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Our desires cannot be, and were never meant to be, satisfied by earthly pleasures alone.''

Alister E. Mcgrath


The Devil and ancient Greek god Pan share immense iconographic and characteristic similarities. Pan is the horned, half-goat and half-man god associated with wilderness, physical pleasures and music. 

It is from this association this card relates to concepts such as animal nature, pleasure, human desires, sexuality and materialism. Despite the typical illustration of the ‘Satan’ in Christian religion, this card does not represent evil or satanic forces.

In the Rider-Waite deck, we see the Pan-like devil figure standing on a footstool, to which are chained animalistic nature of man, in the form of a male and female naked figure. Flames on the right symbolizes false illumination of the misguided.

The reason why the Devil is a feared figure is because he is an uncontrolled, volatile force that works outside the barriers of morality and restrictions. On a positive note, this kind of uncompromising creative power is a necessary aspect of ever-growing life and nature.

Because of this, the Devil card acts as a reminder not to be enslaved to pleasures of earthly existence.

Number 15 represents ambition, independence and energetic nature.


The Devil Keywords

  • Sexuality
  • Selfishness
  • Addiction
  • Negative influence



  • Release
  • Breaking the chains
  • Regaining control

The Devil Upright

Guidance: This card often indicates loss of control in the person’s life, usually as their own undoing. This may take the form of egoism, lust, anger issues, obsessions and greed. The Devil card asks you to pay attention to addictions and attachments that hold you back at this time. Re-evaluate your values and principles to free yourself from negative patterns.

Love: The Devil often represents raw sexual desires and physical attraction. You may be exploring your fantasies or your sexuality, or it may show someone’s passionate feelings for you. On a more negative note, you have a sense of being stuck in a situation that seems out of your control. But in reality, you are probably not as hopeless as you have come to think you are. In relationships, the Devil card may indicate that you are not able to see the red flags of a toxic situation. It also denotes selfish behavior, disillusionment or even abuse. Remove yourself from the problem, be honest and get to know your wants, needs and limits.

Work/Finances: While being passionate is a good thing for achieving success, being completely ego driven gets you nowhere. When the Devil card shows up, it usually means your only focus is more and more. Don’t let your ambitions and desires control you, tame and utilize them instead. Break your self-created barriers and manifest the reality you want. Stay clear from risky investments or gambling.

Health: In health readings, the Devil acts as a cautionary sign of unhealthy behaviors such as addictions, poor diet or unchecked stress. Whatever the case may be, you need to find healthier ways to deal with your problems.

Spirituality: Message of the Devil card is to stop avoiding your spiritual growth in the favor of your ego. If you had been feeling uncomplete and unsatisfied with where your life is going, it is time to slow down, go deep within and listen to your inner self. Ask yourself truthfully what are the situations and people that hold you back and you need to let go of.

Guidance: In the case the Devil reversed, you are encouraged to find solutions in order to break free of the chains. It won’t be any easy feat, as there is a lot of internal and external work to do in order to get your life in balance. You will need to break away old attachments, release restricting beliefs and addictions. Once you are determined to change your reality, you will become the master of yourself.

Love: The Devil reversed represents detaching yourself from unhealthy attachments and disillusioned beliefs in order to create better foundations for your future. Yes, passion is a very important aspect in a relationship, but so as honesty, trust and support. Now it is time for you to establish your boundaries, needs and desires: And if someone is not respecting those, it may be time to let go. Even if you have to make a heartbreaking choice, don’t let your emotions cloud your best judgement.

Work/Finances: When reversed, the Devil is usually a good sign: it means that you are detaching yourself from a potentially harmful or derailing situation. After a period of confusion and frustration, you now see things as they are, and not what you want them to be. You finally take back control in your life: leaving a miserable job, breaking addictions, saying ‘no’ to a toxic person in your work life. Keep being honest and brave, in the end your hard work will pay off.

Health: The Devil reversed represents clearing away all the negativity and making a conscious choice to live healthier. For example, you may be in the process of breaking an addiction. Be patient with yourself and make tiny steps one day at a time so that you don’t get overwhelmed.

Spirituality: You are working on building your self-awareness and finding your own light. Whenever you want to act on your impulses, consciously choose a positive and calm attitude each day. Learn to say no to toxic people. Don’t let your attachments define you. Getting out of limiting ideas and situations is not going to be easy, but in the end, you will gain a sense of clarity and peace that you had been long looking for.

The Devil Reversed

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