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---------------------XV – The DevilMaterialism ----- Ignorance ----- Stagnation ----- Self-bondage
Lust ----- Egoism ----- Obsession ----- Anxiety ----- Anger
Hedonism ----- Passion ----- Instincts
Sexuality ------ Temptation ----- Doubt ----- Vice
Futility ----- Physical attraction ----- Pessimism ----- Insight
The Devil is the card of self-bondage to an idea or belief which is preventing a person from growing or being healthy—an example might be a belief that getting drunk each night is good for you. On the other hand, however, it can also be a warning to someone who is too restrained and/or dispassionate and never allows him or herself to be rash or wild or ambitious, which is yet another form of enslavement.
The Devil is the 15th card of the Major Arcana, and is associated with earth and Capricorn. Though many decks portray a stereotypical Satan figure for this card, it is more accurately represented by our bondage to material things
rather than by any evil persona. It also indicates an obsession or addiction to fulfilling our own earthly base desires. Should the Devil represent a person, it will most likely be one of money and power, one who is persuasive, aggressive, and controlling.
In any case, it is most important that the querent understands that the ties that bind are freely worn.
If the Major Arcana is analogized to the Sun’s circle across the sky, The Devil governs the Sun at midnight, when it is most vulnerable to the Old Night. The ancient Egyptians tell of the serpent demon Apophis, Chaos, who would sometimes lay in wait for Ra as he piloted the boat of the Sun down the Nile to be born again in the morning. Sometimes, Apophis would swallow the sun. Mercifully, the reversals of the night brought Set to an unlikely rescue; he ripped Apophis open and let the Sun escape. Set, The Devil, is the adversary but sometimes, he is our best and only ally.
In Jungian terms, he is The Shadow: all the repressed, unmentioned or unmentionable desires that lurk beneath.The Devil symbolizes weakness, materialism, incomplete knowledge, and, in general, a limited view, such as of only worldly, tangible matters. The figures at the Devil's feet are bound, but not oppressed. In fact, they even lustfully desire the bondage, representing the aspect of domination by desires instead of rational thought, or the acceptance of a bad situation. Basic Tarot Meaning
Lucifer. Mephistopheles. Satan. The Prince of Darkness. No matter what we call him, the Devil is our symbol for what is bad and undesirable. From our human perspective, we see the world as a struggle between light and dark. We want to vanquish the bad so the good can prevail. In fact, good and bad cannot be separated
, just as you cannot separate a shadow from its source. Darkness is simply the absence of light, and it is caused by errors that hide the truth.
Card 15 shows us these errors. But at the same time, it is perhaps the most misunderstood card of all the major arcana, as the Devil originally is not really "Satan", but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius (Bacchus). These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. Sometimes, this card says, it is good to dance with Bacchus, surrendering control, or be Bacchus and manipulate. Too much restraint can hold you back and keep you from achieving important things.
In this regard, we might say that this card is about being honest with yourself. What do you desire? What gives you pleasure? What has power over you and will enslave you if you let it, and what makes you feel powerful and will help you reach your highest goals?
With Capricorn as its ruling sign, the Devil is also a card about ambitions, about commitment and resourcefulness. This is the mountain goat that aims to get to the top and does all its needs to do to get there.
As a person, the Devil can stand for a man or woman of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad person, but certainly a powerful person who is hard to resist.
The querent needs to watch themselves lest they end up needing this powerful person to give them identity. On the other hand, the querent might find themselves in "Devil" mode, egging others on, playing puppetmaster. This, too, can become their identity. Thus, the addict and pusher can create a co-dependent relationship that is not healthy for either.
When not indicating a person, the Devil card is synonymous with temptation and addiction, anything that we find hard to resist be it chocolate, sex or heroin. Readers should ask querents if there's anything they've been having trouble resisting of late. It is important to point out, as the card does, that, often (though not always), we don't resist is because we don't want to.
This needs to be recognized and acknowledge as it means that the power to change the situation is with us, not with what tempts us.
Most cards urge balance, unity, restraint, yin-yang. Not this card. The Devil, to the contrary, is a card that revels in extremity, excess and loss of control.
There is a convincing argument that this is the most powerful and dangerous card in the deck. At its absolute worst, it is the card of the addict or the stalker, totally obsessed, enslaved, relentless.
At its very best, it is a card about cutting lose, going for the gold, climbing every mountain. Symbolism
In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Devil sits above two naked human demons—one male, one female, who are chained to his seat.
The Tarot Devil card is derived in part from Eliphas Levi's famous illustration "Baphomet" in his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (1855). Baphomet is winged and horned, combining human and bestial features. Many modern Tarot decks portray the Devil as a satyr-like creature. In the Tarot of Marseilles, the devil is portrayed with facial features in unusual places, such as a mouth on his stomach, eyes on his knees, and with female breasts and male genitalia.
According to Waite, the Devil is standing on an altar. In his left hand, the Devil holds a great flaming torch inverted towards the earth. A reversed pentagram is on his forehead.
Eliphas Levi says in his book, Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual that:
"A reversed pentagram, with two points projecting upwards, is a symbol of evil and attracts sinister forces because it overturns the proper order of things and demonstrates the triumph of matter over spirit. It is the goat of lust attacking the heavens with its horns
, a sign execrated by initiates." In Native American tarot, the attribution is often more complex than this.Personal Interpretation with the Characters
The two characters in the picture are Ahriman (white haired man) a necromancer and Dark Bishop, and Aldag'ar (one winged man) a fallen archangel.
The 'devil' in this case is Ahri. He is a former general, Dark Bishop, high ranked necromancer, … A person of might and influence who likes to manipulate others. He often abuses others as his marionettes, manipulating them and bending their mind and believes to more or less voluntarily do exactly what he wants them to do.
The name Ahriman is the modern Persian form of Angra Mainyu, meaning "evil spirit" in Avestan. In Persian mythology Angra Mainyu was the god of darkness, death and destruction and the enemy of Ahura Mazda, the "lord of wisdom" in Avestan,vthe supreme creator, and the god of light, truth, and goodness.
As tarot card, Ahri represents 'The Devil' in many ways. He is a creature of pleasure and desires, doing only what benefits him, following his earthly desires and not hesitating to use others to accomplish his goals. At the same time, Ahri
was controlled by his own powers, projecting an old hatred on his student Sandro that had nothing to do with the boy. The necromancer couldn't stop fulfilling his revenge even though he knew Sandro had nothing to do what happened 2000 years ago, Ahri didn't stop destroying his life just to finally have someone to let his frustration and anger out on, losing control over his own acts. He was completely obsessed with this vendetta, that he discarded all the good experiences he shared with the boy, becoming a slave to his own hatred.
In combination with Alda, he also becomes the puppetmaster the Devil Arcana often describes. The Archangel got banned from the Holy Forces of Caelius, one of his wings being ripped out and sentenced to death, but he managed to escape. He tried to join the Dark Forces of Ares, unfortunately running into Ahriman there. The arean decided to keep Alda as his toy and tool, threatening to hand him back over to Caelius if he failed him or went against his orders.
Alda is tied to Ahriman. He could run away from both factions, hiding at neutral areas or asking for protection from Earthra... but despite all this, he stays with Ahriman, drawn to his might, cruelness and skills. The necromancer shares a coldness with the angel anyone else judge him for. To him, Ahri is the only person in the entire world who is be able to understand him and even though he treats him like an abomination, Alda can't help but see him as his master and the ultimate idol, holding him higher than the gods even.
In the picture itself, many of these symbols are hidden too. Instead of the pentagram, the seat Ahriman sits symbolizes the goat, the white roses that get painted red in blood showing the loss of innocence and the deep corruption. In the background, angels are falling out of the sky, bleeding from their hearts as symbol of how they fall to their desires. Ahri sits in front of the sun in the background, covering it and throwing his shadow over Alda. The angel is blindfolded and even though Ahri holds him with the strings around his neck, Alda is able to move freely... yet he remains lying at at his feet, a red, tainted rose falling from either of his hands. Ahriman is holding the spider web strings, controlling his 'net' that way...
Ahri also steps on Alda's artificial wing, scattering it and thus binding the angel to him in addition: He couldn't fly away even if he wanted to. That way he shows too though that he doesn't want Ahri to leave. Even if his strings fail, he makes sure Alda is unable to get away from him... They need -each other-, the angel isn't the only one depending on the necromancer, but it is a two sided thing... Ahri needs Alda for his plans. He can't let the angel go even if his charms fail.
Ahriman symbolizes 'The Devil' in two ways... as a personification of the card itself, the reason why others fall to their desires and dark ambitions, as well as being controlled by it himself, being a slave to his own powers, desire for might and shadows of the past.