Is this the scariest card in the Tarot?

Is this the scariest card in the Tarot?

The Devil

The Devil

What feelings  surface when you see The Devil in your personal readings?

Panic, frightened, sacred, terrified, depressed, miserable…it’s such a gloomy card.

These can often be the initial responses you will feel or hear others talk about.  Think it is pretty much the same for everyone that gets this card in a reading.

For me personally, I’ve been trying to write this piece on the devil now for weeks and weeks but I keep procrastinating on it. I’ve started it so many times and got nowhere…is this the Devil at play?  Today I have finally  put my foot down with determination to start again and finish it..Devil or no Devil.

The imagery in this card is complex and confronting.

Using your intuition write down what thoughts come to mind. There are not right or wrong answers and it can vary depending on the surrounding cards in a reading or where you are on your life’s journey. 

You hold the key to the meaning of this card and in trusting your intuition you also hold the solution for  whatever is holding you,

What can this card mean in a reading?

  • When someone starts speaking about the elephant in the room such as an issue that no one wants to acknowledge this is the card you will see. In families where there is abuse, mental, physical or sexual no one wants to talk about it or bring it into the light of day by telling someone outside the family. 
  • It can be about addiction, an action that is habitual and you feel that you have no choice but to keep on doing it. It might even bring your pleasure but it might be at the cost of others involved.  Addictions come in many forms, from chocolate to sex, gambling and drugs including alcohol, shopping anything that gives you instantaneous gratification but in most cases The afterwards leaves you looking for more or berating yourself.  
  • Are you feel stuck, restrained or just plain trapped in relationship, career or life isn’t work out they way you want it too?  Does it feel like someone else is in control. You might be  putting up hurdles and excuses to keep yourself where you are. “Better the Devil you know” kind of excuse. There may be justified reasons or are they really just excuses.  
  • You can be overly obsessed with materialism and wealth and all that comes with it such as wanting the big house, expensive cars and clothes, eating the best and expensive restaurants. . This comes at a personal cost to you, your partner and children.
  • Anger, violence and acts of crime such as theft and embezzlement.
  • Gossiping, lying, bullying and telling false stories about someone causing them to suffer are also attributed to the energy of this card


The symbolism in this card holds important keys information:

The half man half goat with bat wings like figure is the main character in the card. He on his own  is scary.  He is also out of perspective in comparison to the couple in this card, so he appears huge.  Is that perhaps because you have got your life out of perspective and need to ground yourself in reality? 

His posture with his one hand up and one down is similar to the Magician. The Devil’s torch points to the earth, signifying that nothing exists beyond the material. 

The reversed pentacle on his forehead is a symbol of black magic which is reinforced by the black background of this card. This can be  translated into ‘letting your desires overpower your judgment.  It also indicates a disregard for all laws, especially moral and spiritual ones. It values sensual gratification and material gain above all else.

There are many suggestion as to who this half man half goat represents the ancient Greek Pan, the Celtic Horned one, Baphomet, Zoroastrian bad boy Zervan.

He is perched on a black block of stone known as the Devil’s rectangle, half a cube in reference to limited knowledge and illusionary base from which we make judgments.

The horned and cloven footed couple chained to the small black cube seem so comfortable in their nakedness. They aren’t showing any fear.  They appear calm which would indicate the acceptance of a bad situation.  The chains seem to be holding them voluntarily as escape is easy. This makes the Devil’s power an illusion.

Numerology: The Devil is card No 15 (1+5 = 6) which has a direct connection to the Lovers card. Look for all the similarity and difference between these two cards.


If you have several decks of Tarot cards look at the Devil in each of your decks and see how they are different. See how each different deck evokes different or similar feelings and emotions. I checked out the Gaian,  Mythical  and  Fountain Tarot and each one is very different.

How to work with this card:

Recognising the aspects of yourself that is lurking in the dark and bring them into the daylight.  We all have parts of ourselves that we are ashamed of or we have done things that we just don’t want anyone to know about.  It’s important to take the lessons you need from these experiences and learn and grow from it.

You might need to recognise your bondage to limited knowledge and your need to more fully understand yourself. The darkness of ignorance can be dispelled by allowing light to enter into your daily lives. 

Look at areas in your life in which you feel restricted or blocked. Are you what is really causing  the blockage or holding yourself back? Maybe it’s time to take your power respectfully back?

Make a list of attributes in others that you have trouble connection with and then see if you recognize them as part of yourself.

The Devil card isn’t one we enjoy getting in a reading but it is there to teach us something about ourselves. It shocks into recognising when our lives our out of balance.  It’s a red flag to unchain ourselves from where we are now or from our pasts that is restraining or blocking us from moving forward. Don’t get stuck in the Devil lyre,  make the changes and find the balance.  Its not always easy but worth the work.

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