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Thursday, 13 March 2014

He's bad, he's bad, shum on

Wow! Look at this guy from the Faerie Tarot. Now he's a devilish devil. :) Nathalie Hertz says he is a 'rascal and a joker demon' who enjoys food, material goods, parties and pleasures of the flesh. She goes on to say that he is a generator of 'creative and life-producing forces'.

Well, okay. So she's got a revisionist way of looking at the Devil card. That's fine. Her divinatory meaning is 'power and psychic energy, charisma, magnetism, audacity, success, fulfilled desires, unbridled sexuality' and the list goes on. Clearly she is a fan.

I take a more a traditionalist view of the Devil card. He is intensely interested in the flesh and the pleasures thereof, but his motives are not in our best interest, and giving in to his 'charisma and magnetism' will lead to no good for us. This is a very 'Christian' interpretation, but I do think it is quite traditional and I often read the card this way. On the other hand, and this, too, is in keeping with Christian tradition, the Devil has no actual power over us that we do not actually give him, and his temptations, charisma, magnetism and 'audacity' are all the weapons he has in his arsenal to lure us in. He is not difficult to escape. (As we see in the RWS image, in which the man and woman are chained, but their binding are quite loose and easy to slip). If we find ourselves bound to our temptations or anything negative, harmful or destructive, we can't blame the Devil. We've given our power over to those things, he hasn't done it. So when we do give in to temptations, we can't blame anyone but ourselves -- and we shouldn't blame, but recognize, and then slip our bonds to freedom.

What will I be tempted by, recognize and escape from today? How about you?


  1. I read the devil in the same way as you do. Giving in to temptation in whatever form, is holding yourself captive and it is making you addicted to short-term kicks.
    And...I haven't bought "the best deck ever" today:D

  2. That's only the most superficial level of this card. Sure that may be sufficient for most people, but his name also was Pan which means "All" - in other words, the life force that gives life and impetus to all. But this power is impersonal - if we try to 'own' it too much, it ends up owning us. Fortunately we have the Christ impulse which gives us something to aim towards that the classical peoples did not have.