Harrow of the Week: The Winged Serpent

Harrow of the Week: The Winged Serpent

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Look before you leap.

This week’s Harrow card, The Winged Serpent, is a usually a very good omen indeed. The card features a creature on it called a couatl, a wise and benevolent being which looks like a snake sporting a pair of brilliant, rainbow-colored wings. The couatl’s body twists and spirals in a graceful pattern as it flies through the sky.

The Winged Serpent is a card of enlightened action, possibly the most positive and holistic of the cards from the suit of Stars, which rules the ability of Wisdom. Knowledge and wisdom are two related but entirely separate things, and it is the Winged Serpent that forms a bridge between them. Separately, the two are useful and necessary, but without understanding what connects them, we risk failing in our endeavors.

The Winged Serpent encourages patience and prudence. It represents the When of action. The How and the Why are important, but it is the When that helps us maximize our chance for success. The couatl is not a rash or hasty being, knowing exactly the right time to strike. It also encourages us to look at the broader context of our actions and the effect they may have on the world around us, something we often don’t consider when we act on impulse.

At the same time, the couatl can sometimes be a lazy creature. It’s reputation as a champion of good means that other creatures often idolize and venerate it. As a result, the couatl is uses to others leaving it offerings and treasure and rarely hunts for its own supplies. The Winged Serpent is a reminder that all the wisdom in the world means nothing if we don’t use it to move forward.

If the card shows up misaligned in a spread, this is often a warning that our plans are ill-advised or that the actions we are contemplating may lead to unintended consequences. It is tempting to give in to reflex and immediacy, to look for instant results. The Winged Serpent reminds us that battles are often won by strategy more often than they are by swift and brutal force.

Blue goldstone is a perfect stone to capture the essence of The Winged Serpent, while also possessing the glittering beauty that the couatl appreciates. Blue goldstone is a stone of wishes coming true and of enlightenment. It helps us not only to become more in tune with the world but to understand how to use that knowledge to achieve our goals. Black moonstone can also aid us in a similar way, as it is a stone not only of intuition but of new beginnings and new adventures.

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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