Interpreting the Devil Tarot Card

An introduction to the meaning of the Devil tarot card

Devil Tarot Card The Devil tarot card represents temptation and excess, addiction and obsession, bondage and enslavement, all of which occur when our own overindulgent behaviour inhibits our ability to live a life that is both healthy and productive. Wrapped up in lesser pleasures such as sex, food, drugs, and alcohol, controlled by need and habit, the Devil tarot card symbolizes self-imprisonment of the soul by continually feeding the desires of the flesh. The Devil tarot card retains the qualities of power, ambition, and irresistibility, all of which are applied in an extreme form toward what is usually a materialistic goal or end. However, the Devil tarot card can also have positive connotations, for if power and desire are handled responsibly and restricted as to not become overbearing, success and achievement may be earned as potential outcomes.

The Devil tarot card depicts the Devil as the ancient goat-god Dionysius, the ruling embodiment of all hedonistic objectives, shown sitting in his throne while watching over a male and female captive. Initially, it appears as though the captives are just that, captives, imprisoned by chains and at complete mercy to the Devil. However, a closer examination reveals that the very chains which hang about the necks of the male and female figure are in fact loosely-fitted, and could easily be removed if wished.

The message that arises with the Devil tarot card is that although the chains of our habits are real, they exist only because we have chosen them to, and there is no other barrier to our own personal happiness than ourselves. If we are truly committed to overcoming our inner demons, the routines and forces which restrict our spiritual growth, then we must summon the will to step out from the chains of our destructive desires, understanding that the world is much bigger than the individual ego.

It's meaning in a Tarot Card Spread

The meaning of the Devil tarot card is influenced by the position of the card as it is drawn from the deck, the position it occupies in the card layout, and by the cards that are positioned before and after it.

The Devil tarot card - upright meaning:
When the Devil card lands in the upright position it reveals an over-focus on the material world. There is great ambition and a tremendous desire to succeed at any cost; however, spiritual needs have often been left abandoned.

The Devil tarot card - reversed meaning:
When the Devil card is in the upside-down/reversed position it discloses some form of bondage connected with the material world. There is a situation happening (or will happen) that involves enslavement to the darker aspects of life such as addiction, obsession or even criminality.

Keywords/phrases associated with the Devil tarot card:

Upright - ambition, desire, responsibility, determined, potential, security, material things, money, power

Reversed - greed, temptation, obsession, addiction, manipulation, struggle, lust, depression, oppression, underworld, evil endeavours

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Meaning in a Tarot Spread

Meaning Upright

Meaning Reversed