Have you noticed, if you read for yourself regularly, how you can be stalked by one card?
For sometime for me it was the 9 of swords. I used to prove it by asking students to shuffle their cards and pull 3 for me. Every time- there was the 9 of swords.
Happily those times are passed, but recently it's been the Devil
As a pagan I have no specific problems with the idea of the Devil, as a Shaman I work often with the Norse Goddess Hel, Queen of the lower worlds. So I wanted to share all the best the Devil card has to offer us. As ever, I am sharing my truth, I make no claim it is "the" truth.
The upside down pentagram
For me this represents putting physical needs above spiritual, or intellectual, needs. I think it's about time many of us did that just a little bit more. It is so easy to get lost in our heads (or should I say our phones) It's all very head spaccey. What is wrong with enjoying good food, good wine, or good sex?
I say it is time to enjoy or bodies, embrace the fact that we have bodies.
For me this pentagram is about breathing deep into every part of the body, and putting the bodies needs first for a while.
The burning brand
Literally I see this as "lighten up" The people are there, in the dark. Unable to see the reality of their situation. This happens in real life so often, your mind gets focused on the problems, the downfalls, the difficulties- until you simply can't see a way out.
The simplest thing to do to fix this is to find a way to laugh. Open your mind to other possibilities by raising a smile, and your happiness.
Try it, it really does work.
If I am stuck with a negative mindset, or a problem I just can't find my way round I watch a clip on you tube. Now my favourite comedies are "Curb Your Enthusiasm" & "Bottom". You may not find them funny (though worth a watch), but pick your own favourite funnies & lighten your mood- it is a powerful thing to do.
The horns & legs (!)
To me these are a reference to Pan, amongst other things a God of Lust. Like many things, taken out of context, or to the extreme lust can be a bad thing. But there is much to be said for lust. A general excitement, a passion for life. When you feel alive, excited, by a desire- and that desire could be for many different things (not only sex) Lust quickens our existence and can bring a deep passionate joy.
In the Morgan-Greer Tarot the Devil card has a fly in the center. In Norse mythology the fly is associated with Loki, our trickster God. Loki brings us "colour" he quickens our senses, makes our blood flow fast. He brings excitement.
I like to expand my thoughts on Tarot by looking at different decks. I love to do this when I immerse myself in a card, comparing and contrasting other decks helps me to free myself from what I have read (valuable as that is) and find my own truth.
The Transparent deck, as with all the cards in this deck, has such a simple symbol. But I am specifically here looking for the gift of the Devil, his brightest side if you like...
When I see manacle with the chains attached, and that empty space waiting to be filled I feel a sense of sadness.
I'm fully aware about co-dependent relationships, the spiritual goal of non-attachment and all that stuff. But I have lived small times of my life with no attachments. A genuine feeling that there were no people, no projects, nothing in my life that carried any importance to me. And with out doubt it was desperately sad. I may (at times) feel as if my husband, children, home, business and the like are "ties" that bind me to obligations. I may wish for a day free of all obligations. But, oh I am so enriched by each and every one of those "attachments".
So if you are getting the Devil card, and think "Oh woe is me- all those responsibilities and ties, weighing me down" Think carefully, are they really things to tie you down, or actually are do they bring you great joy- it's your attitude (possibly boundaries) that are restricting you? (or likely the need for a break)
The key with chains of attachment is to know they are there, to be honest about your needs, attachments, and perhaps addictions. To live, and work with them openly and honestly. Once you realise the chains of attachment are held by you willingly, they are no longer a trap.
The Devil from the Mary El tarot
Oh look at that sumptuous Royal Purple.
Stare hard into that Godlike, calm, powerful face (I have seen similar in my shamanic practices- I have stared into the eyes of immensely powerful people & that is similar to the face i see staring back- seriously that picture sends shivers down my spine)
Because I think the real key to the Devil is to realise how powerful you are, how so many of the things that "trap" or "belittle" you are really a result of your choices.
They say in Tarot cards with more than one person, to consider how each of those people can represent you. If you feel chained, and trapped, then somewhere you are allowing that to happen. You can not break free until you allow yourself to realise your role in this. How are you playing your own Devil?
To me the Mary El Devil is looking into the mirror, and seeing your own power staring right back at you.
And to end with my beautiful Druid-craft deck, Cernunnos. I think this card is really saying "wake-up" realise how you shape every moment of your own life. Realize your own power.
The dark side of the Devil is those creeping little excuses of how you'd love to do this, or that, but you really just can't. There's always a reason not to.
The Blessing of the Devil is the confidence, the lust for life, to just have a go. And if it doesn't work out, the realization that no great force is out to stop you- you probably made a few mistakes. laugh at yourself, laugh a long the way, but try again.