The Meaning Of The Devil Tarot Card

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Devil Tarot Card

Major Arcana cards add an all-embracing spiritual or philosophical layer to any reading.

The Devil card’s message is about temptation. It signals the avoidance of healthy goals and attachment to unhelpful distractions. This keeps dissatisfaction and chaos alive in your life.

The Devil signals the time to make a change. There is still time to remove the chains of destructive attachments and live a life you are proud of.

Devil Tarot Card Description

To better understand the meaning of this card, let’s talk about the art involved:

  • The Devil – Large and hairy, he has the feet of a beasthuman hands, and a head that seems half cat, half goat. He has goat’s horns and bat’s wings. His face is stern, red and angry. He embodies the dark side of your animal nature.
  • As Above, So Below – He holds up his right hand in a sign for slavery. He holds a blazing torch in his left hand, pointing down. It seems to say that bondage is in the mind and in the body.
  • Pentagram – In the top center of the image, you see an inverted, five-pointed star. It represents cycles of undoing or destruction.
  • Minions – A male and a female figure, mostly human, stand chained to the Devil’s perch. They have grown tails and horns, showing how they’ve changed by association with the Devil. The chains they wear aren’t tight. So, while they may think they have no choice, they could walk away if they choose to.
  • Shades of Black – Notice the primary shade in this card is black. It makes their surroundings a mystery. This signals someone being in a dark place of illusions. They may be ignorant of their complicity in this situation.

The Devil is an example of how we fool ourselves sometimes. He warns against extremes of any kind and getting trapped in habits that slow our progress.

Key Facts

UprightMaterial focus, trapped in bondage, addictions and depression, negative thinking, betrayal
ReversedOvercoming addiction, independence, reclaiming power, detachment, freedom
Yes or NoNo
Astrological SignCapricorn
Key Facts: The Devil Tarot Card

Upright Meaning of The Devil

The upright meaning of this card is the same as the core meaning: Unhealthy attachments.

This is a time to assess what you do that is holding you back when you lose track of your goals. Taking time out from people and habits that feel destructive is a good idea.

Here are the central themes:

  • Bondage & Materialism – Think about your attachment to material possessionsSubstances you consume or physical habits fall into this category as well. It’s tempting to make excuses if your desire for satisfaction outweighs your responsibilities.
  • Aside from your basic safety and well-being, nothing should come before your commitments. If something is getting in the way, you have a choice.
  • Shadow Self & Temptation – Everyone does things they aren’t proud of. We fall prey to greed or lust. We behave in ignorant ways. The key is to notice your self-destructive patterns and look for positive ways to break the cycle.
  • Boundaries & Limitations – Sometimes, the struggle is with things outside yourself. Cultural norms and the expectations of family and friends can feel like a heavy burden. You limit your self-expression because you fear backlash and restrictions. 
Upright Love
Upright Career MeaningUpright Health Meaning
Feeling trapped or controlled in a relationship; it’s essential to address any unhealthy patternsFeeling chained to a job or career path that lacks fulfillment; it may be time to break freeBe cautious of indulgences or addictions that can harm your well-being

Love and Relationships – Upright, The Devil

The Devil in love warns you not to ignore red flags and warning signs in your romantic life. A lover who is jealous and possessive likely doesn’t care whether the relationship is fair to youObsession in love is dangerous for both people.

If you’re looking for love, the Devil encourages you to move slowly and maintain independence. When you like someone, rushing into a situation that would be hard to undo is tempting. But if the person you meet is the one, you have plenty of time to develop a good bond.

Career and Work – Upright, The Devil

Upright in a career reading, the message of the Devil card can be about working too hardMoney and success will mean nothing if you don’t take time out to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Another interpretation is that you find yourself in a toxic work environment. Whether it’s the work itself or your colleagues, it may be necessary to remove yourself for better career satisfaction.

Health and Wellness – Upright, The Devil

In a health question, the Devil signals health problems from addiction and bad habits. Your mental and physical well-being are out of balance, but all is not lost. By taking better care of yourself, you can find equilibrium again.

In a way, the Devil is all about the choices you make. When you choose things you know to be bad for your health, you can expect your health to suffer. Your health will improve when you choose things you know to be good.

Don’t live in denial, believing yourself to be the exception to the rule. You will feel better when you accept this is not the case.

Spiritual Context – Upright, The Devil

Upright in a spirituality reading, the Devil signals a spiritual crisisAttachment and denial have blocked the connection to your higher consciousness. This is often the result of fear, doubt, and self-limiting thinking.

Now is the time to confront these issues. It helps to meditate, journal, or practice a creative hobbyYou have the power to rekindle your spiritual journey.

Reversed Meaning of The Devil

When the Devil comes out in reverse, it signals personal strength and liberation.

The Devil is all about traps of negative influence. So when it shows up in reverse, you may have overcome some serious obstacles.

  • Self-Awareness – One of the Devil’s traps is that we blame our problems on stuff we can’t control. The Devil, in reverse, is a reminder to take responsibility for what you can. For example, you can’t control how another person treats you, but you can control how much time you spend with them.
  • Transformation – Becoming aware of unhealthy attachments and ways of being allows you to transform how you live. Combine an optimistic outlook with healthy choices, and your life will improve!
Reversed Love MeaningReversed Career MeaningReversed Health Meaning
Breaking free from toxic relationships or codependency; a time of healing and liberationEscaping from a harmful or oppressive work environment; seeking a more fulfilling career pathOvercoming or leaving behind unhealthy habits or behaviors for improved health

Love and Relationships – Reversed, The Devil

When the Devil pops reversed in a question of love, it signals improvement in your relationship. It’s a good time to focus on open communication and building trust with your partner.

If you’re looking for love, this card reminds you to stay away from potential partners who are dishonestManipulative behavior does not make a good start. Be careful not to repeat patterns that worked out badly in the past.

Career and Work – Reversed, The Devil

Reversed in a career spread, the Devil card invites you to break free from a toxic work environment. Whatever keeps you from enjoying your work and progressing has to go.

You are also encouraged to release self-doubt about your work. Imposter syndrome can’t hold you back when you have confidence in your abilities.

It’s time to clear all the obstacles to having a career you love. Your work should challenge you to get better, not leave you feeling defeated.

Health and Wellness – Reversed, The Devil

When the Devil pops reversed in a wellness reading, it’s a sign of better things to come! You are ready to do what it takes to feel better.

Now is the time to break free from habits that hold you back. When you take responsibility for your mental and physical well-being, you can make a positive impact!

Release the burden of self-doubt and heavy emotions to cultivate an optimistic and self-loving outlook!

Spiritual Context – Reversed, The Devil

The Devil, in reverse, sees you claiming freedom from negative influences. It’s an excellent time to let go of self-doubt and embrace personal growth.

Notice any negative ideas that make you feel spiritually heavyRelease these attachments for the sake of a more optimistic and liberated way of connecting to the world.

The Devil: Yes or No

“No! This path will bring you no good.”

The Devil is a very discouraging sign of wrong thinking and destructive behavior. Whatever path you choose, stay away from this one!

The Devil and Astrology

When you add Astrology to a Tarot reading, you get another layer of significance. In astrology, symbols for the Devil card are the planet Saturn and the sign Capricorn.

  • Saturn – Saturn relates to boundaries, limitations, and restrictions in Astrology. It makes your burden heavy and your journey hard. You will feel trapped. So enslaved to responsibility that you wouldn’t dream of breaking free.
  • Capricorn – This serious sign is ambitious and vain. One can be obsessed with luxury and sensual experiences. Or so focused on money and power that you forget to live.
  • Here is a fun fact about Capricorn: It is storied to age in reverse! So, it is a natural trajectory from being too serious about material success to being more light-hearted.
  • If none of the darker meanings of this card apply to your reading, The Devil can also represent a mood of playful hedonism. Once in a while, it’s okay to indulge your lust for life! The key is to not make a habit of it.

The danger and warning of the Devil allow you to reflect on your actions. Its motto is: You have the power to break these chains.

The Devil Tarot Card and Numerology

Numerology is about the symbolism of numbers. The number of the Devil in Tarot is 15.

In numerology, we add the numbers until they are reduced to a single integer. 1+5=6, so the Devil card vibrates the number Six in this example.

In Tarot, Six represents a turning point. The message is that you are putting something behind you. Having finished one set of goals, you are ready to move forward in a new way.

As you enter the next phase of your journey, remember the value of your experience so far. Navigating this change is where you will make the most progress.

The Devil as a Daily Card

In a daily Tarot draw, the Devil card invites you to stay alert to temptation and negative patterns!

This card doesn’t automatically mean you will have a terrible day. It does warn you to be careful about the choices you make and the company you keep. Don’t allow bad influences to push you off track.

This day will give you reasons to reflect on everything that slows your progressTemporary satisfaction leads to long-term dissatisfaction. With this awareness in mind, commit to a practical course of action.

How to use The Devil in a Reading?

To use this card in a reading, remember that it wants you to notice what you’re doing to limit yourself.

As a Major Arcana card, the Devil card’s influence is stronger than that of a regular suit card. And whatever other cards turn up with it, it broadcasts a message of dangerous deeds!

Here are some themes to pay attention to:

  • Habits – Addiction includes dependency on substances. It also includes habits that distract you from your goals and responsibilities. If it absorbs your attention and helps you get nothing done, the appearance of this card invites you to examine it.
  • Restrictions – There are consequences for breaking rules, laws, and cultural norms. It’s essential to remember this when temptation strikes. Don’t forget your own self-imposed boundaries and limitations.
  • Illusions – Unhealthy attachments and rule-breaking behavior make you dishonest. It’s easy to lie to yourself to justify bad behaviorBeware of walking around in this fog.

Notice how these themes relate to your life at the time of this reading. Your intuition will tell you what or whom this card reminds you of.

How to use The Devil in a Love Reading?

Interpreting The Devil card in a love reading requires sensitivity and a balanced approach. Here’s how to use it effectively:

  • In love, the Devil card signals hard times in romance. Take this as an encouragement to recognize unbalanced dynamics in your relationship. Ask yourself how much trust is present, and talk about it with your lover.
  • If you’re looking for love, the message of the Devil reminds you to focus on personal growth and setting good boundaries. The right partner will respect and appreciate both.
  • It helps to look at the card’s position in your spread. For example, the Devil could land in a position called “the future.” In that case, the danger and warning of this card is something to look out for in times to come.

How to use The Devil in a Career Reading?

When interpreting The Devil card in a career reading, it’s crucial to approach it with a balanced perspective. Here’s how to use it effectively:

  • The Devil in a career spread is about avoiding professional pitfallsToxic work environments either bring you down or demand too much.
  • The guidance is to take control of what you can! You can’t control the call for mandatory overtime, but you can decide how many hours you’re willing to work. And if that means finding a new job or company, you have that power, too.
  • For any reading, it’s important to ask specific questionsKeep your job prospects in mind while you shuffle or mix the cards. Take a grounding breath. Trust what comes immediately to mind when you turn the card over.

How to use The Devil in a Health Reading?

Interpreting The Devil card in a health reading requires a compassionate and mindful approach. Here’s how to use it effectively:

  • In a health reading, The Devil signals an unhealthy condition. The choices you make affect your mental and physical well-being.
  • It promises you can do better if you don’t feel well now. You can make the changes necessary to live a productive life with better decisions.
  • The guidance for using it in a health reading is the same as any other reading. Compare and blend the story of this card with that of the others. The Devil card says negligence leads away from wellness.
  • Also, notice what the other cards have to say about that.

The Devil in Relation to Other Cards

The Devil card gives an energy of danger and bad choices. Now is the time to take stock of what’s holding you back! But, just how will you do that? The answer may lie in the cards that surround it.

Here are some tips for comparing the Devil with other cards:

  • Paired with Negative Cards: The danger is multiplied when the Devil card is surrounded by other challenging cards. It’s easy to go downhill fast when things aren’t going well.
  • Balanced with Positive Cards: If The Devil card appears with more optimistic cards, there is a lesson in the struggle. You will find your way through challenges by looking at the silver lining.
  • In the Company of Other Major Arcana Cards: Other Major Arcana cards sitting near the Devil card enhance the power of this card. They add more dimension to the story, giving clues to the path ahead.

The Devil card is an important part of the overall story a reading tells. The key to a good reading is to blend its message with the messages of the other cards in the spread.

Complementary Cards

Some cards support the Devil. They do this by spelling out a similar story or adding depth and dimension to the tale of vanity and addiction. When it shows up with complementary cards, the reasons become more clear.

Here are some cards that complement the Devil card:

  • The Tower – The Tower and the Devil have chaos and destruction in common. They say these things often come from poor decisions or immoral behavior.
  • The Seven of Swords – The Seven of Swords and the Devil have deceit and betrayal in common. Together, they are a reminder that dishonesty leads to negative consequences.
  • The Five of Cups – The Five of Cups and the Devil focus on the negative. Together, they reflect the consequences of dwelling on the pastAcknowledge your mistakes and move on.

Contrasting Cards

Some cards contrast with the energy of the Devil, signaling a light in the darkness. These contrasting cards are a wake-up call when you’ve lost touch with your essential goodness.

Here are some examples of cards that contrast with the energy of the Devil card:

  • The Fool – The Devil embodies slavery and ignorance. The Fool is about freedom and innocence. Together, they encourage you to free yourself from negativity and past mistakes.
  • The High Priestess – The Devil gives temptation and illusion. The High Priestess points to spiritual enlightenment. The guidance is to choose based on inner wisdomnot fear or external pressure.
  • Justice – The Devil gives lies and manipulation. Justice seeks the truth and does what is fair. Together, they encourage you to be responsible for yourself. Remember that your choices have consequences.


As we end our Devil card discussion, remember to reflect on how your choices hold you back. When something you’re doing causes harm, you have a choice.

With these themes in your life, you can notice negative influences and self-limiting behaviors that slow your progress. Whatever has you in chains, all you have to do is take them off and walk away.


What does the Devil tarot card symbolize?

The Devil card represents bondage, addiction, and materialism, reminding us to break free from negative patterns and embrace personal freedom.

Is the Devil tarot card always negative?

While the Devil card often signifies negative aspects, it can also represent the need to confront and overcome our fears and limitations.

Does the Devil tarot card predict actual evil or harm?

No, the Devil card does not predict literal evil or harm. It serves as a warning to avoid unhealthy attachments and negative influences.

Can the Devil tarot card indicate a toxic relationship?

Yes, the Devil card can suggest a toxic relationship characterized by control, manipulation, or addiction. It advises seeking liberation from such bonds.

How can one interpret the Devil tarot card in a positive light?

The Devil card can be seen as a call to face our shadow selves, acknowledge our desires, and transform them into sources of personal power and growth.

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