The Devil Tarot card is one of those cinematic favourites along with Death, The Tower and The Hanged Man to inspire fear in the viewer. There is much superstition around this character. While Christianity has not helped us understand what the Devil is really about, whether in the Bible or in the Tarot, studying Jungian psychology helps us gain a better perspective – one which can lead us away from scapegoating others.
1. The Devil Tarot card represents (among other things) the separate self (aka false self) and being cut off from Nature, as well as from other people and ‘God.’ This card is sometimes wrongly referred to as Shadow and other times as Ego. The separate self is the self that has developed the ability to self-reflect. This in turn leads to developing a conscience and to feelings of guilt and shame (hence the story of Adam and Even covering themselves with fig leaves). Being only half aware of our psyche (much remains in the cloud of our unconscious mind) and feeling separate (unique, special) the separate self scapegoats others…
Shadow is found in Death and The Moon; Ego in The Magician and The Sun. That is not to say that either of these cards are the ego, separate self or shadow. These archetypes are all so much more than and our beings are far too complex to divide up into a few glyphs.
Because the Devil, like God, exists ‘only’ in our minds, we can free ourselves but it is not an easy process, it demands a willingness to deep inner work and one of the first steps along the way must be to stop blaming/scapegoating others. This is the truth Christ, the ultimate scapegoat, came to teach us.
While we can transcend the separate/false self in this lifetime, we should not strive to transcend the ego (mainly because it’s impossible). We need the ego because it is our personality and it allows us to use our unique gifts. When we transcend the more subtle separate self through the process of at-one-ment, the ego is no longer in the driver’s seat.
2. The loose bits of rope (TdM) or chain (RWS) around the necks of the two demons/people signify that we are only as free as we think we are. It is interesting to note the progression from demons to humans for the two characters at the devil’s feet. It’s part of the way to stop with the scapegoating and realising that there is no other enemy than the enemy within.
3. Capricorn is the astrological correspondence for the Tarot Devil card.
4. The highest spiritual potential contained in the Devil Tarot card lies in appreciating the connection we have with the All and piercing the illusion of separation or the ‘us vs them’ paradigms we insist on creating.
5. When the The Devil shows up as the challenge, some questions for self-examination might be: ‘How am I deceiving myself?’ (the separate self is indeed the ‘Father of Lies’), ‘Am I apportioning blame?,’ ‘Whom do I need to forgive?,’ and ‘What steps can I take toward emotional/psychic liberation today?’
6. The Devil card corresponds with Archangel Cassiel, ruler of Saturn/Saturdays. The name Cassiel means ‘Speed of God’ and this Angel is known as both the Lord of Karma and ‘Father of Time.’ He is the ancient ruler of both Capricorn and Aquarius. Invoke his assistance for banishing curses and negative influences from your life. For candle magick, use a black candle. Crystals to use for connecting with Cassiel are black tourmaline, jet and snowflake obsidian.
7. On a day full of Devil card energy you may…
- Work really hard at improving yourself or your living standard
- Be disciplined
- Avoid temptation
- Tempt someone
- Blame someone for something going wrong in your life
- Find yourself scapegoated
- Be tempted
- Feel oppressed
- Be pessimistic about your future
- Repeat old, negative patterns or habits
- Feel better than others
- Feel like everyone else is a success while you are failing at life
- Feel limited
- Feel oppressed
- Oppress or bully someone
- Be abused or taken advantage of
- Succumb to our current materialistic and greedy paradigm
- Believe the worst
- Lose hope
- Experience health issues related to skin, teeth or bones – especially knees (Capricorn)
The Frideborg Tarot Devil Card
We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.
~ Maya Angelou