The Devil


Upright: Well dignified: There’s a line from a Rage Against the Machine song that sums up the Devil card pretty damned accurately. The line goes:

“Yeah, I dwell in Hell, but it’s a Hell that I can grip.”

In many respects, the Devil isn’t what stands in our way, but what we allow to hang around and keep us where we are. This can be for any number of reasons. The commonality though, is you. One of the main things that people need to understand about the Devil is that here, the Devil is NOT an external being. The person in the mirror that is the one that tempts you, not the Devil itself, or his minions, or the delicious cake… in…the….excuse me….

When talking about temptation, it’s important to understand that a person’s intention might be to tempt you, but if you know that they are trying to do so, then the responsibility is on you to resist. To place the responsibility on the external is to give the external more power over you and when the Devil comes to play, it isn’t going to end well. Small temptations can lead into obsessions and soon your obsessions are holding you in exactly where you are and unable to move forward.

Another thing that the Devil talks about is guilt. The suffering that most people go through when their guilt gets the better of them is their own and nobody else’s. There might be a point where that guilt is controlling them and it is here that the Devil card comes into play. The guilt of something can often hold you in place long after your responsibility that you failed to live up to has ended. Guilt is seldom useful.

To be perfectly blunt, the Devil doesn’t keep you in Hell. You do. Now, it’s time to stop.

Reversed/Ill Dignified: When the Devil is reversed, the message of the upright Devil card also applies, but there’s another issue at stake. Somebody is playing on your insecurities in order to keep you where you are. Congratulations! You have an enabler. This person will know just when to say the wrong thing to trigger some sort of emotion in order to get what they want, whether this is financial, social or even purely sexual. They know how to keep you right where they want you so that neither you, nor them have to actually grow as people. Sometimes this isn’t one way, although one person in this relationship might think it is. The person that feels that they’re in the driver seat might feel like they have the control, but all it takes for them to lose this “power” is for the other to understand what’s going on. The two are tied by something and it isn’t a positive by any means. The problem is that realising it on their own isn’t going to work. Unless it’s pointed out to them, this cycle is going to keep on occurring.

What needs to happen and what will happen aren’t often the same thing, unfortunately. This cycle is one that takes years to break, but the first step is always being honest (and brave) enough to look the Devil in the eye and admit your part in what’s going on. When one person realises their part in the situation, things can become painful, but the road to honest healing, as opposed to the “band-Aid Solutions” of the past, is a painful one. Thankfully, it’s the one with less pain if you’re able to walk it long-term.

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