Sympathy for The Devil…?

IMG_4248The Devil.

Every Tarot card covers a range of meanings, some “good” and some “bad.” But The Devil is maybe the card that covers the very widest range when surveyed across multiple people.

I’ve seen this card light up faces because it seems to promise wicked glee, and I’ve seen it turn other faces the color of ash, as their owners believe that some capering demon might actually appear in a burst of brimstone at any moment, to impale their soul on a pitchfork and carry it screaming down to whatever infernal nether-region this demonic being might hail from. The Devil can be about vice, involuntary bondage, and sincere evil, for sure…

But The Devil can also be about certain varieties of freedom, reclaiming our buried shadow-selves, and questioning things that many others have swallowed whole without a second of critical thought.

What’s your take? Do you fear this card? Or do you have sympathy for The Devil…?

4 comments

  1. I like the Devil card! I think it’s an interesting prompt to our Shadow Selves, like you mentioned. What is keeping us “chained” in the very depths of our souls? I can see why that would be scary to some and exciting to others!

    • I think you nailed it here, Katzi: a lot of the wildly varying reactions to The Devil are down to the beholding parties’ individual perceptions. Maybe The Devil is even more tied in to a given person’s subjective responses than the other cards in the deck…? But I’m with you: I pretty much like The Devil!

  2. I’ve got no problem with the Devil card and I agree with Katzi about this card representing our shadow. In the RWS deck, the Devil isn’t forcing the people to do anything. He’s not even touching them. Maybe he’s so charismatic that people will just do what they think he wants. Everyone always says “the Devil made me do it.” But did he…really??

    • Hi, Kristen! Very interesting observation about how The Devil in the RWS deck isn’t actually holding a gun to anybody’s head in order to get them to go along with his “rule!” I like your line of thinking here a lot! I think this card is so intriguing, and that’s just on its own merits — add in the vast amount of flux in the way that it’s perceived across the field of readers out there, and that only adds to the card’s mystique…

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