The Devil Tarot Card MeaningStina Garbis
The Devil card is number 15 in the Major Arcana of the Tarot and represents the sign of Capricorn. It is the ultimate Lovers gone bad card. On this card, you see the Lovers chained to a block which is being presided over by El Diablo himself. The Devil is represented by the horned goat god of Mendes and has the horned astrological sign of Mercury on their chest, which is the perfect description of that the Devil is in the details and poisons our mind. The Lovers are naked and the Devil is lighting the man’s tail on fire, a similar image to the fire located behind the man on the Lovers card. If you notice the chains that are around the Lovers necks, they are loose and can simply be lifted off. But they choose to stay chained to the Devil, perhaps it is addiction, seduction, or just plain fun.
The number 15 is a mix of the numbers one and five, and added together to make the number six. This can stand for family and harmony and the spirit of nurturing. The Lovers on this card after all are together. But the number one is an independence number and five can be a number of sensuality and struggle. So while the number 15 can represent a family unit, it can also represent that each person in the family is expressing themselves to the exclusion of everyone else. It can bring a sense of selfishness that doesn’t take into account everyone’s needs.
The sign of Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn, who overturns his father Uranus. He chops off his dad’s penis because Uranus has been too prolific with his children and careless with his actions. So his wife, Gaia, asks her son, Saturn, to do something and to overthrow his father. In astrology, Capricorn tells us what is wrong and what we should not be doing. Capricorn is the ruler of the Devil because Capricorn is the one who highlights our evil deeds and declares that we are being ‘bad’. Is there really a right and wrong? Only if there is a judge that is telling us the rules. The judge is Capricorn, and Capricorn is overlooking our actions and is nitpicking who and what we say and is the one that declares that we should pay for our ill deeds.
The Devil card can represent addiction at its finest. Noting the chains around the Lovers necks represents our willingness to escape our mundane routines and just be bad or do the easy thing instead of the right thing. When we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing, then we are being swept away by the Devil. We can choose to do the right thing at any time, but what’s the fun in that when you can be bad? When we are swept away by our addictions, we turn our eyes away from what is holy and good. If we are addicted to anything, we are living our lives on our terms, and not on God’s terms. In some ways, our lives are to be of service to the divine and if we’re too busy messing around and doing what we shouldn’t be doing and instead just doing what we feel like with no boundaries, then we are not living by “thine” will. It is self will run riot and we are living as Capricorn would say, by the Devil’s will. .
The Devil can represent many types of poisons or sins, or can stand for any of the seven deadly sins. It can represent pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. It can represent drugs and alcohol in excess as well as sex. It can stand for lying and dishonesty to ourselves and others or bragging and being boastful or being just plain disgusting. It can mean that we’re shirking our responsibilities when we should be doing something else and that we are getting carried away by our bad habits or by pure laziness. It can stand for oppression, anger, and can also mean that we are not the ones doing these things, but that these things are being done to us. That life isn’t being fair and that a big man is holding the little man down. Unequal power. We are powerless over the ‘sins’ when we try to overcome our addictions or challenges with brute force. We need to step aside and let a higher power come through and come to our aid and allow for divine intervention. However, in a pagan sense, the Devil can also represent a good time, high spirits, and celebrating with wild abandon but beware of the hangover the next day. This card can also mean that black magic is being used.
In a relationship, this card can mean that you’re staying for the wrong reasons, or that it’s a relationship purely based on sex and pleasure. It can be oppression and that someone else is dictating your life, or that you simply keep getting hit on by slimy individuals. In a career it can mean that you are perhaps addicted to your job or that you’re working for someone who won’t let you get ahead. In general when you are caught by the Devil you may hang out in this situation for awhile or until you’ve had enough.
Reversed meaning: Reversed this card could mean conformity, changing your ways, and choosing to live a better life. It could mean that you are deciding to get sober, or even show up early to work. A radical conversion could happen, where the sinner becomes the saint. It can also mean that you give up friendships that are not helping you get ahead in life. It can mean a holier than thou attitude or a beginning of spiritual path, where now you are trying to do the right thing.
Yes/no meaning: When asking a yes, or no question, the Devil would most likely mean no. That someone else has the upper hand in your situation, and that life is out of your control right now. It would also mean that you have an opportunity to plead your case to a higher power, and that maybe your no answer can be overturned and you can get back on your merry path.