What Message Does The Devil Card Offer?
By Kooch N. Daniels
Shackled, the human figures chained to the devil’s cube depicted on the 15th major arcana card of the Rider Waite Tarot, seem to be tethered to a force beyond their control. One can only wonder what predicament has gotten the naked man and woman in this situation. When we use this visual symbol to explore what might be hidden in querant’s psyche, it’s easy to place the archetypal concept of the “shadow”, the unknown or dark side of our nature, in the limelight.
If you’re reading for someone who typifies “the girl next door” and not a Darth Vader personality, what longings, desires, or passions, may be affecting her emotions while being pushed from conscious recognition or acceptance? Treading lightly (my personal reading style for this card), it is possible to give special attention to what challenges may be causing difficulties in a person’s life or uncover motives that may be unrecognized parts of a problem. Finding constructive ways to interpret this image can provide a powerful looking glass into complicated interior feelings that may be taboo or too embarrassing to discuss. If you’re not sure how to interpret the angelic prince of darkness who damned the Garden of Eden, you can always ask your client if there is a situation that is blocking their peace of mind.
Witnessed during a reading, the devil card conjures a sense of intensity. Even for an experienced reader, understanding the reality and underlying reason for this card’s metaphoric appearance may not readily come to the surface. Finding the answer to what issues it represents can also be done in part through psychological analysis of the symbols found in surrounding cards. If this diabolical image grows in importance during a reading, sometimes I say, “Don’t let the devil get you down” which translates as “don’t let negative forces take control of your feelings”. Explore possible ways that a person can make the message of this card a hopeful note to improve their relationships and have a happier life. Making light of darkness can bring cheerfulness to seriousness and a healing tone to your interpretation. After all, The Devil , also viewed by some as a representation of Pan, the pagan god of fertility, is just one great step on the Magician’s Journey.