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  • Writer's pictureLaurita Brito

Tarot and Art - the Devil Card

The Devil in Tarot

General meaning of the Devil Card: attachements, shadow self, restriction, sexuality, addiction.

Tarot of Dreams:

The Devil is depeicted as dark and ominous. It holds on to chains that are attached to a cage where the Fool (us) can be found inside cowered in fear; naked and vulnerable. However, the fool himself is not physically chained, and the door to the cage is wide open. The fool is free to walk out, the only thing that holds him back are his fears.

What fears hold you back?

In the Light Seers’ tarot

We see an image of a man with a mesmerizing gaze. His hand is stretch out to us (the querent/reader), inviting us or calling to us. Nothing looks threatening about this man, rather he looks sensual and attractive, yet suspicious. If you pay close attention, you can see the puppet strings around his fingers holding on to the mind of a man barely seen below.

What is it you feel comfortable with despite it being bad for you, that you fear letting go of?

in the traditional Raider Waite Tarot (gold foil)

We see a depicttion of hell. The Devil looks out with scary eyes. We see two sinners chained to the throne of the devil, letting us know they have become his slaves. The punishment for making the wrong decision is to loose our freedom.

But what in our lives keeps us chained and from moving forward, from actually being free?

Symbolism and reading

Across the 3 decks, the devil card at a glance makes us uneasy. Whether it is a mysterious man alluring us, an image of sinners bonded in hell or being in a cage. There is both fear and hesitation in all depictions.

The Devil card as a major Arcana card, it is part of the Fool’s journey. It is that point in whcih the Fool must atone with his sins or face his hell; the hell he has created as a result of his choices or lack of decission.

We are all responsible for the choices we make in life. We reap what we sow. We may regret decision we make and that is difficult to bear with. So the fear of making the wrong decision, often holds us back from moving forward at all. That is the essense of the devil card, our fears hold us back and we create this illusion of entrapment that brings us discontent or, we create the illusion that we are fine where we are as we are for fear of the pain that comes with growth… for fear of the unknown. Hell is the symbol of an unhappy place.


The Devil card, also know as Lucifer which means, bringer of light, is afilliated with Capricorn, the teacher of the zodiac. Capricorns are ruled by Saturn, lord of Karma… and what is Karma but lessons which need to be learned. Capricon’s symbol is half goat half mermaid. Like the mountain goat, it has the ability to climb high peaks with great vantage point, but the mermaid tail also indicates that it has been to dark depth as well. Giving Capricorn an understanding of both the shadow and the light. Capricorn is about learning lessons, and The Devil card, is showing us those lessons that need to be learned in order to walk into our own light.

The Reading (extra)

Wheel as a second card

The wheel is representative of timing and fate. Therefore, following the Devil card, it is time for us to face our shadows, our fears; decide what part of us we need to heal, what are we walkig forward with, and what are we leaving behind? What needs to be different moving forward in order to carry out our destined purpose in life?

Bottom of the deck: Palace of Coins from Tarot of Dreams

Home… for some of us, these changes will directly affect our home life. Perhaps we need to redefine our desires and needs in order to recreate the home we want. What is home, where is it?

Personal note:

This reading resonated with me greatly. I feel in the past months I’ve slowly been arriving and expecting this point… some sort of border, and in order to cross over it into new land, I must release all the baggage that I’ve brougth with me in the journey. From this point forward those things that kept me safe in the previous path, will not be of any use in the next. Safety isn’t always happiness, and holding on to safe will never set me free. Of course this is all but a metaphor. What I really wish to let go of, is the way I see people in my life, and the way I’ve done relationships. I want to love differently and without attachments to; thought patterns, mechanisms of self defense, judgements, pain. I was once capable of doing it for a brief moment, and it felt great. I want to be able to forgive and see differently those who wish to stay and those who wish to come back. New relationships don’t always need to be with new people, but rather with new versions of ourselves and others. I am forming new relationships with an old home, a new dog, friends of the past, with new friends, and friends that have stood the test of time.

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