15 - The Devil

Ο Διάβολος

The Devil card stands for one of the greatest fears of man: the uncontrollable forces of evil that haunt or punish us for our deeds. This card often causes feelings of fear or panic, but like the Death card, this is a widely misunderstood card. Let's see what the Devil Tarot card is about. 

General Meaning

The Devil card is illustrated with a gigantic, monstrous, horned creature with a human body, bat wings and goat legs, sitting at his high altar against a black background. At the base of the altar a man and a woman, both naked, are chained by the neck. The Devil is holding a torch, the only source of light, turned downwards. He seems to be mocking the Hierophant by the gesture of his right hand while his crown is an inverted pentacle. 

The Devil is associated with everything we have been taught to consider immoral, sinful, perverse and destructive, such as sexual desire, ambition, lust, material pleasures, extravagance, materialism. The Devil is a card that shows our dependencies in the most eloquent manner.

On one level, the appearance of the Devil in a spread indicates materialism: love of money, extreme ambition, unbridled sexual life, gluttony, and even substance abuse. Man succumbs to what he pleases and enjoys the pleasures of life to the fullest. But he feels bound. This binding is associated either to guilt or to harmful habits which lead to loss of control over one's life. Therefore, the Devil is usually the card which shows anger, guilt and confusion. The person feels like a prisoner of his desires and also unable to do anything to change this situation.

But the Devil card also indicates the way to liberate ourselves from any bondage. If you take a closer look at the card, you will notice that the chains around the couple's necks are loose enough to be removed, as long as the two people wish to do so. But they don't. Either because they have no conscience or because they prefer to stay caught up in there for a while ... Whatever the situation, the message of the card is clear: if you feel guilty, depressed or angry about your choices and lifestyle, it's up to you to withdraw from what is hurting and disgracing you. If not, enjoy what is happening to you and accept yourself for who you are. 

The Devil also stands for temptation. The thing is that you may feel trapped in both cases: that is if you decide to be tempted or the opposite. The Devil is a very powerful and creative card. In other words, you may want to re-examine the restraints you have put on yourself. Hurting and deceiving people should always be avoided but sometimes you may need a boost of self-confidence, so this card can be beneficial in an advisory position. Pursue your ambitions, proceed with courage, express your passion in all your activities and you will soon find everything you want. Another strong aspect of this card is ignorance: no matter what you do, keep your eyes open and your mind clear. Needless to say perhaps that on a third, more practical level, the Devil indicates powerful sexual attraction or a passionate relationship that startles you. 

In negative position
If the Devil card appears upright in a negative position, it is an indication of entrapment in anger and other negative emotions. You can't seem to find a way out. Make sure you steer clear of temptation of any king, at least for the time being, and try to regain your self-respect. Alternatively, you may be too concerned with the material side of things. There could be greediness, lust, addictions and manipulation.

If the Devil appears reversed in a spread, it is a sign of great anger, guilt and despair. You feel like or really are the victim of manipulation and deception. Someone is using you and you feel powerless or unwilling to react. This vortex seems to be sweeping you up, draining all your mental and physical energy. There is ignorance and obsession. The reversed Devil is a warning of upcoming destruction unless you take some action to break the vicious cycle. Stop sabotaging yourself. There are other things in life that you refuse to see. Remember that no-one and nothing can bind you unless you allow it.


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