The Devil appears to hold you back…but does he really? Are those chains loosely bound on you just like the figures in the card?
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The Devil – Description
The image of The Devil is Baphomet – a half man, half goat. He does have horns on his head, and he has an inverted star on his forehead. So, Baphomet is where our idea of what The Devil looks like comes from as far as I know. So that is why Baphomet is used in this picture. But you can see that Baphomet is on a pedestal and there are two figures in front of him, both nude, and they are a male and a female. In the image, you can see that the depiction of The Devil includes bat wings and the two figures in front of The Devil here are in chains. But look closely because those chains, even though they’re wrapped around those figure’s necks, those chains are very loose so that they could slip them off if they wanted to. That’s going to be important. You’ll also notice that the two figures are now growing horns and they have a tail showing that they are becoming more and more like The Devil in the image the longer they stay chained.
The Devil – Upright
Addiction – Self Restriction
Now, when The Devil shows up in your reading in the upright position, it really signifies addiction and self-restriction. So, remember how I was talking about the description of the chains on these figures and how they are loosely bound around the figure’s necks? So, this is really symbolic of the fact that yes, they may be tied to this situation, but they do have the power to free themselves if they really wanted to. This is important because The Devil in the upright position is here to tell you that yes, you might be held back in a certain situation. You might be experiencing a setback or maybe you’re addicted to something, but you have the power to let go. You’re just choosing not to. So, in this case, The Devil is here to show you that you’re choosing instant gratification over the long-term goal. The Devil in the upright position is also here to remind you of your shadow self and he’s here to tell you that you are seeing your shadow self as bad.
Now I’ve talked about the shadow and shadow work before, so listen to that episode if you don’t fully understand that aspect of this card. But The Devil is here to show you that you’re seeing the shadow as a separate entity from yourself and you’re seeing it in a negative light. And that is something that needs to be changed. Now The Devil can also show up in your reading in the upright position to let you know that you are seeing this thing, whatever it is – for what it is. You are seeing that it is bad, that it is holding you back and that maybe you’re addicted to it and you’re restricting yourself. But The Devil is showing you that you need to acknowledge that fact before you can let it go. Acknowledge the hold that it has on your life and the role that it plays before you can release it.
The Devil – Reversed
Release – Detachment
Now in the reversed position, The Devil is all about release and detachment. You’re finally ready to kick that bad habit or to leave the addiction behind you and The Devil card in the reversed position is here to encourage that growth within you. The Devil showing up in the reverse position can also be a sign to you that you are finally embracing your shadow self and seeing it for what it is – not a negative aspect of your life, but a part of who you are. On the other side of that, The Devil can show up reversed in your reading if there’s something going on with yourself that you’re hiding from the rest of the world. Maybe there is an aspect about you that you’re afraid to show other people and The Devil is here to acknowledge that part of you and let you know that you need to figure out the reasons why you’re hiding yourself from the world around you and from those closest to you.
And lastly, The Devil card can show up in your reading in the reversed position to let you know that you’re ready to detach yourself from the material possessions around you. Now, this can be something as small as letting go of your favorite coffee cup or it can be something as large as realizing that you need to let go of the home that you live in. It doesn’t necessarily mean let go as and get rid of. It means let go as in detach yourself emotionally from that particular object or that particular subject. So, this is something that’s actually really common in modern society. We’re all attached to our things and our possessions, and The Devil reversed is all about detaching and breaking those chains that have a hold on you so that you can live your life to the fullest.
o Rider-Waite Deck: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rider-Waite_tarot_deck
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