There is so much richness in the Devil card; addictions, shadow side, even self-esteem can be housed in this card. The placement seems odd though, because it is so near the end of the fool’s journey before it shows its face. Many are frightened by seeing this card and feeling that it is associated with evil, but that isn’t how I see the devil card, I see it more as a mirror into ourselves.
The Devil card is number 15 in the tarot deck. Only 6 short cards from the end of the fool’s journey. Why might this be? I believe that when one starts on their spiritual journey, they are all full of love and light with their highest intentions. They are in the “honeymoon” phase of their self development. They believe that they are a good person and highlight the best aspects of themselves. As they continue on their journey they continue to suppress their shadow. It still pops up from time time to time and they likely are hard on themselves for some “misstep” off their spiritual journey. They still believe they are a good and truly spiritual person and work even harder to “be good”. Then they go through some really tough lessons as they near the 15th card. Again and again their shadow side slips to the forefront. Eventually, they can no longer suppress the shadow. They must admit to themselves that this darker side of themselves exists and learn to make friends with their shadow side. They must admit to themselves the addictions that have become a part of their lives. They must look into the mirror and see all of themselves, acknowledge all of themselves, and learn to love themselves “as is”. Warts and all!
Yin and Yang, light and dark, sun and moon, male and female; we are full of duality. Our shadow side is part of us. I am not saying we should embrace the darkness and let it run wild or guide our life. We must, however, acknowledge that it is a part of us. By accepting that this duality exists within us, we can come to terms with it. We no longer will live our lives denying a part of ourself. That denial of it, gives it more power. It erupts at the most inopportune times, hurting others or causing harm to us. It affects our ego, because we are hard on ourselves, wondering how we could have acted in such a way. By understanding that this is a part of our nature, we can develop techniques and mechanisms to deal with the shadow. When we start to feel it rising inside of us, we can deal with it in a productive way. We can tame our beast with out pretending he does not exist.
Look deeply inside of yourself and examine your shadow. How has your shadow been affecting your life? What can you do to manage the shadow side your personality? Dig and find your shadow, strike a deal with it so that it can help you get to your greatest and highest purpose without degrading your true nature. Learn to be able to look in the mirror and love yourself, even while you walk the rest of your fool’s journey, carrying on past card 15 on your way to 21.