Tarot Card meaning for the Devil

The Devil is one of the least liked cards for most people in most Tarot decks. We see a scary-looking creature, looking straight at us. As with most cards we are prompted to look closer and deeper into the cards so we can find more hidden meanings. The people in this card are bound by chains to this creature. Note, however, that the chains are loose and the figures in this card are free to move away from, and / or face their devil when they are ready.

If you find this card disturbing please refer back to an explanation about this card in our “scary Tarot cards” series. I explain (with a video) that the devil really isn’t a scary card and explain how we can interpret this card well.

As a day card

Today we have the opportunity to look our Devil in the eye. This card can mean all sorts of things but is often associated with thought patters and habits that might not suit us in the long run.

What does this card represent for you? What power does he have over you – what makes you feel tied down by him? As you can see the chains on the card are loose, we too can break loose and walk away from the Devil at any time: the choice is ours.

Note: Even though he is not the most handsome guy around (aka he might be a bit frightening). He highlights some behaviour patterns we can become aware of and do something about. (Which in turn is quite empowering, don’t you think?)

Negative or Reversed meaning for this card

Feeling chained down by this creature. We first need to come to the realization that we are chained down and then we need to find the courage to do something about being under the ‘powers’ of the devil. There is something like this in all of us and we often prefer on a more or less unconscious level to stick with the devil we know rather than venture out into the unknown (even though it could potentially be a better and a more liberating future).

How the card could present itself in real life

The Devil can present itself in many ways in our day to day lives. It could encourage us to eat too much, drink too much and do things that are not in our best interest. It could mean we feel chained down to a job or a relationship.

On a positive note it could highlight the fact that we are ready to move on to bigger and better things but in order to get there we need to face some of our fears head on.

In my own life I could relate this card to my strong feelings of home sickness I had as a child all the way through to my teenage years. There was however a big part of me that wanted to travel, that part won out and got me on a plane to Australia. I cried most of the 24 hour flight from Europe to Australia but upon arrival stopt and I have never felt homesick after that – the fear was faced and dealt with.

How this card is represented in other tarot decks

In the Rider Waite deck the concept of this card comes to the front as a being. In other decks we see a range of different figures representing this being. In some decks however, we do not see ‘the devil’ as such, more the concept of bondage and the lack of freedom to move to where we would like to go.

In all decks this card encourages us to look at our fears, to face them and break through to the next level. Being free from our inner demons can be a liberating experience this card could therefor in some cases indicate a fantastic process we are going through. One in which we can learn and grow allot.

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