The Devil is another well-known tarot card in the face of popular media, as it represents a classic enemy in our religious societies. Apart from religion, however, there are many ways to relate to this card. If you've ever heard the term “battling my demons”, you can easily start to associate that phrase with this card. And what if you don't think the Devil is all that bad a guy? Read on – you'll get just as much meaning from the card as anyone else.
On the Devil card we see, well, a devilish creature. The creature has the face of a man, the wings of a bat, and the legs and horns of a goat. On his head we see the inverted pentagram – the symbol of the Devil. He holds in his one hand a torch, which is lighting the a tail in front of him. Before him seems to be Adam and Eve, though they are significantly changed from their appearance on the Lovers card. Both of them now have horns, and are chained to a pedestal that the Devil crouches upon. If you look at the chains a little closer, however, you see that they are not very tight around their necks – in fact, they could free themselves at any moment, yet they do not.
Indulgence – sometimes, it can be a good thing. When we're tired, we indulge ourselves in a nap. When we're hungry, we indulge ourselves in a juicy steak. When we're feeling hot and sexy, we indulge in a little playtime with out partner. Our society has often taught us to shun enjoyment and embrace hard work and perseverance... but they never tell you what happens when you burn out. What then? Can't get back to work. In those cases, self-indulgence can be healing, helping, and down-right fun. Who knows - Adam and Eve might lie in chains because that's how they enjoy themselves in their free time!
Overindulgence, however, is where the line is crossed – healing becomes hurting, and helping yourself becomes self-enslavement. This tends to happen when there is a great hurt that has yet to heal: we indulge ourselves to try and cover up this wound, but it is infected and won't heal without care. These overindulgent behaviors can be sometimes such as a drug addiction or alcoholism. See the overindulgence for what it is – a symptom of a greater problem.
Caught in a depressive, unhealthy place. There are times where we land in places that are dark – so darn that we aren't sure how we'll ever escape again. This card can signal a deep depression, a hurtful relationship, or a soul-sucking job. In these times, look to this card and see the key to escape – the chains that Adam and Eve wear are loose. These two figures could escape at any time, but they are so blinded, so frightened, and so dismal that they choose not to.
You should ask yourself plenty of personal, prying questions when you pull the Devil card. Is this Devil giving off a good vibe or a bad one? Could you use more indulgence in your life? Or do you have too much of it? Do you feel trapped in any area of your life?
The Devil can be seen in any card with a material twist on it. Likewise, any card that evokes a feeling of hopeless entrapment can also parallel the Devil card. One of the cards that has the potential for landing you in a bad place is the 9 of Cups – while it can mean happiness and material wealth, it can also signify indulgence and eventual unhappiness, just like the Devil. The Eight of Swords can signify entrapment of a dangerous kind – the woman is blind-folded, tied up, and surrounded by swords. This potential danger in the Eight card is sometimes also present in the Devil card.