I use an Android app called Uni Tarot to randomly pick my card of the day. I prefer this app because it allows me to upload whatever deck I feel like using. This cycle I’m using The Light Seer’s Tarot. Recently The Devil was the card drawn. As I looked at the image on this card it struck me that this figure reminds me of a cult leader – he’s attractive, exudes a charisma and sexual energy mixed with soulful eyes that promise he’ll heal your wounded soul. All the while, attached to his fingers are the strings that hold you captive. I’ve always found myself fascinated by cult leaders and the people willing to give up their autonomy to follow him. This inspired me to do the following reading.
- What is The Devil offering? 10 of Wands Rx
- What will it cost? The World Rx
- What need is he fulfilling? Queen of Pentacles
- What’s the best way to handle this? 4 of Pentacles Rx
Looking at this reading, a few things struck me right away. The first is that three of the cards are reversed which suggests The Devil and all his temptations tap into hidden needs and the shadow side that we choose to ignore. This suggests it’s unhealthy and ultimately not in our best interest to succumb to his seduction. The second thing I noticed is that two of the cards are Pentacles and The Devil is associated with Capricorn which is an earth sign. Another hint that perhaps the false promises The Devil makes allow us to feel more secure and as though the ground beneath our feet is not going to shift unexpectedly.
Looking at the first card drawn, I was struck by how appropriate its message is. I think one of the things that attracts people to cults or fundamentalist religious paths is that you no longer have to carry the burden of free will; you don’t need to be responsible for making decisions. They tell you what rules to follow and what to think. They tell you what the consequences will be if you break these rules. To some people that may feel like a burden has been lifted from their psyche.
However the second card, The World Rx, reminds us of the dangers inherent in some admitting to the will of others. We risk losing everything in which we once believed, that we value and hold dear. It’s both that simple and that complex.
I found the Queen of Pentacles an interesting card to appear in response to this question. I suppose there is something that seems nurturing and supportive in The Devil’s promises. She persuades us to believe that she will care for us, attend to all our needs and all we have to do for her is follow. She allows us to feel as though we are now fulfilled because we have found our path, even if it is ultimately a false one. Another aspect of any cult is that they usually siphon all of your assets which may also be reflected in the Queen of Pentacles.
And finally we see the 4 of Pentacles Rx, another interesting card in response to what was asked but one which makes perfect sense. I think it’s a reminder that very often what leads people into the clutches of cults whether religious or political is that they play into our fears of scarcity and losing what we have. They convince us that there is an “other” out there that wants to take everything we own; everything we’ve worked so hard to acquire. It feeds into our fears and makes us clutch our positions even more closely like a miser. It leads us down a path of being not only financially impoverished but spiritually impoverished as well. the reverse nature of this card suggests that the way to free yourself from The Devil’s illusions and influences is by letting go of your fears and embracing the others. Welcome them and befriend them, give them the benefit of the doubt and consider what you can work together to build rather than what you’re convinced they wish to take away from you.
This reading seems so appropriate right now because I think as a nation we have gone through a time of listening to devils’ illusions and false promises and now we are left reeling and unsure how to move forward. I think what we have to do is pick ourselves up stop holding on to our fears and allow ourselves to embrace the possibilities that lie ahead.
Something that occurred to me is I was reviewing this post is that in some birth card systems the shadow side of The Devil is The Lovers because 15 reduces down to six. Maybe that is ultimately the answer to the seductive false promises of The Devil – love and aspiring to connect with our higher selves, our better angels. Instead of listening to The Devil that allows us to wallow in our pettiness and venality perhaps we can connect with our higher side and aspire to be greater than the sum of our parts.