Symbolism of The Devil in Tarot

Symbolism of The Devil in Tarot

What is the meaning of symbols in The Devil Tarot Card?

The Devil embodies the wildest and most unbridled aspects of our soul that we usually suppress.
Often we experience feelings of fear and shame in front of such hidden vices (such as lust, greed, and envy) and refuse to acknowledge their existence in ourselves.
The Devil teaches us to be aware and perceive as a whole all aspects of our soul, both dark and light.
He reminds us that we are all woven from good and evil.
If we are aware of our own flaws and mistakes, then we will be more tolerant of both ourselves and other people, i.e. let us no longer judge ourselves in others.
In Waite’s deck in card 15, the Arcana of the Tarot is dominated by the Devil himself, sitting on something like a stone pedestal. In front of him at his feet are two naked men, a man and a woman with horns and tails. They are chained to the curbstone with iron chains. It is immediately clear from the card that these people succumbed to the temptations of the Devil and sold their souls. All the depicted figures and details of the 15th Arcana indicate the essence of the card – a path led by temptation, dark instincts, weaknesses.
Carl Jung called these qualities our dark “shadow” nature.
The fact that we feel so uncomfortable alone with our base nature means that we usually project it onto other people in a way that we don’t have to face. It brings more devastation to our souls and causes more problems than if we dared to openly admit our vices and shortcomings.
When we manage to unblock those parts of our psyche that disgust us, we release a powerful stream of positive energy.

Archetype: evil done by man.

Symbolism of the Devil

This is Baphomet, which means “demon”, “idol”. It characterizes the degree of a person’s burden with karma. A symbol of the magical forces of astral light or a universal mirror, in which divine forces are reflected in the opposite, or lower state.

On the Devil’s forehead is an inverted pentagram (five-pointed star)
A symbol of the active indulgence of spirit into matter. It also symbolizes the death of the spiritual principle in a person. It means that the soul has fallen into the trap of the material human consciousness, preoccupied with the mundane, and not with the striving for the Highest at all. This is an evil spirit.

The symbol of wildlife, instinct. They denote not so much adultery as that everything remains in the primordial state, unchanged, for better or worse.

Triangular Head
The inverted pentagram warns against negative energy that pulls us down. But it also advises us to seek our personal quintessence, sprinkled to the ground, firmly rooted in the soil.

Devil’s Right Hand Raised Up
Which means black magic and destruction, blessing caricature. This is a sign of disbelief, materialism, curse. The palm is open, all fingers are pointing up, which means: everything is open to the eye. We look into the “black box” and find there something of value, or worthless junk.

Bat Wings
Emphasize the belonging to the night or shadow sphere.
A bat is an animal that is endowed with a very delicate sensitivity.

Goat Feet
Get rid of prejudices! The goat symbolizes the drives and instincts inherent in all animals. Don’t make anyone a scapegoat. Also: follow your own instincts.

Extinguished Torch
Which symbolizes destruction and evil intentions. A false light leading unenlightened souls to their own destruction. It also symbolizes our mission to bring light into darkness, to distinguish between positive and negative (for example, between attraction and repulsion). But first, the Devil mixes them up.
The hand with the torch is still down. It’s a sign that the catastrophe has not yet arrived and it can be prevented

A cube that is definitely too small for him.
This symbolizes the inconvenience that the Devil brings with his limited outlook on life. It is also a symbol of the material world (this is the throne of matter).
The black cube is the holy of holies in some religions (for example, the Kaaba in Mecca), but in the Western tradition it means raw material and unexplored depths of personality.

This is a message that we may find ourselves in a situation where we have become slaves of our thoughts, vices. This indicates that there is a limitation or dependency depending on the situation noted in the reading.
But they are thrown casually, they can be easily removed.
This shows that things can be changed and that your burden is not as heavy as it seems. If we submit to our own failures, then the bonds that bind us can be lifted with determination and willpower.

Adam and Eve (after the fall)
Their postures and faces do not speak of suffering. On the contrary, they seem content with their fate. The Devil’s card symbolizes “temptations” – attractions that are often forgotten on purpose, or simply do not want to admit them. They also symbolize the animal nature of man, sexual addiction, which enslaves the human soul.

Blunt Faces (men and women)
It is a symbol of their ignorance and limitation; they seem to be unaware that they are chained.

Nude Bodies
It hints that there is a lot of sexual energy in the Devil.

Symbolically similar to horns. People descended from heaven to earth not only as angels, but also as monkeys descending from trees. The task is to recognize and ennoble what has been preserved in us from primitive nature.

Black Background Color
Reflects the classic meaning of this color: evil, unhappiness, envy, evil eye. It also symbolizes the fear of the unknown and the unusual, which from time to time covers each of us.

Number 15
This is the number of the Full Moon (usually its peak falls on the 15th lunar day). The Full Moon is a time of delusions, misleading, and the rampant of dark forces.
The number of spiritual ascensions, the fifteenth of the seventh month, was honored and sanctified. Mysteriously connected with the problem of good and evil. Can imperceptibly make a person a slave to pentagrams. For the Kabbalists, it represented the meaning of evil.
The number 15 in occult philosophy and practice has been identified with the so-called vortex, which has a dual nature. If we approach the innermost essence of the number 15 from the point of view of arcanology, then we can come to the idea of ​​choosing paths inherent in the very nature of the Arcana. This is predetermined by the mystical root of the number 15, which equals the number six, which is again related to the idea of ​​the original choice.

Arcana the Devil has many meanings. When dealing with the Devil, remember that fire can be both light and hell. The Devil is “the power that always wants evil and always does good”. There is no need to be afraid of him. You need to be able to identify and control The Devil.
If we are aware of our own flaws and mistakes, then we will be more tolerant of both ourselves and other people, i.e. let us no longer judge ourselves in others.


Discover symbolism of other Major Arcana:

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