XV. The Devil


Key words

Upright: addiction, attachment, temptation, restriction

Reversed: freedom, release, empowerment


The Devil crouches on a pillar, their gray wings spread wide and their horns curved downward. An inverted pentagram sits between their horns. One hand is raised with their palm facing us, and the other hand is holding a torch pointed downward. Chained to The Devil’s pillar are The Lovers. While the two figures appear to be held captive, the chains around their necks are loose and escape would not be difficult. The figures have horns and tails, the result of being under The Devil’s influence. The figure on the right has a tail that appears to be lit aflame by The Devil’s torch, while the figure on the left has fruit growing out of their tail.


15 = 1 + 5 = 6: Compassion, harmony, mutual aid, healing

The Devil Upright

The Devil symbolizes an unhealthy attachment, usually to a person. It can also represent addiction, materialism, or prioritizing instant gratification over what is best in the long term. Don’t allow yourself to be influenced by bad actors, or to be held back by a relationship (romantic, platonic, professional, or otherwise). When The Devil shows up, it’s time to ask yourself: What is holding you back from being the best version of yourself? 

The Devil Reversed

The “shadow self” is a Jungian concept that refers to the parts of ourselves that we repress. Sometimes that repression is unconscious, and for many of us, it serves as a defense mechanism. Now is a good time to engage with your shadow self, ideally with the help of a therapist, counselor, or another trusted and qualified person. Alternatively, you may be challenged to let go of a relationship or habit that no longer serves you. While you may doubt your ability to resist temptation, The Devil in reverse reminds you that you are strong and the bond to whatever is holding you back is weak.