The Devil Tarot Card of the Major Arcana
The Devil is the 15th card of the Major Arcana and is the zodiac card for the cardinal earth sign of Capricorn.
On the Tree of Life and in mystical tarot traditions, the Devil is a pathway of wisdom that connects the sphere of the center of the Sun/Christ Consciousness with the Mercurial sphere of intellect.
Basic Keywords: material attachment and temptation, addiction, obsession
The Devil is probably the most misunderstood card in the tarot, especially for those indoctrinated with Western culture. For the mystic, the Devil is one of, if not THE most important mysteries to penetrate on the journey toward Unity Consciousness (being one with the higher aspects of self).
He represents the average person’s misperception of reality. He throws in our face the belief that what we see is all there is and all we are. He pushes us to extreme discomfort as he both conceals and reveals the greatest secrets of power held in the codes of Excalibur, the Philosopher’s stone, and the Elixir of Life. These are the mysteries of magic and alchemy that can only be perceived by facing what the Devil shows us. Much of this lesson cannot be spoken or described as it is the sacred transition from normal “woke” consciousness to true spiritual consciousness.
The Devil is actually meant to be a joke. This can be seen in some decks, one being the Radiant Rider-Waite deck. His wide buggy eyes make him look like he’s trying VERY hard to be scary which comes off as quite humorous. The Hebrew letter that represents this card is “Mirth” which reminds us how potent our laughter is as a tool to awakening. This connects us to the understanding of the 3 forms of Capricorn: The Goat, The Sea-Goat, and the Unicorn. Think of the Unicorn and the myths and fables of who had the privilege of an encounter with them. It’s in our innocence that we are most free of these illusory programs of reality and laughter is the bridge. The Devil is poking fun at us for what we think is “real.” You think the lovers are really chained and enslaved? Do you really think this is all there is? You think that’s air you’re breathing?
On the Tree of Life there are 3 pillars, and the Devil belongs to The Pillar of Form, known as Severity. This pillar begins with the sphere of Binah, The Great Mother, and is ruled by Saturn. This is interesting to note because in Western astrology, Saturn is thought of as “the loving, strict father,” but in both cases there is an energy of restriction and confinement. Here we are reminded that the references to masculinity and femininity in metaphysics is NOT referring to gender, but of a specific flavor of energy.
The Devil pushes us to the transmutation of The Tower, which represents the raw power of Mars. Here we see the relationship between these cards as Mars is exalted in Capricorn. Together they tear down all our walls and rooted misconceptions of what we are, what we see in the world around us, and what is actually real.