When I look at this rendition of the Devil, it seems to have an optical illusion effect, much like those pictures where you are supposed to tell if it is an old lady with a hooked nose and pointy chin or a young lady sporting an elegant coif. It is all about perspective. So is the Devil. When I first picked up the card I believed the young lady had her back arched and her face turned skyward as she exalted in the lightning storm, one hand raised in triumph, the other flung behind her head as she cries out. Now it looks more like she is crouched between the rocks, shame keeping her from facing her own reflection and preferring that her hair hide her face from knowing, as if it were that easy to turn away from the things we have done.
There is no horned figure in this image, no chains and no coercion. For good, as in my first impression, or for bad, the Devil is in the choices we each make every day. The artist seems to be stressing the idea of personal responsibility and accountability, and not looking to a Devil that causes us to do things, but to look inside our own souls to figure out why we do the things we do. I don't know about you, but sometimes I have the distinct impression that looking at my true self can be a scarier prospect than looking at any horrific Devil figure.
There is no judgment in this Devil card, because sometimes Devil energy is needed. When you want to spice things up in the ol' bedroom, for example, or a healthy dose of hedonism is the only cure for what ails you. In that case, you should throw yourself into whatever it is you are doing with all abandon, no regrets, but with eyes wide open.
But when we have willfully made mistakes, hurt others, said cruel things, drank too much, had one too many cupcakes, when we have done something we know to be wrong, then it is just as important to have our eyes wide open as we take a good look at ourselves and full accountability for our lives. The Devil is not a card we get when we are being done wrong, but a card that denotes being the wrong doer.
I leave you with the words of Maya Angelou:
"It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'Well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.' If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self."
I am not a visual artist. The creators of the decks I use are. I try very hard to give proper credit to the artist when I use an image.
My most oft used deck on this blog is the Deviant Moon Tarot, created by Patrick Valenza and published by U.S. Games Systems, Incorporated. Check out his site to buy some fantastic Deviant Moon stuff, or a deck of your own!
A lovely, but digital only, Rider Waite Smith clone deck is the Aquatic by Andreas Schroter. You are allowed to downlaod and use the images.
They also make me tell you that readings are for entertainment purposes only. I'll tell you on my own that if you change your life based on a few cards something is not right there.
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“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” ~Ashley Smith~
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi~
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.” ~Marianne Williamson~
“Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all.” ~Kahlil Gibran~
"First you jump off the cliff and you build wings on the way down." ~Ray Bradbury~
“If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” ~C.S. Lewis~
"Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love." ~Rainer Maria Rilke~