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The Devil Tarot Card

The Devil Tarot card


Excesses and extremes. Careless and unrestrained sexuality. Drug abuse. Alcoholism. Obsession. Perversion. Giving in to temptations. Exploring one’s deepest fantasies and desires. The Devil helps us unleash the repressed animal instincts we all have inside. Look closely at the card... This Devil is not Satan, this is Pan, the Greek Goat God of Pastures and Shepards, known for his extreme appetites. And also look at the chains around the necks of his "captives". The chains are so loose they could easily remove them. It is not by force the Devil holds them, it is by their own choice. He does not want to steal their souls, he wants to teach them to explore their inner selves. They could remove the chains and walk away at any time, but they choose to remain on the Devil’s leash. This card not only represents extremes of hedonism, addiction and self indulgence, but in some cases the opposite extremes of repression and abstinence. It is really a lesson on balance, teaching that extreme behaviour impedes achievement, progress and growth. When representing a person in a reading, the Devil is someone powerful and persuasive, likely a controller or manipulator, but also perhaps a teacher. Traditionally, violence, disease, force, drunkeness, passion, bondage, self destruction. When looking at one’s physical well being, be alert for physical or emotional abuse, addiction, or sexually transmitted diseases.


Most often, escape from the bondage of self destructive behavior. The subject is likely to realize the damage they are doing, and start down a more constructive path. Traditionally, liberation, recovery, understanding, virtue. In a few cases, though, the Devil reversed can represent succumbing totally to obsession or addiction, which explains the darker traditional meanings of pettiness, lust, bondage and bewitchment. In health matters, the Devil reversed suggests recovery from illness .


Element: Earth

Zodiac: Capricorn

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