Today’s Card is The Devil, number fifteen of the Major Arcana. Each of the Major Arcana cards represents a principle in occult worship or enlightenment, with this card being the 22nd and final card of the Majors, which are numbered 0 – 21. When studying these principles, one would start with the number 0, The Fool, representing innocence, the beginning of a journey, and the initiate, and ending with number 21, The Universe. Having traveled through the theoretical concepts of Magick, therefore, one would need only to apply these principles in real life to move forward on the path of enlightenment.
While The Devil is a touchy subject for those who have grown up in one of the Western traditions of Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. He is seen as the Opponent of God, a force that is the anti-thesis of all that is good and holy and is only known to exist in these three traditions. Today, Satan appears to have been a composition of Nature Gods and satyrs, worshipped as individual Gods or Nature Spirits by the ancient people of Europe and the Middle East. Often today he is depicted with a goat’s head, a male torso, and a goat’s lower half, the opposite of the God figure most of us come to know, an ancient man with white hair and robe, glowing with the ethereal light of His perfection and omnipotence. This image was developed as a method of keeping people in line with the doctrines of the associated religious institution in power and is not recognized by Wiccans or Pagans as being a real creature on either the physical or ethereal plane.
In the Tarot, as well as in Paganism, he is seen as a composite spiritual creature that represents the duality of humankind; partly beastly and partly divine, a creature of imperfection but certainly possessing its own Divine Spark as a creature of the God/Goddess. It is, in fact, our experiences as physical beings that form the character that it takes to ascend into the higher realms; that of persistence, fortitude, patience, constancy, responsibility, and so forth. The decisions that we make in this lifetime, and beyond, lead us to experience Karma which will show us in no uncertain terms whether we are choosing to work toward the higher good of man or being selfish and careless. I love the quote that comes with the book accompanying this deck:
“Bad as he is, the Devil may be abused,
Be falsely charged and causelessly accused
When men, unwilling to be blamed alone,
Shift off on him the crimes that are their own.”
We should not, and cannot, blame anyone, either real or mythical, for our failings and missteps in judgement or moral fiber. We all face adversaries in our daily lives, whether in in theoretical form or human. it is up to us to decide which way we are gonna roll, for good or evil.
From a daily reading perspective, this card indicates that you will face two challenges on the road to enlightenment.
The first is when people tell you that what you are doing is Devil worship. Learn to explain in logical terms what it is you believe but don’t expect all who love you to suddenly exclaim; “Oh, I see!” You must be willing to stand up for what you believe in, even when faced with adversity.
The second is resisting temptation. One of the greatest threats to your evolution on the path to enlightenment is inertia; the lack of doing what you know must be done. The opposite of that would be making choices that you know are bad but should like fun in the short term or to cling to a lifestyle that we know is bad regardless of all indications to the contrary.
If you find that you are in one of these positions today, take a deep breath, think about the greater good for you and those in your life, then step back and find another way to spend your time today. You might just avoid an accident, or incident, you didn’t see coming!
May you be in line with your inner Truth and in charge of making your best decisions today!