The Crystal Tarot by Phillip Permutt (CICO Books, 2010) shows a traditional Devil image (though it is quite softened and friendly in comparison to some, because after all this is a very gentle and charming deck--that's why I'm extending my draws with it for another week!). But still we see a male and female figure chained to the Devil's throne. They have horns on their heads, signifying his influence over them, and they have tails, but those tails also show their connection to the good earth, because they actually form viney branches that end in leaves, or in the case of the female, in fruit. (I like to think this is because of the fruitfulness of the female rather than any reference to Eve and the Garden of Eden story, though it may be that these figures are Adam and Eve and the implication is that Eve is the one who chained us to the Devil. Meh.) Be that as it may, the fact remains that the chains around the necks of the two figures are very loose indeed, and their hands are free, so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Devil has no actual power over them, but that they are in chains to him of their own free will; whether they realise that or not is another matter entirely! When we draw the Devil, our first thought is 'Oh, no! We're trapped by a great evil force!' Then comes the subtext: 'But however we managed to get ourselves into this fix, we can get back out again. We can escape this bondage.'
The crystal associated with the Devil card here is one that I've also linked to it, smoky quartz. This is a crystal that breaks through a fear barrier - the fear of failure. I know from experience that smoky quartz does enhance the ability to overcome the fear of failure. It helps to break out of defeatist beliefs so that you can move forward.
I wanted to know more, so I asked for two more cards of advice--
DO THIS: DON'T DO THIS:
Interesting that I've drawn 2s here. Two by its very nature offers a choice. Each card represents a choice of action, both in the number of the cards and in the position in the draw. So it is clearly being pointed out to me that this whole situation is down to my choices. The power is in my hands. It's so easy to forget that. Those chains are so convincing.
Two of Pentacles suggests that I find a balance; usually this card refers to a balance in the mundane details of daily life. How am I out of balance? Let's see, I am out of balance in the way I spend my time, in the type of exercise I take, and in the food choices I make. Those three areas require some examination as to how I can bring them into balance. The crystal suggested is merlinite, a stone I'm unfamiliar with (like many stones in this deck). Because it is a stone of black and white, it is thought to balance earth and spirit energy. I see in the card that the image suggests the same -- one pentacle is planted in the earth, the other floats/balances in the air above.
Finding a true balance requires time and experimentation, and the Two of Wands tells me not to go flying off headlong making big changes. This card usually is about looking out toward the horizon and then going for it, but as it is in the 'Don't do this' position, I see it as advice NOT to go firing off like a rocket in any particular direction. The crystal here is Carnelian, one of my favourite stones, associated with the sacral chakra. It increases ambition, drive and confidence. These things are very good, but in the don't position, I see it saying not to be overambitious, and coupled with the Two of Pentacles, I see it as a warning that latching onto one idea and running with it will simply lead to greater imbalances in my life and won't help the situation at all.
As usual, the reading leaves me with much homework to do, beginning with a thorough investigation of how my life is out of balance and what I might do to bring it more into alignment.