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The Devil Meaning - Major Arcana Tarot Card Meanings

By Tina Gong


Devil Keywords

Upright Keywords Reversed Keywords
oppression, addiction, obsession, dependency, excess, powerlessness, limitations independence, freedom, revelation, release, reclaiming power, reclaiming control
Skip to Upright Meaning Skip to Reversed Meaning
The Devil Meaning - Original Rider Waite Tarot Depiction

The Devil Tarot Card Description

This card shows the Devil represented in his most well-known satyr form, otherwise known as Baphomet. Along with being half goat and half man, the devil has bat wings and an inverted pentagram on his forehead. He is standing on a pedestal, to which are chained a nude man and woman, as if to show that he has dominion over them.

Both the man and the woman have horns, as if to show that the more time they spend with the Devil, the less human they become. The chains make it appear as though the devil has taken them captive. The man has a flame on his tail while a woman has a bowl of grapes on her tail, which symbolizes their addiction to power and finer things in life, respectively. 

Looking closely, both the man and the woman don’t look happy.  Their individual power has been taken from them, leaving them exposed and ashamed in their nakedness.

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Upright Devil Meaning

Getting the devil card in your reading shows that you have feelings of entrapment, emptiness and lack of fulfillment in your life. It might also mean that you are a slave to materialism and opulence and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to shake off the feeling of wanting to indulge in luxurious living. 

You might be aware that this kind of lifestyle is leading you down the rabbit hole, but you have that feeling of not having any form of control over your actions or urges.

Addiction to substances or material pleasures can also be the reason for your feelings of powerlessness and entrapment.

Addiction to substances or material pleasures can also be the reason for your feelings of powerlessness and entrapment. In situations such as these, you may feel as though you are a slave, unable to control your impulses or willpower to direct yourself towards something other than the satisfaction of these desires. 

Upright Love Meaning Upright Career Meaning Upright Finances Meaning
lust, hedonism, selfish disregard for lover’s feelings, obsession feeling trapped in job, blaming colleagues, self-sabotage bad financial habits

Upright Devil Tarot Love Meaning

Lust and temptation are symbolized by the Devil in a love tarot reading. There can be a sense of hedonism, and a selfish desire for gratification with this card. In less serious circumstances, it can also just simply mean a pursuit for all of life’s earthly pleasures. There is nothing wrong in having a bit of fun, but make sure that you are not hurting others or giving them wrong impressions when you do. If you’re only looking for hook-ups, it is up to you to communicate that with your dates. Make sure you avoid pressuring others if they decide your lifestyle isn’t something that suits them. Communication will be more important than ever now.

Alternatively, the Devil tarot love meaning can also signal addiction, and in the context of love and relationships, co-dependency. Over time, this can be destructive to the individuality and self of both partners. Be wary, and ensure that the two of you remain strong individuals within your relationship.

Career Meaning - Upright Devil

You may feel stuck or trapped when it comes to your career right now, like you don’t have any options but to stay somewhere that you dislike. In this state, it may be easier to blame your circumstances, bad luck, or a host of external factors. You may feel dependent on this job, without the power to make the changes that would bring you happiness. At times, this card can also signal self-sabotage and playing the victim when it comes to work relations with your colleagues. Regardless of what it feels like, the Devil’s appearance can signal that you have more choices than you think you do, you only need to reclaim your power. This can be scary, to take accountability for a situation that you dislike, but it can also be empowering. 

Finances Meaning - Upright Devil

Difficult financial situations may be exaggerated with bad habits with the Devil in the reading. This can signal that there is often more that you can do to bring yourself out of this state, but you may be either failing to see the solutions, or you are unable to change the way that you handle your finances. You may be spending compulsively, gambling, or unable to take control of your material resources. Make sure you are doing all that you can.

Reversed Devil Meaning

The upside down meaning of the Devil card can be the moment when an individual becomes self-aware and breaks all of the chains that come with addiction and poor habits. It might be because they are tired of running in circles and are in need of change. 

But one thing is usually clear – breaking off these chains, especially those of addiction is never easy. So, one has to be prepared to make the necessary changes that might initially seem painful to make the adjustments that will pay off in the end by being able to find your true self again. 

Self-assessment is called for in this case and the individual needs to take some time and list all of the things that they need to get rid of. And once that has been done, and then it would be time for them to embark on the difficult journey of self-improvement.

Reversed Love Meaning Reversed Career Meaning Reversed Finances Meaning
feeling more in control of love life, ending co-dependency more accountability in career path, feeling empowered at job breaking bad financial habits, feeling independent financially

Reversed Devil Tarot Love Meaning

The reversed Devil tarot love meaning can signal that you may be breaking free from some negative emotional patterns or addictions that have stood in the way of you developing strong relationships. You may feel more in control of your love life than ever. This card in some circumstances can also signal breaking away from a relationship with a domineering partner, or a co-dependent relationship that was not allowing you to express your true self. You may have recognized that the bonds that tied you to your partner were ones that were not healthy or supportive. Continue to nurture your own independence and be proud of what you have done.

Career Meaning - Reversed Devil

When it comes to work, you are in the process of reclaiming your accountability in your career choices, and are in the process of making some much needed changes to avoid future issues. If you’ve been in a position that you’ve found stifling, you may be taking action; whether that means leaving an unfulfilling job, or an unhealthy environment, or choosing to fix a strained relationship with a colleague. You may no longer feel dependent on your job for a sense of stability, understanding that you can find it within yourself. Take note of the changes that occur when you rediscover your independence.  

Finances Meaning - Reversed Devil

If you’ve had a history of bad financial habits, you may be working on making the changes necessary for you to retake control. If you’ve been dependent on others for your material resources, like a partner, or family members, you may be enjoying a new sense of independence.

Devil Meaning Tarot Cheat Sheet

The Devil Meaning - Tarot Card Meanings Cheat Sheet

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