The Devil

What is holding you back?

The Devil with its foreboding images and chains of demons, demons, and some dark, frightening hellscape is a reminder of the devil that we all have within u

It asks us all: Why are you so down?

This card shows a common image of a human being or group of humans tied or chained by a demon. However, they are not trying to escape. They appear to be able to accept their situation without any struggle or question. The Devil shows this image to discuss complicity. It’s so easy to surrender to oppressive structures and hold us back, much easier than trying to break free. It is about the human paradox of wanting to be able to have what we need. Addiction to substances, consumerism, to things’, self-descructive behaviors, social media, or any other means of delaying this hard work is called addiction. When we feel empty or unhappy, we turn to external gratification. It is much easier to deal with the inner turmoil than it is to seek external gratification.

Some decks have the Devil pointing to oppression from the outside. This interpretation is reserved for the Emperor, Wheel of Fortune, and other minor arcana cards. These cards point to power structures that affect our lives. For me, the Devil is all about the prisons we make for ourselves.

It is at its most proactive, reminding you that there are options. As painful as it might be, it asks for you to take responsibility for your actions and to become more self-aware. Recognize when you are telling yourself stories that will hold you back, and take responsibility for them. Ask yourself “What am I afraid of?” This scary old card is all about facing your fear.

Advice from the Devil

I believe there is no judgment in the tarot. This includes the card called ‘Judgement’. We’ll get to that in a moment. No card can judge you. No card can tell you whether you are good or bad.

You might be righteously called out instead. or You can take the advice of your demon and look at it in the eyes.

Then, you need to begin planning your escape. You are now aware that you are complicit in the oppression of a system. You can now get out. You can get free from the need to be accepted by others. There are so many more things in life.

The same goes for materialism. Addiction to ‘things” is a serious problem in our age. It leads to wasteful consumption, a culture of throwing away, and a feeling of not having enough. This ultimately means that not enough. For example, think about how beauty products are promoted. They create insecurity. We buy to satisfy our needs, to make ourselves better. Our inner demons tells us that we need “things” to be more attractive, successful, popular, and good. The Devil could be a symbol of getting bogged down in the details and losing sight of what really matters in life.

Key words and concepts




Negative behaviours

Avoid getting caught in dangerous cycles

You can choose to get something for free or not.

It is easy to lose sight of the important things in life

Face your fear

Accountability for yourself

Delusion…and self-awareness

Be a champion for your freedom

Here are some common symbols

Chains (bondage)

Nakedness (vulnerability or poverty of spirit)

Hellish imagery (a spiritual prison).

A devil or demon (inner demons)

The key to freedom

Upside-down pentagram (materialism)