The Meaning of the Devil Card in a Tarot Reading
In Jungian terms, the Devil tarot card represents the human “shadow”.
There is quite some variation in the different tarot decks when the Devil is represented. In most he is part human and part animal. Often he has the horns and legs of a goat and sometimes the talons of a bird of prey.
The images in this card are a symbol of the power of evil in the world, through man’s own animal urges: materialism and longing for power.
The card is also linked with Pan, the Greek goat god who is associated with nature at its wildest, untamed sexuality and the powerful force of animal desire that pulses through all creation.
Interpreting the Devil in a Tarot Card Reading
The Devil is a card which has often in the past been misunderstood and misrepresented. It is a one of the Major Arcana and it is a tarot card which cannot be lightly dismissed but at the same time, it is by no means one which should cause anyone to gasp in horror. It is a materialistic card in that in suggests impulse, temptation and possible obsessions.
However, this card in a reading also suggests the need to look at opportunities that are about to arise, and the people who may be involved in these, with understanding and emotion. When this card shows in a spread, the pull of temptation should be resisted. It is also possible that someone who has a powerful personality is pulling all the strings and it might feel as if some decisions are being made without the querent being consulted.
The querent should be urged to trust their intuition. If they feel, in their bones, that something is wrong, or that a decision is best refused, then they should follow their instincts, no matter what other people are suggesting they’re turning down.
On the other side of the coin, if they feel that what they are about to do is very right for them, again, they should disregard what others say and follow their instincts.
Reversed Meaning of the Devil Tarot Card
When the Devil card is reversed in a spread, the person for who the spread is for should be careful not to waste time, money and effort on reckless activities and unnecessary pleasures. An impish prank is likely to backfire.
This card can throw a bit of mischief over a reading. This suggests that deliberate misconceptions are being placed in the querent’s way. But once they realise this and they can recognise the warning bells, they will be able to cope with the situation.