The tarot isn’t connected to any one religion, but it does contain many religious symbols, including this one, the Devil.
The fifteenth card of the Major Arcana, the Devil embodies our human desires, especially those that are linked to the material world. At its core, this card represents a negative relationship with others or self. It also expresses some of our deepest, darkest, human feelings.
But don’t worry, as defeating as this card may seem, the Devil falling in a reading doesn’t necessarily spell doom. Instead, it implores you to look closely at the areas of your life in which you feel out of control and work toward improvement.
Before diving deeper into the upright- and reversed Devil tarot card meaning, and its connection to love, career, and life, below a quick overview of the most important words connected to this Major Arcana card.
Devil Tarot Key Words
- Upright: Material focus, trapped in bondage, addictions and depression, negative thinking, betrayal
- Reversed: Overcoming addiction, independence, reclaiming power, detachment, freedom
Devil Tarot Card Description
Baphomet, a goat-headed deity, represents the Devil on this Major Arcana card. With wings and a pentagram in the center of his horned head, this evil being is perched on a pedestal. His wings are a figurative-representation of how focusing on carnal desires can lead to a parasitic life cycle. His hypnotic stare and the lit torch in his hand remind us how tempting unhealthy things can be.
Below his massive figure are two humans, a man, and a woman, standing naked. Both have chains around their necks that link back to the Devil, signifying the control that he has over them. Although they are clearly people, both have horns and tails, which further symbolizes how deeply these two are entrapped. Both the male and female have things attached to these tails grapes/fire, wealth/passion.
Devil Tarot Card Meaning Upright
The Devil is the card of illusion. Although you have total control of your life, beliefs, and choices, the Upright Devil Tarot card symbolizes how addiction, depression, and unhealthy bonds can make you feel out of control. Even social media, exercise, and work can be embodied by the Devil when in excess. Regardless of the nature of your particular problem, the message of the Devil is clear: redirect your attention away from the satisfaction of desires and toward the things that really matter.
Money and Career Meaning
Are you trapped in a job you hate? Do you feel as if you’re a slave to debt? The Devil tarot card appears in a financial and career readings when powerlessness is an overshadowing emotion. You may feel like a rat on a wheel, unable to get anywhere despite constant movement.
If this is the case, you should take a time-out to evaluate your current situation and talk to a trusted friend or family member about the next steps. Just make sure that the person you confide in is someone who really has your back since the Devil can predict a conman is in the midst.
Love and Relationships Meaning
When the Devil tarot card represents you or your partner in a love reading, the news isn’t good. In love and relationship spreads, the Devil represents someone who is selfish, abusive, and unfaithful–so caught up in lusty desires that not much else matters.
Addiction and mental health issues may also be playing a part in the demise of the relationship. If this is the case, you’ll both need to seek the right kind of help for your individual struggles. Your relationship isn’t necessarily doomed, but you’ll need to make healing a top priority.
If addiction isn’t a hidden factor in your relationship or friendships, the Devil suggests that someone is feeling trapped. Maybe you’re single and feel like you’ll never find the one. Perhaps you’re committed, and for one reason or another, things aren’t moving in the right direction. Don’t be so quick to give up on love or break things off. Instead, consider a reset with a single (or couples) getaway and some time spent doing things that you really enjoy.
Health and Spirituality Meaning
The Devil in a health reading can personify the effects that risky behavior and lack of self-care can have on one’s body and mind. Take note of any areas you are over-indulging in that might be leading to a decline in your overall well-being. Then, figure out ways to improve in these areas a little at a time. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, make getting help a priority.
Spirituality readings that include the Devil tarot card revolve around a fear of one’s own psychic abilities. Do you have subconscious programming that is telling you that divination and connecting to things that are metaphysical is the work of Satan? If so, it is time to deal with these beliefs once and for all. You’ll never be able to grow spiritually until you take an authentic inventory of your personal value system.
Devil Reversed Tarot Meaning
Are you ready to level up? The Reversed Devil Tarot card has a much more positive meaning than its upright twin. The Devil often appears in the upside-down position when the person receiving the reading is preparing to go to a higher plane. There is one catch though–you must first let go of negative and unhealthy attachments. By detaching, you’ll be able to reclaim your power and freedom.
Although this change is a good thing, you must remember that beginnings are usually messy. Just be patient with the path of your transition and deal with things one by one. You’ll be surprised with the results as you go on. Go on and seek self-improvement gradually.
The Devil: Yes or No
The Devil in a yes or no reading is a hard no. Because it is associated with violence, bad luck, abuse, and everything negative and harmful, it brings little to the table except a warning. If you receive the Devil card during a ‘yes or no’ reading, take it as a sign that what you are hoping for isn’t in your best interest. It may be time to reroute.
Important Card Combinations
The Devil and the Lovers or the Two of Cups
Love should involve mutual respect and connection, but these pairings represent something much different. Obsession and jealousy are in the works when the Devil chains himself to the Lovers card or the Two of Cups. If you are the jealous partner, take some time to figure out what is causing these extreme emotions, and deal accordingly. If it’s your partner who is displaying obsessive/jealous behavior, you need to work on setting firm boundaries. In the end, if your partner can’t respect the lines you draw in the sand, you may have to cut your losses.
The Devil and the Five of Pentacles
Are you drowning in debt? If not, you should watch your spending, or you will be. The Devil and the Five of Pentacles represent piling bills and an overwhelming amount of debt. Even the best of us fall on hard times. For this reason, it is crucial to put money away during the times when things are going swimmingly. Take a look at your budget if you have one and decide what spending can be cut out.
The Devil and the Magician
A con artist is in your midst. This is the message of the Magician and the Devil when they fall in the same reading. Be careful of those inside and outside of your inner circle who might try to convince you to do something that doesn’t feel quite right. Avoid ‘get rich quick’ schemes, love affairs, and picking up unhealthy habits. Your subconscious mind and spirit guides will direct your path if you’re willing to listen.
The Devil and the Two of Swords
The Devil is usually connected to bad choices of a physical nature. However, when the Two of Swords appears alongside Baphomet, the issue is psychological in nature. Are you having trouble speaking up for yourself? Do you tend to give into people-pleasing? Avoiding conflict is honorable, but when taken to the extreme, it can cause you to swallow your own thoughts and feelings.
Doing this over and over again keeps you chained to the will of others. This leads to anxiety, depression, and feelings of helplessness. One way to combat this is to set boundaries early on and make an effort to speak up for yourself, even when it feels uncomfortable. Doing so will boost your confidence and sense of self-respect.
The Devil Tarot Inspiration
Although I write all the descriptions based on the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, it doesn’t mean that I use other decks too. One of my favorite things is to browse the web for beautiful tarot decks and cards. Here you can find a small selection of beautiful Devil tarot cards. Did you create a tarot card yourself and want to share this, I would love to hear from you!
The Devil in a Reading
Does our interpretation of the Devil tarot card resonate with you? Our community loves to hear your thoughts, so please take a minute to let us know in the comments below!