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The Devil Tarot Card Meaning

Unpacking the Tarot - the Devil

The Tarot have been used for centuries to predict the future and answer our deepest questions. The traditional deck contains 78 cards — the 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards.

While the Minor Arcana can help shed light on the actions and decisions we make every day, the Major Arcana helps us understand our life’s purpose. Each card represents situations we face through our journey and the lessons we all must learn. 

Here is a closer look at the next card in the deck, the Devil.


Like so many cards in the Tarot, this one is often misunderstood. Its appearance doesn’t mean evil is afoot, but it does imply you may have made a deal of sorts with the devil. There’s a negative force at play here, often in the form of addiction, toxic relationships, materialism, over-indulgence or some other unhealthy aspect of your life. You’re attached to something that gives you short-term pleasure at the cost of long-term pain.


On the Devil card, Satan’s stand-in is Baphomet, a half-man, half-goat demon. Once a symbol of the balance between dark and light, masculine and feminine, good and evil, Baphomet’s appearance in popular culture has earned him a much more sinister reputation. Despite the imagery, this card isn’t all about the occult. The horned demon is perched atop a pillar. He has great wings like those of a vampire bat — a sign that giving in to too much opulence and temptation can drain the life from you. Below Baphomet, stand a man and woman in chains. They are here against their will, yet the chains around their necks is loose, suggesting they could leave if they really wanted to. The man and woman have sprouted little horns, as though the Devil’s influence is rubbing off. 


Take heed when the Devil appears in your Tarot spread. In the upright position, it is often a warning to avoid the entrapment of negative people, behaviors, actions and thoughts. There is a darkness that threatens to overwhelm you. It may give you the instant gratification you seek, but will destroy you in time. It may feel like there is no escape, but this card may be the help you seek. It is an opportunity to consciously examine those negative influences around you. Be mindful of the dangerous traps around you and do what you need to do to overcome them.


You’re getting close to breakthrough! A change has been long overdue in your life and that self-improvement you’ve been after is finally being realized. However, you still need to let go of those unhealthy attachments before you can realize your full potential. Take some time for self-reflection and re-dedicate yourself to becoming who you truly want to be.

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