The Devil – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 16 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into The Devil – one of the most intense (and horny!) cards in the Major Arcana!

Grab a notebook, pen and a hot bevy and settle in…

Keywords: addiction, unhelpful habits, stuck in a pattern, oppression,  being tempted, tricked or manipulated into giving your power away without realizing it (examples: drug addiction, credit card debt, pyramid schemes, cults).

The Devil represents the opposite of enlightenment – remaining unconscious and in the dark, believing that only the material realm matters and that spirit doesn’t exist.


Horns = horny, animal/primal desires
Torch pointed downwards (opposite of enlightenment)
Darkness = being unenlightened, only that which is seen exists
Chains = oppression
Tails made of fire and grapes
The Devil is #15 (5 + 1 = 6 =The Lovers) – this card features the same couple

Light Side: You’re ready for more freedom! You’re ready to see the unhelpful patterns and habits because you’re ready to change and be more free.

1) Addictions

The Devil is all about addictions and unhelpful habits and patterns which bring us comfort and fulfill a need, yet keep us stuck and rob us of freedom.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What are you addicted to? What unhelpful habits do you cling to?

♥ What primal need or desire does your addiction fulfill?

♥ Which habits/addictions are you ready to break free from?

2) Surrendering your power (selling your soul)

The Devil tempts and seduces us into handing over our power/soul in exchange for success in the material world like money, security, sex, fame and accolades. Often these things just turn out to be illusions and not worth the trade.

If The Devil can convince us that only the physical world is real, then we’ll undervalue our own soul. When he asks for it in exchange for something material like monetary success, we’ll be tricked into thinking it’s a good deal.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What are you giving your power away to?

♥ What are you trading your freedom for?

♥ How are you sacrificing the spiritual in return for the material?

3) Longing for freedom

The Devil only shows up when we’re ready for more freedom – we’re ready to look our addictions and unhelpful patterns in the eye and ask “am I really as stuck as I think I am? Is this really all there is?”

There is safety and predictability in our habits and addictions, even if they make us miserable, they are at least familiar. Yet….we long to be free!

Journalling Questions:

♥ How are you ready to be more free? What does more freedom look like to you?

♥ When you think about breaking free of a habit, do any fears come up?

♥ Is your desire for safety, comfort and routine greater than your desire to be free? Can you imagine yourself being safe AND free? Affirmation: I am Safe, I am Free

The wisdom of The Devil

The Devil asks “how are you deluding yourself? How have you been tricked? What unhelpful beliefs are you buying into?” And most importantly….. “how can you be more free?”

Inside of us exists a tendency to want to hand over our true power in exchange for a poor substitute for what we truly crave. Yet the intense desire for freedom also exists within us…which one will win out at the end of the day?

Let me know in the comments below…Did you learn anything new about The Devil? What surprised you most?

Join me next week as we dive into The Tower

You can find all my previous Tarot Meanings Deep Dives right here!

4 thoughts on “The Devil – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive”

  1. Hi Kate!

    thanks for this amazing interpretation of the devil. I loved all the ideas and associations to the symbols you presented on the video, but what really struck me was the idea that when we fall prey to our basic instincts like sex, sexual attraction etc, then there is the possibility that we might be sacrificing our spirituality and our enlightened side. I’m not suggesting that there is anything wrong with sex, but in certain situations like in extramarital affairs, you often hear that the cheater got tempted because the sex was great, or because the other person was more well off than the current partner, you often get that as well. And it wasn’t until this video that I’ve realized that by doing that we also sacrifice our spiritual selves to the materialistic realm, and that no matter how exciting the end result is, it is also usually a deception, a lie, that we don’t really need. That was a great argument in favour of maintaining our integrity no matter how hard it feels and also it didn’t sound moralistic. As I detest anything that is moralistic and sounds like we ought to follow certain moral rules because a higher power dictates so.

    I also want to say that I see you more as a life/spiritual coach, rather than just a tarot reader, since the lessons that I get out of these deep dive videos are very profound and thought-provoking and I would like to thank you once more for this!

    Maria Koufaki

    1. Maria, thank you!!! I’m so glad you’re getting so much out of these deep dives. I’m getting a lot out of them as well, as I create these videos. Thank you so much for sharing your insights and ideas here – and I agree, I also can’t stand stuff that’s moralistic!

  2. What a deep dive—much deeper than any other explanation of the Devil I’ve read. This really makes think about my life and some changes I might want to make. There are certainly some things we’d all like to change, but this makes me realize that I’m doing pretty well and have a lot to be grateful for. Thank you for this thought-provoking and, for me, inspiring message.

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