongs to the Suit of Crowns, which governs Charisma and our own inner magnetism. At the same time, however, the Unicorn is not a vainglorious or preening creature. The card is aligned Chaotic Good, the alignment that believes that true happiness comes from freedom and independence. The Unicorn is a naturally majestic creature who has no want or need to impress societal cliques or hold itself to arbitrary standards of beauty and behavior.

It’s this freedom that makes its gift so significant and powerful. The Unicorn gives freely to those who seek guidance, but at the same time, it has no obligation to offer its gift if it chooses not to. Therefore, not only is the Unicorn’s gift of value, but the giving of that gift is just as valuable. To those in need and those oppressed by society, this sincere and unconditional generosity may actually be the greatest gift of all.

The Unicorn is a reminder to us that true compassion is a thing of nature, not of law, and this compassion can and should be extended to all. The Unicorn is capable of seeing beyond all lines and divisions into the deepest parts of us all. To the open heart, the Unicorn is a fast and loyal friend. By the same token, the Unicorn sees through lies and deception easily, and it offers up its gift in the hope that the recipient will see the error of their ways much in the same way that the Unicorn’s horn is proof against all forms of poison.

One should always be wary, however, of the Unicorn’s ferocity. If provoked or its generosity exploited, it can cause just as much damage with its sharp horn and heavy hooves. Likewise, should the Unicorn show up misaligned, it can indicate that the gift offered comes with restrictive conditions or that it is ultimately more of a curse than a blessing. Many is the false friend who uses the iconic virtue of the Unicorn to their advantage.

Emerald, with its calm green hue, is not only reminiscent of the Unicorn’s forest home but can be a strong focus for channeling the compassionate gifts of the Unicorn itself. While it is known as a stone for prosperity and good fortune, it also acts as a balancing force for the heart, helping to open it up to compassion and love. Unakite is also a stone of gifts, but it acts primarily by purging us of negative emotions that can block the openness that the Unicorn represents. It helps to keep us on our chosen path and away from self-destructive behavior so that we can experience the pure freedom that the Unicorn champions.

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.

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