The Winged depiction of the devil in this card was taken from a painting called “Dante and Virgil in Hell” by William Bouguereau (1850)
The Card depicts a man and woman who are chained together and sitting on a ledge over a fiery pit in hell, with, and the devil as their jailer is hovering over them, smiling.
Meaning of The Devil: The key words for this card are Bondage, Attachment, Addiction, fear and Ignorance. This card personifies temptation, burdens, addictions, attachment and belief in the appearance of things rather than the truth of the situation. This attachment keeps us working like slaves just to hold on to what we have collected and believe we need. The devil keeps us busy and robs our creative spark and energy. He sucks the life and enthusiasm out of us and puts us into slavery
In a Reading: Are you trading your freedom or your soul for the things of this world? More often than not, this card represents an addiction or toxic attachment to someone or some substance or some desire. Do you make things happen or do you let things happen to you? Are you a passive chooser or an active chooser? Do you feel hopelessly trapped in a rut and yet decide that you have no other options? Are you in charge of your life or a victim of circumstances? The chains that hold you can be removed at will but you must alter your thoughts, attitudes and actions.
Regarding occupation: “Take this job and Shove it” may be your favorite song but you have to keep working to hang on to the things you desire and feel you need. Materialism and profit are the driving forces, and even though you may hate your job, you cling to it. Is your boss a control freak or are you? Punching a clock makes you feel suffocated. The underlying emotion behind this attachment is the fear and insecurity about loosing your job or changing jobs so you cling to it and feel trapped.
Regarding Romance: This card can represent an unhappy toxic relationship or marriage or being intimately involved with a substance abuser. At times it feels like your are chained to the substance as well. You know you can’t fix or change the other person, but you continue in the relationship because you are attached for other reasons. The sexual chemistry between you and your significant other is wilting and no longer compensates for the flaws in the relationship
Regarding your health: The Devil is also about attachment and addictions of all kinds. Substance abuse, drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, sugar, sex, material possessions, etc. It is the monkey on your back that keeps you from your spiritual purpose and keeps you from your bliss. Stop clinging to your disease, it no longer serves you. Mental depression just complicates your health problems. You will benefit from physical exercise that gets you out of the house and out of your own head.
Advice:Give up self defeating behaviors, bad habits and negative thinking if you want to improve your situation. Your transformation can begin the moment you affirm your intention to exercise the devil and cast out negative energies. If you practice mental detachment to the things you cling to and let go of them, you will defeat the devil in his own house. You can’t take it with you, and you deserve to be happy. Find your purpose and you will find your bliss. Walk away from that which places you in bondage.
Finances: Don't abandon your principles in favor of material gain. Avoid going into business with a lover or relative because this will skew your financial judgement. Doing something just for the money will become a chore that you regret, find something you are passionate about.