Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood
From the Mythic Tarot - Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke
The Devil is the 15th Major Arcanum of the Tarot. It represents an incredibly wide variety of interpretation from Pan, as the embodiment of mirth, to the stereotype horned devil figure holding sad looking humans in chains as the dark spirit of evil, to Coyote, the great Trickster. When the Devil appears in a reading we are being asked to look at what “bedevils” us - our fears, restrictions, how we hold ourselves back. The chains that bind us are most often our thoughts and how they condition us, become a way of life for us. They are how we have LIVED (DEVIL spelled backwards).
An old song from the 70’s comes to mind:
“I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in
I watched myself crawlin’ out as I was crawlin’ in
I got so uptight I couldn’t unwind
I saw so much it broke my mind
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition is in...”
When the Devil shows up in a reading it is time to see what condition our condition is in. We go through the “dark night of the soul” when all our private monsters crawl out from under the bed to surround us. We are faced with our dark side, our fears, negativity, and chains that bind us from reaching our full potential. The Devil is that feeling of being separate, disconnected, and apart from Spirit/God/goodness.
We all have experienced unhealthy situations and people who seem to bring out the worst in us. But, it is critical to remember that only we choose what we think. The Devil is most often our own creation. We are all here to learn. We have to make choices and discover how we process those choices that are good for us and those that are not so good. And, we have to learn how our choices effect others. We can choose to bring as much joy and light as possible into our lives or we can choose to continue to be bound by our devils.
I like to think of the Devil as Pan - playing his pipes out in the moonlight tempting us to come out and play, to dance and be merry; to loosen up, lighten up and explore the hidden realms of possibility. The Devil card is ruled by Saturn the great teacher. So if we over-do it, we will feel the results and have to figure out a balance. Coyote the Trickster likes to trip us so we fall down and have the opportunity to see what is in front of us - what tripped us. We have to learn about our pitfalls so we can learn to transcend them, to choose other paths, or to just take bigger or smaller steps. We may fall many times before we recognize the lesson.
Whatever it is that bedevils you, when you want to loosen those chains that bind you, when you want to break free, stop guilt tripping yourself, give yourself a big ol’ hug and have a good laugh at it all. Don’t take it all so seriously. Let your body take over for your mind for awhile. Laugh till you cry. The beauty of it all is that those Devils are OURS - not someone else’s - so we can do as we please with them. Please, let them go and be free.