The Devil is one of those cards that elicit a strong reaction in people when it appears in a spread!
In most Tarot decks, a horned beast holds a naked man and woman chained to one another as though they are puppets on a string. There is often an accompanying smirk on its face.
Ominous, isn’t it?
But is the Devil card all bad?
No Tarot card is “all bad” or “all good.” They simply are. The Devil card is no exception – but, indeed, the Devil often encompasses the shadow side of life in readings, which presents challenges to the sitter. It represents addictions of all kinds, whatever is forbidden, and most often a battle between desire and morality.
Let’s take a look at this ominous card!
The Devil & The Lovers
The Devil is the 15th card of the Tarot and part of the Major Arcana. When you break down the number 15, you get 1+5 = 6. 6 is the number representing The Lovers card, and it is here that we see the similarities and differences between The Devil and The Lovers.
In many spreads, The Devil can be seen as “The Lovers, gone wrong.” In The Lovers card, we see two people naked under the light of an angel. It embodies the perfect love, a soulmate union, and the height of desire in its purest and most innocent sense.
In the Devil, these same two people are now bound and chained with a malefic figure grinning down on them as it watches them struggle.
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The Devil & Astrology
The Devil card represents the darker side of human nature. Some may view it as evil, others may see it as the side of ourselves that we tend to repress as the dark side is often frowned upon by modern society.
In Scorpio – the sign most associated with the darker side of human nature – we see how the Devil delves into all that is dark and destructive about us. Scorpio seeks to transform darkness into light, and only by meeting The Devil head-on can they do this.
In Capricorn, the sign representing The Devil card, we see the struggle between the human Soul and material/physical desires. We see in Capricorn how the darker side of human nature epitomizes when Capricorn is operating in its most negative way: a lust for money, sex, and an attempt by the Ego to eradicate the Soul’s wishes.
What Does the Devil Mean in Love & Relationships?
In a relationship reading, The Devil can be welcoming or devastating depending on the context. The Devil rarely has a mild meaning to it when it appears in a relationship reading.
If it shows up in the position of feelings, it can mean that someone has got the hots for you – badly! This person likely fantasizes over you and thinks you’re extremely sexy.
However, The Devil is rarely without its consequences. It is not unusual for this card to show up when someone is lusting after someone else while being committed to another, or where the attraction is ‘forbidden,’ such as a worker and their boss, or a man who fancies his brother’s wife.
If in a committed relationship, this card can also mean strong sexual attraction; it could mean you are very happy with your sex life – and may even want to engage in some kind of bondage!
However, The Devil can also mean that someone feels trapped in a relationship or obsessive over you. They may feel ‘bound’ in a relationship, and this is why this card often shows up in a relationship that may be toxic. The sex may be great, but there may be personality struggles or negative attachments that are generating destructive and devastating feelings.
The Devil card is often a warning in a relationship reading – love has become unhealthy, corrupted, or twisted in some way. While intense obsession in a relationship may seem flattering to some at first, it can quickly turn sour and frightening.
Read this next: What is the Tarot Trying to Tell You in a Love Reading?
What Does the Devil Mean in a Career Reading?
If The Devil shows up in a career reading, it can indicate an unhealthy obsession with money taking over your life.
The Devil represents a strong attachment to the material – money, cars, objects, things. It indicates an obsessive drive to acquire material goods. Your spiritual side may be neglected as you strive to succeed on the material plane.
The Devil can also indicate that you have the drive and determination to succeed. It indicates that you have the charm, appearance, smooth-talking ability, and intelligence to succeed in your career. This is a positive thing, and when The Devil is harnessed in this way while keeping your eye on the long-term goal without getting too caught up in the material, it represents the Devil’s energy operating at its best.
What About the Devil Tarot Card as an Obstacle?
The Devil is that cute guy at the bar who says, “Just one more,” and then offers you another drink. It’s that charming car salesman that convinces you to buy the car you’re not entirely sure about, but his wit and charm are so wonderful that you question how you could even doubt him!
The Devil is that seductive woman who smiles at you from the other side of the room as you wait for the plane to take you back to your wife and family.
The Devil is temptation in every way, shape, and form. It is the battle between the base human desire and standing by our morals of what is right and just. Temptation is all around, and therefore so is the Devil.
The wrestling match between the Higher Self and the Lower Self, which the Scorpio sign embodies, is one that everyone goes through to some degree or another. As such, the Devil serves as an obstacle almost every day of our lives, whether it’s trying to resist that piece of cake you know you will regret or trying to avoid the lusty gaze of the handsome stranger across the room.
What About the Devil in Reverse?
The Devil reversed is, in almost all cases, a positive sign.
It signifies breaking free of the chains that bind you, whether it is an unhealthy attachment to another, a toxic relationship, an unhealthy thought pattern, an addiction, or anything that holds you back from your soul mission or Higher Self.
The reversed Devil calls you to confront your fears and anxieties. By doing so, you are then able to break free of the chains that have had a hold of you.
Read this next: Everything You Need to Know About Reversed Tarot Cards
How to Make the Devil Card Work For You?
There are ways to understand the Devil card at a deeper level and see how you can make it work for you. Context when reading Tarot cards is always important; only you will know if the Devil represents something positive or negative in your reading. The surrounding cards will also play an important role.
The Devil is neither all good nor all bad. It represents the darker, often repressed side of us and the darker sides of society that people tend to shy away from.
Here are ways you can make the Devil work for you.
1. Positive Affirmations
If the Devil card shows up and represents an unhealthy affliction or bondage of some kind, positive affirmations can help you break free.
Affirmations such as ‘I will break free of the chains that bind me’ or ‘I will not succumb to temptation’ can be very helpful.
2. Meditate on the Card
Sometimes, simply sitting with the Devil card and meditating on it for a while can be a great way to get greater insight into the card. This is your intuition’s way of getting through to you, so write down any words or images that randomly appear in your mind.
3. Place the Card on Your Altar
Keeping the Devil on your altar to remind you of his energy is a good way to make the Devil card work for you. This helps you understand it better, and when you grasp it at a deeper level, you can use the Devil’s energy to work for you. Rather than letting the Devil rule you, be the ruler of him instead.
If you do not have an altar, using incense to cleanse the card and placing it in a visible place can be a good replacement for this.
However, the Devil has an important message for us, and it is one that our Scorpio friends understand well. Only by accepting, understanding, and integrating our shadow side can we hope to truly understand the light side of ourselves and become the very best version of who we are.
When you run from the Devil, he will inevitably catch up with you. When you succumb to his every whim, he will use you for his own purposes. Only when you stand and face him as an equal and take time to understand him can you fully grasp how he works and why.
It is then that you become the master of the Devil, and his grip on you relinquishes. Our nature’s dark side can only control us when we pretend it isn’t there or when we run from it.