Monday, April 15, 2024

The Devil – Meanings & Interpretation – Major Arcana

The Devil’s Meaning In A Tarot Reading

In our lives, we occasionally come into contact with someone or thing which is toxic to us. An invasion into our lives that brings nothing but pain and misery. It could be a lover, your boss, or even drugs. It could even be someone you knew was bad news, and yet you kept being around them anyway. The Devil tarot card is a herald of this terrible influence in your life, and with its awareness is your ability to remove it.


Find out more about the meanings of the Devil card in the upright and reversed positions.

The Devil Tarot Card Meanings – Upright


the devilThis Major Arcana card appears as a warning in your life of someone or thing that is riding you, influencing you in negative ways. You may be aware of it but still, persist with it. With this alarm bell, it is time to identify them and cull them from your group. 

Past Events:

There has been someone in your past who has been driving you to poor decisions. The only bright point in this card is that this person appears to be moving out of your life. It is left behind and abandoned. This person may not be a person at all. This could signal the end of drug addiction or the abandonment of an abusive partner.


Present Events:

Look around you. Things are not as you dream them to be. You have a monkey on your back. It’s driving you forward and making you make decisions you otherwise wouldn’t. Take caution, step back, look around, and choose whose advice you listen to carefully. This poison will consume you if you let it.

Future Events:

Beware, traveler, the future holds a devil in its midst. Alerted, you may be able to avoid its coming and avert it out of your life. However, it may arrive in a hidden fashion, and you won’t know that this influence is foul until it’s already inside. Either way, being alert now will help you avoid it.

The Devil Tarot Card Meanings – Reversed


devil reversedThe Rider Waite tarot card in the inverted position is, if anything, darker than its upright version. When this shows in your reading, YOU are the poison. You may not be aware of your actions or how they affect others around you, or you may be quite aware and not care. Karmically, it’s not a good place to be, and it’s a call to change your behavior.


Past Events:

In this one position, this card can be a decent thing. You’re moving past your toxic ways, no longer infecting those around you. It is hopeful that if this card arrives, it is due to a realization on your part and not merely the removal of anyone to manipulate. Take caution in the future.

Present Events:

You may not be aware of it, but you are the monkey on someone’s back right now. Even if you are trying to help, your ways are serving as an emotional sickness for someone else. It could be a child always trying to please you. It could be a coworker whose work is never good enough. This card appearing is a call to stop your actions.


Future Events:

In the future, you will be in danger of falling into a habit of oppression or controlling behavior. You can’t see it yet, most likely, but it could be a response to stresses not formerly present. Be aware and steal away from this path. No one needs this kind of mark on their soul.

Associated Colors:

Gold and Red for the principle that is out of control

Meditation For The Devil – Upright

This tarot meditation of the Devil card upright is going to be on the perils of letting the desire for control get out of, well, control. This meditation will focus on megalomania, an obsessive desire for control, and the selfish desire to manipulate those around you. Place the cloth deliberately before you, assure that the candle is centered above the card, and the card is placed properly inserted beneath it.

As you slip into the meditation, let the feeling of having to be in control settle on you, hyper-vigilant of your surroundings, and always thinking, scheming, and plotting.

You will find yourself in a quiet chamber, in front of a desk. Leaning over the desk is a man in fine clothes, quietly, patiently overlooking a chessboard.

He notices you as you enter the room. Of course, he does. He notices everything. The meticulous layout of the room shows you how carefully he manages his surroundings.

The back of the desk is to a wall. There is no window behind him. The door is directly across from him, and the light hangs in the center of the room rather than at his desk, so he is at no point blind to the room.

Tarot Meditation Techniques For The Devil Upright Card

The heraldic display to his right is obviously within reach, and its swords are not ornamental. Never unprepared for this one.

He takes note of you but then returns his focus to his game. You notice as you walk up that the people on the desk are not just lifelike. They are alive and utterly unaware of their manipulator.

He places pieces on the board in patterns that cause emotional hardship or emotional elation. No tool is beyond his reach. He uses love to accomplish his goals as quickly as hate, the young as easily as the old. Everything he observes is at his command.

But you also notice he has no ring on his finger, no sign of a woman’s touch in the room, and likely, the house. Of course, how could there be? He is not trustworthy himself, so why would he trust others?

He knows how subtle manipulation can be, and he knows that having loved ones only makes you vulnerable to the machinations of others.

Does the Devil Imply Manipulation?

You watch him for a while, his only joy is the outcome of his schemes, and you realize how empty a life he must truly lead. If all your life is spent controlling others and never allowing another close enough to influence you, then you never get close to anyone at all.

As the meditation ends, think carefully on his room, anything that stood out. Was there a title on a book on a shelf? Was there a label under a statue? Or was someone on the board familiar? All these questions and more must be asked. Write your observations down in your journal, and take care not to be this hapless, heartless man.

Associated Colors:

Green for corruption, infection

Meditation For The Devil – Reversed

This tarot mediation on the devil reversed will focus on the prisoner, the person with a monkey on their back, and what it means to be them. In this meditation, we will find ourselves toadying, trying to please another, or at least trying to appease some inner need. On the table in front of you, place a cloth of green, something unnatural and ill-looking, and then place the candle at its top, and lay the card down on it upright.

As you slip into the meditation, let your mind be filled with concern for another who is always asking. Let your body be filled with a need that must be met, whether it’s hunger or sex, or to make someone else happy. You will find yourself on a pleasant, clear sunny road, walking through a nice town.

But with you is a man heavily laden in chains, which clanks with every step. He seems blissfully unaware of his bondage. You can see where the chains have bitten into his wrists and ankles, leaving bloody sores and worn skin. On his shoulders sits a beast, no mere monkey, but a mandrill with teeth like daggers.

Every moment of his day is spent making accommodations mindless for his burdens, stepping over and around things to clear his chains, feeding the baboon on his back to keep it from tearing out his hair.

Tarot Meditation Techniques For The Devil-Reversed Card

Saddest of all, you can see from looking at the man he has no idea how unhappy it makes him. Every action spent trying to please another, every moment a decision made that is not what HE would do, but what he was driven to do.

He can no longer afford to feed the mandrill, the chains make it impossible for him to work, and the mandrill desires to feed constantly.

So he has turned to steal what he must to feed it, scavenging in the garbage if all else fails. It has come time to leave this pathetic creature that never realizes that the chains to its freedom hang about his neck.

As you come out of this meditation, think about this man, think about who he is and how he lives his life. Is there a piece of you in him? It is dangerous to live our lives at the behest of another unless that truly brings us happiness.

So take your notes in your journal, and pay attention carefully to what you noticed. There may be a message in there that holds your key.

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