Upright: Bondage, addiction, sexuality, materialism
Reversed: Detachment, breaking free, power reclaimed

The card of the Devil portrays a Satyr, a creature that is half man and half goat. In many myths, the goat was considered an unclean and lustful animal. However, the goat also symbolises the scapegoat, the person or thing upon which people project the inferior side of themselves in order to feel better about themselves. Thus the Devil is the scapegoat we blame for our troubles in life.
The Devil has the wings of a vampire bat, an animal that sucks the life blood out of its prey. This is symbolic of what happens when we give full reign to the realm of our raw desires. We lose our vitality and life energy. The Devil has an almost hypnotic stare, bringing those who come near him within his power. Above him is an inverted pentagram, signifying the darker side of magic and occultism.
At the foot of the Devil stands a man and a woman, both naked and chained to the podium on which the Devil sits. They appear to be held here, against their will, but only closer observation, the chains around their necks are loose and could be easily removed. This symbolises that bondage to the Devil is ultimately a voluntary matter which consciousness can release. The man and woman wear tiny horns like those of the Satyr – they are becoming more and more like the devil the longer they stay here. Both have tails – a further symbol of their animalistic or ‘lower’ tendencies.
The dark and doorless cave implies that the Devil dwells in the most inaccessible realm of the unconscious and only crisis can break through the walls.
The number 15 in numerology equals 6, the number that corresponds to the Lovers, and here the lovers are shown chained, in bondage to the material, sensual side of their nature. This card is ruled by Capricorn, the goat.

The card of the Devil represents the hidden forces of negativity that constrain you and that trick you into thinking you are imprisoned by external forces ultimately out of your control. The Devil is an inner force within each of us. He represents our fears, addictions, and other harmful impulses. He is a master of deception and creates the illusion that you are involuntarily bound to him. However, the figures in this card are free to remove the chains from around their necks, indicating that they have freely given the Devil any power he has over them.
When you see the Devil in a reading, ask yourself where you are feeling stuck or restricted in your life. You may be tricked into believing that you are being controlled by external forces when in fact you have created your own chains of imprisonment and powerlessness. A sense of hopelessness can accompany the Devil. You feel despair and have a pessimistic view of life because you feel that so much is outside of your control. You fear the worst, and this means that your fears have a hold over you and prevent you from leading a more fulfilling and optimistic life. What are the addictions or attachments restraining you from experiencing the freedom of the Fool? Are you giving yourself over to the illusion of helplessness and despair? Know that you have the power within to free yourself from the bondage of the Devil.
The Devil often reflects actual addictions and dependencies in your life, such as alcoholism, drug-taking, unhealthy relationships, over-spending and the like. You think you need something and you are willing to go against what you know to be right and true in order to obtain it. You need to break free of these negative patterns of behaviour by acknowledging the hold that they have over you and the negative impact they are having on your life. Often they are behaviours that are immediately gratifying but which cause longer-term damage to your inner fulfilment.
More generally, the Devil indicates that you are becoming obsessed and hell-bent on a particular idea, situation or endeavour. You are over-investing yourself in one area at the expense of other areas of your life. Often, the Devil card represents an over-dependence on material wealth. You may have become so fixated on becoming a millionaire or owning a fancy car that you have forgotten the importance of investing in your relationships or yourself. You have generated a belief that value lies in how much you earn or how much you own. You have created an unhealthy bond with these materialistic desires and you are now being controlled by this bondage.

The Devil appears when you are feeling trapped by things such as unhealthy or co-dependent relationships, financial debt, unproductive careers, unhealthy lifestyles or addictions, or consumerism and materialism. When the Devil is reversed, it indicates a growing awareness that you are currently in this state and you desire freedom from these harmful bonds. You may now be more willing and able to accept changes in your life and you may be more open to taking on new perspectives. However, it is not going to be an easy journey. You will need to battle your inner fears and anxieties to free yourself from the chains that bind you to your unhealthy habits. You need to conduct an audit of your life and eliminate those things that you know are harmful to you and your inner psyche. It may be about creating a healthier diet, watching less television, quitting smoking, spending more time with your loved ones, or focusing more clearly on your goals. Take this opportunity to bring about positive change in your life by providing yourself with ongoing encouragement and motivation. You must remain faithful to your goal of freedom.
If you have not yet succumbed to bad habits or addictions, be cautious about opening yourself up to these temptations in the future. Look out for anything that might put you in debt or under the control of another person who may not have the best of intentions. Avoid anything that might harm your body physically, such as alcohol, drugs, or any other addictions because these will prove to be very difficult to shake off later. You may believe they are only a temporary and harmless release from your personal issues but they may turn into a significant problem that could cause you a lot of grief in the long-term.
The Devil reversed may also refer to the Buddhist principle of detachment. Detachment, also expressed as non-attachment, is a state in which you overcome your attachment to the desire for things, people or concepts of the world, thus attaining a heightened perspective. The detached person is the happiest, for to live without attachment is to live in true freedom. It is important to note, however, that the Buddhist principle of detachment does not mean that you no longer care for things or people but rather that you separate your own existence from them in such a way that means you can still care about them but that you are not dictated or defined by their existence.



The Devil Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Addiction, depression, mental health issues, secrecy, obsession, cheating, dependency, bondage, materialism, sexuality, powerlessness, hopelessness, abuse, violence, assault

General meaning and interpretation
In a general context, The Devil Tarot card can signify depression or addiction. It can also be a sign of feeling trapped or restricted. With this Major Arcana card in your Tarot spread you may feel as though outside influences or forces beyond your control are restricting you, leaving you feeling powerless and victimised. However, this is the illusion The Devil creates. You are in control of your own destiny and are not bound by anything other than your own attitudes and behaviour. Don’t give up and don’t give away your power. You don’t have to tolerate negativity, criticism, manipulation or abuse from anyone. There are always options and there is always something positive you can do to improve your situation no matter how hopeless things may seem on the surface. Likewise be mindful of how you are treating others and make sure you are not trying to manipulate or control people in your life either. The Devil upright in your Tarot reading can also indicate obsessive, secretive or impulsive behaviour. It can be a sign that you are out of control. The Devil Tarot card is also a signifier of materialism and may show that you have become overly concerned with material things, status or power. These are not things that will make you truly fulfilled as a person so put your energy into the things that will.

In a health context, The Devil can indicate poor health brought about by harmful behaviour such as drug addiction, alcoholism or compulsive overeating. It is also an indicator of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar, schizophrenia etc. If you feel like you have a mental health problem, please do not look to the cards to diagnose you, seek the help of a mental health professional. The Devil upright in a health context can also indicate a silent illness like high blood pressure. If you have been feeling unwell or inexplicably exhausted, go to the doctor and get a check-up. If you have a diagnosed illness, The Devil tells you not to let it define you, while you may have some restrictions be careful that you are not putting excessive limitations on yourself out of fear of exasperating your illness.

Love & Relationships
If you are in a relationship, The Devil can be a sign that you or your partner are feeling trapped. It may indicate a loss of freedom brought on by becoming too engrossed in a relationship. The Devil shows that this level of co-dependence is unhealthy. You and your partner should take a step back and try to rediscover some interests outside the relationship. It can also signify that you or your partner may be suffering from mental health issues that are affecting the relationship. If this is the case, seek the help of a professional counsellor to assist you both during this time. The Devil Tarot card can be a sign of jealousy, envy, deception, dominance, cheating and in an extremely negative context abuse, violence or sexual assault. Look to supporting cards to confirm this. If you feel trapped in a relationship because of any form of abuse, remember you can free yourself of this situation, don’t let The Devil make you feel powerless. If you are single, The Devil can indicate sex without love. You may be having unfulfilling or even dangerous sexual encounters or allowing yourself to be used by people who do not care about you because you desperately want to be loved. If that is the case, take a break from dating until you’ve built up your self-esteem. The Devil can also be an indicator of a potential relationship that may be harmful to you. This new love interest may have a drug addiction, become overly dependent on you possibly as a result of mental health issues, be deceptive or become violent or abusive. Although they may seem intriguing or exciting at first, The Devil indicates danger, so avoid letting this person into your life.

Money & Career
In a career context, The Devil upright in your Tarot reading can indicate that you feel trapped in a job that you hate. Again, you are in control of your own life even if you don’t feel that way. Evaluate what you really want in your career and if a move is what you need, make it. Remember that it is a choice you are making if you decide to stay in a job you dislike. The Devil can also indicate a colleague or person in a career context who is deceptive and may be trying to sabotage you. Be careful who you trust, this person will be all smiles to your face and while simultaneously stabbing you in the back. In a financial context, The Devil indicates that money will be tight but it suggests that there is more you could be doing to help yourself. Watch your spending! It can easily get out of control with The Devil in your Tarot spread. Also, avoid gambling or any sort of risky or impulsive investments.

In a spiritual context, The Devil can indicate that you have become too materialistic. Try to bring the focus back to the non-materialistic pleasures in life such as spending time with the people who make you happy or connecting to your spiritual side. It can also indicate that a lack of hope may be holding you back from moving towards the light. Like attracts like, so even in your darkest moments you should always strive to send light and love out into the world as that’s what you will attract back. Never allow darkness to take over. If you have felt overwhelmed with depression or anxiety, firstly make sure you surround yourself with a loving and supportive network of friends and let go of anybody who is overly negative or critical of you. Secondly, try some sort of energy healing to help you get rid of any negative energy you have been holding onto.
The Devil Reversed Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Detachment, independence, overcoming addiction, freedom, revelation, reclaiming power, reasserting control

General meaning and interpretation
In a general context, The Devil reversed can signify that you are becoming aware of the things that have been trapping you and the role you play in allowing them to. It is a great card for anyone battling an addiction or mental illness or engaging in harmful behaviour as it indicates that you are starting to see the light and take back control of yourself and your life. You want to be free from these problems and you are starting to get the motivation to change your circumstances. It can also indicate that you are getting a new perspective on issues that you felt powerless to change previously. The changes you want to make may not be easy but they are necessary for you if you want to have a happy life in the future and you are beginning to realise what you have to do. The Devil Tarot card reversed can also indicate a near miss with a negative, harmful or dangerous situation or person. The important message this Major Arcana card brings is to be grateful that you avoided it, learn from it and move forward. Do not fall back into the old bad or risky behaviours that led you so close to danger. Don’t get cocky and think you are invincible if you managed to dodge the bullet. Appreciate your good fortune, but don’t push it!

In a health Tarot spread, The Devil reversed is a good omen as it indicates stopping harmful habits and starting on the road to recovery so if you have suffered from any sort of addiction, you may well be getting the strength to overcome it. Stay strong and focused. It can also signify that you are starting to overcome stress, anxiety and any mental health issues that may have been causing issues in the past. It’s important to keep moving forward and to keep the momentum going with this new lease of life you’ve been given. Don’t fall back in to old patterns.

Love & Relationships
If you are in a relationship, The Devil Tarot card reversed can indicate that you and your partner may have been feeling stuck in a rut or felt like the relationship was on its way out but you having started to come out the other side of this. It can also be an indicator of a close call, one of you may have come close to doing something that would have irreparably damaged your relationship (e.g. an affair or infidelity) but decided to honour your relationship instead. If you have been in an abusive relationship, you may be beginning to realise that you deserve better and to take back your power. The influence your abusive partner once had over you may be lessoning as you start to realise that you have choices and there is help out there for you. If you are single, The Devil reversed can indicate a close call with the type of negative, abusive or dangerous person described in the upright meaning. It can also indicate that previously you may have felt you were stuck with being single or were so desperately seeking someone to love you that you were prepared to put up anything. However, you are starting to become more aware of yourself and how this behaviour has been hindering your search for love. You may need to take a step back from dating for while to just start enjoying the freedom of only having yourself to answer to that being single brings. With this new attitude emerging, the right partner won’t be far behind so relax and enjoy this time.

Money & Career
In a career context, The Devil reversed shows that your awareness of how your behaviour and choices have influenced your current circumstances is increasing dramatically and you are ready to start taking steps to get to where you want to be. While you may have felt stuck in your job due to financial constraints or being too focused on attaining status or materialistic goals, you are starting to see the big picture and refocus on what is going to make you happy and fulfilled in your life. Seize this new motivation and don’t fall back into old habits because they are comfortable or offer more financial security. Financially speaking, if you have been engaging in gambling, excessive spending or risky behaviours with money, you are starting to regain control of yourself.

As with the general meaning, The Devil Tarot card reversed can indicate that you have managed to avert a dangerous or harmful situation. In a spiritual Tarot spread, this tells you that the universe has been kind enough to allow you to learn your lesson without major negative consequences. You must learn this lesson now and learn it well or it will come back to you. The Devil reversed can also indicate that you are turning away from darkness and coming back to the light. This may signify you emerging from a period of depression, sadness or feeling spiritually lost to once again move towards love and light and reconnect with your higher consciousness. It may also signify that you are learning to deflect the negative energy of people around you so it no longer affects you in the way it once did.