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, 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!
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 🙂
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.