The Devil Tarot Card Divinatory Meanings

The Devil is an excellent indicator for success in business and career. Ambition of all kinds, which could override the wishes of others, is very likely. The desire to dominate is strong. Astrologically this card is Capricorn and the 10th house, which is also the position of the father. When the Devil is weak, the client will often feel put upon, under stress, unable to move or change careers. There may be repression or bullying at work. Alternatively, the client is obsessed about work and career, and their place on the greasy pole.

Attributions of the Devil card

Significance of 15

Rider-Waite Devil meanings

Rider-Waite: The DevilThe design is an accommodation, mean or harmony, between several motives mentioned in the first part. The Horned Goat of Mendes, with wings like those of a bat, is standing on an altar. At the pit of the stomach there is the sign of Mercury. The right hand is upraised and extended, being the reverse of that benediction which is given by the Hierophant in the fifth card. In the left hand there is a great flaming torch, inverted towards the earth. A reversed pentagram is on the forehead. There is a ring in front of the altar, from which two chains are carried to the necks of two figures, male and female. These are analogous with those of the fifth card, as if Adam and Eve after the Fall. Hereof is the chain and fatality of the material life.

The figures are tailed, to signify the animal nature, but there is human intelligence in the faces, and he who is exalted above them is not to be their master for ever. Even now, he is also a bondsman, sustained by the evil that is in him and blind to the liberty of service. With more than his usual derision for the arts which he pretended to respect and interpret as a master therein, Éliphas Lévi affirms that the Baphometic figure is occult science and magic. Another commentator says that in the Divine world it signifies predestination, but there is no correspondence in that world with the things which below are of the brute. What it does signify is the Dweller on the Threshold without the Mystical Garden when those are driven forth therefrom who have eaten the forbidden fruit.

Devil divinatory meanings - Rider-Waite

Ravage, violence, vehemence, extraordinary efforts, force, fatality; that which is predestined but is not for this reason evil.

Devil Reversed card meanings - Rider-Waite

Evil fatality, weakness, blindness.

Book of Thoth Devil meanings

Thoth Tarot: Devil cardWith thy right Eye create all for thyself, and with the left
accept all that be created otherwise.

Blind impulse, irresistibly strong and unscrupulous, ambition, temptation, obsession, secret plan about to be executed; hard work, obstinacy, rigidity, aching discontent, endurance.

More information

Golden Dawn - Devil meanings

Lord of the Gates of Matter, Child of the Forces of Time

Materiality. Material Force. Material temptation; sometimes obsession

Mathers - Devil meanings

Fatality for Good.

Mathers - Devil meanings - Reversed

Fatality for Evil.

Etteilla - Devil meanings

GREAT FORCE Great Movement, Vehemence, Extraordinary Effort, Strength, Extraordinary Power, Ability. Capability, Impulse. Enthusiasm. Ravage, Violence, Physical Work.

Etteilla - Reversed Card meanings

Insubstantial, Weakness, Pettiness, Moral or Physical Weakness.

Thierens - Devil meanings

XV. The Devil. Mars.

The goat-like figure recalls the sign Capricorn in which astrology teaches that the planet Mars has its exaltation, the name 'devil' means the evil, as is well known, and this alliteration holds good not only in English. It is the symbol of that which to exoteric human understanding is as much of a malefic nature as Venus is benefic. The counterpart of Venus: Mars, planet of pain and struggle, passion and sex-nature, but also of the energy necessary for the process of formation and generation in Nature. Allusion to sex-problems is found in the two human figures, man and woman, chained to the pedestal on which the diabolic figure is seated. That sex-nature binds man, is a natural fact of a more or less occult order.

So it has to do with generation in Nature in every sense and kingdom, though astrology teaches that Mars has a special connection with the animal kingdom and animal passion — passion which drives to the preservation of the body as well as of the race; fighting for existence in both senses of the term. So Mars always figured as the War-lord. Not only sexual energy, but every energy in Nature chains the result to the cause and object to subject. It is unnecessary to work this out any further. We shall be safe in interpreting this card as energy, desire, lust, war, struggle, difficulties, pain, loss, etc. But also as exercise, training; tests to which the personality will be subject.

The torch in the hand of the figure denotes, of course, the fire of passion and desire, which may rise to anger, etc. So it may well be said to represent the condition of "Adam and Eve after the Fall" (W.) The struggle for existence, in short.

P. in regard to this card points to the Hebrew letter "Samech which expresses the same hieroglyphic sign as the Zain (7th arcanum)... etc., a weapon of any kind..." We can see, that this generative force has much to do with the house of marriage.

15. Le Diable - Paul Foster-Case

Corresponds, through the letter Ayin, with Capricorn. In all but the highest spiritual questions, where the Querent is definitely and consciously on the occult path, this card is of evil significance. In its most general meanings, it signifies Mammon, and thus big business, the conventions of society, the injustice and cruelty of a social order in which money takes the place of God, in which humanity is bestialized, in which war is engineered by greed masquerading as patriotism, in which fear is dominant. Students of astrology will have no difficulty in seeing how this corresponds to Capricorn, the sign of big business, and the sign of worldly fame. Not that Capricorn is evil, but that its lower and negative expression is what has just been mentioned.

Devil reversed meanings

Bondage, materiality, force (especially the force of convention and public opinion), fate, necessity.

Ouspensky: Card XV THE DEVIL

“Man”. Weakness. Falsehood. The Fall of man into separateness, into hatred and into finiteness.

Black, awful night enveloped the earth. An ominous, red flame burned in the distance. I was approaching a fantastic figure which outlined itself before me as I came nearer to it. High above the earth appeared the repulsive red face of the Devil, with large, hairy ears, pointed beard and curved goats' horns. A pentagram, pointing downwards, shone in phosphoric light between the horns on his forehead. Two large, grey, bat-like wings were spread behind him. He held up one arm, spreading out his bare, fat hand. In the palm I saw the sign of black magic. A burning torch held down-end in his other hand emitted black, stifling smoke. He sat on a large, black cube, gripping it with the claws of his beast-like, shaggy legs.

A man and woman were chained to the cube - the same Man and Woman I saw in the garden, but now they had horns and tails tipped with flame. And they were evidently dissatisfied in spirit, and were filled with protest and repulsion.

"This is a picture of weakness", said the voice, "a picture of falsehood and evil. They are the same man and woman you saw in the garden, but their love ceasing to be a sacrifice, became an illusion. This man and woman forgot that their love is a link in the chain that unites them with eternity, that their love is a symbol of equilibrium and a road to Infinity.

"They forgot that It is a key to the gate of the magic world, the torch which lights the higher Path. They forgot that Love is real and immortal and they subjugated it to the unreal and temporary. And they each made love a tool for submitting the other to himself.

"Then love became dissension and fettered them with iron chains to the black cube of matter, on which sits deceit".

And I heard the voice of the Devil: "I am Evil", he said, "at least so far as Evil can exist in this best of worlds. In order to see me, one must be able to see unfairly, incorrectly and narrowly. I close the triangle, the other two sides of which are Death and Time. In order to quit this triangle it is necessary to see that it does not exist.

"But how to do this is not for me to tell. For I am the Evil which men say is the cause of all evil and which they invented as an excuse for all the evil that they do.

"They call me the Prince of Falsehood, and truly I am the prince of lies, because I am the most monstrous production of human lies".