The ‘Devil’ of the Major Arcana is one of those Tarot cards that elicits a raised eyebrows and a sharp intake of breath from folk that have a reading for the first time. So, let’s go about giving the ‘Devil’ card a less frightening take. The Devil, is about ‘want’, rather than ‘need’ he the greedy side of life, he is materialism, he is wanting to take something to the extreme.
He is addictive behavior in all forms, addiction to alcohol, food, love, sex, binge-buying, and this guy does not promote moderation (like his counterpart, the Angel of Temperance).
The Devil was literally sent to try us – he is an ‘adversary’, and try us he does! We all know how hard it is to keep to that diet, when everybody else is eating merrily. Therefore when the Devil turns up in a reading it could be that we need to exercise discipline in our lives.
The Devil in the Rider-Waite card shows the Winged Devil perched upon a plinth, Adam and Eve are chained to the plinth, and it is obvious however, that they could easily remove themselves from these chains, as they are merely looped loosely around their necks.
He represents attachment – to an ideal, an idea, a person, a co-dependent relationship – he is bad news all round.
Eve is tantalized by what appears to be a bunch of grapes, on the tip of her tail (yes I really said tip of her tail!) she can just about touch them with her right hand, and she would certainly be unable to put it to her mouth.
Adam has a flaming torch for a tail (yes I did say tail! – we are really going places here!) His burning tail is his burning passion. They are tantalized by their mutual passions. The Devil card corresponds to Capricorn, adding a goat-life earthiness to this tarot card meaning.