The Devil Card is usually presented as the fifteenth card of the Major Arcana of most Tarot Decks.
In the Rider Waite deck introduced in 1910, the card’s illustration was heavily influenced by a French occult author, Eliphas Levi’s drawings of Baphomet. Baphomet was a supernatural being worshiped by the Knights Templar, a Catholic military order. This being was a mix of human and animal.
The Devil on the Rider Waite version is similarly portrayed as half-human, with the other half being a mix of animals. He has harpy feet, with talons helping him perch on the half altar he occupies.
He has the wings of a bat, the horns of a ram, and a reversed pentagram on his forehead. The pentagram has long been associated with the paranormal and occult energies’ negative side, such as the Devil and demons.
We also see the Devil raising his right hand on the card, with his left hand holding a burning torch. A couple of demons, a male and a female, are chained to the half altar. They have horns, hooves instead of feet, and tails to symbolize their animal nature. However, they also show signs of being human through their facial features.
A fascinating observation made by most experienced tarot readers is the many mirroring elements in the Devil card and the Hierophant card. For example, the raised hands are mirror reflections because there is none of the Hierophant’s benevolence in the Devil.
Even the couple in the Devil card is thought to depict Adam and Eve, after the Hierophant has withdrawn his support or after their Fall from Grace.
However, the symbolism in the Devil card is interpreted, it is a card that might be a little intimidating to receive in a reading.
In this guide, we take a more in-depth look at all the Devil card’s connotations showing up in your tarot reading.
Table of Contents
- 1 What does the Devil Tarot card mean?
- 2 The Devil Tarot Card Upright
- 3 The Devil Tarot Card Keywords Upright
- 4 What does the Devil Tarot card mean reversed?
- 5 The Devil Tarot Card Keywords in Reverse
- 6 The Devil Tarot Card as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
- 7 The Devil Card in Reverse as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
- 8 What Does the Devil Tarot Mean in Love?
- 9 What Does the Devil Card Reversed Mean in Love?
- 10 The Devil Tarot as How Someone Thinks of You
- 11 The Devil Reversed as How Someone Thinks of You
- 12 The Devil Tarot Card as Feelings
- 13 The Devil Card Reversed as Feelings
- 14 The Devil Tarot card as A Situation
- 15 The Devil Card Reversed as a Situation
- 16 The Devil Tarot Card as Intentions / What Someone Wants
- 17 The Devil Tarot Card Reversed as Intentions/What Someone Wants
- 18 Is the Devil Tarot card a Yes or a No?
- 19 The Devil Tarot Card as an Obstacle or Challenge
- 20 The Devil Card Reversed as an Obstacle or Challenge
- 21 The Devil Tarot Card as Action
- 22 The Devil Card Reversed as Action
- 23 The Devil Tarot Card as Advice
- 24 The Devil Card Reversed as Advice
- 25 The Devil Tarot Card as an Outcome
- 26 The Devil Tarot Card Reversed as an Outcome
- 27 The Devil Tarot Card as a Person
- 28 The Devil Tarot Card reversed as a Person
- 29 What Zodiac Sign is the Devil Card?
- 30 Major Arcana Cards Complete Guides
- 31 Free Online Tarot Reading
- 32 Related Articles
- 33 Shop Amazon For My Favorite Items…
What does the Devil Tarot card mean?
The Devil brings with it a host of meanings, all pertaining to the material world and being seduced by the comforts of material pleasures.
The Devil card represents you being trapped by the material pleasures of the world. It also means that you overindulge and are in a gilded cage of luxury. It represents the dark side of your life and personality that holds you back and keeps you addicted to habits that do not allow you to be the best version of you.
The Devil card might also be read as a symbol of you being tricked into a situation where you have no control over the outcome, and you might never break free from the hold that these conditions have over you.
This card can also be an indication of an addiction. You might know that what you crave or are trapped by is terribly wrong for your physical or mental health, and yet you will crave and thirst for it because you have no control over yourself.
Even if it means going against everything that you stand for as an individual, you must have this thing you crave so much. As with the demon couple chained to the half altar, you are chained to your desires and cannot or do not want to break free.
The Devil Tarot Card Upright
In the upright position, the Devil card symbolizes your dark side. Either you have been trapped into being addicted to material desires or have gotten into the habit of overindulging in things that are not good for you.
You are on the path of losing your individuality or personality, and if you do not accept and take responsibility for your actions, you will be lost down this path for a long time.
Are you addicted to something or someone? Perhaps it is a material thing or pleasure. Maybe it is a co-dependent relationship. Whatever the case might be, the Devil card tells you to take accountability and wake up before it is too late for you to mend your soul.
Do not give in to the baser animal instincts that might be present, deep down. Instead, use this card as a splash of water on your face. The Universe or your Higher Self is showing you a mirror. Use this as an opportunity to examine your mind and your life and take the necessary steps to get out of this seemingly endless overindulgence.
The Devil Tarot Card Keywords Upright
- Unhealthy habits
- Material desires
- Mental pain
- Holding you back
- Short-term worldly pleasures
What does the Devil Tarot card mean reversed?
In reverse, the Devil card points to a situation or a moment when you have finally woken up and are taking steps towards self-awareness. Perhaps the Devil’s last vestiges’ influence over you is not entirely over yet, but you are now awake and want to reclaim your power.
However, it would be necessary to point out that you must not expect this journey of recovery to be easy. You did sell your soul to the Devil at one point, and it would be foolish to expect him to hand it back to you on a silver platter with his head bent.
No, the Devil will fight to keep you in captivity and make every effort to continue to do his bidding.
So how does one approach this battle of reclaiming your soul? The answer is self-assessment and self-observation. It is vital to understand that addiction or a bad habit is not the only version of you.
Observe yourself and perhaps make a list of triggers and the patterns that got you started on this co-dependency, irrespective of whether this is a material possession or a person.
Remember that the hard work will pay off, and the sun will rise on a new version of you, a better version that is equipped to fend off any advances from the Devil and temptation.
The Devil Tarot Card Keywords in Reverse
- Overcoming addiction
- Breaking off chains
- Ending bad habits
- Freedom from overindulgence
- New beginnings
- No more co-dependency
- Being in control
The Devil Tarot Card as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
The Devil card in an upright position means that you are seen as a materialistic person who is only concerned with their well-being. You are seen as selfish and giving into material pleasures that only serve yourself.
The illustration of the Devil card shows a being with half human and half animal features. Therefore, symbolically, you are seen as someone who gives in to their base animal instincts, despite knowing that these actions may not serve you well in the next moment or the future.
Since the Devil is in the details, we should also address the fact that this person may be experiencing a high sexual attraction to you. Do not be mistaken, this is not love, but pure animalistic lust.
Be careful in how you react or reply to this person if this is a case of attraction. You do not want to overindulge, basing your opinions on their physical features or based on what they can do for you.
The Devil Card in Reverse as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
Perhaps of the few tarot cards where a reverse position is favorable, the Devil card in reverse is a good thing!
In reverse, the Devil card is indicative of the fact that the person you have in mind sees you as someone who is breaking free of restrictive habits. They see you as someone who is self-observant and that you are very aware of your shortcomings and your strengths.
You have calmed your wild or disruptive energy and are ready to face the battles to reclaim your freedom and individuality.
They see you as someone regaining control and are willing to take a long, hard look at the mirror to identify areas of opportunity to improve.
What Does the Devil Tarot Mean in Love?
Unfortunately, when the Devil card shows up in a love reading, it does not signify the best news.
The Devil card, upright, in a love reading, shows that one of the partners in the relationship is selfish and perhaps also abusive. The relationship itself may be based on the wrong foundation that will prove unsteady. A relationship based on high levels of sexual desire or attraction will not last long.
The Devil card may also signify a co-dependency on each other, something that does not spell good news for the relationship’s longevity. One of the partners may have some addiction of sorts, that they are struggling to look beyond.
This may not break up the relationship, but it is imperative that the partner seek help from a professional or open up and communicate with his support system if the relationship is to move beyond this hurdle.
The Devil card could also be read as an indicator that someone is feeling trapped or suffocated in the relationship. That person maybe you or your partner.
In either case, it becomes essential to talk through the problem instead of letting it simmer under the surface and lead to more significant frustrations in the future.
What Does the Devil Card Reversed Mean in Love?
The Devil card in reverse is more favorable than you might think.
When the Devil card shows up in reverse in a love reading, it usually means that the shackles are coming off. It could also mean that either your partner or you will move past deceptions and illusions and decide if you want to make the relationship last.
However, be careful not to get carried away just because the Devil is slipping from his little altar. There might be a reverse in materialistic addictions, but that does not mean that everything is perfect, and all is right with the world again.
The journey might be an uphill one, to get your relationship back to what you would like it to be.
Having said that, it is important to stay positive that the first step has been taken and things will improve if you put in the work.
The Devil Tarot as How Someone Thinks of You
The Devil card is often read as a card to symbolize someone who has excessive ties to the material world or life’s material pleasures. They may know that craving these pleasures is not in their best interests, but they do not know how to stop themselves.
This is how the person you have in mind thinks of you. They see you as someone caught in a spiral of negative behavior, someone who, despite having adequate knowledge of “good and bad,” they still get pulled into temptation.
They also may be sexually attracted to you, but this is not love, and neither is this lust a suitable foundation for a relationship if that’s what you are hoping for.
The Devil Reversed as How Someone Thinks of You
The Devil, in reverse, is so much more positive in meaning than in the upright position.
Thus, in terms of how someone thinks of you, they see you as someone who is breaking away from wanting only instant gratification and becoming someone who is more balanced as an individual.
When the Devil card appears in reverse, it also generally points to the fact that you have some self-examination to do so that you can break away from whatever that is holding you back.
The Devil Tarot Card as Feelings
As a feelings card, the Devil card does not come bearing good news in the upright position.
In the upright position as a card to denote feelings, the Devil card indicates feelings of lust and obsession. The Devil is so blinded by the obsession they feel for the outer “image” you project that they do not care to see the inner, real you.
If this person you are doing the reading for is not a romantic, love interest, and is a co-worker or an acquaintance, the Devil showing up indicates a sense of fear and intimidation. They could be infatuated with you and the personality you project but are also scared of you.
Think of it this way- the Devil is always looking to tempt you away from becoming the best version of you. You may fall for what he offers as gifts, but there will also be that underlying fear of him.
The person you are thinking about feels the same way- that they have fallen for the temptation you symbolize to them but that they are also fearful of what you may do to them.
The Devil Card Reversed as Feelings
In reverse, the Devil card as denoting feelings is slightly better than getting the card upright.
The Devil card in reverse, as a feelings card, is someone getting over the exterior you project and getting to know the inner, real you. They are no longer blinded by lust and cravings for you. Things might now settle down, and you have a chance to build a strong, lasting foundation if you choose to do so.
The Devil card, in reverse, also has much to do with overcoming negative cycles. Perhaps you are approaching or are at a place where you must self-analyze your life and the people you associate with to break free of the Devil’s shackles.
The Devil Tarot card as A Situation
The Devil card upright, showing up as a situation is concerning news.
When the Devil card shows up as a situation, consider it a strong warning of an impending negative situation that may bring considerable changes to your life. It might warn of addiction, perhaps gambling that might lead to your downfall.
The Devil card symbolic of a situation could also mean possible substance abuse or a co-dependent relationship that is unhealthy for you. When the Devil shows up in a reading, it is a strong call for introspection and figuring out where you are going wrong.
The Devil Card Reversed as a Situation
The Devil card in reverse brings better news for you than in its upright position.
When the Devil card shows up in reverse as a situation, the overall meaning is positive. In reverse, the Devil card is all about reversing the unhealthy decisions you may have taken in the past. It shows the chains coming off, thus pointing to the fact that you are rediscovering your strength in taking on the Devil.
Practically speaking, it could point to two things. The first is that you are finally getting rid of an unhealthy, over-indulgent habit. This could be an addiction like gambling or perhaps even drugs.
The second is that you have realized that a certain relationship is keeping you stuck and that you may need to get out of it to move on in life.
Whatever the case may be, the easiest way to approach the situation is to analyze how this habit or relationship is messing up your life and how life would improve once you overcome it.
The Devil Tarot Card as Intentions / What Someone Wants
In a tarot card reading, the Devil showing up is mostly taken as a concerning sign, especially if it is in an upright position.
The Devil card, upright, as a card showing intentions, points to human greed and perhaps sexual attraction based on lust. What someone wants is not going to be right for you or them. They feel a strong, almost obsessive attraction to you.
The Devil card is often a symbol of a human pursuit that is bound to fail. For example, someone might want to involve you in a deal that might not go well for you, or they might want a physical relationship with you that might result in an unhealthy and vicious cycle of co-dependency.
Whatever they want, it is not going to turn out well. Take the Devil showing up as a warning and strengthen yourself against the temptation that you might soon find yourself faced with.
The Devil Tarot Card Reversed as Intentions/What Someone Wants
In the reversed position, the Devil card as a symbol of intentions is talking of change towards the better.
The Devil card in reverse, as proof of someone’s intentions, is that there is a change taking place that will reverse the obsession and darkness that existed previously. As an intentions card, the Devil symbolizes a strength to overcome all adverse situations and turn your life around.
This person either wants a balanced relationship with you that considers all aspects of your personality and that they can see beyond the exterior you project. It also could mean that they are very drawn to you, but not in the obsessive way of the Devil upright.
It is worth looking at, in terms of pursuing a long-lasting relationship, romantic or otherwise.
Is the Devil Tarot card a Yes or a No?
The Devil card as an answer to a “yes” or “no” question is mostly a ‘No.’
Irrespective of whether the Devil card appears upright or reverse, it generally symbolizes human greed and temptation. The situation will be unlikely to work out in your favor, and if you are about to make a decision that may alter your life, hold up and take some more time.
Either the situation will evolve, or you might get new information that will help you realize that what you were hoping for as a result will not happen.
The future does not look very promising, but because of the Devil card’s very nature, you might be tempted to throw caution to the winds and do whatever it takes to get what you think you want.
Take a good look at your surroundings, the people surrounding you, and what you truly desire before taking any concrete steps that you might not be able to undo later.
The Devil Tarot Card as an Obstacle or Challenge
The Devil card as an obstacle or a challenge in the current situation could mean a few things.
As an obstacle, it does not get worse than the Devil. Understand that no matter how certain you are, the situation ta hand might not work out in your favor.
As an obstacle, the Devil card is a potent symbol of motives that are not in your best interests. For example, someone might appear to want you, but this motive will be fueled by selfish reasons that have nothing to do with your happiness. An ex might come around, but they are only here because they either want a favor or, perhaps, a relationship based on physical needs.
If the reading is to do with work or a career situation, you are perhaps feeling chained to work, and your career is not looking as encouraging as you hoped it would.
The Devil is all about luring you away towards negativity by promising you a new, shiny object of sorts. However, all that glitters is not gold, and you would serve yourself well by remembering this.
The Devil Card Reversed as an Obstacle or Challenge
The Devil card in reverse as a challenge, may often seem confusing. On the one hand, it is the Devil, but on the other hand, it is in reverse. So, what does it mean?
The Devil card in reverse as an obstacle is indicative of a near miss. You could be battling an addiction to a substance or a person, whatever the case may be, you have narrowly escaped a situation that could have been worse.
The Devil card in reverse could also mean that you are breaking away from negative patterns, but you are not at the finish line as yet, and hence it is a warning not to celebrate too early.
The Devil is a tricky one to defeat because he knows every string that he can pull. He will do everything it takes to win because he is symbolic of the base nature of man. He is half-animal, after all, and is a stranger to love and compassion.
Because of this, you must remain aware of everything going around you, because even when it seems like you have finally broken away, there might be a twist in fate, and you might find yourself landing in the same cycle again.
The Devil Tarot Card as Action
The Devil tarot card as an action card in a reading is asking you to avoid behavior that is not true to yourself. There might be an external event that may appear to be beyond your control. The situation is most likely going to be against your best interests.
However, do not add fuel to the fire by exposing yourself to extravagance and addiction.
The Devil card, upright, as an action card, warns you to control your negative behavior patterns, lest you spiral out of control, and become enchained like the demons on the card’s illustration.
There is always good and evil in a person, symbolized by the half-human, half-animal Baphomet. The part of you that you feed is the part of you that will grow.
The Devil is a warning to stop feeding the animal in you because all that will result in is a vicious cycle of addiction and over-indulgence.
The Devil Card Reversed as Action
The Devil card in reverse as an action card in a reading is an indication that you have the opportunity to break free if you take the necessary, correct steps.
The Devil card is an indication that you have managed to avoid a situation that could have been worse. You have been given a chance to turn away from the darkness and embrace the light within you and the Universe as a whole.
Do not squander away this chance by falling prey to the Devil’s temptations again. You have emerged from the cycle of negativity. Continue to consciously analyze your behavior patterns so that you can move on from this situation entirely.
The Devil Tarot Card as Advice
The Devil as an advice card is telling you to be careful of what you agree to.
If you need to make a significant decision in your career or to do with your finances, be careful of what you sign and what are the terms and conditions, if you have suddenly been offered a “too good to be true” offer.
Do not sell your soul to the Devil for short term gains that will soon disappear as soon as you have realized your mistake.
Be especially careful of contracts and agreements. The Devil is in the details. Do not skim through legalities. Be cautious of what you are getting yourself into.
Also, be careful of exposing yourself to situations that might turn out to be addictive. This may be drug abuse, gambling, or even seeing a particular person for a physical relationship.
The Devil Card Reversed as Advice
In reverse, the Devil card may point to the chains breaking off if you persist, but it might also mean that the chains are choking you while you remain blissfully unaware of the situation. You may be obsessed with the material indulgences around you that you are no longer aware of how far down you have sunk.
In this case, if the Devil card shows up in reverse as advice, the Universe is warning you to take a good look around you before it is too late.
The doors of self-consciousness are open, but only you can decide to take the first step towards entering those doors. The fate that you have accepted for yourself may be overthrown if you take accountability for your actions and consciously decide to fight the Devil’s spell.
The Devil Tarot Card as an Outcome
The Devil card as an outcome is not a positive sign.
When the Devil card shows up as an outcome in a reading, it always ends up as a sign of tough times to come. You may not be able to see through the illusions of the Devil and will become ensnared by him into doing things that go against your morals and principles.
The Universe is giving you a heads up if you will. Be careful of what you sign up for because things are not going your way. Something that initially seemed perfect is now only hampering your mental peace. This could be a work situation, something to do with an investment of finances or even a new relationship.
Ensure that you have all the facts before you and perhaps even do a little more digging for hidden information before you decide to do anything.
The Devil Tarot Card Reversed as an Outcome
The Devil card in reverse as an outcome is a slightly more positive sign.
In reverse, as an outcome, the Devil card is indicative of you fighting against temptation or doing something that may have caused irreparable damage to your life and mental health. This was a near miss, and the Universe wants you to know that.
The Devil may have lost this time, but this card is being shown to you as a wake-up call. You may not always win against the Devil, and he will keep trying to tip the scales in his favor.
Be careful of the temptations and illusions that the Devil crafts for you. Be conscious of the choices you take because these decisions are instrumental in leading you to or away from the Devil and his demons.
The Devil Tarot Card as a Person
The Devil card upright as a person is pointing towards someone who is excessively dependent on material comforts. They love everything luxurious, and often over-indulge in everything from food, to clothes, to the decisions they make.
The Devil card is more to do with the personality they display rather than the person themselves. This is the archetype of greed and indulgence. They are the type to go overboard in everything they do.
The Devil is also smart and cunning and knows how to get his way. He has extreme emotions and frequently suffers from mood swings.
The Devil Tarot Card reversed as a Person
The Devil card in reverse symbolizes a person who is beginning to be more self-aware of themselves and their surroundings. They are moving beyond the materialistic world they previously enjoyed and are now willing to lead a more balanced life.
They have done the introspection and have realized the error of their ways. This person is someone who has fought addiction and has emerged victorious. The addiction may be drugs or gambling but may also be an addiction to a co-dependent relationship.
This person has been able to turn their back on the darkness and walk towards the light. This shows immense will power because it is not often that someone wins against the Devil without displaying strength.
What Zodiac Sign is the Devil Card?
The Devil card symbolizes the zodiac sign of Capricorn.
Capricorns are famous for their ambition. Like the Devil, they will do whatever it takes to get to the top. They are strong-willed and possess an intense determination, once they set their mind to achieving something.
Often, they can come across as someone with intense emotions, especially anger. Despite their willpower to achieve any goal, they are also easily manipulated and get addicted to alcohol and drugs.
Capricorn’s sign is also ruled by the planet Saturn, which is known as the planet of limitations and structure. Thus, Capricorns often feel chained and limited by the opinions of the people around them.
Still, much like the chains in the devil card that tie the Devil’s demons, these chains are loose and can be broken if the Capricorn individual decides to. Read more about the tarot cards that represent Capricorn.
Major Arcana Cards Complete Guides
- The Fool
- The Magician
- The High Priestess
- The Empress
- The Emperor
- The Hierophant
- The Lovers
- The Chariot
- The Hermit
- Wheel of Fortune
- The Hanged Man
- The Devil (this article)
- The Tower
- The Star
- The Moon
- The Sun
- The World
Free Online Tarot Reading
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- What’s the difference between the Major and Minor Arcana?
- How to use the Major Arcana tarot cards
- How to read the Minor Arcana Tarot Cards
- When the Devil Tarot card is positive, 7 meanings explained
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