The Bright Side of Getting ‘The Devil’ In Your Reading

Getting “the devil” in your tarot spread isn’t necessarily a negative omen. The horned goat (half man/half animal) can cause unwelcome feelings to arise as we recall how he can represent materialism, addictions, greed, overwork, ego and being our shadow self. However, the devil can emerge to highlight a call of the wild or that you need to put yourself first for once, be more self-absorbed, give yourself some TLC and break free from the shackles of restriction. When there are other encouraging and upbeat cards present in the spread, I like to see “The Devil” as animal impulse and instinct, primal knowledge and ancestral memory. He can differentiate the tension between order and chaos, reconcile the cultured vs. natural state of our being. The devil can easily fall into the temptation of desire, fertility, enchantment, fascination, and magnetism and is healthy competition.

This can symbolise our animal behaviour/needs blending with the civilized conscious. It can also be interpreted as the rise of primal instincts such as nesting, nurturing, herding, and protecting and attuning our animal qualities and senses, which can be of great value in agility, cunning and the intuition of threats or unnatural conditions. If you were asking about your sexuality it could represent your deepest, darkest fantasies and your wild side. This could be a double-edged sword; if something’s supressed it could be an enriching experience, however, it could turn into something unsafe in the long-term. Boundaries may need to be set early on.

The wisdom of the subconscious can make its influence felt through appetites and aversions when the devil is present. Nature has a cycle and rhythm to regulate our behaviours, keeping balance and order. Unless a negative interpretation is suggested by surrounding cards, the horned satyr of the tarot deck is a symbol of a healthy, life-enhancing, wild nature.