You bring out The Devil in me

The Devil. Not everyone’s favourite tarot card.

Often when The Devil turns up in a reading it’s to point out your unhealthy behaviour patterns, suggest addiction, remind you that your actions are detached from your ‘true self’ or otherwise tell you off about something. To my mind, anyway.

And that’s a damn useful thing to do.

I know when I see The Devil that it’s time to address my behaviour and sort my shit out. Here in the Shadowscapes Tarot, The Devil dances on the top of the prison where a naked person cowers – unable to free themselves from their cell simply because they won’t look up and see the key right there in front of them. It’s a sad, frightening situation.

The Devil tarot card Shadowscapes Tarot
The Devil tarot card Shadowscapes Tarot

The Devil, from the Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Piu-Mun Law

Still – it’s not always about doom, gloom and terror. Last week I read for a querent over on Autostraddle, and The Devil appeared in the ‘something to help you’ position.


I should point out that I was using The Wild Unknown Tarot – with an image very different to that from the Shadowscapes above. Here, the card shows a cheeky-looking goat with hooves aflame. I kinda like it!

The Devil tarot card Wild Unknown
The Devil tarot card Wild Unknown

In the context of the surrounding cards, the question, and the reading thus far, it was clear that this devil’s message was unlike the traditional interpretation. ‘Go for it!’, this card said. ‘Have a riot! Go out with your friends! Go out on the pull or party til dawn or generally indulge in a right old wicked good time!’

I wrote last week about this idea of ‘good cards and bad cards’ – as in, that there’s no such thing as a 100% ‘good’ or ‘bad’ card. This little devil illustrates that perfectly. Sure – if someone’s partying all the time and it’s making them miserable and they want to stop, the The Devil may well pop up to encourage them to address this.

But on the other hand, sometimes it’s time to take life a little less seriously.

Partying all night (or whatever) is not an inherently bad thing to do (or if it is, I’m totally going to hell…) and as often as not, it’s can be a healthy response to emerging from a difficult time. So right now I’m not intimidated by The Devil – I’m just looking forward to the weekend all the more 🙂


Like this post? Please share it!


  1. Ellen says:

    It seems you “go for it” too today. Reading your post I could use a bit a this devilish energy since I can be rather strict with myself. I like this depiction very much.I am going to have to look trough my decks for a kind version of the devil. 🙂

      • Little Red says:

        The Tarot of the Sidhe has been cropping up all over the place lately – may have to invest, it sounds wonderful. Is this the one by Emily Carding you blog with sometimes Ellen?

        Also… Shadowdance?! This I must see!

  2. I love this interpretation! The devil also reminds me of Pan sometimes, probably because the devil is a Christian symbol and they were definitely trying to villainize the pagans. I associate Pan with nature and our wild, free more animal selves. This seems to fit in with a bit of hedonistic night-time revelry.

  3. Strawb says:

    Thanks for this 🙂 I got the Devil card in a reading for “How can I find and develop love”? I was looking for something more positive and this gave me an idea on how to interpret it aside from staying away from and getting out of bad relationships, addictive patterns, unhealthy habits, etc.

Comments are closed.