Another interesting duo of cards. These images are powerful and full of fiery red color and flames. The woman in The Devil card is calmly kneeling before a hand mirror; a chain hangs loosely around her neck connecting her to a framed mirror reflecting a red horned figure. Is this how she sees herself? Is her self-image so damaged that she is now chained to this perception of herself as evil or tainted?
The 9 of Wands shows a man setting fire to a stand of wands. Behind he barricade of flaming wands hovers a demonic looking figure that appears to be watching the man. Is the man making offerings to the demon or trying to erect a fence to keep the demon out?
Soooo looking at these cards I created a story for myself that gave me some useful insight. The woman on The Devil is me. The chains are the unhealthy behaviors in which I engage. I know they’re unhealthy but my view of myself is that I am not worthy of care and love. I don’t deserve to be healthy because I’m a bad, evil person. My inner demons have overwhelmed my sense of self leaving a distorted and inaccurate image that causes me to beat myself up and mistreat myself.
I can free myself at any time (and I’m the only one who can) but this can’t happen until I am able to shatter that image in the mirror; until I feel worthy and deserving (or at least accept that I’m taking steps towards viewing myself that way). Instead of focusing on who I really am, I’m focusing on some negative choices I’ve made. Those choices are not the whole me and shouldn’t be the primary way I view myself.
The figure on the 9 of Wands is also me. This is the me that has decided it’s time to remove those chains and destroy those inner demons. It’s time to let go of that burden and burn it to ashes. It’s time to let my true spirit flame forth and incinerate those self-doubts and negative perceptions that hold me prisoner. That demon can’t hurt me or reach me unless I let him.
The flames are the steps I can take to be and feel healthier and better about myself. It’s not about beating myself up and judging myself badly for poor choices. It’s about unleashing all my potential and finally accepting that I deserve better. It’s a process and one that I shouldn’t expect to accomplish this all at once. That only becomes another trap that stops me from reaching my goals and full potential.