The Devil is the card of addiction, sexual desire, codependency, and attachment issues. This card shows two people, a man and a woman, chained to the devil himself. Though it seems like they are being held against their will, look further and you will see that the chains around their neck are quite loose. They have the capability to free themselves if they wish.
The Devil reminds us that while desire is good, taken to an extreme, it becomes deadly. Addictions (whether to drugs, sex, or love) kill loving relationships. Codependency is dangerous, and we must develop our own individuality in a relationship. The Devil also reminds us that the greatest chains are the ones we set upon ourselves. It is up to us if we want to make a change. Our greatest power is within us.
If the Devil appears in a Tarot spread as a person, that means that this person is obsessive and may have unhealthy habits. It is astrologically associated with Capricorn. Because Capricorn is a feminine sign, this card carries a receptive energy. We all have a little bit of both energies expressed in a balanced way, regardless of which gender we identify as. Because this is a Major Arcana card, some of these defining traits make up a major part of their identity. So, for example, being perceived to have the more positive Capricornian traits will play a major role in who they are, or how they view themselves. Note that they may not reveal this side to you at the beginning stages of your relationship, to others, or ever.
For physical characteristics, the Devil as a person represents someone who curates their appearance and image to seduce and lure. This is not limited to dressing or behaving in an overly sexual manner. For example, this person could project a not-so-accurate image because they have a certain agenda. This is somebody who fakes it until they make it. In its worst manifestation, this person might be an outright con-artist. They will use physical appearance and material belongings to help ease themselves into benefit them socially and financially. Expect their Instagram account to look extra flashy.
For emotional characteristics, the Devil as a person represents someone who is unhealthily, or even obsessively, attached to certain things, ideas, or people. This person, for example, may be overly attached to material things, money, fame, and power. They usually don’t have their priorities straight. If you are romantically involved with this person, they could become obsessive and controlling. If you are friends with this person, your friendship may be superficial, and they either have ulterior motives, or they are friends with you for clout.
For careers, the Devil can represent someone who works as someone who is primarily motivated by money. The Devil is astrologically associated with Capricorn. Hardworking Capricorn itself is a positive business-minded, realistic, pragmatic energy. However, the Devil may worship money above all else, and that can be a problem. A good business person takes into consideration ethics, morality, and justice in their business dealings. But when somebody embodies Devil energy, all of those things go out the window. This type of person usually becomes very successful in life, but always at the expense of others. This kind of person can be found in any industry.
The Devil as a person represents someone who makes you feel devilish yourself, or not devilish at all. Unlike the Temperance in reverse’s energy, who acknowledges that their addictions and codependencies are unhealthy, the Devil simply doesn’t care. Where the Temperance in reverse are oftentimes usually ashamed of their vices, the Devil wears it like a badge of honor. This person’s bad influences make you feel bad, and you know they’re bad. But then you get sucked into their world, where the badness is normalized. This is never a great card to draw in any type of reading. It advises walking away. However this card could be especially negative in a love reading as it can represent an obsessive, codependent, and unhealthy relationship.
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If the Devil reversed appears in a Tarot spread as a person, that means that this person has released attachments or obsessions. They may appear very Zen on the surface, but don’t let that fool you. Unlike the Temperance card who was just born Zen as a result of many previous lifetimes, a reverse Devil’s Zen was recently learned. In fact, they may be in the learning process.This person certainly has their demons, but they’re trying their best to heal and do their shadow work. Because this is a Major Arcana card, some of these traits will be inherent aspects of their identity. Good or bad, nobody is perfect and people can change, if they choose to.
For physical characteristics, the Devil reversed as a person represents someone who may have self-destructive behavioral patterns that are bad for their physical health. Whereas the upright Devil doesn’t care about harming others, the reversed Devil only harms themselves. Unfortunately, many people believe that if a bad habit is harming nobody but themselves, that makes it okay. It’s not. They may engage in irresponsible behavior such as illegal substance abuse, high-risk sexual behavior, or develop a gym or plastic surgery addiction. This person needs to work on themselves, and understand why they do what they do to heal.
For emotional characteristics, the Devil reversed as a person represents someone who is recovering from some form of bondage. Perhaps they are healing from a limiting belief that they’ve had since childhood trauma or an addiction. This person is learning how to control their impulses. They want to be more logical and responsible in their decision making. If you draw this in a relationship reading, your person could be releasing themselves from an ex or a codependent attachment. Alternatively, this person could have lacked boundaries in the past, and they had to learn the hard way how to set boundaries.
For careers, the Devil reversed can represent someone who works in a field or industry that can be considered excessive or debauched. For example, this person could work in entertainment or the sex industry. Alternatively, they could work in finance, or another industry that is considered environmentally unfriendly. When this card appears in the reverse, this usually indicates that the person you’re inquiring about is a “good apple” in that bad industry. They could be an idealist trying to make a difference in that industry. Alternatively, they could be in that industry because they had no other choice, and plan on leaving as soon as they have the chance.
The Devil reversed as a person represents someone who makes you feel like things are going to get better. This could apply to things going better for you, for them, or for both of you. If you are romantically involved with this person, drawing this card in reverse may signify a relationship becoming healthier. Less codependency, more healthy dynamics. If you feel that somebody values their career or money more than they value your relationship, that’s about to change.
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For love readings, the Devil reveals the darker side of lust and desire. Chemistry can be a great thing, but taken to an extreme, can become an addiction. No matter how tempting, unhealthy behavioral patterns ultimately do not produce the results that we want. The Devil serves as a warning sign, urging us to identify and bring the issues out of the dark and into broad daylight. With honest communication, we can build a solid foundation for the future.
If you find yourself needing further clarity in your relationship matters that go beyond reading for yourself, Sibyl offers unlimited tarot readings on love & relationships, as a neutral and objective third party.
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