Meaning of Devil Card in Tarot (Upright & Reversed)

The Devil Card In Tarot

  • Sign: Capricorn
  • Element: Earth

In tarot, there are many cards that appear during a reading that hold shockingly powerful energy, but it seems that one card that holds a bold reputation is none other than the Devil Card. In reality, this card doesn’t necessarily reflect the religious belief of the devil; more so, it symbolizes the negative attachment to certain energies.

In many depictions, the devil card shows a large winged beast, Baphomet, situated at the back of the card. Before, he is a man and a woman, chained to the podium on which the creature sits. The two individuals appear to be held captive, slaves to this evil beast.

But, if you look closely, the chains around their neck are wide enough for them to slip over their heads and free themselves.

The chains are one of the key points of this card, symbolizing that the power to free themselves lies within the individuals. 

Devil Card Upright Meaning

When the devil card appears upright, this indicates that there is a strong attachment to someone or something within your life. One of the most common interpretations of this card is someone that struggles with active addiction, whether that be drugs, alcohol, sex, money, etc.

The addiction has become so strong that it’s begun to drain the very life force that exists within you, leaving you empty and imprisoned at the cost of this attachment. This card appears when you are at a very low point within these struggles, and it’s a nudge to push you in the right direction.

Many times, you may not even realize what is truly weighing you down until this card appears. Unlike the 10 of swords, where you’ve hit rock bottom due to external circumstances, the devil card indicates that you have reached rock bottom due to your internal circumstances.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should feel guilty or blame yourself for the current state of your life, but you should recognize that there is a deeper issue within you causing you to act in such ways that cause you to sabotage yourself and the only way to overcome this state is to find the inner strength to do so. 

The Devil card may appear when you have a strong attachment to the physical world. You have immersed yourself in all temptations, fueled by your passion for consumption, and may be driven by money, lust, and other animalistic states of being.

This card appears to signify that you may benefit from directing your focus to a more spiritual outlook or finding ways to disconnect from the mundane world. You can achieve this by meditation, going out in nature, or using your creative abilities. 

Lastly, when the devil card appears upright, it may also signify that you or someone within your life is using manipulation or control in order to gain power over a situation. If the person described is you, the devil upright asks you to question why you need such control or power over a situation.

Are you really in control if you must use manipulation? Are you really empowered if you have to emotionally influence or persuade someone? Or are these the only means by which you know how to obtain what you desire? 

Devil Card Reversed Meaning

When the devil appears reversed in a reading, two extreme ends of the spectrum are present. The card in this position can indicate a sense of relief or freedom, but it can also describe a downward spiral into your own demise. 

The devil, in reverse, shows the creature and the two individuals upside down.

Because the chains around their necks are wide, they would essentially slip off over their heads and become free. Because of this, the devil in reverse can indicate a time when you are beginning to recognize the negative attachment(s) within your life and make efforts towards freeing yourself. If you struggle with addiction, this is a positive card to symbolize that you are going to make it out on the other side of this.

There may have been a period of self-reflection where you’ve had an epiphany, realizing the root cause of your struggles and now understand the work that must be done in order to heal your inner self to prevent these negative patterns of behavior from repeating themselves any further.

These patterns can also be found in your career, love life, or anywhere that you’ve held an unhealthy attachment style and suffered as a result. 

Detachment is also a sign of the devil in reverse. You see, the devil indicates a very strong attachment that has been built upon for many months or years, to the point that it seems to have become a vital part of your identity.

Not all attachments are bad, but the ones you would benefit from removing are the attachments that siphon your energy rather than reciprocate it. When the devil appears in reverse, you’re likely going through a time when it seems you aren’t interested in giving your energy away to anyone or anything. You’ve become detached mentally, emotionally, and physically.

This protective response is used to preserve your vital energy, disallowing you to connect to anything outside yourself. At first, this may feel like a depressive episode or low state of being, but that is because you’re no longer allowing yourself to feel the chemical reaction of what you have previously been attached to. 

One of the darker elements found within the devil in reverse is the exploration of the deepest, darkest realms of your mind. If you’ve been struggling lately, there is likely a deep-rooted reason, whether it’s unresolved trauma or negative beliefs.

The devil, in reverse, describes a time when you are presented with these darker elements of yourself, your shadow, which may be overwhelming at first. You will become face to face with what you’ve hidden from, suffocated, and tried to push away, and as a result, you may completely hit rock bottom. But facing your fears is the only way to overcome them.

After you’ve met your demons head-on, the devil, in reverse, becomes a symbol of freedom and liberation. Only once you find the strength and empowerment within yourself will you be able to lift the chains up from over your neck and toss them aside, freeing yourself from the imprisonment of the devil. 

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