15 - the Devil Tarot Card Meaning

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Devil tarot card meaning

This post covers the Devil Tarot Card Meaning in the traditional tarot deck. The featured card is from the Light Seer’s Tarot

Planet: Saturn

Astrology: Capricorn

Element: Earth

Hermetic Kabbalah Element:  26 – Ayin 


  • Capricorn energy
  • Addiction, bondage, entrapment, feeling restrained or tied to influence.
  • Corruption, domination, and power. Power but a power that is addictive and can easily be abused.
  • Sexuality, life force energy, and desire. These things can be obsessions and blind us.
  • Material energies at hand keeping the querent prisoner.

Devil Tarot Card Meaning In a Reading

  • Something is dictating how you think, feel, or live. It can be an obsession or addiction (anything from food to sex to alcohol to work). It can also be letting a negative feeling such as fear, grudge, jealousy or selfishness drive your life. Some people think this card speaks to a bond between people but this card is more likely about negative bonds.

  • The querent may be too wrapped up in material concerns.

  • The Devil often shows us the illusions we believe that make us feel like we don’t have a choice.
    • Questions to consider
      • What is opposing my freedom right now?
      • What is getting in the way of me living my best life?
      • What are the things I can now stop believing (about myself) to free myself?
      • What are the things you have believed (especially about yourself) that aren’t serving you?

  • The Devil represents nature – the Devil is often depicted as living in the woods; the wild places (like Pan) and is not subject to the laws of man. The Devil is our wild nature, the untamed parts of ourselves.

  • When the devil comes up in the reading (especially in a position of the past) it could be referring to a demon from our past, something that still grips us or holds us. Something we need to let go of. What are we beholden to?

  • The Devil may be telling us to own our desires. The devil reminds us of what our desires are and it may be time to get in touch with all that you desire without shame. Are you hiding your desires (power) and needing to step into your own power?

Symbolism in card

  • This is an ominous-looking card – images of hell, bondage, trapped environment, dungeon vibes

  • Baphomet is often featured – half man, head of a donkey, breasts, wings of a bat, legs of a goat, has a penis, and holding a torch. Represents masculine & feminine; good & evil.

  • Figures bound and chain (male and female) – The Lovers appear in chains

  • The pentacle/pentagram (upside down star) – traditionally represents a man (4 limbs and a head) and also the 4 elements plus spirit (5).

  • The goat – Capricorn, the goat is a mountain climber in the wild

  • Number 15
    • Breaks down to the number 6 which is associated with the Lovers (6). The Devil is often the Lovers teacher card.
    • Number 1 – The number 1 (The Magician) represents “I” and is solitary or independent; the number 5 (the Hierophant) represents spiritual work. Solitary magical work + plus spiritual work.

High expression

  • Using the energy of this card for liberation from shame, guilt, and addiction and stepping into one’s power in a healthy way.
  • Conquering fear and jealousy – not letting these negative emotions run our lives
  • Not allowing obsession or material gains to blind us and dictate our lives.

Shadow side

  • Abuse culture and self-flagellation
  • Punishing ourselves and allowing guilt, shame, or addiction to run our lives
  • Spiritual materialism – the idea that we need the thing in order to BE the thing.
  • Propaganda and controlling through fear

Magical uses

  • Sex magic
  • Working with Cernunnos
  • Doing shadow work and working through pain, struggle, shame etc

Related Articles

  • Tarot Card Meanings Library (all tarot articles on my site) – CLICK HERE

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