The Devil Tarot Card
The Devil Meaning
The simplicity of the Devil is what makes it an excellent ally in one's reading, for it always gives information about lessons of the Soul that are due and that can only be overcome by a rise in consciousness and self-acceptance. In general, this is a card with a negative symbolism, showing us that it is time to let go of certain things, goals and rigid ideas that tie us down to the material world or the lower instinctive or social simplicity that doesn’t make us happy. It is the challenge of destiny, the fatal attraction of souls that have yet to learn, and it is there to test our faith in good and make us angry, sad, even furious and depressed, until we see beauty in all things that seemed to be disconnected in duality. This card calls on our hearts to cleanse through negative, burdening or dark emotions and circumstances, and while it might announce a time of difficulty, it is the strangest, deepest friend we wish to rely on to get our emotions out in the open so we can deal with them from a clear perspective. Returning us to ancestral patterns of behavior, chosen paths that we are pulled into by genetic magnetism, family karma and curses from our past lives, it gives us a chance to untangle our darkest shadows if we jump into a challenge with an open heart and focused on our personal spiritual and emotional growth. It is raising its hand to tell us to stop and see how dysfunctional the bigger image is, and what we aren’t seeing while being guided by too many inner polarities that simply aren’t the truth of life we strive for.
The forces that bring a couple together when the Devil is a part of a love reading are in fact the deepest challenge of love and attraction between two souls that needs to be cleansed. The role and the image of a bond isn’t what it seems and while both people might seek a simple romantic getaway and someone to cuddle up with, this romance doesn’t seem to be anything peaceful or light in its core. As if two enemies have just met to find love for each other and heal matching inner oppositions and deeply rooted conflicts, this card announces an emotional struggle and a tear between emotion and sexuality, between instincts and actual satisfaction that brings peace. It calls on us to overcome our shadows and see what the other person is showing inside our inner world so we don’t get entangled in spiritually lower feelings, instinctive darkness, jealousy, or blame-shifting that leads nowhere.
The Devil set in a career reading is possibly the toughest challenge to overcome, for things that seem to be pure ambition and commitment seem to come from the wrong inner motives. A person is set on their path to show how powerful they can be, instead of choosing a professional path of love and creativity they will actually enjoy. It is not easy to raise awareness over deep issues of the Sun that possibly led us to succeed our entire lives, showing us how positive and structured we may look in the outer world while we are in fact falling apart on the inside.
Incredible amounts of compassion for the inner child and personal boundaries are needed to heal issues governed by the Devil. Sickness to the body comes from toxic influences, from responsibilities taken from others while we failed to hold on to being responsible towards Self. Typically, this card shows the core of our inner wound that hasn’t been dealt with until it created physical problems that reflect on our tendency to dismiss our own authentic emotions and needs. Self-destructive, governed by pleasures that anesthetize the actual emotional flow within, a person with this card in a health reading needs to change their lifestyle, rise above excuses for choices that make them sick and deal with the most painful inner processes without delay.
The Devil Reversed
The card of the Devil is usually reversed in a reading when a person tries to hide from responsibility and turns their own heart upside-down, shushing it to sleep or running from inner voices to achieve something that seems satisfying but really isn’t. It is the wrong intent and the inability to listen to the symbolism and synchronicities sent by the Universe, as wrong interpretations jump in and dark convictions push us over the edge. This card isn’t very flexible and demands change without compromise and speaks of temptations we don’t even recognize as such.
The Devil Time Line
Past - Depending on the rest of the layout, the Devil shown in one's past either shows dark shadows and inner issues we were able to overcome, or sets a dark and negative foundation for our current living situation. It should be carefully interpreted as it may color the rest of their life if the wound is still open and change never actually happened in a way that supports the inner child and their true heart's calling while goals were ambitiously chased for, money was made and positions and status have been reached.
Present - This card in the now should be observed as the challenge of faith. Purity of the heart is needed or things might go to waste, tear apart or pull us into circles of karma that we thought we were done with in the past. What we can’t see, the unconscious substance of it all, has a tendency to control us and lead us to believe that there is evil, injustice and darkness in the world that is in fact carried inside our own bruised heart and yearning to be healed.
Future - Time is approaching when we’ll have to face our demons, and all those things we have been unconsciously avoiding for a long time. This card wants us to give up on forms and poses that aren’t authentic and won’t really let us compromise or be governed by the wrong impulse to feel power over other people. A strong sense of purpose needs to be evoked in all our doings so that we can see how circumstances and other people reflect on the core of our personal emotional world, instead of shifting responsibility to any outer authority so we wouldn’t deal with pain that is in fact – ours.
The Devil History
This card has always been connected to temptations of ego, ever since the first known divination practices. The Devil has been depicted always in a strange, distorted earthly form, as a goat, a ram, someone with bat wings and horns of a bull, showing dysfunctional halves and pieces to a whole that seem to present a bigger picture that we are to accept just as it is. In the tarot of Marseille, it was shown with a face on the belly and eyes on the knees, and always had at least two figures that stand tied, chained, or in a bubble (of not knowing) at the Devil's feet.