Updated: Feb 8, 2022
But I Really DO love this Card! 💓
I know that I say I love all of the Tarot Cards, but I really do 💓 The Devil card because…well, let it suffice to say that I’ve wrestled with a few demons or two of my own. I'm almost 50 years old, y’all. So of course, there are many (many MANY😆😩) things that were once the lightening flash level amazeballs when I first encountered them (friends, substances, work environments, you name it) that ended up dogging me and bedeviling tf out of me as I journeyed down the line with them. We all have. Having fallen in love with something that eventually, over time, warps into a Misery-like Annie Wilkes/Paul Sheldon dynamic means that you've ALL that this card is–an archetype. I’m not gonna try to convince y’all that it doesn’t open some Hell mouth and I’m not a satanist because ain’t nobody got time for that. But I do love Lil Nas X. 😈.
Don't Be Scuuuured! 😨
No matter how The Devil Tarot card may be depicted, or how scary and gruesome your imagination, childhood, or religious indoctrination taught you about good and evil, when we see it in a reading, this cheeky little Devil has arrived to let us know that we have somehow and in some way have fallen under the spell of a lie.
How It Started 😍 vs. How it’s Going 😩
When I teach Tarot and we come to the Devil tarot card, I get excited because I get to go back to middle school and practice the literary concepts of comparing and contrasting. AND because the Tarot is in its most rudimentary essence a stack of picture cards, I get to do some show and tell. The story of the devil card has a very interesting beginning that many Tarot enthusiasts (and even professional readers) overlook: The Devil Tarot card is almost a mirror image of the official and Universal Tarot card of 2022: The Lovers IV. Don’t believe me? Then check it out!
Look Up !👀🔎 ⤴️
That's right if you look at The Lovers card and The Devil Tarot card side-by-side, they're almost a carbon copy of each other. So when I am teaching the Major Arcana to my students (check out my registry of classes here) I like to put both cards side-by-side and invite my students to describe and detail their ideas about what the journey looks like between the two. When we look at the Devil in this context, we see that it truly is an examination of that popular meme “How it started vs. How it's going.”
What does the Devil Card Mean for YOU? ↘️ ↘️ ↘️
When The Devil Tarot card appears in a reading or your daily Card-of-the-Day pull, it means that it’s time to acknowledge an unhealthy relationship and attachment to something. And it’s time to face up to the fact that a relationship and celebration of something (or someone! 👀😳) we once loved has turned into dependence and unhealthy and harmful obsession and possibly, an addiction. I’ll even share my own story.
Me and Nerissa 🙎🏽♀️💔🙎
I was once in a very toxic but intoxicating best friendship in college. I was a very lonely teenager so I've never really ever had friends before was just beginning to bloom in college, which meant I was a ripe target for someone to attach to me in an unhealthy friendship. And y’all at first it was amazing I felt as though I had someone that truly liked me for who I was. We dressed the same way, she suggested (so sweetly and gently) that we wear our hair the same way, adopt the same daily routine, and even date boys from the same fraternity. Completely ridiculous and red flags 🚩 🚩 🚩everywhere, I know. However, inevitably and over time, we came to have our first argument. And after she hacked into my email and then attacked me when I confronted her, I began to see and understand how toxic the friendship truly was. And I made moves (probably not the most mature or healthy ones, but then again this was the mid-90s) to remove myself from the situation. It was my very first dance with The Devil archetype.
The Good News 📰
The promise of The Devil is revealed when we gaze upon the two figures (what a long weary journey it’s been for “Adam & Eve” from The Lovers, huh?) sitting at the feet of the Baphomet. While they look a bit weary and drained by their “chains” (ie, their addictions and obsessions) they aren't on their knees in subjugation. They are not maimed, bleeding or dismembered. They simply look and feel helpless because they are still operating the spell of the euphoria of their first meeting and are now so numbed that they “feel” unable to move away from what binds them. That’s all the actual “devil” in the situation. If the morass, hardships, drama, chaos, and overall mess of their addictions became an actual substantial entity or apparition, it would probably look like the claw-footed Baphomet-like (or some folks say Pan-esque) figure on the pedestal. But the truth is that their chains are loose they can walk away from them at any time. Even if we feel as though we can’t!
The Devil and the New Year
So how can the appearance of the devil card in the New Year help us? Well first of all it invites us to simply be honest with ourselves. The biggest thing we can do is just acknowledge that something is devilling us. There is a monkey on our back and we'd like to remove it. Simply acknowledging what it is the damage it's done even what we've learned and gained from whatever the quote-unquote obsession is in the beginning and that we're now ready to release is a big first step as we get ready to tackle our goals objectives dreams and alignment in 2022.
Not the IRS, but you NEED an Audit
First, we can do an audit of whatever the unhealthy attachment is. Again get out The Lovers card and the Devil Tarot card and look at them side-by-side. Move them apart from each other, then look at that open space. It's the blank and your job, at this moment, is to fill in that blank. Answer the question, "What did I receive, at the beginning of this situation when it all felt so good? When did things start going sideways? And when did things start to go bad vs. when I realized that I was ready to get tf out? Even if you just do that simple exercise you're setting yourself up for success in 2022
Embrace optimism ☀️
And no, I’m not joking. The fact that The Devil Tarot card appeared means that you know there's an issue and as innumerable 12-steppers can confirm, THAT is the most important thing you can do. Acknowledge the problem/addiction/obsession. If you do that, you can absolutely embrace optimism! Because if you acknowledge the problem you can begin to create space and start putting together an action plan and taking some inspired steps to get tf out of the situation. Look at the Devil card as a portal. Its appearance is an opening and a way out of the darkness. How?
Practice those “What If” statements, girl.
My friend Jeff when confronted with querents who just can't comprehend getting themselves out or moving out of stressful situations, always encourages them to begin with what statements. This is so simple, it costs absolutely nothing and you don't even need a pen and a piece of paper–this isn't a journaling assignment. Simply begin by asking yourself, “What if I was free of this toxic friendship?” “What if I called a recruiter and asked her to start looking at other job opportunities that might be right for me? What if I just didn't pick up the damn phone when my toxic in-laws/parents/co-worker try to call me or text me? Start with these simple “What if” statements and follow them down the line.