There is no Tarot card that is levied with more resistance, anger and fear than the Devil. The Devil asks us to face the abject: those aspects of ourselves that we hate and abhor, would like to block out, and may have even tried as we might to disown. It is no fun witnessing your own darkness.
When the Devil appears in a reading, it is asking us to acknowledge how the abject is influencing our lives. Sometimes in an unhealthy way when we allow our darkness to tempt or control us. We see this in addiction and other unhealthy behaviors. We see this in self-doubt and shame, allowing the Devil to own your beliefs about yourself and your life. We also see this in projection: What you judge, criticize and despise in others is in actuality what you judge in yourself.
But the Devil can also represent a normal stage we all must go through: When you push your own boundaries, test your ability to control your impulses, and break the rules of what you have been taught as wrong. Only when you test your limits do you know you can control them. We see this in all teenagers—they cannot learn to think for themselves until they reject in some ways what they have been taught.
On the first day of my Tarot Journeys workshop this Spring, I led the participants in a meditation to become conscious of their current path. At the end of the meditation, all participants were instructed to draw a card. One participant drew the Devil. Her first experience with Tarot ever and she drew the most despised card of the deck, chains and all.
She got angry and began to doubt and question the entire intuitive process that I teach in the workshop. I felt for her. But I also wanted to help her sit with what this discovery could mean for her. And I wanted her to see that she was being offered an empowering opportunity to change the course of the current path she was taking in the weeks to come.
During the Summer session of Tarot Journeys, a participant drew the Devil after a meditation focused on nurturing healing, forgiveness and self-love. “How can this be?” she exclaimed confused, shocked and angered. “Why is the universe messing with me?”
The universe wasn’t messing with her. In fact, it was asking her to love all aspects of herself, even the parts she had up to this point judged, pushed away and labeled unlovable. And it is through this process of embracing and accepting that healing would begin.
The Devil often arrives in Tarot readings quite unexpectedly because we do not like to face it. Whether we are levying hatred towards ourselves or others, the Devil appears to let us know we have trapped ourselves in the chains of ignorance. We have allowed our darkness to own a part of us. And so the Devil is always a bit of a wake up call to question our assumptions and beliefs about ourselves and others.
The difficult lesson of the Devil is just one reason why the Tarot is such a powerful tool for self-discovery and transformation. If you are ready to dive deep into your Shadow side, and bring those aspects of yourself that have been cloaked in darkness into the light, learn more about my course, Shadow Work with the Tarot. During a 3-day journey with The Devil and The Moon as your guides, you’ll complete a personal ritual into the Shadow realm.
Fall registration for Tarot Journeys is now open. Connect live with nine other seekers once a week for eight weeks as we explore different aspects of ourselves with the Tarot and learn to read Tarot intuitively. Learn more here.