The Devil Tarot card expresses the realm of the taboo — the culturally rejected wildness and undigested shadow side that each of us carries in our subconscious. This shadow is actually who we are at the core of our being, which we cannot get rid of and will never succeed in taming. In fact, it is often an aspect of our truth that is trying to emerge, aiding in our self empowerment and awareness of our power. From its earliest versions, which portrayed a vampire-demon, the devil evoked the church-fueled fear that a person could “lose their soul” to wild and passionate forces. The Horned God, revered by most Pagans in ancient times as the Lord of the Hunt, was a perfect image to convert to the ‘icon of evil’, marking all who worshipped Him as followers of Satan, and setting them up to be victims of the Burning Times, when Christianity all but wiped Goddess worshippers from the face of Europe and early America.
The Devil image which emerged in the mid-1700s gives us a more sophisticated rendition — that of the “scapegoated god,” whose esoteric name is Baphomet. Volcanic reserves of passion and primal desire empower His efforts to overcome the pressure of stereotyped roles and experience true freedom of soul. The image of Baphomet is currently recognized by modern Satan worshippers as a symbol of Satan and, in fact, an 8 1/2’ statue of him was recently erected alongside a giant stone statue of the Ten Commandments as an ‘equal opportunity’ to annoy the citizens of Oklahoma with religious dogma. However, we in the Craft do not accept a being known as the devil, or Satan, as the instigator of all our ill conceived decisions and selfish or hateful behaviors. We recognize that we have the potential for good and evil, and that it is CHOICE/INTENTION, the freedom to decide for ourselves, that defines our character.
The Devil card is here to tell us to let go of our inhibitions and allow yourself to express all of who you are. This card advises you to show some spunk. There may be nothing to be gained by trying to be subtle or strategic in a current situation. Assert your agenda, express yourself honestly, and let the chips fall where they may. Your best bet would be to express your true emotions, possibly even including anger. This is not an invitation/permission to act out or express anger in a negative or violent way. Simply acknowledge your right to experience whatever feelings you have. While it may not be necessary to act out what you feel in every situation, accepting the power and depth of your inner experience enables you to remain true to yourself.
May this card give you permission to ‘get down, get funky, Spunky’! Blessed Be!