Saturday, April 11, 2009

Daily Draw - The Devil

I might never get tired of noticing how impishly divine this card is. Funnily enough, whenever I see it, I think of it as a tiny Devil, not the looming fierce creature in RWS tradition. This one is no less insidious, in my mind, anyway, and in fact, may be more so. Who wouldn't cross the street to get out of the way of the big, bad, hairy hermaphrodite Devil we are all used to seeing? But the smaller, quieter one, well, he could sneak in just about anywhere.

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist," according to the French poet, Charles Pierre Baudelaire.

Tarot claims its' roots in Christian artwork, and so there is no escaping the Devil as seen by Christians of the past 500 years, as the arch enemy of God, as the root of all evil. Modern day tarot tends to scoff at Christian beliefs, claiming that this Devil is one of our own making, one inside of our heads, that we tie ourselves to. I think that tarot, like God, like the Devil, as portrayed by tarot, is both as large and as small as any person needs it to be in a given moment. Today, for me, the Devil appears not to scare me straight with threats of fire and brimstone, but to ask me gently some questions.

What enslaves me? I am possibly the worst procrastinator I know. I will find anything and everything to distract me from what I actually need to be doing. A lot of time, those distractions are worthy things that need to be done, like cleaning the bathroom when I should be writing a paper, or even writing a paper that is not quite due to not have to clean the bathroom. Something in my nature rebels strongly against time restrictions, the have-tos.

How can I set myself free? Like many things tarot-wise, the answer is inside myself. A shift in attitude would go far towards making it feel less like have-to and more like "I choose to use my time productively."

To what extent do my cravings define me? To be honest, if I want something, to eat, to read, some physical object of longing, I either get it, or I save until it is feasible. I do not believe in deprivation without a very good reason. I have been lolling about for the past few days, kind of feeling sorry myself, running my local shop out of Dove Promises (Dark Chocolate-Tiramisu flavor, if you please). The Devils' appearance today suggests that while it was okay to wallow for a bit, get it out of my system, now it is time to put that behind me and pay attention to the places I can actually effect change.

Mary K. Greer sums it with her affirmation for The Devil in Tarot For Yourself, "From darkness and chaos I create opportunities to transcend limitations."

The image is from Deviant Moon tarot by Patrick Valenza for US Games, and the questions from The Absolute Beginners Guide to Tarot by Mark McElroy.


  1. Mary K Greer is one of the goddesses in my pantheon and Patrick Valenza is one of the gods... now who would be the devil? The pope? lol

    Great post as usual. Don't feel too bad about the choccies. It's Easter after all, and that's what Easter is all about... isn't it? Or did the devil just make me think that? *munches thoughtfully on her Green&Black organic chocolate egg*

  2. Silly girl! Hey, you're right, I can just call it celebrating Easter a little early, teehee. Thanks, as usual, Lisa! *hugs*

  3. Your description of this Devil, reminds me of the Gravelings, in a TV show called "Dead Like Me." :) They're responsible for setting into motion, the way in which the people to be reaped, end up dying.

    I just heard this quote: "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist," in a marathon of Joan of Arcadia, on Friday afternoon (plus a few episodes over the weekend). I was dealing with relationship stuff, so I really needed that time to myself in between. I've also been eating too much chocolate: various types of English chocolate that my sister brought home from Canada, Ferrero Rocher, Truffles... my body is now craving fruit smoothies and vegetable juice (but those Dove Promises bars look good...).