KEYWORDS: Jealousy, Materialism, Despair, Bondage, Addiction, Hopelessness, Sexuality
CARD DEFINITION: Your dark side may be trying to take over your good side. Do not give in to materialistic decisions that may spoil your life. Give up habits that are doing you harm. There may be an unexpected failure or loss; you may feel frustrated and oppressed.
REVERSE DEFINITION: The handicaps that you fear most may be overcome. Nothing is clear in your life at the moment. Do not let the past affect your present. Greed, abuse and emotional blackmail are written on the card. There is nothing but evil tendencies in all your actions.
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Interpreting The Devil Card
The sixteenth card in the sequence of the tarot deck is the Devil. It is rather similar to the tarot's version of Death in that it's often completely misunderstood. People have a tendency to look for the ultimate evil outside of themselves, as it's difficult for them to face the truth - that evil and malice are things that live and grow inside the human psyche. It is only when we realize and learn to accept this truth that we can begin to get to a place where it no longer controls our lives and dictates our actions. The Devil also can be said to represent baser pursuits that have a tendency to eat away at lives, such as obsession with the material world.
The lesson the Devil teaches us is one of simple awareness and human empowerment. Once you begin to realize that darkness or the potential to do evil is a natural part of each and every member of the human race, you can then begin to gain mastery over it. All human beings have the capacity to get the upper hand over evil by tapping into the complementary goodness that also dwells within us all. Once you become properly self aware to the point where you are no longer controlled by the seed of darkness that inevitably dwells somewhere within your heart, you also gain freedom from fear of being controlled by other people, as well as other forces that are always at work in the world at large.
The traditional tarot image attached the Devil is notable right off the bat for the way it both mirrors and mocks two of the previous cards in the sequence of the tarot - the Hierophant and the Lovers. In the center of the design of the card is the Devil himself in a pose highly reminiscent of that of the Hierophant. However, instead of raising his right hand in blessing, he raises his in the reverse - a curse. His left hand holds a flaming torch in such a manner that it points downward toward the earth, suggestive of the effect the powers of the Devil tend to have on our world. In the foreground of the image are the same Adam and Eve figures we see in the Lovers card, although this time, they are chained to the altar of the Devil, symbolizing what happens when humans let materialism take over their lives.
When the Devil card makes an appearance in a tarot spread, it is typically letting the querent know that he is currently in a situation that has robbed him of control over his own life in one way or another - most likely through his own mistakes (or possibly his own mistaken perceptions). However, the appearance of this card also signals the possible start of a chain reaction that can lead to no good if it's not nipped in the bud sooner rather than later. Poorly thought out actions lead to loss of control and loss of control in turn leads to insecurity, depression, and further inactivity. Once elements like that set in and begin to affect a life, it can be very difficult to turn things around.
The solution to this dilemma is for the querent to reclaim control over his personal power and identity. The Devil and evil can only conquer you if you believe they can. This is a call to leave ignorance, indolence, and materialism behind. True happiness and success results from getting in touch with the spiritual being at one's core and realizing that strength comes from withinů not without. The querent should begin by examining his life for ways he can have more faith, wave good-bye to the material, and believe in himself more. If he does this, then he might be surprised to find out how quickly the Devil runs for cover and disappears.