15. THE DEVIL
THE DEVIL TAROT CARD MEANING
TAROT KEY MEANINGS
Light Seer (Upright): addiction, liberation, freedom from vices, healthy vs. unhealthy sexuality, obsessing about vs. enjoying the material world, the healing found in darkness, delving into your shadow self
Shadow Seer (Reversed): bondage, addiction, trapped in your own stories, being manipulated by someone, not being honest with yourself, not seeing your own role in a negative circumstances, giving your power away, feeling helpless
THE DEVIL OVERVIEW
The Devil reaches out his hand, gently wooing you into his circle. His intensity is as much physical as it is spiritual. On one hand, he offers a release from the mundane – a time to break free from the rules and the chains that you place upon yourself. He offers you the chance to dance in ecstasy and liberation, and he will accompany you to the darkest corners of your heart in order to see the places where the light needs to be let in. In this way, he offers healing, and a chance to witness and release your own shadows. Freedom. He lures you in with promises of pleasure, material abundance, and all the earthly feels. On the other hand, he hides the fact that while he will bring you to the darkness, you will be left to your own devices to find your way home. He doesn’t remind you that this path can lead to addiction and bondage, because he knows that you already know that. He cannot make choices for you, and he does not force his energy upon anyone. He invites. That is all. He is both the invoking and the banishing, the vice and the liberation, and the feeling trapped and the feeling free. Smoothly, he extends his hand, waiting for you to accompany him. Some who have joined have become too dependent on him, and feel manipulated under that hand. Alone. Chained. Desperate. Yet like all teachers in the tarot, he is not good or evil. He just is. He represents a dark illumination. A choice. Your falling, and your willingness to heal.
MESSAGE FROM THE DEVIL
Oh temptation, sweet temptation. The Devil represents everything in life that we are addicted to. The things that can entrap us, enslave us, or overtake our lives. These addictions can be of the garden variety – alcohol, drugs, sex – or they can be little more difficult to detect. (Being addicted to how others make you feel, co-dependent relationships, or being addicted to your stories and excuses are examples of his vices that can be a little more nebulous.) This is a nudge to delve into your own shadows. Illuminate the things that hold too much sway over your attention. Those things that are vying for your time, your energy, and your love… and that generally leave you feeling empty? Those are the things. Remember that addictions don’t necessarily look scary and demonic… until they do. Seek liberation from your cords, and from the things that hold you back or keep you down. In dark times, look to fragmented aspects of Self as a source of light, and search for wholeness and self-forgiveness as guides. What disguise does your anchor wear, sweet light?
QUESTIONS FOR THE SEER
• What aspect of you is seeking liberation from self-imposed chains?
• What is holding too much attention right now?
• What healing message of self-acceptance and forgiveness does the shadow hold?
• Freedom calls. Do you need to dance a little more?
NOTES ON ARTWORK (THE DEVIL)
I wanted a Devil that felt and looked like addiction, one that would place the querent in the position of understanding how seductive some paths can be. If you think he’s hot, I’ve done my job. If you’re curious about the symbol on his chest, it’s a unicursal hexagram. I didn’t want to put the traditional inverted pentagram there because, in all honesty, they make me a bit squeamish and I didn’t want to further perpetuate Hollywood stereotypes. I wanted something that would symbolize our own responsibility rather than adding something that could be read as ‘other’ or ‘evil’ (and living outside of our realm of choice.) For a month I waffled back and forth on including this hexagram, having reservations about putting this magickal tool on a seemingly ‘negative’ card. Because the symbol is used for banishing and invoking in some schools of magick, I couldn’t get it out of my head as the perfect ink for a card that symbolizes both addiction and liberation, and manipulation and freedom. The Devil is one of the tarot’s most powerful messengers of diving into shadow and invoking needed change, and so in the end this potent symbol won. If you wanted something more traditional, there are chains and a goat’s skull on his arm, although I’m pretty sure he wanted those there just to make you swoon.. 😉
@natydeva The Devil triggers us. Why? Because in the Devil we face our shadow. The Devil reflects the fragmented aspects of yourself and your psyche that you have banished, rejected, demonized. The Devil is an ultimate invitation to befriend our own shadow, only to realize that it is one of our most beloved and trustworthy allies in disguise. The Devil is the deepest source of inquiry and awareness that we have available on our journey of self-mastery. With your intention for clarity and expansion, you will begin to excavate the depths of your psyche and will become aware of your limiting, perhaps even self-sabotaging, patterns that you yourself have been allowing, proliferating and funding with your energy. The Devil is a sacred teacher on our evolutionary journey. In embracing it, we embrace ourselves and come into an even deeper alignment, which prepares us for the Tower that will ultimately liberate us from anything and everything that hasn’t been serving our highest good.
@asta_lander He’s like a siren...Irresistible but he wants to draw me in and then drown me.
@zanetasykes If you’re being honest with yourself it’s really you driving this train wreck. The question is, what need do you have that remains attached and locked in a cycle of dysfunction?
@straightforward.beauty It feels like he’s underwater, which means I’m underwater with him. And if I’m underwater I’m in way over my head, literally.
@cartomancy.and.crystals This Devil is temptation at its finest. It would be so hard not to bow to his whim and follow him voluntarily into the shadowy depth... losing all control. There is a subdued fire energy as well as a swirling coolness to him. His hair is a magnificent distraction that you could get lost in. The only way to be freed from his spell is by imploring tremendous willpower and strength. The “puppet” on his string is still trapped because he is cowering against his magnificent captor.
@newagehipster333 To me this feels like the devil (which is in all of us) is actually deeply misunderstood. He wants to talk, to help you bring your fears out into the open and into the light. I actually see him here as a friend to help light the darkness. It’s not him we have been afraid of all this time, but what we have hidden within ourselves. To me this is all about empowerment and self love of shadow work.
@madnessnlace Well you’ve done it. This card made me feel sick when I first saw it. I literally felt my stomach churn and shrink. You’ve managed to capture all of my exes in one beautiful and terrifying image. One if the biggest shadows I have is always entering into bad relationships with abusive men that have great hair, and piercing eyes. He’s reaching out promising you all your wildest romantic hopes and dreams will come true. They are all wrapped up in him... but underneath it all he’s a narcissistic psychopath. He will catch you in his web, spin you around until you’re dizzy so you can’t see straight anymore, he will gaslight and abuse you until you’re only a shadow of your former self. He will drain your energy like a spider drains blood. He will play with you like a puppet on a string and you’ll be so tired and dizzy you won’t know if you’re imagining it, or if it is real. He’s controlling, a master of emotional abuse. When he’s done with you and no longer wants you as his supply he will drown you, or discard you in a moment’s notice and you’ll never see it coming. You’ll be left wondering what you did, huddled on the floor crying, trying to make sense of the entire relationship, and how you were so easily duped by his pretty face. I think I may actually get sick. I’ve never had such a visceral emotional response to any card.
@andrealee_datsme He’s hiding something behind his back... not showing you his whole hand. There’s something you don’t know.
@spirit_blossom The concept of the devil to me is steeped in suppression of feminine mysticism, sexuality and voice. The idea that some evil force can lure you into sin feels so untrue, especially when sin is so closely linked to pleasure. Women burned as witches for “worshiping the devil” because they had connection to nature, their bodies, or their voice. This card is intriguing to me because his eyes seem kind and although he’s holding the strings, he also holds out his hand. This doesn’t feel luring or deceptive but more like... surrender? Like are you ready to take control of how you walk through life? Are you ready to take responsibility for your suffering? There’s an untamed rawness about him, like an animal, he’s baring all. He’s in chains because you gave away your power, your “chains” are only string and he doesn’t want to keep them. The limitations that we think are real or out of our control are illusions.